As far as energy goes.
Fusion (not splicing) at room temperatures is becoming more and more feasible.
Fusion not giving any reactive waste products as opposed to nuclear waste, gives for a whole lotta energy.
To read about the part where they come close to fusion power @ room temperature, check here
So let's say in about 50-100 years this is already implementable. That leaves travel.
Theoretical faster-than-light travel in Einsteinian space --> Link
I'm sure that still leaves a whole lot of other things that need to be considered, but as a stepping stone, these real life examples can possibly add some realism to this thread.
on-topic, as far as politics go. Man kind will always hunger for power and possession. If it's not for resources, then it'll simply be to claim territory as much as possible where "Faction#" will "preach" their way-of-life (superior to others).
Way-of-life can also pertain to religion. Different beliefs and religion equals war.
An alien race, friendly or hostile, may yet be the best thing to ever happen to the human race.
Talking about other life... that question is almost easy
I think those say enough