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Tablet Magazine asked me for a profile of Stratfor’s George Friedman, the great impresario of private intelligence; it appears in today’s issue. I haven’t had so much fun, as the Continental Op said, since the hogs ate my kid brother.

Here’s the conclusion:

Stratfor’s entrepreneurial success sheds valuable light on the failures of U.S. foreign policy. Americans really are incurious about the rest of the world; they do not learn foreign languages, absorb other cultures, or think much about world history. It was Barack Obama, our shining model of the intellectual as public servant, who recently told a Viennese audience that he did not know how to communicate in “Austrian.” American officials can absorb only so much information about the rest of the world, and we forgive our own dire ignorance with startling alacrity. The nuggets of McStrategy beamed to Stratfor subscribers really do resemble the briefings that senior officials get. And that explains a lot.



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