George Friedman’s Thoughts: On Vacations

As you read this, I am lying on a lounge on a tropical beach, living in a pseudo hut with a private pool and extremely obsequious servants, chief among them a woman who is a soap butcher who asks you to pick your preferred soap and slices it to your specifications. I like being given the opportunity to make a choice on something to which I am completely indifferent. I would make appropriate jokes but the soap butcher is so earnest, and Meredith is so fascinated by the subject, that I point and nod, wondering if she would be offended if I walked away. Staying in such a place is the essence of a vacation. It is a place where interests and obligations are suspended in favor of absurd self-indulgence. For myself and my wife, the greatest self-indulgence comes in the form of the “Urine of the Gods,” as the Spaniards say (or at least said once to me). That magnificent elixir is rum punch, called by many names at different resorts but which is always a combination of cheap rum, sweet liquids and an absurd price. You can buy tequila, of course, or drink margaritas, but the rum punch, […]

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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.