Pearl Harbor and the Strategy of Economic Sanctions

There have been many lessons drawn from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. One was that wars need not begin according to international law. Another was that attacks can be unexpected and that constant vigilance is necessary. Still another was that underestimating an enemy can be catastrophic. And yet another was that failure to understand […]

George Friedman’s Thoughts: Fear and Loathing in Publishing a New Book

The galleys have arrived and my writing is officially ended. The book is now in the hands of Doubleday’s production and marketing department and will be released in late February. Now is the time when the author is helpless and awaits the judgment of the world with fear and loathing. The loathing is for myself. […]

A Common Theme of Global Unrest

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From Hong Kong to Tehran to Buenos Aires, the world appears to be destabilizing. The question that has been raised is whether there is...

Visiting Istanbul

I am writing this from Istanbul, trying not to count how many Thanksgivings I have spent without my children and grandchildren. But as they say, this is the life I chose. Right now I am looking out over the Bosporus from my hotel room and noticing something startling. I have been here many times but […]

Israel and the Emerging Crisis of the Secular and the Religious

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Elections normally don’t interest us at Geopolitical Futures. The passage of personalities who preside over the realities of a nation does not usually affect...

George Friedman’s Thoughts: On Viewing Rembrandt’s ‘Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of...

Last weekend I was in New York City, with a rare moment for indulgence. I chose to visit an old love, one who taught me about my life and what it would cost me. That love was a painting by Rembrandt, the centerpiece of an exhibition of Dutch masters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. […]

The Pressure on China

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The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has begun minor operations to try to quell the unrest in Hong Kong. This is a step that the...

George Friedman’s Thoughts: On My Visit to the United Arab Emirates

I spent last week in the United Arab Emirates, in the city of Dubai. Dubai sits on the edge of the Persian Gulf, which is called the Arabian Gulf by Arab states. This was not my first trip there, but I have never left the city, which means I have only seen the most modern […]

The Road to Four Months That Changed the World

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Thirty years ago, on Nov. 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. This was the beginning of a period that would change the world. When...

George Friedman’s Thoughts: Geopolitical Determinism

Having written a great deal on space and enchantment, it is time to come down to earth. I want to return to the central thesis of geopolitics as I practice it: the idea of geopolitical determinism. I differ from other people who write on geopolitics in two senses. While I regard geography as a fundamental […]

Toward a Theory of Journalistic Objectivity

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Last Sunday, I received an email from a close friend telling me and others that after 60 years he was canceling his subscription to...

George Friedman’s Thoughts: Flipping the Cards

Let me turn over some cards. Reasonable people (every one of you, I’m sure) are likely wondering what in the world I am doing, swinging from discussions of enchantment to the benefits of solid over liquid propellants in missiles, and back again. The motivation is embedded in my life; I have been asked to write […]