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An admiral and a novelist want you to imagine a nuclear war with China
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a425couple
2021-03-09 03:45:34 UTC
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https://www.twincities.com/2021/03/07/trudy-rubin-an-admiral-and-a-novelist-want-you-to-imagine-a-nuclear-war-with-china/

(I rarely agree with Trudy Rubin, but this is quite interesting.)

Trudy Rubin:
An admiral and a novelist want you to imagine a nuclear war with China

Retired Adm. James Stavridis talks to the press after his Dec. 8, 2016,
meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York.
The former top U.S. commander for NATO urged the U.S. administration not
to make any deals endorsing China’s South China Sea claims in exchange
for help in convincing North Korea to end its nuclear and missile
programs. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen, File)
Retired Adm. James Stavridis talks to the press after his Dec. 8, 2016,
meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York.
The former top U.S. commander for NATO urged the U.S. administration not
to make any deals endorsing China’s South China Sea claims in exchange
for help in convincing North Korea to end its nuclear and missile
programs. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen, File)
By TRUDY RUBIN | Philadelphia Inquirer
March 7, 2021 at 3:48 a.m.

How do nations sleepwalk into war? Often through lack of imagination.

That is the thesis that impelled Adm. James Stavridis, a former NATO
supreme commander, and Elliot Ackerman, a prominent fiction writer and
decorated Marine veteran, to write “2034: A Novel of the Next World War.”

The new novel envisions how the United States and China could blunder
into a nuclear conflict, propelled by Chinese nationalism, American
hubris, and a U.S. failure to grasp the extent of Chinese advances in
cyberwarfare.

At a time when the world is changing with a rapidity few of us foresaw —
including a pandemic and U.S. internal conflicts — it seems hard to
predict what next year will look like.

Yet, as this novel makes clear, it’s never been more important for
Americans to fully grasp the danger of deteriorating relations between a
still powerful USA and a rapidly rising China — a reality often lost in
our hyper-partisan political debates.

I asked Ackerman, a National Book Award finalist, whose four previous
novels draw on his five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, why he chose
fiction to make this case.

“There’s this sense that the best way to avoid these conflicts is to
imagine them, then see how horrible it would be,” he told me. “The last
three major national security attacks on our country — Pearl Harbor,
9/11, and the pandemic — were all things we failed to imagine.”

It’s not that military and think tank experts aren’t discussing
potential military conflicts with China, but Americans haven’t thought
through the consequences.

“One of the challenges of cyber is that we don’t see it,” Ackerman
continued. “It is easy to fall into complacency because we predict the
next war will be decided like the past. It is difficult to imagine a
different framework.” Case in point: the recent discovery of the massive
SolarWinds hack, allegedly by Russia, that penetrated private U.S.
companies, the Departments of Treasury and Commerce, probably parts of
the Pentagon, and the Department of Homeland Security.


So Ackerman and Stavridis chose to write a character-driven novel that
veers between the old American military ethos of the 20th century and
the uncertainties of the present. The plot revolves around a female U.S.
Navy commodore who miscalculates while conducting a
freedom-of-navigation patrol in the South China Sea, and an American
pilot who dreams of emulating the aces of World War II.

It also homes in on Chinese officials who underestimate the consequences
of using powerful new cyberweapons to render U.S. ships and planes
defenseless. Things escalate from there.

“U.S. dominance in conventional military power is unmatched,” Ackerman
says. “But in the unseen sphere of cyberdefense and offense the book
tries to jolt the reader into the sphere where America is no longer the
most dominant. Many Americans walk around with a sense of complacency
that isn’t merited.”

For Stavridis, the book carries on the tradition of the cautionary
fiction of post-WWII novels like “Fail Safe” and “On the Beach” that
imagined nuclear war with the Soviet Union. But the difference between
now and then is that Americans knew what the horrors of nuclear war
looked like, after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That impelled Moscow and
Washington to design systems to prevent the next one.

That public awareness is missing when it comes to China, which dwarfs
the former Soviet Union in population and power. Beijing is developing
new technologies that will make it a peer competitor with the United
States in coming decades.

So how to avoid the dire scenario of the novel?

Stavridis cautions: “We have already entered a Cold War setting and the
question is how to avoid a hot war. China thinks 50, 100 years ahead. We
do high-fives when we think five years ahead.”

