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Return of Marco Polo's World

War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-first Century

A bracing assessment of U.S. foreign policy and world disorder over the past two decades from the bestselling author of The Revenge of Geography and The Coming Anarchy

"[Kaplan] has emerged not only as an eloquent defender of foreign-policy realism but as a grand strategist to whom the Pentagon turns for a tour d'horizon."-The Wall Street Journal

In the late thirteenth century, Marco Polo began a decades-long trek from Venice to China along the trade route between Europe and Asia known as the Silk Road-a foundation of Kublai Khan's sprawling empire. Now, in the early twenty-first century, the Chinese regime has proposed a land-and-maritime Silk Road that duplicates exactly the route Marco Polo traveled.

Drawing on decades of firsthand experience as a foreign correspondent and military embed for The Atlantic, Robert D. Kaplan outlines the timeless principles that should shape America's role in a turbulent world that encompasses the Chinese challenge. From Kaplan's immediate thoughts on President Trump to a frank examination of what will happen in the event of war with North Korea, these essays are a vigorous reckoning with the difficult choices the United States will face in the years ahead.

Praise for The Return of Marco Polo's World

"Elegant and humane . . . [a] prophecy from an observer with a depressingly accurate record of predictions."-Bret Stephens, The New York Times Book Review

"These essays constitute a truly pathbreaking, brilliant synthesis and analysis of geographic, political, technological, and economic trends with far-reaching consequences. The Return of Marco Polo's World is another work by Robert D. Kaplan that will be regarded as a classic."-General David Petraeus (U.S. Army, Ret.)

"Thoughtful, unsettling, but not apocalyptic analyses of world affairs flow steadily off the presses, and this is a superior example. . . . Presented with enough verve and insight to tempt readers to set it aside to reread in a few years."-Kirkus Review (starred review)

"An astute, powerfully stated, and bracing presentation."-Booklist

"This volume compiles sixteen major essays on America's foreign policy from national security commentator Kaplan. . . . An overview of thoughtful, multilayered positions and perspectives evolving through changing circumstances."-Publishers Weekly
Rezension
"An eclectic collection of elegant and humane essays . . . Above all there is his fascination with the decisive impact of geography on the calculations, ambitions and illusions of statesmen and societies. . . . [A] prophecy from an observer with a depressingly accurate record of predictions. When it comes to curbing our enthusiasms, Kaplan's achievement is to throw so much shade with so much verve."-Bret Stephens, The New York Times Book Review

"Thoughtful, unsettling, but not apocalyptic analyses of world affairs flow steadily off the presses, and this is a superior example. . . . Presented with enough verve and insight to tempt readers to set it aside to reread in a few years."-Kirkus Review (starred review)

"Kaplan is a kind of expeditionary foreign-policy intellectual who does not allow his sympathies to cloud his judgment. . . . It is a sign of how very unusual a journalist Robert Kaplan is that after more than three decades covering civil wars and collapsing states and American interventions he has emerged not only as an eloquent defender of foreign-policy realism but as a grand strategist to whom the Pentagon turns for a tour d'horizon. . . . Whether or not one embraces it, tragic realism offers one lesson that Americans, and above all the idealistically inclined, need to learn, and to re-learn: humility."-The Wall Street Journal

"An astute, powerfully stated, and bracing presentation."-Booklist

"This volume compiles sixteen major essays on America's foreign policy from national security commentator Kaplan. . . . An overview of thoughtful, multilayered positions and perspectives evolving through changing circumstances."-Publishers Weekly

"These essays constitute a truly pathbreaking, brilliant synthesis and analysis of geographic, political, technological, and economic trends with far-reaching consequences. The Return of Marco Polo's World is another work by Robert D. Kaplan that will be regarded as a classic."-General David Petraeus (U.S. Army, Ret.)

