The Event that Triggered US Maritime Supremacy

Thoughts in and around geopolitics.

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On Nov. 11, 1940, the British Royal Navy set the stage for the United States becoming the dominant naval power in the world. It certainly did not intend to; the British wanted to retain that title for themselves. The consequences of an action are frequently hard to anticipate and even to recognize before the fact. Taranto was an Italian naval base located in the heel of the Italian boot. It was a logical location for a navy whose mission was to dominate the Mediterranean. The Italian navy was not a trivial force, and Taranto was a key installation. The Italians based a substantial number of battleships at Taranto but were cautious in allowing them to sortie. They were caught between war and peace, and had removed their torpedo nets designed to block torpedoes on Nov. 11. There were six battleships, nine cruisers and 28 destroyers at anchor. The British saw the Italian fleet as their only challenger in the Mediterranean, which was essential to Britain’s path to the empire. The Royal Navy was ordered to destroy the Italian navy. It could not enter Taranto Harbor with battleships, so it contrived a new strategy. The attack was based on an aircraft […]

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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.