Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Gap

Two ways of winning the war on terror have been posited:

The President proposed that we 'hold to account' any nation that supports terrorism. Does he mean all of them? That would mean about 30 (at least) Iraqs, stretching into the next century. We might become a nation of warriors something like Sparta.

Clearly there will always be terrorists wherever underpriviliged populations are concentrated. We're talking about violent crime; 95% of American violent crimes come from ghettos (underprivileged populations- large numbers of people with no stake in our education or economy.

It's like that worldwide; one third of the world's population live in such places. That area includes the above mentioned 30 nations. They comprise what has been called the gap, the Barnett gap:

"To be successful the US military must stop thinking of war in the context of war but war in the context of "everything else", i.e. demographics, energy, investment, security, politics, trade, immigration, etc." (quoted from the wikipedia article on The Pentagon's New Map.

The book I got for $2 at a closeout store in GA. the map, worldwide, shows the core (largely the northern hemisphere) where globalization promotes a 'rule set' where conflicts are economic in nature and life is (relatively) good). The gap is the rest, where poverty, oppression, frequent military activity abound.

Barnett's idea seems to be that globalization (and cultural sanity) will progress, but bad actors (on the world scene) must be dealt with by a police force, like they are internally. The scary thing about his idea is that our military must act as the primary police agency.

His book elicited an enormous amount of dissent and hostility, and also considerable approval. I haven't yet decided which side I'll come down on.

The least you can say about Barnett is that his ideas are provocative.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Larry, as always you keep people thinking. I am surprised at the lack of comments to this post. When have we stopped caring about the needs of those less fortunate? Caring enough to continually stay in touch with our out of touch Republican congress and administration to remind them that they can't proclaim to be Christians while acting in an anti-Christ manner.
Jesus tried to teach us to be our brothers keeper. Give of what we have to those less fortunate instead of continually enriching the very rich by taking from those with less.
We can help the third world countries on a local basis to raise themselves up like the give a cow or give a goat foundations are doing, and others doing similar work. This way the greed and corruption of their leaders can't as easily take most of our aid. If people have a satisfactory existence at home they will not hate us and will try to help others to rise from their poverty. People usually do not want to come to this country illegally if they have a decent life at home.
To be Christians we must lead by example of caring and helpfulness not be force. When we try to make others live in our fashion we are doomed to failure. This is not compassion, it is aggression.
Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me should be our mantra and then we need to act on it.