- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (May 3, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425202399
- ISBN-13: 978-0425202395
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 142 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century Paperback – May 3, 2005
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This bold and important book strives to be a practical "strategy for a Second American Century." In this brilliantly argued work, Thomas Barnett calls globalization "this countrys gift to history" and explains why its wide dissemination is critical to the security of not only America but the entire world. As a senior military analyst for the U.S. Naval War College, Barnett is intimately familiar with the culture of the Pentagon and the State Department (both of which he believes are due for significant overhauls). He explains how the Pentagon, still in shock at the rapid dissolution of the once evil empire, spent the 1990s grasping for a long-term strategy to replace containment. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Barnett argues, revealed the gap between an outdated Cold War-era military and a radically different one needed to deal with emerging threats. He believes that America is the prime mover in developing a "future worth creating" not because of its unrivaled capacity to wage war, but due to its ability to ensure security around the world. Further, he believes that the U.S. has a moral responsibility to create a better world and the way he proposes to do that is by bringing all nations into the fold of globalization, or what he calls connectedness. Eradicating disconnectedness, therefore, is "the defining security task of our age." His stunning predictions of a U.S. annexation of much of Latin America and Canada within 50 years as well as an end to war in the foreseeable future guarantee that the book will be controversial. And that's good. The Pentagon's New Map deserves to be widely discussed. Ultimately, however, the most impressive aspects of the book is not its revolutionary ideas but its overwhelming optimism. Barnett wants the U.S. to pursue the dream of global peace with the same zeal that was applied to preventing global nuclear war with the former Soviet Union. High-level civilian policy makers and top military leaders are already familiar with his vision of the futurethis book is a briefing for the rest of us and it cannot be ignored. --Shawn Carkonen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Barnett, professor at the U.S. Naval War College, takes a global perspective that integrates political, economic and military elements in a model for the postâ"September 11 world. Barnett argues that terrorism and globalization have combined to end the great-power model of war that has developed over 400 years, since the Thirty Years War. Instead, he divides the world along binary lines. An increasingly expanding "Functioning Core" of economically developed, politically stable states integrated into global systems is juxtaposed to a "Non-Integrating Gap," the most likely source of threats to U.S. and international security. The "gap" incorporates Andean South America, the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and much of southwest Asia. According to Barnett, these regions are dangerous because they are not yet integrated into globalism's "core." Until that process is complete, they will continue to lash out. Barnett calls for a division of the U.S. armed forces into two separate parts. One will be a quick-strike military, focused on suppressing hostile governments and nongovernment entities. The other will be administratively oriented and assume responsibility for facilitating the transition of "gap" systems into the "core." Barnett takes pains to deny that implementing the new policy will establish America either as a global policeman or an imperial power. Instead, he says the policy reflects that the U.S. is the source of, and model for, globalization. We cannot, he argues, abandon our creation without risking chaos. Barnett writes well, and one of the book's most compelling aspects is its description of the negotiating, infighting and backbiting required to get a hearing for unconventional ideas in the national security establishment. Unfortunately, marketing the concepts generates a certain tunnel vision. In particular, Barnett, like his intellectual models Thomas Friedman and Francis Fukuyama, tends to accept the universality of rational-actor models constructed on Western lines. There is little room in Barnett's structures for the apocalyptic religious enthusiasm that has been contemporary terrorism's driving wheel and that to date has been indifferent to economic and political factors. That makes his analytical structure incomplete and more useful as an intellectual exercise than as the guide to policy described in the book's promotional literature.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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There is a really good section on the "briefing culture" of the Pentagon that would have made a great article in its own right.
Whether you believe the premise of the book or not, you ought to be familiar with it because most of Washington's policy makers think this way.
Four stars for basic message, two stars for presentation and editing: three on average.
One of the alarming messages from the book is the low quality of thinking and decision processes prevalent in the defense establishment. It is commendable that Barnett took the uncommon action of connecting to business/economics thinkers but if defense analysts are not routinely tapping into the private sector for information, tools and processes, they are in the dark relative to what is happening in the world. The descriptions of what passes for problem solving and decision making processes in the Pentagon sound third rate.
The only problem with this book is it is about 3-5 times longer that it needs to be, saying the same things over and over with slightly different nuances. The saving grace is Barnett is a good story teller and it is very readable. However, it can be a 'tough slog' to absorb all the tidbits in support of the major thesis. It would be easy to lower the rating to 4 stars just on the basis of writing style and verbosity. Barnett may be a good brief writer but he's a wordy guy. He would have a tougher time 'making it' in a cutting edge business because he wouldn't have enough time to get his message out.
There is consistent food for thought and serious analysis of where we are and how we got there in terms of global security issues and our capabilities to address them.
This is not a Democratic/Republican, left/right piece of work.
This book does create new understandings of the geopolitical challenges and opportunities we face as a nation and creates a significan focus on what we have to do and why we have to do it.
Interesting ideas and an interesting book. It's a couple of years old now, but still worth picking up.