Monday, November 22

Barnett today

Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld, and...Giambastiani?

Everybody's a Colin Powell fan, right. Well, here's an idea: Maybe he's not all that great. He hasn't had a great turn as Secretary of State. The Powell Doctrine, which Barnett maligns all the time, has shown itself to be bankrupt. What do you think?

Rice is a Bush loyalist, but hasn't done a good job as National Security adviser.

Rumsfeld: 'one of our greatest Secretaries of War ever' (just not good at Peace/Occupation)

Giambastiani: Barnett hopes he'll be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Korea and Iran
Instead of asking which one is easier to stop, shouldn't we simple deal with the situation that's far worse? There is no deal to be made with North Korea, because that regime has nothing to offer. With Iran, there are clear things that country could offer in terms of better regional behavior that would be worth a lot to us right now, trapped as we are in Iraq. With Kim, it's just a nutcase with nukes, so disconnected from the global economy that the only way he makes money to prop up his regime is through criminal activity.
China is working with investments to secure energy

Hmm. Is Brazil close enough to Pacific to make it into the Pacific NATO?

Genocide in the Gap

Genocide in Sudan. We haven't done enough. China is culpable, too.

Sarcastic reponse re: France and Cote d'Ivoire

Barnett recounts his take on Iraq and the Global War On Terrorism
• To start that process after all our years of diddling on the margin, perturbing that system as a whole makes sense.

• The best target for such an effort following 9/11 was Iraq, because Saddam had checked so many boxes and everyone in the system wanted him gone, even if we didn't have a transparent, A-to-Z Core rule set for dispatching such rogues and rehabbing their systems.

• Once you decide to go in, make if fast and furious with the transformed Leviathan force (check!) but then overwhelm the country with a committed, massive peacekeeping Sys Admin force that segues quickly into round-the-dial reconstruction efforts that emphasizes small-and-beautiful efforts that keep hands busy, put money in pockets, put food in bellies, and give people back their dignity (completely unchecked that box)

• Understanding nation-building is hard, the larger reason for going into Iraq (once Saddam is removed) is not Iraq, but the rest of the region. Expect a strong anti-American reaction as the force for change, but then watch for that change and take advantage of it as it emerges in Syria, Israel-Palestine, Iran, etc. Make the deals, create the local ownership, be generous with the quid pro quos, etc.

• To the extent that you can't resolve Iraq as a whole, I advocate resolving what you can. The Kurdish north isn't the problem, and the Shiite south can be dealt with, leaving the Sunni center triangle as the odd man out.

• There is no reason for the Kurds and Shiites to be held back by the Sunnis, given all the nasty history between them. Iraq is an unreal country with no real basis in history. It was created by the Brits to cover their tracks. We are no more held to that past in Iraq than we were in Yugoslavia, so we need to make do with those who want to get things done, growing the Core and transforming the region where possible, instead of waiting for perfect answers.

• If it seems like we're making this up as we go along, guess what? That's how it always has been in foreign policy and national security: exploiting victories as they present themselves, likewise adapting to failures as they present themselves.
The EU and Turkey

But here's the rule-set reset demanded by Europe: stop treating your state as an ethnic identity marker and start treating it as a geographic administrative concept—meaning the definition of being a Turk needs to expand to basically anyone who lives in Turkey, speaks Turkish, and wants the same rights as anyone of Turkish ethnic descent. In short, the EU is demanding Turkey genericize the concept of being Turkish if it wants to join the EU, because the EU lets in modern states, not immature ethnic nations. If the EU approached it any other way, the dream of a United States of Europe (gee, what a familiar ring) never really takes off, because the USE can only be the USE if its united around the concept of states united, not ethnic ghettos stitched together.

When you get a mature USE, it will most definitely look like a USA, all "profound" economic lifestyle differences aside. You'll see ethnic blending and appropriation that's not seen as stealing, but the highest form of flattery.
Post a Comment