security and power in the 21st century. he presents his book at the u.s. naval war college in newport, rhode island. the program is a little over an hour. >> it is a great pleasure to be back again at the naval war college where i have so many friends and am honored to speak. and going to talk tonight about a part of the world that should be a central focus of the united states, but still is not yet. as is often the case, elements of the u.s. military are ahead of the curve. it ..
the indian ocean which has been consigned to the edges of our consciousness but is rising importance. another thing that we have all been prisoners of is we have all been prisoners of cold war era studies. at the end of world war ii america found itself a great power. a great world power and therefore it needed experts. area experts for each part of the world. artificially divided eurasia into the middle east, south asia, central asia, southeast asia, east asia pettersson university did this, think tanks did this, the pentagon did this, the cia and state department did this. is it is flowing together into
one organic continue. the other and navigable land of inland data from the horn of asia to the indonesian archipelago and new york all the way to the see of japan. as i said earlier, the navy and marine corps have been on to this for some time. in october of 2007, the navy issued its maritime strategy document for the next few decades where it said where as it has been a two ocean navy, atlantic and pacific it would in the future, would be oriented toward the indian ocean and the pacific. the atlantic is a great ocean. it is no longer contested in geopolitical terms so much. the real conflict is in the greater indian ocean and the
pacific. the marine corps in june of 2008 issued its position statement for the next few decades where it indicated that the united states marine corps would be active principally in the indian and western pacific ocean. why is this? first of all, the indian ocean and compasss the entire arc of islam from the sahara desert across the longitude, several hundred miles to the indonesian archipelago. americans have gotten this idea that islam is a desert face. supposedly prone to the extremities of fought to which does it give rise. and spread quickly by the sword from arabia westward. islam has been a great seafaring
phase. remember the voyages of sinbad the sailor. he sailed out of bosnia in what is today in iraq. when you read the descriptions of this voyage, what is conjured up in the bay of bengal, the japanese coast in indonesia, borneo in the indonesian archipelago and other parts of the south seas, several thousand miles across the longitude. because islam was spread in the far east by sophisticated merchant and took hundreds of years to spread and layered on top of indigenous hindu and java knees and melee cultures, islam took on a different cast in the far east than the middle east. a somewhat ideological aspects.
islam of the far east is not some weird tangent. it constitutes almost half -- about six hundred million moslems live in the western part of the indian ocean all away across north africa to morocco and five hundred eighty million moslems live in the southern philippines, southwestern burma, the indian subcontinent, indonesia, the malay peninsula and elsewhere. the indian ocean is the entire arc of islam. what else is there? also the global energy interstate where all of the oil and natural gas, fossil fuels that is, that come from the arabian peninsula principally and the iranian plateau are transported by supertankers across the width of the indian
ocean 4,000 miles across through the narrow strait and north to the burgeoning middle class fresh pond of east asia. the coastal cities of china, south korea and japan. so the indian ocean is a geographical tool to connect political developments in the middle east and in china and in east asia all at the same time. and another thing. my book is entitled "monsoon: the indian ocean and the future of american power". when americans hear the word monsoon they think of the storm or the catastrophe or disaster of some sort. but it is definitely a very narrow version of the truth. the monsoon is a weather system. it is a wind system that brings
agricultural prosperity, development. the life cycle. in india when there has been a good monsoon and there are elections right afterwards the party in power tends to do well because the monsoon directly affects the economy. another thing about the monsoon, more than other wind systems in other oceans it is predictable. the monsoon flows steadily for six months a year and in northeast, southwest direction and after six months reverses itself by 180 degrees and those in the other direction, id/southwest. because it is predictable, sailing distances can be calculated in advance. since antiquity, sailors knew when they would arrive in some place, when they should leave. they got very few surprises at sea.
