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Thomas P.M. Barnett on Chapter 3 of The Pentagon’s New Map.

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HH: Part number three of my conversation with Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett, author of the Pentagon’s New Map. Dr. Barnett, welcome back.

TB: Thanks for having me.

HH: A little off topic, we’ll get to chapter three, but it’s the State of the Union tonight. How do you assay the state of the union, Dr. Barnett?

TB: Oh, I think economically, we’re very strong. I think our economy’s looking good, I think the global economy’s looking very solid. In fact, we haven’t had a global economy this strong in human history facing the kind of big impulse we’re going to get from adding about a billion new consumers in Asia over the next five to ten years. So on economics, very solid. It’s the politics and the security that tends to have people worried, and I think there’s a lot of good reason for that. I think we face a long war against radical extremism that will keep us in these places that we’re talking about and describing in these conversations for quite some time. But I think the key thing for us is not only to propose the necessary new rule sets, which I think Bush did very, very well in his first term, but to get buy-in from the rest of the world as to the utility and the logic of those rule sets. And that’s where I think Bush has had a much harder time, because I don’t think we’ve really convinced many countries to look at the world that we see.

HH: Dr. Barnett, you’re a Midwesterner. Have you been to the Field Museum in Chicago?

TB: Yes, one of my great childhood trips.

HH: And there are those two great lions there, the lions that attacked out of the darkness, and destroyed the effort to build the railroad, and killed and killed and killed until they were put down. Globalization being that railroad, in the gap that you describe in this book, there are lots of lions, and they can upset a lot of globalization.

TB: Well, it’s not a bad metaphor. I spent a lot of time, actually, reading about the so-called taming of the American west, because I think the metaphor we need to reach for here is one of a frontier building, or conquering, not in the same way that you’re going into virgin territory where there’s only sparse indigenous people and lots of wild animals, but more so in the sense that you’re going into parts of the world where our understanding of rules and legality don’t yet exist. So a lot of the infrastructure we build, besides the hard stuff like roads and physical connections that give us communication technology connectivity, a lot of the infrastructure we need to build is soft. We need to be able to encourage the development of legal rule sets, which are often the biggest hindrance to the local population actually recognizing the wealth that’s already there, and gaining the opportunity for individual entrepreneurship.

HH: You write at length in Chapter 3, it’s a long chapter, by the way. It’s a little unbalanced versus the other chapters, but I understand why. “Life in the gap is poor, nasty, short, brutal and solitary.” Can you remind our audience what the gap is, and why it is true about those five characteristics?

TB: Well, the notion of the gap really began about ten, twelve years ago for me, when I was asked to look at the historical record, post-Cold War, of U.S. Naval crisis response activity around the world. And they fell into a variety of categories, you know, rescuing civilians during coup d’etats, and other dangerous situations, what we call shows of force, peacekeeping operations, disaster relief, contingency positioning of our forces if we felt some bad actor was going to do something, and then simple combat. And I threw all these…and it’s almost a hundred and fifty cases since the end of the Cold War now where the U.S. Military’s been sent abroad, which most people don’t realize. They think it’s only been about five or six times, the ones you read about in the newspapers. But it’s been about 150 serious named operations where we sent forces abroad. And I was asked to kind of think through what’s the logic for this pattern of response that the Navy and the Air Force and Army were involved in, and I came up with this notion that if you drew a line around about 95% of all those crisis response activities that we engaged in since the end of the Cold War, you’ve got a shape that basically encompassed the Caribbean rim, the Andes portion of South America, or sort of the northern part, virtually all of Africa, the Balkans, definitely, in the 90’s, the Caucases, Central Asia, the Middle East, and the littoral state of Southeast Asia. And if you think about that swath going from left to right, it’s very equatorial in its focus. And the question I asked was, what is it about these regions that are attracting U.S. Military power time and time again? And can I reduce it down to a simple notion, and give us a sense of the strategy that needs to be undertaken to deal with these situations, because you want to deal with less of them over time. And the argument I developed, a pretty basic one, is to say, to note, quite frankly, that these regions of the world are the ones that are the least connected to the global economy. No matter how you measure connectivity, the movement of goods and services, the movement of foreign direct investment, students traveling abroad for tertiary education, movement of books and mass media content, the trading and DNA material, network nodes, fiber optic cable laid, no matter how you measured it, the connectivity of the rest of the world was thicker outside that big shape I described, and thinner on the inside. So you start to notice that there are a lot of maps that kind of overlap with that map I’ve just described. If you look at the poorest countries in the world, you know, for example, about the fifty poorest countries are…the 120 most poor countries in the world, the ones that are described as low income, something like about 110 of those 120 are found inside my gap. If you look at the countries that had the shortest life expectancies of the 50 worst countries in the world, the shortest life expectancies, high 30’s, low 40’s, 49 of them are found inside that gap. If you look at any map of wars and civil strife since the end of the Cold War, you’ll find that 80, 90, 95%, depending on how you counted, are found inside that gap. The vast bulk of the terrorist groups identified by the State Department are found inside that gap. All the U.N. peacekeeping missions, all the U.S. nation building missions since the end of the Cold War, time and time again…so I took that description of life without a leviathan, from Thomas Hobbes, who said if there is no leviathan in your world, if there’s not the rule of law, and this was his way of describing life between nations, because there wasn’t an overarching law or activities to dominate and define them in terms of interstate relations, that you’re life in that kind of raw, natural world would be nasty, poor, brutish, short and solitary.

