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The Return of Marco Polo's World - War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-first Century

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The Return of Marco Polo's World - War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-first Century

Robert D. Kaplan

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In the major lead essay, recently released by the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, Robert D. Kaplan lays out a blueprint of the world’s changing power politics that recalls Marco Polo’s decades-long trek from Venice to China in the late thirteenth century. As Europe fractures from changes in culture and migration, Eurasia coheres into a single conflict system. China is constructing a land bridge to Europe. Iran and India are trying to link the oil fields of Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. America’s ability to influence the power balance in Eurasia is declining.

This is Kaplan’s first collection of essays since his classic The Coming Anarchy was published in 2000. Drawing on decades of firsthand experience as a foreign correspondent and military embed for The Atlantic, as well as encounters with preeminent realist thinkers, Kaplan outlines the timeless principles that should shape America’s role in a turbulent world- a respect for the limits of Western-style democracy; a delineation between American interests and American values; an awareness of the psychological toll of warfare; a projection of power via a

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