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 title||The Political Philosophy of the Frankfurt School|
George Friedman (born February 1, 1949) is a geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs. He is the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures, a new online publication that analyzes and forecasts the course of global events. Prior to founding Geopolitical Futures, Friedman was chairman of Stratfor, the private intelligence publishing and consulting firm he founded in 1996. Friedman resigned from Stratfor in May 2015.
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 U.S.-Soviet relationship from a military perspective. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he studied potential for a U.S.-Japan conflict and co-authored The Coming War with Japan in 1991.
In 1996, he 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 retired from Stratfor in May 2015.
In The Next Decade, Friedman argues how the American administrations of the 2010s will need to create regional power balances, some of which have been disturbed. Friedman conceptualizes America's successful 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 US as a power must mature to manage its power and balance as an unintended empire and republic.
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, 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.
- 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.
- "Geopolitical Futures | Keeping future in focus". geopoliticalfutures.com. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
- "George Friedman puts Stratfor behind him to start Geopolitical Futures - Austin Business Journal". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
- 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 Gate.
- "The U.S. Stays on Top", Smithsonian, July 2010.
- Booknotes interview with Friedman and Meredith LeBard on The Coming War With Japan, June 9, 1991.