Think You Can Do Grand Strategy in Asia? (It’s Really Hard Actually…)


Regular readers will know that I part-time consult for a geopolitical consulting firm called Wikistrat, and this competition is a cool idea, especially for the IR types who likely read a blog like this. Graduate students especially should sign up for it. (And if you think you can hack it as an analyst, and you have some decent credentials, contact them. Good analysts are always in demand.)

It’s great practice for big thinking, as if you’re Clausewitz or Spykman or something, but always remember the well-know adage: “Amateurs talk about strategy, professionals talk about logistics.” Before you argue that China should fix Africa or the US should fix the Middle East, remember to figure out how to pay for it, and to plan your way to that outcome (i.e., avoid America’s mistakes in Iraq). For my own version of US grand strategy in Asia, read this.

I will be a supporting judge in the competition too, so please bring your good ideas so that I can repackage them as my own. Anyway, give it a spin; the blurb is below:

“Wikistrat is gearing up for an exciting International Grand Strategy Competition.

Select teams representing leading academic institutions from around the world are invited to participate in the first ever wiki-based grand strategy competition. Managed by Dr. Thomas PM Barnett, this competition will provide participants with the opportunity to test their skills with global counterparts and network within that community. Participants can demonstrate their capacity for strategic thought to agencies, institutions and firms seeking to recruit up-and-coming analytic talent.

We are currently reviewing applications by groups representing top Universities and Think Tanks worldwide. There are still open spots available for this exciting event.

To nominate a team, or to see if you institute has been invited, contact us HERE.

Participation is free, and winner team will get a $10,000 prize.

Some of the issues we will cover in the Competition include (Download the full PDF OUTLINE):

1. Global Energy Security

2. Global Economic “Rebalancing” Process

3. Salafi Jihadist Terrorism

4. Inevitable Sino-American Special Relationship

5. Southwest Asia Nuclear Proliferation

Some of the Scenarios explored will include:

1. Major Biological Terror Attack

2. “2.0 Revolutions” in Arab World

3. + Additional Surprise Shocks”

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