HH: And it was brilliantly described. March, 2002, the six months, seven months after the attack on America, you give a briefing for the deputy assistant secretaries of the Pentagon, and you announce as you lay out your gap, what you are looking at are the battle lines in the war. This is the expeditionary theater for the U.S. Military in the 21st Century. Then you wrote the moment and the map had met, the Pentagon had a new map. Do they still believe it’s their new map, Thomas Barnett?

TB: Well, you see that representation of the non-integrating gap, which often gets described as the arc of instability in lots of Pentagon documents. It’s been used externally as well with a lot of mass media. What’s more interesting, I thought, was not only has it permeated a lot of thinking inside the Pentagon, and has entered a lot of nomenclature and a lot of briefing slides, but if you look at the new national military strategy enunciated by the chief of ministry of defense, the head of the uniform forces in Canada, they basically lift the entire map and call it the non-integrating gap, and say this is the future of Canadian foreign policy and the security policy, because our number one goal is to, as I like to put it, shrink that gap. And why do the Canadians glom onto the same picture? For the same reason why people in the Pentagon glommed onto this picture – it was fact to them. They had been to all these places. This was their entire career. This was a generation of individuals who are now reaching the third and four star rank, whose entire career wasn’t wrapped up in the Soviets, but instead was wrapped up in what was derisively called, across the 1990’s, military operations other than war. It’s not what we planned for.

HH: Thomas Barnett, if there are hundreds or thousands of generals that get it, and tens of thousands of field officers that get it, how come Congress doesn’t get it? They’re on the brink of attempting to do what you tell them they can’t do, trying to force an exit from the gap in Iraq?

TB: Well, it’s a conversation that hasn’t been adequately pursued. I talk to a lot of Congressmen on a regular basis, a lot of Senators, and what you get from them is I agree with what you’re saying, I understand what you’re saying, how do I distill that into a three minute stump speech, without sounding like I’m more interested in international security than American defense, because I always say nobody will ever complain about your vote to cut some funding for international security. They’ll complain about your cut for a vote regarding national defense. And we’ve got to get away from just thinking that our national defense is something that we can get in a zero sum fashion from the rest of the world. It’s almost…the analogy is two networks and information systems. Your network is only as secure as every other network you connect to. And you can think of governments in the same way, countries, in terms of globalization. If you’re going to get connected up to the rest of the world, your security increasingly becomes a function of the security of those connections, not any firewalls you’re going to throw up against it. And that’s a lot more complex than the average Congressman wants to explain to the average voter.

HH: You’re telling me.

– – – – – –

HH: Dr. Barnett, the most arresting part of Chapter 3, and it may be in the entire book, is where you flatly declare that there is no exiting the gap militarily, there is no such thing as an exit strategy, no exit means no exit strategy. What do you mean by that? What should political leaders take away from that reality?

