Thursday, November 06, 2008

STRATFOR weighs in

For those Gentle Readers who may not have heard of Strategic Forecasting, it is the private intelligence agency based in Austin, Texas once referred to by Barron's Magazine as "The Shadow CIA".

Very canny folks, they are courted by international government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.

They are good about publishing free intelligence reports, and one such details the geo-political problems facing President-elect Obama.

Good, thorough intelligence. If you want a solid analysis -- rather than the pablum pandered by the Main Stream Media -- you would be well-served by reading their report.

LawDog

28 comments:

shooter said...

Wow! That clears things up immensely. I think anyone who wants or needs a better understanding of things to come should check in on STRATFOR from time to time. Thanks Dawg.

Jean Poole said...

Dang it's been a long time since I visited Stratfor! Back in the day when Joe "Paschal Bomber" Biden was helping set up a forward Al Qaeda base and I was tangentally sleeping with the enemy and routing tents and crappers to icon desecrators.

A long lost bookmark I re-bookmarked. Thanx. It bears watching now more than ever.

Rogue Medic said...

They do provide a great perspective on what goes on in the world.

Zundfolge said...

One thing Stratfor didn't take into account is the typical hubris of the left, which is exponentially greater in Obama than any Democrat in recent memory (even Clinton).

I believe that Obama believes he has just been elected king, not president.

I still suspect the first major policy agenda of the Obama administration will be to strangle his opposition with the Fairness Doctrine and a bunch of investigations and prosecutions of his political enemies (this is why Powell turned Benedict Arnold ... he's trying to avoid the Obama Administrations war crimes tribunals for Bush Admin officials).

I don't believe Obama believes he has to "build his base", he just needs to "crush his opposition". And its going to take more than a year before the MSM turns on him (if they do at all) because they don't want to admit they were wrong.

JPG said...

Outstanding post, 'Dog Like most of your regular readers, I come here mainly for the entertainment and your pithy observations. This one reminds us that you often furnish good, hard information that should be studied and digested for a better understanding of the world around us.

The STRATFOR article you reference is certainly the most penetrating and objective analysis of the near-term geopolitical situation I've read. I'll probably profit from re-reading it a couple of times.

If nothing else, this article may give hope to those who predict dire consequences to our nation as a result of the Obama presidency. At least, with all the foreign problems on his plate, the dreaded domestic changes may be delayed and/or diluted.

The situation is what it is. As a loyal American, I pray that the next four years will have a positive international effect.

And, yes, I've already bookmarked the STRATFOR site. Thanks for the link.
JPG

TBeck said...

Good stuff. Obama is like the dog that caught the car. Now what does he do?

As grim as the international scene is, the domestic scene might be even worse. We're already seeing job loss numbers to rival the 1982 recession and things haven't even finished heating up.

Businesses are cutting back in the face of unknown federal mandates and increased taxes. Consumers are cutting back in the face of a deep and possibly prolonged recession.

The same rust-belt voters that gave Barry the Oval Office will be among the most directly affected. GM and Chrysler are on the brink of insolvency and even a merger or a bailout will mean tens of thousands of job cuts for those firms alone plus many more in the companies that sell to them.

The only way to get out of this is an immediate tax reform and pro-business legislation. We know that will never happen with this government.

Congressional Democrats will fiddle while America burns and Barry will be powerless to fix things apart from giving pretty speeches.

If we're lucky, he will suddenly display a heretofore unseen iron will and JFK-like resolve. But I'm not counting on it. I'm betting that Congress will eat his lunch.

Nathan said...

I listen to them every week on 590 locally (Austin).

Anonymous said...

Just remember, what we have here is white people who voted for Obama to prove they aren't racial, black people who voted for him to prove that they are.
This is the same mentality that re-elected New Orleans' mayor after his behavior before, during, and after Katrina.
All they see is blackness and the possibility of a free ride. They aren't going to turn on Obama, they're going to turn on us.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, what got C Ray Nagin elected was not whites trying to show that they weren't racist. What happened was one of the most peculiar political coallitions of all time.

Conservative Republicans and some Democrats allied with a group of racist blacks. The conservatives wanted no part of Mitch Landrieu because he was Mary's brother and the blacks wanted no part of him because he was white.

Landrieu got all of the moderate and liberal white vote and all of the moderate and some liberal black vote.

LD thanks for the link to this very insightful post.

Anonymous said...

Learn to read. That's not precisely what I said; I said it was the same mentality, which is color-based. C. Ray Nagin was re-elected, no matter by whom, despite what was reported as some pretty dirty dealings, because he was black, not because of what he stood for-or didn't stand for, as it were.

Paul said...

"If nothing else, this article may give hope to those who predict dire consequences to our nation as a result of the Obama presidency. At least, with all the foreign problems on his plate, the dreaded domestic changes may be delayed and/or diluted."

