The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power

Book - 2010 | 1st ed
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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 all.

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 ignore.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400067466
Branch Call Number: ANF 327.730182 KAP
Characteristics: xvi, 366 p. : maps ; 25 cm


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Dec 13, 2014

If I could I would REQUIRE this book to be read by everyone! So well written packed with historical and current political affairs of the Indian Ocean region. I had no idea how important that part of the world is. Robert D. Kaplan brings the region up to date and is really knowledgeable and can interpret the region for the non-political reader to understand the economics and politics of the vast area that is VERY pertinent for today. He has a hands on approach, interviewing heads of state, businessmen, as well as the average man on the streets of Pakistan, Oman, Burma, Indonesia among other places.

Jul 08, 2012

Geo-political summary of the future focused on the India Ocean and its littoral regions.

Jul 01, 2012

Simply fantastic!
Rich, factual and exotic.

Sep 23, 2011

Topical info about a part of the world we know too little about.


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Oct 22, 2015

Here, too are the principal oil shipping lanes, as well as the main navigational choke points of world commerce-...

Oct 22, 2015

Herein lies the entire arc of Islam,...

Oct 22, 2015

Thus, the Indian Ocean may be the essential place to contemplate the future of US power.

Oct 22, 2015

,,,. the Indian Ocean "is surrounded by not less than thirty-seven countries representing a third of the world's population,',,,

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