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am 31. Dezember 2013
George Friedman has courageously tried to shed some light on the coming decades. The results are indeed astonishing.

Drawing on the past, his predictions are often well founded. Most importantly, the book does not only offer speculative thinking, but gives insight in US foreign policy principles of the past and the present that are likely to be the guidelines of the future.

HOWEVER,

Friedman writes from an extremely realist point of view. His predictions are based on the belief that nations will behave only in ways that will enhance their power. Culture, memory and history are mentioned at numerous points, but are not really taken into account. Especially, when describing the European theatre, he completely leaves out any reference to the European Union (just NATO) and also believes that Europe still operates from some 19th century power system. As a European, it is very hard to believe that WWII memory will in 2050 be already so far away that Germany will simply attack Poland (again) simply from a power-based motive. (Just think of the intense memorial services we experience due to the 100th anniversary of WWI this year.)

Despite that, nobody knows what will happen, and maybe Friedman will be right in some points in the end. "The Next 100 Years" is a provocative book, and most definately worth reading, thinking and talking about!
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am 28. August 2014
Das Buch wurde 209 veröffentlich. Aber es schein so, als ob der Autor wirklich die Zukunft kennt. Alles was er zur Ukriane und den Nahen Osten sagt scheint richtig zu sein. Ein Beispiel: "Wherever anti-Amercian Regimes exists, Russian military aid will be forthcoming. A low-grade global confrontation will be under way by 2015 and will intensify by 2020." Das Buch geht über die Neuauflage des Kalten Krieges weit hinaus und beleuchtet die Interessen von China und anderer Mächten. Aus den Interessenlagen und den jeweiligen Kräfteverhältnissen entwickelt der Autor auf faszinierende Weise Zukunftsszenarien für Amerika, Asien und Europa.
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am 2. Januar 2010
I remembered the authors name vaguely; then I realized that I had read his (1st?) book back in 1989 titled "The Coming War with Japan"! Well, so much for the predictive power of Mr. Friedman, now in 2010 that war has not come about for 30 years. But not to worry, the authors made a renewed claim in this book that there will be a US war with Japan in 2050 (okay 80 years down the line isn't convincing either, lol). What is more important, however, is the attitude behind such books, as we may remember 1989 marked the rapid beginning of the end of Communism & the Soviet Union. Think tanks - and the author has clearly made a career out of working for them - were desperate in elitist US circles to find a new enemy to replace communism and the Soviets. As it is simply a fact that the USA has for all practical purposes has operated on a war economy since 1941, and when the 2nd World War was over in 1945, a major recessing was impending in USA in 1948. The power elite realized that it desperately needed a new enemy, otherwise the whole economic structure would crumble back into a recession, bound to become a depression. It should also be recalled that only the 2nd World War brought the USA out of the Great Depression Frank Kofsky's book "Harry S. Truman and the War Scare of 1948" is instructive on how the new Truman administration quickly made the Soviets into the new enemy, while even Stalin was trying to avoid such a (Cold War) confrontation, since the Soviets could ill afford one (having lost 20-27 million dead and suffered huge devastation by the Nazis, who almost defeated them, during WW II). When an intimate friend of Truman (Clark Clifford) was asked in 1978 whether Truman actually believed in the Soviet threat, he literally said that Truman thought it to be a lot of baloney, but it was needed politically. (Clifford had seen Truman as President virtually on a daily basis.) What it all boiled down to was that the US financial and political power elite of post WW II needed an enemy, to on the one hand justify huge defense expenditures, which would, needless to say, make those working for the military industrial complex rich, while politically it would unite Congress and the American people to embrace the idea of a threatening Soviet & communist enemy. All modern societies have known the need for seemingly threatening enemies; they provide not only a indispensible rallying point to distract from any domestic problems & crisis but are also crucially important in giving direction and purpose to a nation. As William Blum so succinctly stated in "Rogue State": "America cherishes her enemies. Without enemies, she is a nation without purpose and direction."
