The Next Decade Kindle Ë The Next PDF \


  • Hardcover
  • 243 pages
  • The Next Decade
  • George Friedman
  • 06 June 2016
  • 9780385532945

10 thoughts on “The Next Decade

  1. Ugh Ugh says:

    This book is not uite what its cover leads the unsuspecting buyer to believe it will be The cover underplays the book's US centricity and although the whole world does come in for consideration at some point it's all from a US point of view Happily I was fine with that; others may not beFriedman begins by trying to make the case that the US has an empire and it's arguable whether he succeeds I must admit that being a Brit I bristled at the suggestion a reaction that exposes a hitherto unrecognised and rather troubling well of pride somewhere within me at the fact that my national forebears dominated and exploited less well resourced nations in the not too distant past But uestionable nationalism aside I'm not sure the US should be considered an empire in the same mould as the British or any other from history Friedman recognises that the US does not have any formal control over its 'empire' but in my opinion he doesn't give this fact due weight However it may ultimately be a matter of semantics Friedman states that 'it is simply impossible for a nation whose economy is so vast to have commercial relations without political entanglements and conseuences' and that 'the power of the American economy and the distribution of US military force binds countries to the US tightly than any formal imperial system could hope to accomplish'He then goes on to make the case that the President is the sole office that can effectively plan or control this empire before trying to get to grips with the morality of doing so And again I'm not sure he succeeds with the latter task He describes an idealist realist dichotomy in US foreign policy with the idealist position being that the US must act on moral principles and the realist position being that it must protect its national interest Friedman thinks that this is a distraction that both positions have internal contradictions and that the only genuinely realistic course lies somewhere between the two extremes But he must not like the idea of giving up on morality because having abandoned the straightforwardly moral position he then seeks to reinstate morality from another source turning to Machiavelli for inspiration 'conventional virtue is unacceptable in a president Machiavelli introduces a new definition of virtue which instead of personal goodness consists of being cunning ' This unpromising looking path is indeed soon revealed to be little than a revival of the realist position wrapped up in comforting justification 'The president's task is to protect the republic from a world full of people who are not virtuous in any conventional sense' Italics mine What comfort here for the Pakistani civilians on the border with Afghanistan who are being indiscriminately killed by America's persistent drone strikes? Doesn't the empire owe those it dominates a degree of justice if it is to be considered moral?However once the self serving justifications are out of the way The Next Decade switches to a chapter by chapter consideration of America's most pressing foreign policy concerns and it is from here on out that it shines Again the book did not deliver what I was expecting I thought it would be a lot of pie in the sky prediction but actually much of it consists of summaries of how each situation got to be where it is and what the main considerations now are And these I found to be concise authoritative and absolutely fascinatingThey're probably not without controversy even before you get to any strategic suggestions for the future For example Friedman states that America invaded Ira not because it thought Saddam possessed WMDs they knew this was not the case and not even for it's oil but as a show of strength to convince the other states in the region to increase their cooperation with the war on terror This seems very plausible the way he states it but I don't think I've come across the idea before and I wouldn't be surprised if others took issue with itI found myself feeling troubled than once as I read the book and not only when the fates of nations were being discussed purely in terms of what would be best for the US The book also raised many uestions which understandably it did not attempt to answer 1 To what extent should the elected leader of a democratic state lie to the populace if heshe thinks it's in the nation's best interests?Friedman says'It is the president's job to align with public opinion while uietly pursuing his own moral and strategic ends'' he must always convey a sense that the elimination of Islamist terrorism is possible all the while knowing it is not''To many Americans these appear to be critical issues they must not be told that their sense of what is important doesn't matter'' all presidents must in all things hide their true motives and vigorously deny the truth when someone recognises what they are up to' This stance is somewhat undermined in the conclusion where Friedman says' the American people must mature We are an adolescent lot expecting solutions to insoluble problems and perfection in our leaders 'I would love to receive recommendations for books that deal with this uestion fully2 To what extent are other nations and their peoples aware of their subservience to the US?Friedman says 'Australia has no control whatever over the security of its sea lanes Australia's strategy for dealing with this vulnerability has been to ally itself with the dominant naval power in the Pacific through participation in their wars'3 Finally did Friedman not expect anyone outside the US to pay attention to his book?Friedman says'The US should make purposeful moves along with some that seem arbitrary Everything must be done to lead the Germans and perhaps the French to a sense that the US is unfocused in its actions''To keep Indian naval development below a threshold that could threaten US interests The US should support a stronger Pakistan thus keeping India's security planners focused on the land and not the sea'Its US centricity will no doubt make it of no interest to many potential readers but I greatly appreciated The Next Decade for its clarity authority brevity and fascinating if morally uestionable dissection of strategic matters It has its issues but it's a damned interesting read