this is unlike other oceans. the indian ocean does not need to wait for the age of steam ships to unite it. because of the monsoon, the indian ocean, 4,000 miles across constituted one into the cultural community. you had melees from the far east living in large numbers in madagascar off the coast of east africa. you had yemenis from the arabian peninsula in large numbers living 4,000 miles away in the far east in the indonesian archipelago. you had goes from northwestern india living all over the indian ocean and you had those from southeast arabia living in large
numbers in east africa. everyone was everywhere in this ocean since antiquity because of the monsoon winds. it is why you find the remains of not many, just a few of many mosques of arabs and persians in coastal china. it is why you had chinese navigators from the early ming dynasty visiting yemen and southwest arabia and those of mongol islamic dissent making the pilgrimage to mecca. everyone was sailing around everywhere. because of this the indian ocean up until the arrival of the portuguese in 1498 with vesco did, let me put an outside. we often read in our history books that the portuguese navigator vesco did, discovered india. he did not discover india.
what he discovered or rediscovered for the europeans was the wind system. the monsoon winds system that would allow one to sail from what is today kenya in east africa across the arabian sea to the western coast of india. when he arrived in india he instituted western dominance over the greater indian ocean and the western pacific. after the portuguese came the dutch, french, british and american navy at the end of world war ii. before that the indian ocean constituted a relatively peaceful robust trading system dominated by arabs, persians, chinese of several dynasties that crisscrossed each other all
along the trade route. this trading system i believe will come back. will re-emerge as western dominance of the indian ocean. that 500 year period of western dominance begins to dissipate as we enter not just an economic world but a military multipolar world where in relative terms the united states navy gets smaller in these seas. i will go into that a bit later. notice i talk about the indian ocean and the western pacific as one unit. they are united by indonesian straits. in the twenty-first century we will see other forms of bringing these two bodies of water together. there have been feasibility studies for building a canal in
thailand. $020 billion project that will equal the panama canal as an engineering miracle. dubai is doing feasibility studies for a land bridges across the malaysian peninsula and the malaysian peninsula suffering various land bridge schemes. there will be more connection points between the bay of bengal and the south china sea from the eastern indian ocean and southwestern part of the pacific education the ocean. one organic continue one bringing middle eastern hydrocarbons to asia. why do i emphasize maritime affairs so much? in this information age, 90% of all commercial goods travel by sea. in terms of containerships the
indian ocean is emerging as the center of the world. the indian ocean and the western pacific. in this world what is going on in great power terms is think of china moving vertically south towards the indian ocean and india moving horizontal east and west along the indian ocean. china is building or delivering state of the art harbour facilities in pakistan and near the entrance of the strait -- in the eastern part of bangladesh, in burma of the natural gas steele of the bay of bengal and at the south southern extremity of sri lanka. china does not seem -- this is a
controversial topic about what china intends. it doesn't seem at this point that china wants full-fledged naval bases. that would be too provocative to india. china is going to make people's prize -- what china envisions at this stage is warehousing of throughput facilities for commercial goods in all of these ports that are destined for the middle east and east africa. at the same time china is building bunkering facilities where its warships and merchant marine ships can be stored up with fuel, get repaired. it is unclear what the chinese intend. if anyone intends chinese grand strategy don't believe them. the chinese themselves may not
know what they're grand strategy is because the chinese are an authoritarian government but in the end, has a whole wealth of thing takes, area experts of various factions of the party that argue and debate with each other in academic journals. so china is feeling its way towards the indian ocean. in all of these ports and harbors facilities that it is building in countries where china is also providing significant military and economic aid. with the combination of strong diplomatic and military representation and the building of these ports it is clear that china will be able to use these ports which will be the 20 first century equivalent of nineteenth century british coal stations.
all along the route that chinese ships have to sales to bring the hydrocarbons from the greater middle east to the cities of coastal china. china, whose territory was ravaged by the west, by japan, by russia in the nineteenth century and early 20th century when china was split into ten parts, with this nervousness about sovereignty and territoriality china does not want to leave it up to the united states of america to guard the sea lines of communication for ever. at some point it envisions a blue water navy there will be able to guard the sea life of communication for itself. while china is pushing south, let me just go back.
why is china pushing south? why does it want to have all this presence on the indian ocean? because china faces a dilemma. too much of its hydrocarbons are dependent on a narrow shoal ridden and sometimes pirate in festive strait. it wants alternative ways of getting energy to coastal china. it is building a pipeline across central asia. natural gas oil pipelines through kazakhstan, turkmenistan to bring this middle eastern energy direct overland into western china. it also wants to use these 40 eventually.
