George Friedman’s Thoughts: A Month of Travel

Since the beginning of November, I have traveled, in sequence, to Dubai, Calgary, New York, Istanbul, Zurich and London, with quick stopovers at home as possible, to catch my breath and try my hand at running a business. The schedule was sufficiently intense that I had to beg off writing my Thoughts column last week. But the chance to visit such cities is a rare privilege. I choose not to disclose whom I met with, unless they choose to announce it first. There are two reasons. First, I dislike name dropping, and second, because the rule of the game is he who talks doesn’t get invited back. The general principle that guides my forecasting system is that personalities don’t matter. The constraints and imperatives imposed on a nation by necessity and circumstance shape the kind of leader who can emerge, and define what he can and must do. The leader announces the decisions that history imposes on him. Certainly, there is layer upon layer of more and more minor decisions he can make. But the major decisions, the things that touch the core of a nation, are beyond his will. This is a frightening thought. We like to think of […]

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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.