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Main | Preface for "Blueprint for Action" »
Tuesday
May112010

Glossary from Blueprint for Action

Glossary

GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS FROM THE PENTAGON'S NEW MAP

 

Asymmetrical Warfare A conflict between two foes of vastly different capabilities. After the Red Army dissolved in the 1990s, the U.S. military knew it was basically unbeatable, especially in a straight-up fight. But that meant that much smaller opponents would seek to negate its strengths by exploiting its weaknesses, by being clever and "dirty" in combat. On 9/11, America got a real dose of what asymmetrical warfare is going to be like in the twenty-first century.

 

Connectivity The enormous changes being brought on by the information revolution, including the emerging financial, technological, and logistical architecture of the global economy (i.e., the movement of money, services accompanied by content, and people and materials). During the boom times of the 1990s, many thought that advances in communications such as the Internet and mobile phones would trump all, erasing the business cycle, erasing national borders, erasing the very utility of the state in managing a global security order that seemed more virtual than real, but 9/11 proved differently. That connectivity, while a profoundly transforming force, could not by itself maintain global security, primarily because a substantial rise in connectivity between any nation and the outside world typically leads to a host of tumultuous reactions, including heightened nationalism.

 

Disconnectedness In this century, it is disconnectedness that defines danger. Disconnectedness allows bad actors to flourish by keeping entire societies detached from the global community and under their dictatorial control, or in the case of failed states, it allows dangerous transnational actors to exploit the resulting chaos to their own dangerous ends. Eradicating disconnectedness is the defining security task of our age, as well as a supreme moral cause in the cases of those who suffer it against their will. Just as important, however, by expanding the connectivity of globalization, we increase peace and prosperity planet-wide.

 

Functioning Core Those parts of the world that are actively integrating their national economies into a global economy and that adhere to globalization's emerging security rule set. The Functioning Core at present consists of North America, Europe both "old" and "new," Russia, Japan and South Korea, China (although the interior far less so), India (in a pockmarked sense), Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, and the ABCs of South America (Argentina, Brazil, and Chile). That is roughly four billion out of a global population of more than six billion. The Functioning Core can be subdivided into the Old Core, anchored by America, Europe, and Japan; and the New Core, whose leading pillars are China, India, Brazil, and Russia.

 

Globalization The worldwide integration and increasing flows of trade, capital, ideas, and people. Until 9/11, the U.S. Government tended to identify globalization primarily as an economic rule set, but thanks to the global war on terrorism, we now understand that it likewise demands the clear enunciation and enforcement of a security rule set as well.

 

Leviathan The U.S. military's warfighting capacity and the high-performance combat troops, weapon systems, aircraft, armor, and ships associated with all-out war against traditionally defined opponents (i.e., other militaries). This is the force America created to defend the West against the Soviet threat, now transformed from its industrial-era roots to its information-age capacity for high-speed, high-lethality, and high-precision major combat operations. The Leviathan force is withoutpeer in the world today, and--as such--frequently finds itself fighting shorter and easier wars. This "overmatch" means, however, that current and future enemies in the global war on terrorism will largely seek to avoid triggering the Leviathan's employment, preferring to wage asymmetrical war against the United States, focusing on its economic interests and citizenry. The Leviathan rules the "first half" of war, but is often ill-suited, by design and temperament, to the "second half" of peace, to include postconflict stabilization and reconstruction operations. It is thus counterposed to the System Administrators force.

 

Military-Market Nexus The seam between war and peace, or the link between war and the "everything else" that is globalization. The nexus describes the underlying reality that the warrior culture of the military both supports and is supported by, the merchant culture of the business world. I express this interrelationship in the form of a "ten commandments for globalization": (1) Look for resources and ye shall find, but...(2) No stability, no markets; (3) No growth, no stability; (4) No resources, no growth; (5) No infrastructure, no resources; (6) No money, no infrastructure; (7) No rules, no money; (8) No security, no rules; (9) No Leviathan, no security; and (10) No (American) will, no Leviathan. Understanding the military-market link is not just good business, it is good national security strategy.

 

Non-Integrating Gap Regions of the world that are largely disconnected from the global economy and the rule sets that define its stability. Today, the Non-Integrating Gap is made up of the Caribbean Rim, Andean South America, virtually all of Africa, portions of the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East, and most of Southeast Asia. These regions constitute globalization's "ozone hole," where connectivity remains thin or absent in far too many cases. Of course, each region contains some countries that are very Core-like in their attributes (just as there are Gap-like pockets throughout the Core defined primarily by poverty), but these are like mansions in an otherwise seedy neighborhood, and as such are trapped by these larger Gap-defining circumstances.

 

Rule Sets A collection of rules (both formal and informal) that delineates how some activity normally unfolds. The Pentagon's New Map explored the new rule sets concerning conflict and violence in international affairs--or under what conditions governments decide it makes sense to switch from the rule set that defines peace to the rule set that defines war. The events of 9/11 shocked the Pentagon and the rest of the world into the realization that we needed a new rule set concerning war and peace, one that replaces the old rule set that governed America's Cold War with the Soviet Union. The book explained how the new rule set will actually work in the years ahead, not just from America's perspective but from an international one.

 

Rule-Set Reset When a crisis triggers your realization that your world is woefully lacking certain types of rules, you start making up those new rules with a vengeance (e.g., the Patriot Act and the doctrine of preemption following 9/11). Such a rule-set reset can be a very good thing. But it can also be a very dangerous time, because in your rush to fill in all the rule-set gaps, your cure may end up being worse than your disease.

 

Seam States The countries that ring the Gap--such as Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Greece, Turkey, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Some are already members of the Core, and most others are serious candidates for joining the Core. These states are important with regard to international security, because they provide terrorists geographic access to the Core. The U.S. security strategy regarding these states is simple: get them to increase their security practices as much as possible and to close whatever loopholes exist.

 

System Administrators (SysAdmin) The "second half" blended force that wages the peace after the Leviathan force has successfully waged war. Therefore, it is a force optimized for such categories of operations as "stability and support operations" (SASO), postconflict stabilization and reconstruction operations, "military operations other than war" (MOOTW), "humanitarian assistance/disaster relief" (HA/DR), and any and all operations associated with low-intensity conflict (LIC), counterinsurgency operations, and small-scale crisis response. Beyond such military-intensive activities, the SysAdmin force likewise provides civil security with its police component, as well as civilian personnel with expertise in rebuilding networks, infrastructure, and social and political institutions. While the core security and logistical capabilities are derived from uniformed military components, the SysAdmin force is fundamentally envisioned as a standing capacity for interagency (i.e., among various U.S. federal agencies) and international collaboration in nation building.

 

System Perturbations A system-level definition of crisis and instability in the age of globalization; a new ordering principle that has already begun to transform the military and U.S. security policy; also a particular event that forces us to rethink everything. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 served as the first great "existence proof" for this concept, but there have and will be others over time (some are purposeful, like the Bush Administration's Big Bang strategy of fomenting political change in the Middle East by toppling Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, but others will be accidents, like the SARS epidemic or the Asian tsunamis of December 2004). As a system perturbation, 9/11 placed the world's security rule set in flux and created a demand for new rules. Preemption is the big new rule. By creating that new rule, 9/11 changed America forever and through that process altered global history.


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