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REVIEW The Next Decade

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. 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 moralHowever 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 interestsFriedman 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 USFriedman 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 bookFriedman 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

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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 th. 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 All Night Long (Nannies, pro­vocative and endlessly fascinating The Freeze-Frame Revolution 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 The New-York Review, and Atheneum Magazine, Vol. 2 point is exactly opposite that the best way for world His Christmas Cowgirl (Wildflower Ranch policies and the rest of the world will never see through themThe The Doctors Dating Bargain 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 The Collection power brokers do not think the same way

George Friedman » 9 REVIEW

E 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. 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 thoughts on “The Next Decade

  1. 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 t

  2. 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

  3. 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 hypot

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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 wi

  7. says:

    Less interesting repetitive compared to his previous books

  8. says:

    Definitely worth reading with some reservationsI must confess to not having read George Friedman before taking t

  9. 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. 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 wor

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