Friday 23 Feb 2018 | 02:02 | SYDNEY
Friday 23 Feb 2018 | 02:02 | SYDNEY

Fallon's economic approach to security



7 March 2008 10:39

Thomas Barnett's Esquire profile of CENTCOM Commander William Fallon is creating all kinds of blog chatter, mainly because of Barnett's suggestion that the Bush Administration will push Fallon out of his job because Fallon opposes military strikes against Iran. But having just criticised the Howard/Bush foreign policy approach as being too focused on bureaucracy and insufficiently consistent with their free market ideals, I was struck by this:

If anything has been sorely missing to date in America's choices in the Middle East and Central Asia, it has been a strategic mind-set that consistently keeps its eyes on the real prize: connecting these isolated regions in a far more broadband fashion to the global economy. Instead of effectively countering the efforts of others (eg. the radical Salafis, Saudi Arabia's Wahhabists, Russia's security services, China's energy sector) who would fashion such connectivity to their selfish ends, Washington has wasted precious time focusing excessively on transforming the political systems of Iraq and Afghanistan, as though governments somehow birth functioning societies and economies instead of the other way around. Waiting on perfect security or perfect politics to forge economic relationships is a fool's errand. By the time those fantastic conditions are met in this dangerous, unstable part of the world, somebody less idealistic will be running the place--the Russians, Chinese, Pakistanis, Indians, Turks, Iranians, Saudis.

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