The Mirage of Empire

John Gray in the New York Review of Books:

Bush_george20060112Robert Kaplan was one of the few who did not share the complacent sense of triumph that accompanied the end of the cold war. In an article entitled “The Coming Anarchy,” which he published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1994, Kaplan outlined a very different prospect from that anticipated by most other observers. He saw a world in which some states collapsed or rusted away, leaving their populations to scramble for survival, while powerful states acted ruthlessly to ensure their control of the world’s dwindling resources. In many countries, he wrote, the struggle for resources would be intensified by ethnic and religious conflicts, and nationalist demagogues and fundamentalist prophets would come to power, imperiling what remained of order and security in the international system.

More here.