Major surveys done in the USA after Reagan's presidency in early 1989 showed interestingly that the majority of US Americans saw Japan as a bigger threat than the Soviet Union. It is very likely that on the basis of such polls people like Friedman started a campaign to target Japan as the next enemy of the USA. Needless to say, such propaganda didn't produce the desired results of rekindling the old Yellow Peril that provided such an effective enemy image back in the 2nd World War. Instead (international) terrorism became the new enemy image. As a professor of international relations, I was always surprised; back in the 1980s, especially the late 80s, by the huge amount of media coverage that was devoted to terrorism. There were all sorts of alarming reports that terrorism was going to be the next big threat to the USA & the West. Interestingly, one statistic refuted this by saying "one was more likely to be stuck by lightning, than to be killed by a terrorist". This was based on statistical evidence. Nonetheless, by Clinton's 2nd term terrorism was the declared enemy of the USA. Osama Bin Laden had been on a list of the most wanted terrorist back in 1996, $15 million was offered to anyone who could located him even back then.
Sorry, for what may seem like a long digression, but I believe that the ideology that people like Friedman espouse is presented in disguised form as objective, scientific, academic, intellectual, and most of all reasonable, when in reality he is just rehashing old power elitist ideas that always see danger in every conceivable corner of the world. A recent brilliant book "The Merchants of Fear" shows how in the US fear is best selling commodity. Fear is used to sell products, be they direct products from the military industry, such as weapons, government policies, such as "containment" (of evil communism), or "the war on terror", or business services such as products & services of the security sector for the public, while the media known that fear induced reports are more lucrative than factual ones.
The point is that Friedman and his associated think tanks serve the power elite directly by writing books like this one. While it is admittedly eloquently written, the book makes several statements that are completely in line with the agenda of the elites, be they called neo-cons or simply plutocrats who have ruled the USA since its inception. These statements and their corresponding dogma are: (1) War is inevitable and will thus always remain a part of world politics and hence everyday life. [Thus, any notions of a peaceful world is simply naïve and even dangerous, as is directly implied and deduced that nations should better prepare themselves for war and conflict]. Needless to say, this is precisely what the military-industrial complex, its associated branches of the government (military services), Pentagon, and analysts love to hear. (2) Geopolitics is not a thing of the past; rather it is the way of the future in international relations. [As Geopolitics is a rather discredited dogma dating back to the late 19th century, since it let to at least 2 world wars, its no surprise that people like Friedman love to bring it back and claim that its as indispensible to politics as Adam Smith's invisible hand is to economics.] What is opportunistically denied is that geopolitics, even if it were as crucial as claimed, is simply something that the world can no longer afford. Weapons of mass destruction, including (ABC) ones, would in any major war cause such devastation that their use would be counterproductive to say the least. Furthermore, it has to be said that this has been strictly adhered to by the industrialized & post industrialized countries; it's only in the so-called 3rd world that the majority of the wars occurred since WW II. The West (mostly USA, G.B. & France) has fought wars not against its own nations, but against 3rd world nations. It's clear that war between Western industrialized nations would lead to a disaster for their nations and economies, thus they haven't had one for 65 years. That is also, why a future US war with Japan (in 2050) is still very unlikely. (3) The next likely great powers China, Russia, Japan, Turkey, Poland (?), & Mexico are all portrayed as rather aggressive usurpers of geopolitical power, especially since all, except for Poland, will challenge the USA. This makes the USA seem tame and reasonable by comparison. It also sounds like something that could only have come directly out of a neo-con strategy book, as to how the USA should take down every serious contender for hegemony, be it regional or global. It is glaring just how elitist Friedman's predictions are. Since, Fukuyama's thesis of the "end of history" has been invalidated and Huntington's "clash of civilization" is far too crude, as a guideline and can at best endeavor to explain ethnic, cultural, & religious conflicts, the elite needed a new approach for its geopolitical map of the world. Friedman's book is a basic continuation of what US strategy circles have analyzed. (Better geopolitical accounts have been published by Thomas Barnett: The Pentagon's New Map [2004] & Blueprint for Action [2005])
I remembered the authors name vaguely; then I realized that I had read his (1st?) book back in 1989 titled "The Coming War with Japan"! Now the title was not meant to be sensationalist, rather it was seriously believed by Friedman that there would be a near future war between Japan and the USA. The logic behind this was: the old reasons for the USA and Japan to be allies had ended as of 1991, and economic frictions would lead to conflict between the two countries.

