Friday, February 13, 2009

Great Powers

The official with two initials, perhaps the most prodigious of all the v2.0 Vulcans is most likely Dr Thomas P.M. Barnett.

Dubbed the "Strategist" in Great Satan's cadre of fully crunk military brainiacs, Dr B's bona fides are totally off the hook and include Senior Strategic Researcher and Professor in the Warfare Analysis & Research Department, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, U.S. Naval War College, Senior Managing Director of Enterra Solutions, LLC (think private spy, advisory, psychic strategery Great Satan fan club.)

He's kinda hot! too.

He also wrote a clever essay about the 10 things that matter about Red China

DR B busted out of the hood and became large and in charge way back in 2004 with the unleashing of "The Pentagon's New Map" a hands on guide to war and peace in the new millennium.

"When people start using your words--core and gap, system perturbations, exporting security--you know you're getting through. In
Washington and in the Pentagon, battles are won one room at a

Now Dr Barnett is back with his latest piece entitled " Great Powers" a a tour de force analysis of the grand realignments that are both already here and coming up fast in the spheres of economics, diplomacy, defense, technology, security, the environment, and much more.

The “great powers” are no longer just the world’s major nation-states but the powerful forces, past, present, and future, moving with us and past us like a freight train.

It is not a simple matter of a course correction but of a complete recalibration, and the opportunities it presents are far greater than the perils. Barnett gives us a fundamental understanding of both, showing us not only how the world is now but how it will be.

There are those writing now who say America is in decline . . . and we just have to deal with it. Barnett says "Heck no." Globalization as it exists today was built by America—and now it’s time for America to shape and redefine what comes next.

A couple of questions about "Great Powers", thanks to Mark Safranski at Small Wars Journal got some intersting answers from Dr Barnett.

What the heck is Grand Strategy?

"Ideally, grand strategy is a vision of your preferred future world in terms of its rough structure and governing dynamics (this is how power is distributed and these are the goals that most people/nations are working toward). That future world vision, to be attractive to your own citizens, needs to be one in which your way of life is significantly advantaged, otherwise you won’t attract any popular will for the required effort/sacrifice. That’s the image.

"The action, then, is directing all available dimensions of your nation’s power toward that goal. Americans tend to think that political-military stuff leads the way (i.e., make ‘em democracies, fight the bad guys), but it’s really the softer stuff that historically proves more profound—namely, the attractiveness of our social rule-sets (the sheer individual freedom to pursue your definition of happiness) and the empowering nature of our entrepreneurial economics (build that better mousetrap and you’re Bill Gates)."

"To me, that’s an amazing grand strategic trajectory that we’ve already accomplished, effectively killing great power war in the process. I want Americans to know their history and take pride in this stunning accomplishment. I want them to realize where we stand now—on the verge of creating the world’s first truly global middle class.

And I want them to understand that we’re effectively the one union on the planet that can either keep things cool or blow them up over the next decade or so, depending on how we respond."

How does a nuke powered despotic Iran queer the mix in the new millennium?

"Simply dial down our fixation on Iranian nukes. Iran with nukes is not the end of the world. We know how to deal with revolutionary powers who talk big; we did it before with the USSR and the PRC. The Shia bomb isn’t a new animal, so please, let’s avoid having our entire foreign policy held hostage to its threat.

Instead, we extend our nuclear umbrella to Israel and let Tehran know in no uncertain terms that if they make the slightest move in that direction—either directly or through proxies—that we will liquidate them completely and there’ll be no Iran on the far side of that stupid move, meaning we will strike pre-emptively on the side of caution.

We should be very clear here: America can and will do this. We’ve done in the past and we got away with it and we can do it all over again and get away with it in the same manner.

Iran wants to be in the "big boy" club? Well . . . that’s the rule-set they’ll encounter. "


Jeff said...

I'll pick up Barnett's new book when I find time. Sounds like a good read. I don't agree with him about Iran. I think his position is flawed. You never compete or standoff with people who have nothing to lose. Iranian religious clerics who, under certain delusional circumstances, might think or believe it’s their religious-heavenly duty to make a nuclear strike; to drive the infidels out. For us to just accept a counter strike or preemptive strike as a solution, in my opinion, is short sighted and very dangerous. As it is, there may come a day we have to preemptively strike the Pakistani nuclear arsenal just to keep it from falling into radical Islamic hands.

The best strategy, which Israel is going to hold to anyway, is not to allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. The Israelis are simply not going to allow it; especially if Bebe wins. Western societies like Israel, the U.S. and Europe, have a lot to lose in any nuclear exchange; not to mention the destruction of our global environment. The mullahs may not believe they do. They may think their just fulfilling the prophesy.

There are also the regional implications of a nuclear Iran. If Iran has nukes, then every Sunni nation in the region, that’s most, will want nukes as a deterrent. Israel, in order to counter balance, will have to begin building a large stockpile of nukes to deter all the Muslim nations surrounding her. With so many nukes being built or sought after we will almost certainly have a greater chance of a handoff to terrorists, not to mention a greater chance of a nuclear exchange. The possibility of a nuke falling into terrorist's hands is already there now. You can imagine how better the odds are for UBL and gang with an arms race on.

Allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons is a big mistake. We should pull back from that thinking now, before we allow it to pull us all over into the abyss.

courtneyme109 said...

Jeff - I tend to agree. How did Great Satan's 'Stache Grande put it?

"I've tried to stay away from theorizing about how you deal with a nuclear Iran, because once you start theorizing about it, in a way you're accepting it.

But if the reality is that Iran is now unimpeded - except for the possibility of a military strike - then you have to start thinking about it.

That's why regime change starts coming back into the picture. The only long-range way to deal with this problem is regime change.

And once it becomes nuclear, the entire balance of power in the region shifts - not just for Israel, but for the Arab states in the Persian Gulf as a whole.

It will be a dramatically different region, because of the substantial increase of influence that nuclear capability will give the Iranians.

By regime change in Iran, I don't mean switching a few figures at the top; I mean the elimination of the Islamic Revolution of 1979"

Dr Bolton makes a great point.

just like you.