so as to avoid the strait. india is pushing east and west. in today's indio among foreign policy intellectuals, a historical figure has come back into prominence. that is lord george nathaniel curzon on who was the viceroy of india from 1899 to 1905. he is revered by today's indian policy coz he had the same geographical perspective is today's india and. included pakistan, burma and bangladesh as well and in his india required shadows zones of influence. in the middle east particularly
in iran and arabia, in central asia and in southeast asia to the golf, all along the indian ocean. what has happened is the indian sphere of influence and the chinese sphere of influence are overlapping. india and china do not have a difficult history. there is no longer standing hatred or warfare. there was a war they fought in 1962 in the foothills of the himalayas. beyond that the two countries have had a relatively peaceful paths separated as they were by the high wall of the himalayas. buddhism spread from india from india into china in the early modern century but what has created this indian chinese rivalry? i use the word rivalry, not conflict.
the shrinkage of distance caused by the advance of military technology. chinese air fields in tibet, a chinese fighter jet whose operations include india. you have indian warships in the chair of -- south china sea. because of military technology and they're turning the economy these became a find their spheres of influence increasingly overlap. as i say this, keep in mind while india's growth is delineated from pakistan with china so that we less and less compare india with pakistan and more and more compare india with china, india is not of the same level of development of china. china has more paved roads per
year than india has in total. keep that in mind. india will overtake china in terms of total population and dicing the estimate is the year 2032. the place where you can see indian chinese competition strongest on the indian ocean is in burma. think of burma as if pre-world war i belgium about to be overrun by the french and the british. what does burma have? natural-gas, strategic minerals and metals. uranium, timber, hydropower. china is building roads and railroads throughout burma and threatening to turn burma into a veritable colony and the indians cannot stand by and just watch. one india leader said to me that you americans from half a world
away can moralistic we cry out about burma's authoritarian military government but we indian's right next door do not have the luxury to watch as burma is turned into a veritable chinese colony. democratic pro-western india has engaged burma. it developed strong links with the burmese military. china develops a deep water port in the natural gas fields off of the bay of bengal, 50 miles north, indians are doing the same. they are going into china, india wants the natural gas pipeline going west through bangladesh into india. these are the real outlines of this new geography of the
twenty-first century that we will face in this post iraq posed afghanistan world. by the year 2035 the world will consume 50% more hydrocarbons than it is consuming now. half of that consumption will come from india and china. much of that consumption will come from the india notion, from the greater middle east. from this interconnected world driven by several things. united states has a missionary foreign policy weather is democrats or republicans ruling. the goal of our foreign policy is always to spread liberal democracy and capitalism. the former soviet union had a missionary foreign policy, spreading communism. china does not have a missionary
foreign policy. china's foreign policy is driven by the need to acquire large stores of natural gas, oil, strategic minerals and strategic metal. in order to raise the living standard dramatically of one fifth of humanity. chinese leaders want to raise hundreds of millions of chinese into the middle class and to do that will need tremendous amounts of natural resources and that is why it is going everywhere in search of it from africa to central asia to the middle east off the coast of burma. oil and natural gas, coal and other things in china. in this world, in this maritime
world, factors in central asia. we americans continually ask ourselves how can we leave afghanistan. the chinese are asking how can we stay in afghanistan? china is prospecting for copper, protected by american groups. under the surface of afghanistan. they semi stabilize afghanistan and further stabilize pakistan. this is a strategic inquiry for the chinese because it will allow china to build what it already started. a road and pipeline and rail networks throughout central asia, parts of the middle east leading directly into china bringing all sorts of natural resources. if you look at the map of the tongue dynasty in the eighth
century bc, you see a map of china in northeastern iran and all of central asia including afghanistan into western china. think of a world a few decades hence when you have roads and pipelines linking afghanistan and pakistan and iran with ports on the indian ocean that will load onto ships crossing the indian ocean or going the other way with ships depositing oil and natural gas moved up through roads and pipelines transported into western china. we are talking about the sum total affect of the iraq and afghanistan wars.