This was THE FIRST MAJOR PREDICTIVE MISTAKE, even worse the USA and Japan probably had more reasons to be economic, political and even military allies in the post communist world order. And evidence bears this out: the once very competitive relaionship (esp. during the Reagan years) has given way, for the most part, to more cooperation between USA & Japan. This is all the more so the case, since China's rise as a global economic power house, thus, for security reasons Japan is even more dependent on the USA than during the Cold War. Just recently the two nations has pledged to recommitt themselves to a continuation of their strategic relationship. So much for Friedman's prediction about the US-Japan case.

The NEXT MAJOR MISTAKE IN TERMS OF PREDICTION was that Friedman thought Red China would come apart ("The same forces that destroyed European communism are present in China, suppressed at Tiananmen Square"), and that the resulting "refragmentation of China" would lead to Japanese vs. American intrigue in China, that hasn't happened!

Nonetheless, it is incredibly audacious how the author simply reiterrates these predications in this book exactly 20 years later! His mentality seems to be: Well, I was a BIT OFF THE MARK, because my predictions didn't come true, well at least not yet, and what is 20 years anyway? lol. So now he wants us to believe that the "Coming war with Japan" will happen in 2050. Okay, so that's then 60 years from when he originally made this claim!

I don't know about you, but if I make such a claim about internaional politics, then I'd expect it to come true, say within the next 5-10 years maximum. (I actually said in 1988 that the Soviet Union would no longer be a Superpower, and crumble in all likelihood, in the next 5 years, unfortunately I never published that, ce la vive). Back to Friedman, he claimed in the 1989 mentioned book that China will soon fall apart. Okay, that hasen't happened, YET. So again, he simply postpones that date into the future, by claiming in "The Next 100 Years" that the magical date for this is now 2020. Alright, so we will then have to see if he was also wrong some 30 years from the time he first predicted this.

Moreover, it is unlikely that China will fragment or break up, as the author claims, since it is a much more homogenous society than the Soviet Unon was, that had 130 nationalities. Also, even if China can't sustain its phenomenal growth rates of 10-12% GDP, who says that this will then force it to fragment. The Soviets had negative growth rates all throughout the Gorbachev years (1985-1991), and they went from bad to worse, while they were still trying to comepte with the much better situated USA in the arms race, and had to fight a futile and losing war in Afghanistan for almost 10 years, with its attending economic & moral drain on the Soviet treasury and nationalism. Even worse was the geo-strategic tilt that Nixon & Kissinger initiated in the early 1970s whereby China (a former enemy of the USA) became its ally, which meant that the Soviet now not only had to spend tremendous sums on defending against an already more powerful USA, including the might NATO, but now also prepare against a possible China threat. China & the S.U. have teh largest border in the world, defending that was next to impossible for the Soviets, and the China threat was much more real than that of the USA & NATO - in 1969 there was a skirmish, a border clash between these 2 communist giants, and it clearly showed that the Soviet could never again be oomplacent about China. Later Kremlin documents revealed beyond a doubt that the Soviets considered China much more dangerous than the USA. All of this only goes to show that in today's world China has none of these threats, strains and liabilities that the Soviets went through. Far from it, China was not only retained astonishing growth rates, it has mostly positive, downright amicable, relations with Russia, is currently not suffering from an arms race (with the USA), and while it has some nationalities problem (Tibet & Muslim populations in East), its centralized government is under no real threat from these nationalities. That is not to say thta China dosen't have problem, it certainly has them in the form of big unemployment (120 million roaming farmrs and workers), while its repressive political system might well some day, lead to the demand for reform and autonomy.

