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    Great Powers: America and the World After Bush
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
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    Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
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    The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • Romanian and East German Policies in the Third World: Comparing the Strategies of Ceausescu and Honecker
    Romanian and East German Policies in the Third World: Comparing the Strategies of Ceausescu and Honecker
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
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    by Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett
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    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
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    The Emily Updates (Vol. 3): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 4): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 4): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 5): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 5): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett, Emily V. Barnett
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10:11AM

Do unto others as they would do unto you

"Afghans Behead 4 Taliban," by Reuters, New York Times, 23 June, p. A11.


Nice, huh? That should quiet things down in the region.


This war of perversity simply grows. Why? We're talkingóin the endóabout ending the control of men over women in the region. That's the bottom line with globalization: it radically empowers women in traditional societies in relation to men. When you mess with some guy's woman, expect the very worst. If you don't believe me, talk to a cop sometime about domestic abuse cases. It doesn't get any more perverse than that.

10:10AM

On the other hand, immunity for our side is pretty nice

"U.S. Rewords A Resolution On Immunity For Its Troops," by Warren Hoge, New York Times, 23 June, p. A10.


The U.S. has been fighting the notion of its troops coming under the purview of the International Criminal Court going all the way back to its inception under the Clinton Administration. Simply put, we fear having our warfighters (not to mention our political decision-makers) tried for trumped-up and politically-inspired charges of war crimes.


That's the Leviathan talking, and on that point he makes perfect sense. But let's get real. The ICC must eventually have purview over our peacekeeping efforts, because in exporting security (as opposed to killing or rounding up bad guys) we need to support the rule of law like anybody else. Thus I've been saying all along: the Sys Admin force eventually submits to the ICCóno two ways about it.


That's a compromise we cannot avoid, and it's another great reason why the bifurcation of the U.S. military is not only inevitable but good.

10:09AM

Why firewalling off the Gap sometimes makes sense

"Spread of Polio in West and Central Africa Makes U.N. Officials Fear Major Epidemic," by Lawrence K. Altman, New York Times, 23 June, p. A8.


As I argue in PNM, there are three things worth firewalling ourselves off from the Gap for, simply because the free traffic in these "goods" is too high a price to pay for openness. One is terrorism ('nuf said). Two is drugs (gotta keep some lid). Three is pandemics.


Just this Monday I got my shots for our upcoming adoption trip to China, and doing so is sort of a primer on the Core-Gap breakdown. Travel in the Old Core and you don't need any shots. Travel in the New Core (like India or China) and the shots you'll get will be roughly the same shots they now advocate for all babiesóeven in the Old Core (hey, it's the price for enlarging the Core!). Go to the Gap and you need a shot for all sorts of exotic stuff, plus the stuff we tend to forget because we've successfully relegated it to the past.


This story on polio is an ugly one, reminding us how stuck in our nasty past is so much of the Gap.

10:07AM

A clear sign we're stretched to the max on the GWOT

"U.S. to Offer Incentives to Sway North Korea in Nuclear Talks: Promises of aid in exchange for ending weapons programs," by David E. Sanger, New York Times, 23 June, p. A3.


Bush Admin floating concepts/proposals of bribing Kim Jong Il regarding his latest BS on nukes. How is that different from the flaccid Clinton approach of the 1990s? Not one bit. That only shows how tapped we are right now by events in Iraq. This is purely a temporizing approach designed to buy timeósomething that runty rat-f---er Kim is a genius at acquiring.


May God grant that man peaceóreeeeaal soon!

10:06AM

Why do I think Europe will sit on the sidelines?

"What Kicks the Continent to Life? (Not Politics)," by Alan Cowell, New York Times, 23 June, p. A4.


Funny "letter from Europe" about what really motivates people there. No surprise. It's soccer-mania. Meanwhile, as the EU expands and moves toward a constitution, countries there have a hard time getting anyone to vote in the EU elections.


Hell, Europeans aren't even interested in the European integration process! How can we possibly get them interested in shrinking the Gap?

10:05AM

MOE on Gap shrinkage

"Croatian Port Trades in Its Old Image," by Tomislav Ladika, Wall Street Journal, 23 June, p. B4A.


MOE is measure of effectiveness. You want to plot the Gap's shrinkage? You look for evidence like this. Great story on how Croatian port city is linking that nation up to the world outside, but especially to its erstwhile neighbors in the old Yugoslavia. Croatia becomes a great bridge between Old Core EU and (hopefully) New Core Balkan states.

