Thursday, October 28

Barnett again

Well, Barnett doesn't have anything of note today, so I'll have to make up my own. Notes from his talk on C-SPAN:
  • He worked on the worst case scenario for Y2K. Looked surprisingly like 9.12.01 and the Asian flu.
  • Wall Street intelligence is very impressive.
  • He looks at the military economically and as a business (sometimes). So he often analyzes military action in terms of 'billable hours'. This is personnel focused, and useful in many ways.
  • China and Japan haven't done much for the war in Iraq. But they finance out 2 or 3/5ths of our debt, and they have keen interest in Middle Eastern oil.
  • Go after the terrorist's strategic goals. Bin Laden wants the US out of the Middle East so he take the ME out of the world (i.e., disconnect it). Now we're in the ME in a big way. Most attacks have been in the ME since the invasion.
  • We can fight a war without reserves, but we can't win a peace.
  • His guess on Israel-Palestine: US peacekeepers on a wall to keep them apart, like Berlin and Korea.
  • We have been closing bases in developed countries (his Core, basically) and opening bases closer to the developing world (his Gap, basically). The Gap is the expeditionary theater for the 21st century.
  • Good News: our military is great at fighting wars and where they should be.
  • Bad News: our intel stinks and we're really bad at nation buidling. Rumsfeld is a good Secretary of War, but bad at everything else. Further, our military forces are designed to fight and win, not occupy and build.
  • B. says 'you show me a country that develops to >3000$/yr income and I'll show you a country that gets out of the violence business.
  • The average income in Saudi Arabia is going down. 'I guarantee mass violence.'
  • China is changing a lot. After SARS the WHO said 'straighten up or we'll stop travel there immediately'. And the WTO made them open to private investment.
  • The Bush Administration planned for the next big war (v. China) and wanted out of the nation-building business. They try to stick military unpreparedness on the Clinton Administration, but the demand by tax-payers for a 'peace dividend' began in GHB's administration, and GWB's administration made their own mistakes.
  • A big part of B's schtick is arguing for a 'Sys Admin' force that can occupy and stabilize and build and conduct civilian affairs.
  • B. assumes a hydrogen transportation solution in 20 years.
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