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Wikistrat Launch!

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Blogfriend Thomas P.M. Barnett’s partnership with Wikistrat, where he is Chief Analyst, to provide clients and subscribers with strategic advice and assessment of geopolitical affairs has had their official launch.

Exciting launch of our Wiki, coupled with a new CoreGap bulletin

Greetings from the Wikistrat Team,

Today we have launched the internet’s very first Global Strategic Model on a private and interactive wiki.

Join our subscribers and take advantage of the launch offer: a 50% discount off the regular price.  Sign up now before our regular prices return over the weekend. 

For a taste of what you’ll be getting, here is a video of Tom discussing content from the bulletin as well as a download link to the abridged PDF version.

See you on the wiki!

CEO Joel Zamel

CTO Daniel Green and

Chief Analyst Thomas P.M. Barnett of WIKISTRAT

There is a link for a PDF download on Tom’s post of the latest CoreGap Bulletin that I could not embed here, so I encourage you to go there and check it out.

I have had some email convos with Wikistrat CEO Joel Zamel and can attest that Wikistrat has an energetic team and is determined to make a splash in terms of being an influencer of opinion makers and corporate movers and shakers.

Tom Barnett Waves Goodbye to the Blogosphere

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett has left the building…..

Hiatus for now, decisions to follow

I’m going to shut down this blog for the foreseeable future.

My career and workload have evolved significantly since the recession hit, and I just find that I can’t justify the time and effort required to keep the blog running.  Other opportunities/responsibilities beckon, and that array doesn’t value/support this endeavor, so while I’ve enjoyed it, this is simply an adjustment I need to make.

I will keep the site up for now.

I will continue to keep writing at places that can pay.  I just realize that I’ve come to the end of a career model that says I can play LoneWolf@eponymous.com and make that work.  A bit sad, as it’s been fun, but as someone who hates to repeat himself and loves to always move onto the next experience/model, I likewise enjoy the pressure to reinvent myself.  I just can’t move down that path while simultaneously maintaining the old one–not enough hours in the day….

Sad to see Tom shut down his fine blog but I respect his motivations. Furthermore, while Dr. Barnett always had his detractors on the margin, it is undeniable that he and his ideas about grand strategy had a significant impacton both the public and the policy elite where “the Brief” from The Pentagon’s New Map enjoyed a cult status for a number of years. It was Tom more than any other “thought leader”, whose globetrotting briefing sessions brought military theory and strategy to a general public confused about the tumults of the post 9-11 world.

I’d like to take a moment and thank Dr. Barnett for several acts of kindness over the years, for the friends I have met as a result of sharing a common interest in his work and the stimulating exchanges we have had from time to time that still influence my thinking on strategy and policy. There’s no doubt in my mind that we will still be hearing from Tom in op-eds, magazines, journals, books for years to come.

A New Bloghome II.

Thursday, May 13th, 2010


Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett is not only his own man, he’s his own webmaster. 

Having embarked on a major overhaul of his longstanding and very successful blog, which had been steered previously by Critt Jarvis and then Sean Meade, Tom rolled up his sleeves, engaged his creative eye and went “hands-on” and shaped the new look himself ( he is still tinkering with it), an impressive decision given the magnitude of the details involved. 

It’s good. I find the redesign to be warmer but still crisp. A much more personal, less “corporate”, look with greater balance between text, visual imagery and negative space. It reflects more of Dr. Barnett’s different interests. Check it out:

Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Globlogization

I also like the long margin Twitter-feed, a nice wrinkle that puts two web 2.0 platforms together well. Much better than a little window plug-in would work in terms of reader attention.

Very nice.

Stocking Stuffers……

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

In a burst of raw self-interest – and also a little love for my blogfriends – these books make nifty gifts for any war nerd or deep thinker on your Christmas list:

The John Boyd Roundtable: Debating Science, Strategy, and War – Mark Safranski (Ed.)


Threats in the Age of Obama – Michael Tanji (Ed.)

Great Powers: America and the World After Bush – Thomas P.M. Barnett

Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization – John Robb

Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd – Frans Osinga


The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism  by Howard Bloom

Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count  by Richard Nisbett

Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld  by Jeffrey Carr

This Is for the Mara Salvatrucha: Inside the MS-13, America’s Most Violent Gang  by Samuel Logan

Full Disclosure:

In copmpliance with new Federal regulations of dubious Constitutional merit, I hearby declare ZP does not accept money for publishing reviews or any paid advertising. Courtesy review copies were extended to me by authors or publishers acting on behalf of Sam Logan, Tom Barnett and Jeff Carr. I edited the first book in this post and was a contributing author to the second one. All of the books, with the exception of Cyber Warfare have been the subject of prior reviews or posts at ZP.

