THE PENTAGON'S NEW MAP - A HANDY GUIDE TO THE MUST-READ FOREIGN POLICY BOOK of 2004
has written an exemplary book
that enunciates something you very seldom see in American public debate - a long-term strategic vision for the United States that gets beyond the crisis de jure. Moreover, it's a strikingly positive vision that can politically connect with the American public across party lines - " Shrinking the Gap " is a clarion call that can supported from liberal humanitarian interventionists to neocons to cold-hearted realists. As a paradigm, this is the Convergence of Civilizations
, not the Clash
Moreover, the PNM builds on the historic American commitment since FDR to freeing markets that every administration has supported since WWII. The Pentagon's New Map, as a concept, represents both innovation for the post 9/11 world and reassuring continuity. Ted Rall and Michael Moore are going to hate it. So will Pat Buchanan. Everyone else however will be willing to give Barnett's ideas at least a serious look.
A Quick and Dirty Guide to PNM Terminology:
The industrialized, connected to the information economy, mostly peaceful, rule of law abiding, liberal democratic world.
The Old Core:
The heart of the core, the old G-7/NATO/Japan states led by the United States.
The New Core:
Those modernizing states that decided to join the Core in the 1980's and 1990's - these are not always as liberal, democratic and law-abiding as the Old Core but they have more or less irreversibly committed to moving in that direction - China, India, South Korea, Mexico, Brazil and the like.
The Third World regions mostly disconnected economically and politically from the Core. Hobbesian in character, ridden by violence, oppression, poverty and anarchy. Ruled by despots- when ruled by anyone- committed to keeping their nations disconnected as a political survival strategy.
The explicit and implicit rules that provide the framework by which nations interact and function internally. There is a clash of rule sets between the Gap and the Core and within the Core between Europe which mostly cannot and will not intervene in the Gap to enforce rules and the United states which can and sometimes must.
The degree of acceptance of globalization's many effects and the ability of a nation's individuals to access choices for themselves. Most international hotspots are in the most disconnected parts of the Gap.
Global Transaction Strategy:
Barnett's equivalent to " Containment" - a national and Core strategy
to " Shrink the Gap " by connecting and integrating into the rule sets of the Core.
I am going to discuss some of Dr. Barnett's more specific observations and recommendations - and where I see caveats - in a subsequent post but overall the PNM is a book that will have an intellectual impact that will be both broad and deep.