The Next 100 Years, by FRIEDMAN, GEORGE
- ISBN: 9780385517058 | 038551705X
- Cover: Hardcover
- Copyright: 1/27/2009
GEORGE FRIEDMAN is the chairman and founder of Stratfor, the world’s leading private intelligence company. He is frequently called upon as a media expert and is the author of four books, including most recently America’s Secret War, and numerous articles on national security, information warfare, computer security, and the intelligence business. He lives in Austin, Texas.
|List of Illustrations||p. xi|
|Author's Note||p. xiii|
|Overture: An Introduction to the American Age||p. 1|
|The Dawn of the American Age||p. 15|
|Earthquake: The U.S.-Jihadist War||p. 31|
|Population, Computers, and Culture Wars||p. 50|
|The New Fault Lines||p. 65|
|China 2020: Paper Tiger||p. 88|
|Russia 2020: Rematch||p. 101|
|American Power and the Crisis of 2030||p. 120|
|A New World Emerges||p. 136|
|The 2040s: Prelude to War||p. 153|
|Preparing for War||p. 174|
|World War: A Scenario||p. 193|
|The 2060s: A Golden Decade||p. 212|
|2080: The United States, Mexico, and the Struggle for the Global Heartland||p. 223|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
The Dawn of the American Age
There is a deep-seated belief in America that the United States is approaching the eve of its destruction. Read letters to the editor, peruse the Web, and listen to public discourse. Disastrous wars, uncontrolled deficits, high gasoline prices, shootings at universities, corruption in business and government, and an endless litany of other shortcomings--all of them quite real--create a sense that the American dream has been shattered and that America is past its prime. If that doesn't convince you, listen to Europeans. They will assure you that America's best day is behind it.
The odd thing is that all of this foreboding was present during the presidency of Richard Nixon, together with many of the same issues. There is a continual fear that American power and prosperity are illusory, and that disaster is just around the corner. The sense transcends ideology. Environmentalists and Christian conservatives are both delivering the same message. Unless we repent of our ways, we will pay the price--and it may be too late already.
It's interesting to note that the nation that believes in its manifest destiny has not only a sense of impending disaster but a nagging feeling that the country simply isn't what it used to be. We have a deep sense of nostalgia for the 1950s as a "simpler" time. This is quite a strange belief. With the Korean War and McCarthy at one end, Little Rock in the middle, and Sputnik and Berlin at the other end, and the very real threat of nuclear war throughout, the 1950s was actually a time of intense anxiety and foreboding. A widely read book published in the 1950s was entitled The Age of Anxiety. In the 1950s, they looked back nostalgically at an earlier America, just as we look back nostalgically at the 1950s.
American culture is the manic combination of exultant hubris and profound gloom. The net result is a sense of confidence constantly undermined by the fear that we may be drowned by melting ice caps caused by global warming or smitten dead by a wrathful God for gay marriage, both outcomes being our personal responsibility. American mood swings make it hard to develop a real sense of the United States at the beginning of the twenty-first century. But the fact is that the United States is stunningly powerful. It may be that it is heading for a catastrophe, but it is hard to see one when you look at the basic facts.
Let's consider some illuminating figures. Americans constitute about 4 percent of the world's population but produce about 26 percent of all goods and services. In 2007 U.S. gross domestic product was about $14 trillion, compared to the world's GDP of $54 trillion--about 26 percent of the world's economic activity takes place in the United States. The next largest economy in the world is Japan's, with a GDP of about $4.4 trillion--about a third the size of ours. The American economy is so huge that it is larger than the economies of the next four countries combined: Japan, Germany, China, and the United Kingdom.
Many people point at the declining auto and steel industries, which a generation ago were the mainstays of the American economy, as examples of a current deindustrialization of the United States. Certainly, a lot of industry has moved overseas. That has left the United States with industrial production of only $2.8 trillion (in 2006): the largest in the world, more than twice the size of the next largest industrial power, Japan, and larger than Japan's and China's industries combined.
There is talk of oil shortages, which certainly seem to exist and will undoubtedly increase. However, it is important to realize that the United States produced 8.3 million barrels of oil every day in 2006. Compare that with 9.7 million for Russia and 10.7 million for Saudi Arabia. U.S. oil production is 85 percent that of Saudi Arabia. The United States produces more oil than Iran, Kuwait, or the United Arab Emirates. I
Excerpted from Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.