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When my brother was called up from the U. S. Army Reserves and sent to Bosnia, I took to sending him crates full of books.  In return he sent me Robert D. Kaplan's Balkan Ghosts.  It was a fairly even exchange.  Mr. Kaplan, most of whose work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, has perfected a unique literary form; he combines his vigorous argument for realism in U.S. foreign policy with travelogues, designed to illustrate his points through actual examples from abroad (or at home, as in his Empire Wilderness).  In Ghosts he related stories of his travels throughout the Balkans, exploring how and why the age old ethnic hatreds that had so regularly convulsed the region still endured, and were likely to, no matter what policy the West adopted.  The book became notorious when Bill Clinton cited it as the reason he was hesitant to commit U. S. military forces to the region.  But nothing gives an author credibility like having a President acknowledge that you'd influenced his thinking, and Kaplan has become an unlikely best-selling author and a foreign policy voice to be reckoned with.

The Coming Anarchy is less of a travel book than Mr. Kaplan's others, though he does draw upon his many journeys.  Instead, it gathers a number of his essays from The Atlantic (including the title piece), The Wall Street Journal, and The National Interest.  Included herein are  appreciations of books like Conrad's Nostromo, Gibbon's Decline and Fall and Henry Kissinger's A World Restored and policy prescriptions, for what kind of aid we should offer the Third World and how we should use our Intelligence services, but the bulk of the book (over half) is taken up by The Coming Anarchy and Was Democracy Just a Moment, which taken together argue that, contrary to the expectations of most in the West, including analysts of both Right and Left, the future of most of the world is unlikely to be one of peace, justice, and economic growth, brought on by liberal democratic reforms, but will instead be characterized by a decline into anarchy, tribalism, and warfare.

His most important insight, one that has thus far been inadequately dealt with by either him or his critics, is that stable democracy and free market capitalism appear to require certain preconditions before they can take root.  These include a middle class, functioning social institutions, law and order, and the like.  Yet much of Western foreign policy for at least the past hundred years has been based on the fanciful notion that every nation, regardless of its unique history, culture, and current circumstances, would automatically be a better place if only it enjoyed the same amount of freedom as we do.  On the contrary, Mr. Kaplan argues that :

    Not democracies but authoritarian systems, including monarchies, create middle classes--which,
    having achieved a certain size and self-confidence, revolt against the very dictators who generated
    the prosperity.

The import of this idea, if it is correct, which I have long believed it to be, is that while we continue to celebrate freedom and democracy here in the West, we may have to accept that developing nations are better off having an intermediate authoritarian stage before they attempt to emulate us.

Though he never mentions her, nor really discusses the legacy of communism, Mr. Kaplan's basic point here harkens back to the differentiation that Jeanne Kirkpatrick made in  Dictatorships and Double Standards, between totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, a distinction which served us well in the late Cold War.  She noted then that :

    Traditional autocrats leave in place existing allocations of wealth, power, status, and other
    resources, which in most traditional societies favor an affluent few and maintain masses in poverty.
    But they worship traditional gods and observe traditional taboos.  They do not disturb the habitual
    rhythms of work and leisure, habitual places of residence, habitual patterns of family and personal
    relations.

This of course contrasts with totalitarian regimes--be they nazi, communist, or islamist--which seek to replace every single institution in society, even including the family, with the single party of government.  In those states the rulers will not be creating an environment in which democracy can ever thrive, and so must be opposed.  In practice, the difference was played out in the rapid development of Chile, despite, or because of, its authoritarian interlude, as opposed to the continued resistance to development of a place like Cambodia or the many African nations that succumbed to Marxist dictatorships.

Perhaps Mr. Kaplan relishes his role as our anointed doomsayer too much to fully explore the hopeful lessons that this history provides : his policy prescriptions seem rather tepid.  Where he talks about female literacy programs and family planning aid, his own analysis really suggests that it is institutions, rather than individuals, that we should be seeking to aid.  This assistance might include helping to train police and the judiciary; training and funding journalists and periodicals; building schools, to be run by religious organizations, rather than the state; making micro-loans to businesses; building or helping to build private homes; encouraging the establishment of or transition to private social services, including retirement funds, health care, and education; etc.  The developing world has a golden opportunity to learn from our own history and to avoid the construction of the mammoth Social Welfare states that served us so poorly.  Most importantly, the recent examples of successful transitions to democracy suggest that we should embrace leaders and regimes that are clearly understood to be temporary nature--for instance Vladimir Putin in Russia or Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore--and should openly state that we support the rough medicine they are administering to nations that have been horribly misgoverned for decades, centuries, even millennia, but that we expect them to eventually step aside if/when the society is capable of handling increased freedom.

It will be objected that this would place us in opposition to human rights, which we so steadfastly claim to value and which we so jealously protect here at home.  But Mr. Kaplan asks the important question of why elections, and other procedural freedoms, should be the form of human rights that we place above all others in our relations with other nations.  Aren't social stability, crime control, and economic growth all vitally important also?  And what if, as certainly appears to be the case, these are dependent not on elections and extensive civil liberties but upon the establishment, first of all, of a stable central government to provide the environment in which healthy social institutions can grow and flourish?

