Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Pentagon’s New Map

This is an article that was originally published in Esquire (March 2003) and available on line from the Naval War College. The author, Thomas P.M. Barnett, is a professor there, a war strategist. Although written in more of a bureaucratic mode than I like, it is worth reading and arguing over, if anyone is interested. In brief, it is an attempt to establish a new security paradigm that the author thinks defines this age: "disconnectedness defines danger," and tries to show where the hot spots are in the world and the likelihood of war in each of those places. The following three paragraphs give you the flavor of his purposes:

"Show me where globalization is thick with network connectivity, financial transactions, liberal media flows, and collective security, and I will show you regions featuring stable governments, rising standards of living, and more deaths by suicide than murder. These parts of the world I call the Functioning Core, or Core. But show me where globalization is thinning or just plain absent, and I will show you regions plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and disease, routine mass murder, and—most important—the chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of global terrorists. These parts of the world I call the Non-Integrating Gap, or Gap."

"Globalization’s ’ozone hole’ may have been out of sight and out of mind prior to September 11, 2001, but it has been hard to miss ever since. And measuring the reach of globalization is not an academic exercise to an eighteen-year-old marine sinking tent poles on its far side. So where do we schedule the U.S. military’s next round of away games? The pattern that has emerged since the end of the cold war suggests a simple answer: in the Gap."

"The reason I support going to war in Iraq is not simply that Saddam is a cutthroat Stalinist willing to kill anyone to stay in power, nor because that regime has clearly supported terrorist networks over the years. The real reason I support a war like this is that the resulting long-term military commitment will finally force America to deal with the entire Gap as a strategic threat environment."

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