The Return of Marco Polo's World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-first Century

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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
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About the author

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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4.7
3 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Mar 6, 2018
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780812996807
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / General
Political Science / Essays
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Are we prepared to meet the challenges of the next war? What should our military look like? What lessons have we learned from recent actions in Afghanistan and Iraq? Macgregor has captured the attention of key leaders and inspired a genuine public debate on military reform. With the dangerous world situation of the early 21st century-and possible flashpoints ranging from the Middle East to the Far East-interservice cooperation in assembling small, mobile units and a dramatically simplified command structure is essential. MacGregor's controversial ideas, favored by the current Bush administration, would reduce timelines for deployment, enhance responsiveness to crises, and permit rapid decision-making and planning.The Army is the nation's primary instrument of land warfare, but what capabilities can the Army field today, and what is the Joint Commander likely to need tomorrow? Stuck with a force structure that hasn't changed since Word War II, as well as an outdated command system, today's Army faces potential failure in a modern war. Without a conceptual redefinition of warfare as a joint operation, a new military culture that can execute joint expeditionary warfare will not emerge. New technology both compels and enables evolution of the armed forces' organization. MacGregor's visionary plan to integrate ground maneuver forces with powerful strike assets is the foundation for a true revolution in military affairs, and has sparked heated debates in policy and military circles.
The Imperial Republic based as it is on Raymond Aron's realist philosophy, is involved only indirectly or by implication in the disputes about moralism, revisionism, and even imperialism. Its main aim is to account for the diplomacy of the United States as it was in a special time period. Like all diplomacy, it can be explained only within the system of inter-state relations to which the protagonist belongs.

United States diplomacy during the twenty- eight year period of 1945-73 is examined from strategic, political, and moral stand points were in diplomats openly declared their aim, and did they achieve it? Does the result justify accusations either of incompetence or of imperialism? Does not the reaction within the United States to a policy which had been a striking success now induce second thoughts about both the policy and its results? The imperial republic is trying to throw off its burden; once a missionary, it has lost the sense of mission; it is still capitalist, but its spoiled children no longer believe in money; it was puritan, but its cities abound in sex shops; it regards itself as scientific, yet mystical and nudist sects are common.

The reader is not asked to endorse Aron's paradoxical interpretations, but to try to discover the reasons for any disagreement he may feel regarding differences in political judgment. People who have acquired the habit of thinking of the contemporary world in Manichaean terms-in terms of the reduction of whole populations to slavery by monsters, or in terms of capitalism, imperialism, or revisionism- may be out raged by a book that is not concerned with grounds for outrage and in which there are neither villains nor heroes; but rather with mixed messages by decent policymakers. At the time of its initial publication The Times Literary Supplement called The Imperial Republic "an important book"no other author does so much." It remains so!

Legitimacy and Force, Volumes One and Two are the state papers of Jeane J. Kirkpatrick as the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations. The volumes feature all of the ambassador's UN and congressional testimonies, addresses, speeches and statements and a broad selection of speeches on international affairs and human rights. Together they present a lucid and comprehensive account of the position of one of America's most controversial UN representatives.

Volume One is oriented around themes of democratic societies and undemocratic systems, human rights and political obligations. Kirkpatrick examines the nature and legitimacy of democracy and the illegitimate nature of undemocratic nations. She also offers poignant commentary on the presidential election of 1980 and what the "Reagan phenomenon" has meant to the United States and the West.

Volume Two offers Kirkpatrick's formal remarks on nations and nation-building. She focuses on Grenada, Poland, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and the Soviet Union. She provides a particularly trenchant analysis of Israel: the Camp David accords, the assault on Israel inside the United Nations, and on the Middle East in general. Essential reading for everyone interested in the policymaking arena, these volumes exemplify Kirkpatrick's articulate conceptual underpinning of present-day American foreign policy.

These volumes, far from the usual government position papers, range widely and personally over the major international issues of our times. They are amplified in essays and articles written by Dr. Kirkpatrick for special occasions not related to specific UN work. In addition, the volumes contain crucial papers that were written after her resignation from the UN ambassadorship-and hence reflect Kirkpatrick's current interests and persuasions.

From America’s preeminent columnist, named by the Financial Times the most influential commentator in the nation, the long-awaited collection of Charles Krauthammer’s essential, timeless writings.
 
A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer has for decades daz­zled readers with his keen insight into politics and government. His weekly column is a must-read in Washington and across the country. Now, finally, the best of Krauthammer’s intelligence, erudition and wit are collected in one volume.
 
Readers will find here not only the country’s leading conservative thinker offering a pas­sionate defense of limited government, but also a highly independent mind whose views—on feminism, evolution and the death penalty, for example—defy ideological convention. Things That Matter also features several of Krautham­mer’s major path-breaking essays—on bioeth­ics, on Jewish destiny and on America’s role as the world’s superpower—that have pro­foundly influenced the nation’s thoughts and policies. And finally, the collection presents a trove of always penetrating, often bemused re­flections on everything from border collies to Halley’s Comet, from Woody Allen to Win­ston Churchill, from the punishing pleasures of speed chess to the elegance of the perfectly thrown outfield assist.
 
With a special, highly autobiographical in­troduction in which Krauthammer reflects on the events that shaped his career and political philosophy, this indispensible chronicle takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the fashions and follies, the tragedies and triumphs, of the last three decades of American life.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this provocative, startling book, Robert D. Kaplan, the bestselling author of Monsoon and Balkan Ghosts, offers a revelatory new prism through which to view global upheavals and to understand what lies ahead for continents and countries around the world.

Bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the recent and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world’s hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands. He then applies the lessons learned to the present crises in Europe, Russia, China, the Indian Subcontinent, Turkey, Iran, and the Arab Middle East. The result is a holistic interpretation of the next cycle of conflict throughout Eurasia, a visionary glimpse into a future that can be understood only in the context of temperature, land allotment, and other physical certainties. A brilliant rebuttal to thinkers who suggest that globalism will trump geography, this indispensable work shows how timeless truths and natural facts can help prevent this century’s looming cataclysms.

Praise for The Revenge of Geography

“[An] ambitious and challenging new book . . . [The Revenge of Geography] displays a formidable grasp of contemporary world politics and serves as a powerful reminder that it has been the planet’s geophysical configurations, as much as the flow of competing religions and ideologies, that have shaped human conflicts, past and present.”—Malise Ruthven, The New York Review of Books

“Robert D. Kaplan, the world-traveling reporter and intellectual whose fourteen books constitute a bedrock of penetrating exposition and analysis on the post-Cold War world . . . strips away much of the cant that suffuses public discourse these days on global developments and gets to a fundamental reality: that geography remains today, as it has been throughout history, one of the most powerful drivers of world events.”—The National Interest

“Kaplan plunges into a planetary review that is often thrilling in its sheer scale . . . encyclopedic.”—The New Yorker

“[The Revenge of Geography] serves the facts straight up. . . . Kaplan’s realism and willingness to face hard facts make The Revenge of Geography a valuable antidote to the feel-good manifestoes that often masquerade as strategic thought.”—The Daily Beast
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