Skip to comments.CIA gives grim warning on European prospects
Posted on 01/16/2005 8:38:31 AM PST by Pikamax
CIA gives grim warning on European prospects
THE CIA has predicted that the European Union will break-up within 15 years unless it radically reforms its ailing welfare systems.
The report by the intelligence agency, which forecasts how the world will look in 2020, warns that Europe could be dragged into economic decline by its ageing population. It also predicts the end of Nato and post-1945 military alliances.
In a devastating indictment of EU economic prospects, the report warns: "The current EU welfare state is unsustainable and the lack of any economic revitalisation could lead to the splintering or, at worst, disintegration of the EU, undermining its ambitions to play a heavyweight international role."
It adds that the EUs economic growth rate is dragged down by Germany and its restrictive labour laws. Reforms there - and in France and Italy to lesser extents - remain key to whether the EU as a whole can break out of its "slow-growth pattern".
Reflecting growing fears in the US that the pain of any proper reform would be too much to bear, the report adds that the experts it consulted "are dubious that the present political leadership is prepared to make even this partial break, believing a looming budgetary crisis in the next five years would be the more likely trigger for reform".
The EU is also set for a looming demographic crisis because of a drop in birth rates and increased longevity, with devastating economic consequences.
The report says: "Either European countries adapt their workforces, reform their social welfare, education and tax systems, and accommodate growing immigrant populations [chiefly from Muslim countries] or they face a period of protracted economic stasis."
As a result of the increased immigration needed, the report predicts that Europes Muslim population is set to increase from around 13% today to between 22% and 37% of the population by 2025, potentially triggering tensions.
The report predicts that Americas relationships with Europe will be "dramatically altered" over the next 15 years, in a move away from post-Second World War institutions. Nato could disappear and be replaced by increased EU action.
"The EU, rather than Nato, will increasingly become the primary institution for Europe, and the role Europeans shape for themselves on the world stage is most likely to be projected through it," the report adds. "Whether the EU will develop an army is an open question."
Defence spending by individual European countries, including the UK, France, and Germany, is likely to fall further behind China and other countries over the next 15 years. Collectively these countries will outspend all others except the US and possibly China.
The expected next technological revolution will involve the convergence of nano, bio, information and materials technology and will further bolster China and Indias prospects, the study predicts. Both countries are investing in basic research in these fields and are well placed to be leaders. But whereas the US will retain its overall lead, the report warns "Europe risks slipping behind Asia in some of these technologies".
For Europe, an increasing preference for natural gas may reinforce regional relationships, such as those with Russia or North Africa, given the inter-dependence of pipeline delivery, the report argues. But this means the EU will have to deal with Russia, which the report also warns "faces a severe demographic crisis resulting from low birth rates, poor medical care and a potentially explosive Aids situation".
Russia also borders an "unstable region" in the Caucasus and Central Asia, "the effects of which - Muslim extremism, terrorism and endemic conflict - are likely to continue spilling over into Russia".
The report also largely en dorses forecasts that by 2020 Chinas gross domestic product will exceed that of individual western economic powers except for the US. Indias GDP will have overtaken or be overtaking European economies.
Because of the sheer size of Chinas and Indias populations their standard of living need not approach European and western levels to become important economic powers.
The economies of other developing countries, such as Brazil, could surpass all but the largest European countries by 2020.
We're not that far behind the Euro-peons.
That's weird. A CIA assessment I agree with.
It also predicts the end of Nato..
NATO is already just about dead. NATO's almost token help in Afghanistan and nonexistent help in Iraq have taken care of that. We may be pulling out of Bosnia and Kosovo in the next couple of years. After that, it's all over except for the funeral.
Nothing here freepers haven't been saying for a LONG time.
There was an earlier thread comparing the economies of EU countries to US state economies. The best countries of the EU would only beat out 4 or 5 US states if compared individually. (been searching, can't find the right key words yet, will post link if I can find it).
Our "peons" have a standard of living better than the middle or even upper middle class in European countries, when measured in terms of income, food, housing, possessions such as cars, TVs, microwaves, etc.
Next big CIA discovery.............STEAM!!
It's actually fascinating reading.
Maybe once they drop the Euro I can afford to go back. ;)
If the CIA says 15 years, it's probably more like three.
Now when would the CIA find time to do something that might enhance our national security? They've got much more important things to do, like trying to oust Porter Goss so they can go back to undermining President Bush full time, instead of only part time like they're forced to do now.
How europe deals with immigration is going to have a lot to do with how their economies perform, and what their national identities look like in the future.
If European nations were admitted as states into the America union, they would be our poor, dependent cousins.
If the UK, France, or Italy became U.S. states, they would rank as the 5th poorest of the states, ahead only of Arkansas, Montana, West Virginia, and Mississippi. The richest EU country - Ireland - would be the 13th poorest. Sweden would be the 6th poorest.
Good economic development, in other words, results in even poor people being relatively well off in the states, wrote Dr. Fredrik Bergström, President of The Swedish Research Institute of Trade, Robert Gidehag in the book Sweden versus the US.
Hence, the EU no longer is or is seen as the great economic liberator of Europe.
In other words, a redneck driving a pick-up with a gun rack lives better than European gentry.
In the 1990s, U.S. growth was twice that of Europes, and three times that of Japans. The U.S. per capita income is now 55% higher than the EU-15 average, and 50% higher than Japans.
Thank you. That's the info.
Was it in the full text of this CIA report? Where did you find it?
The EU shouldn't be too worried, the CIA doesn't have a good track record.