Wars are times of intense technological transformation, because societies invest - sometimes with extensive borrowing - when and where matters of life and death are at stake.— George Friedman
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I think there are worse things than war. For example, injustice.
The importance of the question and the availability of an answer are two different things. I'm not willing to state that because the question is fundamental, therefore I possess the answer. And I'm certainly not willing to say that since I don't possess the answer, I'll pretend that I do.
Well the most likely emerging countries are Japan, Turkey, and Poland.
So I would say Eastern Europe, the Middle East and a maritime war by Japan with the United States enjoying its own pleasures.
It has always struck me as the world's great fortune that the two great superpowers were the United States and the Soviet Union, who managed the Cold War with meticulous care in retrospect. Imagine the European diplomats of 1914 or 1938 armed with nuclear weapons. It is easy to believe they would not have been as cautious.
The first thing you have to do is understand what success looks like.
And to understand what success looks like you have to understand the intent. If you understand that intent is to make sure the sea lines are secure, then suddenly bombing Kosovo makes sense, because you don't want Serbia to reemerge as a major power.
Idealism is frequently another word for self-righteousness, a disease that can only be corrected by a profound understanding power in its complete sense.
What is the great fear of the United States? That an Eastern power will build a navy to challenge us. How do you keep them from doing that? Keep them at each other's throats so they don't have any money to do this. This is why we fought the First World War, the Second World War, and the Cold War.
The tragedy of the human condition is that the thing that makes us most human - community - originates in the inhumanity of war.
What is revolutionary today is that we're using precision-guided munitions.
And instead of building individual weapons, we are building an industry and a philosophy, the culture of precision. You saw Desert Storm. Precision works.
Europeans have always thought of U.S. presidents as either naive, as they did with Jimmy Carter, or as cowboys, as they did with Lyndon Johnson, and held them in contempt in either case.
I'm not a journalist. So I didn't down and let Assad charm me. I didn't walk away and say "my god he's got an Apple computer and he really likes Beyonce so he must be a liberal."
So you go to Brookings, or you go to Heritage or others, they know their position on any subject before they research it. If you go to an investment bank, they know what parts of the world they are going to cover and what parts of the world they are not going to cover depending on client interest. We cover the world without being skewed by that. And that makes it more valuable.
I cannot understand how something as ubiquitous as war can simply be dismissed as pathological. It is not clear to me that it is an unspeakable evil. If it is, I need proof of it.
The important thing in war is that there is an element of rage, but you must remain very distant from it.
War and sex are what I call the two abysmal - by that I mean deep - parts of the human condition.
Galvanized people can do careless things.
It is in the extreme and emotion-laden moments that distance and coolness are most required. I am tempted to howl in rage. It is not my place to do so. My job is to try to dissect the event, place it in context and try to understand what has happened and why. From that, after the rage cools, plans for action can be made. Rage has its place, but actions must be taken with discipline and thought.
The man who hates war more than he hates the Nazis is a wicked man.
Recent presidents have gone off on ad hoc adventures.
They have set unattainable goal because they have framed the issue incorrectly, as they believed their own rhetoric.
Conventional analysis suffers from a profound failure of imagination.
It imagines passing clouds to be permanent and is blind to powerful, long-term shifts taking place in full view of the world.
When I get asked the question, "Do I want to loan you money?" I want to know, how much do you earn? How much do you owe? What is your net worth? When people talk about countries for some reason they only ask how much did you earn and what's your debt?
Constraint theory asks: What is the price for doing this? Now one way around constraint theory is declaring your enemy crazy. Crazy and stupid are not concepts used in forecasting. When people say they're really stupid or they're crazy, that's laziness. That means I don't want to think through their position or about what they're really going to do.
Italy is the fourth-largest economy in Europe and the eighth-largest economy in the world, and its banking system is collapsing. And Germany is desperate. It must maintain its standard of living. It can only do that with exports and Deutsche Bank is very exposed to Italian debt. But so is the rest of Europe.
The British bombed German cities [during World War II] to keep the workers awake at night. So instead of dropping one bomb, we sent a thousand planes and, yes, we took out the factory sometimes, but we also took out the city. It reached the point where we wanted more efficient ways to destroy a city. The result was nuclear weapons.
The warrior must continue to make decisions in the face of extreme circumstances. He cannot afford to get angry or frightened.
