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There is currently in the works, by high-level planners in the Pentagon system, a revamped and relatively dovish imperial grand strategy. This was outlined by Dr. Thomas Barnett at a symposium on National Security Strategy at the National Defense University on 18 Aug 06. It is essentially a systems analysis of the world.

   There is currently in the works, by high-level planners in the Pentagon system, a revamped and relatively dovish imperial grand strategy. This was outlined by Dr. Thomas Barnett at a symposium on National Security Strategy at the National Defense University on 18 Aug 06. It is essentially a systems analysis of the world (one is reminded of David Noble's Forces of Production).    
   Thomas Barnett seems, prima facie, to be a new "liberal" intellegentsia extraordinaire, one might look for him to become the next Democratic President's SecDef. His position is to the effect that "we need more Sun Tzu and less Clausewitz." Clausewitz's influence on American military strategy could be quite contrived. Clausewitz was a logistician; his influence is justification for the US strategy of emphasis on superior logistics, which one could translate to mean the purchase of products and services from the defense industry contractors and the development of the state sector of the economy.
    The strategy that Barnett outlines considers there to be a hole in the middle of the world called a "non-intergrating gap." This is in the Mid East, parts of Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. He says that the problem here is a lack of connectivity, i.e. no "free market" capitalism and free trade. This leads to danger.
    So, the plan is to shrink the "non-integrating gap" by using the American military forces to provide export security for nation building which will provide American military contractors the opportunity to make a fortune in infrastructure building operations - corporations like Halliburton and Lockheed Martin. Then, the objective is to provide "enterprise resilient" infrastructure, which I am assuming involves the subjugation of local populations to quell labor movements and independent nationalism and provide the all-important investor-friendly business climate.
    Now, what is new about this is his assertion that we need to rethink the configuration of our military forces. This goes beyond the modularity that Gen. Schoomaker began instituting. This is a dichotomous military force: a Leviathan, the Navy and the Air Force with lots of bombs and firepower, and the Sys Admin force (which under military terminology is called full spectrum or expeditionary operations) consisting of the Army and the Marine Corps.
    Why this involves more Sun Tzu is because this Sys Admin force will be less about logistics (boo hoo - less products for soldiers being purchased) and more about training the officer corps as well as the enlisted leaders to deal with nation building operations - bridging the gap between war (which we do well) and peace. This is an emphasis on security and not defense, defense meaning protection of the homeland and security meaning globalized economic connectivity. I have never heard this outlined so pointedly before (the times they are a-changing).
    Another thing that he stated quite pointedly was that the interest was not in stopping the violence of Islamo-fascism, but shifting it geographically into Sub-Saharan Africa were there is no petrol resources. This should depress all who desire intervention about the violence in Sudan - it isn't going to happen because that is the idea. The problem now, Barnett goes on to say, is that the Middle East region is not developed enough, meaning culturally sophisticated from a western perspective, to deal with the level of connectivity they are experiencing. This could logically be construed to be an admission that globalization is not a natural process at all.
    So to summarize what I have outlined so far, there will be a more non-kinetic military force for Sys Admin operations to provide defense contractors (who will have to shift focus to infrastructure building) with an opportunity to make money in nation development operations. Barnett advocates the establishment of ISO 9000 Series Analysis standards for building factories and establishing business-centric infrastructure. The idea is to have a packet already in place, a kind of nation building product portfolio, so that this process can be easily force-integrated into "underdeveloped" (which means mal-developed) locales. These are standards for finance and commerce to speed up the process of capital exploitation by having market-ready models ready to be forced into place quickly and efficiently, before people on the home front begin calling for withdrawal, which is what is happening in Iraq.
    It is abundantly clear that for a grand strategy to be considered legitimate it must have a focused awareness of maintaining an investor-friendly business climate at home and abroad. Furthermore, as long as it is quick, lethal, adaptable and efficient (which are buzz words in military tactics, techniques, procedures and doctrinal constructs) the American domestic population will not attempt to prevent it. May God have mercy on our souls.  

Originally posted to Nathan Jaco on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 02:33 PM PDT.

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