What worries me is that if the nation is distracted with X problem overseas, the domestic crap (like gun control, tax increases, eliminating drilling, etc., etc. will sail through without anyone even noticing. That type of distraction is EXACTLY what the extremists on his staff and in Congress are probably drooling over (and, tin-foil hat on, possibly planning).

Anonymous said...

Stratfor began as Strategic Forecasting, Inc. The bossman was a political science prof at Tulane. He's put together a pretty savvy bunch of folks. Sort of an objective CIA insofar as reading worldwide commentaries and using personal contacts for information.

I'd imagine that as their reputation grew, more personal contacts with insiders have developed.

Their introductory rates were more affordable than at present, but their free stuff is certainly head and shoulders above the MSM.

Art

Anonymous said...

Have you ever wondered why most geopolitical prognosticators aren't any more accurate than the local weatherman ? How successful would Bobby Fisher be in a match against deep blue if he could only see 25% of the board ? There is no way we can predict future events with any degree of fidelity when we don't even have a grasp on the factors that put us where we are today. At least 75% of the forces that drive world events are invisible to the proletariat. StratFor is almost as arrogant as the scientists who claim that Darwin's theory on evolution is fact when they haven't yet been able to develop a bulletproof model of the material world's basic building blocks.

If StratFor ever does produce any worthwhile insight into world affairs ----- well, that's the end of StratFor.

masterfrederick said...

What we really have here are racists on both sides of the popular vote, people. Blacks voting because Obama is black, Whites voting against him because he's black, and then there'e the rest of the voters-- The ones exhausted from living with the damage done by the latest republican president. Has anyone used their memory of late? EVERY time we've had a republican in office (at least in my lifetime) our economy has gone to hell (both from faulty economic practices and increased frivolous spending)and we've gone to war at least once during each of their terms (which also has a negative impact on our economy). The only repair work done on the economy and foreign relations has been done by the Democrats (of which we have had far too few, IMHO). When you look at it side by side, you had two choices: Bush Light (same President, less range of motion) and Someone, ANYONE different.

Paul-Michael Bauer said...

I so wish I could plunk down the 350/annual to get all their articles. That was tremendously good analysis.

Thanks so much for sharing the STRATFOR article.

Joe said...

The problem is that Stratfor believes Obama is a rational actor desiring rational results. I have no such belief.

Anonymous said...

Stratfor doesn't prognosticate. They analyze and then offer options and alternatives which might be likely, given past behaviors or in response to political/economic pressures.

masterfrederick, you're using way too short a timeframe in casting blame. For instance, LBJ's guns'n'butter policy led to the inflation of the Carter era; it too was coupled to low fed rates and loose money--just like today.

Volcker began raising the fed rate during Carter's stagflation period, but it didn't fully take hold until Reagan's first year. After that, we had pretty much uninterrupted boom but for the white-collar recession late in Bush I's reign. Even that was made mild by lowering the fed rate.

Loose money and tax law gave us the financial behavior during the dot-com bubble.

This present debacle is traced directly to Congress, with Carter's Reconstruction Finance Act to force banks to make home loans to people who couldn't afford them. This was exacerbated during Clinton, when Fannie Mae was enabled to buy this worthless paper--thanks to Barney Frank and ACORN, et al. Again, uber-low fed rates and loose money. Bush II had little to do with it, really; nor Republicans, particularly. Call it bi-partisan stupidity.

Congress rarely if ever does anything to help the economy, long-term; mostly, harm.

And so I'm seriously scared by what's going on. Obama's ideas if carried out due to his advisor's advice (Y'know, the folks who directly contributed to this mess.) will exacerbate this deepening recession.

I consider a socialist belief system to be far more of a religious-style faith than anywhere near rationality. Within that statist, elitist arrogant belief system, his actions are logical. Just by my standards, irrational.

Art

Anonymous said...

You know, I was out at our local bistro yesterday when Obama gave his speech. They turned the t.v. up and everyone watched. Even the farm and oil field hands were asking if anyone ever actually LISTENED to what he was saying. They can't understand why anyone who did would vote for him.
STRATFOR is an excellent analysis, but they are thinking logically.
This creature is a good orator who appeals to the mob on an hysterical level I haven't seen since Adolf Hitler; there's no logic in what he says, just hypnotic ranting.
It seems we've elected a pair of people who assume that the Presidency gives them the rights of a king and queen. We are going to pay a heavy price for this and will be lucky if we get by it without 'civil disobedience' and a lot of bloodshed, not to mention the spectacular crash of a nation.
LawMom

crankylitprof said...

I'd agree with LawMom, and add that a lot of people who voted for him were/are looking for such action.

There are a LOT of Obama voters in Philly who are looking for "payback," and most of them are convinced they're going to get it by judicial/Presidential fiat.

I am extremely leery of the next two to four years.

