An explosive new book predicts what a future war between the US and China would look like.
The book, 2034: A Novel of the Next World War, is written by former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James Stavridis, together with former US Marine Corps Special Operations Team Leader and Purple Heart recipient Elliot Ackerman.
The book lays out a scenario of a future world war between China and the US, and comes out today, March 9.
Using their expertise and military knowledge and experience, Stavridis and Ackerman present a realistic and disturbing portrait of what could be the next major world conflict.
USA vs. China
In the book, war breaks out in the South China Sea after three US destroyers come across an intruding Chinese ship and board it in order to stop the ship from breaking territorial borders.
China then launches an epic cyberattack, bringing down US ability to respond effectively and hot war begins on the sea, leading to thousands of casualties and major loss of military equipment and ships.
Countries begin allying with different sides, choosing China or the US based on economic, strategic, cultural and political reasons. The war goes horribly for both sides and in the end there is no “winner” only two losers: countries who have depleted their resources, troops, equipment and systems in an all-out struggle ending in death and mutual destruction.
2034: A Novel of the Next World War, an Exclusive Excerpt on Wired https://t.co/g6OgOkpyD1
— Security UX (@SecurityUX) March 3, 2021
‘A Tale of Cautionary Fiction’
Stavridis calls the book “a tale of cautionary fiction” and says that while the scenario might be made up, it’s completely possible it could happen if we don’t find a way to avoid a worse conflict in the future between the East and West.
“Part of why we never ended up throwing nuclear weapons at each other during the Cold War is that we imagined how terrible it would be, how gripping and societally destructive it would be,” Stavridis said.
The book is getting great reviews so far from reviewers who’ve given it a read and is also being praised for its strong characters including senior Iranian, Chinese and American military leaders and behind-the-scenes characters trying to keep the pieces together as the world spirals into chaos.
Still, the basic message of the book is very hard-hitting.
“The novel lays out a pretty plausible ladder of escalation that goes from a conventional attack to a second conventional attack to a third conventional attack to America deciding to pull a tactical nuclear weapon and use it. That’s more real [a prospect] than I wish it were,” Stavridis explains.
As Stavridis oultines, China’s progression into a serious military threat because of “its military, its artificial intelligence capabilities, its cyber-capabilities” is not going away anytime soon and it’s only going to become more of an issue for Western countries and, in particular, the United States.
According to Stavridis, there is still plenty of opportunity to avoid a full-on war with China but it depends on smart people choosing to pull back at the right time and not letting things reach the ultimate worst-case nuclear scenario.
I’ll be giving this book a read. China is becoming one of the biggest challenges our country has to deal with economically and militarily and it’s worth it to think about the ways in which they can be dealt with even if it’s through the mode of a fiction novel. At the end of the day the lesson of having sober minds who can prevail is a good one but it’s also worth being honest about the fact that America can only play nice for so long, and China also has a responsibility to start deescalating.