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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Son of Anarchy Strikes Again!

Robert Kaplan, the world traveler and international political pundit, just wrote "The Post-Imperial Moment" in the National Interest, which I commend to you as a perfect example of his writing.  The man has never seen a molehill that he didn't call a mountain.  Years after his "The Coming Anarchy" was published in Atlantic (I think in 1994!), he continues to flog this dog-eared idea.  A few rebuttal points:

  • No, the world isn't descending into "vulgar, populist anarchy."  What does that even mean?
  • Countries are not fighting over territory.  Interstate wars are nearly nonexistent.
  • In fact, there is more interstate cooperation than ever.  Sure, nationalism is still strong, but that doesn't mean states are cooperating less.
  • The EU is managing its crisis and is not breaking up.
  • Why does he think Africa is disintegrating?  And ISIS-related groups are hardly "rampaging" through west Africa.  They are on the eclipse.
  • What is new about international terrorism?   Why does Kaplan think an airport attack is, a new thing in the world?
  • How is it that the US is withdrawing from the world?  We have 600 international military bases and are now deployed--again--in Iraq.  
  • What is the big deal about Indian and Chinese naval ships in the Indian Ocean?  Are they going to start duking it out?   Over what?  
You could go on and on.  He never really defines anything or cites any facts to back up his points. He's like a Single-A Spengler.   

And why does he think anyone wants to read a book about Romania?  Are we that enamored of the Kaplan pensées that we'll buy anything by him?  His publisher probably is kicking herself right now...

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