The Next 100 Years. A forecast for the 21st century

The Next 100 Years. A forecast for the 21st century

Author: David Friedman

Publishing House: Doubleday, 2009

American global intelligence expert George Friedman, the founder and CEO of Stratfor, published "The Next 100 Years. A forecast for the 21st century" at the beginning of 2009. As his one- and ten-year geopolitical and economic forecasts have already become hot commodities at the Pentagon and on Wall Street, in his latest bestseller Friedman wanted to see how far into the future he could predict. So he decided to try the entire century, thus presenting us with a lucid forecast of the next 100 years in world geopolitics.

In a TV interview, Friedman said that "Nothing is a worse guide to the future than the common sense", as "history is full of what appears to be breathtaking changes". However, upon analyzing key events in the past century, Friedman predicts the world will be dominated by a single global power - the US. He says that the pivotal position of the US is mainly due to American economy, which is "larger than all four next economies put together" and so any other power in the world would have a very hard time trying to challenge that position. The president of the private intelligence company also called the "Shadow CIA" asserts clearly that "the United States is economically, militarily, and politically the most powerful country in the world, and there is no real challenger to that threat."

Friedman believes that the history of the 21st century will be of two opposing struggles: "One will be secondary powers forming coalitions to try to contain and control the United States. The second will be the United States acting preemptively to prevent an effective coalition from forming."

In fact, the 21st century world war seems to be the centerpiece of Friedman's fascinatingly insightful work of speculation and prediction. Although he writes that "Conventional political analysis suffers from a profound failure of imagination", Friedman examines the resurgent Russia under Putin, and predicts that "Central Asia will be back in the Russian sphere of influence by 2010". Without a crystal ball, he then foresees a "rematch" of the cold war by 2020.

The book ends with the U.S. on the verge of a conflict with their neighbors to the south as a result of mass immigration that has, over the long term, empowered Mexico and destabilized the U.S. from within. Along the way Friedman explains how Japan, Poland and Turkey become world powers and why so many things that seem important to us now , such as Islamic extremism and Chinese economic dynamism , will eventually fade from relevance.

At the dawn of a new historical age, the author reminds us that "the changes that lead to the next era are always shockingly unexpected". Though Friedman joked about America calling it "immature" at the Carnegie Council in January 2009, in his latest book he argues that the U.S., by virtue of its geography, population and technology, is likely to remain the world's primary decision maker.


back Published in 2009-07-06 Print up