whatever you think of those wars has been too fast forward the arrival of the asian century. by asian i need south asian and the station both. i mean this not just in an economic sense because after all, east asia has been rising economically since the 1970s. there were cover stories city years ago in forbes and fortune magazine about a rise of pacific tiger economy. to rise of the asian century in a military sense, in a military sense as well. it is not just china's military. india's navy is on its way to becoming the third largest navy in the world. japan, supposedly quasi pacifist japan which devotes 1% of its
gdp to defense has 123 warships at the highest quality. this was before the british government announced the steep defense cuts of the last three weeks. let me put it this way. to start the cold war at the end of world war ii. when you look at asian military, we have very large land armies which were good for bringing in the crops for bringing roads for basically inculcating the sense of nationcould. there were vehicles for developing a nationalistic mentality. the indonesian military was
focused on controlling politics in indonesia, not focusing alford -- you have a civilian militaryoutward -- you have a c military post industrial military complex. militarys that were focused outward toward each other. then there is the chinese military. china will have more submarines in the water. perhaps in ten or 15 years in the united states navy. china is not buying across the board. it is emphasizing to the
development of submarines, missiles that could hit moving targets at sea and cyber capabilities to hit dp satellite space. anti access capability, harder for the u.s. navy to go wherever it wants whenever it wants. the western pacific and indian ocean were veritable, starting to change. went down to 350 warships during the clinton era and down 286
warships. it may drop into the 200. in relative terms getting stronger. counting the strait, surmising the strength of the navy's is an art more than a science. you can't been held warships as i just did. how much tonnage is it or how large the personnel? how many aircraft are on board? what is the quality of seamanship. when you put these together, the largest force at c. and keep something else in mind. naval and air platforms are frightfully expensive. the new ford craft aircraft carrier cost $12 billion.
the newest destroyer that is on the drawing board cost them $4 billion. congress won't go for this. it will be harder and harder to go through this. the latest fighter jets, $100 million. ultimately the strength of the country's naval and air force will depend on the perceived health of the nation's economy. if a nation's economy is wobbly for years on end with low growth rates and another nation is growing its economy by 10% per year for years on end that gap will close. that is what we see now. let me take off the last part of my address with three examples
of this new world we are entering that is beyond iraq, beyond afghanistan. let me talk for a minute about sri lanka. sri lanka is not important for americans, at least they don't think it is. sri lanka had a 25-year-old, 25 year-long civil war between the. government in colombo in the south and the ethnic in new cameos in the north. the civil war ended suddenly and decisively in may of 2009 and received almost no coverage in the american media. but it was very important for the new world we are entering. the major lines of communication where tens of thousands of ships passing by each year.
i was in sri lanka when the war ended. i was arrested in sri lanka and spent a night in a prison because i had trespassed onto the harbor facility the chinese were building. and i was caught. what the chinese are building is a mess. it was the most immense construction site i had ever seen in the world. literally long lines as far as the eye could see of dump trucks transporting soil and switch back trails from the bottom of this massive pit to the top. the chinese are doing nothing less than moving the coast inland several hundred miles in this massive port complex they are building. what you probably didn't read about was in affect, indirectly the chinese won the sri lanka
civil war. united states and other western powers denied almost totally the sri lanka government aid and military support because of human-rights violations. china moved in. china moved in with everything from knockoffs of ak-47 assault rifles for roadblocks to boats to planes to everything they could provide the government as well as diplomatic protection of the united nations. when the war ended the sri lanka government was the hold and to china. chat at as i said earlier is not going to build a naval base, it won't have a naval base in sri lanka. that would be too provocative to india. just as the united states will not have a full-fledged naval base in vietnam even though we
are moving closer and closer politically and militarily, too provocative to china. every power has to be careful not to enrage the other power. we're seeing a balance of power world played out in three dimensions with varying powers. china will play a great game of sorts within the and sri lanka and nepal for influence and strategic position. the united states -- to is
pakistan china moved in. it is very good for the united states that india is involved in burma not. there can be one balancing power essentially protecting in directly protecting our interests in burma. a country like sri lanka becomes incredibly important in this new world where you have indy and china balancing against each other. we are the only asian power that doesn't have territorial pretensions on the asian mainland. so that the united states essentially needs to leverage like-minded democratic others in india and indonesia in south corey and japan. all the places where president obama is currently visiting in order to manage the rise of china in a peaceful way.
