The US is packing bags and on its way out of Syria, while some are desperately trying to find a catch here, analyzing possible consequences and further scenarios.
Meanwhile, we are not always able to see the strategy hided behind daily events around the globe. A person, if it is not a professional duty, as a rule, does not go deep into the analysis of what will happen on Earth, say, in thirty years, though this is only the term of one generation.
The US has decided that there are far more serious challenges than, for example, whether Assad will remain in power in Syria.
The looming era of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which some people compare with invention of printing or electricity, can make it possible to win the fierce battle for the possession of world leadership, because the existing mechanisms to do so, do not work.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said some time ago that the nation, which will become a leader in AI, “will be the ruler of the world.”
Ability to make global-scale estimates and influence people’s conduct by analyzing terabytes of information, revolutionary changes in medicine, fighting robots – prototypes of popular Transformers movies, and many other AI inventions should ensure the future supremacy of the US.
Only a few countries in the world are able to compete with each other in the development of the AI technologies. These are Israel, Japan and possibly South Korea, several EU countries and Russia, to a lesser extent. But the main and most prolific competitors in the new revolution will be the US and China.
In summer of 2017, China presented a three-stage program for the development of Artificial Intelligence of the next generation, a document that outlined the country’s strategy for becoming a world leader in AI by 2030. Currently, there is an active financing of AI startups by the Chinese government.
The development of AI technologies is incredibly expensive. By 2030, the key AI industry will reach 1 trillion yuan ($145 billion), whereas the related developments will make about 10 trillion yuan ($1.5 trillion). Where to get such money?
In order to achieve decisive superiority and become the undisputed leader in the impending technological revolution, it is necessary to ensure maximum control over the global trade and financial flows, as well as sales markets that are not yet completely divided or that can be taken from weaker competitors.
In addition, along with the development of the AI technologies proper, you still need to find opportunities to meet the challenges, as well as to put a spoke in the wheel of competitors.
To date, there are three challenges coming from China, to which the US has no clear response, except for the sluggish trade war. These are: the “Belt and Road Initiative”, control over South China Sea, through which a great part of global trade and energy flows is passing, and China’s significant and long-term investments in the African continent.
While the first two were widely covered and analyzed, the US response to the third challenge is less familiar to the general audience.
Less than a month ago, in mid-December 2018, Washington announced its “New Africa Strategy”.
The strategy involves the development of trade and commercial ties between the United States and the countries of the region, and the attraction of foreign direct investment in Africa.
If you look at the African continent as a source of profit for the subsequent breakthrough to a new technological revolution, it is almost the only remaining “diamond” that can still be purchased.
However, it should be born in mind that China has been trenching itself in Africa for about fifteen years, having spent nearly $150 billion during this time.
According to the US President’s National Security adviser John Bolton, who introduced the new concept, Russia & China “pose a significant threat” to US national interests with their activity in Africa.
If we learn to see the big picture, it will be easier for us to understand certain actions and decisions taken by the great powers.
I may be wrong in my reasoning, but I see it that way.