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Sunday, July 17, 2005

State Department Subversion (what a piSrr!)

"Exporting democracy: not a job for State," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 16 July 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/002059.html.

Remember PISRR: Penetrate-Isolation-Subvert-Reorient-Reharmonize: the five steps to victory? The Joe Wilson shenanigans were an Isolation attack on the President, trying to separate him from American people. Here's word on another part of the anti-Bush Doctrine effort: Subversion by the State Department
Review of Larry Diamond's book on the CPA in Iraq (Squandered Victory and David Phillips' bitch-session on how all that brilliant postwar planning at State was ignored by the Pentagon (Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco.

How good was the State postwar planning effort?
Many critics of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq (including Diamond) have cited this project as an enormous opportunity lost, because of turf battles between the State Department and the Pentagon. By this account, Foggy Bottom had planned for a post-Saddam Iraq, anticipating many of the awful things that could go wrong. There is only one problem with this version of events: for the most part, it's not true. The Future of Iraq Project was not a serious post-Saddam planning exercise for a department readying itself for war. According to the Iraqi writer Kanan Makiya, who was perhaps the most influential voice within the democratic principles working group, it was mostly busywork for Iraqi exiles whom State wanted to guide and control. For exiles like Makiya-and some neoconservatives in Washington like me, who would have welcomed serious postwar planning in any quarter-it was clear that the Near Eastern bureau at State, which oversaw the project, did not want to engage in any planning that might make the path to war easier.

This is why the new office of stability and reconstruction ops in State will never work. State will always (and should always) want to avoid war, because it's the Department of Peace. Meanwhile, the Defense Department will always (and should always) want to avoid the peacekeeping that must inevitably follow war. What's needed is a third department between the two, one that focused not on war in the Gap or peace in the growing Core but on getting weak states from the Gap to the Core.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Importing Backlash-Inducing Rulesets (Barnett Right, Friedman Wrong)

"This Is Not A Test," by Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat, 2005, pg 300-302.

"To join Core is to import its rules, finds Turkey," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001052.html.

After talking about importing rule sets -- a process Tom Friedman calls "globalution"...

"When you have the procurement dollars that HP and McDonald's have," said Dunn, "people really want to do business with you, so you have leverage and are in a position to set standards and [therefore] you have a responsibility to set standards." The role of global corporations in setting standards in emerging markets id doubly important, because oftentimes local governments actually want to improve their environmental standards. They know it is important in the long run, but the pressure to create jobs and live within budget constraints is overwhelming and therefore the pressure to look the other way is overwhelming. Countries like China, noted Dunn, often actually want an outside force, like a global business coalition, to exert pressure to drive new values and standards at home that they are too weak to impose on themselves and their own bureaucrats. In The Lexus and the Olive Tree I called this form of value creation globalution," or revolution from beyond.

Friedman irrationally succumbs to an unrelated triumphalism on "moral values"

"Compassionate capitalism. Think it sounds like an oxymoron? Think again," said Gunther. "Even as America is supposedly turning conservative on social issues, big business is moving in the other direction."

Friedman wants a backlash against globalization ? He wants to see his Globalization 4.0, or III, or whatever the heck, crash and burn? Go to poor companies and mess with their families. It worked great in Qing China (*cough* 30 million dead in the Taiping rebellion *cough*), the Shah's Iran (*cough* Islamic Republic *cough*), Czarist Russia (LENIN!) and every other place it was tried.

Tom Barnett has it spot-on

You want the Gap to remain the Gap? Then make unreasonable demands that countries there find some way to develop economically without damaging the environment. Or pretend they can somehow skip the factory-based abuse of workers that the Old Core went through. Or pretend that a perfectly operating democracy on par with Vermont is required before they can join our "club."

You can't demand the code before offering the connectivity—it's really that simple.

That's why the EU better damn well deliver membership soon to Turkey, which is jumping through hoops as fast those rule-obsessed Europeans can throw them.

Does Friedman want poor countries kept poor? Judging by his advise that rich country corporations should not work in societies that require side payments, apparently so.