War to me is very much like sex. You can develop a theory that says sex is primarily for the exchange of genetic material, or that it's a celebration of life, or you can make up 50,000 theories about why human beings have sex, all of which are in some sense true, all of which by themselves miss the point. Because the answer is extraordinarily complex. It may be for fun, it may be for reproduction, for financial reasons, any number of things.
By the 20th century, war ceased to be an encounter between two armies.
It became an encounter between two societies, because a factory worker producing a gun or a bomb is as deadly as a pilot.
Strategy is something that emerges from reality, while tactics might be chosen.
Anger does not make history. Power does. And power may be supplemented by anger, but it derives from more fundamental realities; geography, demographics, technology, and culture.
If you lose yourself to rage in the complexity of battle, you are going to be lost.
I think the personal and psychological aspects of war remain the same.
War is about killing and dying. A man or woman stands at the post and there is a very real possibility of dying in the next five minutes. Whether he dies or not depends partly on him and partly on luck, and yet he must continue to function.
There is no difference in a country between military, economic, and political affairs. It's useful for Business Insider to divide things that way. That's useful for a college program. But a country is a country. How do you understand China's economy without China's army? If you take these all into account you're ready to explain a question like, "How come the US doesn't have a debt problem?"
We cannot anticipate the moral circumstances under which we will live.
And therefore [I refuse] to say that I will not live in a moral circumstance that requires violence.
One definition of the wicked is that they will resort to whatever means are necessary to achieve their ends. Therefore, if those who oppose wickedness don't learn the art of war, they will be helpless.
Germany is the new pig. Germany depends on exports and its markets are drying up. When the Germans start getting 10% unemployment, 15% unemployment, which is the real variable, how are they going to handle it?
In a way, we can have a much easier discussion about the future of technology than we can about why a young man kills another man in a war.
The poets think about war more than the social scientists.
The kind of president we need has little to do with ideology and more to do with a willingness to wield power to moral ends.
Constraint theory defines for you what outcomes are possible and what outcomes are impossible. It also eliminates wishful thinking.
Success looks like you sitting here pretty confident that an armed brigade isn't going to come pouring in here and blow your head off. Which I don't think is your major concern. Therefore, the United States' foreign policy is successful.
Every theory I've seen that contains an explanation of war fails.
I think they fail for the same reason that explanations of sex fail. War derives from things so deep and so complex, I'm thoroughly baffled by it at the end of the day.
One of the great famines in human history took place during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. [At the same time] Western journalists were reporting how marvelously Chinese society was working. We know so little [about what happens in China].
Italy spills over to everything. Italy is a huge banking system. It has been the major banking system in Eastern Europe. It's worked with Austria's banking system. There's all sorts of interplays there. So it's not the PIIGS one should worry about. Germany hasn't even begun falling yet. And when Germany falls, and it will, that's when the panic begins to set in.
There is a radical and unprecedented shift [in war] that is part of the general transformation of civilization. First, understand that the past 150 years of warfare are totally unprecedented in that we introduced a breathtakingly inefficient technology: guns. In the First World War, and this is not an exaggeration, it took 10,000 rounds of ammunition to kill one person. Any given shot had a one in 10,000 probability of ending someone's life.
The great presidents never forget the principle of the republic and seek to preserve and enhance them – in the long run– without undermining the needs of the moment. Bad presidents simply do what is expedient, heedless of principles. But the worst presidents are those who adhere to the principles regardless of what the fortunes of the moment demand.
What is American strategy first of all? So American strategy is to command the seas, right? The foundation of our power is sea control. Nobody can invade us, but we can invade them.
Politicians are enormously smart and rational.
They don't have the same interests as businessmen ... But a man rises to the top of the United States. He's clawed his way out of 330 million people. OK. He didn't do that because he was dumb, or lucky, or something like that. He understands power. And he understands how to take it. And he understands how to keep it.
When you're young and going to war, it's a genuinely exciting moment.
You are going to risk yourself. On the battlefield, you are suddenly free. You realize: I'm here, I'm in it. Exaltation. Suddenly you're hit by another extraordinary feeling: my God, I can be killed. And: will I embarrass myself? It's like you're in a kaleidoscope and all of these extraordinary feelings are zipping by.
When you have the countries like Germany, China, and Russia decline, and be replaced by others, that's when systemic wars start. That's when it gets dangerous, because they haven't yet reached a balance. So Germany united in 1871 and all hell broke loose. Japan rose in the early 20th century, and then you had chaos. So we're looking at a systemic shift. Be ready for war.
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We have no policy position. If you have a policy position you can't possibly forecast.