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Defending globalization.

For anyone affected by globalization, and that's every reader of this magazine, two books that take different angles on the topic are worth reading. In Defense of Globalization, by Jagdish Bhagwati, and The Pentagon's New Map, by Thomas P.M. Barnett.

Like the last book we reviewed, In Defense of Globalization also was selected by Business Week as a Best Book of the Year. It is a stunning work. The scholarship underlying its arguments, the scope of the direct personal experience behind its examples and evidence, the intellectual rigor of its analysis and the objectivity and even-handedness of its conclusions make it a paragon of reporting. It also is a hugely persuasive tract that argues that global economic integration can result in a positive outcome for the planet. And, by the way, resistance is futile.

Globalization is a groundswell shaking the economic foundation of most countries in the free and near-free world. It is driving change everywhere, disrupting old paradigms and forcing new arrangements between companies and customers, citizens and countries, cultures and continents. The book's essential point is that globalization is a good thing. Indeed, it is a very good thing, Bhagwati argues, despite its foes' protests that it is a tool for corporations to take over the world; its emergence as a rallying cry for every conceivable kind of protectionism; and its sometimes damaging impact on a specific economy, a part of the environment or time-honored business-as-usual.

Bhagwati insists upon treating globalization not merely as a business phenomenon, but also as a political, social and cultural phenomenon. This treatment is a critical element in ensuring a true grasp of globalization and its genuinely profound significance for our future.

The second book argues that it is absolutely critical that globalization succeed but makes those arguments from an utterly different perspective.

A New York Times bestseller, Barnett's The Pentagon's New Map might also be titled: How' U.S. Military Strategy Is Becoming the Tail Wagged by the Dog of Globalization. French political theorist Georges Clemenceau's observation that "war is too important ... to be left to the generals" becomes more relevant with each passing generation. Barnett argues that despite the U.S. military's preference for gearing up to fight "near-peer," state-sponsored professional militaries, our major enemy today is scruffy cells of religious zealots or political opportunists who operate in a pan-national no-man's land. Where they will strike next against American interests, pitting their box cutters against aircraft carriers, is anybody's guess. That's where globalization comes in, in Barnett's brilliantly analyzed take on war in the age of terror.

The book raises what could have been a dry discussion of strategy to the level of a thriller. Barnett breaks an awful lot of complex information into a few clear, basic ideas. These ideas do a wonderful job of clarifying the current axis of the conflict and what America needs to do to win. In a nutshell, Barnett argues that America needs to get behind globalization big time and push for the self-same economic integration Bhagwati champions,

The degree to which the Muslim world is "disconnected" from the core--i.e., the West, Japan and emerging Pacific Rim countries--is the root cause for conditions that fuel the fanaticism and hatred arrayed against the U.S. What the U.S. military needs to do, Barnett argues, is to export "security" to those parts of the world where bad actors damage American interests. This calls for a transformed military and an understanding that the mission is accomplished when economic integration is expanding.

These two books provide vital intelligence for business leaders that goes way beyond recommending you adapt to outsourcing trends. These books offer compelling evidence that globalization is the most potent weapon in our homeland security arsenal.

William J. Libby, Libby Communications, Muskegon, Michigan
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Title Annotation:NOVEL SOLUTIONS
Author:Libby, William J.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jan 1, 2007
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