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Stratfor is an Austin, TX based “geopolitical intelligence firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting to individuals and organizations around the world.”

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While our government’s intelligence programs seem to be getting a lot of attention lately, they’re not the only one’s gathering information for strategic purposes. The same stuff that is important for our government to know can also be important for businesses, non-profits, and even individuals. Unfortunately, you can’t just knock on the NSA or CIA’s door and say, “Hey, what’s going on in Southeast Asia lately?” That’s why Stratfor exists. They are an Austin, TX based “geopolitical intelligence firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting to individuals and organizations around the world.” They do this through two main product lines: subscription services and consulting. In other words, you can buy the information that they’re collecting, or you can hire them to get the information that you want.

What’s a Stratfor?

While the need for a company like Stratfor is pretty obvious, is still worth reading their story. The company was launched in 1996, and made a name for itself in 1999 with its coverage of the Kosovo War. Not only does Stratfor provide an additional channel of intelligence information, but they also challenge “the dominant assumptions of the intelligence community and mainstream media.” Luckily, Stratfor provides a reasonable amount of information on their website for free, so you can read their analysis and forecasts, check out the regions and topics that they cover, and dig into their maps and videos. If you’re a total nerd for this kind of stuff, you should visit Stratfor’s Careers page. Their approach to hiring is a bit unique in that they run potential analysts through their Analyst Development Program. It’s an unpaid (there’s a stipend and transportation allowance) three month “internship” that can lead to a full-time position. Unlike most internships, it’s not limited to college students, so I imagine that it’s extremely competitive.

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