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

Year in Review: Top 10 Peace and Security Reads
The International Peace Institute and its Global Observatory offered research and analysis on a range of topics in peace and security in 2014.

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

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, 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

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.

December 12, 2014
Effective Governance Key to Africa’s Rise
Good governance is the key to Africa’s rise, but structural challenges are pulling the continent back, according to a new report launched at a December 12th IPI policy forum entitled “Effective Governance in Challenging Environments.”

December 09, 2014
Small States in a Multilateral World
Despite their size and limited resources, small states have an important and crucial role to play in the multilateral system and can leverage their power through cooperation.

View More