Finally, Friedman completely missed the demographic factor. For Japan to be become more belligerent, especially against a nation as powerful as the USA, it had better have a large enough pool of angry young people, particularly men, willing to fight. Japan has one of the world's lowest birthrates, with 1.2 per woman as opposed to 2.1 per woman in the USA (the minimum to sustain a health population), and Japan has one of the lowest proportions of people under 30 of any nation on earth. Even with a society as into robotic technologies as Japan is, that's a serious and fatal flaw in the Friedmans' analysis.

In terms of demographics he also made a major mistake with regard to Europe. Although he notes just how important demographics are, he completely misses the effect of islamic population growth on Europe. A CIA report written about 3 years ago showed how by 2050 most of Wesern Europe would be islamic in the sense that the population of those nations would have a slight Moslem majority. Similarly Eastern Europe would also have followed this trend. Lest anyone think that demography is some unprecise science, it is actually very precise down to about less then 1 percent in terms of the margin of error, when predicting decades ahead. So Friedman totally blew this one. In the book he claims that Poland will be an all of the USA in 2050 fighting again a Turkish regional power that has invaded Eastern Europe. How likely is it then that when Europe will have a majority islamic population, that Poland would united itself with the USA to fight Turkey, when Poland in all likelihood will have a islamic majority population? Besides that wouldn't such a vital change in the population makeup of Europe change its relationship with the USA? The author totally ignores such crucial question, probably because they would upset his rosy view of an all dominant USA in world politics.

This leads me to another related mistake in the authors thinking. He actually makes the claim that the USA and other wealthy Western nations, will in the future around 2030 experience a serious economic recession. That is of course speculative, but that's not the point, it is rather his "cure" for this and other ensuing economic crisis that is simply nonsensical. He claims that robots will be so advanced by then that even a significant population shortage of (young) people won't be able to prevent a prosperous boom: "In a world that needs economic growth but no longer has a surging population, robots will become the driver of productivity, and with space-based solar systems there will be ample electricity to power them." (p. 220) This will then provide the USA with rising productivity and a booming economy, says Friedman. But such a belief only shows how the author doesn't understand the basic reality of economics. Even if cheap energy (via space transmission from the sun) were a given and robots are so advanced that they can produce virtually everything without humans, then the basic flaw in this thinking is where is all of this production going to go to? In other words, who in the world will it be sold to? Since the USA is by then a nation without an enough (young) people to act as an efficient work force, the author believes robots can simply take their place. Sure, in the future that may very well be possible, but again just producing goods via robots still leaves the basic economic problem of who is going to consume it. Friedman seems to be happy that robots will require maintenance work, ect. so that people will still have enough work. But again this is very limited thinking, first of all, those doing work on robots (maintenance or creating them) will be highly specialized workers, so their number will be only a few, and secondly, again, who will do the buying and consuming, on which any capitalist economy so desperately depends on. Robots won't consume anything except for maintained work. Without enough people and hence customers any economy will immediately go into a serious recession. Exporting the presumably massive excess of goods will also not work, as the other Western post industrialized nations will themselves not have a enough people and hence customers to buy them. Friedman also claims that demographically Europe (& Japan?) will be far worse off then the USA. Which leaves only the option of exporting those goods to the rest of the world, but that is also hardly likely to alleviate the burden, as those developing (still 3rd world?) nations will have enough people, but in all likelihood (as Friedman claims) not enough money for these goods. Besides, if automation even today in the highly developed nations doesn't give them a significant advantage over the 3rd world producers like China and India, why should things change so drastically in 20 years time? And if US high tech goods via robot production can't be sold in the rest of the world (3rd world) in 2030 since they are too expensive for those nations, then the US will be unlikely to compete effectively with lower quality goods, since those will be the primary products of the major developing nations (China, India, Mexico, Brazil, ect.) And thus, capitalism will suffer, as always, from its twin plagues of under consumption and overproduction! Robots cannot in any way change this! And ironically, instead of being a solution to the problem they actually increase it.
The author is so detached from basic economic reality that he doesn't realize that this great production of goods can't create any prosperity in the USA (or elsewhere) because you obviously have to have enough customers to buy products and services. And yet this great thinker is giving us advice, on what will happen in the next 100 years??