TB: Well, I like to explain that by counter-posing it to the Powell doctrine, which we had across the 1990’s. And if you think about the Powell doctrine, it really came out of the generational experience of the Army officers who came out of Vietnam convinced that mission creep, and nation building, and getting involved in more than they could handle themselves, and the difficulties and the complexities of counterinsurgency, which we’re back at in Iraq, I would note, their way of distancing themselves from that over-commitment, as they saw it, was to say we’re only going to go to do very specific things, and we’re going to use very overwhelming force. And once we do those very specific things, we’re going to leave as quickly as possible, and we’re going to declare that to be a victory, okay? And that was their way of saying I don’t want to get caught up in long term quagmires that they thought had really destroyed the U.S. Army across Vietnam. And it was their way of kind of inculcating a new professional outlook for the all-volunteer force that came out of that experience. You take that mindset, it was very attractive to the American public in the early days of the post-Cold War era, because we weren’t sure, exactly, what measure, because we didn’t have containment anymore, we’re dealing with the Soviets, so how do we decide where to go, and how much we should care about it, and what should be our objective, and how long we should stay, and how fast we should get back. But what we found with the Powell doctrine, which is attractive to all political stripes, and it made the American public feel good, and made the military feel good, frankly made the world feel good, because we were the world’s sole superpower, and they were nervous about under what conditions we were going to use it. We had this series of experiences where we went in, did our short business, basically rounding up the bad guys, shooting the place up, grabbing a few bad guys, leaving as quickly as possible, and then declaring victory. And then we found, boom, five, six years later, we’re back in the same country, same situation, inescapably dealing with the same state failure that gave rise to the violence and the threat or the danger, the genocide or the disaster or whatever. So we found we weren’t fixing things by doing that. And even that didn’t seem to matter to us until 9/11 sort of said you know what? These dangerous, broken, screwed up places are not just creating violence for that country and maybe refugees for the next country over, they’re creating a new breed of transnational terrorists, or giving the opportunities for those sorts of terrorists to thrive and find sanctuary. And those terrorists can eventually reach out and touch you on that basis. So at that point, my argument, and I think the Bush administration’s argument was pretty clear, we can’t put up with this kind of danger anymore. And that’s why I make the argument it’s really the disconnectedness of these countries, and the lack of the legal rule sets that gives rise to the danger.

HH: When you say that, though, that there’s no exit, you really mean we’re there for the duration of the connection project which is generations long.

TB: Right. And I mean, I think the analogy, although people don’t want to hear it with the Middle East, because it sounds too simple and it doesn’t take into account enough of the cultural differences and all that kind of argument, is really the effort we put into Europe, to kind of sit on that situation, let the political and the economic and the social connectivity take deep root. You have to wait almost for a generation of bad actors, or a scarred generation who only knew war, to kind of age and die off, and new generations arise. So I mean, we sat on Germany for 45 years, and now you have post-war leaders, and even their current leader, Angela Merkel, comes from the former GDR, a whole new mindset to that Germany, because they’ve distanced themselves from the sort of violence and the fascist ideologies of the past. That’s the kind of babysitting job that we’re going to end up doing. You go into the Middle East…

HH: But you know, you just used that word. You’ve hears Senators say we’re not going to babysit a civil war, regardless…I think Barack Obama said that…regardless of how silly that construction is, in fact, we are called by the necessity, not simply idealism, to do that sort of nation building on an extended basis, aren’t we?

TB: Right. I mean, you’re going to sit on situations. I think what people are responding to, and it’s the problem we’ve had in Iraq, is that we’ve limited ourself too much to just trying to get security in that situation, and not be, and I would argue aggressive enough, in terms of building the political institutions, and even more importantly, creating the economic connectivity, because to me, that’s the huge failure in Iraq. A classic interview is with the angry dispirited former Iraqi soldier who now supports 15 people, and has been out of work since he was kicked out of the army by the Americans three years ago. I mean, that’s the classic problem you face in Iraq. 70% unemployment, and constant violence, which in human terms, it measured almost in dog years. I mean, one good year of violence is like seven years of scarring. So you need to take a realistic view about how long it’s required on our part in terms of sticking around and helping this country to heal it. The average post-war situation is about ten to fifteen years long.

HH: Now believe me, I don’t want to be partisan. Your book is not partisan. But do you hear any Democrats other than Joe Lieberman adopting a mature view towards the complexity and difficulty of that task ahead?

TB: I don’t hear many on either side, to be honest, very few. Very few who systematically approach it not just as a we go in and kill bad guys, and in many ways, end up replicating the Israeli approach to the sort of occupation, instead of really building connectivity, which is going to sit on them, and turn them into a mini-police state. There’s not enough thinking beyond just the role of the military in creating security, when the real exit strategy, I keep saying, is jobs, okay? Security is 100% of your problem until you get it, then it’s only about 10% of your solution. I’m not hearing that complex understanding out there. Instead, people want quick answers, and they want to know are we winning or are we losing, okay? And that’s just way too binary for the task ahead. When I say there’s no exit strategy, I’m saying you have to stay there until they are so connected with you, in effect, that you no longer consider was a possibility in that part of the world. And that’s what we did in Europe. We stayed there until it became obsolete, and that’s what we’ve done quietly in Asia.

