“The Pentagon’s New Map” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, a professor of political science at the Naval War College, was published in March, 2003. Barnett divides the world’s countries into three different categories; the functioning core, the non-integrating gap states and seam states. The functioning core includes modernized countries such as the United States, Russia, China, Japan and most European countries. Seam States include Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Greece, Turkey, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia; which leaves the Gap to include those “regions plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and disease, routine mass murder, and—most important—the chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of global terrorists” – namely, just about everyone else.
My initial problem with the paper begins when the author states that the reason he would support a war with Iraq, a gap state, is that it would result in “long-term military commitment” that would “force America to deal with the entire gap as a strategic threat environment.” Now although I agree that our presence in Iraq after President Bush declared “victory” was a necessary one to ensure the stability of the Iraqi Government, I argue that it wasn’t long term and nor should it have been. Others may argue that we should not have pulled out of Iraq as quickly as we did, but speaking as an American Soldier who was one of the very last in Iraq, it was time.
We had already outlived our usefulness as a military force. Combat operations had ended years prior, our logistical support of Iraqi government entities were notional at this point and it had become very apparent that the Iraqi government could not make any decisions as to whether they wanted us there are not. Publicly they said no, privately they said yes. There was infighting amongst ALL factions of government. As the author states it took the United States decades, if not hundreds of years...
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