February 11, 2004

Containment in Ruins, But There is a Replacement

Wretchard is right when he says containment is in ruins but he mistakes the timeline and that throws his analysis off.

I've been spreading the knowledge and arguing that people pay attention to Core/Gap analysis for some time now. This idea came out of this important observation

three visions of security

This image has broad implications including the fact that the nuclear genie is going to get out of the bottle and it's going to do so at the individual level. This observation was made in 2000 during the late Clinton administration and has been aggressively pursued during George W Bush's administration. The fact is that we were, slowly, starting to identify the new threat picture before 9/11 and 9/11 radically accelerated an existing process for finding responses to this problem of not only stable nation states getting nuclear weapons but sub-national units and even individuals playing significant roles in the US' threat picture, that would include the WMD threat picture that Wretchard claims we are only now starting to flail around to address.

The problem with the replacement is that only now have we developed it enough to start bringing on board a broad coalition. Iraq was necessary for the creation of this coalition to be possible because we had to ensure that the world, especially our current and future allies, knew that we would do the work with or without them and that more of their interests would be disrupted by not participating than would be by participating.

Prior to Iraq, it would be inconceivable for so many countries to sign on to the idea of completely reworking the international system. The forces for the status quo would be enormous. Post-Iraq, there is no status quo and you're either on the reform bus or you're getting run over by it if you try to stand in its way. The hard task of creating a new order in which we will not destroy ourselves is underway but the enormity of the changes and the massive resistance that will materialize when this plan comes fully out into the open currently precludes any official kickoff.

In the retail trade, they call this a "soft opening" and the circumstances require such action. That doesn't mean that we should ignore the fact that we are not flailing around without a response. We are not reacting, but acting and the work goes relatively well.

Posted by TMLutas at February 11, 2004 11:03 AM