Originally produced Dec. 28, 2015 for Mauldin Economics, LLC
By George Friedman
Two things are necessary to understand a nation’s strategy. The first is to view the world through the eyes of that nation… to know what it hopes for and fears. The second is to understand that the nation’s leader is far from a free agent. He (or she) became the leader by making endless political and financial deals along the way, and he remains the leader only to the extent that he satisfies others. There are also constraints and imperatives surrounding the leader that shape his actions. Some derive from internal politics, but the most important have to do with power, or the lack of it. In order to deal with an adversary, or to crush him, understanding the world from his point of view is essential.
People tend to personalize power. We believe that the leader makes decisions as he wishes. When he does what we want him to do, he is wise and decent. When he thwarts our plans, he is a fool a