10:04AM

The New Core hunger for energyósigns abound

"China to Look Abroad for Natural Gas," by Xu Yihe, Wall Street Journal, 23 June, p. A15.


"India to Float A Modest Stake In Electric Utility: IPO Signals New Regime May Pursue Some Initiatives Promoted by Its Predecessor," by Eric Bellman, WSJ, 23 June, p. A15.


Plenty of stories about China "scouring" world for oil. Expect more like this one to appear regarding natural gas, which will triple in use in Developing Asia by 2025.


Also a good sign from India regarding its continued openness for Foreign Direct Investment needed to upgrade its decrepit electrical grid. Seems like the new boss will not be so different from the old boss.

10:03AM

Johnógive them the global future worth creating!

"As the Recovery Gains Momentum, Democrats Are Forced to Refocus," by Jacob M. Schlesinger, Wall Street Journal, 23 June, p. A1.


Economy ain't gonna do it, and as much as Iraq does "do it," voters don't like to switch midstreamóhistorically speaking. My point: Kerry better lay out the future worth creatingóboth inside the Pentagon and around the world at largeórather than assume that more body bags in Iraq will get him elected.

5:17AM

A visionary's impact is on the next generation of leaders

Dateline: above the garage in Portsmouth RI, 22 June 2004


I've written in the past about all the media questions that typically center on whether or not my ideas are gaining ground inside the Pentagon. Admittedly, stories like the Wall Street Journal's piece by Greg Jaffe (now hanging framed in my basement) fuel that focus, but I've always maintained that, because the visionary's naturally focused on the future, his influence is logically found within the long-term process of educating the next generation of leadership. So it's not a matter of asking the current Secretary of Defense, but the one 2 or 3 slots down the road.


Here's an example of what I consider to be real visionary impact. It's a letter I got yesterday from the 2-star Marine general who's currently the Commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at National Defense University. In it, she's referencing the 2 June brief I gave at ICAF (yes, the same one taped by CSPAN) at their end-of-year student conference:

Dear Dr. (Tom) Barnett,


I know Dr. Paul Davis has already passed on how much we appreciated your lecture during our anniversary symposium. But I also want to take this opportunity to not only personally convey my sincere gratitude for the lecture but also for the dynamic way you build and support your strategy. The enthusiastic reaction of the students did not surprise me. They, universally, expressed a regret that they hadn't been afforded a chance to digest your thought early in the academic year; and, we hope to rectify this for next year's class. What was a bit of a surprise was the speed and strength of the faculty support. There has been an almost universal move to inject your concepts and strategic thinking into much of our curriculum.


Knowing your schedule will be filling quickly, I have asked Dr Davis to work with you and our schedulers to find a date on when we might reconcile your demands in a way that your lecture will provide the maximum effect on the Class of 2005. I understand you have reached a tentative agreement on Wednesday, September 29. It is my fervent hope that we can capitalize on your outstanding thinking and wisdom. Again, I offer my profound appreciation for your support of our college.


Sincerely,


F.C. Wilson

Major General, USMC

Now let me be honest: not only does the general write a mean letter, but she's also exhibiting the kind of generous judgment that one always uses when inviting someone to give a talk at your place for "free" (here, meaning, the Naval War College is paying my time to lecture at another college). I know she means it (you don't get to be a female 2-star Marine general being gushy), and she knows that by being explicit in her admiration for the material she greases the skids at the Naval War College in terms of getting permission for the trip (which ICAF will naturally fund). My point is this: if you want to traipse all around the world giving talks, you better be routinely described as a water-walker (military slang for someone who can perform amazing feats).


What I liked about the letter was the sense that the vision had won over the staff, which is no simple feat, because we're talking about a lot of retired military officers who don't exactly jump at fads when it comes to their curriculum. In fact, I've had more than a few of that staff get up and walk out of previous presentations I've given at the college, so quick were they to dismiss the message in years past.


Of course, we all get smarter with experienceóme no less than anyone else. So it's not a matter of everyone catching up to my "wisdom," but the vision finally experiencing synchronicity with the signals we're receiving from the strategic environment. In my mind, strategic vision is not about imagining some world that never was and then advocating its creation, but rather seeing the current strategic environment for what it really is, andóin doing soóspotting its potential for its progression toward futures truly worth creating.


