The Financial-Military Complex

[This post is under development.]

Here are some excerpts from the 2004 book
The Pentagon’s New Map:
War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century

by Thomas P.M. Barnett.

Paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.
By the way,
Barnett’s text is an odd mixture of general statements
and personal experiences and feelings;
I have pruned many of those personal items from this document.

An Operating Theory of the World

[The first twelve paragraphs are omitted.]

Now might be an appropriate time for me to tell you who I am.

I grew up—quite literally—as a child of the sixties,
somehow maintaining my Midwestern optimism in America’s future
through the dark sides of Vietnam and Watergate.
Captivated by the superpower summitry of the early 1970s,
I set my sights on a career in international security studies,
believing there I would locate the grand strategic choices of our age.
Trained as an expert on the Soviets
[Barnett has a Ph.D. (circa 1989) in political science from Harvard],
only to be abandoned by history,
I spent the post-Cold War years
forging an eclectic career as a national security analyst,
splitting my time between
the worlds of Washington think tanks and government service.
Though I worked primarily for the U.S. military,
my research during these years focused on everything but actual warfare.
Instead, I found myself instinctively exploring the seam between peace and war,
locating it first in
U.S. military crisis responses and then
America’s foreign aid, and finally
focusing on its leading edge—the spread of the global economy itself.
What I found there in the late 1990s was neither “chaos” nor “uncertainty”
but the defining conflict of our age—
a historical struggle that screamed out for a new American vision of
a future worth creating. [Original emphasis.]

And so I began a multiyear search for such a grand strategy,
one that would capture the governing dynamics of this new era.
Working as a senior strategic researcher
at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island,
I first led a long research project on the Year 2000 Problem
and its potential for generating global crises—
or “system perturbations,” as I called them.
Early in the year 2000, I was approached by
senior executives of the Wall Street bond firm Cantor Fitzgerald.
They asked me to oversee
a unique research partnership between the firm and the college
that would later yield a series of high-powered war games
involving national security policymakers,
Wall Street heavyweights, and academic experts.
Our shared goal was to explore
how globalization was remaking the global security environment—
in other words, the Pentagon’s new map.

Those war games were conducted atop World Trade Center One;
the resulting briefings were offered throughout the Pentagon.
When both buildings came under attack on 9/11,
my research immediately shifted from grand theory to grand strategy.
Within weeks, I found myself elevated to the position of
Assistant for Strategic Futures in the Office of Force Transformation,
a new planning element created within the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Our task was as ambitious as it was direct:
refocus the Pentagon’s strategic vision of future war.
As the “vision guy,”
my job was to generate and deliver a compelling brief
that would mobilize the Defense Department toward generating
the future fighting force demanded by the post-9/11 strategic environment.
Over the next two years,
I gave that brief well over a hundred times
to several thousand Defense Department officials.
Through this intense give-and-take,
my material grew far beyond my original inputs to include
the insider logic driving all of the major policy decisions
promulgated by the department’s senior leadership.
Over time, senior military officials began citing the brief as a Rosetta stone
for the Bush Administration’s new national security strategy.

But the brief was not a partisan document,
and the Defense Department was not the only audience
hungry for this strategic vision.
Within months,
I was fielding requests from the National Security Council, Congress,
the Department of State, and the Department of Homeland Security.
When Esquire magazine named me
one of their “best and brightest” thinkers in December 2002,
I began getting more requests, this time to brief in the private sector,
concentrating in the field of finance and information technology.
After I then published an article in the March 2003 issue of Esquire,
called “The Pentagon’s New Map,”
which summarized the strategic thrust of the brief,
invitations from both the public and private sectors skyrocketed.
The article was republished many times over in Europe and Asia,
and e-mailed to generals and diplomats and policymakers worldwide,
and when I found myself in London one fall evening
speaking in the House of Commons,
I knew the material’s appeal
had vastly outgrown my ability to deliver it on a room-by-room basis.

Thanks to this book,
I am finally able to deliver the brief to you.