the other thing i would like to mention is taiwan. there are 270 commercial flights a week between taiwan and mainland china. at the same time there are many hundreds of missiles from china focused on taiwan. china is gradually inexorably in developing tie one. into its system so to speak. if things keep going as they are going china will never need to contemplate an invasion of taiwan. it will keep developing its military capacity, keep him in developing the taiwanese economy. there was a 2009 rand report that said by 2020 the united states even with the f-22 ins and bases in japan will not be able to defend taiwan in a
credible manner. once it is clear that there is a perception that the united states cannot defend taiwan, then you have china able to diverts attention from taiwan and concentrate on the first island chain in the pacific, concentrate on the indian ocean. kind of a rough comparison one could make between the united states at the closing of the western frontier and the building of the panama canal. it is no coincidence the last battle of the indian war is just preceded by shore period the building of the panama canal and the emergence of the great american navy. once the land frontier of the united states was consolidated it could focus outward on the world. once taiwan is effectively consolidated by china that would herald a real multipolar military world which is still
largely polar because -- not because of american troops in iraq and afghanistan but the preponderance of the u.s. navy and air force. and finally let me talk about the south china sea. as i said before, vietnam which dominates the western boundary of the south china sea is emerging as one of the surest american allies in all of eurasia. it has no chips on the shoulders, no axe to grind, no face to lose. entering a military alliance of sorts with the united states without meaning to make explanations or apologies to its neighbors and the vietnam greatly fears china.
vietnam, indonesia, other countries in east asia all have china as their largest trading partner and help the united states as a kind of hedging power, a balancer. indonesia has two some marines. indonesia requires the presence of the united states navy to balance against china but indonesia cannot say this publicly because indonesia would be afraid to alienate others in the islamic world. indonesia is two forty million people, two hundred million of which are largest muslim society on earth. let me say a few words about the south china sea which indonesia, the philippines, malaysia all border in a sense. they all have conflicting claims against each other because the south china sea is rich in oil
and petrol gas. it is the main gateway to the indian ocean and the greater islamic world in one direction and the gateway to coastal china, south corey and japan and the trade and consumer goods. a preponderance of global consumer goods, oil and natural gas transit the south china sea. china doesn't just have claims against these other nations in the south china sea. china feels the south china sea is core interest which it hopes to dominate. think of the south china sea as china's caribbean. in geographical terms the south china sea is called the marginal see. it is partly enclosed, partly open to the ocean. same as the caribbean is a. a chinese official said to me
when i mentioned china considers core national interest and this is counter to what the united states and its allies and all the other countries in the area see it. chinese official said to me you americans in the nineteenth century and in the early 20th you recognize the caribbean was an international waterway but also made it clear that you intended to dominate it. and why should we chinese act any differently towards the south china sea that you americans do to the caribbean. south china sea is a coming issue. it is an issue that has a great future in the headlines as much as the persian gulf has had in the last few decades. let me close with this idea.
