The Pentagon's New Map
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The Pentagon's New Map

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  634 ratings  ·  62 reviews
A groundbreaking reexamination of U.S. and global security, certain to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
Since the end of the Cold War, America's national security establishment has been searching for a new operating theory to explain how this seemingly "chaotic" world actually works. Gone is the clash of blocs, but replaced by what?
Thomas Barnett has t...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published April 26th 2004 by Putnam Adult (first published April 2004)
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Jon
Feb 17, 2007 Jon rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
The most self-indulgent piece of crap I've read in a long time, it's 400+ pages of how this guy is supposedly reshaping the face of US national security strategy. Douchebag score is definitely 5 stars.
Sean
I was dialing around cable at my parent’s house one day a couple of years ago and ran across the most incredible power point presentation being given by a dude from the Naval War College on CSPAN about how the U.S. should think about security threats in the future. Basically his point was that those alienated from global capitalism are those we need to be most worried about and that places like Central Africa will soon join Afghanistan as geographical locations from which threats will arise. Tha...more
Rachel
Mar 04, 2008 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: Jeremy
Shelves: military
Even though I only gave this book four stars, everyone should read it. It's a thoughtful analysis of the current world stage, written by an accomplished political analyst. Barnett proposes a vision of the world divided by global connectivity and access into the Core (the nations with high connectivity) and the Gap (the nations with low connectivity). He includes the US, Mexico, Canada, Europe, China, Japan, India, Brazil, etc. in the Core, and describes the Gap as containing most of Africa, the...more
Jesse
The Pentagon's New Map provides a compelling argument for a world that has to be approached in a new manner. The developed world "The Core" must actively seek to influence the destiny of the The Non-Integrating Gap to pave the path for a brighter future for both. While unlikely to make friends on either extreme side of the American political debate and somewhat biased by Barnett's own pet stances, the book provides a lot of good food for thought when trying to figure out how to approach conflict...more
Adam Remich
Oh God, I'm not a "war buff", or even a "history buff". I picked this book up because I saw this guy give a speech on TED and it was one of the most compelling things I'd ever heard. Honestly, his ideas are so simple, that they must be too simple -right? I don't know. He seems like he's got a good paradigm for understanding geo/eco/politcal shite. I'd read more by him. I'm not republican.
Kevin Hollins
At its core, Barnett's thesis is that global security is ultimately linked to connectivity. The more connected a country is to others, the lesser security threat it becomes, as its connectivity creates new areas of self-interest that are harmed by conflict with others.

The book is packed with thought-provoking facts that anyone in elective office should keep handy. We'd be well served if a copy of the book were on the shelves of everyone in leadership at the DoD, State Department, and Foreign Rel...more
Brandon
A good book with many ideas worth thinking about. I disagreed with some of the main parts of his book, e.g., his penchant for preemptive self defense (especially as he describes it, as what he is really writing about is preventive self defense).

He seems to completely disregard Art 2(4) of the UN Charter (outlawing the use of force in international relations) and Art 51 of the same (providing exceptions for self defense). Instead, he seems to wish to divide the world into two rule sets--one for "...more
Chris
Jul 12, 2008 Chris rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like Glenn Beck
Barnett has some interesting ideas, and I agree with his fundamental assessment that the integration of what he calls "the gap" (or the Third World, as it used to be referred to) into the "Functioning core" of the world economy will be the twenty-first century's greatest challenge. However, that's about where my agreement with Barnett ends. He flirts with the idea of a new global order wherein America actually plays by its own rules that it pushes on everyone else (i.e., free trade, doing away w...more
Louis
The Pentagon's New Map by ThomasBarnett? [ISBN 0399151753 (amazon.com, search)]
Thomas Barnett here presents a framework in which to look at conflicts on the global stage, and a vision of a world that is a fulfillment of globalization where the Hobbesian world of life as 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.'