Friedman's utterly optimistic view of the USA as the remaing superpower throughout the entire 21th century is also very questionable. Since the end of WW II, the US GNP/GDP as a percentage of world output has been on the decline. In 1945 the USA produced an astonishing 46% of world output. And ever since that time it has been on a gradual continuous decline. Today 2009 the USA produces about 23% of global output. Friedman claims it to be 26% by 2007 since he includes services in his statistic, which is usually not included. But even so one can see the ultimate decline of the USA going to half or about half of its output since 1945. But it isn't just US economic/financial power that's been on the decline. Militarily speaking the USA witnessed its first defeat in Vietnam in 1973, where it couln't defeat a backward half of Vietnam. And even after the demise of the Soviet Union the USA's record is not only not impressive but rather downright abomible. It has now fought its longest war ever against Afghanistan, a nation that has suffered from more than 30 years of almost permanent warfare. A nation that has received virtually no help since the USA attacked it in Oct. 2001, and even had part of its population (Northern Alliance) turned against it. Yet, the USA is actually losing the war against Afghanistan, which is one of the poorest nations in the world. According to the latest estimates the Taliban control at least around 80% of territory in Afghanistan, while others claim that it is more like 90%. The USA has tried everything from indiscriminate bombings to buying off the Taliban leaders, yet virtually all US reports say that there is no military solution to Afghanistan. Iraq, another impovrished and exhausted 3rd rate nation has not been subdued by the US military. Like, Afghanistan it suffered from war in its most recent history. First the 8 year stalemate war with Iran, which was a major war of attrition for it and thus weakened it considerably, and then the US war of 1991 against it, which further devastated it, along with 12 years of US imposed sanctions that killed more people than it lost in both wars. By all account Iraq should then have been an easy prey for the might USA, but like in Afghanistan, there was only a brief victory in the beginning for the US, but once the insurgency started the USA was hopelessly stuck in a quagmire, reminiscent of the Vietnam war. Both wars look like they will not be won by the USA, at least not in the normal sense of the word. It is likely that the US will continue to fight them for some time, but then ultimately declare some sort of hollow victory and leave Afghanistan (most likely without retaining their bases) and in Iraq leaving but making sure that the oil is under US control. This does not in any way speak for a sole superpower that is so dominant in military capability. According recent estimates the USA spends more its military and associated areas than all other nations combimed. If it then can't defeat and control 2 such 3rd rate nations how will it fight against a regional power like China or a resurgent Russia? The last few years have shown just how overrated US military power is, yet Friedman believes that the US can fight Russia in 2020 and clearly defeat it, while in 2050 it will defeat Japan (mostly in space). This is not convincing. If we look at the recent wars that the US fought, except for the 1991 Gulf War, than non of them were sucessful, and even the 1991 war was not soley a US war as the US had some 30 allies in it. The Kosovo War of 1999 wss also different since it was a NATO war, not just a US war. The question then is, if US military power can hardly be converted into tangible victories, benefiting the USA in terms of power, and its economy has been historically delining since 1945, to about half its original output, and even US political influence has markedly declined over the last years (see all major opinion polls), due to, among other things, Bush's unilateralism, then how will the 21st century be a dominant American one? Besides, it is not likely that nations will sit by idely while the USA continues with unilateral policies and warfare against anyone that stand in the way of its hegemony. China and Russia are likely to ally themselves against future foraies of the USA. And the islamic nations, especially Arabic ones in the Middle East are bound to confront the USA, sooner or later, over its pro Israel policy, this could lead to an islamic block in the region. Also, as mentioned by 2050 Europe will have a slight Moslem majority, and since its political system is democratic such drastic population changes will be very likely to affect its foreign policies, especially toward the USA. This is likely to produce a different relationship between not only Europe & the USA, but also between Europe & the islamic world (Middle East), which will seriously force the USA's back to the wall. And this is the primary reason why the USA with the pretext of 9/11 started the so called "war on terror" in the first place; its think tanks and strategists knew the virtually inevitable demographic change that Europe would undergo and thus hoped to prevent it by waging a war against islamic nations. None, of this is mentioned in Friedman's book. Simply, because it would severly undermine his jubilant account of the USA as the remaining superpower of the 21st century.

