Soob

Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Prequel to Conclusions Regarding Blue Print



My original intent upon completing Dr. Barnett's geo-strategic endeavor was to re-read "A Coming Anarchy" and compare/contrast the two. Upon re-reading Kaplan's CA I decided a comparison would be both unfair and inaccurate given the fact that Kaplan's book and message was pre-millenia and such a comparison would be ineffective. Instead I've embarked upon Kaplan's "Imperial Grunts" as it's post 9/11 and consequently a more effective comparison.

Why Kaplan? Barnett goes out of his way to criticize Kaplan several times in his book, margenalizing Kaplan's vision as one that entails a "Road Warrior" visage. In reading ACA twice now I have to say Barnett's take is a bit myopic and unfair. Certainly Kaplan's global vision is decidedly pessimistic but to simply relegate it to that of Mad Max seems a bit off and ignores the complexity Kaplan entertains in his narrative. Further Kaplan's pessimism seems to be opposite side of the coin of Barnett's optimism. As such a contrast seems appropriate.

In terms of literary quality, I enjoyed Barnett's "everyman" approach and yet am intrigued by Kaplan's mystic/scholar alternative. The division between the two, one an educator/strategist the other a journalist/scholar is immediately apparent.

The negative:

Where as Barnett frustrates the reader with a macroscopic vision (oft devoid of the details that would have progressed his book to a thousand or more pages) Kaplan (thus far in terms of Imperial Grunts) pains the reader with historical references that require further study to fully appreciate.

The positive:

Again Barnett's in your face conversational narrative makes for an easy understanding of his global strategy. He snowballs ideas and wings them at you effectively enough to force the reader to look up, left or right and think about what he's putting down.

Kaplan's approach immerses the reader and surrounds him. Kaplan's as much a study as he is a read in that he maintains an incredible command of historical perspective in light of conventional thinking.

The conclusion:

To be determined.