Friday, June 24, 2005

What Barclay's Means By Flat

"The power of unconventional thinking," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 22 June 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001981.html.

Describing an advertisement he say in the New York Times

I can't resist one more dig at Friedman's "World is Flat" metaphor. I come across this Barclays full-page color ad in the NYT, which consists of a flat globe sitting on stand. It's the perfect image for Friedman's book, much better than that weird art of ships going off the edge of the world that was used in some hardcover versions.

And yet, the ad points out the against-the-grain metaphor that Friedman ended up with when he sought to recast a "level playing field" as a "flat world": the text of the ad starts with "Without unconventional thinking, the world would still be flat and we'd still be living in caves. Heck, we'd probably never have climbed down from the trees in the first place."

It could have continued: "At Barclays we believe in providing our clients with metaphors that don't create cognitive dissonance . . . "

... Barnett proves he doesn't understand what Tom Friedman means by "flat" ... or what Barclays means, for that matter.

When there are specialized experts, life is not flat -- it's steep. That is what Barclay's is saying. That's how the Catholic Church is steep, but a hippie drum circle is flat.

How can Dr. Barnett not know this? What, is he not even reading tdaxp or something?

Monday, June 20, 2005

What Tom Barnett Should Have Read Before Reviewing Tom Friedman's New Book

"What Tom Friedman Means by 'Flat'," by Dan, tdaxp, 1 May 2005, http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/05/01/what_tom_friedman_means_by_flat.html.

"The Book Is Flatulent: A Brief Review of Thomas L. Friedman's "The World Is Flat" Op-Ed," by Thomas Barnett, The Newsletter from Thomas P.M. Barnett, 20 June 2005, http://www.newrulesets.com/journals/barnett_20jun2005.pdf.

Dr. Barnett is confused by Mr. Friedman's new book, The World is Flat

The book is mind-numbing in its repetition. It seems like every third page there is a CEO named Jerry or Craig from a high-tech company ready with some self-enforcing quote ("Tom, let me tell you why I think the world is becoming flatter by the day!"). In fact, using the word "flat" (or "flatter," "flattening," "flatist," "flattest," "flattener," and so on) seemed to be a prerequisite for getting your quote (and there are oh so many quotes and snippets of "flat" conversations) in the book (you can almost hear Friedman prompting everyone, "Now be sure to use the word 'flat' somewhere in your response or I can't use it!").

Hey, it's no worse than bleating "sock it to me!" to get on Laugh-In. A cameo's a cameo.

Friedman is stupefying in his efforts to interpret everything in terms of flatness (Southwest lets you print your boarding tickets online? "Yet another brilliant example that the world is getting flat!"; You can eat sushi in a small Midwestern town? "OMYGOD the world is sooooo flat!") that by the end of the book you have no idea what the terms means anymore. Flatness is a euphemism for everything from "cool" to "new" to "high-tech" to "competitive" to "innovative" to "globalization" to "flat" (no, wait a minute, that last one doesn't work . . . or does it?) am not kidding you, as you read this book you're so trained, almost in a Pavlovian sort of way, to see the word "flat" that when you go more than a paragraph or two without seeing it, you start to get anxious.

Tom Barnett doesn't know what Tom Friedman means by "flat." Maybe he should google what does tom friedman mean by flat? and read the first result


The red lines symbolize vertical power, so someone has police authority. Yet everyone is on the same level, so there are not leaders or followers. This is Friedman's idealized school system -- it is a flat vertical network

Friedman is not an anarchist or a libertarian. He believes in the importance of government. He also believes that the "top-down there are experts who know better" approach is now out of date. In Friedman's philosophy, people should no longer "act steep" (externalize leadership to others) but should "act flat" (internalize leadership to themselves).

Read the rest of What Tom Friedman Means by Flat.

Tom Barnett sees that flat is applied to many different domains, but he doesn't see the big picture. The good doctor instead mocks Friedman for thinking horizontally, calls the book "Orwellian," and writes

But I am not optimistic. Friedman's career is on autopilot now. His editor obviously can't tame him (Warren would have axed so much of this book it's not funny; and whenever I get close to using Core-Gap like that in a paragraph, he is merciless in his criticism). The man lives in a bubble where he speaks to the adoring crowds at all times, and they're mostly CEOs looking for product placements in his next piece (the whole book is one big product placement).

