ApplauseDr. Thomas Barnett
I like to describe the brief in this presentation as the product of about a six-yearconversation with Art Cebrowski in addition to a long mentoring relationship I’ve had orenjoyed with Hank Gaffney at the Center for Naval Analyses and a similar relationship withretired four-star admiral Bud Flanagan recently of Cantor Fitzgerald. The way I like todescribe the conversation with Art is to note that we came to the war college at roughly thesame time - summer 1998. He had a list of things he wanted us to study. At the top of that list obviously: net-centric warfare. At that point more glimmer in his eye than thedogma it has become around Washington. At the bottom of that list was a very oddsubject - the potential for the year 2000 problem to serve as a security situation around theplanet. As the most recent hire and the professor with the least standing, I was given thatproject. It turned out to be the most fascinating project I’d ever done.
It was a grand exploration of how we think about instability and crisis in this interconnected world.
And that is really how Art Cebrowski really saw it.
He saw it as a heuristic opportunity - an opportunity for teaching-learning because he knew there’d be unprecedented discussions between the defense dept and the rest of the U.S.government, between the government and the private sector and between America and the world.
So we created a project and we called it the Year 2000International Security Dimension Project. We came up with a series of scenarios both goodand bad. Our worst-case scenario was pretty fantastic. It got us a lot of interesting press.I was dubbed the Nostradamus of the Navy.
Jack Andersen, the muckraking journalistwrote an expose on my secretly training the U.S. government and the Marine Corp to takeover society in the event of chaos
on January 1
and he had pictures. My wife said, “If youcan do all that from your desk at Newport, why can’t you take out the garbage on Tuesdayslike I ask?”
Our worst-case scenario - pretty fantastic. Wall Street shut down for a week; air travel in the United States shut down for about 10 days; a surge in hate crimes against ethnic groups identified as part of the problem, a surge in gun buying; islanding of certain services - especially insurance; breakdowns of just-in-time supply chains - a terrible description of January 1, 2000; a very prescient description of September 12
It wasn’t because we were predicting anything. I