Dimensions: 384 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 0.79 in
Published: April 3, 2013
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1400067464
ISBN - 13: 9781400067466
About the Book
The bestselling author of "Imperial Grunts" explores the countries around the Indian Ocean, and discusses why this region will be crucial to American interests and power in the 21st century.
Read from the Book
Chapter One CHINA EXPANDS VERTICALLY, INDIA HORIZONTALLY Al Bahr al Hindi is what the Arabs called the ocean in their old navigational treatises. The Indian Ocean and its tributary waters bear the imprint of that great, proselytizing wave of Islam that spread from its Red Sea base across the longitudes to India and as far as Indonesia and Malaysia, so a map of these seas is central to a historical understanding of the faith. This is a geography that encompasses, going from west to east, the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and Java and South China seas. Here, in our day, are located the violence- and famine-plagued nations of the Horn of Africa, the geopolitical challenges of Iraq and Iran, the fissuring fundamentalist cauldron of Pakistan, economically rising India and its teetering neighbors Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, despotic Burma (over which a contest looms between China and India), and Thailand, through which the Chinese and Japanese, too, may help finance a canal sometime in this century that will affect the Asian balance of power in their favor. Indeed, the canal is just one of several projects on the drawing board, including land bridges and pipelines, that aim to unite the Indian Ocean with the western Pacific. On the Indian Ocean''s western shores, we have the emerging and volatile democracies of East Africa, as well as anarchic Somalia; almost four thousand miles away on its eastern shores the evolving, post-fundamentalist face of Indonesia, the most populous M
From the Publisher
On the world maps common in America, the Indian Ocean all but
disappears. The Western Hemisphere lies front and center, while the
Indian Ocean region is relegated to the edges, split up along the
maps' outer reaches. This convention reveals the geopolitical focus
of the now-departed twentieth century, for it was in the Atlantic
and Pacific theaters that the great wars of that era were lost and
won. Thus, many Americans are barely aware of the Indian Ocean at
But in the twenty-first century this will fundamentally change. In
Monsoon, a pivotal examination of the Indian Ocean region and the
countries known as "Monsoon Asia," bestselling author Robert D.
Kaplan deftly shows how crucial this dynamic area has become to
American power in the twenty-first century. Like the monsoon
itself, a cyclical weather system that is both destructive and
essential for growth and prosperity, the rise of these countries
(including India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Burma, Oman, Sri
Lanka, Bangladesh, and Tanzania) represents a shift in the global
balance that cannot be ignored. The Indian Ocean area will be the
true nexus of world power and conflict in the coming years. 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 America is to remain dominant in
an ever-changing world.
From the Horn of Africa to the Indonesian archipelago and beyond,
Monsoon explores the multilayered world behind the headlines.
Kaplan offers riveting insights into the economic and naval
strategies of China and India and how they will affect U.S.
interests. He provides an on-the-ground perspective on the more
volatile countries in the region, plagued by weak infrastructures
and young populations tempted by extremism. This, in one of the
most nuclearized areas of the world, is a dangerous mix.
The map of this fascinating region contains multitudes: Here lies
the entire arc of Islam, from the Sahara Desert to the Indonesian
archipelago, and it is here that the political future of Islam will
most likely be determined. Here is where the five-hundred-year
reign of Western power is slowly being replaced by the influence of
indigenous nations, especially India and China, and where a tense
dialogue is taking place between Islam and the United States.
With Kaplan's incisive mix of policy analysis, travel reportage,
sharp historical perspective, and fluid writing, Monsoon offers a
thought-provoking exploration of the Indian Ocean as a strategic
and demographic hub and an in-depth look at the issues that are
most pressing for American interests both at home and abroad.
Exposing the effects of explosive population growth, climate
change, and extremist politics on this unstable region-and how they
will affect our own interests-Monsoon is a brilliant, important
work about an area of the world Americans can no longer afford to
About the Author
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.
Praise for MONSOON “An intellectual treat: Beautiful writing is not incompatible with geopolitical imagination and historical flair!” —ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, former national security advisor “ Monsoon is a shining example of Robert Kaplan’s ability to combine the most intrepid travel with scrupulous research and scholarship. He has been proven right many times before, in other ambitious books; given his conclusions about the future of South Asia, I do hope he is wrong this time.” —PAUL THEROUX, author of Ghost Train to the Eastern Star “For much of the post–Cold War era, Robert D. Kaplan has been an indispensable voice in our search for order in a time of chaos. This book on the inescapable new role of the Indian Ocean and its influence on America is another enlightening and engaging contribution to our understanding of what matters most as the twenty-first century takes shape.” —JON MEACHAM, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion “The audacity of Robert Kaplan’s approach to geography as fate is spellbinding. Whether you agree or disagree with his analysis and forecast that the Indian Ocean will occupy the center of global change and international politics in the coming decades, you will find this erudite study gripping and informative. It is a welcome and important addition to the debate about America’s role in a rapidly changing world.” —JIM