I recently finished reading America’s Secret War: inside the hidden worldwide struggle between the United States and its enemies, George Friedman’s book on the war on terror as George Bush calls the fight against Al Qaeda. The book is interesting for a number of reasons. It discusses the war in a dispassionate manner, it slices rather more neatly than the media has ever been able to splitting the facts and propaganda from each other. Most importantly, in my mind it highlights a war that was not about oil or weapons of mass destruction, but a very expensive ‘Kirby Cleaner’ pitch. Years ago in an effort to make money, I considered selling these overpriced vacuum cleaners (even more overpriced than a Dyson). Anyway a key part of the sales person from Kirby is when they do a demonstration with a machine and show you what it is capable of (think HSN or QVC-type demos in your own living room).
According to Friedman, the invasion of Iraq was part of an effort by the Americans to persuade the Saudi’s to get serious on terrorism. A demonstration of regime change through ‘shock and awe’ to show what happens to rogue regimes.
George Friedman is a respected and very credible geopolitical pundit and heads up Stratfor.
Who is Stratfor?
Stratfor is an organisation which provides analysis of global and regional political and socio-economic issues to companies, organisations and government agencies. It has a client base made up of a wide range of blue-chip companies including the usual suspects in the energy sector, defence contractors, management consultancies and the media.