International Organizations Are Tools for Powerful Countries

Nov. 15, 2017 Multilateral groupings are usually impotent, so why are there so many of them?

The Meaning of Memorial Day

I’m writing this on Memorial Day, a day dedicated to remembering those who died fighting for the United States and to enjoying the first outdoor gatherings of the summer. For some, marking the day by enjoying the pleasures of a barbecue seems a betrayal of the dead. For me, it is a celebration of life. […]

The Role of Political Leaders

Even the most powerful ones are constrained by impersonal forces.

On the Black Sea

I have just awakened on the first day following a 24-hour trip from Austin to Constanta, a city in Romania that few Americans know of. It is where the Danube meets the Black Sea, and it has been a pivot point since before even the Romans arrived. The Danube is something like the American Mississippi, […]

The US, China and Japan: Grand Strategies

All three countries are competing for power in the Pacific.

George Friedman’s Thoughts: The Problem With Passion

Passion obscures the subtlety and complexity of the things we care about.

The End of the Afghan War?

There is no winning in Afghanistan, only perpetual engagement.

George Friedman’s Thoughts: Passion and Aristotle’s Four Virtues

Aristotle’s virtues, like passion, have a complex and important relationship to geopolitics.

George Friedman’s Thoughts: Geopolitics and Philosophy

After last week’s piece on Aristotle’s four virtues, I received one reader response asking that I write on geopolitics rather than philosophy. One is enough to justify a serious reply. Most people equate the term “geopolitics” with international relations, perhaps with a tilt toward armed conflict. When people in the financial sector, for instance, point […]

The Story of Venezuela

It’s time to take a break from my search for the meaning of the nation and turn my focus to specific countries. I will start with Venezuela, which has been experiencing a political and economic crisis for several years. I spent a good deal of time in Venezuela in the 1990s. The reason for my […]

The Global Impact of a US Recession

It appears more and more likely that a recession is coming, and it will have geopolitical consequences.

The Coming Conflict Between China and Japan

Dec. 6, 2017 As the U.S. nears the limits of its power, regional powers will be more unencumbered than ever before.