While a lot of chaos strikes the Old Core (Europe, the United States, and Japan) as an optional problem of discipline, it hits the New Core (Eastern Europe, China, India, and so on) as a mandatory problem of survival. In our rich and developed economies, the marginal price of energy can cause a great deal of political pain while not being enough to cause a true recession (even when coupled with the subprime-mortgage mess!). However, for new countries that need cheap energy to rapidly expand their economy, chaos is dangerous.
Russia’s invasion of Georgia increased that chaos. It was an attempt by a resource-extracting gap state to strike at the New Core. It attemmpts to drive Europe away from the New Core states of Eastern Europe, and attempts to drive the China’s energy suppliers away from her. By increasing political tensions and threatening states that deliver energy directly to the New Core, Russia is harming globalizaton and threatening the fates of Eastern Europe, China, India, and other New Core regions.
Of course, this is no new “Cold War.” The Soviet Empire long since declared bankruptcy, and Putin destroyed the soft power that Russia once enjoyed. Russia combines the military ferocity of North Korea with the economy swagger of Portugal. The threat Russia poses to the New Core is real, and should not be underestimated. But at the same time, it is only an annoyance to us, meaning that we can fight back against Russia without putting globalization at risk.
Unless you want to lose India, China, and other New Core states to the 19th century world of great power politics, it is vital that America works to save the peace and roll back Russia’s policy of using war as a tool of diplomacy.
Anything else is just old thinking.
The Seattle Times editorializes on Barack Obama’s opposition to trade with the New Core, those billions of new capitalists who have come online since the end of the Cold War:
The Democratic presidential candidates, instead of bashing international trade, should be touting its contribution to shoring up a souring economy.
In 2007, exports rose 12 percent to a record $1.6 trillion in goods and services, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. That growth accounted for more than one-quarter of the increase in the gross domestic product.Exports are one of the few bright spots in an economy that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledges appears to be heading into recession. And the relative strength of Washington state’s economy â€” where one in every three jobs is trade-related â€” is testimony to the benefits of trade.
But that point is all but ignored in Sen. Barack Obama’s remarks prepared for an AFL-CIO meeting Wednesday in Philadelphia.
“Now, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that we can’t stop globalization in its tracks and that opening new markets to our goods can help strengthen our economy,” Obama’s speech reads.
Would he want to? Really? Stop it in its tracks?
Obama goes on to promise the union members he’ll vote against the pending trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia, and he’ll oppose permanent normal trade relations with China.
Besides the hope that Obama is lying or naive, is there any defense for Obama’s words?
Shelby Steel’s recent column in the Wall Street Journal, “Obama is right on Iran: Talking with Tehran may help us wage the wars we need to fight” is so-so. A good conceptualization is muddied by tired talk of moral authority. A great start is swamped by a lousy finish.
The same is not true of Tom’s summary of the (best of the) article, which is brilliant:
In my strategic vernacular, then, hereâ€™s the key difference between the Old Core and the New Core WRT the long war against radical extremism: despite the wobbly types in Europe, the long war is a war of discipline for the Old Core. We enjoy the current world order and dealing with the radical jihadists is simply a matter of preserving our advantages. Over time, globalization makes the problem go away in the variety of ways Iâ€™ve long described here (e.g., various reformations, demographics, moving beyond oil).
In contrast, for the New Core and for Seam States in general (like Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia), the long war IS a war of survival, just as it is for the jihadists themselves, doomed as they are.
This is why the West, and the U.S. in particular, will never wageâ€”and should never wageâ€”an all-out or total war, nor should we put America on a war footing. Itâ€™s unnecessary and unsustainable and unwise. So all that gibberish about â€œAmericaâ€™s getting the war it deservesâ€ is all wrong. America is getting the war thatâ€™s appropriate for the risks entailed.
Just as “loyalty militias” make natural allies in a sub-national sense (we need someone who will provide security and kill our enemies — loyalty militias exist to do just that), the New care is comprised of “loyalty countries” — states that want the same basic goals as we do, but are more willing to kill to get there.
Allying with the New Core is as much part of our effort to shrink the Gap as is building a Military-Industrial-Complex for nation building: it makes the “correct” answer of what to do (build the Sysadmin! support the New Core!) a natural given rather than a policy decision that has to be made every time.