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This chilling account of the “warm war” over control of the South China Sea—one that is threatening to flare into full-scale conflict—presents a “telling picture of the operational challenges the US Navy faces in the western Pacific” (Wall Street Journal) from an award-winning journalist with unprecedented access to the highest naval officers in America and China.
Out in the Pacific Ocean, there is a war taking place. It is a “warm war,” a shoving match between the United States, the uncontested ruler of the seas since WWII, and China, which now possesses the world’s largest navy. The Chinese regard the Pacific, and especially the South China Sea, as their ocean, and they’re ready to defend it. Each day the heat between the two countries increases as the Chinese try to claim the South China Sea for their own, and the United States insists on asserting freedom of navigation. Throughout Southern Asia, countries are responding with outrage and growing fear as China turns coral reefs into manmade islands capable of supporting airstrips and then attempts to enforce twelve-mile-radius, shoot-down zones. The immediate danger is that the five trillion dollars in international trade that passes through the area will grind to a standstill. The ultimate danger is that the US and China will be drawn into all-out war.
Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Michael Fabey has had unprecedented access to the Navy’s most exotic aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, aircraft, and submarines, as well as those who command them. In his “well-informed, readable treatment” (Library Journal, starred review), Fabey offers “good…reporting from both sides of the conflict. He gives his Chinese sources a thorough workout, the little emperors and true believers alike, and he has a sharp eye for what faces the American fleet if push comes to shove” (Kirkus Reviews). Fabey predicts the next great struggle between military superpowers will play out in the Pacific, and Crashback, more than any other book, is an accurate preview of how that conflict might unfold.