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On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.

Re: Fwd: Labor Day Review of Where We Are

Released on 2012-02-27 00:00 GMT

Email-ID 2312421
Date 2011-09-07 15:42:45
hey. thanks. yeah... i read this. kind of amazing. i fully intend to stage
a hostile takeover over of the board with james brown after morenz gets
tased by fred in a dark stairwell.

but... really, thanks for looking out for us. i can say without feeling
like a suckup that i'm glad to be here regardless of pay, even if my
mother-in-law called me "an unpaid apprentice."

kindest regards,
phillip d. orchard

word apprentice
geography enthusiast
university of texas at austin bachelors of science of journalism of class
of 2005
rose bowl sideline stander

On 9/6/11 7:41 PM, Brad Foster wrote:

Hey you two, don't know if you saw this, but potentially, this is good
news for you. Our CEO is basically saying we need to hire more people,
including in the publishing side (the side you're on). Look at the parts
I highlighted below. I know ya'll want a job, and although there are
never any guarantees, it is looking pretty good for yall if you work
hard as an intern this semester and make good friends with Maverick and
Jenna (which is pretty damn easy, just be a nice, fun person and a
diligent worker.) I am not the smartest cat in the sandbox, but I showed
up as an intern everyday and showed eagerness to learn and to work, and
I got rewarded for it. Just don't want ya'll to be discouraged by the
lack of pay (my offer to take yall interns out for lunch sometime still
stands, you deserve more appreciation) at the moment, even though it's
annoying. Everyone started where you were at at some point. That is how
the process works.
*I never sent you this email. Don't mention it*
BTW, heres the long version of my signature for your entertainment:
Brad Foster
Africa Monitor
Operations Center Officer


From: "George Friedman"
To: "allstratfor"
Sent: Monday, September 5, 2011 2:55:16 PM
Subject: Labor Day Review of Where We Are


I hope you've all had a great Labor Day Weekend. This Labor Day marks a
turning point in Stratfor's history, and I wanted to share my thoughts
with you and some plans. It used to be, not so long ago, that we were so
small that information flowed to all hands by itself. It is hard for me
to recognize sometimes that this is no longer true, so I will provide an
extensive review of where we are and what is coming. Some of this will
be old hat to some of you; some of this will be new. This is an attempt
to start getting everyone on the same page.

Historically, Stratfor was unique in a number of ways. First, we
accepted no advertising. Second, we charged for our subscriptions.
Finally, we were revenue driven. We build the company from our
revenues. This kept us independent, it kept us free to experiment-and
at times fail, it kept us tight. We were reaching a point where we our
revenues did not keep up with our needs and market opportunities.

Shea Morenz provided us with two opportunities. First, he made an
investment in Stratfor designed to give us the capital needed to build
our staff and our marketing. Second, he proposed a new venture,
StratCap, which would allow us to utilize the intelligence we were
gathering about the world in a new but related venue-an investment fund.
Where we had previously advised other hedge funds. We would now have our
own, itself fully funded by Shea. Shea invested over $2 million in
Stratfor and more in StratCap. In return he took a seat on Stratfor's
board and a minority position in Stratfor, whose control remains in
Don's and my hands. It was a good deal for Stratfor, a good deal for
StratCap, and since the deal closed officially on August 1, we now have
the task of doing what we all want-building Stratfor and StratCap.

Our cash position is not spectacular by any means, but we have the
resources to build the kind of company we want, when that investment is
combined with our revenues. With cash under control we need to address
the next problem-people. We all are doing more than our share to keep
things going. In some ways that good but it can be overdone, and we are
overdoing it throughout the company. Our job now is to expand the
team. Money is one element of that, but relieving the pressure we are
under in a way increases the pressure, because we have to recruit and
train new people. So it gets harder before it gets easier, and that's
the point we are at.

