Wednesday, November 10

Barnett in Raeson

Tom posted an interview in a Danish magazine. The intro:
 “The tumult created by globalization’s creeping in on the Middle East was going to create anger and violence and terrorism. When 9/11 comes along, and the connections are clear to us – at least for an instant – the United States (frankly, nobody else has the firepower to do it) decides it has got to change the Middle East in a big, big way, looks around and says: “who can I start with?” It decides on Iraq, and I say “that’s as good as anybody”. So are we going to kick his ass militarily in the war? Yes, absolutely: supreme confidence there. Are we going to screw up the occupation? Absolutely! Why would you advocate going even if that is going to happen? Because this military is not going to change unless it experiences failure on that far side.”
He gets pretty quickly into his vision of the role of the New Core, including Russia, India, and China. I've been pushing Macon on this, and he's pushing me back, so maybe this will provide some content (and then I'll go on to other content. And my formatting will be a little funky because I'm copying from pdf and I'm not going to reformat the whle thing.).
You cannot bring Russia sort of into NATO
without changing NATO, and not as a result
make that a different Rule Set. Look at China
buying up our US Treasury Bonds and becoming
the biggest source of the US trade deficit; or India
supplying all the IT-workers and doctors to the
United States plus remitting such sums of money
back to India in terms of non-residential Indians
who work and live in the United States. That kind
of integration processes cannot help but create
new Rule Sets. They always tend to come in the
economic realm first.

So there are a
lot of things that we are going to learn and adjust
to as, for example, India becomes a much bigger
part of not just the U.S.'s but the whole world’s
economy. To understand what it is to have Russia
actively involved in world affairs, when for
several decades it was always on the other side of
the fence. To have China develop this
tremendous integration with the outside world.

it seems like such a jumping-the-gun phenomenon
for us to always be looking for slippage, always
be putting the worst sort of perspective on the
motivations behind anything that Russia, India or
China do as they deal with some significant
changes. They have in recent years changed from
economic policies that were very state-heavy for
many decades and moved towards the embrace of
markets in a very profound way. You would think
we would be happier but it is almost like we look
for every opportunity to say: “you are not going
fast enough and far enough, and – aha! – that
means you, secretly, deep down, inside, must be a
threat”!

We have wished for this to happen for so many
years and when it does happen we cannot believe
it: we have such great suspicion towards these
three big countries. I think about them a lot
because they hold such a big chunk of the world’s
population and if you can remove that kind fear
factor within the Core a lot of things will work
out pretty dramatically.

But India and China do not feel like they have
been invited into the corridors of power. They are
part of G20, but they are not part of G8. They
kind of wonder how the G8 gets to figure out
what happens in Iraq. The G8 had this meeting in
Sea Island [G8 Summit, June 8-10, 2004] and
there decided what they were going to do about
the future of the Middle East – and there was no
China there.

If you do not want it to be a West versus Islam
thing, then do not alienate the biggest players in
the East. Either they live closer to the problem,
like Russia; or they see themselves as natural
regional powers, like India; or they are going to
have their energy requirements from the Persian
Gulf doubling over the next 20 years like China.
Compared to their interdependencies with that
region, ours and even the Europeans’ are small.
I really agree with this picture of the Palestine/Israel situation:
That is the lawyer with three kids who straps a
belt on with dynamite in the West Bank because
that looks like the best option for him after going
to law school: that is the best future he can come
up with. But if you can give him a job a law firm
somewhere I guarantee you, he does not get on that bus.
Back to the Big 3:
The trajectory that Russia has been on
for the last 15 years; China for the last 25; and
India just for the last 10 is just stunning. Because
their societies are exposed to these strong,
external influences this is the perfect time to
shower them with security.
Tom's analysis of the UN:
The problem was that the UN was not the vessel
for that: it is such a Congress-like entity, a
legislative branch, without a real executive
function. The best you have is a group that can
cite bad activity around the world, but does not
have any means to deal with it. The hope is, if the
UN condemns somebody that they change their
ways and somehow get beyond the violence and
then we can send the peacekeepers in.
On multilateralism in Iraq:
We said in effect: “If you’re not tough enough to show up
for the war, don’t show up for the peace: don’t
expect to be cut in on anything!” That was a
huge, colossal blunder on our part, a very macho
view of security as if the only thing that matters
is the “blowing up” part. We have learned since
the occupation in May 2003 that our people get
killed just as quickly in the peace keeping as in
the war part. Actually, more quickly because we
do it so badly.
More on the UN:
And what can the UN do? They can
indict you. It is actually a grand jury, even the
UN Security Council: they cannot actually issue
any warrants for your arrest. They can say: “you
should stop, and if you do not stop, we will not
let you sell sugar for the next ten years”, and slap
some really meaningless economic sanction on
you – which historically has almost never done
anything of value, unless it was universal like
with South Africa under Apartheid.