After all, we in the West did not proceed directly from the Hobbesian state of nature to the modern liberal democracy; why should we expect other countries to be able to do so?  Shall we continue to insist on keeping ourselves ideologically pure even if it means that we, albeit unintentionally, thrust freedom upon societies for whom such can only lead to anarchy?   The brand of realism that Mr. Kaplan espouses requires us to recognize that democracy, with its regular change of regimes, is inherently unstable.  It is only the stability of the rest of our institutions and our society wide acceptance of this type of instability that allows democracy to function.  Likewise, though Mr. Kaplan does not write about this, the economist Joseph Shumpeter located the genius of capitalism in its propensity for "creative destruction", the manner in which the market ruthlessly destroys the inefficient.  Thus, both democracy and capitalism, our two main ideological exports, serve to decrease rather than to increase social stability.  In the West this translates into the freedom which makes us uniquely creative and productive.  In parts of the world that do not share in the inheritance of Western Civilization, particularly its nongovernmental and noneconomic values and institutions, such freedom appears to lead only to chaos, violence, and death on an epic scale.

Mr. Kaplan's vision of the future is extraordinarily pessimistic, so he does not seem to really believe that any kind of policy on our part can avert the deterioration of the Third World, nor does he stop there.  He also envisions a dire future for the developed world, first arguing that the chaos in other countries will inevitably impact the West, but also discerning various ways in which democracy is breaking down even within the United States.  His particular argument here takes two forms : one is that multi-national corporations are becoming so powerful that they will undermine the authority of the nation state and will destroy distinctive civilizations; the other, an argument that is common enough in conservative circles, is that the very capacity of the economy to satisfy our material needs has turned us into mere sensation mongers, our struggle to survive having been won, we turn to trivial sensory stimulation.  These two trends lead to a steady diminution of our control over our own lives and a lack of any real concern over this fact.  Fed, housed, and clothed, we will retreat into a cocoon of drugs (legal and illegal), multimedia entertainment, and the like, abandoning our  historic roles as social creatures with obligations toward one another and as concerned citizens, vigilantly supervising our government and guarding our own liberties.

Though it contains some frightening elements of truth, there are a few problems with this scenario.  First, it is surprising that Mr. Kaplan, who has so eloquently outlined his expectation that nations will fall apart, does not perceive that centrifugal forces will act upon corporations too.  Mr. Kaplan writes with great certainty about the inevitability of China breaking apart as soon as the government tries to relax its control, even slightly.  Why would we expect corporate empires to be any more stable, efficient, and satisfactory to humans than political empires have proven?  Just as the Soviet Union became totally sclerotic and was unable to keep up with freer, more energetic, societies, so too we must expect that mammoth corporations will find themselves becoming too bureaucratic and unimaginative to keep up with smaller, more innovative, competitors.

We have, in fact, already seen this process in action throughout the modern era, as railroads, steel makers, car companies, and any number of other seemingly dominant industrial powers have fallen apart with the same rapidity as they rose up in the first place.  It calls to mind the movie 2001 : A Space Odyssey, where folks make calls from the moon using AT&T pay phones and the computer is a HAL, the initials of IBM moved one letter to the left.  In the 1960s it was apparently imaginable that either of these giants would lose their preeminent positions in their respective markets, but, of course, neither company is today even remotely the force it once was.  The future would seem not to lie in massive, centrally-controlled, bureaucratic structures, either political or economic.

As for the problem of an increasingly self-centered, sybaritic, slacker populace, we should take the concern seriously, but should not despair.  Many of the same prescriptions that will enable the Third World to transition to healthy democracy would help to restore the health of our own.  Chief among these is the reprivitization of social services.  Though the elaborate Social Welfare net that was constructed in the wake of the Great Depression, and which is even more thorough in the nations of Western Europe, was certainly well-intentioned and offers a certain level of economic security, we can see now that it was profoundly destructive of civil society.  Government took on roles that had previously been played by such competing institutions as the family, the church, community organizations, charities, etc..  Not surprisingly, these institutions withered to a significant degree.  We can assume, and must hope, that reversing the process will restore them.

Get the government out of the education, housing, nursing home, retirement, and health care businesses and we will have to return to being the kind of society where we are each responsible both for ourselves and for those around us, or else countenance having people face genuine catastrophe.  To take but one example, remove the government subsidy for nursing homes and children will either have to reopen their own homes to aging parents or bear the guilt of standing idly by while they fail.   Recreating the extended family in this way, though it is certainly less convenient than warehousing grandma and grandpa, would serve several purposes, besides the obvious financial benefit to taxpayers.  It would provide adult supervision in many homes where today children basically have none.  It would enable successor generations to learn from their more experienced elders.  And it would allow for sharing of responsibilities and resources.  Most importantly, it would help to restore the sense of obligation of one citizen to the other.

If Mr. Kaplan is wrong here though, he is right on so many other issues that it hardly matters.   Though Herbert Butterfield famously said that realism is more of a boast than a philosophy, properly understood realism is an important corrective to the utopian dreams of do-gooder liberals and libertarian conservatives.  We can not improve the lives of the citizens of other countries either through purely governmental solutions to their problems, like redistributing wealth, or by blithely prescribing freedom for them.  Realism, that is the willingness to learn something from the real world, requires us to acknowledge that these conventional kinds of Western notions will have to wait until such countries have reached a much higher state of development.  We merely indulge our own fancies when we suggest that they try them out now.  To do so is simply, as Mr. Kaplan masterfully shows, quite probably counterproductive and, to put it baldly, unrealistic.

