Monsoon : The Indian Ocean and The Future of American Power By Yana Ivanenko
The Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004 On 26 th December 2004 at 7:58:53(local time), in the waters of the Indian Ocean an underwater earthquake caused a tsunami, which was recognized as the deadliest natural disaster in the modern history. The magnitude of the earthquake was between 9.1 and 9.3; its duration was about 8.3 and 10 minutes. The epicenter was located off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The tsunami reached the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, southern India, Thailand. Wave heights exceeded 15 meters. The tsunami resulted massive destruction and a huge number of deaths; estimations showed that from 225 to 300 thousand people died. It was the deadliest natural disaster in the world history.
A significance of the Indian Ocean • A half of the world's merchant flee is concentrated at the Strait of Malacca, an open getaway to the Pacific Ocean • On the western part of the Indian ocean about 40 percent of the all global seaborne crude oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz, which is a natural bottleneck between the Persian Gulf and the Arabian sea • The world's vital artery of trade is constituted between the Middle east and Southeast Asia waters • 90 percent of the world's commerce is carried by sea, and nearly a half of it passes through the waters of the Indian Ocean • 70 percent of all global petroleum passes through the Indian Ocean
America-China Relationships According to Robert Kaplan, China is on its way of rising; it rapidly develops its economic as well as its military powers. While America makes its share in costly wars, China continues to grow, rooting economy and trading deeper in the Indian Ocean. America's situation with grand debt, trade deficits, and unemployment makes it somewhat vulnerable. Anyways competition between America and China is going to be only more intense, but it does not necessarily means that conflict between them is inevitable. Nevertheless, Kaplan gives a positive tone saying that these two countries still can collaborate for example against piracy or terrorism.
Indonesia: The Area of Natural Disasters Geographically Indonesia is located in the Pacific's Ring of Fire- an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. Kaplan in his “Monsoon” describes the environment of Indonesian territories and calls it an environmental cauldron. It is a truly dangerous place to live since it is packed with active volcanoes and potential tsunamis. Nevertheless, many people in Indonesia live withing 7 miles from active volcanoes. Despite seismically sensitive areas, people continue to inhabit them.