The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century

by Thomas P.M. Barnett

Book cover for The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century

Since the end of the Cold War, America's national security establishment has been searching for a new operating theory to explain how this seemingly "chaotic" world actually works. Gone is the clash of blocs, but replaced by what?

Thomas Barnett has the answers. A senior military analyst with the U.S. Naval War College, he has given a constant stream of briefings over the past few years, and particularly since 9/11, to the highest of high-level civilian and military policymakers-and now he gives it to you. The Pentagon's New Map is a cutting-edge approach to globalization that combines security, economic, political, and cultural factors to do no less than predict and explain the nature of war and peace in the twenty-first century.

Building on the works of Friedman, Huntington, and Fukuyama, and then taking a leap beyond, Barnett crystallizes recent American military history and strategy, sets the parameters for where our forces will likely be headed in the future, outlines the unique role that America can and will play in establishing international stability-and provides much-needed hope at a crucial yet uncertain time in world history.

For anyone seeking to understand the Iraqs, Afghanistans, and Liberias of the present and future, the intimate new links between foreign policy and national security, and the operational realities of the world as it exists today, The Pentagon's New Map is a template, a Rosetta stone. Agree with it, disagree with it, argue with it-there is no book more essential for 2004 and beyond.

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  • On May 22 2010 Tom Copeland (USCG) read this book and commented:

    I really enjoyed the parts of this book where Barnett talks about the Pentagon's "briefing culture". A white paper won't do, since the O-8's aides can just summarize it for him - you have to have a lively, entertaining, and insightful brief to get access to the upper reaches of the Pentagon. This book was written in 2004, and Barnett made some bold predictions. He thought that Kim Jong-il would be toppled by President Bush, but here we are in 2010 and Kim Jong-il is sinking South Korean ships. Barnett also predicts that the U.S. will add some more states from bits of Mexico... that remains to be seen. The book's thesis is that there is a "functioning Core" and a "disconnected Gap", and we need to encourage more of the former and less of the latter. It's an interesting strategic proposal. One more thing I learned from this book - a great phrase from J.R.R. Tolkien: "Hope without guarantees". A wonderful thought!