(Reviewed:)

Grade: (A-)

  

Websites:

See also:

Robert Kaplan (2 books reviewed)
Geopolitics
Robert Kaplan Links:
    -Robert D. Kaplan : Contributor Profile (Atlantic Monthly)
    -The National Interest
    -EXCERPT : First Chapter of Warrior Politics
    -EXCERPT : Chapter One of An Empire Wilderness
    -ESSAY: A Tale of Two Colonies: Our correspondent travels to Yemen and Eritrea, and finds that the war on terrorism is forcing U.S. involvement with the one country's tribal turbulence and the other's obsessive fear of chaos (Robert D. Kaplan, April 2003, The Atlantic Monthly)
    -AUDIO INTERVIEW: Listen to Correspondent for 'The Atlantic Monthly,' Robert Kaplan (Fresh Air, March 11, 2003, NPR)
    A Post-Saddam Scenario: Iraq could become America's primary staging ground in the Middle East. And the greatest beneficial effect could come next door, in Iran (Robert D. Kaplan, November 2002, Atlantic Monthly)
    -PROFILE : Looking the World in the Eye : Samuel Huntington is a mild-mannered man whose sharp opinions-about the collision of Islam and the West, about the role of the military in a liberal society, about what separates countries that work from countries that don't-have proved to be as prescient as they have been controversial. Huntington has been ridiculed and vilified, but in the decades ahead his view of the world will be the way it really looks (Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly | December 2001)
    -ESSAY : A who's who for the next Afghan regime (Robert D. Kaplan, 10/17/2001 , Boston Globe)
    -ESSAY : Stability is more important than democracy in the Mideast. (ROBERT D. KAPLAN , October 2001, Wall Street Journal)
    -ESSAY : U.S. Foreign Policy, Brought Back Home (Robert D. Kaplan, September 23, 2001, Washington Post)
    -ESSAY : (Conrad's Secret Agent :) The Little Man's Revenge (Robert D. Kaplan, Thanksgiving 2001, The National Interest)
    -ESSAY : Where Europe Vanishes : Civilizations have collided in the Caucasus Mountains since the dawn of history, and the region's dozens of ethnic groups have been noted for "obstinacy and ferocity" since ancient times. Stalin was born in these mountains, and it was also here that the Soviet empire began to crumble. The story of the Republic of Georgia illustrates that the peoples of the Caucasus may prove as incapable of self-rule as they were resistant to rule by outsiders (Robert D. Kaplan, November 2000, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : The Lawless Frontier : he tribal lands of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border reveal the future of conflict in the Subcontinent, along with the dark side of globalization  (Robert D. Kaplan, September 2000, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : The Return of Ancient Times : Why the warrior politics of the twenty-first century will demand a pagan ethos (Robert D. Kaplan, June 2000, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : What Makes History : The lessons of a New England landscape (Robert D. Kaplan, March 2000, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Israel Now : The author, a former resident of Israel, finds that raw power and economic forces are redrawing the map of the Middle East, and peace talks will merely formalize the emerging reality  (Robert D. Kaplan, January  2000, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Four Star Generalists : Military history pierces the philosophical fog that often surrounds the other humanities  (Robert D. Kaplan, October 1999, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : China: A World Power Again : It is normal for China to be a significant actor on the world stage. The West-the real newcomer-had better get used to it. (Robert D. Kaplan, August 1999, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Kissinger, Metternich, and Realism : Henry Kissinger's first book, on the Napoleonic Wars, explains Kissinger's foreign policy better than any of his memoirs, and is striking as an early display of brilliance and authority  (Robert D. Kaplan, June 1999, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Redrawing the Mideast Map (Robert D. Kaplan, New York Times, February 21, 1999)
    -ESSAY : Hoods against Democrats : In Bulgaria the distinction between the state and organized crime is clear -- for now (Robert D. Kaplan, December 1998, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : The Fulcrum of Europe : Romania longs for the West, and the West needs Romania more than it knows (Robert D. Kaplan, September 1998, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Travels Into America's Future : A correspondent who has long experience reporting from dimly understood regions of the world reports from his dimly understood native land, and his excursions expose the borderless forces that are pushing America into its next life.  Herewith a portion of his travelogue, focusing on the Southwest (Robert D. Kaplan, July 1998, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Night Train to Istanbul (Robert D. Kaplan, July 1998, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Special Intelligence : The roles of the CIA and the military may merge, in the form of "Special Forces," made up of data-analyzing urban commandos (Robert D. Kaplan, February 1998, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Was Democracy Just a Moment? : The global triumph of democracy was to be the glorious climax of the American Century. But democracy may not be the system that will best serve the world -- or even the one that will prevail in places that now consider themselves bastions of freedom. (Robert D. Kaplan, December 1997, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : And Now for the News : The disturbing freshness of Gibbon's Decline and Fall (Robert D. Kaplan (March, 1997, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : History Moving North : As Mexican society fragments, the impact will hit the United States with force -- and U.S. society is likely to fragment in some of the same ways (Robert D. Kaplan, February 1997, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Fort Leavenworth and the Eclipse of Nationhood (Robert D. Kaplan, September 1996, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Proportionalism : What should the United States do in the Third  World, where there's too much to do and too much  that can't be done? (Robert D. Kaplan, August 1996, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : WEST HAS NO CURE FOR AFRICA'S ILLS  (Robert Kaplan, June 1996, The Observer)
