Friedman in 2017
February 1, 1949
|Known for||Founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures (since 2015) and Stratfor (1996–2015)|
|Spouse(s)||Meredith Friedman (née LeBard)|
|Education||City College of New York|
|Alma mater||Cornell University|
|Thesis||The Political Philosophy of the Frankfurt School (1977)|
George Friedman (Hungarian: Friedman György, born February 1, 1949) is a Hungarian-born U.S. geopolitical forecaster, and strategist on international affairs. He is the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures, an online publication that analyzes and forecasts the course of global events. Prior to founding Geopolitical Futures, he was chairman of its predecessor Stratfor, the private intelligence publishing and consulting firm he founded in 1996.
Early life and education
Friedman was born in Budapest, Hungary to Jewish parents who survived the Holocaust. His family fled Hungary when he was a child to escape the Communist regime as refugees, settling first in a camp for displaced persons in Austria and then emigrating to the United States. Friedman describes his family's story as "a very classic story of refugees making a new life in [North] America." He received a B.A. at the City College of New York, where he majored in political science, and a Ph.D. in government at Cornell University.
Prior to joining the private sector, Friedman regularly briefed senior commanders in the armed services as well as the Office of Net Assessments, SHAPE Technical Center, the U.S. Army War College, National Defense University and the RAND Corporation, on security and national defense matters.
Friedman pursued political philosophy with his early work focusing on Marxism, as well as international conflict, including examination of the Soviet-U.S. relationship from a military perspective. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he studied potential for a Japan-U.S. conflict and co-authored The Coming War with Japan in 1991.
In 1996, Friedman founded Stratfor, a private intelligence and forecasting company, and served as the company's CEO and Chief Intelligence Officer. Stratfor's head office is in Austin, Texas. He resigned from Stratfor in May 2015.
Friedman's reputation as a forecaster of geopolitical events led The New York Times magazine to comment, in a profile, "There is a temptation, when you are around George Friedman, to treat him like a Magic 8-Ball."
In The Next Decade, Friedman argues how the U.S. administrations of the 2010s will need to create regional power balances, some of which have been disturbed. Friedman conceptualizes successful U.S. management of world affairs not by directly enforcing countries, but by creating competing relationships, which offset one another, in the world's different regions. For example, in the past, Iraq balanced Iran, and currently Japan balances China. Friedman asserts this is the decade where the U.S. as a power must mature to manage its power and balance as an unintended empire and republic.
Friedman's latest book, was released in 2020 by Doubleday. While originally scheduled to be released in January 2018, it was delayed six times before being released in 2020. The working title was The New American Century: Crisis, Endurance, and the Future of the United States, but has subsequently been changed to The Storm Before the Calm: America's Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond.
- The Political Philosophy of the Frankfurt School (1981). Cornell University Press, ISBN 0-8014-1279-X.
- The Coming War With Japan, with Meredith LeBard (1991). St Martins Press. Reprint edition, 1992, ISBN 0-312-07677-0.
- The Future of War: Power, Technology and American World Dominance in the Twenty-First Century, with Meredith Friedman (1996). Crown Publishers, 1st edition, ISBN 0-517-70403-X. St. Martin's Griffin, 1998, ISBN 0-312-18100-0.
- The Intelligence Edge: How to Profit in the Information Age with Meredith Friedman, Colin Chapman and John Baker (1997). Crown, 1st edition, ISBN 0-609-60075-3.
- America's Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between the United States and Its Enemies (2004). Doubleday, 1st edition, ISBN 0-385-51245-7. Broadway, reprint edition (2005). ISBN 0-7679-1785-5.
- The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century (2009). Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-51705-X.
- The Next Decade: What the World Will Look Like (2011). ISBN 0-385-53294-6.
- Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe (2015). Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-53633-X.
- The Storm Before the Calm: America's Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond (2020). Doubleday, ISBN 9780385540490
- "Geopolitical Futures | Keeping future in focus". geopoliticalfutures.com. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
- "The U.S. Stays on Top", Smithsonian, July 2010.
- George Friedman; Meredith LeBard (1991). The Coming War with Japan. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9780312058364.
- Matt Bai (April 20, 2003). "Spooky". New York Times Magazine.
- George Friedman (January 28, 2011). "America's Greatest Challenge". The Daily Beast.
- J. Peter Pham (February 6, 2011). "The Next Decade, by George Friedman". San Francisco Chronicle.
- "The New American Century by George Friedman". Penguin Random House. Archived from the original on 2017-05-09.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- Booknotes Archived 2012-09-07 at the Wayback Machine interview with Friedman and Meredith LeBard on The Coming War With Japan, June 9, 1991.
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