Coming Anarchy Kaplan

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Political Science
Political Science 3398F/G
Richard Vande Wetering

THE COMING ANARCHY – ROBERT KAPLAN  Tyranny is nothing new in Sierra Leone or in the rest of West Africa  Crime is what makes West Africa a natural point of departure for my report on what the political character of our planet is likely to be in the twenty first century  When young men find out that their relations cannot put them up, they become lost. They join other migrants and slip gradually into the criminal process THE PREMONITION OF THE FUTURE  West Africa is becoming the symbol of worldwide demographic environmental and societal stress, in which criminal anarchy emerges as the real strategic danger  In the government’s territory the national army is an unruly table threatening drivers and passengers at most checkpoints  The government force fighting the rebels is full of renegade commanders who have aligned themselves with disaffected village chiefs  The rise of tribal and regional domains, the unchecked spread of disease and the growing pervasiveness of war  Political maps are the products of tired conventional wisdom  Much of the population will consist or urbanized peasants like those of Chicago  Because the demographic reality of West Africa is a countryside draining into dense slums by the coast, ultimately the region’s rulers will come to reflect the values of those shanty-towns  International cartels have discovered the utility of weak, financially strapped West African regimes  The more fictitious the actual sovereignty the more severe border authorities seem to be in trying to prove otherwise  The future could be more tumultuous and bloodier  Religious cleavages are more serious; Muslim fundamentalism and evangelical Christian military are on the rise; and northern Muslim anxiety over southern Christian control of the economy is intense  As African birth rates soar and slums proliferate some exports worry that viral mutations and hybridizations might just conceivably result in a form of the AIDS virus that is easier to catch that the present strain  Precisely because much of Africa is set to go over the edge at a time when the Cold War has ended, when environmental and demographic stress in other parts of the globe is becoming critical  African suggests what war, borders and ethnic politics will be like a few decades hence THE ENVIRONMENT AS A HOSTILE POWER  Public-policy foundations have contributed to the lack of interest, but funding narrowly focused environmental studies replete with technical jargon which foreign affairs experts just let pile up on their desks  Post cold war foreign policy will one day be seen to have had its beginnings in an even bolder and more detailed piece of written analysis one that appeared in the journal International Security  Democracy is problematic; scarcity is more certain  Scarcer resrouces will place a great strain on many peoples who never had much of a democratic or institutional tradition to begin with  Dixon concludes that as environmental degradation proceeds the size of the potential social disruption will increase  The worst degradation is generally where the population is the highest – the population is generally highest where the soil is the best so we’re degrading earth’s best soil  Environmental scarcity will inflame existing hatreds and affect power relationships, at which we now look SKINHEAD COSSACKS JUJE WARRIORS  the real borders are the most tangible and intractable ones: those of culture and tribe. Huntington writes “First differences among civilizations are not only real; they are basic” involving among other things, history, language and religion. Second interactions between peoples of different civilization are increasing; these increasing interaction intensify civilization consciousness  whatever the laws, refugees find a way to crash official borders, bringing their passions with them, meaning that Europe and the US will be weakened by cultural disputes  the world of Islam divides and subdivides the battle lines in the Caucasus are not coextensive with civilization fault lines – The Lines follow the interests of states  Huntington is correct that the Caucasus is a flashpoint of cultural and racial war  All the divisions within the
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