I finished this book last week. Highly, highly recommend it. The author, Tom Barnett, is a defense strategic analyst. His thesis is somewhat complex, but here's my best summary: the world is divided into two camps: those which are currently connected through "globalization" (which Barnett defines basically as interconnected economies), and those who are not connected as such. The formar group, he calls the Functioning Core, the latter he calls the Non-Integrated Gap. The Gap covers much of central and South America, SE Europe, Africa (except South Africa), the ME and South Asia, and much of SE Asia, but not India or China. Barnett believes - and presents a great case to back himself up - that grand wars are less and less likely, and that wars today and in the future are likely to occur only in the Gap. This occurs because in the Core, intertwined economies and alliances keep large-scale wars from occuring, while in the Gap, no such deterrent to war exists. Therefore, we (in the Core) should seek to bring more and more countries into the Core, and thereby reduce the risk of war, raise the world's standard of living, and destroy the roots of terrorism. To this end, Barnett advocates the use of America's military as the "Leviathan" - the force which enforces the rules of the Core around the globe and, when necessary, goes to war against corrupt leaders. He makes a persuasive argument why we aren't turning into Globocop, why we won't go to war with China, etc. In fact, he answers pretty much all of the typical isolationist complaints. His grand vision for the world is an ever-decreasing Gap, which translates into an increasing standard of living worldwide. I highly recommend that anyone interested in foreign policy, our military, etc. etc. put this book at the top of your reading list. Don't make the mistake I did and wait four months to read this.