George Friedman (born 1949) is an American political scientist and author. He was the founder, and former chief intelligence officer, financial overseer, and CEO of the private intelligence corporation STRATFOR. He has authored several books, including The Next 100 Years, The Next Decade, America's Secret War, The Intelligence Edge, The Coming War With Japan and The Future of War.
Friedman’s childhood was shaped directly by international conflict. He 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, settling first in a camp for displaced persons in Austria and then immigrating to the United States, where he attended public schools in New York City, and was an early designer of computerized war games. Friedman describes his family’s story as “a very classic story of refugees making a new life in 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 spent almost twenty years in academia, teaching political science at Dickinson College. During this time, he also 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 U.S.-Soviet relationship from a military perspective. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Friedman studied potential for a U.S.-Japan conflict and co-authored The Coming War with Japan in 1991. He is also the author or co-author of books examining topics as diverse as the Frankfurt School and warfare, including The Future of War, The Next Hundred Years, The Intelligence Edge, and America’s Secret War.
Friedman is married to Meredith Friedman (née LeBard), has four children, and lives in Austin, Texas. She has served as Vice president of Stratfor for international relations and communication. She also coauthored several publications, for example The Coming War with Japan.
- 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.
- "George Friedman Biography". Literary Festivals. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "The U.S. Stays on Top", Smithsonian, July 2010.
- Details' about Meredith Friedman und Stratfor, based on former informations about executives on Stratfor's homepage which meanwhile has been deleted.
- Booknotes interview with Friedman and Meredith LeBard on The Coming War With Japan, June 9, 1991.
- Bio of Friedman at STRATFOR's website.
- Bio of Friedman at America's Secret War's website.
- Bio of Friedman at New Global Initiative's website.
- Appearances on C-SPAN