Tom Barnett likes my work on stability operations
Bestselling author Thomas P. M. Barnett, best known for his book, The Pentagon’s New Map, praised an independent project of an IWP professor for publicizing private sector solutions to global stability problems.
In a syndicated column for the Scripps Howard News Service, Barnett welcomed the “global stability industry” and hailed Serviam magazine, edited and co-founded by Professor J. Michael Waller, as a positive voice for the sector.
Barnett compared Serviam magazine favorably with the US Army’s new Field Manual 3-07 on Stability Operations.
“The weeks-long Iraq war of 2003, which America won hands-down, had no impact on our defense establishment. The far harder and years-long Iraq postwar has triggered a sea change. Let me walk you through a couple of examples I’ve recently encountered,” Barnett said in the September 12 column.
“In July, I keynoted the launch celebration for the new industry magazine, Serviam, which explores ‘stability solutions in a dangerous world.’ Just completing its first year of publication, Serviam—Latin for ‘I will serve’—documents the growth of the global security industry.
“Critics of this burgeoning industry—they are legion—naturally spot a slick mouthpiece for a controversial clientele like Blackwater Worldwide. And indeed, the magazine offers companies like Blackwater a chance to tell their side of the story in today’s hostile media climate. To be sure, many political leaders view this industry as inherently parasitic, meaning it profits from overseas conflicts and U.S. efforts to quell them.
“But the larger reality is far more complex.
“Globalization sweeps this planet with a speed that stuns its most advanced member states and swamps its weakest. As these penetrating networks reformat traditional societies, a certain amount of social instability inevitably ensues among the least resilient. That’s inherent to any frontier-integrating age, and we’re experiencing one on an unprecedented global scale right now.
“America is hardly in charge of this process, as most of globalization is now fueled by rising Asia. But as the world’s sole military superpower, we naturally feel responsibility even when we’re strategically tied-down elsewhere—e.g., Iraq and Afghanistan. Where gaps in coverage inevitably emerge, look for the global stability industry to step in. The cynical option is to ‘let ‘em burn.’”
More positive people, Barnett notes, will choose a productive option: private initiatives “providing all manner of sovereignty services to both host nations and intervening powers in need.” What would people rather have, starvation in Haiti, “where food relief supplies from the international community often sit on harbor docks—undistributed—while poor locals survive by eating cakes of mud?
“Those industry non-stories,” Barnett wrote, “must be told as well.”