Back in 2000, the CIA published a 70-page report on what the world would be like in 2015.
Here were some of those predictions, according to a December 2000 story from the Telegraph.
“International affairs are increasingly determined by large and powerful organisations rather than governments.” Verdict: Probably true. Though it is sometimes hard to distinguish between non-state actors and state actors. Just look at the Islamic State or the possibly-not-North Korean hackers who took down Sony.
“Between now and 2015 terrorist tactics will become increasingly sophisticated and designed to achieve mass casualties.” Verdict: Definitely true. Sadly, this prediction became true within months.
“Iraq and Iran [will] develop long range missiles in the near future. Iran … could be testing such weapons by as early as the coming year, and cruise missiles by 2004.” Verdict: False.
“The world population will grow by more than one billion, to 7.2 billion.” Verdict: True.
“Energy resources will be sufficient to meet demand.” Verdict: Nailed it. Companies are actually cancelling plans to dig up more natural gas because oil is abundant right now.
“China’s economy will grow to overtake Europe as the world’s second largest but still behind the United States.” Verdict: True-ish. By some measurements, China’s economy is now larger than the US economy.
“Europe will not achieve fully the dreams of parity with the US as a shaper of the global economic system.” Verdict: Correct. The report was way too bullish on the European economy, which is “going nowhere” these days.
“Aids, famine, and continuing economic and political turmoil means that populations in many [African] countries will actually fall.” Verdict: False. Africa’s population rose from 800 million in 2000 to 1.1 billion in 2014.
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