November 11, 2010

Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power

On November 9, 2010, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) held a book launch event for Monsoon featuring best-selling author Robert Kaplan and NPR’s award-winning correspondent Tom Gjelten.

Like the monsoon itself, a cyclical weather system that can be both destructive and essential for growth and prosperity, the rise of countries like China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka represent a shift in global balance that cannot be ignored. From Pakistan’s uncertain future, to the growth of Chinese military power, to African states teetering on the edge of failure, violent Islamic extremism, and piracy, this region will be the true nexus of power and conflict in the coming years. In Monsoon, Kaplan shows how crucial the Indian Ocean area has become to American power in the 21st century. He argues it is in that region – volatile, nuclearized, and plagued by weak infrastructure and young populations tempted by extremism – that the fight for democracy, energy independence, and religious freedom will be lost or won, and where the United States must focus in order to remain relevant in this ever-changing world.

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