George Friedman Quotes
Born: February 1, 1949
But every time new powers emerge they have to find their balance. New powers are emerging, old powers are declining. It's not that process that's dangerous, it's the emerging position that's dangerous.
Well the most likely emerging countries are Japan, Turkey, and Poland. So I would say Eastern Europe, the Middle East and a maritime war by Japan with the United States enjoying its own pleasures.
When you have the countries like Germany, China, and Russia decline, and be replaced by others, that's when systemic wars start. That's when it gets dangerous, because they haven't yet reached a balance. So Germany united in 1871 and all hell broke loose. Japan rose in the early 20th century, and then you had chaos. So we're looking at a systemic shift. Be ready for war.
There has never been a century that has not had a systemic war - a systemic war, meaning when the entire system convulses. From the Seven Years' War in Europe to the Napoleonic Wars of the 19th century to the World Wars, every century has one.
Constraint theory asks: What is the price for doing this? Now one way around constraint theory is declaring your enemy crazy. Crazy and stupid are not concepts used in forecasting. When people say they're really stupid or they're crazy, that's laziness. That means I don't want to think through their position or about what they're really going to do.
Italy spills over to everything. Italy is a huge banking system. It has been the major banking system in Eastern Europe. It's worked with Austria's banking system. There's all sorts of interplays there. So it's not the PIIGS one should worry about. Germany hasn't even begun falling yet. And when Germany falls, and it will, that's when the panic begins to set in.
Germany is the new pig. Germany depends on exports and its markets are drying up. When the Germans start getting 10% unemployment, 15% unemployment, which is the real variable, how are they going to handle it?
Because the US has control of the sea. Because the US has built up its wealth. Because the US is the only country in the world really not to have a war fought on its territory since the time of the Civil War ... Therefore we can afford mistakes that would kill other countries. And therefore we can take risks that they can't ... the core answer to why the United States is like this is we didn't fight World War I and World War II and the Cold War here.
Italy is the fourth-largest economy in Europe and the eighth-largest economy in the world, and its banking system is collapsing. And Germany is desperate. It must maintain its standard of living. It can only do that with exports and Deutsche Bank is very exposed to Italian debt. But so is the rest of Europe.
The United State has a net worth against which our debt is a joke ... we wrote in 2008 the United States is going to come out of this recession fast. The Europeans are going to fragment. The Chinese are going to be cremated. Why could we come out of it? Why has all economic theory been proven wrong? Because we're rich and we could afford it ...
There is no difference in a country between military, economic, and political affairs. It's useful for Business Insider to divide things that way. That's useful for a college program. But a country is a country. How do you understand China's economy without China's army? If you take these all into account you're ready to explain a question like, 'How come the US doesn't have a debt problem?'
When I get asked the question, 'Do I want to loan you money?' I want to know, how much do you earn? How much do you owe? What is your net worth? When people talk about countries for some reason they only ask how much did you earn and what's your debt?
Success looks like you sitting here pretty confident that an armed brigade isn't going to come pouring in here and blow your head off. Which I don't think is your major concern. Therefore, the United States' foreign policy is successful.
Well what are our geopolitical objectives? First, that North America be peaceful, prosperous, dominated by the United States. Second, that no nation be able to approach the United States militarily ... Those are the goals. It's very simple. We achieve that by making certain that all conflict takes place in the Eastern Hemisphere so we don't have conflict here.
The first thing you have to do is understand what success looks like. And to understand what success looks like you have to understand the intent. If you understand that intent is to make sure the sea lines are secure, then suddenly bombing Kosovo makes sense, because you don't want Serbia to reemerge as a major power.
What is the great fear of the United States? That an Eastern power will build a navy to challenge us. How do you keep them from doing that? Keep them at each other's throats so they don't have any money to do this. This is why we fought the First World War, the Second World War, and the Cold War.
What is American strategy first of all? So American strategy is to command the seas, right? The foundation of our power is sea control. Nobody can invade us, but we can invade them.
With the decline of American interests in the outcome of this region, there is no glue holding it together. And the countries in this region are invented ... The last guarantor of the region's borders was the United States, and the US has basically said 'the hell with it.' What you're really having is the collapse of nation-states because they're not nations. They're only states.
One of the great weaknesses of journalists is they interview people and they think that's important. They think that they are going to show them their true hand. But more to the point, they're trapped.
Assad's mother was a terror. He was terrified of her and she kept saying to him, you're not like your father. That's interesting, but it's useless information. It doesn't tell me anything about how the first and second armored brigades are going to operate.