Robert David Kaplan (born June 23, 1952 in New York City) is an American author of many books on politics primarily foreign affairs and travel, whose work over three decades has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Republic, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs and The Wall Street Journal, among other newspapers and publications.
His more controversial essays about the nature of US power have spurred debate and criticism in academia, the media, and the highest levels of government. One of Kaplan's most influential articles include "The Coming Anarchy", published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1994. Critics of the article has compared it to Huntingon's Clash of Civilizations thesis, since Kaplan presents conflicts in the contemporary world as the struggle between primitivism and civilizations. Another frequent theme in Kaplan's work is the reemergence of cultural and historical tensions temporarily suspended during the Cold War.
From March 2008 to spring 2012, Kaplan was a Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, which he rejoined in 2015. Between 2012 and 2014, he was chief geopolitical analyst at Stratfor, a private global forecasting firm. In 2009, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates appointed Kaplan to the Defense Policy Board, a federal advisory committee to the United States Department of Defense. In 2011, Foreign Policy magazine named Kaplan as one of the world's "top 100 global thinkers."
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