Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thoughts for Sunday Afternoon

The posts that caught my eye this week are a diverse lot. But in reflection, they hold an element of connectivity.

Steve DeAngelis, posted on Two Views of the Emerging Geopolitical Landscape where he comments on book reviews in The Economist, that try and forecast the future political landscape of the world. He concludes his comments by referring to his colleague Tom Barnett.

I have heard my colleague Tom Barnett argue that most developing countries that embrace globalization and free markets do so as single-party states. He asserts that many Americans suffer from attention-deficit disorder when it comes to remembering how democracies emerge – "the process is slow and painful." Alternative futures analysis can be very useful in exploring how autocracies might evolve and what that might mean for the global economy.

Moving along to Chet Ricards blog, we are treated to a story connecting orientation, to genetic heritage, Note on Orientation: Genetic Heritage where Chet draws a connection to John Boyd's OODA Theory.

Orientation is an interactive process of many-sided implicit cross-referencing projections, empathies, correlations, and rejections that is shaped by and shapes the interplay of genetic heritage, cultural tradition, previous experiences, and unfolding circumstances.

Related to Chet Richards is the site Defense and the National Interest which introduces itself as:

Our aim is to foster debate on the roles of the U.S. armed forces in the post-Cold War era and on the resources devoted to them. The ultimate purpose is to help create a more effective national defense against the types of threats we will likely face during the first decades of the new millennium.

Thomas Barnett's in This week's column sees a great religious awakening on the horizon.

As our era features globalization's rapid and unprecedented advance, it will logically also feature the greatest single religious awakening the world has ever seen. Religion will become eminently more important because economic conditions will change more dramatically in coming years and decades than at any other time in human history.

Barnett's column deserves a careful read as he traces the development of the major religions and how they have been challenged by globalization. He offers two answers to that perceived challenge.

Based on the American experience, there seem to be two answers: (1) encourage nondenominationalism among the major sects of a country's dominant religion or among the competing religions; (2) allow the religion in question to maintain its social model of separatism while subjugating itself to the secular state.

His final sentence offers hope.

American awakenings share a history of triggering mass social reform. The same can and should be true of globalization's current awakening.

Intrinsically linked to the challenges of change that comes with more and more people getting a fair slice of the pie is the ongoing clashes that are drawn along culture and religious lines. Heading into this next week our attention is drawn to observations made over at Information Dissemination by Galrahn, Observing the Rotation of US Naval Power to the Middle East. His read of these events:

As we read the events as they are disclosed in public sources, we believe the United States is on the verge of major offensive operations in the Middle East.

These rotational periods where strike groups overlap durations in forward theaters do occur every year, and are not abnormal, however it is noteworthy that this year the rotation coincides with a large naval presence from Europe in the 5th Fleet theater. We also observe the possibility that this massive increase of naval power may not be reduced as quickly as we observed it would last week.

And in a related post on Destroyerman, War Beckons, and another link, posted by Galrahn we are left to our own conclusions.

The Nimitz CSG currently on deployment to the Pacific is getting more escorts half way through its deployment. We observe it very rare for a CSG already on deployment to have escorts surged. Can't say we have seen this before, makes us wonder, what is going on in the South Pacific we aren't hearing about.

Time will reveal the whole story, until then we can only watch and wait and reflect on this post about a discovery from another time, Missing WWII Airmen are Identified.

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