[extropy-chat] urban sprawl as defense

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Sat Aug 28 04:33:02 UTC 2004

On Aug 27, 2004, at 5:49 PM, Brett Paatsch wrote:
> If your going to have 5 permanent security council members I think
> you have to have the US, China and Russia's power and populations
> give then a place, and the last two could be any number of countries
> but the UK and France are as good as any other so far as I can see.

I think one could make a reasonable argument that one of the permanent 
European countries should be replaced by Japan, which has a military, 
economy, and population that is at least as large or larger than any of 
them.  But there is the problem of appearances.

France, for all intents and purposes, has been reduced to a bit player 
on the world scene.  They use to have a sizable global footprint with 
their intelligence services, covert operations, etc but that has 
deteriorated markedly.  The French military has negligible ability to 
project force outside their borders.  They have about as much right to 
be in the security council as a country like India.  The problem is 
that removing them would leave the UK as the only permanent member from 

France acts as a proxy in the security council for western mainland 
Europe, which some would argue is useful, even if the countries they 
represent are somewhat impotent.  The UK is the only European country 
with substantial military projection capability, but because they align 
so closely with the US the mainland Europeans would not be happy with 
them as the only European voice in the security council.

Part of the problem is that the "security council" has more to do with 
politics than security.  They want equality of voice rather than the 
more sensible equitable voice based on their ability to effect and 
affect security.  Asia has some heavy weights that are comparable to 
western Europe yet they are mostly ignored.

Perhaps a three-tier structure would be more appropriate, with one or 
two rotating seats shared by a small number of countries in a middle 

Permanent: US, Russia, UK, maybe China
Rotating: France, Japan, India, maybe China
And then everyone else

I would restrict the permanent positions to those countries that 
actually have the ability (and are frequently asked) to do the dirty 
work.  Only the US, UK, and Russia have the military infrastructure to 
do global force projection, and as a result they are frequently the 
only countries to do so on any significant basis when it is mandated 
for "security" purposes.  The Rotating countries are geopolitically 
very important, but are unable to project power outside of their 
continental sphere as a general rule.  Japan is a strange case in that 
they are both very potent geopolitically and yet find much of their 
influence in the west rather than Asia -- they have few friends in 


j. andrew rogers

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