I was once asked by a visiting delegation of security officials from Singapore
how my vision of future war differs from traditional Pentagon perspectives.
My answer was,
“Pentagon strategists typically view war with the context of war.
I view war within the context of everything else.”
This book will be mostly about
the “everything else” associated with war in the twenty-first century, or
that essential connectivity between war and peace
that defines globalization’s advance.

This vision constitutes a seismic shift
in how we think of the military’s place in American society,
in how our military functions in the world, and
in how we think of America’s relationship to the world.
All such “contacts” are currently being renegotiated,
whether we realize it or not.
As citizens of this American union,
we all need to understand better the stakes at hand,
for it is not the danger just ahead that we underestimate,
but the opportunity that lies beyond—
the opportunity to make globalization truly global.

This book will describe that future worth creating.
It will explain why America is the linchpin to the entire process,
not because of its unparalleled capacity to wage war
but because of its unique capacity to export security around the planet.
It will provide a way to understand not only what is happening now,
but also what will happen in matters of war and peace across this century.
It will explain where and why conflicts will arise, and how we can prevent them.
[That was also a prime goal of Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations.]
It will explain why
this new strategy of preemption and this new global war on terrorism
must be subordinated to the larger goal of
spreading economic globalization around the planet.
My purpose here must be clear from the outset:
I am proposing a new grand strategy
on a par with the Cold War strategy of containment—
in effect, its historical successor.
I seek to provide a new language,
or a new context within which to explain
strategic choices that America now faces.
By design, it will be a language of promise and hope, not danger and fear.
Some will interpret this as naïveté, others as unbridled ambition.
I choose to see it as a moral responsibility—
a duty to leave our children a better world.

Thanks to 9/11 and the two wars it has so far spawned,
Americans now understand that
there is no other great power like the United States.
Instead, we begin to see the world for what it truly is:
divided into societies
that are actively integrating themselves into
globalization’s Functioning Core
and those that remain trapped in its Non-Integrating Gap
that is, largely disconnected from the global economy
and the rule sets that define its stability.

In this century, it is disconnectedness that defines danger.
Disconnectedness allows bad actors to flourish
by keeping entire societies detached from the global community
and under their control.
Eradicating disconnectedness, therefore,
becomes the defining security task of our age.
Just as important, however, is the result that
by expanding the connectivity of globalization,
we increase peace and prosperity planet-wide.

This is the ultimate expression of American optimism,
which right now is undoubtedly
the rarest and most valuable commodity on earth.
The simple fact is,
an optimistic belief is quite frightening for a lot of people.
If I were to paint a future beyond hope,
more would find satisfaction in the description,
for it would leave us all more easily off the hook.
My business—the business of national security strategy—
is the business of fear, but it need not be.
My colleagues far too often market that fear to the public,
demanding trust in return.
By doing so, they extort the public’s sense of hope in the future,
and this is wrong.
It is wrong because America’s hope in the future
is what has for well over two centuries
driven this amazing experiment we call the United States.
I believe life consistently improves for humanity over time,
but it does so only because individuals, communities, and nations
take it upon themselves not only to imagine a future worth creating
but actually try to build it.

Despite our tumultuous times,
I remain wholly optimistic that it can be done.
My hope is that this book may help convince you of the same.

—Thomas P.M. Barnett
January 2004

Chapter 1
New Rule Sets

Section 1.4
A Future Worth Creating

Here Barnett defines what he considers
“a future worth creating.”
Paragraph numbers and emphasis are added.
By the way,
Barnett’s text is an odd mixture of general statements
and personal experiences and feelings;
I have pruned many of those personal items from this document.]

I felt absolutely crushed
watching the televised picture of World Trade Center One’s collapse
on September 11, 2001.
I had been inside the building
a couple of dozen times over the previous three years as part of
the Naval War College’s ongoing research partnership with Cantor Fitzgerald,
the Wall Street broker-dealer firm
that lost several hundred of its employees on that terrible day.
I had led several daylong workshops
on the 107th floor at the Windows on the World restaurant
and had come to know a significant number
of the amazingly talented people who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald.

The research project I was conducting with Cantor’s help
involved exploring how

globalization was altering
America’s definitions of national security

—in effect, altering our calculus of risk management.
The workshops we conducted jointly brought together
Wall Street heavyweights, senior national security officials,
and leading experts from academia and think tanks.
These were amazing conversations for everyone involved,
primarily because of the novelty of having
all these people in the same room discussing
globalization’s future and the threats that could derail it.

