George Friedman, The Next 100: A Forecast for the 21st Century

What does the future hold for the world? If only someone could predict what was going to happen, maybe we could prepare. If that person was the Chief Intelligence Officer and founder of an organization quite literally referred to as “the Shadow CIA,” he would have access to an information network so sophisticated it would rival any intelligence organization in the world and allow him to make such predictions.

George Friedman of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., a.k.a. Stratfor, is such a man. He deftly analyzes a wealth of information to provide world-altering predictions that should carry us through the end of the 21st century. Some of his predictions include China’s failing to become a presence on the world stage, and Russia’s return to that podium as a true force. Naturally, he discusses America’s ups and downs in great depth, predicting a golden age for the U.S. in the latter part of the 21st century.

Unfortunately, one can’t help but wonder how accurate Friedman’s data and his analysis of it are. Many of the scenarios seem farfetched or, at the very least, highly improbable. The questioning of his accuracy does tend to detract from the book but with that in mind it is still a fascinating read. In truth, the book needs to be read not as Nostradamus-esque predictions but as an analysis of the geopolitical structure that exists around us.

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