NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Globalization Can Fight Terrorism

November 13, 2003

The present nations of the world can be divided into two categories: a "Functioning Core" that exchanges ideas and goods globally, and a "Non-integrating" group who are isolated from other countries both economically and in the realm of ideas, according to Thomas Barnett, a professor at the Naval War College.

The Caribbean, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East, much of South Asia, and virtually all of Africa are home to 2 billion people, and are characterized by political instability, cultural rigidity and extreme poverty. Not coincidentally, these nations are where the vast majority of military conflicts have sprung up in recent decades.

According to Barnett:

  • The root of oppression, war and terror in these countries is their lack of economic, intellectual, and political connections to the rest of the globe.
  • They either lack the stability to attract investment, have repressive political leadership, or suffer under a system that restricts their contact with the rest of the world.
  • They are where threats to the international system and the global economy can be found; they are the source of the transnational terrorist networks.

Thus, in an increasingly smaller world, we will be living with violence and terror unless we open up the world's bad neighborhoods to economic opportunities. Globalization is not just a cure for Third World poverty but is also the best antidote against terrorism, says Barnett.

Source: ""Live" with TAE: An Interview with Thomas Barnett," American Enterprise, December 2003, American Enterprise Institute.


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