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Thomas P. M. Barnett, Great Powers: America and the World After Bush

Thomas P. M. Barnett, "Great Powers: America and the World After Bush"
G. P. Putnam's Sons | 2009 | ISBN: 0399155376 | 496 pages | siPDF | 7.3 MB

The author of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller The Pentagon’s New Map brings us a remarkable analysis of the post-Bush world, and America’s leadership role in it.

In civilian and military circles alike, The Pentagon’s New Map became one of the most talked about books of 2004. “A combination of Tom Friedman on globalization and Carl von Clausewitz on war, [it is] the red-hot book among the nation’s admirals and generals,” wrote David Ignatius in The Washington Post. Barnett’s second book, Blueprint for Action, demonstrated how to put the first book’s principles to work. Now, in Great Powers, Barnett delivers his most sweeping—and important—book of all.

For eight years, the current administration has done much to disconnect or alienate America from the world, but the world has certainly not been standing still. Now, with a chance to start over, what do we do? Where’s the world going now, and how do we not only rejoin it but become a leader again in what has become the most profound reordering of the globe since the end of World War II?

In Great Powers, Barnett offers a tour de force analysis of the grand realignments that are both already here and coming up fast in the spheres of economics, diplomacy, defense, technology, security, the environment, and much more. The “great powers” are no longer just the world’s major nation-states but the powerful forces, past, present, and future, moving with us and past us like a freight train. It is not a simple matter of a course correction but of a complete recalibration, and the opportunities it presents are far greater than the perils. Barnett gives us a fundamental understanding of both, showing us not only how the world is now but how it will be.

There are those writing now who say America is in decline... and we just have to deal with it. Barnett says no. Globalization as it exists today was built by America—and now it’s time for America to shape and redefine what comes next. Great Powers shows us how.

From Publishers Weekly
Barnett (The Pentagon's New Map) offers a comprehensive catalogue of the failings of the Bush administration and a strategic roadmap for American foreign policy in this sweeping text. The author takes a broad approach to the contemporary political landscape, surveying U.S. history from the Revolution through the end of the Cold War and applying lessons from that history to the present. Drawing on a variety of secondary sources and his personal and professional experiences as a national security specialist and consultant, Barnett argues in favor of cooperation with rising powers such as China and India and continued movement in the direction of globalization; he distills his central thesis down to the contention that America must dramatically realign its own post-9/11 trajectory with that of the world at large. Barnett writes in a conversational style. Despite the text's vast scope, it has a clear, straightforward structure, even featuring a glossary of key terms, and it provides an accessible and engaging foray into global grand strategy.

“Political consultant Barnett (Blueprint for Action: A World Worth Creating, 2005, etc.) evaluates the Bush administration’s failures, offers prescriptions for correcting them and pleads with America not to mess things up now that everything is going our way.

His excoriating first chapter limns “The Seven Deadly Sins of Bush- Cheney,” starting with Lust (for world primacy). A sensible grand strategy, even for a superpower, must attract more allies than it repulses, he notes, yet the Bush administration broke treaties and advocated preemptive wars, then complained when Russia and China refused to help in Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan.

Proceeding with catchy titles, Barnett delivers “A Twelve-Step Recovery Program for American Grand Strategy” in the second chapter. We must begin by admitting our powerlessness over globalization, he writes. We opened that Pandora’s box long ago, and it’s ridiculous to denounce other nations’ cheap labor and protectionist trade policies, because that’s how American growth began.

Unlike many world-affairs gurus, but in line with Fareed Zakaria’s The Post-American World (2008), Barnett is an optimist, pointing out that free-market capitalism is now the world’s default system, the middle-class is increasing and poverty is diminishing.

Attacking Bush’s fixation on the “global war on terror” (Sin No. 2: Anger), he stresses that it’s merely one of a half-dozen world problems, more easily solved by rising prosperity than military action. Navet, not anger, led to Bush’s painfully unsuccessful efforts to spread democracy. Looking back, Barnett reminds readers that America was a one-party autocracy until the 1820s and that freedom doesn’t happen when a government grants it but when an increasingly assertive, and prosperous, citizenry demand it. China’s rise mirrors the American model more than we realize, he contends, and Iraqis won’t demand a bill of rights until they have jobs.


Preface: The Shape of Things to Come

1 The Seven Deadly Sins of Bush-Cheney
But First, the Virtues Worth Citing
Now for the Sins
Lust, Leading to the Quest for Primacy
Anger, Leading to the Demonization of Enemies
Greed, Leading to the Concentration of War Powers
Pride, Leading to Avoidable Postwar Failures
Envy, Leading to the Misguided Redirect on Iran
Sloth, Leading to the U.S. Military Finally Asserting Command
Gluttony, Leading to Strategic Overhang Cynically Foisted upon the Next President

2 A Twelve-Step Recovery Program for American Grand Strategy
1. Admit that we Americans are powerless over globalization
2. Come to believe that only a bipartisanship far greater than that displayed by our national leaders can restore sanity to America's foreign affairs
3. Make the decision to coordinate all elements of America's national power according to a grand strategy that we have collectively defined
4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of the "global war on terror"
5. Admit to the world and to ourselves the exact nature of our mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan
6. We are entirely ready to work with the international community to remove these defects of wartime injustice
7. Humbly ask the incoming president to reverse America's recent unilateralism
8. Make a list of all the great powers whose national interests we have harmed, and become willing to make concessions to them all
9. Make direct overtures to violent nonstate actors whenever possible, except when doing so would damage existing alliances
10. Continue to review our goal of accelerated democratization and, when we are wrong in our strategic approach, promptly admit it
11. Seek to create strategic alliances with rising powers through diplomatic linkages and military-to-military cooperation
12. Having had a strategic awakening as the result of these steps, America must try to sell this grand strategy to the world, and practice these principles in all its efforts to shrink the gap and make globalization truly global

