The following is a transcript that I prepared
from watching Thomas Barnett's presentation titled 'Military In The 21 Century' on C-Span. The
transcript is long - 10 web pages, but the content of his message was so
important that I was compelled to transcribe it. Barnett describes the
silent war, the objectives, and the reasons. He is military strategist in
the Office of Force Transformation of the Department of Defense (DOD) lays out
Wall Street's vision of the future. Through subtleties that would make
Josef Goebbels proud, Barnett presents the
strategies for globalization and the destruction of the U.S. as a nation. It is
the plan to make it happen - to create history.
[Note: Not all paragraphs denote a change in topic. Since
this was a verbal presentation, almost the entire thing is one long paragraph so
I threw in some paragraph breaks so that your eyes don't get crossed reading
it . Also, Barnett
uses slides throughout the presentation that he refers to specifically at
various points. For most of those places, I didn’t bring forward the text on
the slide. In a few places, I did.]
Transcript - Military in the 21st Century
Paul Davis, Executive Director, Center for
Strategic Leadership Development
Thank you very much. I'm Paul Davis, Professor in the War Studies
Director, of the Center of Strategic Leadership
Development. Today it is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to the third
event in the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the founding of the
Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Last February the Commandant hosted 20
chief executive officers from corporations and associations instrumental to
crafting the tools and capabilities the defense department relies on to maintain
the nation’s security. Deputy
Secretary of Defense, the honorable Paul Wolfowitz and Air Force Chief of Staff,
General John Jumper presented their strategic estimates of the national security
situation. These included their
insights into not only the ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also
the longer range war on terrorism and the need for defense transformation.
This event was followed immediately by an honoring of one
of ICAF’s most famous alumni, General John Vesi, former Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs Of Staff. We dedicated the
other auditorium in this college to General Vesi and recognize his many
accomplishments with an honorary doctorate.
General Vesi in turn, honored us with an insightful and inspiring lecture
from this very stage. Today’s
symposium is our opportunity to focus on the present and contemplate what it
will mean to lead in the emerging environments. We have titled this symposium,
“Strategic Thinking In Complex Environments”. One thing we have emphasized this entire academic year is how
thinking strategically differs from the focus of our daily operational lives.
Let me suggest, for this symposium that thinking strategically means to
think about how we think and what we think about.
To consider our basic values and beliefs of how and why things occur as
they do. We don’t have time to do
this as a matter of routine in our operationally demanding lives but such
strategic thinking is critically important in these complex and turbulent times.
We will spend this morning with Dr. Thomas Barnett, a
strategic researcher and professor at the Naval War College in Newport RI.
He will focus our attention on critical national security issues and
propose transformational solutions  as he develops it’s strategies for
combating global uncertainties and their associated risks.
After lunch, we will be joined by Ms. Laura Anderson, a national partner
for strategy and development of KPMG in Melbourne Australia, an expert in
strategic planning, risk management and capability planning.
Ms. Anderson has an international reputation for innovation.
Following Laura, we will hear from Mr. Greg Cudahey, the global director
of B2B, Business-2-Business and
supply chain optimization
 for the international
consultant Cap Gemini, one of the leading global management, information
technology consulting firms in the world. Mr. Cudahey manages the largest supply
chain consultancy in the world. Immediately
following his lecture, Mr. Cudahey will be rejoined by Dr. Barnett and Ms.
Anderson for a short panel discussion in which the audience will have the
opportunity to ask questions to which the three will be able to respond. We
conclude the symposium tomorrow morning with a lecture by Mr. Chris Myer, CEO of
Monitor Networks, a new part of the Michael Porter’s Monitor Group.
Mr. Myer’s entire career has been at the cutting edge of knowledge
management and information technology applications for adaptive enterprises.
You may be familiar with three books he has co-authored with Stan Davis:
Blur, Future Wealth and It’s Alive. Our hope is that this symposium will
your awareness of the strategic considerations  that
must be dealt with by leaders of business, the military and governments. As you
manage through the uncertainties and risks of the complex environments that are
co-evolving at unprecedented rate. So let us begin.
Dr. Tom Barnett earned his PhD in
political science from Harvard. He
received his on-the-job training if you will, as a project director at the
Center for Naval Analysis. He has been a research project director at the Naval
War College for over a decade and directed the
New Rules Sets Project in
partnership with Cantor-Fitzgerald . Dr Barnett is the author of the new book
that is causing quite a stir around Washington, “The Pentagon’s New Map, War
and Peace in the 21st Century”.
Without further adieu, let me introduce the person that Vice Admiral Art
Cebrowski, the Director of the Office of Transformation for Secretary Rumsfeld,
refers to as “My Strategy Guy”, Tom (Barnett).
Dr. Thomas Barnett
I like to describe the brief in this presentation as the
product of about a six-year conversation with Art Cebrowski in addition to a
long mentoring relationship I’ve had or enjoyed with Hank Gaffney at the
Center for Naval Analyses and a similar relationship with retired four-star
admiral Bud Flanagan recently of Cantor Fitzgerald.