  2. S. S. says:

    STRATFOR is a political think tank that gained prominence after Anonymous hacked its servers and spewed out its exceedingly boring dossiers onto the uncaring public Its director George Friedman also wrote a book called THE NEXT 100 YEARS which contained such fantastic prediction as that in the year 2060 Japanese schoolgirl ninjas and Polish Space Marines would build a giant moon laser and sunburn half of the USA One tends to wonder a bit how these scenarios get created although it's probably all clever disinformation Yeah actually maybe STRATFOR really does run the world as the tin foil crowd believes they're just feigning absurdityApparently Friedman does a little better with ten years of predictions rather than the full hundred This work comes out of the school of foreign policy that says hey we're an empire let's deal with it not all FP professionals agree The result is a outlook that relies extensively on the Westphalian model of states and alliances Niall Ferguson does a better job of noticing things like the Protestantization of Latin America and growing Christianity of China Other writers are a bit subtle in dissecting racial politics and civilizational models Friedman sees national states as inevitable and then subseuently conflict On the other hand other geopolitical thinkers find multiethnic empires the norm Who knows? who cares? I predict fusion power will always be 20 years away and bioengineered superflu will kill off a tenth of humanity But fine yeah it's possible humanity will settle Mars by that time VR will be so good Perky Pat will knock all our socks offIf you read this far I want to say man it wasn't that I didn't know enough It was that I knew too much


  3. Ammar Hammoudeh Ammar Hammoudeh says:

    This book learned me how mega trends technology demography resources wars and foreign political actions are being observed and analyzed from American politicians perspective Although Friedman admits that America has some moral hypothesis that must maintain but he confess that it must use all imperial power resources it possess to prevent any potential rival from competing its global role in both short and long terms As a Moslem Arabic i have to highlight two things about this book to two different segments 1 to the Moslems and Arabs America is like any other empire it cares nothing about your own shit don't expect any moral movement from it's side to help you to solve your own problems any single action it takes is to strengthen its global power on your expenses not else It did the same to Japan Germany and Russia in last century and it does that to Russia Germany now and will do that to Brazil and Turkey in next decades2 to the others many examples in Middle east and terrorism chapters are misleading; the terrorism examples Friedman cites amplify palestinian resistance actions without citing any of uncountable israeli terror actions or at least explaining the things behind palestinian hostility actions to Israel Moreover he concluded that America chose to support Israel as a result to the arab hostility to USA which is precisely counter contrast USA took strategic decision to support Israel and that decision lead Arabs and Moslems to hostile American administrations In the final analysis I liked this book it taught me a bunch of political things I hadn't known before and i recommend others who are interested in foreign policy and geopolitics to read it


  4. Kira Simion Kira Simion says:

    I like the way Friedman said something like the leaders of today can be taught yesterday not his exact words these are mineFrom 8000 BCE to now from empires to states from theocracy to democracy the world has changed again and again and will continue to change for better or for worseThe way we know how to progress and not retrogress is by looking to the past and seeing how we can better the futureFor example these are my own examples since I don't want to spoilThe majority of the empires were taken over or just became too unstable and collapsed because of nomadic tribes decentralized governments or revolts that brought down the power by bringing down the economy We can and have learned from these mistakes and each new decade or century has proved thisI like his wording and hope to read of Friedman's work soon45 See? I can be smart too ' His stories are actually uite interesting


