Robert D. Kaplan

American writer

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.

Robert D. Kaplan speaking at the U.S. Naval War College in 2014


  • In foreign policy, a modest acceptance of fate will often lead to discipline rather than indifference. The realization that we cannot always have our way is the basis of a mature outlook that rests on an ancient sensibility, for tragedy is not the triumph of evil over good so much as triumph of one good over another that causes suffering. Awareness of that fact leads to a sturdy morality grounded in fear as well as in hope. The moral benefits of fear bring us to two English philosophers who, like Machiavelli, have for centuries disturbed people of goodwill: Hobbes and Malthus.
    • Robert D. Kaplan (2011), Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Requires a Pagan Ethos, p. 110
  • Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist.
  • Europe is a landscape; East Asia a seascape. Therein lies a crucial difference between the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
    • Robert D. Kaplan (2014), Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific. p. 21
  • Wherever you have weakening states and turmoil, you will have a fertile petri dish for terrorism.
    • Robert D. Kaplan, cited in: Steve Lamy, ‎John Masker (2016), Introduction to Global Politics. p. 232

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