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The Contested Landscape Of Jerusalem

The Review

John Matthew Barlow discusses University of Tel Aviv archeologist Raphael Greenberg's new research on the dig at Wadi Hilweh, and its political and cultural ramifications for Israelis and Palestinians.


  • Contested Jerusalem


    John Matthew Barlow discusses University of Tel Aviv archeologist Raphael Greenberg's new research on the dig at Wadi Hilweh, and its political and cultural ramifications for Israelis and Palestinians.


  • The Occidental Guerrilla

    Book Review

    Michael A. Innes reviews David Kilcullen's new book The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. A timely and astute synthesis of experience, research and analysis, the author pinpoints the political shear between minority existential threats to US interests and the majority of the world's locally invested guerrillas who just want to be left alone.


  • Architecture & Biopolitics


    Berlin-based writer Daniel Miller's October 2008 interview with Swedish philosopher and SITE Magazine Editor-In-Chief Sven-Olov Wallenstein, on his new book Biopolitics and the Emergence of Modern Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009).


  • Wired For War


    The second symposium in CTlab's 2009 series, focused on Peter Singer's new book, Wired For War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century (Penguin Press: 2009), ran from 30 March to 2 April. Singer and half a dozen scholars from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Austria debated the use and ethics of robots in war.


  • The Limits Of "Security"

    Current Intelligence

    Kenneth Anderson explores the link between international financial instability and global security in response to Judy Shelton's recent Wall Street Journal op-ed.


Current Intelligence

EDITOR: Michael A. Innes
PEERLESS: John Matthew Barlow 
CONTRIBUTOR: Eric Randolph


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The Revenge of the Geographers

Robert Kaplan's recent Foreign Policy essay, The Revenge of Geography, was vintage stuff, entirely consistent with his tried and true essentialist arguments about the world. Whatever you might think of his ideas, Kaplan's most recent foray also articulates a number of salient and timely points about realism resurgent in international relations. Anyone reading new work on Afghanistan and insurgency will recognize  elements of this trend in recent publications by Thomas Johnson and Chris Mason of the Naval Postgraduate School, and David Kilcullen of David Kilcullen the Center For a New American Security and the Crumpton Group.

Foreign Policy has just published a series of critical responses to Kaplan's essay. From the FP intro:

Fights over geography have gone on ever since early man first dropped from the trees and started marking the territory he landed on. So it is little surprise that Robert D. Kaplan's "The Revenge of Geography" has sparked some controversy and a number of smart responses.

In recent decades, talk of a "death of distance" at the hands of globalization has fed hopes that politics, economics, and even humans themselves might once and for all transcend the constraints of the physical world. Not so, Kaplan contends. His article reflects insights gleaned from decades of reporting from some of the most remote parts of the globe, marrying them to his readings of the great geographical determinists of the Victorian age. It is these thinkers, Kaplan argues, who offer the truest guidance to the many ways that geography continues to constrain human action. And "The Revenge of Geography" is his effort to breathe new life into an old way of looking at the world -- one that respects the relief map and tries to discern the limits it imposes.

The responses to Kaplan come from academic geographers, students and teachers of geopolitics, and a world-traveling journalist. We decided to continue the discussion here at ForeignPolicy.com. Six responses to Kaplan are published below, and we are sure the debate will only continue to rage. Fights over geography may never end, but at least they now occur in print and in cyberspace, rather than with sticks and stones.

That last line is pretty flip and stupid, and makes me want to throw sticks and stones at FP for printing it, but at least the debate's happening. Go read the rest: "Kaplan's Balkan Ghosts," by Gerald Toal; "Back to the Field," by Christian Caryl; "Imperial Geopolitics," by John Morrissey; "Rotten Tree, Rotten Apple," by Gerry Kearns; "The Human Element," by Simon Dalby; and "The Use and Abuse of Geography," by David Polansky.

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