This where the G20 comes in: the G20
is the star chamber of everyone who matters in
the global economy. When you take the 20
biggest economies, you really get the whole
package, about 90% of the wealth. The G20 is
where you will find all the money and the
authority, where you can locate the entirety of the
Core. If just that body could evolve over time, as
you see it struggling with ever since 9/11, where
security issues have been dominating the G8
meetings. The Sea Island meeting was an Iraq
meeting! They barely talked about the global
economy. They are already aspiring to that role
without saying it. If you made that G20 a package
that could have an executive function, where it
could say: “the UN has said these guys are bad,
we all agree that they are: could we come to some
understanding that the Leviathan [the US military] should be
used?”

Then you could have the Leviathan be put into
service with the knowledge that a System
Administration force on the far side – where the
US has a much smaller role, and the allies around
the world a much larger – will come in once the
take-down (or “the correction” or “the security
element”) has been dealt with. If you employ the
Leviathan force inside the Gap in this manner,
then there would be an upfront agreement that the
SysAdmin force will come in the Leviathan
force’s wake. That force, a very manpower
intensive function, takes the occupation through
its phases effectively.

Then you have another gap being filled on the far
side of that: an international organization like the
IMF but one that specializes in exactly what we
are talking about – that weird mix of security and
development. This is what Sebastian Mallaby of
the Washington Post calls the IRF – the
International Reconstruction Fund – like a
perpetual Marshall Plan for politically bankrupt
states designated for rehab. Who would fund that
IRF? The same G20 that would make the
decision upstream in the process. They would
vote according to how much money they would
put into it. And then you have the International
Criminal Court on the far end. It is that kind of A
to Z function: then you would have a real system.
On the role of Iraq in the war on terrorism:
Either you fix the system as a
whole – or you accept that you will have to shoot
at anything that moves in certain parts of the
world for the next 50 years, and I find that
morally bankrupt. That would be condemning a
big chunk of humanity to a horrible existence.
But is it harder to go in and make that change
happening? Absolutely.

Globalization is coming to the Middle
East, and we have to integrate it. That energy has
to come out of there, because developing Asia
needs it, and we need developing Asia. If we do
not go there security-wise, the Russians and the
Chinese and the Indians would be coming, and
eventually the Japanese too. We can get there
first, and try to make it a good thing, make it
cooperative and a benefit to the region as a
whole. Or we can wait until it gets really bad, and
poor China gets so desperate that it starts doing
something crazy or scary or intimidating. And we
would go: “Hey, you shouldn’t be doing that”,
and then we would have ourselves a nice cold
war brewing in the Core again.

The Europeans are the
leaders in rule making; the Americans are the
leaders in profound new technology and the
ability to wage war; the Chinese have this
amazing new power in making [manufacturing]
everything; the Indians have this bizarrely tilted
power in Information Technology; and the
Japanese are sort of this new center of cool and
design and fashion.

If you make a
logical argument about the exertion of security,
then people will say: “Who will die for your war?
You must be doing this for empire; you must be
doing this so multinational corporations can go
around the world and exploit labor!”

And I say: “Your point? Yes, I am: it is called
development! Talk to somebody who has no
multinational corporations exploiting their cheap
labor: it sucks, it’s called Central Africa!” But
show me a place where they do have them do it,
and yes the first generation’s life looks like
England in the 1890s: they work in factories and
the conditions are rotten. But their kids go to
school and become something better, and then
their kids' kids become something even better.
That is how we did it. How do we expect
everyone else to magically jump ahead?

in many ways, we are moving away from paradigms
of war to paradigms of police work. Across the
Core we do have cops, and it is robust system. In
the Gap there are no cops: you can kill 100.000
people before anyone cares. Hack them up with
machetes, and throw their bodies down the river,
and maybe five months later the UN will say:
“that’s really bad, you should stop!” So we are
talking about extending police work.
On the Bush Administration:
That is why I, as a
Democrat, actually find myself supporting Bush
more than Kerry, because he speaks in terms of
right and wrong, good versus evil. You need a
certain amount of that to get people up to do it,
because these are not easy things. You need Putin
to be Putin sometimes. If you say: “Well, why
don’t you negotiate with them?”, then he will say:
“They just killed 300 of my kids! Why don’t you
go negotiate with Osama bin Laden?!” At some
point you have to say: “That doesn’t work!”

This administration is doing much
of what I argue for, but I do not claim that they
are following my logic – I claim it to be the logic
of the world. They are employing almost a
Nixonian sort of secrecy on it, as though the
world would not trust them on it. In that secrecy,
which is almost pathological, many people are
rushing in to fill the gap – with conspiracies,
charges, accusations and labels.

Americans are somewhat schizophrenic on this, since we accept
30,000 deaths a year with gun violence – but bin
Laden can go commit 3,000 murders on
television one day, and we will be so mad about
that that we will go invade countries.

But thank God we still react violently to
terrorism: that it still lights a fire under us, and it
is finally lighting one under Putin. We can either
deal with it or we can choose not to, but it is not
going away, and this globalization process will
not stop just because we stop supporting the
Israelis or get off oil or something like that. The
older I get the more convinced I get that life is
accomplished by those rushing to embrace the
bad things, because you may as well get it over as
soon as possible. I learned that when my daughter
got cancer at age two, which I write about in the
book. It really taught me something about
strategic planning: dealing with difficult things in
the right fashion, not dragging them out.
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