Thomas Barnett

America’s Evolving Role in the World


With the war in Iraq, the recent economic collapse, and the rise of competing global powers like China, India, and Brazil, some are suggesting that America—long-shining beacon of freedom and democracy for the rest of the world—is finally starting to flicker out. But not Thomas Barnett. Despite the many doom-and-gloom scenarios being painted about the future of the United States, this outside-the-box Pentagon advisor and author of the forthcoming book Great Powers: America and the World After Bush holds a decidedly idealistic vision for twenty-first -century America and the world.

In this special Unbound interview with EnlightenNext Director of Education Jeff Carreira, Barnett maps out his practical road to stabilizing global population, redefining capitalism, conquering our energy constraints, extending human life, and helping the emerging middle class worldwide to integrate smoothly into the global community. But in order to achieve this bold vision, he suggests, America needs to embrace a whole new level of global leadership and come to see its own national interests as inseparable from a healthy, equitable, and thriving world. Drawing on his sophisticated understanding of history, cultural evolution, military strategy, political science, and economics, Barnett explains why we need more “ grand strategists ” in key positions of leadership who can bring the kind of long-term, interdisciplinary thinking needed to guide the future of the planet.

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Thomas Barnett
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