If Barnett means that The World is Flat is basically a big appendix to The Lexus and the Olive Tree, then he's exactly right.

If Barnett is implying that his own blog is somehow not basically a big appendix to The Pengaton's New Map, then I don't know what blogosphere he's typing in.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Barnett and Berman Network Security (CompSci And PoliSci Makes NetSci)

"Life After DoDth or: How the Evernet Changes Everything," by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Proceedings of US Naval Institute, May 2000, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/published/ladod.htm.

"The Death of a Firewall," by Stuart Berman, Network Magazine, 1 June 2005, http://www.networkmagazine.com/shared/article/showArticle.jhtml?articleId=163700676 (from My Kids' Dad).

In an article discussing how to "maintain and protect our economic networks with the outside world," geostrategist proposes a "Department of Network Security" (DNS) that will tackle international organized crime, insurgencies, and terrorism. DNS will partially replace the Department of Defense, with the other end being in the Department of Global Deterrence (DGD) . In his words,

First the unpleasant truth: the Department of Defense's raison d'être died with the Cold War. No one likes to talk about it, but that's what happened. Created in the National Security Act of 1947, the DoD is wholly a creature of what eventually became the United States' hair-trigger during the nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union. Prior to that, we basically stuck to the Constitution's mandate to "provide and maintain a Navy" on a constant basis and to "raise and support Armies" as the situation demanded.


But that strategy died with the start of the globalization era. Now, security rationales are subordinate to economic imperatives. So why haven't we seen, as Joseph Nye might say, the "return of history" in the U.S. national security establishment?[2] Why haven't we repealed the 1947 National Security Act and thrown away this outmoded unification of two defense concepts [meaning, "Why haven't be eliminated the Department of Defenset?" - tdaxp] that constantly compete against one another—to the detriment of both?


DNS will discard the traditional notion of military service separate from civilian life. For most personnel, it will adopt a consultancy model, whereby the agency rents career time versus buying entire lifetimes (essentially the National Guard model). DNS's officer corps will remain career managers, but with frequent real-world tours of duty in technology, industrial, and business fields. This organization will be networked in the extreme, because networks will be what it is all about. This means no separate legal system and the end to posse comitatus restrictions.

Posse Comitatus is the federal law that ended Reconstruction by preventing the military from protecting democracy in the Southern States. The Posse Comitatus Act was the first capitulation of the United States in a War on Terrorism. Barnett, foreseeing a new Global War on Terrorism, realized that it must end if we are to have network security

Stuart Berman of MKD has his own thoughts on network security:

Three years ago, I proposed to our technology architects that we eliminate our network firewalls. Today, we're close to achieving that goal. Back then, I thought that network-based firewalls were losing their effectiveness, enabling a mind-set that was flawed. Today, I'm certain.

Perimeter security was originally intended to allow us to operate with the confidence that our information and content wouldn't be stolen or otherwise abused. Instead, the firewall has slowed down application deployment, limiting our choice of applications and increasing our stress.

To make matters worse, we constantly heard that something was safe because it was inside our network. Who thinks that the bad guys are outside the firewall and the good guys are in? A myriad of applications, from Web-based mail to IM to VoIP, can now tunnel through or bypass the firewall. At the same time, new organizational models embrace a variety of visitors, including contractors and partners, into our networks. Nevertheless, the perimeter is still seen as a defense that keeps out bad behavior. Taking that crutch away has forced us to rethink our security model.

Our new security posture gives our users access to more applications regardless of their location and without sacrificing security. The new security architecture isn't focused on our network firewall. Instead, we embed security within our internal network. This begins with separating our servers from our clients. We can do that now, thanks to layer-3 data center switches that allow for the low-cost creation of subnets. By defining simple ACLs, we further isolate our backend servers.