Well, so much for the predictive power of Mr. Friedman! What is more important, however, is the attitude behind such books, as we may remember 1989 marked the rapid beginning of the end of Communism & the Soviet Union. Think tanks - and the author has clearly made a career out of working for them - were desperate in elitist US circles to find a new enemy to replace communism and the Soviets. Some like Thomas Barnett, clearly a member of such institutions, even admitted this in his book "The Pentagon's New Map"(a better book on the future of US policy and war). It is simply a fact that the USA has, for all practical purposes, operated on a war economy since 1941. When the 2nd World War was over in 1945, a major recessing was impending in USA in 1948, and the power elite realized that it desperately needed a new enemy, otherwise the whole economic structure would crumble back into a recession, bound to become a depression. It should also be recalled that only the 2nd World War brought the USA out of the Great Depression Major surveys done in the USA after Reagan's presidency in early 1989 showed interestingly that the majority of US Americans saw Japan as a bigger threat than the Soviet Union. It is very likely that on the basis of such polls people like Friedman started a campaign to target Japan as the next enemy of the USA. Needless to say, such propaganda didn't produce the desired results of rekindling the old Yellow Peril, that had provided such an effective enemy image back in the 2nd World War.
The point is that Friedman and his associated think tanks serve the power elite directly by writing books like this one. While it is admittedly eloquently written, the book makes several statements that are completely in line with the agenda of the elites, be they called neo-cons or simply plutocrats who have ruled the USA since its inception. These statements and their corresponding dogma are: (1) War is inevitable and will thus always remain a part of world politics and hence everyday life. [Thus, any notions of a peaceful world is simply naïve and even dangerous, as is directly implied and deduced that nations should better prepare themselves for war and conflict]. Needless to say, this is precisely what the military-industrial complex, its associated branches of the government (military services), Pentagon, and analysts love to hear. (2) Geopolitics is not a thing of the past; rather it is the way of the future in international relations. [As Geopolitics is a rather discredited dogma dating back to the late 19th century, since it let to at least 2 world wars, its no surprise that people like Friedman love to bring it back and claim that its as indispensible to politics as Adam Smith's invisible hand is to economics.] What is opportunistically denied is that geopolitics, even if it were as crucial as claimed, is simply something that the world can no longer afford. Weapons of mass destruction, including (ABC) ones, would in any major war cause such devastation that their use would be counterproductive to say the least. Furthermore, it has to be said that this has been strictly adhered to by the industrialized & post industrialized countries; it's only in the so-called 3rd world that the majority of the wars occurred since WW II. The West (mostly USA, G.B. & France) has fought wars not against its own nations, but against 3rd world nations. It's clear that war between Western industrialized nations would lead to a disaster for their nations and economies, thus they haven't had one for 65 years. That is also, why a future US war with Japan (in 2050) is still very unlikely. (3) The next likely great powers, according to the author, China, Russia, Japan, Turkey, Poland (?), & Mexico are all portrayed, as rather aggressive usurpers of geopolitical power, especially since all, except for Poland, will challenge the USA. This makes the USA seem tame and reasonable by comparison. It also sounds like something that could only have come directly out of a neo-con strategy book, as to how the USA should take down every serious contender for hegemony, be they regional or global.

