While watching an interview on a TV talk show, I became acquainted with author, George Friedman, founder and CEO of Stratfor. Stratfor is considered by many authorities, to be the most influential private intelligence and forecasting company in the world.
Friedman’s most recent book, The Next 100 Years, is an ambitious attempt to forecast the international trends and events of the 21st century. As I began reading this book, I found myself to be naturally skeptical of such an endeavor. After reflecting over the first chapter and discerning the trajectory of the author’s thinking, I was impressed with his sense of history and how he analyzed the past.
Friedman is decidedly positive about the U.S., which is a unique perspective, given the plethora of writers and analysts who have counter viewpoints. Essentially, the author divides the period of the 21st century into five 20-year periods. In each of these eras, he forecasts the challenges the USA faces and how it will emerge from them.
Interestingly, Friedman believes that nations like Turkey, Japan and Poland will reassert themselves in the future as challengers to American power and influence. In the end of the century, Mexico will be on stage as an international leader.
Friedman may miss the mark on some or most of his forecasting, but he does make an extremely strong case. Every reader will have to determine the validity of his views. However, I predict few will be bored by the reading of this book.