I am happy to announce today that I am partnering with the international politics and economics consulting firm Wikistrat. Wikistrat provides geopolitical analysis, some of it at cost, but it is a good site for readers of this blog. Its foci and temperament are close to mine, so I am pleased to be an affiliate. I encourage you to take a look. Readers will find it more digestible and less theoretical than my writing here, as it is meant for policy-makers and corporate clients (i.e., regular people). So, mercifully, it is not formal IR theory. I will join the Wikistrat family of blogs and analysts that includes most notably Thomas Barnett.
Close readers will note that I cite Barnett probably around once a month here and that he is on my blogroll. I find him an excellent analyst especially of globalization, the US military, and China. His book The Pentagon’s New Map is an well-known interpretation the relationship between globalization and conflict after the Cold War. It has enough IR theory to satisfy the academic in you, while enough policy-relevance that laymen could read it too. Very nice. It was one of those books, like the The End of History or the World is Flat, that caught the zeitgeist well and gets cited all the time (including critically). I can comfortably recommend that book to to any reader of this website. I taught it in class, and the ‘core-gap’ map has become pretty famous.
Barnett is also a big China guy, so readers of this website will find his work and the material of the site generally useful. I am more worried about China’s rise than Barnett, who is most definitely of the ‘peaceful rise’ school. To mind the peaceful risers had a rough year last year, but Barnett is dead-on that the US air force and navy are almost certainly hyping the China threat for institutional-financial reasons, i.e., the Army and the Marines are carrying the costs of the GWoT, which means that the Navy and Air Force should carry the brunt of the coming US defense cuts. In any case, Asian security readers should be tuned into Barnett through Wikistrat.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Besides being a Wikistrat blog affiliate, I am a partner analyst as well, so this is a relationship I believe in. It should be said though that I do receive a small commission if readers click through on the Wikistrat advertisement on this website and then sign-up for its for-pay services. However, there is NO editorial control exerted. The Wiki folks are professional and committed enough to respect and solicit independent input.