Covid-19 - a global shock since World War II
A similar 2008 intelligence report issued a warning of a possible pandemic. Then the authors said that the pandemic would begin in East Asia and quickly spread throughout the world. Moreover, there were forecasts that this pandemic could cause global economic shocks, after which the world will not recover soon.
The 2021 report concludes that the coronavirus pandemic is the most significant, unique global shock since World War II. At the same time, the current state of affairs, as noted in the report, is only a prologue "to a much darker picture of what lies ahead." We will feel the consequences of the pandemic in medicine, politics and security for many years to come, it will finally change our way of life, work, and governance at home and at the international level.
Already, Covid-19 has sharply exacerbated and exposed problems of health care and social divisions within society, highlighting inequalities in access to medicine and stalling efforts to tackle other diseases.
Closed borders have exacerbated problems in national economies in terms of increasing debt and government regulation of the economy.
The coronavirus pandemic has heightened nationalism and polarization in society. The rise of extreme nationalism in many countries is only growing and is becoming a global trend around the world. The pandemic is intensifying and the polarization of society in many countries - individual groups in such states are looking for "scapegoats" responsible for the spread of the virus.
Covid-19 exacerbates and will further exacerbate economic inequality, with the greatest impact on the poor, who will only get worse.
If the pandemic will affect digital technologies and the media, in the future they will divide people rather than unite people. And in some countries, it will be used as an excuse to suppress dissent even more severely.
In general, the Covid-19 pandemic could lead to a significant regression in the development of humanity, slow down and reverse progress.
The confrontation between the United States, Russia, and China will define international challenges, distrust of governments.
According to the conclusions of the experts presented in the report, nothing good awaits us either within states or in the international arena.
At the national level, the gap between the challenges and the government agencies that are called upon to respond to these challenges will only grow. At the international level, it will be a world increasingly "shaped by China's challenge to the United States and the Western-led international system," with an increased risk of conflict.
More and more people are becoming increasingly wary of governments. In their opinion, governments do not want or cannot, for some reason, satisfy their needs. Therefore, for the sake of safety and community, people increasingly gather in like-minded groups, including ethnic, religious and cultural. At the same time, as people receive more and more opportunities from governments, their needs grow. As a result, governments are under pressure and new problems and more and more limited resources. This all increases the risks of political instability and fragmentation within countries.
At the international level, the confrontation between China and the coalition of Western countries led by the United States may escalate. Military coups, accelerated development of military power, demographic shifts, technological leaps and "growing disagreements about governance models" could be the catalyst here.
Russia, according to analysts' conclusions, is also inclined to change the international order and establish its "protectorate" over most of the Eurasian space. The Kremlin will continue to own significant weapons, weapons of mass destruction, energy and mineral resources. Russia's desire to use its power abroad and to influence the formation of power structures in the post-Soviet space will not disappear either. Moreover, Russia will continue to use the means of information warfare to multiply disagreements between Western countries.
And also global climate change, an aging population, the development of diseases, terrorism - the problems we already know will also get worse, the next 20 years will definitely not be enough for the world.
The renaissance of democracy is the only positive scenario
But among the impenetrable darkness, analysts did not forget about a ray of light.
All the sorrows and hardships that have already befallen and will still fall on the world are likely to lead to a boom in the development of technology and science in economically developed countries.
All the sorrows and hardships that have already befallen and will still overwhelm the world are likely to lead to a boom in the development of technology and science in economically developed countries such as the United States and Great Britain. This, in turn, will cause an even wider gap with authoritarian and repressive China and Russia. And democracy will be able to revive around the world under the auspices of the United States.
The authors of the report do not provide political recommendations, this is by no means a guide to action, this is a warning to which attention must be paid - armed, therefore forewarned.