It is striking just how elitist Friedman's predictions are. Since, Fukuyama's thesis of the "end of history" has been invalidated (neoliberalism & democracy have not led to a peaceful prosperous world) and Huntington's "clash of civilization" is far too crude, as a guideline and can at best endeavor to explain ethnic, cultural, & religious conflicts, the US power elite needed a new approach for its geopolitical map of the world. And Friedman's book is a basic continuation of what US strategy circles have analyzed and endorsed. The ideology that people like Friedman espouse is presented in disguised form as objective, scientific, academic, intellectual, and most of all reasonable, when in reality he is just rehashing old power elitist ideas that always see danger in every conceivable corner of the world. A recent brilliant book "The Merchants of Fear" shows how in the US fear is the best selling commodity. Fear is used to sell products, be they direct products from the military industry, such as weapons, government policies, such as "containment" (of evil communism), or "the war on terror", or business services such as products & services of the security sector for the public, while the media known that fear induced reports are more lucrative than factual ones.

It is then clear that those elites want common people all over the world (but especially in the USA) to see the world as a dangerous place, so that they can sell them their (elitist) plan for a militarized USA with an equally bellicose foreign policy, along with its police state surveillance society at home. 9/11 went a long way in securing that for the elite, but since they haven't achieved their total domination (in a globalized world), books like this one are being used to scare people into submission. The basic idea from this book is very clear: War is upon us all, virtually 24/7 and even a superpower like the USA is not ever safe. Making the best (actually worst) out of the Latin saying, "If you want peace, prepare for war". But then again, the Roman Empire is history, maybe then we should start looking for a better, more peaceful world, by recognizing how interdependent the world is, not just economically but also environmentally (something that the author doesn't write about). Its a fact that no single nation can solve the huge environmental problem that the world is facing in the 21th century, ironically even the mighty USA is not only unable to solve it by itself, but is the biggest polluter and thus a big part of the problem, but such disturbing thing don't seem to bother people like the author. In his limited mentality, high politics is still all-important, while low politics should apparently be left to discussion groups on TV or net forums, but never challenge the high priests of geopolitics.
11 Kommentar| 18 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 26. Juni 2015
The first time I got explained the grand strategy of the USA. I now better understand certain political reaction or non reaction on world conflicts. The book explains the world powers and which role current key players will play the next years. Awesome and scary. A must read!
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am 25. März 2009
This book was not only dissapointing me from the first page to the last sentence, it also made me wonder why so many people read this book. I guess if you want to talk about this book, you also need to talk about his author, cause a book is always a picture of someones mind.

It is supposed to be a "forecast" for the next 100 years. Id rather call it an oracle and a very disturbing and warped abomination of the american dream.

I know that america has dominated the world over the last 50 years. But why should it all go on? Why is the world spinning and spinning and nothing really happens? Americans tend to think big. At the same time ignoring what is important.

Why do americans seem to love war? Why another world war? Why so many lines about american domination of the seas? So many lines about the great american nuclear missile program?

If the cold war tought us one thing it is that the world has become very fragile. America cannot defeat turkey. And they cannot defeat germany. And they cannot "prevail" over evil in the world as they call it (Afgahnistan, Irak, Iran) because a the defeat of one big power would immidiately start a retalliation strike of its allies. And I thought even americans understood that there is NO technology to prevent earh from being destroyed should russia france or turkey launch their nuclear missiles.

So what I am also missing is crdible solutions for the global change. And Im not only talking about global warming. What about poverty? World water ressources. Why such a big focus on religious questions?

I think it is more than obvious: Mr Friedman is a businessman. He and his private "intelligence" service live from fear. He lives from poverty, misery and war. If the world would be a better place: what about his buisness?

It is Mr Friedmans best right to believe such things. Id rather spend my time learing a new language. Maybe an arabic one?

