Robert D. Kaplan

China may be flying combat patrols over disputed islands in the South China Sea

Nearly a month after the Hague-based court invalidated China's vast territorial claims in the South China Sea, the Chinese announced they have been conducting aerial combat patrols in the region regardless.

Is Primacy Overrated?

Power can be both absolute and relative. A state's absolute power can increase while its relative power declines; or its absolute power can diminish while its relative power increases. I suspect the United States will be in the second situation in the twenty-first century. America's ability to influence world events will increasingly diminish, but the power of other great states and blocs of states will diminish even further, leaving America in relative terms more powerful than before, to less and less effect.

How to Crash Putin’s Brexit Party

For decades, NATO and the European Union have silently worked in unison. The former required a foundation of European unity, and the EU to a significant extent provided that, its elitist and statist bureaucracy notwithstanding. Now the architecture is being toppled, as the vote for Brexit may trigger a cascade of desertions.

How Islam Created Europe

Europe was essentially defined by Islam. And Islam is redefining it now.

Notable & Quotable: Anarchy in the 21st Century

From foreign-affairs analyst Robert D. Kaplan's "The Post-Imperial Moment: Vulgar, populist anarchy will define the twenty-first century" in the May-June issue of the National Interest:

Freedom for Me—But Not for Thee

When historians in future decades ponder America’s wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the name of Andrew J. Bacevich, a West Point graduate, retired Army colonel and professor emeritus at Boston University, will have its own poignant chapter. Mr. Bacevich fought in Vietnam, and his only son, an Army first lieutenant named after him, was killed in Iraq.

Obama Is No George H. W. Bush

President Barack Obama is known to be a great admirer of President George H. W. Bush, who Obama recently said is "one of the more underrated presidents we have ever had." Obama notes, "When you look at how he managed foreign policy. . . he was thoughtful, restrained and made good decisions." Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former chief of staff, explicitly compared his boss some years back to Bush 41, because of Obama's "realpolitik" and "cold-blooded" instinct about national self-interest.

A blunt defense of interrogations, targeted killings and domestic spying

People living in a democracy in an age of electronic communications can be altogether fickle. After a mass casualty attack, they demand total vengeance on the killers and their co-conspirators. But once severe retribution is exacted and normalcy returns, these same people may accuse their security organs of going too far in their methods. The safer they feel, the less tolerant they are regarding the methods of those who keep them safe.

Eurasia's Coming Anarchy

As China asserts itself in its nearby seas and Russia wages war in Syria and Ukraine, it is easy to assume that Eurasia’s two great land powers are showing signs of newfound strength. But the opposite is true: increasingly, China and Russia flex their muscles not because they are powerful but because they are weak. Unlike Nazi Germany, whose power at home in the 1930s fueled its military aggression abroad, today’s revisionist powers are experiencing the reverse phenomenon. In China and Russia, it is domestic insecurity that is breeding belligerence.

Book Launch: In Europe’s Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted the book launch for In Europe’s Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond by Robert Kaplan, CNAS Senior Fellow, on Thursday, February 11, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


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