The Pentagon's Gap

In The Pentagon’s New Map, Thomas P. M. Barnett argues within the context of globalization that countries and regions of the world can be divided into two opposing groups with a third group providing a buffer or filter between the Functioning Core and the Non-Integrating Gap.   Barnett contends that the countries which form the non-integrating gap are dangerous to the functioning core as they do not adhere to the same norms and rule sets which bind the interconnected world.   Within that same globalization context Barnett characterizes the front-lines of the opposing countries as the seam-states, or rather a buffer between two polarizing ends.   While Barnett’s assertions appear valid at the rudimentary level, his overall argument does not adequately provide for the vast swings of the connectivity pendulum which Barnett describes within one group or merely within a single nation-state.   Barnett’s decomposition of the globe into a three point scale based on a degree of global economic connectivity is dangerous and leads to inaccurate assessments of a nation’s status within the global political environment.   Barnett would argue that Russia and India are members of the Functioning Core; however, when critiquing Russia or India’s treatment of their populations, they appear more to match Barnett’s description of a disconnected nation.   In Barnett’s defense he recognizes how India is “a microcosm of globalization” and difficult to assign to a specific group.   Because of this Barnett provides a supplementary argument “that the direction of change is more critical than the degree.”   Despite Barnett’s forethought, his argument is limited to economic connectivity and does not take into consideration the full concept of the potentials for conflict or the common denominator across the globe and the operational environment: people.