Call me a news geek but I can't stop watching what's unfolding in Egypt. I find it equally exciting and frightening in that none of us knows what is going to happen. But it is history in the making and I love being a part of it — even if that means I'm a part of it by watching TV and following it on the web.
That anticipation of what's in the future made me think about a very exciting new book from George Friedman the founder and CEO of STRATFOR.
The company is the world’s leading publisher of global geopolitical intelligence and Friedman is an author and expert on national security, information warfare, and the intelligence business.
In his new book, "THE NEXT DECADE: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going," Friedman predicts that, above all, America's power will be tested, and while the author says it will endure, it will require what he calls, "extraordinary skill of the decade’s Presidents to navigate turbulent waters and balance relationships."
Other predictions from Friedman and included in "THE NEXT DECADE" include:
- "The wars in the Islamic world will be subsiding, and terrorism will become something we learn to live with.
- Though distasteful, The United States will move toward accommodation with Iran to help stabilize the area. Meanwhile, the U.S. will also quietly distance itself from Israel, and will help strengthen Pakistan (or at least put an end to its weakening).
- A possible alliance between Germany and Russia will have to be carefully monitored by the United States. Poland will become increasingly important to the U.S. as it faces a renewed Russia and Germany who will continue to have more common interests with Russia than the European Union.
- The European Union will also come under massive internal strains.
- China will be encountering its own crisis. Our current preoccupation with Chinese expansion will diminish as that country’s economic miracles come of age. China’s economic performance will slow to that of a more mature economy—a more mature economy with over a billion people living in abject poverty.
- Meanwhile, Turkey and Japan will be charting independent courses. Japan, the third largest economy in the world and the nation with the largest navy in northeast Asia will become America’s focus.
- America must find the path out of the current economic problems not only for itself but also for the world. However, we will also be shifting from a time when financial crises dominate the world to a time when labor shortages will begin to dominate.
- America (and especially the American President) will have to recognize and accept that the United States is now an unintended empire; the next ten years will bring myriad internal tensions between the growth of 'empire' and the survival of 'republic.'"
The New York Times recently wrote, "there is a temptation, when you are around George Friedman, to treat him like a Magic 8-Ball," if that's so, then reading "THE NEXT DECADE" better prepares you for the fascinating changes coming and how you can be ready to play your role in history's next chapter.