Gunnar Peterson interviews Thomas P.M. Barnett

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Cybersecurity expert and blogfriend Gunnar Peterson of 1 Raindrop snagged a multi-part interview with grand strategist and blogfriend Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett, author of Great Powers. Peterson is doing a superb job at elicitation with his questions:

Tom Barnett Interview

GP: ….It seems that the emerging middle class is the main factor that separates the developing countries’ past and future, they always had some very rich people and many very poor people, but now depending on how you measure it, India’s middle class is 200 million people. What trends should we watch as the global middle class emerges? What milestones will mark key events along the progression?

TB: The one of greatest interest is when per capita income gets in the range of $5,000 per year.  Somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000 is where you see previously authoritarian, single-party-dominated states move into the process of increasingly pluralism, typically started when a reformist faction breaks off from, and begins to challenge, the dominant party.Obviously, India is already blessed in that regard, so China is the one to watch there.  Until China reaches such a level of development, all talk about authoritarian capitalism being superior to democratic capitalism is historically premature.  Authoritarian regimes do well with extensive growth (simply adding in more resources) but then tap out when it comes to shifting into innovation-based, intensive growth….

Tom Barnett Interview Part 2 »

TB:….At initial glance, China’s route has higher risks concerning its political system (all those unruly and increasingly assertive urban laborers can go all Marxist on Beijing’s allegedly “communist” ruling party), but India has higher risks concerning its economic trajectory (you point about scaling out badly).  It’s just easier to imagine-for me at least-China having to change politically than India somehow avoiding industrialization and the social tumult/reformatting it will cause the country’s rural life.  China’s got a lot of that already under its belt (although its rural impoverished population remains vast, there are plenty of opportunities for village employment or migration to the cities), and its government seems willing to do whatever it takes to encourage and accommodate the migration from rural areas to cities.  But India moving far more tepidly in this direction, the result being that, what rural-to-urban migration does occur, often results in rather scary urbanization scenarios (more slumdog than millionaire).  

Tom Barnett Interview Part 3

GP: Many security writers and thinkers are obsessed with threats, they throw a dart a connected systems, extrapolate worse case scenario and everything goes “boom!”; your work is different, it accounts for system perturbation from threats but has more focus on the system resiliency to deal with events over the long haul. I find this system thinking lacking in many of your peers, and have never understood how worst case threat extrapolation can automatically lead to a parasite that takes over its host. Can you explain why its different to think of security in terms of resiliency rather than simply threats? What insights fall out of this distinction?

TB: Worst-case thinking obviously has its uses in the national security realm.  I just think we got into very odd, extreme tendencies during the Cold War, when the threat of nuclear conflict distorted our thinking unduly.  We’re just beginning to see thinkers and analysts and strategists emerge from a post-Cold War educational environment, like my nephew Brendan who’s studying Russian and International Relations (as I once did) at my alma mater, Wisconsin.  The problem is, the field of international relations, as Brendan will attest, is still obsessed with game theory and all sorts of artificial schools and still tends to be way too insular (economics still needs to embraced far more, not in some antiseptic academic sense but more in a keen understanding of how international business works).  But the key thing is, Brendan and others of his generation won’t be held to the extreme fears that my generation was, despite the constant hyping of the threat of nuclear proliferation, so they’re forced to cast their nets wider and that’s a good thing.

Tom is pointing to the “higher level of play” that leaders need to operate at if their foreign policies and national security strategies are to be based upon sound assumptions ( I would also throw in accounting for greater systemic instability or probability of Black Swan   system perturbations)

An old saw is that amateurs study tactics while professionals study logistics. Strategists study geoeconomics because the structural economic shifts within and between countries and regions are not only predictive of where strife is likely to occur or never materialize but they set the framework or parameters on how effectively states are able to exercise “hard” forms of power. Interdependence wrought by globalization multiplies your leverage but it also constrains it’s uses.

For a great power, it’s a very short step in statecraft these days between “zen master” or as a “pitiful, helpless, giant”.

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