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The Next Decade: What the World Will Look Like

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,358 ratings  ·  211 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
Hardcover, 243 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Doubleday Books
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Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Kira Simion
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I like the way Friedman said something like the leaders of today can be taught yesterday (not his exact words, these are mine.)

From 8,000 BCE to now, from empires to states, from theocracy to democracy, the world has changed again and again, and will continue to change, for better or for worse.

The way we know how to progress and not retrogress is by looking to the past and seeing how we can better the future.

For example (these are my own examples since I don't want to spoil:)

The majority of th
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nilesh Jasani
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Sevda Sarp
Mar 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Less interesting, more repetitive compared to his previous books
Dennis Littrell
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely worth reading with some reservations

I must confess to not having read George Friedman before taking this volume into hand. He certainly is an engaging and crystal clear writer. His understanding of international relationships is second to none that I have read. I highly recommend this book. However I do have a few reservations that I want to express.

Let’s begin with his analysis of what he calls “the unintended empire.” That would be the United States circa the second millennium of th
Andrew Barkett
Mar 31, 2017 rated it liked it
While the work already feels somewhat dated, there are nonetheless lots of useful observations about the near past that can inform us about the near future.
Kent Winward
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Intriguing to read almost ten years after it was written. Frightening to think what the next ten will bring based on what Friedman was writing and warning about in 2011. Almost as if we have followed the road map of what not to do. . .
Joseph D. Walch
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Lisa Reising
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Daniel Simmons
Nov 17, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Frank Kool
Whereas The Next Decade is written in great style and is an absolute delight to read for those who like to shuffle around their armies and resources in strategy games like Civilization, the nearing end of this decade makes it painfully obvious how difficult it is to predict these trends.

Germany and Russia are certainly not allies at this point, Israel-Iran relations have hardly changed, you might carefully say that the wars in Islamic countries are subsiding (then again, most wars do within a de
Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Pertinent glimpse into the geopolitical crystal ball. Friedman's premise is that the United States must strike a balance between keeping the rest of the world stable while keeping regional powers constantly on edge to maintain "a balance of power". Chapter after chapter is filled with prose underscoring the need for the US to strengthen some while weakening other countries. While this may be true, the repetitiveness of the call-to-manipulation by the author becomes grating.

Certainly worth a rea
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book following The Next 100 years by the same author and I'm glad I did - panning out before zooming in is how I tend to view complex scenarios; also the author references in this book geopolitical concepts that are outlined in detail in The Next 100 years. His description of the often conflicting responsibilities of the president of a republic and leader of an empire was intriguing. His foreign policy recommendations per region included mini history lessons and were fascinating. The ...more
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it
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) ...more
Kyriakos Michail
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Jonathan Lu
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Costin Manda
Feb 20, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
I started reading this book at random, and by random I mean I used a tool to choose it for me. And what a coincidence that, published in 2011, it talks about the geopolitical and economical drivers that would shape the next decade while I read it in 2022, as a conflict between Russian and the U.S. in Ukraine is looming. Was Friedman a sort of Hari Seldon and he predicted it all or was it all just bull? Well, a bit of both.

The Next Decade wants to be a U.S. centric but objective dissection of t
Abner Rosenweig
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Friedman is an outstanding writer with an excellent grasp of his subject. Yet, his perspective is one of a veteran geopolitical insider and, at times, it is woefully out of touch with the socio-political-economic emergencies of the world today.

Friedman's strengths are his breadth and depth of knowledge, and his accessible and engaging style. The author covers a lot of ground in TND, spanning power centers and flash points around the globe, and while the book was written to address the 2011 to 20
Benedict De Meulemeester
Why do I keep buying books that pretend go know what will happen in the future if I firmly believe that forecasting is impossible? Especially in a field with so many variables and so much human psychology involved as geopolitics? I know why I bought and read this one. Because never before has there been more uncertainty about where this world is going to, as a present day Caligula reigns the main imperial force.
Written six years ago, most of Mr. Friedman’s forecasts have failed to materialize an
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"We cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent." --Ronald Reagan

This is the challenge for the American president as we enter the next decade. He must move with misdirection in order not to create concern in Moscow or Berlin that might make those governments increase the intensity of their relationship before the United States can create a structure to limit it. At the same time, the United States must reassure Poland and other countries of the seriousness of its commitment to t
Ali  M.
May 14, 2016 rated it liked it
"The Next Decade" is essentially George Friedman trying to be a modern day Machiavelli, with some geopolitical analysis thrown in. I learned a lot from the geopolitical parts, but the Machiavelli parts came off as forced and could be taken out.

The main thesis of this book is that the US is unquestionably an empire (thank you Captain Obvious). The most effective way for it to maintain its power is through a series of regional balances of power, making sure no one gets powerful enough to challeng
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Keep in mind that George Friedman is only interested in the next decade as it concerns US foreign policy, and for him that equals US presidents. Given that scope, this book was worth more than a years' worth of newspaper articles, radio commentaries, and TV arguments put together. Friedman takes the refreshing perspective of explaining things rather than just critiquing them. Things that seemed baffling in the media (North Korean dictators, rich country's relationship to African aid, and the beh ...more
Sharyn Campbell
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book dates to 2011, so it is about the decade that is ending in 2020. I was still curious to see what Friedman had foreseen nine years ago. It was interesting to read his thoughts on the relevance (or not) of NATO, countries as perpetual friends and enemies (no such thing), and America's imperialism (whether Americans like or it not). Friedman is not an emotional writer. He examines the facts of geopolitics and predicts accordingly. I find this refreshing. Friedman advocates for the role of ...more
Harry Harman
The first is the concept of the unintended empire. I argue that the United States has become an empire not because it intended to, but because history has worked out that way.

The United States was founded against British imperialism.

who was prepared to lie, violate the law, and betray principle in order to achieve those ends.

master the art of ruling

as Sherlock Holmes put it, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

losing sight of its lon
Denton Holland
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beginning with the Obama presidency makes Friedman’s conjecture a little dated, but no less profound as a reference for current events. For example, his description of our meddling in the Georgian presidential election a decade ago throws new light, and much needed perspective, on Russian meddling in ours last year. Reflection on the similarities between the two events led me to rethink the Trump camp’s role in our election.
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George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures.

A New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Friedman's most recent book, THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, published February 25, describes how “the United States perio

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The internet, on balance, has been something of a mixed-blessing for our species. But one thing everyone agrees on: It’s a great place to watch...
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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.”
“The great presidents never forget the principle 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 the principles regardless of what the fortunes of the moment demand.” 5 likes
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