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The Next Decade: Where We've Been and Where We're Going
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The Next Decade: Where We've Been and Where We're Going

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,222 ratings  ·  150 reviews
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.

The next ten years will be a time of massive transition. The wars in the Is
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Published January 25th 2011 by Random House Audio (first published 2010)
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Ugh
This book is not quite 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 be.

Friedman 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 hithert
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S.
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 USA. One tends to wonder a bit how these scenarios get created, although it's probab ...more
Ammar Hammoudeh
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 hypothesis that must maintain, but he confess that it must use all imperial power resources it possess to prevent any potential rival from competing its global role in both short and long terms.

As a Moslem-Arabic, i have to highlight two things about this book to tw
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Benedict
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 Republic.

The author is CEO of Stratfor, which does intelligence analysis for the CIA and the multinationals. So the opinions in this book count for something.

He 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 other countries at each other so they cannot combine again
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Nilesh
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 more 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 ...more
Julie
Have you ever played the board game Risk? The game board is a map of the world partitioned into different colored continents, subdivided into countries. Each player places their armies on different countries, battles their opponents, and conquers territory with the ultimate goal of taking over the entire world. The difficult decisions are where to place your armies and who to engage in battle. Reading George Friedman's The Next Decade reminded of Risk, but instead of being a game, it's real life ...more
Joseph D. Walch
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 world while maneuvering through national political discussions.

The book starts with a short history primer and notes the current political realities. It then assesses each geographi
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Lisa
I really enjoy Mr. Friedman's books. His approach in predicting future events is based on historical analysis of all kinds. I learn history and details about every region of the world. There are reasons, backed up by data and sound precedents, why America should stay out of Africa politically and only send humanitarian aid, why we should chill out about border wars with Mexico, why friendly terms with Korea, Singapore and Australia are a good idea, and why we need to keep a sharp eye on Turkey, ...more
Owen
Once again, I don't generally give higher reviews than the average. In fact, I'm not sure it's happened apart from George Friedman books. After the acclaim heaped on his book The Next 100 years Friedman, felt compelled to write one that focused more on the short term. This is how he gives us The Next Decade. Again, I'm astonished by Friedman's ability to extract the signal from the noise. He seems to use all the information anyone has available to them it manages to come to different and entirel ...more
Daniel Simmons
Less bonkers than his "The Next 100 Years", but still abounding with cringe-worthy statements. A choice example: Friedman recommends continuing sending aid to Africa not because it will do anything to help the Africans but because it will burnish the image of the U.S. internationally; he then follows that up with, "It is possible that [aid] will do some harm, as many aid programs have had unintended and negative consequences, but the gesture would redound to America's benefit, and at relatively ...more
Kyriakos Michail
Great for someone who wants to study the geopolitical role of USA and also wants to know some general facts concerning regional or possible regional powers
Robert Morris
George Friedman knows how to sell books. Like that snickers bar at the checkout you don't need, his ambitiously entitled books are well calculated to jump into the shopping bags of a certain type of consumer (this one). It is always brave to predict the future. He should get credit for that, but not much else.

This vastly inferior book is a follow up to The Next 100 Years. Please note that I am not saying the other book was objectively good, just that this one was much, much worse. The balance i
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George
I go this book at the airport thinking it was by the same guy who wrote "The World is Flat", that was Thomas Friedman. It was a surprisingly interesting book and everything that he predicts over the next decade (well now more like 8 yrs) seems realistic. Now I am reading The Next 100 years which was actually written before this, so it is like seeing Prometheus before Alien (kindof)
Karem Mahmoud
this book provides a valuable insight of the American way of thinking regarding the global management and keeping the status quo favorable to the American influence.
the US has become the empire that will last for long time yet; thus the American president runs the white house and by de facto manages the whole world.
this emerging job of the American president force him/her to deal with global matters as National security priority; the US strategy should ensure that the balances worldwide remain
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Cary Ussery
A very good book and nice follow up to The Next 100 Years. It is always illuminating to have someone who can step back and make some sense of different regions of the world and the challenges faced by the US in dealing with them. Since it was written in 2011/2012, some of the analysis can be compared to events that have already started taking place; in some cases, Friedman's analysis seems on; in others time will tell how events (for instance, Ukraine and ISIL in the Middle East) will pan out on ...more
Libyrinths
George Friedman is the founder and CEO of Stratfor, a corporation which analyzes open intelligence and makes geopolitical predictions for international corporations and others interested in such topics.

