Tuesday, February 17, 2009

On "The Next 100 Years"

As I said in my Twitter post about reading "The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century" by Stratfor's George Friedman: "the book is unbelievably, shockingly awesome! It exudes pure awesomeness from every page!"

As you know, I was a long-term Stratfor fan (I was reading the site since they launched in 1994 or so), but lately I have evolved into a Stratfor addict. And the book (
"The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century") didn't make my condition better, quite the opposite.

The basic premise of this treatise is this: the coming century will be ruled by an empire, so powerful economically, politically and militarily that nobody will be able to dislodge it from a top spot, even though some will try, much to their despair.

What is this empire? "A rising China"? Pah. "A resurent Russia"? Nah. "A united Europe." Hah. Its name is The United States of America. The book states simply: "The 21st century will be the American century" and "The United States is only at the beginning of its power."

Yes, indeed! Stratfor fo
George Friedman predicts that the US power is barely at its dawn, unlike some silly writers. His geopolitical analysis predicts that US will remain the leading world power for at least a century. He goes thru the events of 2020s (a new mini-cold war, then collapse of Russia), 2030s (a new crisis in the US) and then predicts a bit of a global war in 2050s. I will not post any more spoilers, go read the book; a few more juicy bits from the book follow below.

Some of the weapons to be used in mid-21st century wars:
  • Hypersonic UAVs armed with missiles
  • Space command stations and direct space-to-ground weapons
  • "Armored infrantrymen" in electrically-powered suits
  • Various types of robotic armored vehicles.
Below are some of my favorite quotes:
  • "Where humanity goes - war follows" (on war)
  • "The European Age has ended and the North American Age has begun" (on Europe)
  • "The United States has a huge margin of error. [...] The US therefore tends to be careless in how it execrises its power globally." (on some current events)
  • "The combined naval force of the rest of the world doesn't come close to equaling that of the US Navy" (on Navy)
  • "Mankind does not pose problems for itself for which it does not already have a solution" (on global warning; BTW, he is quoting Karl Marx here)
Should I mention it again? This is one of the best books I've read for a good number of years...

Dr Anton Chuvakin