Military theory superstar unveils new book

Oct. 19, 2005 at 3:32 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Noted author and military strategist Thomas Barnett addressed a military audience Wednesday at the National Defense University, his publisher said.

At the event, Barnett unveiled his new book, "Blueprint for Action : A Future Worth Creating," scheduled to be published tomorrow.

The new book is eagerly anticipated by the many military officials and officers who see Barnett as "one of the most interesting strategic thinkers around," in the words of columnist Michael Barone.

Barnett, an expert on Soviet Russia with a Harvard doctorate in political science, was a professor of strategy at the Naval War College prior to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

After the attacks, he became an adviser to the Pentagon's Office of Force Transformation, where he developed "a cluster of strategic concepts that link change in the international security environment to the imperative of transforming U.S. military capabilities," according to his Web site.

The result of his studies was the book, "The Pentagon's New Map," published to wide acclaim in 2004.

The book argued that, since the Cold War, the major threats to the United States have tended to emerge from the underdeveloped, under-governed regions of the world -- typically states torn apart by political or ethnic conflict, like Afghanistan or Somalia.

As a result, he advocated re-structuring the military into two forces. The first, "leviathan," would include the military's nuclear arsenal and traditional war-fighting elements, and would be aimed at deterring other nations, as well as providing the capacity to rapidly intervene to change, shore-up or eliminate unstable regimes.

The second, more numerous, "systems administrator" force, would be focused on the post-war phase of such interventions -- on counter-insurgency and nation-building.

In his new book, Barnett offers a detailed plan for putting his ideas into action, including a six-point program for transforming politically bankrupt states. "Bad states go in, better states come out," he writes.

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