military activity is often not linear. the vietnam war was more like the philippine war, the philippine insurrection at the turn of the 20th century than it was like korea and world war ii which preceded it. the second gulf war bore very little relationship to the first gulf war and is more similar to vietnam and than the philippine insurrection. the fact that america has been preoccupied for a decade with messy land wars in the greater middle east doesn't mean the future of military activity is necessarily land centric. it could very well be maritime centric and air centric. thank you very much. [applause] i will take questions
now. yes? sayre? >> judy strauss, foundation. everything you say is wonderful to learn, some of which i know. economic nationalism in the near future because of the need of these raw materials, open sealanes to keep the ocean open for global commerce. your comment about this stakeholder as opposed to war. >> nationalism is the and and and cheryl to the degree it isn't in europe. europe is in a postnational phase and that is connected to
what secretary gates has said openly. europe's aversion to military force. countries like china, india, other countries in the region are not ashamed of their military, not afraid of using them and they have real national consequence. most importantly united l leachs. elites argue with each other and have feisty debates but they are not so/fundamentals of foreign policy as ours are at times. that is why i say we are not entering a realm of perpetual peace. we are entering a nineteenth century european realm of strong nationalism. this does not necessarily foreshadow war or violence
because europe was very land centric. this is a very maritime center area. maritime center areas tend overall to be more peaceful. less volatile. acquistion, with china becoming a great power, isn't it reasonable to assume that china would be what robert zelig when he was trade representative said china needs to be responsible stakeholder in the world system? if china is going to dominate the global system it should help protect the lines of communication, cooperate with the united states on various things. it has been a challenge getting the chinese to see it this way. from there point of view let the americans struggle in afghanistan. if they succeed that is good for
us. meanwhile they are diverted from concentrating on east asia. it is a constant challenge to get these up and coming nations to make the same sacrifices for the global system as the united states has had because what is the ultimate result of american power? to make this felines of communications save so globalization and piracy is an interesting nuisance still. it threatens to get worse. >> what role do you see in the future of the indian ocean for the american naval base in diego car see a? >> the lease ends in 2016.
i imagine it will be extended. we depend significantly on diego garcia which was in an address from which we sent b-52s in afghanistan and october of 2001. it is astride the main sea lines of communication. it is a good base to have but we also need to be thinking not in terms of big burger king cold war style baseds with troops with their families and cats and dogs. the bases that have become political millstones because of feisty local medias that are offended by it. it is not just to diego garcia but bases in south korea, and japan, that we need to reconfigure into more austere, sole operating places which will
be under local sovereignty, where a footprint is pronounced as it presently is. we need to establish better relationships with the islands of the indian ocean. when we need to be in these places for exercises, protecting sea lanes for doing that we will be able to because we have a very robust public diplomacy in the region that will enable us to have good relations with these countries and enable us to use these bases. let me say a word about public diplomacy. the biggest benefit voice far of having special negotiators, special envoys for israel,
palace and and pakistan is it freed up hillary clinton to make repeated trips to east asia and south asia where she is competing with the chinese. in terms of public diplomacy the obama administration has really handled this well. >> there is a hand up in the back. >> as a submarine officer, permanent members of the security council happened to be ballistic missile submarines. i also voted, the indians finishing touches on some of their own that president obama today gave a formal endorsement of their permanent membership
and security council. weather you thought of those developments. >> the security council represents the balance of power at the end of world war ii. it doesn't represent the balance of power today. president obama said that the united states is in favor of india joining of the security council. that is going to raise issues with the chinese. should brazil be a member? should south africa be a member? clearly this is an issue fraught with a lot of complication. ballistic missiles are now spreading to and extend. ballistic missiles and submarines are spreading to an extent where there was a great book published in 1999 called fire in the east, the rise of
asia in the second nuclear age and he said there is a continued uninterrupted line of overlapping ballistic missile ranges from israel on the mediterranean to the see of japan. that existed until saddam hussein's regime was toppled. in military terms we are really seeing this movement to asia to these countries that are not permanent members of the security council. clearly something has to change to more adequately reflect the balance of power in the world. >> good evening from columbia. what about the impact of
russians into the development of the submarine of china? because the russian government and also india will have two nuclear submarines which are going to be constructed. the impact on the region. >> throughout the bad years of the 1990s when russia as a state almost collapsed and its economy collapsed and its currency collapsed the russian defense industry was held aloft by purchases from the outside. india continues to purchase russian equipment but india's
grand strategy in procurement is to gradually shift from russian equipment to purchasing american equipment. the quality is higher. india became dependent on russia during the cold war because russia was closer to india to potentially do more damage to india so india was a nonaligned our tilted towards russia more than the united states. with the cold war over and opening up of the indian economy india now finds itself tilting towards the united states and military procurement will gradually shift in that direction and that is one of the outcomes president obama's visit to india. let me say another word about russia. president couldn't recently
opened a pipeline to china as well as inaugurating a highway connecting moscow to the russian far east which is east of siberia. what is going on here? russia would like customers for natural gas in china. china would want another outlet to buy energy but this russian highway is meant to tie the russian far east closer to russia because russia is afraid of chinese corporate and demographic influence into russia. overpopulation density in chinese manchuria is 62 times higher than in the russian far east and the population in the russian far east is dropping. russia cannot trust china for geographical reasons.
