Friday, September 10, 2004

Thomas Barnett tries to rationalize the invasion of Iraq.

Of course, he's wrong because the notions of "connectedness" and "disconnetedness" are too vacuous. Or rather, too focused on one kind of connection : capitalism.

In reality there are dozens of different ways of being connected. Different networks based on different types of links : capital flow, trade, tourism, cultural inspiration, stigmergic information sharing, marriage etc. etc. One reason the west comes into conflict with Islam is that Islam is also a kind of network. Of shared texts and values, of wandering teachers, and charismatic clerics.

Was Taliban Afghanistan "disconnected" when thousands from around the Islamic world travelled to study there? When it was the connector of Saudi money with Pakistani students and Lebanese tacticians?

But once again, Barnett is fascinating because he makes the raw capitalist agenda so explicit. These alternative networks must be over-ridden. A network of capital flows must be put in their place : "Therefore we must enlist the aid of all the forces of connectedness across the Core—not just their troops but their investment flows and their commercial networks.''

He ought to know better. He says "forces of disconnectedness" will resist. But what a crazy idea. There is no force of disconnectedness. Disconnectedness has no force. The only force comes from ''rival'' connectedness.

Actually, after reading that the US has finally begun exporting security to that part of the world for real It's clear the guy is pretty much mad. Read it and decide yourself ...

Update :

No, I'll continue. The point about China is sort of good. In the sense that there's a real prediction to be had there. The Barnett view is that war with China isn't a danger because connectedness doesn't want to fight. The alternative prediction might be made from an analogy with the FirstWorldWar : a war of growing industrial superpowers jostling for room to expand. If there is war with China, it will vindicate the latter position and drive a nail through the Barnett doctrine. If there isn't, then this might be corroberation of it.

Ooh! Ooh! Admiration for the IMF as good cop "processing" economic bad-kid states. This is too good!

And remind me, again, why anyone should "come when you can" to the peacekeeping?

Like I said. Totally loco!

Also on ThoughtStorms:PentagonsNewMap

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