The way I like to describe the conversation with Art is to note that we
came to the war college at roughly the same time - summer 1998.
He had a list of things he wanted us to study.
At the top of that list obviously: net-centric warfare.
At that point more glimmer in his eye than the dogma it has become at the
the bottom of that list was a very odd subject - the potential for the year 2000
problem to serve as a security situation around the planet.
As the most recent hire and the professor with the least standing, I was
given that project. It turned out to be the most fascinating project I’d ever
done. It was a grand exploration of how we think about instability and crisis in
this interconnected world. And that is really how Art Cebrowski really saw it.
He saw it as a heuristic opportunity - an opportunity for
teaching-learning because he knew there’d be unprecedented discussions between
the Defense Dept and the rest of the U.S. government, between the government and
the private sector and between America and the world. So we created a project
and we called it the Year 2000 International Security Dimension Project.
We came up with a series of scenarios both good and bad.
Our worst-case scenario was pretty fantastic. It got us a lot of interesting press. I was dubbed the Nostradamus of the Navy.
Jack Andersen, the muckraking journalist wrote an expose on my secretly
training the U.S. government and the Marine Corp to take over society in the
event of chaos on January 1st - and he had pictures.
My wife said, “If you can do all that from your desk at Newport, why
can’t you take out the garbage on Tuesdays like I ask?”
Our worst-case scenario - pretty fantastic.
Wall Street shut down for a week; air travel in the United States shut
down for about 10 days; a surge in hate crimes against ethnic groups identified
as part of the problem, a surge in gun buying; islanding of certain services -
especially insurance; breakdowns of just-in-time supply chains - a terrible
description of January 1, 2000; a very prescient description of September 12th
2001. It wasn’t because we were
predicting anything. I was
scheduled to be on 105th floor of the World Trade Center two weeks to the day after
9-11 so obviously we weren’t predicting the trigger.
But we had thought long and hard about the horizontal scenarios that
would emerge from that vertical shock.
We were approached by Cantor-Fitzgerald in the midst of
this workshop series. They had done
a series of workshops with the war college in the early 1990s - looked at a war
in the Persian Gulf; looked at a financial crisis beginning in SE Asia; looked
at a terrorist strike in downtown Manhattan.
So we were pretty impressed with their thinking ahead capabilities.
They said we think we’ve seen this Y2k beast before.
We said really? What did it look like?
They said we think we saw it in the Asian flu [A] [B]
We said, "boy, that does not compute".
We’re talking about software failure and you are talking a financial
panic. The way I translated what
they said to me next was essentially, “we like to
look at the world in terms of Rule Sets”.
What’s a Rule Set?
has a Rule Set; American football has a Rule Set; the U.S. legal system has a
Rule Set; the U.S. military has a Rule Set.
You walk into these venues; you know what the rules are basically. And their argument for the 1990’s, which they said was
similar to the 1920’s, was that rule sets were out of whack. That in the process of expanding the global economy so
dramatically across the 80’s and 90’s, economic rules sets raced ahead of
political rule sets. Technological
rule sets and connectivity in general raced ahead of security rule sets. 
In effect, we wired up much faster than we had the ability to keep pace
with in terms of the political and security rule sets.
Their fear with Y2k was that it would be something cataclysmic and that
it would crystallize our understanding of those rules sets out of whack and that
there would be a period of tremendous rule set catch-up at that point.
We do a workshop with
Cantor-Fitzgerald, Windows on the World, 107th floor, WTC 1, 1999.
They like it so much; they say lets do a series on globalization itself.
We’ll call it the New Rules Sets Project.
We’re going to focus on developing Asia.
Because in their mind, the integration of roughly half the world’s
population since 1980 is changing rule sets all over the planet.
Best place to catch it frankly, is the Wall Street
Journal. And you have to
extrapolate back in the direction of New York Times and security, and back in
the direction of the Washington Post and politics, which frankly is the slowest
of the three in terms of dealing with change
So we did a series of workshops on developing Asia.
One was on energy. One was on foreign direct investment.
One was on environmental damage.
Everything I read in the Wall
Street Journal today, I heard about from Wall Street about 5 or 6 years ago. So
again, I find their intelligence networks VERY impressive.
This project gets shot out from under us somewhat literally
on 9-11. Cantor loses between
650-700 people. At that point I’m
footloose and fancy-free. Art
Cebrowski has just retired as a 3-star, goes to work for Secretary Rumsfeld as
his transformation guru. He asks me
to come work for him. I said, my
wife told me I could marry my divorce attorney and move back to Washington
anytime I damn well pleased. He
said, don’t worry, I’m the father of net-centric warfare, here is a cell
phone - it’s called southwest to BWI and about 200 flight credits later, this
briefing exists. What
Art asked me to do in this briefing was to give him a larger context; to elevate
the discussion of transformation beyond the whack list - as in what gets cut.
As he likes to tell people,
America doesn’t have a grand
strategy. I needed one for my job so I outsourced the function to Barnett. .
And that is what this brief became - audacious beyond belief -
purposefully so though.