Technology and Geopolitics

If you’ve got time for a long read today, you should certainly sit down in a comfortable chair and ruminate your way through Forbes’ reprint of a deep dive into how technology is changing the world of Geopolitics, originally published by the private security company Stratfor on their own website.

I used to read Stratfor regularly in the days after 9/11--they opened up their customarily subscription site for free, they offered a cool global Realpolitik view of the world that seemed like a secret back door to the US intelligence system, like they had friends in high places.

As it turned out, they did! Wikileaks dropped a slew of Stratfor emails years back, showing some shady connections to CIA and elsewhere.

But, if they're so well-connected, that just makes analysis from their people all the more interesting and worth reading!. They say: the future looks more like recent sci-fi than ever. As the pace of technological change continues to accelerate,

“Advances in areas such as nanotechnology and materials science, smart factories, additive manufacturing, autonomous cars, gene-editing techniques, and battery technology stand to alter life on Earth, not only for individuals but also for the nations they inhabit. The world’s countries will experience the radical transformation that disruptive technologies bring at different times and to different extents, some more favorably than others. But technological development and diffusion do not happen at random; geopolitical factors play a determining role in the process. Recognizing which countries are best situated to take advantage of emerging technologies can help us understand what the geopolitical order will look like two decades from now.”

Stratfor then gives a very clear-eyed rundown of the battle to control the globe in an age of revolutionary technological and societal change. Who emerges on top? Why, that would be telling and we want you to read the article!