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  1. #1
    Council Member Kevin23's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Washington DC

    Default Is STRATFOR Worth it?

    Recently I've been thinking of subscribing to STRATFOR. As in the past I've found some of their insights to be interestin.

    However, what makes them so different in terms of the material they provide compared to say the Economist, Foreign Policy, or Foreign Affairs?

    If anyone here at SWJ has had experience with STRATFOR is a subscription worth it? Why or why not?

    Thank you in advance for any replies!


  2. #2
    Council Member
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    Jul 2009


    Until recently have been receiving Stratfor’s free service and much enjoyed reading its analyses. That service has been drastically reduced but have decided not to become a commercial subscriber.

    There are free alternatives which are generally more concise and to the point,
    for example
    For Asia Pacific suggest and

  3. #3
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006



    I too had the free STRATFOR e-briefings, but that stopped when they got hit by "hackers". I only rarely found them of interest. Certainly wouldn't have paid for the briefings.

    As you will have noted I cite the e-briefings from The Soufan Group, which are free and concise.

    I gave up paying for The Economist long ago, it became far too mid-Atlantic establishment and in favour of all globalisation.

    It might be worth scanning the thread Blogs to Watch, even if it is dated now and quite long:

    Note I have merged fifty-three threads into that thread and added a Moderator's note to explain.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-09-2016 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Add link and last passage.

  4. #4
    Council Member
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    Sep 2015


    Confessions of a Stratfor subscriber
    . Unfortunately after all this time as a low-level subscriber, Stratfor has never given me the inside running on a story. Not even once.

    Nor, during my years travelling for Foreign Correspondent, have I ever seen evidence that Stratfor's big corporate clients, who pay many thousands of dollars for their subscriptions, received insights they couldn't have gleaned if they were avid readers of Britain's Economist, the august US journal Foreign Affairs, or the excellent Australian foreign policy blog, The Interpreter.

    Stratfor's real talent lies in marketing to corporate America.

    While covering international stories, I've read Stratfor's take on the events in which I was immersed. Often an interesting read, yet sometimes I disagreed with their analysis. Occasionally, they simply got the facts wrong.
    Stratfor Is a Joke and So Is Wikileaks for Taking It Seriously

    .what I found was typically some combination of publicly available information and bland "analysis" that had already appeared in the previous day's New York Times. A friend who works in intelligence once joked that Stratfor is just The Economist a week later and several hundred times more expensive. As of 2001, a Stratfor subscription could cost up to $40,000 per year.

    It's true that Stratfor employs on-the-ground researchers. They are not spies. On today's Wikileaks release, one Middle East-based NGO worker noted on Twitter that when she met Stratfor's man in Cairo, he spoke no Arabic, had never been to Egypt before, and had to ask her for directions to Tahrir Square. Stratfor also sometimes pays "sources" for information.

  5. #5
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Haxbach, Schnurliland


    Well, irrespectively of standpoints like 'money is the best motivator', paying source for information is not always the best solution.

    Best info is still 'for free' - and then from a source one knows 'since ages'.

    Anyway... my decision fell quite early (back in early 2000s): no subscription. I feel myself confirmed - and repeatedly - after all the years.

  6. #6
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Hiding from the Dreaded Burrito Gang


    In the same vein, anyone subscribe to SOFREP news?
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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