    -ESSAY : War After Peace : The coming Mideast meltdown. (Robert D. Kaplan,  04.29.96, New Republic)
    -ESSAY : A Bazaari's World : To understand Iran -- and perhaps even the future of other parts of the Islamic world -- one must understand a man like Mohsen Rafiqdoost (Robert D. Kaplan, March 1996, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : The Coming Anarchy : How scarcity, crime, overpopulation, tribalism, and disease are rapidly destroying the social fabric of our planet (Robert D. Kaplan, February 1994, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : The Balkans : Europe's Third World : Poverty and ethnic strife in southeastern Europe will give the Russians a headache for years to come. (Robert D. Kaplan,  Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Syria Identity Crisis : Hafez al-Assad has so far prevented the Balkanization of his country, but he can't last forever (Robert D. Kaplan, February 1993, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Tales from the Bazaar : As individuals, few American diplomats have been as anonymous as the members of the group known as Arabists. And yet as a group, no cadre of diplomats has aroused more suspicion than the Arab experts have. Arabists are frequently accused of romanticism, of having "gone native"--charges brought with a special vehemence as a result of the recent Gulf War and the events leading up to it. Who are the Arabists?  Where did they come from? Do they deserve our confidence? (Robert D. Kaplan, August 1992, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Afghanistan Post Mortem : The Russians may have been dealt a setback, but the lessons of the Afghan conflict afford little cause for cheer. (Robert D. Kaplan, April 1989, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Driven Toward God :  The eight-year war has transformed and enhanced the role of Islam, but Afghanistan is not another Iran. (Robert D. Kaplan, September 1988, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Sons of Devils : In a turbulent region the stateless Kurds play the role of spoiler (Robert D. Kaplan, November 1987, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ARCHIVES : Robert D. Kaplan (New America)
    -LECTURE : Robert Kaplan, The Future of Populist Politics (Colorado College)
    -AUDIO LECTURE : "The United States is Born to Die" (Robert D. Kaplan, January 1999, Calvin College)
    -Robert D. Kaplan Index
    -REVIEW : King of the Mountain: The Nature of Political Leadership' by Arnold M. Ludwig (Robert D. Kaplan,  Washington Post)
    -REVIEW : of 'Beyond the Mountains of the Damned: The War Inside Kosovo' by Matthew McAllester  (Robert D. Kaplan, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW : of 'The Age of Terror: America and the World After September 11' edited by Strobe Talbott and Nayan Chanda (Robert D. Kaplan, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW : of TURKEY UNVEILED A History of Modern Turkey. By Nicole Pope and Hugh Pope (Robert D. Kaplan, NY Times Book Review)
    -LETTER : THE FOUL BALKAN SKY? By Robert D Kaplan, Reply by Timothy Garton Ash : In response to "Bosnia in Our Future" (December 21, 1995) ( The New York Review of Books, March 21, 1996)
    -BOOK LIST : BreakthroughBooks : WE ASKED EIGHT AUTHORITIES ON THE POSTCOMMUNIST CONDITION TO TELL US WHICH BOOKS SHED THE MOST LIGHT ON THE BEWILDERING AND OFTEN FRIGHTENING NEW WORLD MIDWIFED BY THE END OF THE COLD WAR.  (Robert D. Kaplan, Lingua Franca)
    -DISCUSSION : What does the future hold?  Progress or anarchy? with Robert D. Kaplan and Francis Fukuyama (Think Tank, 2/1/02, PBS)
    -DISCUSSION :   The War on Terror  by Robert Kaplan and Robert Wright (Slate, Jan 16, 2002)
    -INTERVIEW: The Hard Edge of American Values: Robert D. Kaplan on how the United States projects power around the worldÑand why it must (Atlantic Unbound, June 18, 2003 )
    -AUDIO INTERVIEW : with Robert Kaplan (Dianne Rehm, January 24, 2002)
    -AUDIO INTERVIEW : Robert Kaplan (Fresh Air, NPR, January 5, 2002)
    -AUDIO INTERVIEW : Robert D. Kaplan, "The Coming Anarchy" (The Connection, WBUR,  March 9, 2000)
    -AUDIO INTERVIEW :   The Third World: A Coming Anarchy? (WBUR, 10.02.2001)
    -INTERVIEW : The View from Inside : The foreign correspondent Robert D. Kaplan talks about his days among the mujahideen, the killing of Abdul Haq, and why the U.S. must not be afraid to be brutal (November 2, 2001, Atlantic Monthly)
    -INTERVIEW : "The golden age of intelligence is before us" : Robert Kaplan says fighting terrorism will require new rules for spying, but he predicts that fighting an "almost comic book evil" will lead to a revival. (Laura Rozen, Sept. 20, 2001, Salon)
    -ROUNDTABLE : Picking a Good Fight : Does humanitarian intervention have a future? (Robert D. Kaplan | Edward Luttwak | David Rieff | Benjamin Schwar, April 2000, Atlantic Monthly)
    -INTERVIEW : Manifest Destiny : An interview with Robert D. Kaplan, whose new book, An Empire Wilderness, suggests that the future of the United States won't be at all what we expect (September 16, 1998, Atlantic Monthly)
    -GERGEN DIALOGUE : PERILS OF OVERPOPULATION : David Gergen, editor-at-large of "U.S. News & World Report," engages Robert Kaplan, contributing editor of the "Atlantic Monthly." The author of The Ends of the Earth: The Journey at the Dawn of the 21st Century dicusses the themes of his book, the environment and global political stability (Online Newshour,  APRIL 5, 1996)
    -INTERVIEW : The foreign correspondent Robert D. Kaplan talks about his days among the mujahideen, the killing of Abdul Haq, and why the U.S. must not be afraid to be brutal (Katie Bacon , Atlantic Unbound | November 2, 2001)
    -PROFILE : Tragic realism : Robert D Kaplan's books may be out of print in Britain, but he is emerging as one of the most influential commentators on the new world order. (Parag Khanna, 2/25/02, New Statesman)
    -PROFILES : Brilliant Careers : Robert Kaplan : The controversial "Balkan Ghosts" put him on the map. His opinionated, darkly seductive reports of an unraveling world have kept him there. (Laura Rozen, April 17, 2001, Salon)
    -ESSAY : The Way Bush Sees the World (Steven Mufson, February 17, 2002, Washington Post)
    -ESSAY : End of the lotus-eaters (Tony Blankley, February 6, 2002, Washington Times)
    -ESSAY : Expecting the Worst (JUDITH SHULEVITZ, December 16, 2001, NY Times)
    -ESSAY : KAPLAN/COCKBURN ON THE COMING ANARCHY (Ronald Bleier)
    -ESSAY : Faux Realism : Spin versus substance in the Bush foreign-policy doctrine  (Jeffrey W. Legro and Andrew Moravcsik, July/Aug 2001, Foreign Policy)
    -ARCHIVES : "Robert D. Kaplan" (Find Articles)
    -REVIEW : of  The Coming Anarchy : Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War. By Robert D. Kaplan (2000) (Richard Bernstein, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of  The Coming Anarchy  (Adam Garfinkle, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of The Coming Anarchy (ANTHONY JAFFE, Creative Loafing)
    -REVIEW : of Coming Anarchy (Mark Fritz, Blue Ear)
    -REVIEW : of The Coming Anarchy (First Things)
    -REVIEW : of The Coming Anarchy (Joe Hovish, The American Legion Librarian)
    -REVIEW : of The Coming Anarchy (Bhupinder, Crosswinds)
    -REVIEW : of  Eastward to Tartary Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. By Robert D. Kaplan (2000) (RICHARD BERNSTEIN, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of  Eastward to Tartary  (Laura Secor, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Eastward to Tartary (Robyn Creswell, Feed)
    -REVIEW : of Eastward to Tartary   (Ophelia Georgiev Roop,  The Sun)
    -REVIEW : of Eastward to Tartary ( Elliot Jager, Jerusalem Post)
    -REVIEW : of Eastward to Tartary Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. By Robert D. Kaplan (Laura Secor, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Eastward to Tartary (Rick McGinnis, Eye)
    -REVIEW : of  An Empire Wilderness : Travels Into America's Future. By Robert D. Kaplan (1998) (Thurston Clarke, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (David Brooks, Commentary)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Williamson Chilton, Jr., National Review)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Keith Henderson, CS Monitor)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Michael Lind, Wilson Quarterly)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Jesse Walker, Reason)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Suzannah Lessard , Washington Monthly)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Michael Betzold, Blue Ear)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness  (Valerie Zander, regenerator)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Jim Hotep, Tucson Weekly)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Robert Sibley, Alberta Report)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Clint Driscoll, Colorado Central Magazine)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Rex Roberts, Insight on the News)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Demographia)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness  (Good Reports)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (GRANT COGSWELL, The Stranger)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (LAWRENCE MODISETT, Naval War College )
    -REVIEW : of The Ends of the Earth : A Journey at the Dawn of the 21st Century. By Robert D. Kaplan (1996) (Michael Ignatieff, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of The Ends of the Earth (Ethan Casey, Blue Ear)
    -REVIEW : of The Ends of the Earth (Emil Franzi, Tucson Weekly)
    -REVIEW : of The Ends of the Earth (Ann Skea, Eclectica)
    -REVIEW : of The Ends of the Earth (Scott London)
    -REVIEW : of The Ends of the Earth (John M. Flanagin , National Strategy Review)
    -REVIEW : of Balkan Ghosts : A Journey Through History. By Robert D. Kaplan (1993) (Istvan Deak, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of The Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite  By Robert D. Kaplan (Daniel Pipes, The Wall Street Journal)
    -REVIEW : of The Arabists (1993) (Richard B. Parker, Tales Magazine)
    -REVIEW : of The Arabists (Michael Kolodner, Tales)
    -REVIEW : of Warrior Politics by Robert D. Kaplan (Donald Kagan, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Warrior Politics (Newt Gingrich)
    -REVIEW : of Warrior Politics (STEVEN E. ALFORD , Houston Chronicle)
    -REVIEW : of Warrior Politics (KNS Maré, Mountain Area Information Network)
    -REVIEW: of Warrior Politics (David Gordon, Mises Review)
    -BOOK LIST : 10 Most Requested Books from the State Department Library : The Arabists by Robert D. Kaplan ( Dan Clemmer, Chief Librarian US State Department)
    -BOOK LIST : Belliveau's top 12 literary travel books : The Ends of the Earth: Robert D. Kaplan (Beau Monde)