russia is very fragile even as it has a robust arms industry. yes? >> foundation member. can you address nuclear proliferation? once iran, egypt, saudi arabia, turkey have nuclear weapons in the next ten years dynamic of the stability of the ocean is going to change dramatically. >> if iran gets a few tactical level nuclear-weapons it is possible that saudi arabia would pay pakistan to have pakistan bought some of its nuclear weapons from saudi arabia as a deterrent to iran and that would fused together the crises in south asia with crises in the
middle east so that shi'ite iran and sunni arab, israel, fused together in a web work of crises with muslim pakistan and largely hindu india. that is one outcome. iran is building a big pork near to the entrance to the persian gulf. india is paying afghanistan to pave roads so afghanistan will be less dependent on pakistan and more dependent on iran. india wants to buy more hydrocarbons from iran. india is trying to head iran against pakistan and once you have nuclear weapons it becomes even more frightfully insecure. but let me say that iran with a few tactical nuclear weapons of
uncertain quality with an uncertain delivery system, with an early warning system that could be penetrated at will by israel and the united states might theoretically be containable even in a nuclear iran. so i am not advocating a strike against iran. but it will -- it will further militarize this whole indian ocean system.
military regime. as the party itself becomes weaker and weaker and the military becomes the only institutional element that can unite a country that is heavily roads about one-third of the population suffering of malnutrition. china, china is of two minds in this. of the one hand china would eventually like to see a more low--calorie gorbachev and style buffer states, a kind of of authoritarian capitalist trending in north korea that would be blessed stalinist it, less extreme than the current regime. on the other hand china is afraid of pushing this too far because it fears the collapse of north korea because the bulk of
north korea's population and industry is in the northern part of north korea. were you to have a collapse of the state you could have millions of north caribbean refugees flooding across the river into chinese manchuria itself. china is very much afraid of that. so why would it want a regime that is less tolerable than the current stalinist monstrosity. at the same time, china is very fearful of a collapse. so china is upholding the status quo in north korea, but my opinion is that a regime like this is ultimately not viable in the world that we live in today. were the north korean regime would unravel suddenly, you could have the mother of all humanitarian interventions. on one day the north korean
people would be the semi starving north korean people with a population comparable to that of iraq. the responsibility of the north korean regime. the next day it could be the responsibility of the international community which, in effect, means the responsibility of the u.s. military, the chinese people's liberation army, south korean military. and if there is one thing that the united states needs strong bilateral military-military relations with china for it is to discuss, you know, modalities' where the north korean regime ever to collapse. this is not likely to happen because china is afraid, well, first of all, we leak. if word ever came out that china was talking with us about the possible collapse of the north to reinstate it would create tremendous problems for beijing with peering in.
