The Next Decade
Where We've Been . . . and Where We're Going
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 required by the decade’s leaders.
In the long view, history is seen as a series of events—but the course of those events is determined by individuals and their actions. During the next ten years, individual leaders will face significant transitions for their nations: the United States’ relationships with Iran and Israel will be undergoing changes, China will likely confront a major crisis, and the wars in the Islamic world will subside. Unexpected energy and technology developments will emerge, and labor shortages will begin to matter more than financial crises. Distinguished geopolitical forecaster George Friedman analyzes these events from the perspectives of the men and women leading these global changes, focusing in particular on the American president, who will require extraordinary skills to shepherd the United States through this transitional period. The Next Decade is a provocative and fascinating look at the conflicts and opportunities that lie ahead.
Whereas Friedman's last book, The Next 100 Years, focused on "the impersonal forces that shape history in the long run," now the geopolitical intelligence expert examines the impact of current decision making, especially of the United States government, on the world. Friedman suggests that problems currently affecting us significantly may not actually matter in the long run. He compares the position of the United States today to that of Britain in 1910, and argues that the U.S. is an "unintended empire" and that its president is a "global emperor," in part due to the size of the country's economy. Throughout, Friedman argues for an end to the reluctance, as he sees it, to entangle the country in global affairs. He examines the past strategies of Presidents Bush and Clinton and stresses what President Obama and his successor must do about terrorism and technology to foster relations with the Middle East, Europe, the Western Pacific, Latin America, Africa, Israel, Iran, and Russia. When it comes to Bush and Obama he doesn't play favorites, criticizing their policies and comparing them with presidents who possessed more Machiavellian attributes, in his view. While his ideas are well-researched and compelling, Friedman makes the occasional leap that casual readers might find confusing.
Coming to pass
It's crazy how his predictions are already coming to pass, such as Russia becoming more assertive, China's economy showing weakness, and the US needing to distance itself from Israel. It's happening as we speak!
Friedman as usual provides much light and not too much heat. He seems more or less outside of politics. His final message at least in part is that we need to grow up and take our responsibility seriously.
Excellent. George Friedman provides a reasonable prediction of the next decade. While impossible to predict the future with complete accuracy, just think of this book as an outline that will slowly be filled in. If you like Sratfor, you will definitely appreciate the content and writing style of this book.