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Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech

Ted Tuesdays – Thomas Barnett on War and Peace in the 21st Century

With everything that has been going on with the situation in Gaza, I thought this would be a good conversation starter because it deals with the responsibilities that come with having a superior military force. With all of our innovations, it is sad to see how far we have advanced in the art of destroying each other, it’s like we just keep getting better at it.

Why You Should Watch:

In his book The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century, Barnett draws on a fascinating combination of economic, political and cultural factors to predict and explain the nature of modern warfare. He presents concrete, world-changing strategies for transforming the US military — adrift in the aftermath of the Cold War and 9/11 — into a two-tiered power capable not only of winning battles, but of promoting and preserving international peace.

Thomas has been a senior adviser to military and civilian leaders in a range of offices, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, Central Command and Special Operations Command. During the tumultuous period from November 2001 to June 2003, he advised the Pentagon on transforming military capabilities to meet future threats. He led the five-year NewRuleSet.Project, which studied how globalization is transforming warfare. The study found, among other things, that when a country’s per-capita income rises above ~$3,000, war becomes much less likely.

My Favorite Part:

I have to say that I love that he is talking about war, and using the most girly transition noise for his slides. It took me aback the first time I heard it and I wondered if it was another gadget in my house making that little tinkle noise, lol.

My Take:

I am intrigued by his idea of reforming into two groups:a Leviathan force, a small group of young and fierce soldiers capable of swift and immediate victories; and an internationally supported network of System Administrators, an older, wiser, more diverse organization that actually has the diplomacy and power it takes to build and maintain peace.

I also think it’s really informative to see his perspective on the limitations on the existing bodies such as the UN.

I would love to see the world’s resources pitted towards peace.

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