3 The American Trajectory: Of Great Men and Great Powers
In Order to Form a More Perfect Globalization...
Born in the USA
The American System, Proposed and Imposed
The American System, Tested and Transformed
The American System Matured, Then Extrapolated
A Global American System, An American Century
1. Make sure you can access the crisis without adding to the crisis
2. Figure out your actual economic leverage going in and make it clear in negotiations
3. Build your domestic constituency from the start and keep it bipartisan
4. Be realistic about what you can achieve by intervening
5. No political solutions for economic problems
6. State your positive goals as early as possible
7. Plan for the postwar right from the start
8. Recognize that your recent experiences determine your usable skills
9. Once the war is won, the only alternative to withdrawal or domination is transformation
10. Socialize the problem, institutionalize the solution
11. Expect a challenge to your best-laid plans
12. Selling grand strategy is one thing, executing it is quite another
13. If you want to make it stick, then the boys are never coming home
14. Nukes killed great-power war
The Global American System Becomes Globalization

4 The Economic Realignment: Racing to the Bottom of the Pyramid
The Undeniable Trajectory: Deng Chose Wisely
The American System Perturbed: 3 Billion New Capitalists Register Their Demand
The New Rules: China Breaks the Mold or Merely Recasts It?
The New Normal: Defaulting to the Beijing Consensus
The Global Accelerant: Rushing to Settle Frontiers
The Inescapable Realignment: Remapping Fake States
The Better Normal: Racing to the Bottom of the Pyramid

5 The Diplomatic Realignment: Rebranding the Team of Rivals
The Undeniable Trajectory: The "Global War on Terror"
The American System Perturbed: The Big Bang Launched
The New Rules: From Indispensable Superpower to Insolvent Leviathan
The New Normal: America the Contained
The Global Accelerant: Soft-Power Balancing
The Inescapable Realignment: Rebranding a Team of Rivals
The Better Normal: The Service-Oriented Alliance

6 The Security Realignment: Rediscovering Diplomacy, Defense, and Development
The Undeniable Trajectory: The Miseducation of Colin Powell
The American System Perturbed: The Lost Year in Iraq
The New Rules: From the "Monks of War," a New COIN of the Realm
The New Normal: The Long (Post)War
The Global Accelerant: The Privatization of American Foreign Policy
The Inescapable Realignment: Reblending Diplomacy, Defense, and Development
The Better Normal: The Command-After-Next

7 The Network Realignment: The Rise of the Sysadmin-Industrial Complex
The Undeniable Trajectory: Superempower Me!
The American System Perturbed: The Rise of Global Guerrillas
The New Rules: From "Know Your Customer" to "Know Your Supply Chain"
The New Normal: In Search of New Deterrence
The Global Accelerant: The Great Globalization Build-Out
The Inescapable Realignment: Reengineering Development (In-A-Box™)
The Better Normal: The Rise of the Sysadmin-Industrial Complex

8 The Strategic Realignment: Resurrecting the Progressive Agenda
The Undeniable Trajectory: The Devil We Knew
The American System Perturbed: Katrina and the Gore Counternarrative
The New Rules: From "United We Stand" to Demographic Demagoguery
The New Normal: Apocalypse Soon
The Global Accelerant: The Greatest Awakening
The Inescapable Realignment: Resurrecting the Progressive Agenda
The Consumption Shift
The Food and Water Shift
The Transportation Shift
The Energy Shift
The Security Shift
The Communications Shift
The Religious Shift
The Urbanization Shift
The Feminization Shift
The Demographic Shift
The Health Shift
The Market Shift
The Governance Shift
The Class Shift
The Better Normal: The Great Compromise

Coda: The Future Perfect Tense


Tags: WorldPolitics, USHistory, Globalization, China


No non-free mirrors allowed

See Also:

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable"

Arthur Goldschmidt & Lawrence Davidson, "A Concise History of the Middle East (8th Edition)"

Muhammad Yunus, "Creating A World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism"

Francis Fukuyama, "The End of History and the Last Man"

Thomas E. Ricks, "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq"

Thomas E. Ricks, "The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008"

Thomas L. Friedman, "From Beirut to Jerusalem"

Thomas L. Friedman, "Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—and How It Can Renew America"

David E. Sanger, "The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power"

John J. Mearsheimer & Stephen M. Walt, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy"

Ian Bremmer, "The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall"

Daniel Yergin, "The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, & Power"

Jonathan D. Spence, "The Search for Modern China"

Susan Faludi, "The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post 9/11 America"

J. M. Roberts, "Twentieth Century: The History of the World, 1901 to 2000"

Eric Shawn, "The U.N. Exposed: How the United Nations Sabotages America's Security and Fails the World"

David S. Landes, "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor"

Daniel Walker Howe, "What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (Oxford History of the United States)"

Thomas L. Friedman, "The World is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century"

Patrick Tyler, "A World of Trouble: The White House and the Middle East--from the Cold War to the War on Terror"


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