This work can be looked at in two parts. One is a description of the world as it is, and then a discription of a world that could be and a role for the United States in that world to be...more
Paul
The best part of this book is finding out how decisions are made in Washington. None of this book is really a suprise, and if you are looking for some grand insight in to world security... look elsewhere.
I can sum this book up fairly quickly, bring the poor into the middle class where they have some security and something to loose and they will begin to take part in there own security and destiny. This in turn makes the place they live better and a part of the rest of society, which as a whole...more
Elijah Meeks
It's a good book and does a good job of describing just how Byzantine our military services personnel have become (There's a long-running analogy between modern military types trying to deal with terrorists and how they can't think outside the box just like military types dealing with the Soviets couldn't think outside the box) but Barnett's non-integrating/core/gap methodology, wherein he breaks down the geo-political problems by subdividing the world into those willing to globally integrate (F...more
Nate
Barnett provides a strategic military vision for the transformation of America's military abilities and its uses around the world over the coming years. He identifies his theory for obtaining a more stable world by continuing to provide security to the economically integrated world and to improve security to those nations that are located outside of the world's direct economic influence (such as Africa, the M.E., and parts of South America and Central Asia). I liked this because of the his abili...more
Michael
This book was a huge disappointment. The only thing this author and T Friedman have in common is that they both wrote and published a book.

People who have no experience in GEOINT, who are not educated in global affairs, who have no experience with GIS or remote sensing might find the book interesting.

Otherwise, the lack of primary sources makes this book a failure as a history book. There appears to be arrangement of topics chronologically or geographically. No attempt to organize a history of G...more
Gary Jordan
Barnett makes a number of good arguments for a connected world. It would be safer for everyone. There would be fewer nations and people in the 'Gap' and more cooperation within the 'Core'. It would be ideal if we could afford it. I don't believe our government has the will to change it's view of the world enough to embrace this vision. Recent events have conspired to diminish the argument as well. The latest financial crisis makes supporting a leviathan force much more difficult.
It seems to be...more
EJD Dignan
Very good. Read BEFORE Imperial Grunt - this is WHY Kennedy's vision was finally implemented by the Pentagon.

And between the lines, the war Rumsfeld was actually fighting while you and I were wondering why Iraq was going poorly.

If you think the ship of state is hard to turn (and our neighbors on the globe will tell you we turn on a dime - thank you, every election), this is the tale of turning the entire General staffs of ALL the services, thousands of years of experience in the wrong methods fo...more
Dan
I watched a speech Barnett gave to the TED group about a week before picking up the book. The speech might have been better, and the two definitely compliment each other. This is definitely a book worth reading, but loses significant stars because it is so obviously an essay expanded to book length.

Things that are good:

1. Inside look at how the analyst/intelligence side of the Pentagon actually functions. Hilarious, heartbreaking.

2. You will gain a special cynicism from knowing that a brilliant...more
Heather
I don't necessarily agree with all of Barnett's conclusions, actually I think some of them are off base and the logic of them is suspicious. However, I do like his outside the box thinking. The way he introduces "linear thinking" to the subject matter puts a new spin on it, always a good thing, and makes your revisit the way your brain subconsciously analyzes things and forms conclusions. I would recommend it for anyone interested in international politics or national security. Barnett's theory...more
Stuart Berman
While Thomas Friedman might be the grandfather of describing globalization in his Lexus and Olive Tree, Tom Barnett is the scientist who explains why it is and how it works. You can find his hour long Power Point presentation on CSPAN web site to get the summary view. This work will be invaluable to anyone trying to see the forces of global conflict and foreign policy around the world.
Kelli Martin
A very thought-provoking read, without a doubt. Of all the books I read in 2011, this book - along with it's follow up, 'A Blueprint for Action', was among three that challenged my opinions, my beliefs, and my worldview more than any others I've read recently.

I have no background in military strategy/globalization, but I found the writing very easy to follow. The concepts covered are often sprung from the author's own theories, but he explains them well and supports them adequately.

