• April 16, 2024

“2034,” a Cautionary Tale of Conflict with China

American naval vessels routinely patrol the South China Sea. It is a shared maritime space, but China claims much of the area as its own. This is true. What if one of the ships was torpedoed? Retired Admiral James Stavridis has teamed up with Elliot Ackerman, a journalist and former Marine, to write about how such an incident could lead to disaster in the shadow of an increasingly strained US-China relationship. The result is “2034: A novel of the next world war. “The book is a thriller and also a cautionary story; Stavridis quotes Nevil Shute’s post-apocalyptic novel “At the beachAs inspiration. The authors tell Evan Osnos that they intend to provide an ingredient in fiction that is lacking in military planning: “We have a lot of intelligence, we have a lot of hardware,” notes Ackerman, “but what we often lack is imagination.”

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