Our joint venture was called the New Rule Sets Project.
As director, I regularly visited two places:
the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
This only made sense, since
the project sought to facilitate America’s understanding of
the growing nexus between national security and globalization,
and that meant getting Wall Street and the Pentagon
talking to each other on a regular basis.
On 9/11, I was gearing up for another Pentagon briefing the following week.
It would have occurred in the Navy’s command center facilities
that were destroyed that day.
The week following that canceled trip,
I was scheduled for another round of planning meetings
at Cantor’s headquarters on the 105th floor.

This steady steam of briefings and meetings gave me a new, far broader sense
of how globalization was shrinking the world,
not just geographically but also pulling together seemingly disparate sectors.
Individuals on both sides of this unprecedented dialogue—
security and financial—often said that
this was the first time they had genre-hopping conversations like this
since college.
The deeper we plunged into
how the worlds of finance and national security overlapped,
the more the phrase “unintended consequences” kept cropping up,
along with “spillover,” “tipping points,” and “pathway dependencies.”
What had looked like “chaos” from the Pentagon’s perspective
appeared a lot more orderly
once you knew how to track globalization’s causes and effects.

In this unique dialogue,

Wall Street executives helped my research team connect the dots
in ways the Pentagon never does in its long-range planning.

[I’ll bet.]

[1.4.6 and 1.4.7 are omitted]

September 11 told me that globalization’s uneven spread around the planet
delineated more than
just a frontier separating the connected from the disconnected—
it marked the front lines in a struggle of historic proportions.
The combatants in this conflict harbor very different dreams about the future,
and if 9/11 alerted us to
the asymmetry of will regarding the use of violence to achieve desired ends,
then that asymmetry—that rule-set gap—would have to be eliminated.
Revenge was pointless, and even killing the killers
smacked of treating symptoms rather than the disease.
America’s use of military power in this war
has to be guided toward strategic ends:
the destruction of those who would wage war
against global connectivity and the freedoms it unleashes.

[All hail global connectivity!]

America cannot really join this war until it can define the enemy,
and it has had difficulty doing so
out of the fear of appearing racist or intolerant.
But here is where our fixation on quick fixes and “big bangs”
undermine our ability to keep our eyes on the prize,
because identifying that goal leads us to identify the true enemy.
That enemy is neither a religion (Islam) nor a place (the Middle East),
but a condition—disconnectedness.

To be disconnected in this world
is to be kept isolated, deprived, repressed, and uneducated.
For young women, it means being kept—quite literally in many instances—
barefoot and pregnant.
For young men, it means being kept ignorant and bored and malleable.
For the masses, being disconnected means a lack of choice
and scarce access to
ideas, capital, travel, entertainment, and loved ones overseas.
For the elite,
maintaining disconnectedness means control and the ability to hoard wealth,
especially that generated by the exportation of valued raw materials.

If disconnectedness is the real enemy,
then the combatants we target in this war are
those who promote it, enforce it, and terrorize those
who seek to overcome it by reaching out to the larger world.
Our strategic goals, therefore, are to extend connectivity in every way possible,
but only in a manner that promotes justice as much as order.
Because when we sacrifice, when we suffer, and when we die in this war,
we must know that the good we promote is both immediate and lasting.
Americans need the confidence of knowing that every difficult step we take
represents forward progress on some level.

To that end, we need to understand what is really at stake here,
which is nothing less than
the future of globalization itself.
You may say that globalization is not a goal or a strategy
but simply a condition of the world we live in,
and you would be right on many levels.
But globalization is also a historical process,
or something that is defined by a sense of momentum and purpose.
Globalization has a past, which defines its limits,
but likewise a future whose promise it must fulfill [cf.],
otherwise it will become a spent notion
in the minds of political leaders
whose determined actions are required for its continued advance.
In short, once globalization is “done” as far as most leaders are concerned,
the willingness of states to continue compromising with one another
to further its growth will evaporate.
Everyone in this world will lose if this hopeless situation comes to pass,
but more saliently,
the historic window of opportunity will close on a major portion of humanity
currently living outside globalization’s Functioning Core.
That is not just a sad or unjust scenario,
it is one fraught with danger for America—
the world’s biggest economy and
the political ideal most closely associated with globalization’s promise and peril.