Let's divide our departments into two groups. There are those
departments that must train their own people, particularly in
intelligence beyond the normal training needed by new employees. We do
that because no one thinks of the world like Stratfor, and that means
that we can't hire people from other organizations, or at least not
without a major training programming, which in our experience lasts up
to two years. Then there are departments that don't have this burden
and that can hire people readily from other organizations. Both groups
of departments must grow and train, but the burden of training is much
heavier in the Intelligence departments that train their staff from the
bottom up than on other departments. It is important for everyone to
understand this distinction. It is not that people in Intelligence are
more important or more valuable than those in other departments. It
just means they face different problems in growing and that if they
don't grow, other things can't happen.

Now let's consider the tasks ahead. First and foremost-and always first
and foremost-we must be the world's leading private intelligence
organization (and one of the finest intelligence organizations, period)
and we must sell our intelligence through publishing. Our current staff
has done an outstanding job, but they are thin and sometimes we are
weak. We must do better in economics, and we must make certain that no
AOR depends on only one person. There are lots of things that are

Second, we are committed to supporting StratCap, a private fund that
will begin operations some time this coming spring. What StratCap will
do is use our Stratfor's intelligence and analysis to trade in a range
of geopolitical instruments, particularly government bonds, currency and
the like in the world's emerging markets. Shea Morenz initiated this
idea and leads it. At the root of StratCap is a simple idea: Stratfor
should put its money where its mouth is. It does not conflict with
Stratfor, but is an extension of it.

Do not think of StratCap as an outside organization. It will be
integral to Stratfor, in the sense that much of the intelligence we are
developing is useful to Stratcap as well as Stratfor. The
organizational and legal distinctions are real and important, but
StratCap is linked to Stratfor intellectually and contractually. It
will be useful to you if, for the sake of convenience, you think of it
as another aspect of Stratfor and Shea as another executive in

Let me also add that it is our commitment that all our team will benefit
if StratCap is successful through some mechanism to be defined. This
isn't an attempt to get you to work harder for the same money. But that
discussion must wait until the legal and administrative relationships of
StratCap and its relation to Stratfor are worked out and reviewed by
something called "compliance officers," people who make certain that we
do not violate any regulations.

From that point of view, StratCap is something under construction. You
can see Shea Morenz hammering away building it in the corner office he
took from Darryl. In the world of StratCap, corner offices are marketing
tools. This points to the fact that StratCap will be building its own
staff and they come from a different world from Stratfor with a
different culture. That said, we have a great deal to learn from
StratCap to strengthen Stratfor's understanding of economics and it has
much to learn from us. We are already working on mock portfolios and
trades, testing our skills. Kendra, Korena, Melissa, Jen, Peter,
Meredith and myself are all involved in this along with Shea and
Alfredo, a trader that makes us easy to understand compared to him. It's
going pretty well in fact, but supporting StratCap will be a cultural
and intellectual challenge. It's important now to recognize that it is
already here, growing and we will accommodate to it and it to us.

I want to emphasize is that there is neither a legal, intellectual nor
moral tension between Stratfor and StratCap. We will continue to
publish what we think is true. StratCap is interested in our broad
ideas but mostly in the obscure nuggets picked up by intelligence that
are usually of little interest to our general readers. My pledge to you
and our readers is that our publication will remain untouched by
StratCap-because they are merely different sides of the same coin,

We have also been asked to help the United States Marine Corps and other
government intelligence organizations to teach them how Stratfor does
what it does, and train them in becoming government Stratfors. We are
beginning this project by preparing a three-year forecast for the
Commandant of the Corps. This is a double honor for us. First, the
professional intelligence community is acknowledging us as being the
gold standard of intelligence. Second, we are being asked to use our
honest and unhedged views to support what is for Stratfor-an American
company-its homeland. Again, as with StratCap, there is no tension. We
will tell the U.S. government precisely what we tell our readers and we
think ourselves. Our first lesson to the government is that
intelligence organizations exist to make decision makers uncomfortable,
not to make them feel better about their decisions. I didn't come this
far to compromise on that.

