Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Kaplan: Go long on Iran, short Pakistan

My CNAS hallmate Robert Kaplan has a good piece in the new issue of Foreign Policy, the mother ship. It is a real feat of globe-twirling, and I think is especially insightful on the futures of Iran (ascendant) and Pakistan (not). Among other things, he notes, geography naturally made Iran a state, and indeed “the ...

586162_090504_dariusB2.jpg
586162_090504_dariusB2.jpg

My CNAS hallmate Robert Kaplan has a good piece in the new issue of Foreign Policy, the mother ship. It is a real feat of globe-twirling, and I think is especially insightful on the futures of Iran (ascendant) and Pakistan (not). Among other things, he notes, geography naturally made Iran a state, and indeed "the ancient world's first superpower," while Pakistan is an artificial and probably doomed creation. 

He does seem to call, between the lines, for a reconstitution of the pre-partition area, re-attaching Bangladesh (or whatever is left of it after global warming) and most of Pakistan. He wants to give the troublesome Pashtuns their own ungovernable state stretching from the Hindu Kush down to the western banks of the Tigris.

My CNAS hallmate Robert Kaplan has a good piece in the new issue of Foreign Policy, the mother ship. It is a real feat of globe-twirling, and I think is especially insightful on the futures of Iran (ascendant) and Pakistan (not). Among other things, he notes, geography naturally made Iran a state, and indeed “the ancient world’s first superpower,” while Pakistan is an artificial and probably doomed creation. 

He does seem to call, between the lines, for a reconstitution of the pre-partition area, re-attaching Bangladesh (or whatever is left of it after global warming) and most of Pakistan. He wants to give the troublesome Pashtuns their own ungovernable state stretching from the Hindu Kush down to the western banks of the Tigris.

He also gets off this impressive three-cushion shot: “when a fear of Munich leads to overreach the result is Vietnam — or in the current case, Iraq.”

getdirectlydown/flickr

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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