While Barnett is talking about geopolitical network defense, and Berman is talking about I.T. network defense,both thinkers are analyzing network defenses and both come to the same conclusion: we can no longer trust a border to protect us. In a world where we need to increase "connectivity with the outside world" (in Barnett's words), trusting a "perimeter" to "keeps out bad behavior" is a "crutch" (Berman's terms).

Stuart Berman talks about putting "security within our internal network" (emphasis mine). Barnett talks about ending the "traditional notion of military service separate from civilian life." Same thing.

Turns out my two programs of graduate study, Computer Science and Politican Science, aren't so different after all.

Computer Science + Political Science = Network Science.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Oops I Wrote That Book

"Ah yes, the Jewish Holocaust book I forgot I wrote . . .," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 9 June 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001920.html.

A humorous post from our favorite geostrategist:

1988 was such a weird year for me. I mean, have you ever had the feeling of waking up and realizing you co-wrote a book in your dreams . . . except it was true!

On Amazon that is...

Read it and weep here:

At first, I thought is was about . . . you know . . . burning Bush in effigy or something!

Somehow I think A Computer Model of National Behavior will end up like that...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Thomas Barnett on Political Science Graduate Education

"Harvard & Wisconsin: a toss up," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 8 June 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001914.html.

As my responsibilities as a graduate student and a graduate assistant at UNL's Political Science Graduate Program start August 15, this post was very interesting to me. To quote in its entirety...

It's called the ultimate brand: the degree from Harvard. But not all are equal. To be the classic "Harvard man," you had to go there for an undergraduate degree (there were no "Harvard women" for the first three centuries or so; they went to Radcliffe).

I was never a Harvard man, but I got two graduate degrees there: one in Soviet studies (now called Russia, East European and Central Asian studies, and yes, I did take all those classes too), and the PhD in political science from the Government Department (major international relations; minor comparative politics). I went to the "real" Gov department in Arts and Sciences, not the Kennedy School, which was a separate trade school outside of the graduate school system, like the med and biz schools.

I barely got into the Soviet Studies program at the Russian Research Center, as I was the last selectee in the group of 12. Big key: secretary to director was Wisconsin-born, and she thought it would be great to have someone from there (not too common). I had gotten Phi Beta Kappa as a Junior (one of 3 selected in a class of 5,000), so I was certainly no slouch. That's just how tight the competition was then. I had been accepted at Yale as well, as was offered more money, but took Harvard because of the Sox, Celtics and Bruins. Plus I really wanted to work for Adam Ulam.

After year one, I was one of two selected as the top students of the 12, getting a special fellowship. At that point, the Director's secretary had determined I had the right personality to serve as Ulam's personal research assistant, a job I held longer than just about anyone at five years. He taught me how to play tennis, drink Scotch and love the Sox—in that order. Amazingly, we discussed everything under the sun except the Soviet Union. Adam was a dear friend and mentor who passes a few years back, the first of my father figures to go.

At that time, the Government department had an unofficial quote of regional studies students that they let into the PhD program each year. Of the 12, about 8 wanted in. I got in thanks to Adam's personal pull and my record. The other was Alison Stanger, who went on to academia, I believe.

At the Government department, I came in with the class that included Andrew Sullivan, Fareed Zakaria and Mark Medish, who later was one of Bob Rubin's whiz kids at Treasury. I took a year of classes, passed my comps at the end (instead of the usual two years of classes; my AM gave me advance standing). Then a year to learn just enough Romanian and German to read while I figured out my PhD topic. Then a year to research it and one to write it. The only other of my original class who got out that fast was Sullivan, who had advance standing from his Oxford degree.

When I look back on Harvard, it was a tough place on your ego, but you can't beat the quality of the profs, like Huntington, Hoffman, Sandel, Shklar, Ulam, Pipes, Nye and on and on.

Did it make a difference in my career? Mostly in that people expected big things from me, and that expectation gave me more leeway to be bold.

Interesting fact: until recently Harvard grads accounted for biggest number of Fortune 500 CEOs, until recently being overtaken by Wisconsin.

I got my undergrad from Wisconsin (double major in Russian and American foreign policy.

