As STRATFOR enters its 15th year, we are honored to begin participating in the discussions and dialog that USNI’s blog facilitates. Dr. George Friedman, our founder and CEO and a friend of Tom Wilkerson, was inspired to create STRATFOR in part by the work that USNI has been doing for so long.

What STRATFOR does is approach international affairs, information and analysis through an intelligence paradigm rather than, say, a journalistic one. Our analysis is grounded in geopolitics and for the most part seeks to avoid the proscriptive or normative. Instead we analyze the political, economic, military and geographic limitations on the range of actions available to individuals, organizations and countries around the world. With empathetic analysis we examine the motivations and calculations of world leaders, using both the open source and our own network of contacts around the world. Our objective is to identify the key drivers and defining trends of the international system to not only place developments in context, but to forecast what we expect to happen next for our audience of individual subscribers, the private sector, government, military and the intelligence community.

At STRATFOR, everything we write is collaborative and integrated. For this reason, directing military analysis at STRATFOR in both particularly enlightening and particularly challenging. Just as an adversary must be judged both by his capabilities and his intentions, our military assessments both inform and are informed by relevant political, geopolitical and economic analysis.

My involvement with USNI’s blog is an exciting opportunity for me for two reasons. First, I look forward to figuring out just where and how STRATFOR’s worldview can support, expand and enrich the depth and sophistication of an already rich dialog. Second, and more personally, USNI’s blog offers me an opportunity to examine and reflect — and in some cases even express opinions — on matters that, while fascinating, may not fit with STRATFOR’s publishing criteria and requirements for objectivity.

But I must conclude on a more somber note. On Dec. 21, Colonel Ronald A. Duchin, U.S. Army (Ret) passed suddenly and unexpectedly. His loss first and foremost belongs to his family. The U.S. Army and all American Special Forces and Special Operations Forces that followed have a claim to that loss as well. And it is with a solemn pride that STRATFOR also feels the loss of one of its own. As someone who had the honor to know him not only personally but as a mentor, I humbly dedicate my writing here — writing he helped make possible — to his memory.




Posted by nhughes in Foreign Policy


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  • Matt Yankee

    I’ve been pretty happy with Stratfor myself. Although I do believe they miss the mark on the scope of the Mexico problem because they look at it more like a crime problem that should be left to Mexicans instead of a failed state problem which is seperated from our own country by very little fence and small numbers of ill-equiped border patrol and kept that way despite vocal warnings, for political reasons, for far too long. The family of the latest border patrol agent killed in the line of duty said as much to the Homeland Security Secretary (she views it the same way as Stratfor) in person.

    And then the icing on the cake is that the govt. officials who mistate and underestimate the problem try to demand the 2nd amendment rights of law abiding citizens on this side of the border be reduced because problems in Mexico which they refuse to confront directly.

    Sorry if this got a bit off topic but Stratfor is based in Port Lavaca, Texas and I believe all Texans have a special duty to protect our borders. They should be at the forefront of ripping the Fed. Govt. for their refusal to guard the border meaningfully.

    All in all very informative and a very useful source for “above the tearline” news and information.

  • http://www.stratfor.com nhughes

    Matt,

    We appreciate the vote of confidence. We’re very proud of having been out front on the deteriorating situation in Mexico (and we’re actually getting close to rolling out a more extensive, corporate product focused specifically on Mexico), and we continue to watch it closely.

    We were actually one of the first to raise the question of whether or not Mexico is a failed state in our founder, George Friedman’s Geopolitical Weekly in 2008. We revisited the issue more recently in 2010, and concluded that the situation was more complex, and that drugs may actually have a stabilizing influence in Mexico.

    We are indeed based in Texas, but in Austin not Port Lavaca.

    We very much appreciate your readership.

    Cheers,

    Nate

  • Andy (JADAA)

    Nate, as a Life Member of the Institute and long-time StratFor subscriber, just let me add my welcome. The commentariat here brook little slack and boy, oh boy, are certainly not shy! Looking forward to your additional points of view on matters germane to all the sea services.

  • Matt Yankee

    Nate,

    “and concluded that the situation was more complex, and that drugs may actually have a stabilizing influence in Mexico.”

    Oh yes, Mexico is becoming more and more stable as the cartels profit.

    Cheers to you, OH wise one.

  • Matt Yankee

    More bullets flying across the “irrelevant border”. This from the El Paso Times…http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_17087113?source=most_viewed

    “If these reports are true, it is yet another incident of border violence and spillover,” Cesinger said. “It goes back for the need for the federal government to provide more resources to the border, which is certainly feeling the effects of the escalating violence in Mexico.”

    The shots from across the border angered U.S. Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco, R-Texas, who represents the area.

    “It is completely unacceptable that Americans at work, doing their job in America, come under gunfire from across the border in Mexico,” Canseco said in a statement. “Our border is not secure from violence that threatens American lives. Securing our border against the cartels and their violent threat must be a top priority.”

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