Recently, a talk by Stratfor's chairman George Friedman at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs attracted some attention in my homeland Germany, among other things because it appears he frankly supports suspicions that within German media and politics would immediately be dubbed conspiracy theories. To get some background for assessing his interpretations of geopolitics, my question is: How respected is George Friedman in US-american geopolitical circles? Are his claims and interpretations usually taken seriously? Since he runs an intelligence company, one could expect his earnings depend crucially on how respected he is. On the other hand, maybe it's also lucrative to sometimes overstep the bounds of reputable political analysis, just to gain some publicity.
After all this discussion, it is worth answering the question decisively.
George Friedman is an academic, who runs a side business providing popular commentary on International Relations. He has a PhD and is very much a part of the U.S. national security commentariat, and relatively well respected although, obviously, not everyone agrees with him. Because he does dedicate a certain amount of time to popular writing and lives outside of Washington, D.C. he is not nearly as influential as many people might think, but he is absolutely not a crock.
That said, his assertion that a core interest of the U.S. is to prevent the emergence of a Eurasian hegemon, through the unification of Russia with Germany is uncontroversial in the U.S. Furthermore, preventing such a unification is also a core interest of Britain, France and essentially every European or Asian country as well.
In fact, whether one is a realist with geopolitical leanings--which Friedman is--or a liberal, there is a strong case to ensure that neither Germany nor Russia dominate the other. From a realist perspective, were one country be able to marshal the forces of all or most of continental Europe, it is the only extant political situation that could legitimately threaten the U.S.'s national security (without using nuclear weapons). From a liberal perspective, the only way that either Germany of Russia could dominate the other would be through a collapse of domestic liberal democratic mechanisms which serve as safeguards against threats to other democratic countries. Either way, it is in the U.S.' national interest that neither Germany nor Russia come to dominate the other.
Perhaps most importantly, this is not at all controversial among German scholars and the German National Security establishment either, as it is the direct basis for the high degree of confidence in U.S. security guarantees to Germany. Because Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and Germany has been a good global citizen and a valuable partner, the U.S. need not fear that Germany will ever dominate Russia--and I am certain that Friedman had no intention of implying so. Therefore, Germany can rest completely assured that the U.S. will defend it against Russia because the only possible threat to U.S. national security comes from Russian domination of Germany, which neither the U.S. nor Germany wants.