The United States, one of the world’s biggest energy consumers, could become energy independent in the next two decades, the report said. “The U.S. has regained its position as the world’s largest natural gas producer and expanded the life of its reserves from 30 to 100 years due to hydraulic fracturing technology.”
But the key for the Middle East will be the political landscape.
“On the one hand, if the Islamic Republic maintains power in Iran and is able to develop nuclear weapons, the Middle East will face a highly unstable future,” the report said. “On the other hand, the emergence of moderate, democratic governments or a breakthrough agreement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could have enormously positive consequences.”
Islamist terrorism might end by 2030, but terrorism is unlikely to disappear completely because states may use such groups due to a “strong sense of insecurity,” the report said.
“With more widespread access to lethal and disruptive technologies, individuals who are experts in such niche areas as cyber systems might sell their services to the highest bidder, including terrorists, who would focus less on causing mass casualties and more on creating widespread economic and financial disruptions.”
SPREAD OF LETHAL TECHNOLOGIES
Future wars in Asia and the Middle East could include nuclear weapons, the report said.
Countries with nuclear weapons might consider exploding a device to wipe out an opponent’s ability to use electronic systems that cannot operate in a radiated environment, rather than to harm people, the report said.
The next two decades will see a spread of lethal technologies and a “wider spectrum of more accessible instruments of war” especially precision-strike, cyber and bioterror weapons, the report said.