The Thomas PM Barnett Experience: ttpmbxp

Noted genius Thomas P.M. Barnett isn’t just an amazing author and strategist — he’s also a reader of tdaxp!


Read my interview with Dr. Barnett, or continue to see his references of tdaxp.

1. On Network Attacks, 5 May 2005

Interesting blog notice sent to me by Mark Safranski, where someone is describing network attacks in the style of PNM. It’s pretty cool and it’s found at tdaxp. What this blogger is doing, whether he or she realizes it or not, is translating an implied concept from PNM that I explore a bit in BFA: what it might look and feel like if a state learned to fight 9/11-like. Commentary interesting as well. Thanks to ZenPundit for the lead.

2. On my reviews of Blueprint for Action, 15 January 2006

I don’t always follow Tdaxp’s logic, but I don’t think there is a more avid fan of my work who so routinely trashes it completely, which certainly makes he/she/it an interesting blogger.


I offer no comment. I would need roller-skates to keep up with Tdaxp.

But the funny book cover art is worth the price of admission.

3. On The Magic Cloud, 15 January 2006

This is a truly bizarre and equally brilliant post, probably the best display of horizontal thinking in a blog I’ve ever seen.

Me? I had to go lie down with a Corona Extra after reading it.

4. In the context of linking to my friends at Coming Anarchy, 15 January 2006

After reading so much Tdaxp, I’m beginning to think I like “Coming Anarchy” more, because they treat PNM/BFA as tools and less as debating points (a weakness with Tdaxp).

and a mention in The Newsletter: Transforming U.S. forces and the World: Where are we now in this dual task? (also available in OOo Writer-compatible doc format)

Completely positive reviews? Nope. But I don’t grow from completely positive reviews. Critical, informed reviews from an expert like Dr. Barnett is exactly what I need. And he was kind enough to do so publicly.

My reaction: woot!

Update: Eddie from Live from the FDNF also covers the news

de Blij v. Parker, Part I: The Cores of Europe and The World

It’s not a dispute


It’s a deathmatch:


Now that you’ve clicked “read more,” it’s time to level. I’m aware of no dispute, professional or otherwise, between Geoffery Parker and H.J. de Blij. But it’s interesting comparing the views of two geographers on different parts of the world. Indeed, both are good authors. tdaxp-Commentator and now blogger Catholicgauze reviewed a lecture by HJ de Blij. I also looked at Dr. de Blij’s book around the blogosphere. Likewis, I read Geoffrey Parker’s Geopolitics: Past, Present, and Future in preperation for my international politics literature review and research design.

Still, it’s fun to contrast and compare the works of these two men. In particular, one realizes how much the geographers of today owe to the geographies of yesterday.

For instance, Parker describes a map of world regions from 1962


tracks closely to de Blij’s experience

The world map of international boundaries reveals legality and conceals reality. Everyone who travels internationally knows that some borders are crossed with ease, others with great difficulty. Still others cannot be crossed at all. Commuters cross the border between Canada and the United States, but not the border between the United States and Mexico. You can drive from Barcelona to Berlin without slowing down for customs and immigration, but don’t try driving at speed across the boundary between Poland and Belarus. It is a lot easier to cross the border between Singapore and Malaysia than between China and Vietnam. This phenomenon repeats when you travel by air. Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok is about as routine as Chicago to Toronto, but Shanghai to Moscow (actually, pretty much anyplace to Moscow) can be, no pun intended, a bear.

When I draw a map of the “easy” and difficult” boundaries with which I have some personal experience, augmented by the observations of colleagues who do fieldwork in foreign areas, an interesting pattern emerges. The world seems to be divided into about a dozen realms within which boundaries are usually, though not always, reasonably “easy,” but between which they tend to be tough to cross, surface or otherwise. These geographic realms match the way we think intuitively about the layout of the modern world when we refer to such realms as East Asia, North America, Europe, or Subsaharan Africa. The world may count upward of 200 countries today, but the web of borders reveals regional clusters of states that share cultural histories and a global set of geographic realms that have much less in common

From which he produces


Less similar is Parker’s description of the old concept of “Middle Europe”


With de Blij’s function core of Europe:


Here, they seem to track the debate between whether the European Union should be Carolingia or Latinité – but with the debate centering on German’s future, not France’s.

Latinité: France Looks South



The Alternative: Carolingia
France Looks East