Robert D. Kaplan

Robert D. Kaplan is the author of Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific. He is the chief geopolitical analyst for Stratfor, and a national correspondent for The Atlantic. 

  • In Defense of Empire

    In Defense of Empire

    It can ensure stability and protect minorities better than any other form of order. The case for a tempered American imperialism.

  • In Defense of Henry Kissinger

    In Defense of Henry Kissinger

    He was the 20th century's greatest 19th-century statesman.

  • Being There

    Being There

    Put down your smartphone—the art of travel demands the end of multitasking.

  • The Vietnam Solution

    The Vietnam Solution

    How a former enemy became a crucial U.S. ally in balancing China’s rise

  • Why John J. Mearsheimer Is Right (About Some Things)

    Why John J. Mearsheimer Is Right (About Some Things)

    “A disgrace” and “anti-Semite” were two of the (more printable) barbs launched last fall at John Mearsheimer, a renowned political scientist at the University of Chicago. But Mearsheimer’s infamous views on Israel—in the latest case, his endorsement of a book on Jewish identity that many denounced as anti-Semitic—should not distract us from the importance of his life’s work: a bracing argument in favor of the doctrine of “offensive realism,” which can enable the United States to avert decline and prepare for the unprecedented challenge posed by a rising China.

  • Living With a Nuclear Iran

    Living With a Nuclear Iran

    Iran can be contained. The path to follow? A course laid out half a century ago by a young Henry Kissinger, who argued that American chances of checking revolutionary powers such as the Soviet Union depended on our credible willingness to engage them in limited war.

  • Man Versus Afghanistan

    Man Versus Afghanistan

    Divided by geography, cursed by corruption, stunted by poverty, staggered by a growing insurgency—Afghanistan seems beyond salvation. Is it? From Somalia and the Balkans to Iraq, the U.S. military has been embroiled in conflicts that reflect an age-old debate: Can individual agency triumph over deep-seated historical, cultural, ethnic, and economic forces? Drawing on his experiences in Iraq, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, has his own answer to that question.

  • Don't Panic About China

    Why we should embrace—rather than fear—the next superpower.

  • Be Like Reagan

    On Iran, Obama should talk about democracy and support the demonstrators—but give the regime a chance to negotiate.

  • Let's Go, Europe

    In Afghanistan, NATO countries are stingy with their soldiers - but the U.S. can't give up on their support.

  • The Fall of the Wall

    We may have gained victory in the Cold War, but lost Europe to apathy and decadence in the process.

  • What Obama's Nobel Really Means

    A growing contingent wants Obama to lead a post-nationalist global society. If he does things right, the U.S. could become history's first truly international nation.

  • Time for Decisiveness on Afghanistan

    Obama needs to get behind his chosen general and put the spectacle of indecisiveness behind him. Otherwise, in the coming months, the Democrats may be seen as having lost a war. And if that happens, not even the Nobel Peace Prize will rescue his reputation.

  • Why I Love Al Jazeera

    Why I Love Al Jazeera

    The Arab TV channel is visually stunning, exudes hustle, and covers the globe like no one else. Just beware of its insidious despotism.

  • The Bear Still Has Teeth

    As the Obama administration's recent scrapping of plans for an Eastern European missile defense system makes clear, while Poland and the Czech Republic may be our allies, it is mighty Russia to whom we are wise to defer

  • Time to Get Real About World Order

    Establishing stability—and eventually democracy—in the world's most troubled countries requires letting go of starry-eyed notions about self-government in the near term.

  • Buddha’s Savage Peace

    Buddha’s Savage Peace

    After 26 years and 70,000 casualties, Sri Lanka’s civil war has ended—for now. The key to easing the fears of the country’s historically beleaguered Buddhist majority while protecting its Hindu minority? Rediscovering the blend of faiths that laid the foundation for the ancient kingdom of Kandy.

  • Be Like Bush

    Finesse alone won't get Obama through the challenges ahead. He needs to become more like his predecessor.

  • The Wrong Man for the Job

    Obama's new ambassador to Iraq is a star diplomat—but has no experience in the Arab world. Why Christopher Hill is a bad choice.

  • Losing Patience with Israel

    More than democracy, Washington wants stability in the Middle East. That means leaning against the interests of the Jewish state.


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The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more


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Save your eyes. Take breaks.


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Quantifying human activity around the world