Bonus track: the Pentagon's new map.
In the piece over on the front page, I cite Arthur Cebrowski, recently retired Director of the DOD's Office of Defense Transformation, saying that if you resist globalization - as conceived in Washington - you'll probably be of interest to the U.S. military.
A young strategic planner in his office, Thomas Barnett, developed the theory. Barnett put it in a presentation -- defense officials love PowerPoint -- that he trotted around the Pentagon and showed to low-level analysts and officers, the only people who would give him the time of day.
Then came the attacks of 9/11 and Barnett became a Beltway mainstay, briefing members of Congress and senior staff at the Pentagon about why countries that were not adequately integrating in the global trading system were a national security threat. The presentation became The Pentagon's New Map, a must-read book in defense circles.
On his website, which I urge you to examine, Barnett makes the case for why "we're going to war and why we'll keep going to war":
If we map out U.S. military responses since the end of the cold war Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ we find an overwhelming concentration of activity in the regions of the world that are excluded from globalization's growing CoreÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
If we draw a line around the majority of those military interventions, we have basically mapped the Non-Integrating GapÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ [L]ooking at the data, it is hard to deny the essential logic of the picture: If a country is either losing out to globalization or rejecting much of the content flows associated with its advance, there is a far greater chance that the U.S. will end up sending forces at some point. Conversely, if a country is largely functioning within globalization, we tend not to have to send our forces there to restore order to eradicate threats.
Show me a part of the world that is secure in its peace and I will show you strong or growing ties between local militaries and the U.S. military. Show me regions where major war is inconceivable and I will show you permanent U.S. military bases and long-term security alliances. Show me the strongest investment relationships in the global economy and I will show you two postwar military occupations that remade Europe and Japan following World War II.The fact that his views have become so widely embraced in DC in recent years is scary. According to this logic, of course countries like Haiti under Aristide or Venezuela under Chavez are understandably ripe for "intervention."
But in his writing, Barnett goes to exquisite pains to come across as reasonable. He's no racist, doesn't embrace neo-imperialism, and doesn't believe in social Darwinism; he's just following the data.
There are many obvious flaws in his analysis. The fatal one is that he takes for granted that the interventions and "shows of force" that he used to draw up his map were both necessary and moral. That's, clearly, a controversial assumption at best.