Robert D. Kaplan
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- In foreign policy, a modest acceptance of fate will often lead to discipline rather than indifference. The realization that we cannot always have our way is the basis of a mature outlook that rests on an ancient sensibility, for tragedy is not the triumph of evil over good so much as triumph of one good over another that causes suffering. Awareness of that fact leads to a sturdy morality grounded in fear as well as in hope. The moral benefits of fear bring us to two English philosophers who, like Machiavelli, have for centuries disturbed people of goodwill: Hobbes and Malthus.
- Robert D. Kaplan (2011), Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Requires a Pagan Ethos, p. 110
- Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist.
- Robert D. Kaplan, Balkan Ghosts, p. liii
- Europe is a landscape; East Asia a seascape. Therein lies a crucial difference between the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
- Robert D. Kaplan (2014), Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific. p. 21
- Wherever you have weakening states and turmoil, you will have a fertile petri dish for terrorism.
- Robert D. Kaplan, cited in: Steve Lamy, John Masker (2016), Introduction to Global Politics. p. 232
Quotes about Robert D. Kaplan
- Kaplan became one of the principal intellectual boosters for US power in the world through the tried-and-true "American way of war." This is the way of war dating to the British-colonial period that military historian John Grenier called a combination of "unlimited war and irregular war," a military tradition "that accepted, legitimized, and encouraged attacks upon and the destruction of noncombatants, villages and agricultural resources . . . in shockingly violent campaigns to achieve their goals of conquest." Kaplan sums up his thesis in the prologue to Imperial Grunts, which he subtitles "Injun Country": "By the turn of the twenty-first century the United States military had already appropriated the entire earth, and was ready to flood the most obscure areas of it with troops at a moment's notice. The Pentagon divided the planet into five area commands-similar to the way that the Indian Country of the American West had been divided in the mid-nineteenth century by the U.S. Army.... [A]ccording to the soldiers and marines I met on the ground in far-flung corners of the earth, the comparison with the nineteenth century was apt. "Welcome to Injun Country" was the refrain I heard from troops from Colombia to the Philippines, including Afghanistan and Iraq. To be sure, the problem for the American military was less [Islamic] fundamentalism than anarchy. The War on Terrorism was really about taming the frontier.” Kaplan goes on to ridicule "elites in New York and Washington" who debate imperialism in "grand, historical terms," while individuals from all the armed services interpret policy according to the particular circumstances they face and are indifferent to or unaware of the fact that they are part of an imperialist project. This book shows how colonialism and imperialism work.
- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (2014)