Anonymous said...

As I have said before, I do not subscribe to ancestral guilt, and I'm not going to apologize for something I didn't do, nor pay for it without considerable force being brought to bear-which seems to be the way we're headed.
For the first time, I regret that the Dog is in law enforcment, because I think, with federal interference, it's going to be very, very difficult to enforce the law in a fair and equal manner-if at all in some cases, and Dog is nothing if not a fair and equal LEO.
This is unfortunate, as I have known some exceptional people in my travels.
Sir Seretse Khama was a truly great man.
The late King of the Okpe people brought his people forward toward the 20th century at their own speed, with understanding, tolerance, and compassion, and was one of the wisest men I have ever known.
Dr. Lawrence Ononye, trained at Guy's Hospital, was a fine physician, who returned to his people and treated all colors without distinguishing between them.
Dr. Oge was an exceptional jurist, and took on my teaching without a blink that I am both female and white (mostly).
Our city bailiff and his wife are wonderful, community-minded people and if I needed help, they would probably be the first I'd call. And they'd come running.
Miss Jewel, the doyenne of grand ladies here, is a total treasure, and you'd be hard pressed to find something all the townspeople wouldn't do for her.
Chappie James was the first person I ever heard say, First I am an American, second I am an officer in the United States Air Force, third I am a black man-in that order. He was genuinely an officer and a gentleman.
These people are African and American: not both. They have been proud to be either: not both.
When someone starts hyphenating who they are, they are asking to be discriminated for or against, not to be equal.
Obama is none of the things the above-mentioned people are. He is, to me, an insult and a disgrace to both.
I expect Osama is rubbing his hands in glee; he couldn't have planned our destruction better-or could he?
Just remember, our next civil war won't be like the last one was: it will have the interference and participation of the world. They will be waiting to take advantage of our weakness and take over-then we may ALL be enslaved. We are going to be shooting at each other if we're not very, very careful. Added to this, we are no longer an aggrarian people: when our supplies are cut off, it won't matter what color we are; many of us simply won't survive because we aren't equipped to.
Unless Congress stops being enamoured of Obama, this is a definite possibility.
Welcome to a thinking person's 4 am. nightmare.
LawMom

bogie said...

Cry "Havoc," and let loose the mediocrity of millions...

I suspect that a US Civil War II would be over fairly rapidly, since it is basically boiling down to "blue cities" vs. "red counties."

Cut off food and supplies to the blue cities, and they'll self-destruct within days. Think "Hurricane Katrina" but without the humidity.

Gonna be interesting when the goobermint orders the army to confiscate goods to feed the cities...

alcibiades said...

Anonymous 9:15,

Ray Nagin was re-elected because Mitch Landrieu comes from the most corrupt family in the most corrupt state in the Union. Ray Nagin may be a lot of things, but he is not corrupt. (Or at least, far less corrupt than Landrieu.) The New Orleans businessmen didn't want to deal with Mitch.

(Mitch was actually downgrading from Lt. Governor to Mayor just for the opportunities for corruption.)

Word verification: yoplesse

Tommy Paine IX said...

Hopefully, Bogie, it won't come down to that. For the next two years until the midterms, we need to keep pressure on the Blue Dogs and the Republicans to make sure none of the radical crud that Obama, Pelosi, & Reid will propose will actually get passed. When the Midterms elections come in 2010, we need to make sure that any who did support those measures aren't re-elected. Hang the failures of those policies they've enacted around their necks like an albatross. We won't be able to get the Republican base out in the general election if a RINO gets picked in the primary, so support the heck out of actual Conservatives in the primary.

LauraB said...

Stratfor started off rather quietly and is now quite the connected, respected group. Always enjoyed their stuff though the price went toward that of Janes...

Bogie, Lawmom, I'm afraid I share your sentiments. It may well be he manages to do little enough damage and we all surface in 2012 with our own hopes for change.

But my fear is great that we will be in dire circumstances before that day.

Anonymous said...

C. Ray Nagin isn't corrupt? Have you seen the mansion he bought in Ft. Worth, Texas right in the middle of Katrina when all the people of New Orleans were suffering horribly?
Not corrupt? LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!
Joke of the day, right?

Hans said...

I sent this on to the rest of my (lefty) family. My uncle said it sounded like it was written by "Embittered Republicans". *sigh* Some people you just can't reach...

Anonymous said...

Unless Obama has something up his sleeve, his inexperience and agenda will undermine his ability to lead within a year. His followers will feel betrayed; his opponents will use his incompetence against him. Allies will hesitate to commit, and foreign enemies will do everything they can to harm the United States.

I wonder if Obama realizes what he stepped in?

Mark said...

Dog, old soak I've been reading STRATFOR on a an at-least weekly basis for years. It's an essential part of what I call "Informed Opinion Formation", which I think is important for any adult to do.