Trump govt faces rising risk of international conflict

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: The incoming Donald Trump administration faces a world of greater risk of conflict, slower growth and more anti-democratic pressures than ever since the Cold War, a new US intelligence report released Monday said.

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US leadership is ebbing amid shifts in economic, political and technological power, deep changes in the global landscape “that portend a dark and difficult near future,” according to the National Intelligence Council’s “Global
Trends: Paradox of Progress” report.

“The next five years will see rising tensions within and between countries,” said the report.

“For better or worse, the emerging global landscape is drawing to a close an era of American dominance following the Cold War.”

The National Intelligence Council, a research group under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, issues its global assessment every four years, and the new one came 11 days before Trump is inaugurated as president.

It painted a gloomy picture of the challenges pulling at the post-World War 2 global order, including extreme income disparities, technological dislocation, demographic shifts, the impacts of global warming, and intensifying communal conflicts.

Moreover, Western democracies will find it harder and harder to stick to their principles and avoid being pulled apart from each other.

“It will be much harder to cooperate internationally and govern in ways publics expect,” it said.

More countries will be able to “veto” cooperative efforts and the myriad channels of global communication will leave large numbers and groups of people misinformed and divided.

“Information ‘echo chambers’ will reinforce countless competing realities,” it said.

The report, whose authors comprise analysts from the intelligence and academic communities, also says that the liberalism that defined the West and allies after World War 2 is under threat from populism on both the right and left, as governing countries and societies gets harder.

“Publics will demand governments deliver security and prosperity, but flat revenues, distrust, polarization and a growing list of emerging issues will hamper government performance.”

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