The Next Decade, by George Friedman, is primarily about the United States' relationships with other countries. The book also discusses the paradox of "the empire and the republic", and addresses some demographic, technological, and economic issues, primarily those that will affect the 2010s.
The main theme of the book is how the American administrations of the next ten years will need to create regional power balances, some of which have been disturbed. Friedman conceptualizes America's successful management of world affairs not by directly enforcing countries, but by creating competing relationships, which offset one another, in the world's different regions. For example, in the past, Iraq balanced Iran, and currently Japan balances China. Friedman asserts this is the decade where the US as a power must mature to manage its power and balance as an unintended empire and republic.