Book Review

The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century

Review of the book authored by George Friedman in 2009

Author predicts that growing tensions, conspiracies, fear of crossing each other in the race will finally lead countries to WWIII

Fayaz Aziz Jamali

“The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century’ is a book written by George Friedman, an international writer who is the founder of the STRATFOR firm which is the world’s private intelligence and forecasting company. He has authored some notable books namely ‘America’s Secret War’, ‘The Future of War’, ‘The Intelligence Edge’, and ‘Coming War with Japan’. This book has become a New York Times’ bestseller book.

The book consists of thirteen chapters. Various geopolitical forecasts, expected socio-cultural trends along with economic predictions have been taken down by Friedman in this masterpiece. With the profound and vast research, precision, logic, and reasons, he tried to prove that the United States will continue to be the dominant global superpower of the world in terms of politics, economy, and technology.

Friedman discussed key anticipated episodes like the end of US-Jihadist war, second but less extensive cold war between the United States and Russia, Russian and Chinese dismantlement, the rise of new powers, clashes and war between the United States and new powers, and the most important episode which can upset United States in the true sense is the rise of Mexico as a big power along the adjacent border of US.

Friedman predicts about rising of Japan, Turkey, and Poland

Undoubtedly, during the 21st century the USA will have formidable challenges to face and she with its historic way of making alliances against its enemies, will weaken her opponents successfully. There is no denying the fact that the USA has entered the 21st century with some unquestioned successes by tearing the Soviet Union apart and with starting a lethal war against Islamic fundamentalists. The writer says Al-Qaeda tried to create fear in the world and by displaying itself a big power by attacking the trade Centre and pentagon on 11th September 2001. Book speculates that by attacking the US and creating uncertain situations across the globe, Al-Qaeda had illicit motives of creating an Islamic state but all its plans were shattered by the USA with destroying its safe havens in Afghanistan and Iraq. Castigators say that the USA has lost the war against the Taliban. If for a second we confess that the USA lost the war against Al-Qaeda but it is certain that the United States has gained all its strategic and geopolitical goals in this war without a jot of any doubt.

Another political incident that has been mentioned in book by Friedman is a possible second cold war between the United States and Russia. According to the book, Russia will wield influence in Eastern and Central Europe and in Eurasia and will try utmost to bring all its previous states which were once its part, under its influences through inciting minorities in opposing countries, economic sanctions by cutting its supplies of resources and military pressure. Russia has an important resource of natural gas in vast amount and Europe is hungry for such natural gas. Russia will compel its neighboring countries to bend its wish and shun friction against Russia by threatening the cut off supply. Balkan states which always had been hostile to Russia due to their occupation in the past will block the way of Russia with the help of NATO. Russia will enhance its political clout will all possible ways United States Stat will be fed up with Russian intrigues and will strain Russian power by bringing its allies; Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, and front l years against Russia and ultimately Russian military will collapse around 2020.

Friedman has called China a “Paper Tiger” in his book. He says that a country can’t be an economic superpower with just economic growth of mere thirty years. (Friedman wrote this book in 2009 and China’s economic growth started since 1980). Thus, Friedman claims that China can’t be an economic giant with the progress of only thirty years. China has some unavoidable problems which will keep hindering her political and economic growth. These problems include disputes with Japan, tension with the United States in the South China Sea, low-cost exports, abject poverty in the interior of the country, weaker navy as compared to Japan and US naval power, a smoldering dispute with Taiwan, social inequalities, etc. Eastern China is wealthier and more prosperous than western China. In short, China’s dream of becoming economic global power is a question mark in George Friedman’s book.

The United States around the 2030s and 2040s will be uneasy thinking that growing Turkish and Japanese power can damage its interests

In addition to the above-discussed stuff, Friedman predicts about rising of Japan, Turkey, and Poland. Turkey and Japan will enhance their military capabilities on the ground and in space as well. Turkey will extend its influence in Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and till the border of the Arabian Peninsula and will put foundations of might Turkish Empire. Japan is the world’s second-largest economy in the world. Its overall economic growth depends on the import of raw material. Japan left being an aggressive country after World War 2 due to terrifying memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki but Japan is not ready to compromise on its imports of raw material.

The United States around the 2030s and 2040s will be uneasy and it will think that growing Turkish and Japanese power can damage its interests. Growing tensions, conspiracies, fear of crossing each other in the race will finally lead countries to World War 3. Warring parties will be the United States, United Kingdom, India, China, and polish block on one side against Japan, Turkey, Germany, and France in this expected war. This war won’t be a nuclear war but it will be fought with most advanced and sophisticated weapons like hypersonic aircraft and missiles. Book says bases of war will be space and ground of the moon. The United States will be the victor of this war with many losses. Japan and Turkey will be weakened.

After dealing with WW3, there will be another possible threat to the US from Mexico. Mexico will be in the world’s top ten economic power which will indulge itself in war with the US in the 2070s. Friedman expects that this war will enter in 2022 with some unending border tensions between both. The United States will gain an economic boom after 2050. The USA will again reestablish its power in space and will have control of the oceans of the world.


Fayaz Aziz Jamali is a CSS aspirant. He has remained a navy officer and currently teaching at Sarhari Knowledge School in Shahdadpur Taluka, Sanghar district of Sindh.


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