April 28, 2004

GAPOLOGY:

AUDIO INTERVIEW: with Thomas P. M. Barnett (Diane Rehm Show, 4/28/04)

Steve Roberts, sitting in for Ms Rehm, conducted an interview today that was as good an hour of radio as you'll ever hear. Thomas P. M. Barnett was on discussing his book The Pentagon's New Map, which essentially argues that:

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.

This simple way of looking at the war on terror--that there are Gap states that have to be integrated into the Core--helps to clarify greatly what we are about and let's us see just how doable a task it is. The combination of internal reform in the Islamic world, military intervention by the United States and the inexorable pressures if globalization should serve to fill the Gap far faster than most imagine possible. This is not to say that it will be easy or bloodless, only that it is a manageable project. Unfortunately, there is zero reason to believe that any democratic people has the patience to see such a project through. So we'll most likely be left reacting to discrete blow ups in individual nations once the window of opportunity that the President has wisely exploited slams shut.

MORE:
-Thomas P. M. Barnett: Weblog
-ESSAY: The 'Core' And The 'Gap': Defining rules in a dangerous world (Thomas P. M. Barnett, November 7, 2002, Providence Journal-Bulletin)
THE PENTAGON’S NEW MAP: IT EXPLAINS WHY WE’RE GOING TO WAR, AND WHY WE’LL KEEP GOING TO WAR. (THOMAS P.M. BARNETT, March 2003, Esquire)

LET ME TELL YOU why military engagement with Saddam Hussein’s regime in Baghdad is not only necessary and inevitable, but good.

When the United States finally goes to war again in the Persian Gulf, it will not constitute a settling of old scores, or just an enforced disarmament of illegal weapons, or a distraction in the war on terror. Our next war in the Gulf will mark a historical tipping point—the moment when Washington takes real ownership of strategic security in the age of globalization.

That is why the public debate about this war has been so important: It forces Americans to come to terms with I believe is the new security paradigm that shapes this age, namely, Disconnectedness defines danger. Saddam Hussein’s outlaw regime is dangerously disconnected from the globalizing world, from its rule sets, its norms, and all the ties that bind countries together in mutually assured dependence.

The problem with most discussion of globalization is that too many experts treat it as a binary outcome: Either it is great and sweeping the planet, or it is horrid and failing humanity everywhere. Neither view really works, because globalization as a historical process is simply too big and too complex for such summary judgments. Instead, this new world must be defined by where globalization has truly taken root and where it has not.

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.


-ESSAY: Forget Europe. How About These Allies? (Thomas P.M. Barnett, April 11, 2004, Washington Post)
-ESSAY: Global Transaction Strategy: Operation Iraqi Freedom could be a first step toward a larger goal: true globalization. (Thomas P.M. Barnett and Henry H. Gaffney Jr.)
-INTERVIEW: The U.S. Challenge in the Middle East with Thomas Barnett (The Globalist, April 26, 2004)
-ESSAY: The End of the “End of History”: 9/11 beginnings. (Mackubin Thomas Owens, September 11, 2003, National Review)
-ESSAY: Pentagon moving swiftly to become ‘GloboCop’ (Jim Lobe, Asheville Global Report)

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 28, 2004 2:06 PM
Comments

I have only one question.

Where was Diane Rehm? She needs to hear this. Was she afraid to learn about this? Was she inadequate to the task of talking to this guy?

OKAY, three questions.

Posted by: h-man at April 28, 2004 2:40 PM

She has a super annoying throat problem which limits her days of work.

Posted by: oj at April 28, 2004 2:43 PM

Sorry, for my inappropriate remarks. I hope she feels better.

Posted by: h-man at April 28, 2004 3:35 PM

Annoying? Anything that keeps Rehm off the air is a godsend.

Posted by: H.D. Miller at April 28, 2004 5:34 PM

Rehm was on vacation. Roberts was good, nonetheless, but I was disappointed not to meet her, because you do it across a table F2F at American U.

Posted by: Tom Barnett at May 9, 2004 2:32 PM
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