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The Revenge of Geography: Press Briefing with Robert D. Kaplan

Apr 15, 2009
12:30pm to 2:00pm ET

Center for a New American Security
Washington, DC


Christian Brose
Senior Editor, Foreign Policy &
Editor, Shadow Government

Robert D. Kaplan
Senior Fellow, CNAS &
Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) was pleased to host an exclusive press briefing of Robert Kaplan's article in Foreign Policy magazine entitled "The Revenge of Geography" on April 15, 2009.   

True to Robert Kaplan's repertoire, "The Revenge of Geography" is a must-read for understanding the nature of today's current and potential conflicts in Eurasia.  Kaplan argues that Eurasia has become, "an organic whole," one that "will eventually be as claustrophobic as Israel and the Palestinian territories, with geography controlling everything and no room to maneuver."  He describes four shatter zones, or areas more prone to conflict, that threaten to "implode, explode, or maintain a fragile equilibrium."  These shatter zones include the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian Peninsula, the Fertile Crescent, and the Persian core.  Kaplan's eye opening analysis of these regions should be required reading for anyone in the national security arena.

Robert Kaplan, a prolific and influential writer for The Atlantic Monthly, joined the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) as a Senior Fellow in March 2008, after serving as the Class of 1960 Distinguished Visiting Professor in National Security at the United States Naval Academy. Kaplan, who will continue to write for The Atlantic Monthly, is now writing a book for CNAS on the future of the Indian Ocean region and its importance for the future of energy supplies, national security and global primacy in the 21st century.

Robert Kaplan has written extensively on a range of foreign policy and national security issues for The Atlantic Monthly from 100 countries.  He is the best-selling author of twelve books on international affairs and travel including: Hog Pilots: Blue Water Grunts: The American Military in the Air, at Sea, and on the Ground (2007);  Imperial Grunts (2005), Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus (2000); The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War (2000); An Empire Wilderness: Travels Into America's Future (1998); The Ends of the Earth (1995); The Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite (1993); and Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History (1993); all of which grew out of Atlantic articles.

Besides The Atlantic Monthly, Kaplan's essays have appeared on the editorial pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. He has been a consultant to the U.S. Army's Special Forces Regiment, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Marines. He has lectured at military war colleges, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Pentagon's Joint Staff, major universities, the CIA, and business forums.  New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman calls Kaplan among the four "most widely read" authors defining the post-Cold War era (along with Francis Fukuyama, Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington, and Yale Professor Paul Kennedy). He is the recipient of the 2001 Greenway-Winship Award for Excellence in international reporting and in 2002, and he received the United States State Department Distinguished Public Service Award.

Kaplan has been writing as a foreign correspondent for more than 25 years, and his over two-decades' worth of traveling and reporting experience -- much of which he has accumulated in the world's most difficult and dangerous places -- inform even his briefest contributions. His writing always combines on-the-ground reporting, a rich academic context, a deep regard for the past, and an abiding concern for the future.