HH: We only have 45 seconds to the break. Why do Americans seem to reluctant to do that in the Middle East?

TB: Well, there’s a sense that these people are just crazy, that they’re so different from us, that they don’t want the same things.

HH: But I mean at the end of World War II, the Japanese were engaged in wave after wave of sucide attack…

TB: Suicide bombing, right. They seemed crazy and irrational. I guess people back there just had a different appreciation of the length of tasks, and I think it’s really our strategic ADD, almost. You know, Attention Deficit Disorder…

HH: Oh, that’s brilliant.

TB: We really want everything done by Tuesday.

– – – – – – –

HH: Dr. Barnett, you write, “We’ve got to get the gap to move from Hobbes to Kant.” Just explain that to people.

TB: Well, Hobbes is the classic description of chaos. And I like to say the key thing that divides my functioning core from the gap is that the core, by and large, has a pretty established rule set, especially on war. I mean, all the big powers have nuclear weapons, for example, so the notion that you’re going to get out of hand and start a war with another great power has just gone by the wayside, by and large. So we have a sense of peace and security and growing economic connectivity, and that’s the…Emmanuel Kant, a philosopher who said if you get connected up enough with the outside world, and if you have a democracy as your political format, there’ll be perpetual peace, because democracies overwhelmingly don’t start wars with other democracies. And so you’re kind of counter-posing that core, where we’ve achieved this Kantian ideal to a vast extent. I mean, the perfect example is we had a civil war in this country 150 years ago. States went to war, and it was a terrible, bloody thing. The notion of California starting a war with Arizona at this point is pretty fantastic. I mean, the notion of war between the major states of Europe is pretty fantastic, and now we’re adding Russia and China, I would argue, and India and Argentina and Brazil, other big countries for whom the notion of us having classic state on state war gets more and more fantastic over time. That’s not the case inside my gap. There’s a lot of war. Most of it is within countries. It spills across borders. But what’s lacking there is that overarching legal rule set that gives people a sense of confidence and certitude that if they take chances, they’ll be rewarded over time. And a lot of it’s real simple stuff. It’s intellectual property laws, contract law. It’s the ability to own property and defend that.

HH: Now maybe it’s later in the book, Dr. Barnett, but the one quarrel I have with Chapter 3 is your apparent unwillingness to talk at length about the very real potential for regapification, if I can call that, as I see unfolding in Russia. Now you know, for decades and centuries, the czars would attempt to modernize, and then they’d fall back.

TB: Right.

HH: They tried again after the fall of the wall and the empire, and now they’re regapifying. And in China, it comes and it goes all the time.

TB: Well, I would argue there’s different ways to go from the gap to the core, and there’s a tendency to assume that if they don’t look like us in terms of a democracy as rapidly as possible, then they’re not making the journey and they’re not becoming more like us. I talk about this in the book, that there are different routes. What we saw with Russia is sort of the political openness leading to economic openness, leading to legality forming over time. And you can almost do it by leaders. Gorbacev started glasnost, okay, and opened up the country politically. He opened it up so much the place fell apart, because they decided they didn’t want to live together anymore. Then Yeltzin comes in with Russia proper. He opens up the economics, but he opened it up way too much, so they got kind of a gangster style capitalism. Now you’re seeing the natural, I would argue, rectification of that too loose of a rule set, in terms of economics, and you’re seeing the law and order style of Russian government come back into vogue. Why? Because it’s creating the sense of certainty that allows wealth accumulation to occur inside that country, and growth rates are high, so they’re happy to have a fairly authoritarian government in terms of the political system, so long as it creates a sense of order. With China, it’s a very different route, okay? They came out of the culture revolution in Mao and everything else, and Deng Xiaoping decided to start with economics first, okay? And he’s slowly letting the Chinese leadership over time the legality to seep into the system, while keeping a strong clamp on the political system, because they fear their country will come apart because of all the different changes being wrought about by rapid industrialization and urbanization, and opening up to the outside world.

HH: But don’t you dismiss…

TB: And that process is occurring inside of China. It’s not well understood or covered, but the rise, for example, of civil court cases in China is exploding, and it’s a really wonderful and positive development.

