Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Conversations With History


In this episode of the UC Berkeley series "Conversations with History," one of the Pentagon's chief military strategists, Thomas P.M. Barnett, discusses with host Harry Kreisler his ideas on the role of military power, U.S. military strategy, and globalization.

Listening to Barnett, I was reminded of a similar grand strategy— that of the Japanese in the first half of the 20th century. Although there are some notable differences (e.g., Barett's vision is far more ambitious than that of Imperial Japan, which sought only to unify a "bloc of Asian nations," rather than the entire globe), the "Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere" 大東亜共栄圏 was a similar attempt at "inclusion" under a single center of power.

And last time I checked, Japan's "Co-prosperity Sphere" in the end provided very little prosperity and even less "greatness" for either Japan or those living under its beneficent umbrella, and I venture to guess that Barnett's strategy might be as equally doomed to fail.

At any rate, the interview offers an interesting look at how the Pentagon currently sees the world and its role in it, so do check it out.

No comments: