On a microscale I was a victim of geography. The physical terrain and the climate made the base's location prime for being buried in snow. Meanwhile on the macroscale I was victim yet again because I was in Afghanistan because of Pakistan's grand scheme to ensure geographical depth against India, control trade routes to Central Asia, and its desire to have a safe zone to train Islamist militants for its over war Kashmir.
Author Robert Kaplan wrote the Revenge of Geography as an examination of geography, past trends in geographical analysis, and to tackle today's geopolitical problems in a geographic perspective. I am still reading the press review copy I received and will review it as soon as I am done. However, in the meantime Mr. Kaplan was kind of enough to do a short interview with me.
Robert Kaplan: Nothing is so insightful about world events as a map. It shows you why Iran can dominate Iraq, why Taiwan retains de facto independence from China, why America must be sea power, and so forth.
Robert Kaplan: In Bosnia and Kosovo the U. S. military, especially the Air Force, defeated geography. But in the next decade geography got its revenge against the U. S. military in the mountains, deserts, and alleyways of Afghanistan and Iraq. The humbling of the U. S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq is one of the starting points for my exploration.
Robert Kaplan: The first half of the book constitutes long profiles of great geopoliticians and historians who were heavily influenced by geography.
Robert Kaplan: A reasonable person must be a partial determinist. That is because human choice operates against a backdrop of natural forces, especially geography. Without deterministic forces to struggle against, human agency would lose its moral significance. The French philosopher Raymond Aron and the British historian Norman Davies have both indicated that history is made up of both deterministic and non-deterministic forces, as well as of accident. In my book, I explain Aron's "probabilistic" determinism.