Friday, June 26, 2009

The Next 100 Years

A thoughtful patron sent in the following review of a new book, and we hope more of you will do the same.

George Friedman is a an expert on international relationships, and in his book The Next 100 Years he has boiled down relations between countries to a good ole boy science. I say that because he lives in Austin and judging by his picture and his writing, he just looks and talks like a good ole boy to me.

He points out that only a few countries ever rise to the top, and they rise for basic strategic reasons. Paramount in being the most powerful are two things. One is a superior military (intelligence and conventional forces). Another is a superior location (on water).

Friedman goes to great extent to open the reader's thought to how things change over time. One hundred years ago Europe was the top of the heap. Two huge wars later and Europe was knocked out of the top spot. Because of that, the superior location shifted west when Pacific ocean trade surpassed Atlantic ocean trade. The U.S. being located on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, became the dominant power.

For the next hundred years, according to Friedman, the United States will remain the center of trade and therefore the dominant power.

I've read lots of books like this, but Freidman's book is one of the best. It is a concise, straight forward and thought provoking take on the future of international relations.

Larry Hardee

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