Friedman says that the U.S. has become an unintentional empire, and as such, we need to grow up and realize that we have no choice but to use our power, and do so in our own self-interest, while at the same time maintaining our moral compass. He finds fault with the moralists on both sides of the
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Jay
Another reviewer described this as a book about a real-world game of Risk. I found it closer to the game Diplomacy, as the author describes how countries will support or not support others in their endeavors to better position themselves in the world. I found it interesting that, according to the author, countries are primarily concerned with their immediate neighbors, worried about how they can be attacked by armor and infantry. I thought the world was beyond that, but I have a truly American, ...more
Laura Lee
George Friedman is one of the great political thinkers of our day, and I gobbled up his predictions, advice, and warnings for the current decade. Overall, his view of the United States' future is a rosy one, which was refreshing and comforting in light of all the doom-and-gloom hysterics coming from both sides of the political aisle these days. Which isn't to say that he doesn't present some cold, hard truths about our national predicaments. He does. But he is not a political blowhard and doesn' ...more
Cristina
George Friedman has an engaging style without being melodramatic so
easier than most similarly themed offerings to read. The material was
also presented in 'neat' chapters that made reading sessions manageable
- a couple of chapters at a time - to digest the content.
As far as geopolitical modern history goes, it presents an excellent
summary of all the major regions of the world, albeit a far too American
centric perspective of the significance of the political situations from
an economic and cultural
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Erwin
Good description of the American Empire and how the strategists that operate the empire see the current chessboard layout.

However, "The Next Decade" makes a giant glaring omission --- I wonder if Washington's strategists make the same omission: The US is not the only one playing empire.

The US is the only nation today with Imperial reach, but any of the regional powers (Russia, Germany, Iran, India, Brazil, Japan, China) are certainly strategizing how they can outmaneuver the US.

The future empire
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Troy
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, which surprises me considering I wouldn't go near a book on geopolitics a few years ago. I got a lot out of this book, and it is interesting to hear Friedman's perspective on how nations will relate to each other in the coming decade.

While I wouldn't quite call his outlook pessimistic, he certainly doesn't paint the most rosy future for the world, and particularly the U.S. He also seems to obsess over the threat of war, and most of his policy suggestions
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Ben Davies
I'd previously read "The Next 100 Years" by the same author. This closer look at the next decade by the same author was less interesting, more repetitive and in its exhortations to the president of the United States to scheme and manipulate to protect the U.S. empire it was also somewhat depressing.

Like the "The Next 100 Years", this book peers through a monochromatic geopolitical lense at the world. In this world, the U.S. must manage world affairs, prevent the rise of serious competitors thro
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Carolyn
This book reads like a history text - only the history hasn't happened quite yet.

The author is the founder of Stratfor, and the preeminent non-government provider of intelligence for the American public and business community. He says that whether we like it or not, the United States has become an empire, and he worries that empire tends to be incompatible with a republic. As a loyal American, he finds the president (the only official elected by all the people) to be the only one with the power
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Marcus Liberman
George Friedman takes you on a journey of "Where We've Been...and Where were Going." The purpose of this book is to forecast the next decade (2010-2019), including, the geopolitics and future world changing event's of the time period. George Friedman has a key theme in this book, that almost impossible to miss. He is trying to get American's who are worried about America's superpower status, into being more worried about our democracy and personal freedoms being here for we American's to exerci ...more
Jonathan Lu
A worthy follow up to the next 100 years written in the unbiased, unemotional, data-based, and calculated method that I have come to appreciate from the STRATFOR founder. Very interesting prologue when he describes that predicting a century is much easier than predicting a decade. The short term actions of men are difficult to predict, whether by mistake, stroke of genius, etc... But these actions tend to become averaged out in the long run when considering the larger subtle shifts over time. As ...more
Sandy
Mountains, deserts, jungles, and especially the oceans, aren't these just pretty places to be protected? That's been my default perspective. I'd never studied geopolitics before, so I was enlightened by the connections between geography and world politics as plainly explained by author George Friedman. Additionally, I appreciated his fascinating take on the complex history of the Middle East region and the nature of the US-Israel relationship in Chapter Six. I want to re-read this section.

