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    “…the ideal tools for cold-blooded Machiavellian strategists like Thomas Barnett…”

    Really, Fabius – “Cold Blooded Machiavellian”?

    Cheap shot aside, I also don’t think that is what TPMB has in mind for the Sys Admin force.

    Barnett has stated that the sysadmin force could/should significantly come from China or India. It is not meant to be primarily a war-fighting force. It is a System (states,institutions,rule-sets, security) building force.

    Fickr Sources: Pop!Tech 2004 and Crashworks

    5 Responses

    1. Personally I believe it applies quite well. What is your objection to the description?

      I assume you are kidding when you imply that Barnett’s vision would not require many, many wars — as we use force when needed to help the Gap nations find their way to a USA-approved future?

      If we wait to be invited in by the peoples of the Gap nations, our forces will spend much time playing cards.

    2. Even if workable/feasible, would the Left (domestic or foreign, “Liberal” or extremist) allow us to get away with this? (I’d imagine the Leftist opposition would be even more *vehement* [to put it mildly] *especially* if it could work).

    3. I suspect Barnett’s ideas, and the broad concept of aggressive benign intervention in foreign lands, is now a dead letter in the US. Folks can dream, and design imaginary SysAdmin forces. But it will be a long time before we try this again, imo.

    4. A note cross-posted from Thomas Barnett’s blog, for clarification (your post was clear, but your readers might have mis-interpreted the quote in your post).

      As was, I hope, clear in context, this is a compliment in two senses. First, speaking as a member of the realist school of foreign policy, being a cold-blooded Machiavellian recognizes one as a fellow member of the club.

      Second, a comparison to Machiavelli is a compliment. He is one of the western world’s greatest political theorists, through whom most the major theories about the relationship of people and their governments trace their ancestry. As in the belief that rulers should govern in such a way to improve the situation of the state and its people, not to benefit themselves (including personal spiritual benefits).

    5. Fabius, sorry for not responding to your earlier comments, and got side tracked.

      I actually like Machiavelli too, but for most “Machiavellian” means something like: treacherous, unprincipled and even evil. Sadly, Machiavelli get a bad rep from pop culture history.

      I don’t think his intention is for there to be large wars fought all over the gap by US, US Allies, and like minded states as part of his gap-shrinking – though his thinking could be wrong and that could be the result. Most of the SysAdmin activity is state and institution building, not fighting. Of course the enemy is a thinking enemy and won’t stand by quite – they can see the goal of the sysadmin activity.

      You are most likely correct that it won;t be tried again for some time. For whatever reason (I don’t want to debate those in this post) many of the US Public and its leaders don’t have the stomach for it or don’t share the goal of gap shrink/pro-globalization activity, and little has been done to establish a SysAdmin force like Barnett suggests.

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