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Editor's Choice

The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate by Robert D. Kaplan


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.

In The Revenge of Geography, Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near 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. The Russian steppe’s pitiless climate and limited vegetation bred hard and cruel men bent on destruction, for example, while Nazi geopoliticians distorted geopolitics entirely, calculating that space on the globe used by the British Empire and the Soviet Union could be swallowed by a greater German homeland.

Kaplan 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. Remarkably, the future can be understood in the context of temperature, land allotment, and other physical certainties: China, able to feed only 23 percent of its people from land that is only 7 percent arable, has sought energy, minerals, and metals from such brutal regimes as Burma, Iran, and Zimbabwe, putting it in moral conflict with the United States. Afghanistan’s porous borders will keep it the principal invasion route into India, and a vital rear base for Pakistan, India’s main enemy. Iran will exploit the advantage of being the only country that straddles both energy-producing areas of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Finally, Kaplan posits that the United States might rue engaging in far-flung conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan rather than tending to its direct neighbor Mexico, which is on the verge of becoming a semifailed state due to drug cartel carnage.

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.


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from The EastAfrican..By ROBERT MBARAGAOctober 22, 2016 Moroccan King Mohammed VI with President Paul Kagame in Kigali, Rwanda on October 19, 2016. King Mohammed VI kicked off his East African tour in Rwanda and is set to take in Tanzania and Ethiopia. PHOTO | URUGWIRO VILLAGE  King Mohammed VI of Morocco visited Rwanda this week as part of his aggressive diplomatic push to be readmitted to the African Union (AU), 32 years after it withdrew from membership of
from The EastAfrican..By JULIUS BARIGABAOctober 22, 2016 Delegates from the 19 member countries that make up the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa attend a summit on February 26, 2014, in Kinshasa. PHOTO | FILE | AFP The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) is considering admitting Somalia and Tunisia into the bloc. “[The Summit] mandated the Bureau of Council to enter into negotiations with Tunisia and Somalia on terms and conditions of accession to
from The EastAfrican..October 22, 2016 Companies are offering investors a chance to own parcels of farming land in a gated community. PHOTO | FILE THE PRIVATE sector in Kenya is coming up with initiatives that seek to make land acquisition and farming as hands-free as possible, in a bid to attract more young people to the sector and thus tackle unemployment.  Newspapers have been carrying how-to sections about how good agricultural practices invariably yield a decent return
from The EastAfrican..By JAMES ANYANZWAOctober 22, 2016 The fluid state of most of African countries means the political risk exposure is high hence the need to seek insurance protection. PHOTO | FILE The African Trade Insurance (ATI) agency is engaging African governments to provide political risk cover to attract private investments on the continent. Many foreign investors are sceptical about putting their money into the continent due to political upheavals and extremist activities. “Investors see governments as high
from The EastAfrican..By BERNARD BUSUULWAOctober 22, 2016 Traders at a market in Kampala. Poor credit growth, usually attributed to high lending rates leads to limited spending power among consumers. PHOTO | FILE The Bank of Uganda (BoU) cut its benchmark policy rate by one per cent to 13 per cent last week in a sign of optimism linked to previous policy decisions made this year as the government seeks to boost economic growth, tax collection and credit growth,
from The EastAfrican..By BERNARD BUSUULWAOctober 22, 2016 Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is impounding goods worth over $57,000 every month. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP Uganda is losing tax revenue in a lucrative underground trade of smuggled goods, consisting mainly of cosmetics and motorcycles.  Sources at the Uganda Revenue Authority said that the value of goods impounded in Mpondwe, western Uganda at the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo stood at Ush200 million ($57,734) per month by
from The Guardian..By Rachel Obordo and Guardian readersOctober 21, 2016 Thousands took to the streets in protest over violence against women. Readers from Argentina and Chile tell us why they took part. Women in Buenos Aires, Argentina, supporting the campaign to stop violence against women. Photograph: María Caramello/GuardianWitness ‘The violence that women suffer is the result of an underlying ideology that is common to all’ I marched from the Obelisk to Plaza de Mayo because I don’t remember a time
from The New York Times..By SAM ROBERTSOctober 21, 2016 Kigeli V, the last king of a dynasty that ruled Rwanda for a millennium, died last Sunday in Washington, where he had been living on public assistance. He was 80. His death was announced by the Rwandan government, which did not specify a cause. King Kigeli, a towering, regal presence at 7 feet 2 inches, reigned for less than two years, forced to step down when his central African nation voted
from The Africa Report..By ReutersOctober 22, 2016 A CONSTRUCTION WORKER WORKS ON THE NEW STANDARD GAUGE RAILWAY LINE NEAR VOI TOWN, KENYA, MARCH 16, 2016. PHOTO: GORAN TOMASEVIC/REUTERS Kenya on Wednesday launched construction of a $1.5bn-railway project that will connect the capital to the Rift Valley town of Naivasha, the country's presidency said. The new Chinese-financed line being built by China Road and Bridge Corporation is an extension of a cross-country railway being constructed between the Indian
from Foreign Affairs.. By Michael Cecire On October 8, Georgia held what may have been its freest, fairest, and most competitive elections in its independent history. The vote proceeded more smoothly than many observers had expected, given the rising tensions between the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party and the chief opposition party, what was once the ruling United National Movement (UNM), and the brief spike in political violence in the days leading up to it. The vote marked Georgia’s third consecutive