Thomas Barnett is a Senior Strategic Researcher at the US Naval War college and has advised The Office of the Secretary of Defense. He presents, IMHO, an interesting argument for why war with Iraq is not only inevitable but good. The argument is presented here and starts with the assertion :
*When the United States finally goes to war again in the Persian Gulf, it will not constitute a settling of old scores, or just an enforced disarmament of illegal weapons, or a distraction in the war on terror. Our next war in the Gulf will mark a historical tipping point - the moment when Washington takes real ownership of strategic security in the age of globalization.
In his wordview, globalization’s willing participants form The Core of today’s world. The rest, those who are aloof or overly nationalistic form The Gap. The Core are characterized by stable governments and rising standards of living among other things. The Gap are characterized by repressive regimes and chronic conflicts. That, this relation holds, is an empirical observation and not a given.
In light of this worldview, to the US, its main threat arises from The Gap as demonstrated by Sept. 11. The new paradigm of national security outlook is Disconnectedness defines danger. The Disconnectedness refers to the division in the mindset and actions between The Core and The Gap.
Barnett argues that when a country that fall off this bandwagon called globalization. … bloodshed will follow. If you are lucky, so will American troops.
He then provides as backup the following statement: If we draw a line around the majority of those military interventions, we have basically mapped the Non-Integrating Gap. where those refers to US intervention since the end of the Cold War.
He then postulates the new security rule based on two inputs
Bin Laden and Al Qaeda are pure products of the Gap—in effect, its most violent feedback to the Core. They tell us how we are doing in exporting security to these lawless areas (not very well) and which states they would like to take “off line” from globalization and return to some seventh-century definition of the good life (any Gap state with a sizable Muslim population, especially Saudi Arabia).
US military-intervention record of the last decade
and the rule is : A country’s potential to warrant a U.S. military response is inversely related to its globalization connectivity.
And this is why N Korea escapes retaliation. It is adrift within the Core, surrounded by members such as China, S Korea and Japan.
The broad US national-security strategy seemingly at work is
Increase the Core’s immune system capabilities for responding to September 11-like system perturbations;
Work the seam states to firewall the Core from the Gap’s worst exports, such as terror, drugs, and pandemics; and, most important,
Shrink the Gap.
Then, we come to the “money-argument” about the war with Iraq.
The Middle East is the perfect place to start. Diplomacy cannot work in a region where the biggest sources of insecurity lie not between states but within them. What is most wrong about the Middle East is the lack of personal freedom and how that translates into dead-end lives for most of the population —especially for the young.
Fear largely prevents the Middle East from transforming its internal elements towards a “Core-ready” region. Fear of tradition, fear of being attacked from all sides for being different—the fear of becoming Israel.
So, the only thing that will change that nasty environment and open the floodgates for change is if some external power steps in and plays Leviathan full-time. Taking down Saddam, the region’s bully-in-chief, will force the U.S. into playing that role far more fully than it has over the past several decades, primarily because Iraq is the Yugoslavia of the Middle East—a crossroads of civilizations that has historically required a dictatorship to keep the peace.
The author then asserts that US involvement has reinforced prosperity and peace wherever it exists.
He, then summarizes his support towards War on Iraq as follows
Until we begin the systematic, long-term export of security to the Gap, it will increasingly export its pain to the Core in the form of terrorism and other instabilities. and We ignore the Gap’s existence at our own peril, because it will not go away until we as a nation respond to the challenge of making globalization truly global.