The next hundred years could witness the United States combine as a mature global power, only to see a rival nation threaten its space assets, and face aggression from a strong and prosperous Mexico, says geopolitical forecaster George Friedman.

Friedman is an intelligence officer with Strategic Forecasting, a private intelligence agency, as well as author of The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century. Friedman offers a sample of his geopolitical forecasts for the next hundred years in a recent essay for New Statesman.

His predictions stress on the interactions between nations over the next several decades, including which countries are likely to emerge as the next great powers. Friedman sees the US proceeding to grow as a superpower, only to be unbalanced by another emerging power - perhaps Turkey, Japan or some combination thereof. A possible venue for conflict: space - where he predicts the US will have many of its military assets.

It will be a very different kind of war from those fought on the ground:
The enemy will be trying to deny the US what it already has, space power, without being able to replace it. The US will win in a war where the stakes will be the world, but the cost will be much less than the bloody slaughters of Europe's world wars. Space does not contain millions of soldiers in trenches. War becomes more humane.

Another possible threat to America's flourishing dominance, Friedman says, could be Mexico, which stands to emerge as a growing power as the drug profiteers currently unbalancing the country give way to their more legitimate heirs. Combined with a growing population of Americans living just north of the border who immigrated form Mexico, it could push Mexico in a position to reclaim territory it lost to the US over 150 years ago, allowing them to rise as one of the world's key players:
One can imagine scenarios in which the US fragments, in which Mexico becomes an equal power, or in which the US retains primacy for centuries, or an outside power makes a play. North America is the prize.

[via io9]