Add to this that the fact that Turkish Chamber of Commerce (not its name
but close enough; its name is TUSIAD) asked us to preside over their
40th anniversary celebration, and that the Turkish Foreign Minister and
Energy Minister will speak at the event, and you can see both our global
recognition and our commitment to speak the same words to every country.
We can serve the world from the same platform.

So think about it. We have three triumphs. First, our publication is
now read by almost 300,000 people (counting our corporate accounts). We
are a major force around the world. Second, Shea-a guy who has played
with the big boys at Goldman Sachs, asked us to play in the majors with
him. Third, the USMC has asked for our help, and with them others in
the defense community. These are three validations of us that are
precious to me.

Obviously, there is no way in the world that we can do all these
things-plus the endless little projects that we must do all the
time-with the staff we have. And given that we take two years to train
new analysts, and all of this is on us now-we have an urgent problem.
We can't punt opportunities at hand and continue at our current size.
Nor can we easily expand. So we will therefore expand with difficulty.
There is no choice. Our Analyst Development Program is the means where
we train people and find new analysts as well as find some staff for
publishing (watch officers, monitors, operations center and writers all
under Jenna Colley). We will have the largest group of ADPs ever this
fall, starting next week. About 13 people at last count will be joining
us. This is a huge percentage of the number of analysts on staff.
Ideally all will work out well and our crisis will be over. That's
unlikely but our crisis will be mitigated by January 1. Doing this will
put a huge burden on Intelligence, who must do their work and also train
these people, but there is no choice. This is the year when we break
out. I promise to work side by side with the team in training and
growing he organization. I also promise that if we succeed, we will
become one of the most significant and prestigious foreign policy
publications in the world-and those that made it happen will be known.
I know there are questions about by-lines. You know my hesitation, but
we will figure out together someway to make sure that the glory is

Intelligence is divided into three parts. There is Strategic
Intelligence (under Rodger assisted by Reva) that is organized
geographically. There is Tactical Intelligence (under Stick, assisted
by Nate Hughes) that is organized thematically-organized crime,
cyber-warfare, military, terrorism, security, financial flows, supply
chain and so on. There is then intelligence gathering, under Meredith,
assisted by Jen Richmond that is building sources from around the
world. All of them must grow dramatically. The first two will grow
mostly out of the ADP pool. The latter will be done by extensive work in
the field. But it is the Writers Group that is making the most
impressive evolution. Under Jenna (and Tim French and Maverick) it has
moved into the heart of intelligence, writing as well as editing.
Everyone should watch this team. They are pioneering things the world
hasn't seen yet. Along with Watch Officers, monitors and the operations
center, this unit is translating intelligence into product with
increasing effectiveness. It is now organizationally mature and ready
to both grow and sustain the growth of Intelligence.

This growth will put a tremendous strain on other departments. Leticia
has done a tremendous job in Human Resources, but the job has grown much
greater than she can possibly manage. Just the process of getting visas
for new ADPs is overwhelming, and at least half of these come from other
countries. We have selected an HR consulting firm to support her in the
coming months and other solutions will be found to sustain this. HR will
become more effective in the next months. In addition, we are retaining
a law firm to create a policy for Stratfor on Foreign Corrupt Practices
Act. I don't plan to do the perp walk and I don't want anyone here
doing it either. We need some clear guidelines on the law and are
getting them, particularly as we ramp our intelligence capability.
Similarly finance has kept us all going and similarly it has to expand,
although it is a shade less pressured than HR is.

IT faces a huge challenge. Traditional IT organizations focus on the
development of new capabilities for a company and sustaining complex
systems. At Stratfor, the focus must also be on sustaining basic systems
like phones, email, configuring and fixing laptops and cell phones and
so on-the basic tools that make our work possible and which are a
particular challenge in a global company operating 24-7. That gives our
IT department a different shape and tempo than exists in other
companies. With this class of ADPs, 24-7 will become very real. IT is
under pressure to maintain its focus on improving the web site and
corporate systems but has a special and intense mission of supporting a
growing, global company at the ground level, and the pressure is never
going to be greater than now with all the new people coming on board in
all departments. Creating an IT department that fits our peculiar needs
will be Frank's challenge.

