Ten Questions with Thomas P.M. Barnett

Ten Questions with Thomas P.M. Barnett

by Mark Safranski

Ten Questions with Thomas P.M. Barnett (Full PDF Article)

Small Wars Journal interview with Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett on a wide range of issues -- our lack of a grand strategy and need for self-awareness, advice for President Obama, globalization and frontier integration, the counterinsurgency debate, foreign policy priorities and much more.

Dr. Barnett is Senior Managing Director at Enterra Solutions and a contributing Editor for Esquire magazine. A former Assistant for Strategic Futures in the OSD Office of Force Transformation and a professor at the Naval War College, Barnett was the author of The Pentagon's New Map and Blueprint for Action, he regularly advises the OSD, State Department, PACOM, CENTCOM and briefs senior members of the armed forces and the intelligence community as well as members of Congress.

Dr. Barnett is the author of the newly released Great Powers: America and the World after Bush.

Ten Questions with Thomas P.M. Barnett (Full PDF Article)

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Perhaps I need to clarify my comment. I was not referring to credibility vis a vis knowledge of Russians. I was referring to credibility with respect to offering advice that their involvement would be a good thing. The likely 'acceptance' of the Russians as legitimate actors within the Afghan population is, at best, dubious. It would be just as suspect with the Pakistanis.

Russia obviously has a national interest in Afghanistan. What needs to be explained is how introducing the Russian national interest (and Russian troops) into the mix, given the baggage they carry, can be in the best interest of what NATO and its coalition partners are attempting.

Given that he spent most of his academic career studying Russians and speaks the language (click my name for biography), I would say that he has more credibility in evaluating their interests and capacity for international cooperation than most.

A destabilized Afghanistan is just as, if not more, threatening to Russia as it is the US. There is a reason they went there in the first place.

Russians? Barnett says (in response to Q7) that the fight in Afghanistan needs to be regionalised and that the Russians should get involved. This beggars belief and, surely, credibility.