Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Your Daily Mahan

In a discussion of nuclear proliferation in the Indian Ocean as it relates to India, China, and a lessor extent Pakistan, over at the Sri Lanka Guardian, Maimuna Ashraf digs up a quote that has mad me pondering all day;
“Whoever controls the Indian Ocean will dominate Asia… This ocean is the key to the seven seas in the twenty-first century, the destiny of the world will be decided in these waters. ”
- Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, USN (Ret)
Huh.

Hat tip Mike.

UPDATE: Well, crap. Bogus quote:
James Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara of the United States Naval War College have followed the uses and abuses of Mahan. He is often selectively quoted, suppressing his equal emphasis on peaceful commerce. There is also this dictum: “Whoever controls the Indian Ocean dominates Asia. This ocean is the key to the seven seas in the 21st century. The destiny of the world will be decided in these waters.” Both Chinese and Indian papers quote it. But it is a fabrication; Mahan never wrote it.
Thanks for the heads-up MJ.

1 comment:

Christopher Seiberling said...

Definitely Wow. I wonder what shape he foresaw Asia taking in the 21st century to make that prediction. He died in 1914 so I'd figure that he saw the British Empire as unsustainable (or colonialism in general), but he'd still have to guestimate that India and China would hold together and industrialize.... not to mention eyeball that wild card factors like Japan wouldn't mix things up too badly. Still...heh.