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Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the…

Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific (2014)

by Robert D. Kaplan

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Maybe GitS got it right ( again ) with ' The Second Vietnam War ' ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
Engaging read. Great look at the current geopolitical landscape of southeast Asia, historical context for each of the nations discussed, and the United States' current role in the South China Sea. ( )
  stonecrops | May 18, 2016 |
Once again cutting insight and unfamiliar history about the coming hotspot in the south China Sea. Erudite and readable I always look forward to Kaplan's next offering. The only thing that kept it from a 4.5 was his condescension of the Vietnamese (like China and the rest don't pose) and a few misplaced exclamation points. Great read. ( )
  JBreedlove | May 4, 2014 |
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Whoever is able to write of the great number and infinity of islands there are from the straits of Kampar to Banda and from the straits of Singapore to the islands of Japan, which are beyond China - and between this island and Banda, there must be an area of more than two or three thousand leagues round - whoever is able let him speak of it. And it is certain that many of the islands are worth speaking about, because many have gold, but it would be never ending and tedious. I will only speak of the few in this great abundance with which Malacca is in communication now, or was in the past, and I will touch on others in general terms, so that my project may be completed, and if my project does not carry sufficient weight, may I be forgiven.

'The Suma Oriental of Tomé Pires, an account of the East, from the Red Sea to China, written in Malacca and India 1512-1515
For there is no question but just a fear of imminent danger, though there be no blow given, is a lawful cause of war.

Francis Bacon, "Of Empire," 1612
To Stephen S. Kaplan
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I walk along jungle trails in the heat-inflicted silence.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812994329, Hardcover)

From Robert D. Kaplan, named one of the world’s Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine, comes a penetrating look at the volatile region that will dominate the future of geopolitical conflict.
Over the last decade, the center of world power has been quietly shifting from Europe to Asia. With oil reserves of several billion barrels, an estimated nine hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and several centuries’ worth of competing territorial claims, the South China Sea in particular is a simmering pot of potential conflict. The underreported military buildup in the area where the Western Pacific meets the Indian Ocean means that it will likely be a hinge point for global war and peace for the foreseeable future.
In Asia’s Cauldron, Robert D. Kaplan offers up a vivid snapshot of the nations surrounding the South China Sea, the conflicts brewing in the region at the dawn of the twenty-first century, and their implications for global peace and stability. One of the world’s most perceptive foreign policy experts, Kaplan interprets America’s interests in Asia in the context of an increasingly assertive China. He explains how the region’s unique geography fosters the growth of navies but also impedes aggression. And he draws a striking parallel between China’s quest for hegemony in the South China Sea and the United States’ imperial adventure in the Caribbean more than a century ago.
To understand the future of conflict in East Asia, Kaplan argues, one must understand the goals and motivations of its leaders and its people. Part travelogue, part geopolitical primer, Asia’s Cauldron takes us on a journey through the region’s boom cities and ramshackle slums: from Vietnam, where the superfueled capitalism of the erstwhile colonial capital, Saigon, inspires the geostrategic pretensions of the official seat of government in Hanoi, to Malaysia, where a unique mix of authoritarian Islam and Western-style consumerism creates quite possibly the ultimate postmodern society; and from Singapore, whose “benevolent autocracy” helped foster an economic miracle, to the Philippines, where a different brand of authoritarianism under Ferdinand Marcos led not to economic growth but to decades of corruption and crime.
At a time when every day’s news seems to contain some new story—large or small—that directly relates to conflicts over the South China Sea, Asia’s Cauldron is an indispensable guide to a corner of the globe that will affect all of our lives for years to come.

Advance praise for Asia’s Cauldron
Asia’s Cauldron is a perfect summation of the present turbulent moment in history, when the World War II security structure is beginning a rapid transformation. Kaplan engages the striking possibilities of where the current confrontation between China and Japan could lead, and underscores the point that this is a lot more significant than a simple border dispute.”—Paul Bracken, Yale University, author of The Second Nuclear Age
“Master global strategist Robert D. Kaplan turns his gaze to the bubbling heat of the South China Sea in his latest tour de force. Asia’s Cauldron deconstructs the extreme volatility of this enormous, dangerous, and vital maritime space.”Admiral James Stavridis, United States Navy (Ret.), dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 2009–2013

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:20 -0400)

"An examination of the future role of the South China sea in international relations and a tour of the the nations surrounding the South China Sea and their interests in the region. In exploring each of these countries individually, Kaplan clearly shows where the conflicts may arise and why they will be challenging for the international community"--… (more)

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