This is a tale of the present and the future, where nation states fall into two basic categories: A) The politically stable, technologically developed, globalized, economically interconnected states – the Core, and B) the politically unstable, underdeveloped or even non-developed, non-globally connected states – the Gap. Who cares?, you might ask. Well, as Thomas Barnett writes in Esquire Magazine:
If we draw a line around the majority of [US] military interventions, we have basically mapped the Non-Integrating Gap. Obviously, there are outliers excluded geographically by this simple approach, such as an Israel isolated in the Gap, a North Korea adrift within the Core, or a Philippines straddling the line. But looking at the data, it is hard to deny the essential logic of the picture: If a country is either losing out to globalization or rejecting much of the content flows associated with its advance, there is a far greater chance that the U.S. will end up sending forces at some point. Conversely, if a country is largely functioning within globalization, we tend not to have to send our forces ambienbuy there to restore order to eradicate threats.
It’s also a tale of the military configuration needed to confront that world. A military of two parts. As the WSJ’s Greg Jaffe writes:
Mr. Barnett’s military is a far cry from the shape of today’s armed forces. Instead of a single force to wage wars and rebuild nations, Mr. Barnett envisions two. The first, which he dubs “Leviathan,” would be hard-hitting, ready to take on conventional foes such as Saddam Hussein on a moment’s notice. The second, more unconventional force of “System Administrators” would focus on bringing dysfunctional states into the mainstream through the type of nation-building operations seen in Iraq, the Balkans and Eastern Africa. It wouldn’t only mop up after wars but would travel the world during peacetime building local security forces and infrastructure.
Tom Barnett is a senior professor in the Warfare Analysis department of the Naval War College and author of The Pentagon’s New Map.
(Via The Command Post)