"When it comes to geopolitics and the analysis of world affairs, Robert D. Kaplan is the best in the business. These essays are not only astonishing in their breadth, depth, and range but beautifully crafted and accessible."-John Bew, professor, the Department of War Studies, King's College London, and author of Realpolitik: A History and Castlereagh: A Life

"A characteristically thoughtful and provocative collection of essays from Robert D. Kaplan, born of his own Marco Polo-like wanderings and rich grasp of history . . . Elegant and compelling, these prescient pieces are a valuable guide to the endlessly complicated geopolitics of Eurasia, and what it all means for Americans in the decades ahead."-Ambassador William J. Burns, president, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and former deputy secretary of state

"Robert D. Kaplan has long been one of the most unrelenting realistic commentators on the rough, mean, conflictual world disorder that has evolved since the Cold War. In these essays he provides a compelling antidote to the facile optimists in the ethnocentric Western intelligentsia. Read it with a stiff drink in hand, but be ready to be excited."-Richard K. Betts, director, the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University
Portrait
Robert D. Kaplan is the bestselling author of eighteen books on foreign affairs and travel translated into many languages, including
The Return of Marco Polo’s World, Earning the Rockies,
In Europe’s Shadow, Asia’s Cauldron,
The Revenge of Geography,
Monsoon,
The Coming Anarchy, and
Balkan Ghosts. He is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a senior advisor at Eurasia Group. For three decades he reported on foreign affairs for
The Atlantic. He held the national security chair at the United States Naval Academy and was a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. He is currently a member of the U.S. Navy’s Executive Panel.
Foreign Policy magazine twice named him one of the world’s Top 100 Global Thinkers.
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    1.

    The Return of Marco Polo's World and the U.S. Military Response

    As Europe Disappears, Eurasia Coheres.

    The supercontinent is becoming one fluid, comprehensible unit of trade and conflict, as the Westphalian system of states weakens and older, imperial legacies-Russian, Chinese, Iranian, Turkish-become paramount. Every crisis from Central Europe to the ethnic-Han Chinese heartland is now interlinked. There is one singular battle space.

    What follows is an historical and geographical guide to it.

    The Dispersion of the West

    Never before in history did Western civilization reach such a point of geopolitical concision and raw power as during the Cold War and its immediate aftermath. For well over half a century, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) condensed a millennia-long tradition of political and moral values-the West, in shorthand-into a robust military alliance. NATO was a cultural phenomenon before it was anything. Its spiritual roots reach back to the philosophical and administrative legacies of Greece and Rome, to the emergence of Christendom in the early Middle Ages, and to the Enlightenment in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries-from which the ideas of the American Revolution emerged. Of course, key nations of the West fought as an alliance in the First and Second World Wars, and those emergency contingencies constituted forerunners to NATO's more secure and elaborate structures. Such structures, in turn, were buttressed by a continent-wide economic system, culminating in the European Union (EU). The EU gave both political support and quotidian substance to the values inherent in NATO-those values being, generally, the rule of law over arbitrary fiat, legal states over ethnic nations, and the protection of the individual no matter his race or religion. Democracy, after all, is less about elections than about impartial institutions. The end of the Long European War, 1914-89, saw those values reign triumphant, as communism was finally defeated and NATO and the EU extended their systems throughout Central and Eastern Europe, from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south. And it categorically was a long European war, as wartime deprivations, political and economic, existed in Soviet satellite states until 1989, when the West triumphed over Europe's second totalitarian system, just as it did over the first in 1945.

    Civilizations often prosper in opposition to others. Just as Christendom achieved form and substance in opposition to Islam after the latter's conquest of North Africa and the Levant in the seventh and eighth centuries, the West forged a definitive geopolitical paradigm in opposition to Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. And because the aftershocks of the Long European War extended to the very end of the twentieth century, with the dissolution of Yugoslavia and chaos inside Russia, NATO and the EU remained as relevant as ever, with NATO demonstrating its expeditionary capability in the case of Yugoslavia, and the EU building inroads into the former Warsaw Pact to take advantage of Russia's infirmity. This era was called the Post Cold War-that is, it was defined in terms of what came before it and what still continued to influence it.

    The Long European War, which lasted three-quarters of a century, influences events still, and constitutes my entry point for describing a new world far beyond Europe that the U.S. military now must grapple with. And because Europe's current predicament constitutes an introduction to that new world, I begin with it.

    It was the monumental devastation of two world wars that led European elites, beginning in the late 1940s, to reject the past altogether, with all of its inherent cultural and ethnic divisions. Only the abstract ideals of the Enlightenment were preserved, which in turn led to political engineering and economic experimentation, so that the specific moral response to
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Produktdetails

Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 272
Erscheinungsdatum 01.03.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-8129-9679-1
Verlag Random House US
Maße (L/B/H) 24.4/16.4/3.2 cm
Gewicht 525 g
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Fr. 36.90
Fr. 36.90
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