One of the best thought leaders in todays Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) is Thomas P. Barnett who has written two books on the subject that I highly recommend, “The Pentagon’s New Map” and “Blueprint for Action” .
His premise is that today’s terrorism is an extremist response to globalization, primarily because globalization’s march exposes cultures to new values and the most sensitive of those values is how women are treated. Cultures that have embraced globalization typically have women that are educated and participating in leadership roles in government and business. Take a quick look at the countries in today’s disconnected (i.e. not participating in globalization, or as Barnett says, “Gap” nations) and women’s roles are significantly limited to say the least.
So, to break it all down in the most simplest terms, globalization threatens the control that Gap nations have over their women. And as any man knows, if you really want to piss someone off, start messing with their women.
So what’s the long-term solution to terrorism? Let globalization permeate Gap nations, connecting them to the “Core” of developed (e.g. US, Europe) or “New Core” developing (e.g. India, China, Russia) nations. We beat the Soviets without essentially firing a shot because globalization took over. Barnett proposes using the same weapon (globalization) in a different way.
I like it.
So how can VC’s join the GWOT? Easy: provide investment capital to New Core nations and in some controlled cases, Gap nations. The more we invest in the Gap, the more globalized they become, and the sooner they get folded into the Core, and the sooner this war ends.
I appreciate Tom giving me a hat-tip on a link I gave to him about Kiva a web 2.0 app that lets anyone assist in microfinancing in primarily Gap nations. For example, Kiva lets you give $25 to help a woman in Azerbaijan take her beauty shop to the next level. And if she succeeds, you get your money paid back (hopefully future versions can pay back a little interest).
I see apps like Kiva allowing the masses to help get Gap businesses up and running. Get the Gap into business and you naturally get them to connect to the Core. The faster we do this, the faster globalization does its magic. A subsquent post tells me that Tom gets it.