  5. Benedict Benedict says:

    The author makes a bold and unshakable declaration America is an imperial empire and that's a fact Also America could lose itself as a RepublicThe author is CEO of Stratfor which does intelligence analysis for the CIA and the multinationals So the opinions in this book count for somethingHe gives the big picture that faces America abroad It is simple power and balance of power He states that this country is always striving to set other countries at each other so they cannot combine against the United States Not pretty but the alternative is like believing pink horsies with wings bring babies I learned from this book why politicians always lie to us and why they will continue to do so The reason is We cannot handle the truth wasn't that in a movie or something? Politicians always have to dose the public with something it can acceptI uickly noticed what I read in this book was being mentioned in the news of the day How we are concerned about Egypt falling could be dangerous because the IsraelEgypt combination is important to usThe book predicts that Germany and Russia will try to combine and that we will interfere with that It predicts the rise of Japan the fall of China and ultimately the fall of Russia Russia cannot make it in the end because the rivers run the wrong way There are other areas of the world the book mentioned and that make this book a must read for anyone getting baptized into real world politikAs I say this book helps me to follow along with the newsThe author does not get into a detailed discussion about how we may lose our RepublicSo I knocked a star off the rating because I am so unfair


  6. Nilesh Nilesh says:

    If anyone is as involuntarily power hungry as the book wants to make the US it is given that our world will continue to move towards wars and an eventual doom The book's main point is exactly opposite that the best way for world peace is for US to subjugate others decide everyone's fate and make sure others do not become friends with each other Of course the book assumes that despite its open advocation the US can stealthily implement these policies and the rest of the world will never see through themThe premise that the US must divide the rest of the world and rule by strengthening itself making sure others stay behind and keep everyone suspicious of their neighbours etc is wrong To assume that such strategies will succeed and is the only way not just for the world but the US to lead an ever better life is utter naivety Great information as always from the master geo historian but one simply has to hope that real life power brokers do not think the same way


  7. Sevda Sarp Sevda Sarp says:

    Less interesting repetitive compared to his previous books


  8. Dennis Littrell Dennis Littrell says:

    Definitely worth reading with some reservationsI must confess to not having read George Friedman before taking this volume into hand He certainly is an engaging and crystal clear writer His understanding of international relationships is second to none that I have read I highly recommend this book However I do have a few reservations that I want to expressLet’s begin with his analysis of what he calls “the unintended empire” That would be the United States circa the second millennium of the present era I like the way he insists on using the term “empire” even though George W Bush and his neoconservative cohorts had to give it up because of its toxic connotations Yes America the Beautiful is an empire and yes it was largely unintentional Our empire is supported not by the direct spoils of war as was the Roman Empire but by our ability to benefit from global resources through trade and technological advantage Our military might is a mailed fist behind our back of course; but we maintain the empire mainly through the use of what political scientists call “soft power” Regardless of the value of the spoils of empire the American Empire is an expensive one to maintain and in some uarters the perception is that the balance sheet is out of whackNow let us move on to Friedman’s justification for the actions of the Bush administration in its effort to deal with the threat to our glorious well not so glorious empire posed by the events of 9112001 Friedman speaking frankly as Machiavelli indeed Friedman seems delighted to do a modern dress Machiavelli impersonation sees all actions by nation states as serving their uniue national interests All events on the international stage are rationally arrived at by nation states based on this singular criterion Thus Friedman argues p 67 that North Korea fearing that the collapse of the Soviet Union “would lead to its own collapselaunched a nuclear weapons program” and “made statements that appeared uite mad” “The North Koreans were so successful that they had the great powers negotiating to entice them to negotiate It was an extraordinary performance”However 1 the leadership of North Korea is uite mad witness what it does to its people and 2 its utterances were not the result of some extraordinary psychological ploy that the great powers fell for; in fact the reason that the United States and others have treaded so softly and carefully with North Korea is that its leadership is indeed capable of frighteningly crazy behaviors most specifically the utter destruction of Seoul South Korea The fact of the matter is that North Korea holds Seoul in hostage and has for literally generationsNext let’s move to Friedman’s interpretation of Bush’s reasons for invading Ira He writes p 62 “The Bush administration tied to craft a strategy that forced the Saudis and Pakistanis to be aggressive in intelligence gathering and sharing and that placed the United States in a dominate position in the Middle East from which it could project power” He immediately adds “These were the underlying reasons for the invasion of Ira”What? Bush invaded Ira to get the Saudis and Pakistanis to help with intelligence gathering and sharing? Now that’ what you call EXPENSIVE intelligence and is about as farfetched a rationale as I’ve heard No the reasons that Bush invaded Ira were several including a deluded attempt to protect American oil interests in the region; to be a wartime president for the 2004 elections or a president who had just won a war; to go one up on his dad who George W believed should have overthrown Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War; to allow the US military to test its abilities and its weapons etc Friedman even goes so far as to argue that although at the time of the invasion of Ira Saddam Hussein and Al aeda were far from friends they could become allies in the future and therefore that could serve as a rationale for the invasionWhat Friedman has done here and what he does throughout the book is interpret events in ways that are consistent with his overall message which is one of amoral rational and Machiavellian nation states acting in accordance with their individual national interests when in fact the actual heads of states and their advisors who do the actual acting often behave in irrational and self defeating ways which is what happened to the US during the George W Bush administration—which is something that Friedman freely acknowledges elsewhere in the book especially in Chapter 5 appropriately entitled “The Terrorist Trap” Friedman points out that by waging a misdirected and unwinnable war against “a type of warfare” this became a trap that Bush fell into and one that Friedman is warning Obama not to fall intoIncidentally part of what Friedman is about in this book is to give advice from his Machiavellian stage to President Obama and presidents or princes to come andor to their advisors In this self appointed capacity I think George Friedman is eminently ualified as long as one balances his “real politic” view of presidential options and strategies with the realities of each individual situation Basically what Friedman is saying is that regardless of what a nation state does we must infer that it is acting rationally in its own interests and that presidents must realize that they have to lie to their constituencies and be prepared to do brutal and even horrendous things in the pursuit of the national interest and in fact any other behavior is dereliction of dutyAs for the rest of the book it is also very interesting and I wish I had the space to go into it Bottom line worth reading and thinking about—Dennis Littrell author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is”