Contingency planning is all about mitigating future failures, but strategic vision is all about exploiting future successes.


Here's today's grab bag:


The negative Clinton effect on 2004 campaign


"Clinton Book Generates Buzz Across Bookselling and Politics," by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg and Jackie Calmes, Wall Street Journal, 21 June, p. B3.


The strong do as they will, and the weak turn to the Internet


"Saudis Seek America's Body as Militants Vow More Terror: Searching for a body during an Internet propaganda war," New York Times, 21 June, p. A8.


Islamic democracyótry this at home


"Islamic Democracy? Mali Finds a Way To Make It Work: In Old Caravan Crossroads, History of Getting Along Breeds Spirit of Compromise: A Coup d'Etat but no Junta," by Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, 22 June, p. A1.


Where's the beef? Brazil, of course


"How a Brazilian Cattle Baron Shakes Up World's Beef Trade: Mad Cow Boosts Mr. Russo And His Gradd-Fed Herd; A Bullish Move in Israel," by Matt Moffett, WSJ, 22 June, p. A1.


Same old abortion bugaboo perverts US foreign aid


"U.S. Is Accused of Trying to Isolate U.N. Population Unit: Critics see a bid to stop world groups that aid abortion abroad," by Christopher Marquis, NYT, 21 June, p. A3.


Let's be honest, almost everything is a bridge too far for NATO


"Gun-Shy NATO Is Wary of Iraq: Afghan Theater Teaches Alliance a Hard Lesson In Its Military Limitations," by Philip Shishkin, WSJ, 21 June, p. A14.


The military-market nexus evolves along many, many nodes


"U.S. Extends Program For Terror Insurance," by staff, WSJ, 21 June, p. A11.


"Sovereign Ratings: Tea Leaves? Moody's Upgrade of South Korea Fails to Move Government Bonds; Political Risk Is Tricky to Gauge," by Craig Karmin, WSJ, 21 June, p. C1


"High Court Ruling Goes Against Intel In AMD Case," by Robert S. Greenberger, WSJ, 22 June, p. A3.


The usual yin-and-yang on China


"China's Grads Find Jobs Scarce: Mismatch Exists Between Seekers' Ambitions and Market Needs," by Leslie Change, WSJ, 22 June, p. A17.


"Older Workers From U.S. Take Jobs in China," by James T. Areddy, WSJ, 22 June, p. B1


"Microcredit Efforts in China Stumble," by Jason Dean, WSJ, 22 June, p. A17.


"China Is Set to Ease Bankruptcy Law," by Kathy Chen, WSJ, 22 June, p. A17.

5:08AM

The negative Clinton effect on 2004 campaign

"Clinton Book Generates Buzz Across Bookselling and Politics," by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg and Jackie Calmes, Wall Street Journal, 21 June, p. B3.


Fear expressed in this article is that there is only so much public attention span for politics and that Clinton is sucking up so much right now that Kerry will suffer as a result. "Both political parties say attention given Mr. Clinton will suck oxygen from the already limited political air at the expense of John Kerry." Moreover, the authors claim that Kerry and Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe actually pushed Clinton to hold off on publishing the book until after the election. The compromise, apparently, was to rush it into stores in the early part of summer vice having it appear right at the election was climaxing (no pun intended).


Clinton is definitely a glory-hound, as all good politicians are, and you have to wonder if the Clinton household isn't more than ambivalent about Kerry losing this election, thus clearing the way for Hillary to run in 2008 against no incumbent.


But that only makes you wonder how long Bush would go into his second term before Cheney steps aside and the Bush heir-apparent is slipped into the VP slot. After all, that's how Yeltsin got Putin so instantly acceptable to voters in Russia back in 2000.


Hmmm, toss in Michael Moore' "Fahrenheit 911" and let the paranoid conspiracy types run wild!

5:07AM

The strong do as they will, and the weak turn to the Internet

"Saudis Seek America's Body as Militants Vow More Terror: Searching for a body during an Internet propaganda war," New York Times, 21 June, p. A8.


It is fascinating how quickly the Internet has emerged as the level playing field for both sides in this global war on terrorism to get their messages out there in front of the worldwide audience. In a war of perversity, the anything-goes-and-nobody-knows anonymity of the wild wild web is a perfect venue for the war of images.


