“The study of geopolitics tries to identify those things that are eternal, those things that are of long duration and those things that are transitory.” These are the opening lines of Stratfor’s new report, Geopolitical Basics (available for purchase at the StratStore), and the start of a thorough introduction to both Stratfor’s methodology and how geopolitical analysis and intelligence differ from journalism.
Stratfor’s core philosophy – that transformative world events are not random, but predictable – is built around this concept of geopolitical analysis. Analysts explore how geography and other forces constrain and shape both people and nations. A clear understanding of those constraints and motivations combined with information and insights from Stratfor’s global intelligence network allow analysts to predict actions and behaviors.
For example, consider North Korea – which is often described as particularly unpredictable. As Stratfor Vice President of Asia Pacific Analysis Rodger Baker explains in this video, a clear understanding of North Korea’s history and geographic challenges offers a much clearer perspective on its current political course and contention over nuclear weapons with the West.
Geopolitical analysis isn’t simply a matter of history and geography, though. As readers will learn in Geopolitical Basics, it also allows the globally informed to determine when these existing patterns will yield to new ones.