HH: But you dismiss, for example, or at least I haven’t see it yet, Falun Gong wants very basic rights to religious practice, and the state suppresses that. The saber rattling towards Taiwan, it remains, potentially, a chaotic place, Dr. Barnett.

TB: They have had periods of peace that tend to be disintegrating for them, historically, and warring periods that are integrating. So they have a lot of phobias. They fear that if they don’t get Taiwan back, they’re not whole in terms of achieving great power status. With Falun Gong, with foreign religions in general which are booming throughout the country, Catholicism, Mormonism, all sorts of…Evangelical, Protestants, are just booming across that place. There’s a lot of fear there that if they give too much religious freedom too fast, that’ll lead to political instability. What’s their history on that? There have been revolutions in that country started by religious sects, the Boxer Rebellion, these kinds of examples, are very haunting to them. So yeah, would I like to see this country open up more and more politically? Faster? Sure. But I make this argument in the book, because I got this from democracy advocates in China.

HH: Hold that. Hold that piece until we come back.

– – – – – – –

HH: Dr. Barnett, when we went to break, you were talking about China and how you hope they do not regap.

TB: One of the arguments I make is that you’ve got to understand where China is in its history. Democracy advocates, a lot of whom I interact with in China, will tell you that anybody who advocates kind of a rapid transition to democracy and a wide open system inside of China at this point in its historical trajectory, really wants China to fail, because that would just be too much, too fast. A lot of the people I’ve worked with in the democracy movement, and in the government there, will tell you that before Tiananmen, they had an ideal that freedom was about 90% political, and about 10% economic. They like to do statistics like that, percentage breakdowns. After Tiananmen, they came to a far different conclusion. They said we decided that freedom was really about 90% economic, and only about 10% political. And you can look at that and say well, they’ve got it all backwards. Freedom’s all about politics. But I say look at yourself, look at your own life, look at your daily life, and you tell me that freedom in this country isn’t about 90% economic. I go where I want, I buy what I want, I sell what I want, the job I want, I do. I don’t get told how to live my life in terms of all these economic choices. And yeah, I want a certain level of political freedom on top of that, to say what I want, and to vote as I choose, but the bulk of what we define as freedom in this country is really more economic than political. China is an amazingly free country in terms of economics right now. What is capped off in their historical process for now is the political freedom, because they’re very nervous about past historical periods where they’ve had that kind of more open political system, and what the result has been. People have to remember that inside China, they’re experiencing a number of revolutions at the same time. It’s the biggest migration in human history from rural to urban. They’re moving from centrally planned to market. They’re moving from being largely cut off form the outside world to having huge foreign influence. They’re going to have 100 million tourists traveling abroad every year by 2020. These are dramatic shifts. And it’s a requirement for all that dramatic shift, and the fact that they’ve become this huge economic power, and I would argue they are no longer a long term near-peer competitor threat in terms of military, but are going to become, probably, our most important ally in the next 20 to 30 years, then if the price for that is that they’re going to remain a single party state for quite some time, I’ll point out that Japan grew into the world in the same fashion. Mexico did. South Korea did. Singapore still does. These countries all have the trappings of democracy, but if you look at their actual political development, most of them were dominated by single parties until they reached a level of economic stability where it made sense for them to move in the direction of more political openness. But expecting them to do that too quickly is much like us expecting Iraq to fix itself too quickly. We’ve got to have a more long term look at it, and realize that these are natural evolutions that we have to support as much as possible.

HH: Now I want to switch dramatically on you, to your discussion, “It is neither a Republican nor a Democrat approach when America strikes back at the gap, because when the gap strikes out at America, it has little to do with the policies of one administration or another. It has to do with the America being intimately identified with a historical process, and some within the gap fear will destroy the world they know and love, and they are right to fear it.” Dr. Barnett, I think what you are arguing here is that the partisanship about our place in the world and our enemies has just simply got to dissolve. It’s irrelevant to the gap.

TB: There are no Republican wars, and there are no Democrat wars. There is a reality that there’s one third of humanity, my gap as I call it, that are really noses pressed to the glass, they want to get into this big party called globalization, where incomes seem to rise, and all sorts of good things happen, but there are various problems that stand in their way. One of the key problems is often instability and violence. So for us to go in there and deal with that instability and violence, it’s not about America imperialism, it’s about creating the conditions by which these individuals, these societies, these communities, are able to connect up to a larger outside world, and on that basis, get the economic freedom, which I think is crucial, first and foremost, to begin the process of building better governments over time. I think it’s a mistake to say get a good government first, then you’ll get a good economy. I think in most instances, history has proven, countries get good economies first, and then they get good governments.