Book-related and General Links:
    -Robert D. Kaplan : Contributor Profile (Atlantic Monthly)
    -The National Interest
    -EXCERPT : Chapter One of An Empire Wilderness
    -PROFILE : Looking the World in the Eye : Samuel Huntington is a mild-mannered man whose sharp opinions-about the collision of Islam and the West, about the role of the military in a liberal society, about what separates countries that work from countries that don't-have proved to be as prescient as they have been controversial. Huntington has been ridiculed and vilified, but in the decades ahead his view of the world will be the way it really looks (Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly | December 2001)
    -ESSAY : A who's who for the next Afghan regime (Robert D. Kaplan, 10/17/2001 , Boston Globe)
    -ESSAY : Stability is more important than democracy in the Mideast. (ROBERT D. KAPLAN , October 2001, Wall Street Journal)
    -ESSAY : U.S. Foreign Policy, Brought Back Home (Robert D. Kaplan, September 23, 2001, Washington Post)
    -ESSAY : (Conrad's Secret Agent :) The Little Man's Revenge (Robert D. Kaplan, Thanksgiving 2001, The National Interest)
    -ESSAY : Where Europe Vanishes : Civilizations have collided in the Caucasus Mountains since the dawn of history, and the region's dozens of ethnic groups have been noted for "obstinacy and ferocity" since ancient times. Stalin was born in these mountains, and it was also here that the Soviet empire began to crumble. The story of the Republic of Georgia illustrates that the peoples of the Caucasus may prove as incapable of self-rule as they were resistant to rule by outsiders (Robert D. Kaplan, November 2000, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : The Lawless Frontier : he tribal lands of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border reveal the future of conflict in the Subcontinent, along with the dark side of globalization  (Robert D. Kaplan, September 2000, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : The Return of Ancient Times : Why the warrior politics of the twenty-first century will demand a pagan ethos (Robert D. Kaplan, June 2000, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : What Makes History : The lessons of a New England landscape (Robert D. Kaplan, March 2000, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Israel Now : The author, a former resident of Israel, finds that raw power and economic forces are redrawing the map of the Middle East, and peace talks will merely formalize the emerging reality  (Robert D. Kaplan, January  2000, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Four Star Generalists : Military history pierces the philosophical fog that often surrounds the other humanities  (Robert D. Kaplan, October 1999, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : China: A World Power Again : It is normal for China to be a significant actor on the world stage. The West-the real newcomer-had better get used to it. (Robert D. Kaplan, August 1999, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Kissinger, Metternich, and Realism : Henry Kissinger's first book, on the Napoleonic Wars, explains Kissinger's foreign policy better than any of his memoirs, and is striking as an early display of brilliance and authority  (Robert D. Kaplan, June 1999, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Redrawing the Mideast Map (Robert D. Kaplan, New York Times, February 21, 1999)
    -ESSAY : Hoods against Democrats : In Bulgaria the distinction between the state and organized crime is clear -- for now (Robert D. Kaplan, December 1998, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : The Fulcrum of Europe : Romania longs for the West, and the West needs Romania more than it knows (Robert D. Kaplan, September 1998, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Travels Into America's Future : A correspondent who has long experience reporting from dimly understood regions of the world reports from his dimly understood native land, and his excursions expose the borderless forces that are pushing America into its next life.  Herewith a portion of his travelogue, focusing on the Southwest (Robert D. Kaplan, July 1998, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Night Train to Istanbul (Robert D. Kaplan, July 1998, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Special Intelligence : The roles of the CIA and the military may merge, in the form of "Special Forces," made up of data-analyzing urban commandos (Robert D. Kaplan, February 1998, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Was Democracy Just a Moment? : The global triumph of democracy was to be the glorious climax of the American Century. But democracy may not be the system that will best serve the world -- or even the one that will prevail in places that now consider themselves bastions of freedom. (Robert D. Kaplan, December 1997, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : And Now for the News : The disturbing freshness of Gibbon's Decline and Fall (Robert D. Kaplan (March, 1997, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : History Moving North : As Mexican society fragments, the impact will hit the United States with force -- and U.S. society is likely to fragment in some of the same ways (Robert D. Kaplan, February 1997, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Fort Leavenworth and the Eclipse of Nationhood (Robert D. Kaplan, September 1996, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Proportionalism : What should the United States do in the Third  World, where there's too much to do and too much  that can't be done? (Robert D. Kaplan, August 1996, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : WEST HAS NO CURE FOR AFRICA'S ILLS  (Robert Kaplan, June 1996, The Observer)
    -ESSAY : War After Peace : The coming Mideast meltdown. (Robert D. Kaplan,  04.29.96, New Republic)
    -ESSAY : A Bazaari's World : To understand Iran -- and perhaps even the future of other parts of the Islamic world -- one must understand a man like Mohsen Rafiqdoost (Robert D. Kaplan, March 1996, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : The Coming Anarchy : How scarcity, crime, overpopulation, tribalism, and disease are rapidly destroying the social fabric of our planet (Robert D. Kaplan, February 1994, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : The Balkans : Europe's Third World : Poverty and ethnic strife in southeastern Europe will give the Russians a headache for years to come. (Robert D. Kaplan,  Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Syria Identity Crisis : Hafez al-Assad has so far prevented the Balkanization of his country, but he can't last forever (Robert D. Kaplan, February 1993, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Tales from the Bazaar : As individuals, few American diplomats have been as anonymous as the members of the group known as Arabists. And yet as a group, no cadre of diplomats has aroused more suspicion than the Arab experts have. Arabists are frequently accused of romanticism, of having "gone native"--charges brought with a special vehemence as a result of the recent Gulf War and the events leading up to it. Who are the Arabists?  Where did they come from? Do they deserve our confidence? (Robert D. Kaplan, August 1992, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Afghanistan Post Mortem : The Russians may have been dealt a setback, but the lessons of the Afghan conflict afford little cause for cheer. (Robert D. Kaplan, April 1989, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Driven Toward God :  The eight-year war has transformed and enhanced the role of Islam, but Afghanistan is not another Iran. (Robert D. Kaplan, September 1988, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Sons of Devils : In a turbulent region the stateless Kurds play the role of spoiler (Robert D. Kaplan, November 1987, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ARCHIVES : Robert D. Kaplan (New America)
