We’ve briefed it throughout OSD, throughout the
Defense Department. I’ve given
almost 200 times to about 5-6,000 people. I’ve briefed Secretary Rumsfeld’s
senior people. Art takes care
of people above that. Briefed
Secretary Powell’s senior people. Art
takes care of the stuff above that. Briefed Congress, briefed the House of
Commons in England. Getting a lot
of good purchase in the Information Technology and Banking communities which
tend to get this material even better than we do… even better than I do. It becomes an article, March 2003, Esquire.
It gets passed around a lot. I
get an agent. That agent gets me a book.
28 today Amazon. I’ve got
to give it to Brian Lamb. Wall
Street Journal got me to 40. Brian
Lamb got me to 6 in 24-hours on a Memorial Day weekend too. So he impresses me to no end.
The purpose of the brief, in many ways is to try to find the
interface between war and peace.
was asked by the Singaporean version of Art Cebrowski, what’s the difference
between your work and Andy Marshall’s work, Director of the Office
of Net Assessment?
I said what Mr. Marshall does and what his office does is that it thinks about
the future of war within the context of war - which I think is very important.
I say, what I do, and I think what this office does, this Office of Force
Transformation needs to do is to think about the future of warfare within the
context of everything else. And I
think ‘the everything else’ becomes more and more important as we understand
this global war on terrorism within the larger context of the spreading of
globalization. So here we go...
I’m going to give you my quick
history of the 20th Century. I’m
going to talk about globalization I, I’m going to date from 1870, I’ll take
it up to 1929 to keep it simple. It
was the first great coming together of the global economy.
I’ll say somewhat facetiously, we screw the pooch one afternoon on Wall
Street. We create a systemic
stress, we later call the Great Depression.
From that, as an economic determinist, I’ll argue we get WWII.
Because it wasn’t just Nazi shenanigans, it wasn’t just the harshness
of Versailles, it was the economy stupid that destroyed this beautifully designed
Weimar Republic. People in my
field, political science will tell you that it began in its modern form with the
question,” Why did the Weimar Republic fail?”
At the end of the second
world war, America decides we’re going to firewall ourselves off from this
horrible experience - not just the holocaust never again; but the economic
nationalism of the 1930’s which killed this first great coming together of the
global economy, sent all those indices of integration, quite literally back to
zero. We institute what we like to
call a new Rule Set. Resource flows, strategic alliances, the biggest
reorganization of the U.S. government up until that point in history. The
international organizations we create. So I’m talking Defense Act of 1947,
creation of DOD - Department of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency, creation
of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations, the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Marshall Plan, the strategy of
containment. A massive new
collection of rules. It took us
about a decade to figure out.
Ostensibly this package was put together to contain the Soviet threat - sub rosa, the real goal was to recreate globalization quite explicitly on
3 key pillars: North America, Japan, and Western Europe.
Now if you listen to the World Bank around 1980, you begin to see the
so-called new Globalizers. We call
them emerging markets after the '87 Crash because all that boomer money is
looking for higher outcome. These
emerging markets, these two dozen new Globalizers, doesn’t sound like a lot in
a world population of almost 200 states except that it is half the world’s
population and a new era of globalization is born.
So Deng really turns history, really pivots it in China. Now the Berlin Wall comes down, seemingly everybody on the
same rule set page - end of history, maybe a clash of civilizations and then we see
a spiking of ethic conflict and the collapse of the Soviet Empire. But seemingly
everybody on the same rule set page as we proceed into the 90’s.
Massive expansion of the global economy.
The question we began asking, Do we encounter new stresses across the
90’s that call into question what was the new rule set for the late 1940’s
and early 1950’s now starts to
look a little long in the tooth because that rule set was put together to
prevent the collapse of Globalization I, not necessarily to further the advance
Globalization II which I will argue that qualitatively, quantitatively different.
Globalization I for example, labor was much more fluid across borders, money not nearly as much as
it is today and no global integrated production. First big hint for me, Mexican peso crisis, 1994.
It seemed like a lot more than just financial panic. Other examples,
rapid climate change, computer viruses with global impact, the rise of
catastrophic terrorism. So this rule set put together to prevent this sort of great
power war (WWII). Clearest example,
permanent members, veto-wielding members UN Security Council, the winning
coalition from WWII, WHY? We were
concerned they might go back to war with one another. We had been through two
world wars at that point - killed 10’s of millions.
Not exactly the problem set we face today.
So what we were interesting in thinking about when we first drew this
slide back with the Y2k work in the summer of 1998, was to ask what could be a
catalytic event coming down the pike that would crystallize a sense of rule sets
out of control? Were we talking the
same level of destruction as World War II?
No, but the same level of disruption on some points meaning lots of new
rules would come in its aftermath - tremendous rules.
Now we were interested in Y2k,
and we were interested in the
tech crash because we could see new rules coming in the financial sector but if
you talk to people on Wall Street, they will tell you that there is a financial
panic roughly every 13-14 years in the United States, a crash. Why?
Because if you get far enough away from the last crash, pretty soon you
only have stock brokers - which is a young person’s game, who can’t remember
what that last crash looked like and the further they get from that last crash,
they start talking about new rules, new ways of doing things, new realities,
which we typically discover after the crash involve lying, cheating, stealing
and you get a rule set reset. So we
could see that with the tech crash but that was only going to impact the
financial sector and again it was regular
[11a]. We were looking for really unprecedented that would impact the political
and security fields. I think we get
it with 9-11. And I can draw a line, I’ve been thinking about it
for 5 years - lots of new rule sets since 9-11.
I can still pick up a New York Times, a Wall Street Journal, a Washington
Post and in every single day, find you a story about an some amazing new rule
set that redefines the nature of privacy, how we handle information, definitions
of criminal behavior, definitions of un-American behavior, new definitions of
How can I tell we are in
a rule set reset? We can’t even
decide what to call the enemy, or where we can try them.
 I was having breakfast this morning, I thought how hard would it be to
find, Page 1, Business Section, on-going story, database on U.S. visitors set
for huge expansion. The creation of a virtual border price tag
they are guessing 15 billion over 10 years.
Did we need this before 9-11? Apparently.
But 9-11 crystallized the sense of a rule set gap so we have been filling rule
set gaps with great abandon ever since.
Patriot Act is a rule set reset. Pre-emption strategy is a serious rule
set change. The biggest rule set
we’ve created in, national security since we invented the concept of mutual
assured destruction and spent about a decade selling it to the Soviets. But it
is not just a matter of closing the door on the hazy crazy 1990’s, which I
believe along with Cantor will go down very similar historically in descriptions
as the 1920’s. I say if that was
Globalization I, and this is II and III, what this country needs
to ask is what do we want in Globalization IV.
We are the world’s biggest economy, either we seek to define this as
much as possible or we let it define us by default.