HH: Now to the difficult, and I don’t think we’re going to get calls today, because Chapter 3’s the longest in the book.

TB: It is.

HH: We’ll take more next week on Chapter 4. You mention that there is no tension between unilateralism and deterrence. Again, this is a basic understanding, but I don’t think media gets it, and as a result, I don’t think a lot of the public gets it. Explain it.

TB: Well, again, I described that core as being parts of the world where there’s a pretty stable definition of why countries don’t go to war. The overarching construct is the notion of mutual assured destruction. If you have nukes and I have nukes, we’re not going to go to war. Why? Because we know how that’s going to end. It’s an uncontrollable process. So we’ve sort of made this deal with each other across the core in terms of the major states, there’s enough of us with nukes, there’s some who don’t have them, but they’re all identified with other countries that do, so there’s no great fear of state on state war anymore, or system level war, where Bloc A attacks Bloc B. Inside the gap, though, there’s not that kind of rule set, and that’s a key distinction. My core has a functioning rule set on security, my gap does not. So the notion that it’s a unilateral act for the United States to engage in war, I say, it’s not when unilateralism makes sense, it’s where, okay? If the United States decides there’s such a danger in one of these gap countries that it’s better for that gap country, for its neighbors, for the world, not to let that transnational terrorist situation brew, or that genocidal situation to unfold, that’s not unilateralism. It’s only unilateralism if we can’t engage with other countries to help come in and not so much deal with the war where we’re going to be the leader time and time again. Why? Because we’ve got the only military in the world that can travel distant from its shores and do this kind of stuff. But we need to be able to bring other countries along for the aftermath, because the United States can’t unilaterally win the peace. I think it can, unilaterally, in most situations, win wars. It cannot win the peace, which is what we’ve been losing in Iraq since May, 2003. We won a war, we’ve been screwing up a peace. And that kind of integration can only occur when the rest of the world comes in and builds a kind of economic connectivity, moves the money in, creates the opportunities for the locals, and that’s what’s been lacking in Iraq, is that we haven’t connected it effectively on economic terms to the outside world. It’s all still just about oil.

– – – – –

HH: Dr. Barnett, putting Chapter 3 into context, imagine for a moment that after General Petraeus was done testifying today, you had a chance to make an opening statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee. What would you say in the first two or three minutes of that statement to them?

TB: What I would say is that we really have to think more broadly about what we’re trying to achieve in the Middle East, other than just create a security force that’s able to generate enough security to kind of cover the tracks of our withdrawal, or to put enough names on doors inside of government buildings, and claim that we’ve built a nation along those lines, that we really need to commit ourselves, first and foremost, to creating the economic conditions by which Iraq brings itself up from this long, lengthy period of dictatorship, and now this seemingly also quite long period of violence, that it’s our commitment to connecting the Middle East up to the outside world on the basis of something other than oil, that’s going to get the kind of economic opportunity that puts 70% of a lot of these countries’ populations that are either underemployed, or totally unemployed, and don’t see futures to connect to. And it’s that kind of problem that gets you the 27 year old lawyer, married, father of two, who decides that his best connection to the future is to strap on a vest of dynamite and step onto a crowded bus and blow himself up. It’s that kind of despair, ultimately, that we’re attacking, and Petraeus knows that, because Petraeus is a huge believer in the notion that you’ve got to create stakeholders. And stakeholders are mostly about economics, not politics. It’s mostly about economics, is giving people a sense that they have a future that they can wait for, a future that’s going to be better for their children than it was for them. And unless you put those hands to work, and connect people to those dreams of a better future, you’re going to face the kind of despair that radical ideologies can come in and take advantage of, and you’re not going to solve this problem. So I would caution everybody in this process to admit to the fact that there is no exiting the Middle East, until the Middle East connects to the outside world.

HH: Dr. Barnett, as always, a great pleasure. I look forward to talking to you again next week. The transcript will be up later today at Hughhewitt.com, the book, The Pentagon’s New Map, linked in many places, and I’ll link it again at Hughhewitt.com. Dr. Barnett, thank you.

End of interview.

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