Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating

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9780399153129: Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating

The author of the groundbreaking bestseller takes his cutting-edge analysis to the next level.

In civilian and military circles alike, The Pentagon's New Map became one of the most talked-about books of the year. The Pentagon's New Map combined security, economic, political, and cultural factors to provide a fundamental reexamination of war and peace in the post-9/11 world, and a compelling vision of the future. Now, senior adviser and military analyst Barnett tells us how we get to that future. In a book at once pragmatic, thought-provoking, and optimistic, he explores both the long- and short-term pathways for governments, institutions, and individuals alike. Paying particular attention to such nations and regions as Iran, Iraq, and the Middle East, China, North Korea, Latin America, and Africa, he outlines the strategies to pursue, the entities to create, the pitfalls to overcome.

If the first book was a compelling framework for confronting twenty-first-century problems, the new book is something more-a powerful road map through a chaotic and uncertain world to "a future worth creating."

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Review:

The world is a mess. Iraq is becoming another Vietnam. Iran and North Korea are trying to get nukes or may already have them. Al Qaeda is still on the loose. In the middle of this turmoil, Tom Barnett believes America stands at a threshold. It can withdraw into itself. Or it can seize an opportunity to forge the most peaceful period in human history, where war becomes unknown. Barnett is a former professor at the U.S. Naval War College and senior advisor to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has been called "one of the most important strategic thinkers of our time."

Barnett maps out a sweeping new vision for the U.S. military in Blueprint for Action, the sequel to his influential previous book The Pentagon's New Map. He says the U.S. military has a massive doctrinal flaw. It has an unrivalled power to win wars. But it has little ability to win the peace. Witness Iraq, where virtually no thought was given to postwar stabilization and reconstruction. He advocates creating a new Department of Global Security in the U.S. government, tasked with putting countries back on their feet after an armed intervention by U.S. forces. He says the new department would also work to reduce economic and social instability in "disconnected" regions of the developing world. "It all starts with America and yes, it all starts with security," he writes. Barnett's vision is highly U.S.-centric and recalls the "white man's burden" philosophy of British colonial authorities. He advocates "regime change" in North Korea and Venezuela. And his solutions for the problems of the Third World are straight out of a banker's mouth: privatization, deregulation, globalization. But Blueprint for Action is an important account of the current thinking and debates at the highest levels of the Pentagon. --Alex Roslin

About the Author:

Thomas P. M. Barnett is a senior adviser to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Central Command, Special Operations Command, the Joint Staff and the Joint Forces Command. He formerly served as a senior strategic researcher and professor at the U.S. Naval War College and as Assistant for Strategic Futures in the OSD's Office of Force Transformation. He is a founding partner of the New Rule Sets Project LLC, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and Esquire, where he is now a contributing editor.

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