Barnett’s Path to a U.S. Grand Strategy in Three Paragraphs

Too many people are stuck in the old ways of thinking, be it ideaologues like neoconservatives to International ANSWER or jingoism of the Anti-China folks. Thomas Barnett is not one of them.

In his blog posting today, Thomas Barnett succinctly offers a very different perspective and game plan on what the U.S. must pursue to adjust to a true “New World Order” (in the words of Bush senior):

We should be promoting India as a regional security pillar in the Middle East, but we do not. We should be pushing hard for Russia’s fully admittance into NATO and some prioritized pathway into the EU, but we do not. We should be encouraging China’s use of the ASEAN group to create the genesis of an Asian Union, with us included in a special status, but we do not. Instead, we promote China’s encirclement through military alliances and then express surprise that China seeks to do the same to us.

The dynamics of the 21st century security environment will inevitably push the U.S. to greater reliance upon, and alliance with, Russia, India, China and Brazil. This is simply too big of a change for the current administration, just too far of a conceptual leap. So we end up waiting out the second Bush administration, hoping that we don’t fall too far behind, strategically speaking, in this process.

Meanwhile, Iran continues to look ripe for the connecting. When your best and brightest all seek to make a run for greener pastures, like Dubai just across the gulf, then it’s clear the current regime is failing. We can either prop it up by obsessing over the WMD issue, repeating the same myopic focus we had with Iraq, or we can judge the case on its merits and kill that tired authoritarian regime with economic and social connectivity.

Gone are the days when we think of state power in a state v. state way.

As mentioned earlier in StrategyUnit (”Events in Context: Paris Riots and SAFTA“), globalization has forced the national-state to evolve. While I think the overall Weberian notion of the nation-state still hold, nation-states must include greater connectivity (internall, externally and overall in the world) as part of its security considerations, and an increasing one at that.



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One response to “Barnett’s Path to a U.S. Grand Strategy in Three Paragraphs”

  1. IJ

    Iran continues to look ripe for the connecting.

    Israel thinks so. But it’s not the connectivity that is proposed by Thomas Barnett, who thinks that a connected Iran is the key to the Middle East (page 8 of 12). But where is the world’s Leviathan?

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