Timely book---for an increasingly dangerous world.

Robert Kaplan has written another pretty decent book about a global hotspot.  Read my full review on my favoritest website-the New York Journal of Books.

Did I say how much I love these guys...yes, shameless gushing I know.  I will say, as a small aside, that I was not all that thrilled with the "digital review copy" that I read on my iPad. Yes, I am still enough of a dinosaur (vintage, as I tell my son) that I LIKE BOOKS...paper books, analog books.  But I digress.

Read my review...it pretty much says it all...HOWEVER, there is always the rest of the story.  Kaplan does a good job, as far as he goes...but as I said in my review, the U.S. needed its own chapter, primarily devoted to the strangely named "Pacific Pivot" strategy being implemented by the current Administration.

This reason I put this in quotes is the U.S. never really left the Pacific, at least the U.S. Navy never left this region.  Although I can sort of see the point of reorienting American military thinking from bombing the crap out of terrorists to moving back to conventional warfighting in a massive maritime environment, this appears to be more of a budgetary drill than a strategic re-orientation.

EXCEPT, of course the Apple Dumpling Obama Administration can even mess this up.  With the draconian military budget cuts looming to pay for Obamacare, welfare, green energy and Michelle's world travels, trying to maintain a modicum of military power in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean is going to be tough.

There is no doubt in this Grouchy Historian's mind that the Chinese, Iranians, Syrians, terrorists, and assorted other evil doers are watching with great interest what our feckless and incompetent leadership do about the Russian bullying of Ukraine and the fairly brazen Russian takeover of Crimea.

The Chinese would no doubt like to do the same with the Spratleys and Paracells.  And no doubt the other rim nations are watching to see how the U.S. reacts and lines up our NATO allies (I use that word loosely too) to meet the new "Red Army" that wants to roll west into the Baltics and whatever else Putin thinks he can gobble up while Obama is distracted trying to save the Democratic Party from the inevitable outcome of the 2014 elections and the disaster that is quickly becoming the 2nd term Obamaconomy. 

That's why this is a very timely book...the South China Sea is going to make the Ukraine look like a playground dodge-ball tournament (not that liberals don't hate those too).  The Chinese, Japanese, Malaysians, Singaporeans, and Vietnamese are all arming to the teeth and one little incident could get ugly, really, really fast.  What the US would or could do, is, of course, the big unknown---and with this Administration becoming more unknown everyday.

I heard a pretty good summation of the foreign policy of this Administration on the radio the other day---"Isolationism by incompetence"

HEY Mr. President Snarky---The 1980s called...they want their President back.