Overa
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Steve Mohr
If you’re looking for some fast moving, mind blowing stark tale of good versus evil, this isn’t the book to read. George Friedman puts all bias aside and gives a bare-bones description of what it’s going to take for a nation to keep its stature and look as good as possible while doing it. It’s all about the balance of power; a concept that is easy to define but hard to articulate. What it means (in my very inarticulate way!) is to keep your opponents, or those who could become your opponents, fo ...more
Raul
May 21, 2013 Raul rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Raul by: Ulysses Garciga
Extremely interesting and mostly persuasive arguments. Rich in instruction on the wielding of power and some Machiavellian quotes to clarify the nature of the power of states and its application.
It proposes that America is an unintended Empire, not in the old sense of acquiring territory but in the sense that it is the predominant power in the world since the fall of the Soviet Union which ended the Cold War.The perhaps unintended reality is that it is the most powerful nation remaining in the w
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Berna
i like the content even it is actually gather round USA. My English is not good enough to read from original language, so i read it in Turkish. ordinarily i cant easily understand the translation faults. But this time, really i did :) I have never read a book like this kind of worst transation ever. Some sentences contains repated words, and some of them cant understand because of defects, some of the words written wrong. I was sick and tired of try to understand. Turkish is difficult language t ...more
Jesse
An interesting book that clarifies the difficulties the United States will face in the coming decade. George Friedman bases his geopolitical theory on the conceit that America has become an unintentional global empire. He believes we must face this fact in order to move forward with rational foreign policy. His argument is persuasive and his suggested solutions seem workable.

The book itself is clearly written, but dry. Its style somewhat echoes Machiavelli's THE PRINCE in Friedman's constant ref
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Dr. Friedman is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of STRATFOR. Since 1996 Dr. Friedman has driven the strategic vision guiding STRATFOR to global prominence in private geopolitical intelligence and forecasting.

Dr. Friedman is the author of The New York Times bestseller “The Next Decade: Where We’ve Been…and Where We’re Going,” which forecasts the major events and challenges that will test Am
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More about George Friedman...
The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century America's Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between the United States and Its Enemies Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe The Future of War: Power, Technology and American World Dominance in the Twenty-first Century The Coming War With Japan

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“President Obama dropped the term 'war on terror', and rightly so. Terrorism is not an enemy but a type of warfare that may or may not be adopted by an enemy. Imagine if, after Pearl Harbor, an attack that relied on aircraft carriers, President Roosevelt had declared a global war on naval aviation. By focusing on terrorism instead of al Qaeda or radical Islam, Bush elevated a specific kind of assault to a position that shaped American global strategy, which left the United States strategically off-balance.

Obama may have clarified the nomenclature, but he left in place a significant portion of the imbalance, which is an obsession with the threat of terrorist attacks. As we consider presidential options in the coming decade, it appears imperative that we clear up just how much of a threat terrorism actually presents and what that threat means for U.S. policy.”
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“The great presidents never forget the principles of the republic and seek to preserve and enhance them--in the long run--without undermining the needs of the moment. Bad presidents simply do what is expedient, heedless of principles. But the worst presidents are those who adhere to principles regardless of what the fortunes of the moment demand.
[...]
In preventing the unintended empire from destroying the republic, the critical factor will not be the balance of power among the branches of government, but rather a president who is committed to that constitutional balance, yet willing to wield power in his own right. In orderr to do this, the president must grasp the insufficiency of both the idealist and the realist positions. The idealists, whether of the neoconservative or the liberal flavor, don't understand that it is necessary to master the nature of power in order to act according to moral principles. The realists don't understand the futility of power without a moral core.”
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