In this bold, lively and entertaining book, political strategy researcher and analyst George Friedman makes highly specific predications about the 21st century. His discussion of the globe’s changing face educates readers about the forces shaping international politics. Friedman is committed to a wide geopolitical perspective, and his predictions rest on broad, detailed historical knowledge. Even if you think some predictions are farfetched (or too specific for such long time frames), the parallels he draws between what happened historically and what he believes will happen in the future are quite educational. getAbstract recommends Friedman’s book to professionals involved in international business or long-term strategic planning, and to any reader interested in pragmatic, interesting and, of course, theoretical, assertions about the future.
Welcome to “the American Age”
In 1900, it seemed to Europeans as if Europe would always dominate the world. By 1920, that was a lost dream. World War I had killed millions. Empires had vanished. Germany had fallen. Communism ruled Russia. Jump to 1940: Germany had recovered and had started a terrifying war. Jump to 1960: Germany had lost and ended up split in two. The U.S. and the Soviet Union maneuvered for domination. The possibility of nuclear war rumbled in the background. Jump to 1980: The U.S. had lost a war to tiny North Vietnam. America wanted so badly to thwart Soviet ambition that it allied with Communist China. Now, jump 20 more years: By 2000, the Soviet Union was gone. China said it was Communist, but capitalism spread across the country. On September 11, 2001, the world changed again when Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S.
In 1900, you would not have been able to predict the details of any of these world-changing events. However, if you had examined the situation from a geopolitical perspective, you would have been able to predict major trends, as is done here. “Geopolitical forecasting” makes two assumptions. First, it sees that people gather into ...
George Friedman, author of America’s Secret War, is founder and CEO of STRATFOR, a private intelligence and forecasting company.