From London to Space War

From the beginning, mankind’s presence in space had to do with war. In World War II, humanity went beyond the Earth’s atmosphere in order to kill. The first rocket that passed out of the Earth’s atmosphere was neither American nor Soviet but rather the German V-2. It was the first combat missile and had a maximum speed of over 3,000 miles per hour. (The V-1 rocket – basically what is today called a cruise missile – had an air-breathing engine and traveled at a speed of about 350 miles per hour, slower than most World War II fighters. It could, therefore, be shot down if detected by radar.) The V-2 was powered by liquid fuel – alcohol mixed with liquid oxygen for combustion. It had limited guidance and tended to fly on a trajectory that took it out of the atmosphere and back. The first V-2s hit London, when they hit anything at all, since they had a high failure rate between launch and impact. It had a warhead weighing 2,200 pounds – about half the payload of a B-17 – but with the explosion being concentrated, it did not distribute the blast efficiently. Nevertheless, it devastated whatever it hit. […]

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George Friedman

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures.

Dr. Friedman is also a New York Times bestselling author. His most recent book, THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, published February 25, 2020 describes how “the United States periodically reaches a point of crisis in which it appears to be at war with itself, yet after an extended period it reinvents itself, in a form both faithful to its founding and radically different from what it had been.” The decade 2020-2030 is such a period which will bring dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture.

His most popular book, The Next 100 Years, is kept alive by the prescience of its predictions. Other best-selling books include Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, The Next Decade, America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Dr. Friedman has briefed numerous military and government organizations in the United States and overseas and appears regularly as an expert on international affairs, foreign policy and intelligence in major media. For almost 20 years before resigning in May 2015, Dr. Friedman was CEO and then chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996. Friedman received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of the City University of New York and holds a doctorate in government from Cornell University.