George Friedman (George Friedman) regularly reminds us of this without a hint of irony and with a cool confidence in the sphere of geopolitics and forecasting all need to be able to put in a clear time frame. A few months before the release of his book “the Next 100 years: a forecast for XXI century” in December 2009, the Bank Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, initiating the crisis that shook the foundations of the world financial system.
That is, a priori, it was a completely inopportune moment for work in defense of the idea that the United States will maintain a dominant position in the twenty-first century due to economic and military power. “Some people said it was my prediction stillborn, as the American economy collapsed and couldn’t recover,” recalls Friedman.
Anyway, months after the publication of the U.S. economy is still held and the book of the founder of Stratfor (a private us razvedrota) was in fifth place in the list of bestsellers The New York Times.
The center of gravity of the world system
The United States experienced a severe financial crisis that turned into recession, it stood on a par with the great depression of the 1930-ies. In addition, according to the analyst, this recession does not become the worst since the end of world war II. In any case, it showed again that America is the center of gravity of the world system: if it is facing a crisis, threatened the whole world.
Besides, the crisis is much more rampant outside the United States than in their territory. In all this, Friedman makes the following conclusion: the world will be able to recover only after America get back on my feet. He said other variables: the recent disastrous intervention in Iraq has had less impact than might be imagined.
The U.S. sent at least 200 000 people and lost less than 5,000 that is from 6% to 8% of the losses in Vietnam and only 1% of losses in world war II.
Another argument in his favor is to preserve the structural features of the geopolitical U.S.: are they still keeping under control all the seas. This control is the Foundation of not only America’s security but also its capacity to influence the international system.
In addition to secondary symptoms of the financial crisis, George Friedman emphasizes its impact on the perception of geopolitics in his words, he demonstrates that almost all events have already been precedents, and it is possible to retake the cards are virtually absent.
Thus, geopolitics with his point of view, is to remember similar types of behavior and understand why they are repeated. His predictions in the book “the Next 100 years: a forecast for the XXI century” were bold enough. They rested in the clear author of the horizon: a century. This horizon allows him to avoid responsibility for his prophecies.
Two blocks, two coalitions
The analyst said that the emerging powers led by Russia and China is waiting for the imminent decline. In addition, by 2050, he predicts a third world war between the two blocks. The first to be formed in the US, Poland (she will become the leader of Central Europe), Britain, India and China. The second will take the form of the Alliance of Turkey and Japan.
Beginning of the conflict to put a coordinated attack of the Turks and the Japanese. They will seek not to the occupation or the destruction of the United States, and to the agreement which would guarantee them a sphere of influence: North-West Pacific region, Japan and the middle East for Turkey.
In the longer term (somewhere near 2080) George Friedman imagines the conflict between the US and Mexico. Although now the US close the border for Mexican migrants, after 20 years, this dynamic may change for demographic reasons: the desire to compensate for the aging of the U.S. workforce can enter the simplified procedure of issuing employment visas and even financial incentives for everyone who’s willing to work for them (primarily for Mexicans, with whom they have a long common border).
By 2080, this country will become a powerful economic power with a large Diaspora in the USA. It can become a threat to the national interests of America. That will entail a confrontation between the two countries.
At the time of release, the book received a number of positive reviews. The Washington Post considered the prediction of the predominant superpower of the United States in the twenty-first century is justified, although the rest of the argument seemed to be the newspaper more questionable. The New York Times, in turn, also agreed that the United States will remain a power, whose strength will only grow.
The San Francisco Chronicle took a much more assertive stance and criticized the “americanocentrism” books, comparing theory with the logic of “scared and suffering from insomnia the person who can not break away from the “age of empires”, because you desperately want to win, until the sun rose”. In France the book was translated in 2011 by a small publisher Zdl editions.
George Friedman believes that its approach is based on common sense:
“Forecasting is very important to highlight the obvious. Our world works, relying not on the secret, and the well-noticeable things. To understand these things hinder us only inertia. Very hard to believe that today’s important institutions when a will not, or that the world is in for a radical change. Anyway, radical changes are occurring every 20 years.”
In other words, you need to carefully track what could be the next big change. He recalled that the European powers dominated the world in 1900, but was in ruins in 1920 after the First world war. “Everyone thought that Germany is finished, but 20 years later, she occupied France and became the first continental power, he said. — After the fall of the Berlin wall, geopolitics has ended, no longer had to be war.” But September 11 happened.
“What seems to us to be obvious in 20 years?— he continues. In my book I write about the inevitability of the rise of nationalism in Europe. Then the yard was in the year 2009, and such it would have been inconceivable, as the European Union is based on the abolition of borders, the idea of counter-nationalism. Today, I don’t see anything that could stop the decline of the European Union”.
The decline of Russia and China
As for short-term forecasts (2010-ies), George Friedman dissatisfied only because thought that Russia’s decline and China will start later. Facing the China problem is to transfer wealth from the coastal regions inland. And it seems a daunting task.
Once demonstrated the unprecedented performance of the Chinese economy growth slows down to a normal level, as in the past the Japanese. Only here in the country is still a billion poor people. According to the analyst, China is preventing its geography: it resembles an island surrounded not by water, and wild lands. They isolate it from the rest of the world and limit its hegemony in South-East Asia. Russia also lives mainly due to the export of hydrocarbons. Once prices have fallen and continue to fall, the Russian state will only decline.
Whatever it was, Friedman admits a serious mistake: it failed to predict the worsening middle East conflict. At the same time, he still does not see much threat from Islam, the West and the Arab countries: “the Problem of Islam is that it is divided into religious and ethnic groups. The goal of the “Islamic state” (banned in Russia as a terrorist organization — approx.ed.) is to restore the Caliphate. For this there must be unity in the territory from Morocco to the Philippines, what will happen during this century.”
The bold and detailed forecast for a third world war. In this issue, Friedman fervently defend their point of view: “In all ages has been their system of war. They happen because some powers are gaining strength, and others decline. During the Second world war, left the three powers: Germany, USA and Japan. France and the British Empire handed over the position. It would be strange if in the twenty-first will not happen the system changes.”
He objected that the new world conflict virtually unthinkable because of modern weapons. He says: “War is always impossible… Until the day they start”. “I called Japan and Turkey gaining force powers. Japan will once again become a regional power, whose air and naval forces will require the strengthening. This would mean a collision with American power that seeks to dominate the oceans”.
Turkey is another illustrative case. The last 100 years were an anomaly for the country, given the past of Byzantine and Ottoman empires. “By all logic that a strong country needs to assert its hegemony in an unstable region”, which will cease to be under the domination of Turkey.
Through analysis of the twentieth century, the analyst notes how easy it was to guess that United in the 1930-ies Germany and Italy, and also went on the path of industrialization of Japan wants to change the international system. The same applies to the dominant position of the USA and the USSR in the second half of the century.