  9. Andrew Barkett Andrew Barkett says:

    While the work already feels somewhat dated there are nonetheless lots of useful observations about the near past that can inform us about the near future


  10. Joseph D. Walch Joseph D. Walch says:

    I am glad to have found this author who is a very insightful foreign policy thinker He looks at foreign policy through Machiavellian spectacles and examines the forces that will shape the world going forward and gives interesting directives for the would be President of the United States in exerting power around the world while maneuvering through national political discussionsThe book starts with a short history primer and notes the current political realities It then assesses each geographical region and gives a riskassessmentplan prescription in much the same way that a physician might make a SOAP subjective and Objective info Assessment Plan write up on a patient For example He recommends strengthening Poland to be the bone in the throat between a Germany and Russian alliance strengthening ties with Australia to counterbalance in Asia doing nothing in Africa because Africa is irrelevant in modern geopolitics doing nothing about immigration and nothing to help correct the drug war in Mexico while giving the appearance of working to solve both etc There is an interesting discussion about the current financial crisis in the EU countries that raise implications for renewed nationalistic conflagrations eg how Greece benefits from the EU but is paralyzed economically because they have no sovereign currency to be either closely control monetary policy or suffer the gradual conseuences from bad economic policiesThere are little nuggets here about China's political and economic balance and the outlook for their continued growth and instability how the blocking of the Strait of Hormunz might affect Japan and the importance of the US Navy even in this modern era of sophisticated satellite and aeronautical power It was interesting to hear that Great Britain once the world's preeminent power has just recently retired it's only aircraft carrier and the role that Latin America esp Brazil will play in the future It's well worth the read for anybody interested in world geography economics and politics


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The Next Decade The author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Next 100 Years now focuses his geopolitical forecasting acumen on the next decade and the imminent events and challenges that will test America and the world specifically addressing the skills that will be reuired by the decade’s leaders The next ten years will be a time of massive transition The wars in the Islamic world will be subsiding and terrorism will become something we learn to live with China will be encountering its crisis We will be moving from a time when financial crises dominate the world to a time when labor shortages will begin to dominate The new century will be taking shape in the next decade In The Next Decade George Friedman offers readers a pro­vocative and endlessly fascinating prognosis for the immedi­ate future Using Machiavelli’s The Prince as a model Friedman focuses on the world’s leaders—particularly the American president—and with his trusted geopolitical insight analyzes the complex chess game they will all have to play The book also asks how to be a good president in a decade of extraordinary challenge and puts the world’s leaders under a microscope to explain how they will arrive at the decisions they will make—and the conseuences these actions will have for us all From the Hardcover edition


About the Author: George Friedman

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures A New York Times bestselling author Dr Friedman's most recent book THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM America’s Discord the Coming Crisis of the 2020s and the Triumph Beyond published February 25 describes how “the United States perio