But, honestly, anyone who thinks the Luddite, Taliban-type, al Qaeda terrorists are somehow going to win via the Internet has a screw loose. Every time they engage the outside world more and more on their terms, they truly end up being perverted far more than we do by delving into our barbaric past. Dipping back in time can be done with ease, and is easily excused and forgiven as "necessary" to the task at hand, but when you expose yourself forward, it gets really hard to pretend that somehow your future version of the "good life" is going to achieve true disconnectedness from all the perversity represented by globalization.


They say you can take the boy off the farm but you can never take the farm out of the boy. True enough, explaining how terrorists can routinely come to live among us and never become one of us. But it's also true that once you seen the bright lights of the city, small-town life is never quite good enough. We see this time and time again with authoritarian elites whose ideologies allow them to "protect" the masses from the "pollution" of the outside world and yet simultaneously allow them to enjoy those same "impure influences" at willóI mean, just check out the young Saudi princes whenever they travel abroad.


The best part of this article is at the end, when the Saudi government declares: "The perpetrators of these attacks seek to shake the stability and cripple security, which is a far-fetched aim." Then the reporter notes that the government said this "in a speech delivered in the name of King Fahd, who is incapacitated."


Riiiight. Hard to cripple a government "run" by a guy virtually in a coma.


Wait a tick! Where have I seen this before? Oh yeah, the Soviet Union right before Gorbachev took over . . ..

5:06AM

Islamic democracyótry this at home

"Islamic Democracy? Mali Finds a Way To Make It Work: In Old Caravan Crossroads, History of Getting Along Breeds Spirit of Compromise: A Coup d'Etat but no Junta," by Yaroslav Trofimov, Wall Street Journal, 22 June, p. A1.


Interesting left-column front-page WSJ story on how Mali is simultaneously predominately Muslim and a democracy. No great mystery. Their social rule set puts a premium on consensus and avoiding violent outcomes. Oldest trick in the book: get potentially warring groups to intermarry, or what they call "cousinage." So it's all in the family, my friends.

5:05AM

Where's the beef? Brazil, of course

"How a Brazilian Cattle Baron Shakes Up World's Beef Trade: Mad Cow Boosts Mr. Russo And His Gradd-Fed Herd; A Bullish Move in Israel," by Matt Moffett, Wall Street Journal, 22 June, p. A1.


Fascinating right-column front-page WSJ story on how Brazil is on the verge of becoming the leading exporter of beef around the world. That is some amazing connectivity, because we're talking a perishable item subject to significantly stringent health rule sets. To make all that work, you have to be connected to the world at large in a big, big way. I mean, Brazil is now the biggest provider of beef to Israel, one of 50 key markets for its beef around the world.


For now, Brazil free rides in terms of security. Israel means a lot to them as a market, but does Brazil pay much of anything to maintain security there? Or anywhere else for that matter? And yet many of their markets are inside the Gap, and thus vulnerable to significant bouts of insecurity.


I look at Brazil and I see a country incentivized to keeping things calm all over this world, and so I see a strategic partner waiting to be made.


These guys want to sell beef. We can see them strictly as a threat to our cattle industry or as a potential security partner all over the Gap. Which do you think is the better long-term choice? Which helps us to win us a global war on terrorism?

5:04AM

Same old abortion bugaboo perverts US foreign aid

"U.S. Is Accused of Trying to Isolate U.N. Population Unit: Critics see a bid to stop world groups that aid abortion abroad," by Christopher Marquis, New York Times, 21 June, p. A3.


The US Government has consistently cut off its nose to spite its face on foreign aid focused on controlling population growth around this world, simply because we let our internal rule-set clash on abortion infect our strategic judgment on how best to shrink the Gap. Time and time again we short-change UN efforts at stemming population growth as soon as we detect even the slightest hint that abortion might in some way be involved or facilitated.


It is amazing how so many conservatives will say we shouldn't try to dictate democracy to other cultures and yet we feel the right to dictate how women deal with reproduction the world over. The hypocrisy on that one is just stunning. By keeping women down across the Gap in this manner, we work completely at odds with just about everything else we're trying to do in this global war on terrorism. It is shortsighted in the extreme, not to mention culturally arrogant in the extreme.

5:03AM

Let's be honest, almost everything is a bridge too far for NATO

"Gun-Shy NATO Is Wary of Iraq: Afghan Theater Teaches Alliance a Hard Lesson In Its Military Limitations," by Philip Shishkin, WSJ, 21 June, p. A14.