Also got my wife there—the best part.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

One Free Korea Worth Creating, Whether Pyongyang and Seoul Like It Or Not

Activists Release Names of S Korea Abductees," by Joshua, One Free Korea, 2 June 2005, http://freekorea.blogspot.com/2005/06/activists-release-names-of-s-korea.html.

"Would anyone really miss North Korea?," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 4 June 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001896.html.

Is liberal hawk Thomas Barnett just a pseudonym for Josh from OFK?

They seem to agree that North Korea needs to go, even if South Korea doesn't deserve friendship

from TPM Barnett:

Meanwhile, South Korea races ahead in—I guess—another form of counterfeiting—albeit a far more technologically advanced one. If a South Korea can reach for such heights while a North Korea descends to such depths, I ask you: who would miss North Korea the state?

And if nobody would, why not just get rid of it any way we can? Put the people out of their misery, their stunted growth, their perpetual low nutrition and caloric intake, their lowering IQ, passed on from generation to generation.

North Korea is the international equivalent of the child whose horrific parents locked her in the closet for the last 15 years. I say it's time to do the humane thing. South Korea's too busy cloning themselves to give a rat's ass. If they have that many extra bodies around, I don't think we should sweat their possible losses in the take-down of Kim's regime, because at some point, the horror has to stop. At some point, you have to strike right into the heart of darkness, killing that mad little nutcase.

from One Free Korea

Still, it's interesting to contrast Japan's efforts to get back its abductees, and even the North's hard work to get back its own spies and saboteurs, to Seoul's failure to even ask for the return of its civilians and prisoners of war.

Destroy or Build Families to Shrink the Gap

"The blurring of public and private = the military-market nexus," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 26 May 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001871.html.

"Democracy starts with women," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 26 May 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001874.html.

The region of failed states, death, murder, and mass rape, extending from Zimbabwe to Xinjiang, is called "the Gap." It is dominated by pre-modern cultures, and those pre-modern cultures are dominated by powerful pre-modern networks: families. Families are natural conduits of corruption and engines of insurgency. They are also sources of love, protection, and support. The Bible recognizes both aspects, and swings from radically pro-family

If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.

to radically liberationist

For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.

So it is no surprise that Catholic geostrategist Thomas PM Barnett doesn't know if we should shrink the gap by reinforcing families, like in America

But there is also the spiritual dimension. If the "good life" is good for us, then we ought to be able to share it with others. That's not just good business, that's good faith, and so, as highlighted yet again in an op-ed (this time David Brooks), we see more and more Beltway experts begin to realize the growing power of the faith-based community in shrinking the Gap. Evangelicals, as Brooks says, "feel less represented by the culture war-centered parachurch organizations, and better represented by congregational pastors, who have a broader range of interests and more passion for mobilizing volunteers to perform service."

You have no idea how many audience members have come up to me after talks, saying that their church spent a Sunday morning debating the moral implications of PNM's call to shrink the Gap. People are looking for ways to connect to a Global War on Terrorism that involve the "everything else" other than war, and thank God for these people because—ultimately—this is how we all win in the end.

or by fundamentally undermining them, like in America

Another great article highlighting the utility of microfinance in empowering women in traditional societies. Notice how you never read stories about microloans empowering men in the Gap, just women?


Empowering women drives democracy because empowering women is how you set in motion broadband economic development. There was no "Asian miracle" that did not involve women entering the labor force, pure and simple. We set that example, and we can trigger that development, but only if we keep women at the forefront of our development aid.

Shrink the Gap (Good) and They Will Sell Oil (Bad)

"Hubbert's Curve: does not apply in Gap," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 26 May 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001878.html.

An interesting observation from Thomas Barnett on the Hubbert Curve and Peak Oil -- the claim that we are running out of exploitable oil.

Hubbert's Curve is real and applies to Core areas where oil supplies have been exploited to death. It does not apply in Gap where National Oil Companies (NOCs) rule the reserves. We simply haven't explored most of the Gap. It's that simple

All the more reason to be geogreen. Oil has been a disaster to countries that have it. To save the descendants of the current citizens of the Gap, we must make sure their oil is worthless.

18:35 Posted in Oil, Thomas Barnett | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tags: shrink the gap