Four Ways America Could Completely Fall Apart by 2025

Demise 'could come far more quickly than anyone imagines'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2010 1:35 PM CST
Four Ways America Could Completely Fall Apart by 2025
One history professor predicts the US reign as a superpower could end by 2025.   (©Dryad & Sprite Photography)

The United States' power is declining, and its total demise as the global superpower could be here by 2025, asserts history professor and author Alfred W. McCoy. On Tom Dispatch, he offers four scenarios detailing how that could happen:

  • Economic decline: Years and years of foreign wars swell the deficit, and "in 2020, as long expected, the US dollar finally loses its special status as the world's reserve currency," McCoy writes. As a result, Washington can't pay its bills and slashes the military budget, pulling back US forces, but it's "far too late": China, India, Iran, Russia, and others "challenge US dominion over the oceans, space, and cyberspace."

  • Oil shock: OPEC ministers are angry at the dollar's plummeting value. China builds a massive trans-Asia pipeline. Concerns arise that the Navy can no longer serve as protector of the Persian Gulf ... but China and its new aircraft carriers can. Our access to low-cost oil evaporates as we're booted out of the region, sparking an oil shock that " hits the country like a hurricane," sending prices sky-high, making travel a rare luxury, sending real wages into freefall, and paralyzing our economy.
  • Military misadventure: By 2014, the military will be stretched too thin and tensions will be high, leading to a "disastrous military crisis abroad"—picture heavy American losses in Kandahar, leading us to bomb neighborhoods, leading mullahs to preach jihad, leaving the Afghan army to abandon us and allowing the Taliban to strike. It will be an embarrassing scenario "reminiscent of Saigon in 1975" that historians will ultimately look back on as "'America's Suez,' a telling reference to the 1956 debacle that marked the end of the British Empire."
Click for much more analysis and his final scenario, which involves World War III. (More America stories.)

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