[In this paragraph, italics are from the original,
while underlining is added by the author of this blog.]

Whether we realize it or not,
America serves as the ideological wellspring for globalization.
These united states still stand as its first concrete expression.
We are the only country in the world purposely built around
the ideals that animate globalization’s advance:
freedom of choice, freedom of movement, freedom of expression.
We are connectivity personified.
Globalization is this country’s gift to history—
the most perfectly flawed projection of the American Dream
onto the global landscape.
[That is verbatim from the original.
As written, it makes no sense to me.]

To deny our parentage of globalization
is to deny our country’s profound role as world leader
over the second half of the twentieth century.
More important, to abandon globalization’s future
to those violent forces hell-bent on keeping this world divided
between the connected and the disconnected
is to admit that we no longer hold these truths to be self-evident:
that all are created equal, and
that all desire life, liberty, and a chance to pursue happiness.
In short, we the people needs to become we the planet.

Chapter 8
Hope Without Guarantees

As Barnett
was instrumental in causing Admiral William Fallon to be, effectively,
fired for his resistance to military measures against Iran
it is important to understand exactly what Barnett’s attitudes and goals are.
He reveals those rather clearly in the conclusion of his book.
Here is an excerpt from pages 379–83;
emphasis is added.

If those are the main challenges and dangers faced
in this Global Transaction Strategy,
then what is a possible story line for
this future worth creating?
[That is a constantly repeated object of Barnett’s affection and attention.]
Let me leave you with this hopeful image,
albeit one with no guarantees.

I see ten steps toward this future worth creating:

Obviously, this all starts with
our efforts to re-create Iraq as
a functioning, connected society within the global economy.
Progress here will be measured in
the ability of the Iraqi people to assume control over their own destiny
as quickly as possible,
but likewise in the sheer amount of individual transactions that arise
between that battered society and the outside world.
Democracy is not the key bellwether,
nor is the complete eradication of violent terrorism,
which is likely to last for many years.
But show me an Iraq that is as globally connected as an Israel in ten years,
and I will show you a Middle East that can never go back
to what it has been these past two decades—
overwhelmingly disconnected,
populated with dispirited youth, and
enraged beyond our capacity for understanding.

Kim Jong Il must be removed from power and Korea must be reunited....

Iran will experience an overthrow of the mullahs’ rule by 2010, and this
still-talented and potentially vibrant pillar of a transformed Middle East
will once again
assume a position of serious standing in global society.
The counterrevolution has already begun,
and it will continue to flare up periodically
until some trigger sets off the big explosion.
Current president Mohammad Khatami
is a would-be Gorbachev awaiting his Chernobyl-like spark,
which America would do well to engineer
by making Iraq the greatest reclamation project the world has ever seen.
If that is not enough, then
Iran must become the main focus of our pressure for change
once Kim is dethroned in North Korea
[that was item number two on Barnett’s global to-do list;
item one is “success in Iraq” (my quotes)],
if only for
the regime’s continued support of
transnational terrorist groups in general
and al Qaeda in particular.

There will be a negotiations breakthrough on the proposed
Free Trade Area of the Americas,
and this dream will become a reality by 2015....

The Middle East will be transformed over the next two decades.
The rehabilitation of Iraq will be a major trigger,
but a far greater one will be
the world moving beyond oil and into natural gas and hydrogen.
The shift to natural gas alone
will increase connectivity between the region and the outside world,
as we are already seeing in Saudi Arabia,
but the shift to fuel cells powering automobiles will mean
the oil-rich states of the region will finally have to develop their economies
and move off the “trust fund” model of nondevelopment.
A key step in this process will be in
the massive revamping and commensurate buildup of their educational systems,
which right now do not produce enough young people
with viable skills to succeed in a global economy.
U.S. pressure in this regard should focus on the House of Saud,
getting it to stop its significant support for religious schools that,
in the words of Fareed Zakaria,
specialize in churning out “half-educated, fanatical Muslims
who view the modern world and non-Muslims with great suspicion.”


