The Coming Anarchy - Robert Kaplan

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In 1994, Robert Kaplan published his essay entitled, "The Coming Anarchy." In his essay, Mr. Kaplan theorized that the region of Western Africa is becoming the “symbol of worldwide demographic, environmental, and societal stress”. He identified numerous political, social, economic, and environmental issues affecting Western Africa, which in his opinion, would lead to the demise of that African region within the next 50 years. Mr. Kaplan further theorized that nations worldwide would eventually contract the same problems occurring in Western Africa and collapse into anarchy. Mr. Kaplan’s prediction of worldwide anarchy is inaccurate, since his argument relies on broad generalizations and insufficient credible examples and sources of information. Western Africa exhibits many of the problems common in the world’s developing nations, including overpopulation, crime, drug cartels, limited marketable commodities, the prevalence of infectious diseases, and scarcity of natural resources. Kaplan predicted that as time continued, the countries of Western Africa would also continue to decline. In doing so, his diagnosis fails to address opportunities in innovation, advances in technology, and an international system capable of self-correction. In previous decades, international assistance to West African countries was in the form of food and monetary aid or a reduction of debt. Today, foreign investment through energy partnerships and trade agreements with North American, European, and Asian countries are increasing, especially with the oil-rich country of Nigeria. Germany is investing heavily in Nigerian crude oil for its industrial uses, and in turn, Nigeria is importing German equipment and other industrial goods. Great Britain, another major player in the European market, has recently agreed to invest $250 million dollars over the next four years to improve border crossings in Western Africa, which will help facilitate trade throughout the continent. China is...
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