Monday, April 20, 2009

What They're Reading at the Lowy Institute

"His [Thomas P.M. Barnett, 'a consultant to the Pentagon and private corporations'] main argument... is that states fall into 2 groups: those that are integrating into the world economy (the 'Functioning Core') and those that are not (the 'Non-Integrated Gap'). At the core of the Core is the US, 'the source code for today's globalisation'. To achieve security and prosperity, he argues, the US should 'go slow on the politics (multiparty democracy) while getting our way on the economics (expanding world middle-class)'. This may involve further interventions, which would require the US military to beef up what Barnett calls its 'SysAdmin' capabilities (for post-conflict stabilisation and reconstruction, counterinsurgency and the like) rather than its 'Leviathan' force (war-fighting capacity)... He remains a supporter of the decision to invade Iraq, stating that 'George W Bush was right to lay a Big Bang on the Middle East's calcified political landscape'. His reasoning is that the invasion locked the US 'into real, long-term ownership of strategic security in the Gulf' and transformed Washington's interest in obtaining Middle Eastern oil into a broader 'commitment to bodyguard globalisation's ongoing transformation of those traditional societies'. But the exact opposite is more likely true: the war has had a chilling effect on the US's use of force and ruined the public's appetite for foreign interventions." (Great Powers: America & The World After Bush, reviewed by Michael Fullilove, director of the global issues program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney Morning Herald, 18/4/09)

Two points:

Don't you just love this warmonger's way with words? Make Love not Leviathan Force! Pretty catchy, eh?

When the Lowy Institute's DoGIP argues, contra Barnett, that the Iraq war has had a "chilling effect on the US's use of force" and has "ruined the public's appetite for foreign interventions," I can't help but get the feeling that he views these developments as a negative.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

War mongers eh Merc I'd say the religion of Peace people are doing pretty well in that field ,just look at the world map and all the global conflicts if the Muslims are not killing the Jews , Christians , Black Africans they are killing each other, men , woman Children no matter , I'd clean up my own back yard my boy before pointing the finger at others.

Another thing we are told all the Muslim illegal asylum seekers that are steaming towards Oz come here because of discrimination form their own people not because of those pesky Jews... and what about the Pirates you know the Religion of Peace guys , I'd say they are pretty good war mongers...

Not all Muslims are terrorists, pirates and illegal asylum seekers merc but.....I'm sure some how it's those pesky Jews that are behind it all...

MERC said...

Well, what do you know, the entertainment's back.

eps said...

I can't help but get the feeling that he views these developments as a negative.Indeed. We can do the thought experiment: if the Iraq war had not had a chilling effect, and had not ruined the public's appetite for invasions, would Fullilove still be opposed to illegal invasions of countries which pose no threat and result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people? There is nothing in his writing to suggest he has any moral qualms about this. For him, the problem is not that the Iraq war is illegal and evil, it is that it has inhibited the ability to engage in more illegal and evil activity. So, although Fullilove would seem to present himself as being in some sense "softer" than Barrett, he in fact arises from the same effluent.