I want to also point to two departments that are performing extremely
well. Customer Service at Stratfor is among the best in the business.
We daily get emails praising their work. John Gibbons has done an
amazing job keeping this going. More subscribers mean more customer
service of course.

Also to be mentioned is he on-line marketing team who has just done
something very impressive. There is usually a slump in subscriptions
after a Red Alert, and there was one, but in a matter of weeks they
pitched in and turned it around with some strange and wonderful
campaigns. They have broken their forecast in spite of a pretty quiet
world. Its amazing the kind of ads that work!

Let's turn to marketing and sales and the future. Our readership is now
about 5 percent of the Economist when we exclude corporate (not sure why
we exclude corporate but that's what we do). That means that we have
probably saturated a good part of the early adopters market-the early
adopters who love us and have built us-and put up with our weaknesses.
It's kind of like people who supported Apple in its dark days, putting
up with promising but not yet mature computers. If you haven't read,
"Crossing the Chasm," a rare business book that is actually helpful,
please take a look at it. It will explain much of what we are trying to
achieve in marketing.

We have no choice but to grow. If we stay this size someone larger,
with deep pockets will notice the market we have created and come in
after us. We won't be able to compete. The only protection is market
share, to be so dominant a force in the market that no one challenges us
and our own deep pockets. For this we must grow revenue and that means
readership. The place we must grow is in the mainstream. I don't mean
by mainstream CNN. I mean readers who are interested in what we have,
but aren't fanatics, groupies and wannabes. These people have higher
standards in production values, and less forgiveness for mistakes. They
don't buy the mystique. They buy the publication. That's where most of
our customers are and where we have to go.

Obviously this is one of the reasons we need more people. It is also
the reason we must deliver in new ways. Grant Perry and his team are
looking at ways to create a unique, Stratfor video culture. I see this
myself as consisting of much longer and serious conversations among
analysts moderated by an anchor, documentaries, briefings. Perhaps our
Sitreps should all be delivered via video and audio (there is I think
huge demand for audio products in cars, or so many people tell me). All
of this will evolve in unexpected directions under Grant, Colin, Brian,
Andrew and others who will join them. This is part of our own evolution
into the mainstream, on our own terms, with our own voice. What you see
above, by the way, are simply my own ideas, not fully thought out.
Whatever Grant and his team produce will be uniquely Stratfor.

Other than that we shall see. What markets we will enter, and how we
enter them is not yet known. We do know that the current Stratfor
product, however enhanced, will be our only offering. We will not be
developing new products for markets.

We have hired a consultant, Mark Stacey, who will guide this process.
We will also be bringing in a consulting firm to do survey research and
interviews to teach us more about our current readers, readers who won't
buy us, and readers who would buy us if they had heard of us. Our
choice was between hiring staff to give us a plan or hiring consultants
to give us a plan and then hiring permanent staff to execute it. The
latter is the safest-we avoid a staff without the skill to do what we
need whom instead craft a plan to do what they already know. In
addition to this initiative, we are participating in the University of
Texas Business School program where a team of graduate students will
essentially parallel the work of our outside consultants, giving us a
double check on the data.

The goal here is to have a marketing and sales plan in place for
execution on January 1. From where I sit, the biggest challenge we have
is that too many people have never heard of us. At a meeting I can
encounter someone who has subscribed for years and next to him is a
person in the same industry that has never heard of us. It is difficult
selling to people who have never heard of us. So our challenge-before
trying to sell to them-is to increase awareness of who we are. This is
called branding and it's different from selling. It is the precursor.
We will start with branding in January. That means there will be
marketing people around asking many questions in the coming months,
frequently the same ones. Please work with all of them. In the end, we
will have a plan with a high likelihood of success.

