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Friday, October 28, 2005

NEW WORLD MAPMAKER: THE SECOND LIFE OF THOMAS P.M. BARNETT, PART III

Continued from yesterday. Background here and here. Part III: Laying out the rule-set for global change.

Thomas Barnett: On it you will see my proposed six-part, A-to-Z rule-set for the Core to come together and shrink the Gap by exporting security to its worst situations. First half, let's call that the war. Second half, let's call that the peace. Remember: War in Iraq went well, it's the peace that sucks. If you keep calling what we have in Iraq now the "war," then all your answers will be war-answers, and none of them are really applicable here. We have to get better at the peace.

Tough? Yes. More expensive? Yes.

But there is a fundamental rule-set change that we must adapt to nowadays: Wars have gotten cheaper, faster, easier, and less manpower-intensive.

But that means that the peace has gotten costlier, longer, harder and more manpower-intensive.

Either adjust to that rule set change or continue to field the force we have today: a first-half team that plays in a league that insists on keeping score until the end of the game.

Our enemies have cracked this code: they sit out the first half and then go on the offensive in the second half. This is the essence of what the Marines like to call Fourth Generation Warfare: attack your enemies' morale through a strategy of "bloody-ing their nose" again and again.

So, turning to the six-part rule-set, what do we have in place in the world today that we can put to use?

First, we have the UN Security Council and their "special investigator" agencies, like the IAEA that just won the Nobel Peace Prize. Their role, collectively, is to look for bad behavior, cite it, debate it, and issue grand jury-like "Indictments". But the UN can do nothing beyond that, which is what gets you 13 million dead from conflicts around the world since the end of the Cold War, even though interstate war goes the way of the dinosaur.

The UN is set up to respect state sovereignty. That worked to prevent WWIII in Europe, but not all this violence that continues in the Gap unabated by the Cold War's end.

Another element we have in place is the awesome military power of the U.S. as de facto Leviathan in the system. That force is more than happy to take down the "indicted" leaders. They say: "You want me to take him down? Fine. It will cost you $20 billion and I'll do it on Tuesday. But I'll want to leave by the weekend, because I don't do nation-building."

The third element we have in place right now is the International Criminal Court in the Hague. That court was set up ostensibly to try war criminals from Gap countries, where there are not robust enough legal systems to prevent that sort of thing. The U.S. fear the ICC will put our troops or leaders on trial when we try to do things militarily in the Gap. So we've cut bilateral treaties with almost all Gap nations that gives us blanket immunity.

If these are the three pieces we have today, then what are we missing?

Between the UN Security Council's expression of will and the U.S.'s ability to wield that awesome Leviathan, there needs to be some "Functioning Executive" body that translates the will of the global community into action, or someone with real bucks.

In my mind, that somebody is the G-8, or group of eight major economies, a council that inevitably enlargens into the G-20, which will end up being basically my entire Core because it takes in China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, etc. The G-20 is the logical Functioning Executive to decide when and under what conditions the Leviathan is authorized to take down bad actors or regimes in the Gap.

So the first half is, the UN Security Council indicts the bad guys, the G-20 issues the warrants for arrest, and then the U.S. Leviathan does the takedown, like U.S. Marshals.

The second half is also made of three segments. We're missing the first two: a SysAdmin force of peacekeepers and nation-builders that's populated mostly by such "new Core" pillars as China and India (two huge armies). And what Sebastian Mallaby of the Washington Post has called an International Reconstruction Fund that's modeled on the IMF but specializes in rehabbing politically-bankrupt regimes post-conflict. The G-20 would fund the proposed IRF, just like the IMF.

The last of the six pieces and the third of the second half would be that Inte3rnational Criminal Court that I mentioned earlier.

So to sum up: UN indicts, G-20 issues warrant, U.S. Leviathan takes down, SysAdmin maintains peace, IRF rebuilds and ICC puts on trial.

You will say: you are a dreamer and this is way too much to ask for! I will tell you this: we've already used this A-to-Z system successfully twice: Bosnia and Kosovo. In both instances, we had NATO be the Executive and collections of UN agencies work the rebuild and peacekeeping. Not very well, mind you, but OK. What I'm talking about is this.

This need does not go away any time soon. It is not a "neocon fantasy" or a GOP or Dem-only problem.

The Gap cannot be voted out of office.

You either get good at this process of moving states from conflict to peace, or from the Gap to the Core, or we watch another 13 million or so die in the next decade and a half. Your kids will definitely ask you what you did to prevent the roughly two Holocausts-worth of death on your watch during these years, and if your only answer is to say, "Well, I wanted to do better but I was so busy with my go-go-, high-tech life that I couldn't manage anything better!"

Well, I consider that a pretty poor and indefensible response.

I see major powers moving beyond war and conflict among themselves, but I still see one-third of humanity, noses pressed to the glass, wanting in on this big party we call the global economy, and yes, we'll need to wage some war to make that happen. That's pretty much what I wanted to highlight from the second book, Blueprint for Action, here today.

Why don't we move onto questions at this point.

Continued Monday...

Posted at 05:50 PM | Permalink

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Comments

By the way, are the Lindens going to sponsor talks by individuals who expressly oppose Barnett's deranged theories? Or is Second Life here to sell me on some ideology I don't and won't accept?

Posted by: Luciftias Neurocam at Oct 31, 2005 10:16:50 AM