Central Europe and Poland will emerge as a major power by 2040

*Excerpts from Geopolitical futures: The Road to 2040: Your Crystal Ball into the Future (George Friedman)

“In Europe, the European Union as an institution will collapse or redefine itself as a more modest trade zone encompassing a smaller part of the continent. (..) Germany is the most vulnerable country and will experience economic decline due to inevitable fluctuations in the export market. Consequently, by 2040, Germany will be a second-tier power in Europe. Other countries in Western Europe will be affected by its decline, leading Central Europe, and Poland in particular, to emerge as a major, active power.”

“Russia will continue to suffer from the effects of declining oil prices. The revenue from this commodity had been used to sustain internal cohesion. With this revenue now severely drained, Russia will devolve into a confederation or even fragment into secessionist parts by 2040.”

“Well before 2040, Russia will at best operate as if it is a confederation, with regions linked but not under Moscow’s control. Alternatively, this may be combined with genuine secession of various regions, particularly in the High Caucasus, the Pacific Maritime region and Karelia. Whatever the details, the likelihood of Russia remaining intact is low.”

“The U.S. strategy with Russia from now until 2040 is to confront Moscow with a line of resistance (which includes the Baltic states, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria) without itself becoming overly exposed.”

“By the mid-2020s, both Germany and Russia will grow weaker and, while Poland may not surge by itself, its relative weight will increase dramatically.”

“Russian military might will increase in the early phases of its terminal crisis causing tensions with Poland, but will fade as its core economic and political problems become less manageable.”

“As Eurasia’s fragmentation continues, the logical outcome is the rotation of powers. At or near the periphery of a severely weakened Eurasia, we expect to see three regional powers emerge (..): Japan will return to being the major East Asian power; Turkey will be the dominant power in the Middle East; and Poland, leading a coalition from the Baltics to the Black Sea, will become a major player in Europe.

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