Saturday, April 15, 2006

the dell theory of conflict prevention

The comment that "no two nations having McDonald's have gone to war" was put forward by Thomas Friedman in an earlier book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree. In Ch. 12 of The World is Flat he updates this slogan to "the Dell theory of Conflict Prevention"
world
Friedman wrote his book on a Dell notebook. On an average day Dell sells 150,000 computers. As part of his research he asked Dell to trace the entire global supply chain that produced his notebook.

The answer to that question takes several pages and names lots of countries and companies.

To be a country which is part of such global supply chain is a powerful incentive not to go to war.

Friedman cites two instances in support of his Dell theory: India-Pakistan in 2002 (even though only India is part of the global supply chain) and China-Taiwan in 2004. In the book he gives quite a lot of supportive detail here.

Friedman is not talking in absolutes (war is still possible) but he argues that economic globalisation is acting as a powerful deterrent to war in those countries that are part of the global supply chain. The risks and consequences of being identified as an unstable country and having investment dollars withdrawn and businesses relocated are high.

Which countries are not part of the global supply chain: Iraq, Syria, South Lebanon, North Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

Friedman then goes on to describe mutant global supply chains, with the al-Quaeda network in mind. He describes how al-Quaeda uses globalisation, the Internet, global media in a way to promote their cause. The jihadist identity has been globalised (jihadists in Iraq identify with the Bali bombing) and so have feelings of humiliation that the Muslim world is not doing as well as other worlds - Hindus, Jews, Christians, Chinese

He then draws a parallel between the global supply chain of manufactured goods in the West with a global supply chain of suicide bombers organised by al-Quaeda:
Just as you take an item off the shelf in a discount store in Birmingham and another one is immediately make in Beijing, so the retailers of suicide deploy a human bomber in Baghdad and another one is immediately recruited and indocrinated in Beirut
Globalisation is an irreversible and positive trend. We can't stop al-Quaeda using the internet and their terrorist beheading video tapes. The only answer is to modernise those countries that are not yet part of the global supply chain, that is, to drain the swamp that breeds terrorism.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

fabulous summary. great help

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

Nice post which Friedman wrote his book on a Dell notebook. On an average day Dell sells 150,000 computers. As part of his research he asked Dell to trace the entire global supply chain that produced his notebook. Thanks a lot for posting this article.

6:54 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home