The Misuses of Globalization

I might be wrong, but I have a hunch this is another case where Sam Roggeveen and I find ourselves in “furious agreement.” In the post Sam refers to, I wasn’t arguing that there’s a “a mismatch between underfunded defence forces and growing demand for military interventions in far flung places,” so much as that the threat of military interventions in far flung places is being used by governments to maintain defense budgets while cutting essential non-military functions.

Also, I agree with Sam that military power isn’t the primary answer to any of the most pressing security threats we face. The risk I was trying to flag is that military doctrine is increasingly appropriating political components in such as a way as to present a growing temptation to resort to armed intervention as part of, or instead of, a political solution to those threats. That’s nowhere the case more so than when it comes to terrorism, as today’s installment of our series on France’s strategic posture review will illustrate. (I’ll update this post with a link as soon as it’s up.)

As for the globalization paradox, the point I was trying to develop is not so much that globalization is the cause of more conflict, but that it is increasingly being invoked as an argument for military interventions in the name of stability. That these are military interventions we quite simply can’t afford, I’m suggesting, will eventually lead to a second globalization paradox, that of a global re-regulation of norms accompanied by a regional enforcement of security.

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