[An Asian NATO.]

[The Asian NATO meets NAFTA,]

The United States will admit new members to its union in coming decades,
and these will come first from the Western Hemisphere,
but over time from the outside as well.
By 2050, the United States could include a dozen more states.
The first president of Mexican heritage
will be elected directly from a Mexican state.
But this historical pathway will not be contiguous,
as we have learned in the cases of Hawaii and Alaska,
and there is nothing wrong with cherry-picking the best economies
as an inducement
for harmonizing economic policies throughout the Western Hemisphere.


Perhaps all this qualifies me as a dreamer, but

I do believe that
all meaningful borders can be erased, and
all religious differences rendered harmless
as sources of mass violence.
I believe
the end of war is within our historical grasp,
and that I will live to witness this historical achievement.

nothing worth that much for so many can come without real sacrifice.

America must convince itself and the rest of the Core
that it is worthwhile shrinking the Gap,
and that the leading edge of that effort must be
extending the Core’s collective security rule sets
into those regions suffering the worst deficits.

America has made this effort before and changed the world.
Now is the time to rededicate this nation
to a new long-term strategy
much as we did following World War II,
when we began an exporting of security
that has already made war only a memory
for more than half the world’s population,
enabling hundreds of millions to lift themselves out of poverty
in the last couple of decades alone.
It is our responsibility and out obligation]
to give peace the same chance in the gap.

[End of excerpt
from pages 379–83 of The Pentagon’s New Map.]

Miscellaneous Articles


'You're Not Accountable, Jack'
How a Retired Officer [General Jack Keane]
Gained Influence at the White House and in Baghdad

By Bob Woodward
Washington Post, 2008-09-09
[An excerpt from The War Within by Bob Woodward.]

[First, the subtitle is deceptive.
The article says next to nothing about
how Gen. Keane gained influence at the White House,
but rather focuses on how that influence was used
to influence war and personnel policies.

Second, and more important,
how on earth can the Post get away with not pointing out
Keane’s extensive business interests,
as listed here,
nor his close ties and professional affiliations
to the AEI (a center for the neocons) and, in particular, to Frederick Kagan,
nor, finally, that in December 2006 he co-authored with Kagan
the report “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq”?

What is the difference between
the actions recommended by that Kagan/Keane AEI report
and those he pushed on the US government?

In any case, the key point is that
the Post is passing off as the work of retired General Keane
what is actually work of the neocon establishment.
Yet another case of information hiding by the Post.

Here are some excerpts; emphasis is added.]

Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane
came to the White House on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007,
to deliver a strong and sober message.
The military chain of command, he told Vice President Cheney,
wasn’t on the same page as the current U.S. commander in Iraq,
Gen. David H. Petraeus.
The tension threatened to undermine Petraeus’s chances of continued success,
Keane said.

Keane, a former vice chief of the Army,
was 63, 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds,
with a boxer’s face framed by tightly cropped hair.
As far as Cheney was concerned, Keane was outstanding --
an experienced soldier who had maintained great Pentagon contacts,
had no ax to grind and
had been a mentor to Petraeus.

Keane was all meat and potatoes;
he didn’t inflate expectations or waste Cheney’s time.

[This is how the Post describes Keane to its readers.
In the context of this story, is it journalistically responsible
to omit any mention of Keane’s extensive business interests,
as noted here?
I certainly don’t think so.
How do we know Keane is not slanting his advice
to reflect the desires of his business clients?
Does Keane currently receive, or has he received in the past,
financial support from the AEI?
Remember that Kissinger was not allowed to chair the 9/11 commission
because of the possibility that
his business interests (he would not identify the clients of his consulting firm)
might influence his actions.
Why is Keane’s situation any different?
Why does our “elite” allow this obvious potential conflict of interest
to go unreported?

(Recall, for comparison, the stink that was made [“The Tarnished Brass”]
over the undisclosed business interests of the retired generals
who provided commentary during the invasion of Iraq.
Although the point there was
desiring to preserve business relations with the Pentagon,
the desire to preserve business relations
with, let’s fact it, Jews in the business and financial community
surely is equally a potent potential factor.)]