Americans need to understand that Europe has very limited capacity to help us inside the Gap when it comes to military interventions. On the Leviathan/warfighing side, there's basically the Brits, whereas on the Sys Admin/peacekeeping side, everybody can help out some, it's just that the combined effort does not amount to much. Give NATO a Balkans and then ask it to take over an Afghanistan and you're basically at their limit.


This is why any dream of getting serious NATO help in Iraq is just thatóa dream. We need to generate NATO-sized relationships with NATO-sized militaries in Russia, India, and China, because we're going to need a lot of NATOs to fill in all the security sinkholes littered across the Gap.

5:02AM

The military-market nexus evolves along many, many nodes

"U.S. Extends Program For Terror Insurance," by staff, Wall Street Journal, 21 June, p. A11.


"Sovereign Ratings: Tea Leaves? Moody's Upgrade of South Korea Fails to Move Government Bonds; Political Risk Is Tricky to Gauge," by Craig Karmin, WSJ, 21 June, p. C1


"High Court Ruling Goes Against Intel In AMD Case," by Robert S. Greenberger, WSJ, 22 June, p. A3.


Just a trio of stories that remind us that security and economics bump up against one another all the time.


First one is about the nexus between terrorism and insuranceóthe ultimate in middle-class risk mitigation. We're still working on a durable new rule set for that.


The second story is about the nebulous world of sovereign ratings, and how private companies like Moody's essentially offers systematically-derived (or so we're led to believe) odds on which countries are bad economic risks because they're really bad political-military risks. Moody's is essentially a bookie for the military-market nexus, offering odds to all takers.


Third story may seem oblique at first glance, but its about the U.S. Supreme Court siding with international courts in their attempts to force U.S.-based companies to come clean on requests for insider data when those companies are sued in global rule-setting courts. That may seem arcane, but it speaks volumes about the collective security of globalization versus the "rights" of multinationals to shield themselves behind the "sovereignty" of their home state. You want to win a global war on terrorism, you need that sense of global hierarchy in judicial systems.

5:00AM

The usual yin-and-yang on China

"China's Grads Find Jobs Scarce: Mismatch Exists Between Seekers' Ambitions and Market Needs," by Leslie Change, WSJ, 22 June, p. A17.


"Older Workers From U.S. Take Jobs in China," by James T. Areddy, WSJ, 22 June, p. B1


"Microcredit Efforts in China Stumble," by Jason Dean, WSJ, 22 June, p. A17.


"China Is Set to Ease Bankruptcy Law," by Kathy Chen, WSJ, 22 June, p. A17.


China has a hard time cranking out the college grads desired by global multinationals that come into the country to rent its raw labor, so expect educational reform on that basis. That's the global economy dictating to China about what a proper education entails. China will take this "humiliation" without blinking. Why? China understands that if it wants all these things, all this connectivity, all these transactions with the outside world, it has to adapt itself to what the world needs from it in terms of management skills. Until it gets enough on that score, expect multinationals to continue bribing older workers from their respective homelands to come to China and backfill as needed.


On the financial side of the house, the latter two articles show how China has to change its internal banking rule sets not just a little bit here and there, but all over the dial. Microcredit programs in China are not taking off like they do elsewhere, and that's bad when you're talking all that rural poor. What's a big reason? Government has too tight of control over credit resources. Why is that? Government fears business failures so it tries to rule over the private sector through its strict control over credit. What would ease that necessity? A nice new bankruptcy law would help. Once you have a system for dealing with such failures routinely, you can open up on credit, and maybe then your microlending will take off finally, easing your rural poor issues. See how it's all connected?

4:53AM

Maybe Foreign Affairs just prefers Niall Ferguson?

Dateline: above the garage in Portsmouth RI, 22 June 2004


Follow me closely here, because the math gets tricky:


∑ On May 6 FA lists their "top-selling hardcover books on American foreign policy and international affairs" for the month of April. PNM comes in at #11, two spots ahead of Niall Ferguson's Colossus: The Price of America's Empire (#13).

∑ On June 4 FA's list for May has PNM at #4 and Ferguson at #5.

∑ Then the print edition (July-August) comes out, and on the last page of the journal they provide a combined list for both April and May and guess what! Colossus magically comes in at #8 and I come in at #9!


Hmmmmmmmmm, that's some strange math. I outsell Ferguson separately in both months, but somehow he outsells me when the two totals are put together!


Riiiiiiiiiiiight.


