Feeney interviews Tom Barnett on "After Words"

Have you already read Tom Barnett’s “The Pentagon’s New Map“, and the recently released “Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating“? If not, I think you’ll find this one hour video interview by Rep. Tom Feeney on “After Words” very worthwhile.

It’s unusual for TV interviews because Rep. Feeney has actually read the books. More unusual, he allows Barnett to explain his work.

Background for those who’ve not been following Barnett. Esquire editors wrote the following in the issue where they published Barnett’s first “popular” essay on the Core and the Gap, and how “Disconnectedness defines danger”:

FROM THE CONTRIBUTORS’ PAGE (p. 56):

Shortly after we wrote about military strategist THOMAS BARNETT in last December’s Best and Brightest issue, he gave the Esquire staff a presentation on his theory of war and globalization, just as he regularly does for government leaders as an adviser to the Department of Defense. We’ll never read the news the same way again. This month, Barnett delivers the same briefing to you in “The Pentagon’s New Map (page 174), in which he maps out America’s recent military encounters and predicts future ones based on patterns of global economic development. “We’re at a time period not unlike after World War II,” says Barnett, who is also a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. “We’re trying to ask the same great questions, like: How can a superpower today influence history for the better? We established this overarching ideology for so long that allowed us to justify anything, and that ideology was containment. In some ways, what I’m trying to argue is a new sort of containment—a containment of the new bad places and the desire to shrink them.”

FROM THE EDITOR’S LETTER (p. 58):

[excerpted]

But there is one truly special story in this issue—one that you’ll find in no other magazine. If you remember our December issue, the one we called the Best and Brightest, which was about people on the cutting edge, doing work that will improve our country and our world, you might remember Thomas Barnett. Tom Barnett is a war strategist. He puts the world—especially the parts of the world where terrorism and unrest are brewing—into context. He does this for the Secretary of Defense, and he draws conclusions about how best to avert or engage conflicts—and thus how to keep our country secure.

On page 174, Barnett has annotated the world. More specifically, the world’s hot spots and the likelihood of war in each of those places. For the first time, someone with a position in the government explains what we’re really undertaking when we go to war in Iraq. It’s not just about disarmament. Rather, the United States is redrawing the map of the region, we are shrinking the Gap (to use Barnett’s term), we are changing the course of history by adopting a good-offense-is-the-best-defense strategy.

This is an entirely unprecedented look inside the thinking that will guide our defense strategy over the next five to ten years. It’s a fantastic and challenging story. In November, Barnett came and presented his philosophy of global conflict to our staff. It was amazing and kind of breathtaking. It made each of us feel as though we had a slightly better grip on some of the most frightening issues ever to face our country and the world. I hope it has the same effect on you, making your life a little better.

—David Granger