yes. >> listed commander davidson with the united states navy. what did you to comment further. you mentioned that there was no come flecked between the two nations. however lit there is a currently unresolved border dispute that is this part of a future potential conflict. >> the border dispute, you know, in northeastern india with the border with china, it, you know, but part of the dynamic that caused the war between china and india in 196248 years ago. but i think that, you know, it is still an issue of contention, but it is being managed. again, china and india are very careful to keep their competition were their rivalry,
if you will, in manageable proportion. no side wants to miscalculate to cause a shooting war. okay. last question. after nine after nine. >> the thought of russia having a dynamic that was driven by communism you don't mention china in the context. is there a dynamic problem that is limiting this? their ambition. certainly communism and the rest of the world. >> the chinese regime is nominally communist, but it is functionally very vigorously capitalist. it does not really have a
motivating ideology. i think of two things when i think of china in this regard. one is that china's current borders, more or less mirror china at the apex of its imperial ambitions. in other words, the present borders encompass most of previous chinese empires. mongolia, which is independent, used to be part of the manchu ch'in dynasty. some other areas that were part of previous dynasties are not a part of china, but more less china is as big as it has ever been and more secure on land than it has ever been. that gives china the luxury. at the same time china still has in its relatively recent memory in the 19th and early 20th century, you know, the terrible experience of having their
territory violated by western nations through the treaties system, the extra test -- extra territoriality system where chinese cities were controlled by exxon -- nations. the japanese had taken the peninsula and made a puppet state. the russians controlled the rail link across manchuria. china is very nervous about sovereignty. at the same time its name is very big. so what this adds up to me is that china is motivated to kind of built out its sovereignty, not necessarily in an imperialists equate, but it sees that up to the first island chain and that first island chain is japan, the korean peninsula, right down to taiwan,
the philippines, indonesia, and australia. this is more or less china's rifle fear of influence given some the size and its history. that is where we will come into some conflict. because, you know coming to us inside the first island chain is almost all international waterways. they you very much. [applauding] [inaudible conversations] [applauding] >> take you very much. >> for more information about robert kaplan and to read his stories visit the atlantic dot com and search his name. >> a new book out, "blur," how to know what is true in the age of information overload. the co author.
in your book, one of the chapters as we have been here before. what does that mean? >> that means we have gone through this location created by an expansion of the information time and again throughout history. in fact, newspapers were born at such a time with the printing press coming into being and distributing information to people who had never had information about the people and the institutions that control their lives. and it took decades for the public and the industry of information sharing to develop what we call newspapers to create the basis on which people could find information that they could press. we have gone through this time after time with each new major change of technology. we have gone through up.
exactly like this. >> why the name "blur"? >> because information moves so fast now. there is so much of it. people feel confused. when information is in greater supply knowledge is actually harder to create because you have to sift through more things to make sense of it. so there is appealing that things are more of a blur, or confusing, even though we have more information at our fingertips. >> how do we cut through that and find what we need? >> well, we hope the way that consumers will do it, and consumers are more in charge now that they have ever been. we are in control of our own media in a way that we have never been. we hope that what people will do is develop the skills to know what is reliable and what is not. that is what the book is about. it is the trade craft that once
resided in newsrooms shared with consumers. but it is also true that when things are uncertain and confusing a lot of people just gravitate to news that they agree with. and so part of what we are looking at and the information culture is something of a war between people who want to be empirical and provide evidence and show how information is gathered and people who want to just assert what they believe, offer opinions, and amass an audience that way. >> you are also the co-author of the element of journalism. what is your background? >> excuse me. my background is going on 60 years in print journalism. i began at a little town in the upper east tennessee. several rights -- covered the civil rights movement and adolescent poverty and then work for the new york times for 20
years. eight years as chief of the washington bureau. then i was editor of the atlanta journal constitution, spent the last ten years of my active life as curator at harvard, the journalism program, and i am now retired but working off and on running an organization called the committee of concerned journalists trying to preserve the values of journalism that we can all. >> your background? >> i was of this paper man also. i spent 12 years at the l.a. times, to of those as a press critic. i worked briefly for newsweek, and while i was there i was approached by creating a think tank. we created in 1996 the project
for journalism the stunted the pew research center here in washington. we have the largest content analysis operation in the united states studying what the media actually produced on the theory that conventional press where you wag your finger at the press and say, you should not do that to really is effective the more. if you offer an empirical look and say this is what you're doing, you decide whether it is what you want to do, that has more leverage. >> isn't it an advantage that people can get any type of news that they want when they want? >> absolutely. it is marvelous. it is a wonderful system that we have no. the only problem is people are now, as tom said, their own editors. you don't know what that will bring to the report. and their own reporters who produced this that i bring in.
so people have to become much more aware of the information there bringing in, how it is produced, to inform or to propagandize, to help them understand or to record them to a cost. this is what we are trying to do, help them use the process of methodology and verification and assessment that treat seekers use to create their own news package. >> bill kovak, "blur." how to know what is true in the age of information overload. >> visit booktv.org to watch any of the programs that you see here on line. type the offer or book title in the search bar of the upper left-hand side of the page and click search. you can also share anything you