    -LECTURE : Robert Kaplan, The Future of Populist Politics (Colorado College)
    -AUDIO LECTURE : "The United States is Born to Die" (Robert D. Kaplan, January 1999, Calvin College)
    -Robert D. Kaplan Index
    -REVIEW : of 'The Age of Terror: America and the World After September 11' edited by Strobe Talbott and Nayan Chanda (Robert D. Kaplan, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW : of TURKEY UNVEILED A History of Modern Turkey. By Nicole Pope and Hugh Pope (Robert D. Kaplan, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of THE OPEN SORE OF A CONTINENT A Personal Narrative of the Nigerian Crisis. By Wole Soyinka (Robert D. Kaplan, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of TERRORISM AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY By Paul R. Pillar (Robert D. Kaplan, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of LEGENDS OF THE PLUMED SERPENT Biography of a Mexican God. By Neil Baldwin (Robert D. Kaplan, NY Times Book Review)
    -LETTER : THE FOUL BALKAN SKY? By Robert D Kaplan, Reply by Timothy Garton Ash : In response to "Bosnia in Our Future" (December 21, 1995) ( The New York Review of Books, March 21, 1996)
    -BOOK LIST : BreakthroughBooks : WE ASKED EIGHT AUTHORITIES ON THE POSTCOMMUNIST CONDITION TO TELL US WHICH BOOKS SHED THE MOST LIGHT ON THE BEWILDERING AND OFTEN FRIGHTENING NEW WORLD MIDWIFED BY THE END OF THE COLD WAR.  (Robert D. Kaplan, Lingua Franca)
    -AUDIO INTERVIEW : Robert D. Kaplan, "The Coming Anarchy" (The Connection, WBUR,  March 9, 2000)
    -AUDIO INTERVIEW :   The Third World: A Coming Anarchy? (WBUR, 10.02.2001)
    -INTERVIEW : The View from Inside : The foreign correspondent Robert D. Kaplan talks about his days among the mujahideen, the killing of Abdul Haq, and why the U.S. must not be afraid to be brutal (November 2, 2001, Atlantic Monthly)
    -INTERVIEW : "The golden age of intelligence is before us" : Robert Kaplan says fighting terrorism will require new rules for spying, but he predicts that fighting an "almost comic book evil" will lead to a revival. (Laura Rozen, Sept. 20, 2001, Salon)
    -ROUNDTABLE : Picking a Good Fight : Does humanitarian intervention have a future? (Robert D. Kaplan | Edward Luttwak | David Rieff | Benjamin Schwar, April 2000, Atlantic Monthly)
    -INTERVIEW : Manifest Destiny : An interview with Robert D. Kaplan, whose new book, An Empire Wilderness, suggests that the future of the United States won't be at all what we expect (September 16, 1998, Atlantic Monthly)
    -GERGEN DIALOGUE : PERILS OF OVERPOPULATION : David Gergen, editor-at-large of "U.S. News & World Report," engages Robert Kaplan, contributing editor of the "Atlantic Monthly." The author of The Ends of the Earth: The Journey at the Dawn of the 21st Century dicusses the themes of his book, the environment and global political stability (Online Newshour,  APRIL 5, 1996)
    -INTERVIEW : The foreign correspondent Robert D. Kaplan talks about his days among the mujahideen, the killing of Abdul Haq, and why the U.S. must not be afraid to be brutal (Katie Bacon , Atlantic Unbound | November 2, 2001)
    -PROFILES : Brilliant Careers : Robert Kaplan : The controversial "Balkan Ghosts" put him on the map. His opinionated, darkly seductive reports of an unraveling world have kept him there. (Laura Rozen, April 17, 2001, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Expecting the Worst (JUDITH SHULEVITZ, December 16, 2001, NY Times)
    -ESSAY : KAPLAN/COCKBURN ON THE COMING ANARCHY (Ronald Bleier)
    -ESSAY : Faux Realism : Spin versus substance in the Bush foreign-policy doctrine  (Jeffrey W. Legro and Andrew Moravcsik, July/Aug 2001, Foreign Policy)
    -ARCHIVES : "Robert D. Kaplan" (Find Articles)
    -REVIEW : of  The Coming Anarchy : Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War. By Robert D. Kaplan (2000) (Richard Bernstein, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of  The Coming Anarchy  (Adam Garfinkle, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of The Coming Anarchy (ANTHONY JAFFE, Creative Loafing)
    -REVIEW : of Coming Anarchy (Mark Fritz, Blue Ear)
    -REVIEW : of The Coming Anarchy (First Things)
    -REVIEW : of The Coming Anarchy (Joe Hovish, The American Legion Librarian)
    -REVIEW : of The Coming Anarchy (Bhupinder, Crosswinds)
    -REVIEW : of  Eastward to Tartary Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. By Robert D. Kaplan (2000) (RICHARD BERNSTEIN, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of  Eastward to Tartary  (Laura Secor, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Eastward to Tartary (Robyn Creswell, Feed)
    -REVIEW : of Eastward to Tartary   (Ophelia Georgiev Roop,  The Sun)
    -REVIEW : of Eastward to Tartary ( Elliot Jager, Jerusalem Post)
    -REVIEW : of Eastward to Tartary Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. By Robert D. Kaplan (Laura Secor, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Eastward to Tartary (Rick McGinnis, Eye)
    -REVIEW : of  An Empire Wilderness : Travels Into America's Future. By Robert D. Kaplan (1998) (Thurston Clarke, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (David Brooks, Commentary)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Williamson Chilton, Jr., National Review)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Keith Henderson, CS Monitor)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Michael Lind, Wilson Quarterly)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Jesse Walker, Reason)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Suzannah Lessard , Washington Monthly)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Michael Betzold, Blue Ear)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness  (Valerie Zander, regenerator)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Jim Hotep, Tucson Weekly)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Robert Sibley, Alberta Report)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Clint Driscoll, Colorado Central Magazine)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Rex Roberts, Insight on the News)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (Demographia)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness  (Good Reports)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (GRANT COGSWELL, The Stranger)
    -REVIEW : of Empire Wilderness (LAWRENCE MODISETT, Naval War College )
    -REVIEW : of The Ends of the Earth : A Journey at the Dawn of the 21st Century. By Robert D. Kaplan (1996) (Michael Ignatieff, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of The Ends of the Earth (Ethan Casey, Blue Ear)
    -REVIEW : of The Ends of the Earth (Emil Franzi, Tucson Weekly)
    -REVIEW : of The Ends of the Earth (Ann Skea, Eclectica)
    -REVIEW : of The Ends of the Earth (Scott London)
    -REVIEW : of The Ends of the Earth (John M. Flanagin , National Strategy Review)
    -REVIEW : of Balkan Ghosts : A Journey Through History. By Robert D. Kaplan (1993) (Istvan Deak, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of The Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite  By Robert D. Kaplan (Daniel Pipes, The Wall Street Journal)
    -REVIEW : of The Arabists (1993) (Richard B. Parker, Tales Magazine)
    -REVIEW : of The Arabists (Michael Kolodner, Tales)
    -BOOK LIST : 10 Most Requested Books from the State Department Library : The Arabists by Robert D. Kaplan ( Dan Clemmer, Chief Librarian US State Department)
    -BOOK LIST : Belliveau's top 12 literary travel books : The Ends of the Earth: Robert D. Kaplan (Beau Monde)

