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Barnett on Wikistrat’s Grand Strategy Competition and…well…Grand Strategy

From Thomas P.M. Barnett and Wikistrat:

Grand Strategic Competition Update (Week 2)

…As head judge, I assign points to teams based on their activity throughout the week.  In this second week, each team generated those two trajectories to the tune of about 10,000 words each, or close to 300,000 words across all the teams.  Naturally, a ton of interesting nuggets emerged, so here’s my hit list of provocative ideas.

1) US turns back toward Western Hemisphere as part of reduced global footprint, need to deal with drug/crime nexus, and desire to balance growing Chinese influence across region (BRAZIL1/Institute of World Politics 2)

Every new US president hits the ground running with the promise to pay more attention to the Western Hemisphere – and then promptly forgets the entire idea.  So far, Barack Obama has held to form, and yet the dynamics cited here make for a compelling argument.  A US that pulls back from the world and gets it own house in order must certainly look southward for some of its solutions – particularly on the disastrous drug war.  Brazil, as the IWP2 team points out, is the key dynamo of the region, so either the US recognizes that and accommodates Brazil’s ambitions, or it may find itself the odd man out throughout South America

Time’s Battleland: Future grand strategists: Russia will someday be forced to outsource its security

Hailing again from Wikistrat‘s International Grand Strategy Competition (30 teams of grad students/interns from elite universities and think tanks around the world), where I serve as head judge (and I get paid), I wanted to share the decidedly provocative vision of Russia’s long-term future security paradigm as crafted by the New York University team (find their national trajectory here). A certain segment of the US national security establishment got all jacked by Russia’s short war with tiny Georgia in August 2008, seeing in that raw display of power a “resurging” military superpower. NYU begs to differ…

Shades of Chet Richards and Steven Pressfield.

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