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Tom Barnett Waves Goodbye to the Blogosphere

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.

10 Responses to “Tom Barnett Waves Goodbye to the Blogosphere”

  1. J. Scott Says:

    Barnett will be missed, but I’ve always had reservations about his view of America’s role in the world. His impact is substantial, but probably unsustainable—we’ve never aspired to be an empire; nor should we. One reason I love our country; one can admire someone, disagree and not have to worry about being arrested:))

  2. zen Says:

    Hi Scott,
    I think the "Shrink the Gap" came across to many ppl as "Intervene everywhere with military power" when Tom didn’t really mean it that way, though he was hardly averse to intervention. What Barnett did was bring back geoeconomics as a driver of geopolitical strategy in a way the "Present at the Creation" statesmen would have grasped it but, probably the Kissingerians and definitely the neocons would not have understood.. He also pounded away at the Leviathan-Sys Admin dichotomy requires a military with two fairly different institutional priorities. A constabulary force is ill-suited to stopping the Red Army, Patton’s Third army was not suited to fighting in Afghanistan today

  3. J. Scott Says:

    Zen, Well said; his focus on the geoeconomics of the real world was of value. His Sys-Admin was/is undoable out of the gate; we’d have to drain the swamp at Foggy Bottom (and all that entails) and start over, for we surely won’t find anyone on the Potomac willing to sign up for such duty. You comment about Afghanistan should be tied to onparkstreet’s post at chicagoboyz this evening. I won’t belabor the point (I posted earlier there), but our policy their is wrong-headed–neither a constabulary force, nor a conventional Patton-like force would work in Afghanistan. The level of brutality would be over-kill and counter-productive to be successful. I believe we should put more trust in the market while decreasing regulation at home—we can compete when Big Brother isn’t breathing down our necks—and btw—get the Feds out of education, but I digress. Cheers!

  4. Eddie Says:

    There is so much to say… but it won’t matter so I just wish him the best in finding more work and more venues to spread his ideas and informed optimism. And raising the two newest members of the clan….

    I mean… this blog cancellation is depressing. His brief commentary and insight on an incredible range of issues struck me as not only useful but damned entertaining, especially when you could round up any number of other experts and writers who were going into hysterics over this or that issue that TPMB would take a three-dimensional view of (going long, deep, and above).

  5. historyguy99 Says:


    I too feel the same sense of loss to see Tom end his excellent blog.  I also have sensed for sometime that Tom was to much a craftsman to let the blog slip into anything less that the robust daily posts that continued to amaze me with their content and timely analysis.

    The friends that came from following his blog led to our friendship, as well as dozens of others across this medium. If fact, his intrepid former webmaster, Sean Meade was insturmental in encouraging me to join the blogosphere.  Hopefully, this marks an opportunity for Tom to get back out on the speakers trail and spread his message and spark debate across the land.

  6. Chris van Avery Says:

    Considering the "backstory" in his life, it is not only unsurprising, but commendable. For those of you that have kids, and have come to recognize how important being "Dad" is, one need look no further than his beautiful new daughters to recognize he’s got some work ahead of him.

    I expect another hiatus when they hit the teens, too.

  7. democratic core Says:

    I’m going to miss the blog.  He’s one of the most interesting thinkers out there.  He has set out a new paradigm for understanding the world we live in.  Paradigm shifts are hard to absorb, so it will inevitably take some time for his work to be appreciated.

  8. onparkstreet Says:

    I hope he does keep the site up for a while (or the archives) because some of us "newbies" to this corner of the blogosphere are enjoying reading old posts. 🙂
    – Madhu

  9. Purpleslog Says:

    Is somebody being vetted?

  10. Purpleslog Says:

    NM (on my speculation). I read his new posts.

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