ARABISTS :
    -ESSAY : Ned Walker's Wrong Turn : From American ambassador to Arab apologist. (SETH LIPSKY, November 28, 2001, Wall Street Journal)

GENERAL :
    -ESSAY : Jihad vs. McWorld : The two axial principles of our age -- tribalism and globalism -- clash at every point except one: they may both be threatening to democracy (Benjamin Barber, March 1992, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Today's News Quiz (THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, November 20, 2001, NY Times)
    -ESSAY : The Diversity Myth: America's Leading Export : The hortatory version of our history, in which America has long been a land of ethnic tolerance and multicultural harmony, leaves us with nothing useful to say to the failed states and riven polities of the post-Cold War world (Benjamin Schwarz, May 1995, Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY : Corporate Takeover (Robert Bryce, MARCH 16, 1998, Austin Chronicle)
    -ESSAY : The Environmental Factor  (Geoffrey D. Dabelko, Wilson Quarterly)
    -ESSAY : BEYOND KOSOVO :  Preventive Diplomacy (WILLIAM D. HARTUNG, May 10, 1999, The Nation)
    -ESSAY : The Fear of Death and the Longing for Immortality: Hobbes and Thucydides on Human Nature and the Problem of Anarchy : Recent challenges to the modern secular state invite us to reexamine the arguments made by its theoretical founders, especially Hobbes. (Peter J. Ahrensdorf, American Political Science Review, October 27 2000)
    -ESSAY : Sub-saharan Africa in global capitalism (John S. Saul, Monthly Review, July-August, 1999)
    -Hunting bin Laden (PBS Frontline)

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