RAND has an analysis of future hot spots that is being serialized in Atlantic Monthly and also the hot topic of conversation on NPR. Among their findings:

Bruce Hoffman thinks building a wall to separate Israelis and Palestinians is a bad idea, as it’ll heighten animosity and make it difficult for the Palestinians to have a viable ecoomy.

Julie Davanzo, et. al. believe Russia is likely to get worse rather than better because of a nasty demographic situation: a precipitously declining population caused by disease, crime, suicide, and alcoholism.

Several analysts see some problems in the US defense industry, notably the consolidation in the high tech sector which has left only three companies capable of making military aircraft and an inability to have enough work available to sustain large teams of engineers:

Today only three American companies—Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman—are capable of leading the design of a manned military aircraft, and major contracts for which they can compete will emerge only once every other decade or so. For perhaps the first time the U.S. military is relying on only one prime contractor to design and build its new tactical fighters: Lockheed Martin, an amalgamation of more than a dozen former major aerospace companies, is developing the F-22 and the F-35. If either program runs into trouble (and few programs of comparable ambition and complexity escape it), the Pentagon’s fallback options will be scarce.

They also believe the US aircraft carrier fleet is inadequate to meet anticipated needs and note that it would be at least a decade before we could get more on line even once they’re approved.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.