Summary of Crashback

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Rating

9

Qualities

  • Important
  • Background
  • Engaging

Recommendation

Leaders in Beijing and Washington might mouth words of cooperation, but the reality in the South China Sea is far harsher. According to American journalist Michael Fabey, the world’s two superpowers are at war. It’s not a shooting war, thus far, but planes and warships do, occasionally, play chicken over the South China Sea. Indeed, Fabey reports, while this simmering dispute has been lost on many in the United States, China seems to consider the United States a mortal enemy. China continually runs roughshod over its neighbors and its biggest trading partner. What’s more, Fabey writes, China has taken pains to develop an anti-ship missile system that could render the formidable US Naval fleet powerless – and shift the balance of power in the South China Sea more definitively in its favor. Fabey’s meticulously researched and elegantly written book offers readers a front-row seat for these escalating hostilities. 

About the Author

Michael Fabey is an award-winning American journalist who has written about military affairs for Defense News, Aviation Week and Jane’s. A Pulitzer nominee, he lives in Virginia.

 

Summary

Waging a “Warm War” in the Pacific

Though it would surprise most Americans to hear it, the United States and China, are, currently, waging war. It’s not a shooting war; nor is it a cold war akin to the overt, contentious standoff that took place between Washington and Moscow. Instead, the United States and China are waging a “warm war”: a conflict that combines official assertions of friendship and cooperation with warship deployments and provocative acts in the Western Pacific. At present, America is losing this contest – although defining winning and losing is no easy task. The United States’ economic dependence on China means that Washington doesn’t want to vanquish Beijing. Rather, America’s goal is to get China to play by the rules of international law and, thus, ensure free and unlimited passage for ​​​​​​vessels of all nations through the Western Pacific. 

The nature of the warm war between China and the United States allows American political and military leaders to pretend as if the war isn’t happening. China, for its part, has mistaken America...


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