I have to say as unbelievable this book has been (and Im student of geography and politics and ethnological studies) it has been worth reading! For "old Europe" its important to understand what americans really think behind their facade. And a book that gives you emotions while reading it (even if its frustration and anger) cant be so bad ;-)

My grandfather always said: knowledge is power. Mr Friedman should try to gather knowledge instead of intelligence for once.
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am 21. Oktober 2009
George Friedman uses, as he states, geopolitics to project the future. To him, that means that, similar to Adam Smith's "invisible hand" in economics, the individual pursuit of self-interest by nations leads to predictable patterns and outcomes. The geographical facts also play a role, e.g. that North America has direct access to both the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean.

Applying this concept, Friedman concludes that the USA will dominate the coming decades. Naval power is an important basis for his claim, and the USA are more powerful than even any sensible combination of other countries combined. In combination with demographic trends (the end of the population boom) and technological assumptions on warfare and energy generation, the author sees China and Russia losing importance in the coming years, resulting in complete American dominance. This leads to alliances to protect other nations' interest, leads to a global conflict and results in the quite surprising conlusion that Mexico might be the country that challenges the United States' dominance towards the end of the century.

Forecasting a hundred years will always meet contradiction, as there are always factors which have not been weighed correctly, as critics will claim. This book makes no exception. What it provides, though, is a framework to look at the next hundred years and enable the reader to judge himself, if the climate change is really only of passing importance, or what a potential Islamization of Europe would change in the picture.

A very entertaining read!
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am 14. September 2009
An interesting read, from someone who is obviously Pro-American. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the author is far too optimist about America's future. He mentions that America's vast industrial capacity will enable it to win future wars. What industrial capacity? At present, the Americans have outsourced most of their industry to Mexico and China.
As for his predictions about Europe, he ignores that fact that Muslim immigration, combined with a negative birth rate of Europeans, will result in Europe becoming an Islamic entity, possibly as soon as the year 2050. This will spell disaster for the United States, which is the only nation that supports Israel.
His premise that America's future conflicts will be about mineral rights is way off base; America's future conflicts will be over it's unilateral support of the State of Israel.
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am 15. März 2010
ich sehe als Hauptaussage:

das amerikanische Zeitalter beginnt erst, da die USA als einzige Macht sowohl Atlantik als auch Pazifik kontrollieren (und damit den Welthandel), die Lufthoheit haben und auch im Weltall weiterhin dominant sein werden, kommt so schnell keiner an ihr vorbei.

Die Politik der USA wird weiter darauf ausgerichtet sein, lokale Mächte gegeneinander auszuspielen und damit deren Aufstieg als Rivalen der USA zu verhindern.

Weiterhin haben die USA Rohstoffe, Nahrungsmittel, Infrastruktur, Bildungs-, Forschungskapzitäten, und sind wirtschaftlich anpassungsfähiger als andere, insbesondere als das alte Europa.

G. Friedman behauptet nicht, dass er Zukunft vorhersagt, aber er bringt auf vielen Bereichen (Geburtenrate, Bevölkerungsdichte, Energieversorgung, Kriegsführung) interessante Ansätze.
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am 18. Januar 2014
The author gives an very interesting outlook towards the next 100 years. Solar energy from space, a third world war, war in space, countries like Turkey or Mexico as powerful nations who seek for regional dominance. These are just little outlooks, which might seeem totally like sci-fi, but George Friedman is able to outline and explain these possible developments very well.
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am 28. Juli 2011
It is very difficult to make predictions about the future and this book should not be judged based on the reliability of each individual prediction. In fact, it makes the reader think what might happen in the future. It helps him to understand the main drivers of global development and to develop his own thoughts and ideas about the future of his cultural or company. Further, this well written book includes many intercultural aspects and their effects on the decision-making processes of individuals and states. It is an easy and fast read. I have read it several times and I still enjoy reading it.
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