Since PNM is about the only book on the list not decrying everything Bush, perhaps Foreign Affairs is trying to downgrade me a bit . . . (sniff!).

4:49AM

Reagan's still messing me over! (news on the CSPAN brief)

Dateline: above the garage in Portsmouth RI, 22 June 2004


The brief I gave at National Defense University on 2 June was taped in full by a CSPAN crew. The first word we got from CSPAN producers was that it would runóhopefullyóprime time in late June or first week of July.


Then former president Ronald Reagan passed away . . . and three the Senate and House schedules back an entire week eachóthus CSPAN can't tell us right now when they'll find time in the sked to show the beast in all its beauty. When Brian Lamb proposed the broadcast, he said I could follow the show with a live, in-studio segment where I took calls from viewers. Hopefully, they'll go through with that plan in the end.


Until we get more definitive word from CSPAN, that is all we know for now.

4:43AM

On Wisconsin! On Wisconsin!

Dateline: above the garage in Portsmouth RI, 22 June 2004

The following is a short profile published on page 56 of the Summer 2004 issue of On Wisconsin! (magazine for University of Wisconsin alumni). To see the actual section of the issue on-line (PDF file), go to http://www.uwalumni.com/onwisconsin/2004_summer/pdf/ALUMNINEWS.pdf.



War Philosopher


When Thomas Barnett '84 advocates "shrinking the gap," he's not referring to cutting a chain store's inventoryóhe's talking about narrowing the divide between globalized nations and those least connected to globalization.


In his book, The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century (G.P. Putnam's Sons), the Naval War College senior strategic researcher and Pentagon adviser emphasizes, "States least connected to globalization overwhelming account for where we've gone with military forces since the end of the Cold War." To reduce the frequency of these interventions, he says, we need to move from a containment strategy to extending globalization, thus shrinking the gap between rich and poor countries.


"Extend globalization; invite everybody to the party; and when everybody's in, terrorists won't hold the same sway," he says. "The would-be suicide bomber will have other options; his life won't be as pointless."


Barnett, an award-winning instructor who was named one of Esquire magazine's "best and brightest" in 2002 and christened a "philosopher of modern war," collaborated with the broker-dealer firm of Cantor Fitzgerald in a pioneering study about globalization's impact on national security. It examinedóamong many scenariosópossible terrorist attacks on Wall Street. Ironically, several workshops that were part of the study were held atop the World Trade Center, which would be the main 9/11 attack target and would result in the death of many of the company's employees.


In Barnett's view, the attacks reflected the "ultimate rise of the lesser-includeds," or non-state actors striking out against globalization's main symbols of power. Theory had become reality.


As the assistant for strategic futures, working in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Barnett advised senior leaders on "transforming" the Pentagon's long-range war planning from fighting "near-peer" armies to contending with the new type of threat. "I'm the most optimistic of all DOD [Department of Defense] strategists," he says. "We're on the verge of making war as we know it obsolete."


At UW-Madison, Barnett majored in international relations and Russian literature, studying the language with legendary instructor Lydia Kalaida, and singing bass in her Slavic choir. His junior-year selection to Phi Beta Kappa was a "life-changing event." At Harvard, he earned a master's degree in Soviet studies and a doctorate in political science.


Barnett's parents, John Barnett LLB'49 and Colleen Clifford Barnett '46, MA'55, JD'90, met at students at UW-Madison; all six of his siblings attended the university; and he met his future spouse, Vonne Meussling Barnett '82, MS'85, when they worked together at Paisan's, the University Square restaurant. The couple lives in Portsmouth, Rhode Island; has three children; and is in the process of adopting a baby girl from Chinaóthus "shrinking the gap, one person at a time."


--Joel H. Cohen

COMMENTARY: Cohen was a very easy person to interact with, and he let me edit his piece for clarity, which involved only tweaking a couple of words here and there (like getting the degree years right for various family members). I get a little tired of the "war philosopher" moniker, but I understand why they use it ("peace philosopher" just won't do at "war college"). By and large, I think he did a very nice job using only 450 words: he got the essence of the book, did a quick career bio, ran through my UW time, and then referenced my family's ties there. Plus he got several quotes in from me and mentioned the book right on top. We tried to schedule for a new photo of me but couldn't get it done, so they used one the Naval War College's Public Affairs Office generated back in 2002. It's a shot of me leaning against my PC desk at my office (always gotta get that map behind me!).