In the end, I...more
Thomas Sanjurjo
This is more than just a treatise on war, it is an analysis of globalization as a movement. This book delves into the question of why we find ourselves (in the West) fighting so often against "extremists" in third world countries. We have enough power to level most of the earth, but not enough to change men's minds, and it can be chilling to think what we might be loosing in this battle to have everyone conform. Well worth the read, can be a little self-aggrandizing at times from Barnett, but th...more
Dufour
Barnett is a visionary strategist that polarizes people within the beltway. I've found though that his analysis and ideas appeal more toward the younger and the optimistic, which makes sense given this book's conclusions. Barnett does write pompously and somewhat hyperbolically in places, but overall, this is one of the best written treatises on the current state of the world. From globalization to the new rule sets of the 21st century, Barnett shows us a world through new eyes and new perspecti...more
Don
Dec 07, 2007 Don rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who lives on this Planet
Critical assessment of social/political/military systems and their evolution during the post cold war to 9/11. Barnett provides a "map" of current and future events based on this assessment and the essential changes and reactions that have and will occur. His insight and very positive outlook isn't based on "faith" or "hope" but rather his unique ability to see a positive future, one where large scale warfare ceases to exist along with poverty based on a growing economic community that is evolvi...more
Rally Soong
Great book for the info it presents and the far reaching theories of foreign policy and military strategy it implies...and how our military-political complex actually worked at the end of the cold war era. It is written in an easy to understand level- as all stuff political should be to bring in the public- but the actual amount of material in the book is not a lot- he keep repeating stories and reword his theory as if his editor wants him to pad out a book half the size. A must read for foreign...more
Chris Mericle
An absolutely terrible strategy is advocated in this work, messianic nation building with no possibility of benefit except that the U.S. will live up to some meaningless values, ugh! Foreign policy should be like investing. Ask, "what do I gain and what do i risk" not what "values" do I appear to support. A selfless foreign policy is like a selfless prostitute, she will be taken advantage of. Furthermore, U.S. security never in all its history required the poor of the world to be wealthy. I coul...more
Lee
Intriguing concept here: that the US can (and maybe should) export security: one of our unique abilities as a state. It was written either just before, or in the early stages of, the Iraq War, so it does not address directly the justifications for that conflict. I think it needs to be read in the spirit of an attempt to understand America's potential role in the many small conflicts if the 1990s, and include the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the Afghanistan war as parts of that.
Gabrielle
Great book, heard about it on a cable TV program and had to read it. For those who believe in conspiracies. This book will help to put some facts on the table and plant some new theories. Barnett succinctly tells us what’s gone wrong in the world and what that may mean for all of us. And yes we are living it now. He helps us to identify clearly what up until now we have tried to label diplomatically as the 'haves and the have nots' or 'developed versus developing'.
Kevin Bell
Aside from being one of the most unjustifiably arrogant men who has ever lived, barnett is one of the most dangerous because moderately intelligent military officers everywhere think that he is a god. I listened to him speak. Wanted to throttle him. His book is filled with huge sweeping generalizations. The kind that Thomas Friedman makes, only much less interesting or well supported. This man is a travesty. I hope he has heart disease or something. Awful.
David
Mar 18, 2009 David rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to David by: Tom Wentz
This is an excellent book that everyone needs to read to understand ther is a future that is worth creating and one for which America must play the lead roll. This book will put all the news into context for each of us and why things are happening.

You should also read Tomas Barnetts's next book book "The Blue Print for Action" because you will help you see what actions are needed to make this plan work. This book was suggested to me by Tom Wentz
Bill
Barnett offers great insight in to the working of 'process' in the halls of military power. It is about insight and understanding, exposure or sponsorship in order to move your thoughts forward. Does America need a BIG threat in order to be prepared or is this how the Military-Industrial complex justifies and sustains its own existence? In some ways, multiple super powers held the world in a more stable stasis.
Billy
This book is a little bit dated now, and I believe there has since been a revision. Barnett looks at geopolitics from the perspective that globalization is good for business, war is bad for business, and countries in the "gap" are the most dangerous. It's a different method of strategic thinking. He's also diligent about returning emails. It's a fascinating, well-written take on 21st century geopolitics.
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