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Where Will You Be in 2030, America?

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Uncertainty over how the U.S. will evolve over the next two decades makes its behavior a top “game-changer” of the international order. So say the authors of “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” the latest quadrennial future-gazing exercise by the National Intelligence Council.

The difficulty of predicting how a politically polarized U.S. will respond to the stiff domestic tests it faces is just one of six game-changers in this best guess by the intelligence community about the near-term world. These variables are playing out in a world inexorably shaped by four “megatrends”: individual empowerment driven by technology, health-care advances and a growing middle class; the rise of a multipolar order shaped increasingly by networks and coalitions; shifting demographics, including accelerated urbanization; and an intensifying struggle for food, water and energy.