What is wrong with travelogue journalist turned strategist - Thomas Barnett

Thomas Barnett tells us what is wrong with the travelogue journalist.

WSJ is a great paper. But there are often hidden needles in the haystack. Thomas Barnett picks out the needles for you.

Barnett has said it all. I would just briefly comment on Kaplan's cliche of "thinks and plans in terms of worst-case scenarios" (therefore, spend as much on weapon as possible).
  • Kaplan said "Donald Rumsfeld thought in terms of worst-case scenarios for the invasion of Iraq and got the best possible result; he thought in terms of best-case scenarios for the occupation and got the worst possible result" Well, all this shows is not Murphy's law. It looks to me more like a direct criticism of Rummy, that Rummy is always wrong. If kaplan is always with Rummy, that says enough about Kaplan's judgment as well.
  • Seriously, the fact that "Murphy's law is more observed" is simply the result that unexpected beings are more usually visible
  • The correct approach is not to "take the worse case" in every situation. You would exhaust your stamina and resources if you do this in every circumstance. The correct thing to do is to optimize, based on the probability.
  • To quote Kaplan, "The Pentagon does not have the luxury of" taking the worst case all the time. Use science, use your brain. Don't rely on leap of faith BS.
My sincere personal advice to US (because I am still an admirer or the spirits and ideals in US constitution, and I believe US people will choose the right thing, as they did in the two WWs), do not take the kickboxing strategy. You will lose. Because even if Kaplan is right, China is kickboxing only in East Asia. US has to kickbox also in Middle East, S America, Europe, Russia and Africa. US could then be dragged into exhaustion like the Soviet Empire. This is not good for the world. Focus on your competitive advantage, do not emulate others.

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1 comment:

Sun Bin said...

Echoing this is the essay by Victor Corpus in Asiatimes, somewhat long, but some details can be glanced through, makes good cursory reading.

hatip to commentator divedi in Barnett's weblog.