Stratfor's methodology begins with a framework for understanding the world and applies methods of gathering and analyzing information. The combination allows us to produce dispassionate, accurate and actionable insight for our clients and subscribers.
We study the way in which geography and other forces constrain and shape people and nations. By analyzing the forces that affect world leaders, we can understand and often predict their actions and behaviors, which are far more limited than they might otherwise appear. While the media concentrates on the subjective desires of leaders voiced at press conferences, Stratfor concentrates on the various constraints upon their behavior — geographical, political, economic — that are concrete but never admitted to publicly. Geopolitics allows us to place an event or action within a larger framework so that we can determine its potential significance, as well as identify connections among seemingly disparate trends.
Reports that showcase our geopolitical framework:
- Love of One's Own and the Importance of Place
- The Geopolitics of the United States: The Inevitable Empire
- The Geopolitics of China: A Great Power Enclosed
The Intelligence Process
Intelligence means three things to us. First, it is our method for gathering and processing information, which includes open-source publications in countries and languages all over the world and a large network of contacts.
Second, intelligence is how we critically examine and evaluate the context and predictive value of information, and it is how we connect our higher-level, strategic geopolitical framework to current events and breaking developments. We do not simply report what other articles or contacts say; rather, we evaluate their information for bias, agenda and context and only pass on what we find important and credible.
Third, we maintain a disciplined methodology and net assessments oriented toward forecasting — explaining not only why something has happened but also what will happen next.
Intelligence and geopolitics are thus in constant interaction.
We seek to understand a country and its leaders in their own right, without bias or agenda. We maintain a fresh perspective and continually challenge preconceived notions. Because of this approach, we frequently depart from the conventional wisdom of the Western media. To reinforce this discipline, we have set up deliberate intellectual tensions to maintain a healthy level of interaction and rigorous debate among our entire team, so that no assumption or piece of information goes unchallenged.
Reports that showcase empathetic analysis: