Update: To avoid copyright issues, I am removing the PDF file that was sent to me. You can learn quite a bit about Kaplan’s article here.
Robert Kaplan’s excellent but unlinkable article from the Atlantic Monthly is
available here in its entirety long, detailed, and quite gripping. Sample:
In any naval encounter China will have distinct advantages over the United States, even if it lags in technological military prowess. It has the benefit, for one thing, of sheer proximity. Its military is an avid student of the competition, and a fast learner. It has growing increments of “soft” power that demonstrate a particular gift for adaptation. While stateless terrorists fill security vacuums, the Chinese fill economic ones. All over the globe, in such disparate places as the troubled Pacific Island states of Oceania, the Panama Canal zone, and out-of-the-way African nations, the Chinese are becoming masters of indirect influence—by establishing business communities and diplomatic outposts, by negotiating construction and trade agreements. Pulsing with consumer and martial energy, and boasting a peasantry that, unlike others in history, is overwhelmingly literate, China constitutes the principal conventional threat to America’s liberal imperium.
Kaplan is no neo-con, by the way. Read it all when you have time.
Update: As I read through it again, I realized we’d all better pray nothing like this ever happens.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.