The United States needs a long-term strategy for China (including
improved cyber capabilities), rather than dealing with Beijing
episodically, adds Stavridis. Former President Donald Trump “was right
to be concerned about China’s rise but used pure tactics geared toward
electoral advantage.”

His advice to the Biden team: “Cooperate where we can, but confront
where we must (in coordination with allies). Respect China’s place in
the international system but don’t acquiesce in territorial claims or
overrunning Taiwan.”

Ackerman, who was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for valor,
has a more personal answer. “I’m drawing these characters from knowledge
of the human cost of war,” he says. America still has not finished the
“late empire wars” he fought in.

He hopes the novel will inspire an “act of imagination (that) is a good
inoculation to what war would look like.”

Amen.
Byker
2021-03-09 18:03:18 UTC
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So how to avoid the dire scenario of the novel?
Let China collapse on itself:





Dean Markley
2021-03-09 18:15:30 UTC
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Post by Byker
Post by a425couple
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https://www.twincities.com/2021/03/07/trudy-rubin-an-admiral-and-a-novelist-want-you-to-imagine-a-nuclear-war-with-china/
So how to avoid the dire scenario of the novel?
Let China collapse on itself: http://youtu.be/8zplHlJDs1U
http://youtu.be/2NmlG1FMiP4
http://youtu.be/q00nTSAcMhs
That's your standard answer for anything China related. Unfortunately, collapsing empires sometimes lash out.
a425couple
2021-03-10 18:54:06 UTC
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Post by Byker
Post by a425couple
from
https://www.twincities.com/2021/03/07/trudy-rubin-an-admiral-and-a-novelist-want-you-to-imagine-a-nuclear-war-with-china/
So how to avoid the dire scenario of the novel?
Let China collapse on itself: http://youtu.be/8zplHlJDs1U
http://youtu.be/2NmlG1FMiP4
http://youtu.be/q00nTSAcMhs
I do not see any signs that the Peoples Republic of China
is likely to "collapse on itself" for a very long time.
It is going to have some serious issues dealing with
their 'uneven' demographics.

But then, the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy
and Russia also have problems to their traditional populations
coming because of low fertility. The US has been solving
that issue with immigration, mostly from it's south.
Western Europe has been doing it by immigration
from it's south-east which creates some special frictions.


Aging of China - Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Aging_of_China
China's aging population has led to a contraction of the
labor force that induces a slowing economic growth. In 2017,
China's total working-age population (aged between 15 and 64)
was 988.3 million, which dropped by a large margin of 70 million
from the end of 2016.

China's Looming Crisis: A Shrinking Population - The New ...
www.nytimes.com › interactive › 2019/01/17 › world › asia
Jan 17, 2020 — Chinese academics recently delivered a stark warning
to the country's leaders: China is facing its most precipitous
decline in population in ...

Dangerous Demographics: China's Population Problem Will ...
nationalinterest.org › feature › dangerous-demographic...
Sep 16, 2019 — “China's population has begun to decline and is
rapidly aging. Its economic vitality will keep waning.” A
shrinking workforce is one of the first such ...

Does China have an aging problem? | ChinaPower Project
chinapower.csis.org › aging-problem
What challenges does China's aging population pose for ... —
Furthermore, China's demographic shift presents significant social ...
‎Population History and... · ‎What's behind China's...

China's Population Destiny: The Looming Crisis
www.brookings.edu › articles › chinas-population-desti...
Sep 30, 2010 — China's demographic landscape has been thoroughly
redrawn by ... elsewhere to believe that overpopulation is the
root cause of all problems.

China's Aging Population Is a Major Threat to Its Future | Time
time.com › World › China
Feb 7, 2019 — 1 economic problem for China going forward,” says
Stuart Leckie, chairman of Stirling Finance Ltd., a Hong Kong–
based pension-fund consulting ...

and from
https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3124139/chinas-population-crisis-country-might-grow-old-it-grows-rich
"the facts of low fertility and population ageing.
Indeed, these demographic issues are very likely to slow down the
pace of economic growth. If there is no significant change in the
fertility rate, the working-age population is expected to decline
from 70 per cent of the population to 60 per cent by 2045.For China
to maintain an annual GDP growth rate of 7 per cent over 2015-2045,
each worker needs to be nine times as productive as in 2015. For a
more realistic growth rate of 3 per cent, labour productivity
still needs to triple by 2045."

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