The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power
By Robert D. Kaplan
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812979206, 400pp.)
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
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On the world maps common in America, the Western Hemisphere lies front and center, while the Indian Ocean region all but disappears. This convention reveals the geopolitical focus of the now-departed twentieth century, but in the twenty-first century that focus will fundamentally change. In this pivotal examination of the countries known as “Monsoon Asia”—which include India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Burma, Oman, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Tanzania—bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan shows how crucial this dynamic area has become to American power. It is here that the fight for democracy, energy independence, and religious freedom will be lost or won, and it is here that American foreign policy must concentrate if the United States is to remain relevant in an ever-changing world. From the Horn of Africa to the Indonesian archipelago and beyond, Kaplan exposes the effects of population growth, climate change, and extremist politics on this unstable region, demonstrating why Americans can no longer afford to ignore this important area of the world.
Robert D. Kaplan is chief geopolitical analyst for Stratfor, a private global intelligence firm, and the author of fourteen books on foreign affairs and travel translated into many languages, including The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate; Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power; Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History; and Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos. He has been a foreign correspondent for The Atlantic for more than a quarter-century. In 2011 and 2012, Foreign Policy magazine named Kaplan among the world’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers.”
From 2009 to 2011, he served under Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as a member of the Defense Policy Board. Since 2008, he has been a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington. From 2006 to 2008, he was the Class of 1960 Distinguished Visiting Professor in National Security at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis.
“A sweeping narrative [that] deftly weaves history, reportage, and grand strategy . . . into a coherent portrait of an undercovered region whose importance will only grow in the decades to come.”—Foreign Policy
“Few books can be considered indispensable, but Monsoon is one of them. . . . An essential primer for this new century’s evolving politics.”—The Dallas Morning News
“A special blend of first-person travel writing, brief historical sketches and wide-ranging strategic analysis.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Compelling . . . Kaplan’s breadth of travel and learning leads to intriguing insights.”—The Washington Post
“[Kaplan] has a gift for geopolitical imagination.”—The Wall Street Journal