By the late summer of 2007,
Keane had established an unusual back-channel relationship
with the president and vice president,
a kind of shadow general advising them on the Iraq war.


Ever since [General David] Petraeus had taken over as the Iraq commander,
Keane had been making regular visits to Baghdad to see his protégé.
Upon his return to Washington,
Keane would come to the White House or the vice president’s residence,

establishing a line of communication --
Petraeus to Keane to Cheney and Bush --
around the official chain of command.


[W]hen Keane found that he couldn’t get clearance to go to Iraq,
he called John Hannah, Cheney’s national security adviser,
to report what had happened.

[Omitting the details,
according to the article Bush and Cheney each ordered the SecDef
to override the JCS chairman
and give Keane all the access to Iraq that he wished.]


[The day after SecDef Gates announced the resignation
of CENTCOM chief Adm. Fox Fallon, 2008-03-12],
[Keane] sent an e-mail to
[Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, senior military assistant to Defense Secretary Gates].

“Subject: Food for Thought
“Pete, a way ahead after Fox Fallon:
Announce Petraeus as replacement but do not assign till fall or early winter. . . .
Assign Odierno, who will have had six months back in states,
to replace Petraeus.”

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, a towering Army officer,
had previously been the corps commander in Baghdad.
“Believe this provides the strongest team we have to the key vacancies.
For what it’s worth.
Best, JK.”

Chiarelli e-mailed back 20 minutes later.
“Sir -- do you want me to pass to the SD?”
SD was shorthand for the secretary of defense.

By all means, Keane said.

While in Iraq, Keane talked to Petraeus about his future.
Petraeus’s next assignment -- commander of NATO -- seemed set.

NATO was important, Keane said, but its time had passed.
The international center of gravity had moved to the Middle East.

“We’re going to be here for 50 years minimum,
most of the time hopefully preventing wars,
and on occasion having to fight one,
dealing with
radical Islam,
our economic interests in the region
and trying to achieve stability,”

Keane said.

[In other words, the agenda of the Neocomintariat.]

This shift would have huge implications for
how the U.S. military would be educated and trained.
[Which is controlled by the Department of the Army, not combatant commands.]
“We’re going to do it anyway because we don’t have a choice,”
Keane said.
“So the issue is: Get over it. Come to grips with it.”
The Army didn’t want that.
“It wants to end a war and go home. But that’s not going to happen.”

[So much for the notion that
this retired four star general and vice chief of staff for the Army
is in sync with
the sentiments of the vast majority of the Army’s general officers.
Rather, he is in total sync with the wishes of the neocons.]

On April 7, 2008, Gates invited Keane to brief him at the Pentagon.

“Assign Petraeus to CentCom,” Keane urged.
Delay the assignment until the fall.
Make Odierno the new Iraq commander.
Odierno was an unsung hero with intellect and moral courage, Keane said.

“Let’s be frank about what’s happening here,” Keane told Gates.
“We are going to have a new administration.
Do we want these policies continued or not?
Do we want the best guys in there who were involved in these policies,
who were advocates for them?

Let’s assume we have a Democratic administration
and they want to pull this thing out quickly,
and now they have to deal with General Petraeus and General Odierno.
There will be a price to be paid to override them.”

[The situation (which is real) that Keane is describing is this:
If America’s political leadership tries to pull out of Iraq,
the media will create a firestorm of protest, asserting
“You’re letting down the troops,”
using Generals Petraeus and Odierno as lead examples,
and highlighting quotes from them about how we need to
“stay the course until victory is won.”

This should be compared to two examples in the past.

When Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki, in open testimony to Congress in Feb. 2003,
declared that the U.S. was going into Iraq with inadequate troop quantity,
hardly anyone in the media made a peep of protest.
Nobody took his side in the argument with Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld.
No one went out and found quotes to support Shinseki,
which they could very easily have done.

Also, as Woodward described earlier in this series,
in 2006 when the entire JCS opposed the surge,
while the media did report this opposition,
so far as I know no editorial pages went to bat for the JCS.

The moral: whatever Israel wants, the media will find a way to support.]

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