This review is from: Next 100 Years, The (Paperback)
As of 2009 - 2010, the underlying arguments to this book are predicated on a reasonable interpretation of historical precedent, technological trends and the expectation that the world beyond the US' national borders, will continue to be as helpfully dysfunctional, as it has hitherto been, since the beginning of the 20th century. However, similarly to Zbigniew Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard, events have rather rapidly outpaced George Friedman's predictions, of less than 4-years ago.
Turkey's ambitions for Islamic dominance, are the toast of the crashed-and-burned. The Egyptians have abandoned a US imposed democracy. The Saudis are aligning with the Russians and France. The French and the British are poised to take over their former African colonies/failed states.
The Russians know that they have to do better. I would posit that Russia and Japan will find a workable accommodation, via which, Japan will be alleviated of its pressing need for energy and/or mineral resources. Russia will avail itself of Japanese technology and capital to enable the Russians to more fully occupy Russia's middle and eastern territories, so as to achieve greater strategic depth, in lieu of a drive towards the west. What the Russians lack in natural waterways, will be made up for with a hugely improved rail infrastructure. This will be expensive, yet no more expensive than what the US must pony up (an estimated $33-billion. Stratfor), to rejuvenate its own waterways and associated infrastructure.
The Chinese (CCP) know that they, too, will have to do better, to avoid an inevitable return to a 1920s' Era of the Warlords situation. With a relocation of Chinese rurals into the 'Ghost Cities' in concert with the announcement of economic reforms that include a presence in London's financial district (announced by Chancellor George Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron), it is possible that the rot may be sufficiently impeded.
With regard to the US: The political temper of the American people is becoming ever more fractious, and they will not for much longer, tolerate the present trajectory of political developments. Also, the political temper of the US' key NATO allies, is wearing dangerously thin enough, for them to tell the US where to get off.
The technology behind Space-based solar power (SBSP) is viable. Unfortunately, until the lift technology for personnel and equipment gets beyond that of a self-propelled artillery shell, which, in spite of Space X's best efforts, so far, is a highly unlikely proposition via which to do an end run around the problem of electricity generation. Yes, technology does improve. Even so, the rifle of today shoots no farther than the rifle of 1776. And battery technology for high powered electric mobility, is still very inadequate.