History's End

History will end only when Man does

Location: United States
Blogroll Me!
  • E-Mail me
  • Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    A Microscopic Application of Burnett's Core/Gap Thesis in Iraq-Part 2

    In part 1 of this series I explained the concepts of the Core and Gap as how they were developed by Thomas Barnett. In this part of the series I will try and explain how those principles were applied to Iraq.

    The Middle East is almost completely in the Gap. The sole exception to this is the state of Israel, and one may speculate that the virulence directed against it inhabitants is exacerbated by the fact that it is far more connected to the rest of the world then the other nations in the Middle East. As part of the Gap the Middle East is home to poverty and oppresion, and thus is a fertile breeding ground for terrorists. Reason enough to shrink the Gap there. Then throw in the the fact that it is home to the Arab and Islamic cultures, and that Mecca, the center of the Islamic world, is located there. Obviously, if you want to stop Islamic terrorism, or at least, to hinder it as much as possible, you need to shrink the Gap in the Middle East. But the question is, where to begin?

    Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, and is thus the spiritual center of the religion. Lackinga central clerical authority, if you want to make any serious changes to Islam it makes sense to start there. The problem is that the House of Saud is pretty precarious at the moment, and if pushed too far for reform might fall. Or it might refuse to implement said reform point blank. And what would the US do then? Invade? Iraq has generated enough hatred in the the Islamic world for the US, an invasion of Saudi Arabia would have led to a jihad, and I mean the real deal. Lets just say it would have been politically impossible, despite what some paleo-cons might think. Who next? The other gulf states are relatively small and isolated from the rest of the Middle East. Changing them would be difficult without causing some instability, and would also likely require an invasion for anything significant. This too would have been politically impossible. Kuwait was simply too small, and too much in America's pocket for it to be the target of reform. That leaves states like Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. Egypt is a large Arab state, and very influential. However, the US had no pull to push reform. Invasion would have been necessary. And such an invasion would have been impossible, as the only staging grounds would have been from Israel. I don't think I need to explain why that would be bad. Jordan is a moderate state, and has been slowly reforming over time. Pushing reform, however, would have likely led to the ovethrow of the Hashemite regime, and a possible takeover by Al Qaeda sympathizers. It is centrally located, but the fact that it was a moderate regime already reforming meant it was skipped. The instability created by reform, and instability is nessary in the beginning as the old order is removed, was felt to be too great. This leaves Syria and Iraq. Sryia has an oppressive government, sponsors terrorism, and is a general thorn in our side in the region. However, we settled for Iraq because Iraq had all of this and more: Iraq was more viable politically. Hence we decided to shrink the gap in the Middle East by reforming Iraq. This required an invasion and occupation, and the effort is still underway.

    None of this is really new, but I figured I should err on the side of caution and state it anyways.

    Part 3, the part explaining how the Core and Gap concepts can be applied inside Iraq, is found at the above link.

    Listed on BlogShares Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com