Academic journal article Military Review

The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War

Academic journal article Military Review

The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War

Article excerpt

THE COMING ANARCHY: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War, Robert D. Kaplan, Random House, NY, 2000, 208 pages, $21.95.

In 1958, William Lederer and Eugene Burdick published the best-selling book The Ugly American (WW. Norton & Co., NY, 1999). The book's revealing insight into US foreign policy came through related stories that occurred in a fictitious Southeast Asian country.

The Ugly American was considered controversial because it accurately portrayed US arrogance, incompetence and corruption. The book title "became synonymous for what was wrong with American foreign policy." Lederer and Burdick's book became mandatory reading for many US State Department foreign-- service members.

Like its famous predecessor, Robert Kaplan's book, The Coming Anarchy, is a series of related essays that highlight flaws in US foreign policy and security strategy. It also should be mandatory reading for anyone involved in foreign-policy operations and decision making.

Ideally, the implosion of the former Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War would have led to prosperity, growth and intensive hope throughout the world. However, based on personal experiences and observations, Kaplan gives a realist view of the future. …

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