I have long enjoyed John Robb’s Global Guerillas blog. But when his book on the subject comes out it will have the far-scarier title of Brave New War. With the clear implication that we’re all doomed.
Even Robb doesn’t believe that. What he really sees is a new type of international system developing, with both our allies and enemies becoming global.
This is not as bad as it sounds. It means we have a lot more allies than we seem to at first glance, powerful allies. In this new world China can become an ally, because they increasingly have a vested interest in stability. In fact just about every government and business worldwide becomes an ally, if we are willing to engage them on an international level and treat them as adults. (The current Administration treats no one like an adult. In CheneyWorld everyone’s 13.)
Sure our international enemies look more dangerous. These include not only globalized crime and terror groups, but home-grown terrorists around the world, who can turn to a global source of support. In fact this is just how I expect the "war" to "come home" to America, with Christianist, Neo-Nazi, and Racist groups inside this country linking up with groups like Al Qaeda, once their allies in the White House are out of power.
But that does not mean civilization is doomed, as the cover of Robb’s book implies. While I sympathize with Robb’s desire to sell books, and to obey a publisher demand that he make things look as scary as possible, I think those publishers are doing both Robb, and us, a terrible injustice. I think the publishers are living in CheneyWorld.
The fact is that the Internet
is part of the new international order, even though it can be abused by
disorder, and the Internet is more powerful than any terror group’s
ability to disrupt it. By continuing to increase its redundancy, which
is an ongoing process, it becomes ever-more unstoppable.
The most important thing we can do to win this war, of course, is to
look at the cover art carefully. Notice, it’s an oil pipeline. The war
against oil, the economic and technological battle to replace
hydrocarbons with hydrogen, is the key to victory against global
guerillas and rogue states alike. Every day we fail to recognize this,
and set our policy course based on this recognition, is a day that is
lost to the terrorists and to all our enemies.
Including the rising seas.