Thoughts at 30,000 Feet

Thoughts in and around geopolitics.

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There was a time when a flight to a place far away would thrill me. But that was long ago, and it is no longer the case. Perhaps because I now value more what I have at home than the vague danger of something far away. Perhaps because I have become jaded and little surprises me. Perhaps because there is nothing lonelier than looking out a window at nothingness. I flew recently for more than 30 hours, staring out a window, day and night, at nothingness. I discovered something I didn’t know before: that travel isolates you from the world more completely than perhaps anything but death. Your only companion is thought. The solace of such a trip is that you are free to think about anything you want, without interruption. At a time when relations between nations are defined by relative infection rates, I thought about COVID-19, and about the doctors who speak about it. For physicians, saving lives is their mission, and I hold it a noble end. But life is a means toward more extraordinary ends, not an end in itself. In the midst of mortal danger, it is difficult to imagine ends other than surviving, but […]

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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.