IPI HomeEventsSpeakers EventsKaplan: "Last Phase of Western Dominance in the Indian Ocean"

 

print print  |  share share back back

Speaker Events - Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Kaplan: "Last Phase of Western Dominance in the Indian Ocean"

"What this book is really about is the last phase of Western dominance in the Indian Ocean," author Robert D. Kaplan told an audience at an IPI Beyond the Headlines event featuring his book Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power.

The book posits the premise that while the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans were the twentieth century venues of significant economic, geopolitical and military developments, in the twenty-first century the central arena will be the Indian Ocean.

"We're seeing a more fluid, organic continuum emerge whereby China affects Iran, and Iran affects India, and natural gas and oil in the Arabian Peninsula affects decisions made in China so that everything flows together," he said.

Around the Indian Ocean there are thirty-seven countries, representing a third of the world's population, and a Greater Indian Ocean map goes from the Red Sea in the Horn of Africa all the way to the South China Sea. "It embraces the entire arc of Islam, from the Sahara Desert to the Indonesian archipelago," he noted.

And thanks to the predictable monsoon wind patterns, he said, travel between the far-flung parts of the Indian Ocean is relatively rapid and completely dependable, establishing trade and geopolitical connections throughout history that will spur the region's growth in the twenty-first century.

"It's in the littorals," he writes, "where global issues such as population growth, climate change, sea level rises, shortages of fresh water and extremist politics–the last of which is affected by all the other factors–acquire a vivid geographical face."

The IPI event took place the evening of February 2nd, and the moderator was IPI's Vice President for External Relations, Warren Hoge.

 Read transcript

To listen to the podcast, click the "play" button:

                        

The Global Observatory

India-US Cooperation Grows With Obama Visit
The visit is particularly important for efforts related to stability and security in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

Key Global Events to Watch in January
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2015: Ten Multilateral Events to Watch This Year
A list of ten events that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2015, compiled by IPI’s Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

January 20, 2015
Mongolian Foreign Policy Between ''Two Giants''
On January 20, Mongolia’s new Foreign Minister Purevsuren Lundeg visited the IPI Vienna office and gave an informal briefing on Mongolia’s contemporary foreign policy priorities and challenges.

January 20, 2015
Dutch FM Koenders: ''The Security Council Has to Change''
Speaking to an overflow IPI audience on January 20th, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders acknowledged how far the United Nations has come since its inception 70 years ago but said that the organization still “has a lot of growing up to do.”

December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.

View More