Geopolitical Breakdown

Spinning Plates
“A Hot War in Cold Places”
Intelligence Failures
New York and Oh, Canada!

I’m writing you from Cape Town, South Africa, where I’ve been warmly welcomed and reminded how much I enjoy international travel (well, except for jet lag!). Our world has so many wonders most people never get to experience. Of course, “there’s no place like home,” but seeing other places makes me happy, too.

Yet this same variety and diversity also means clashes and risk. Every country has its own interests, which of course its government must defend. The fact that the whole world isn’t at constant, open warfare is one of the modern era’s greatest achievements. We don’t want to lose it… yet we could. That fate is closer than many think.

Writing complete letters while traveling is difficult, made worse by jet lag, so today I’m going to share some thoughts on geopolitics from some of our Strategic Investment Conference faculty. I think you’ll find it fascinating and, if you like it, I hope you’ll join us next year for more.

With that, let’s get started.

Spinning Plates

I’ll begin with our SIC headliner, retired General David Petraeus, who was also CIA director under President Obama and is now an executive at KKR. He’s been around the world, so to speak, more than anyone.

General Petraeus had some very interesting thoughts at SIC—so interesting, in fact, I can’t share them here. He agreed to speak only under contractual terms that restrict us from sharing his comments. I can, however, quote from an interview he did with my partner Ed D’Agostino after Hamas attacked Israel. I think this is a good place to start as he describes why geopolitical risk is so hard to escape.

Ed began by asking General Petraeus to comment on remarks from Jamie Dimon and Ray Dalio, who were both very concerned about the Hamas attacks spreading into a larger conflict. What did that mean for a US-led world order?