The next hundred years could see the United States merge as a mature global power, only to see a rival nation threaten its space assets, and face aggression from a strong and prosperous Mexico, according to 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. In a recent essay for New Statesman, Friedman offers a sample of his geopolitical forecasts for the next hundred years.

Friedman's predictions focus on the interactions between nations over the next several decades, including which countries are likely to emerge as the next great powers. He sees the US continuing to grow as a superpower, only to be unbalanced by another emerging power — perhaps Turkey, Japan, or some combination thereof. One possible venue for conflict: space, where he predicts the US will have many of its military assets. But 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 dominance, Friedman claims, could be Mexico, which stands to emerge as a growing power as the drug profiteers currently destabilizing the country give way to their more legitimate heirs. That, combined with an growing population of Americans living just north of the border who immigrated from Mexico, could put Mexico in a position to reclaim territory it lost to the US over 150 years ago and arise 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.

The next 100 years [New Statesman]