Parallel to all of this, the executives (without Don, Steve Feldhaus or
myself-the board members) are going through a planning process of their
own, coordinated by Frank Ginac. Not being on it (and not wanting to be
informed of what is going on as there should be yet another set of eyes
on things other than mine) I can't tell you what they are doing.
However, the deal we have on this is that as CEO, I will proceed with
implementing my own plans that I've outlined here, and will consider
their proposals when I see them. If the decision point is past when they
make their recommendation on a subject, the recommendation will not be
considered. If they come in with recommendations before decision
points, their recommendations will be taken very seriously. This allows
the company to move forward and an alternative planning model to be
brought on line when it is ready.

The company has become too large and complex for any one person to know
what is going on. I am moving (with difficulty) from the role of an
early entrepreneur, knowing everything going on and getting involved in
it, to the CEO of a company at the inflexion point. The inflexion
point is the point all companies dream of and few achieve-when they
start really taking off. This is a great point and a dangerous one.
Unless the company changes the way it does things, inflexion aborts. I
am trying to change what I do.

There are some things that have to remain my responsibility. Building
Intelligence and publishing and particularly training new staff are
things that I should oversee. Building the intelligence capabilities of
the company along with Meredith is also my responsibility. Creating new
models to support Stratcap and helping to train Stratcap in the
capabilities of Stratfor is mine. Overseeing our training of the Marine
Corps is something I want to do. Kendra will be my deputy for this, but
this leaves a large load on me.

Along with this, for better or worse, I am the public face of Stratfor.
My speeches and travels build the brand, create intelligence
opportunities, and give me a clearer vision of how the world works. I
will be doing a lot of traveling to do these things, and I will combine
them with the Geopolitical Journeys concept that seems to have hit a
nerve. During my travels I will be doing articles, videos and writing a
book based on those journeys, on the world's borderlands. Between that
and making contacts for Stratfor and StratCap, I will be busy.

Along with that load is going to be setting the broad direction of the
company. Through long and sometimes painful experience I have learned
that ultimate responsibility can be delegated but not abandoned. It's
an old military principle that applies here. I have a vision for
Stratfor and while I will delegate, I will not turn over responsibility
because I can't.

That means that we will need an evolving management structure. I've
asked Don who is formally President of Stratfor to join Darryl in both
the day to day management of the company and in what we still call "the
business side." One day we will simply be one company, but right now we
are still two sides of one company. Don and Darryl will now manage that
side, implementing our plans there. I will not disappear, but become
intermittent on daily management but deeply focused on intelligence.

One of the other things I must do is prepare a succession plan. In some
parts that are well developed, I already have that plan. In other
parts, we have to build an organization to have a succession plan. But
it is my intention that Stratfor survive me (no, I'm not feeling poorly
and can still kick your ass). I want to build this into the world's
finest intelligence service, private and free to speak its mind. I see
this as the most lasting contribution I can make, and I am serious about
making sure Stratfor goes on.

We are all at the inflexion point where the level of effort temporarily
soars until new resources are brought on line. They couldn't have been
staged in earlier because there weren't resources available. But now
they can't wait, because the moment will pass and perhaps never return.
For everything there is a "now." This is now.

I ask only one specific thing of all of you. If you don't understanding
anything here; if you want to learn more; if something worries you and
your boss can't clear it up, come directly to me. I will be available
until the last week of September when I go with others to Turkey.
Please, please, please, do not engage in a round of paranoia or
speculation based on lack of data. Just set a time to see me and let's
discuss it. StratFantasy (a new term) is I really believe the greatest
danger to success that we have face.

This is a long review, but many have said they'd like to know where we
are and what we are doing. This is about as comprehensive as I can get.
There will be more such reports. There are no short versions about
where we are and what we are doing.



George Friedman

Founder and CEO


221 West 6th Street

Suite 400

Austin, Texas 78701

Phone: 512-744-4319

Fax: 512-744-4334