Next Stage of Forecasting

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As we at GPF undertake our next long-term forecast, we’d like to do so with a degree of transparency. A degree is all we are able to afford our readers; if you all read some of the wackier ideas of our blue sky sessions, you would probably run for the hills.

Even so, we have already, albeit tentatively, made a few major forecasts: The geopolitical power of the United States will expand dramatically, and deep-seated economic and social pressure may force China to revert to a state of civil strife. And we had already predicted that Ukraine would lead to turmoil the likes of which Russia has not seen since 1991.

These are preliminary forecasts, so please don’t hold us to them just yet. We have tackled the obvious and critical issues. The hardest part is trying to identify the less obvious issues, not with a forecast yet but as a part of our agenda. This week will be devoted to analyzing regions whose current dynamics suggest possible geopolitical significance. These are not forecasts but merely an agenda to address.

The first is not a nation but a system: the BRICS. Recent conversations surrounding the group have focused on a common currency, which would be intended to reduce the importance of the dollar and the United States. Does this have the ability to change our agenda?

The entirety of Eurasia is either dysfunctional or already in the throes of change. China and Russia are obvious examples but don’t forget about the rise of India. It’s unclear if the current European economic system can survive. Eurasian disintegration could change the global system.

Iran, meanwhile, is adapting to the times by talking to the United States and Saudi Arabia and is in talks on reducing arms sales to Russia. Expect some noise from Israel. If Iran is changing its position for the long haul, then the very role the Middle East plays in global affairs would change too.

The situation in Niger is drawing serious attention from great powers like Russia and the United States. African instability normally doesn’t generate much interest these days, nor does it portend conflict among foreign powers. The issue is whether Africa is affecting the global system in different ways.

This week, you will be receiving articles framing these four issues, unless something more pressing comes up. So at this point, all our forecasts are tentative, but the major nations are easier to forecast. This second phase is about things we haven’t thought of yet.

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.