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Crashback
Cover of Crashback
Crashback
The Power Clash Between the U.S. and China in the Pacific
Borrow Borrow Borrow
An alarming message from an award-winning journalist with unprecedented access to the highest naval officers in America and China and their ships and weapons, this is a chilling look at the "warm war" over control of the South China Sea—one that is threatening to flare into full-scale conflict.
Out in the Pacific Ocean, there is a war taking place. It is a "warm war," a shoving match between the United States, since WWII the uncontested ruler of the seas, 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 such as Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and South Korea respond 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. He was among the only journalists allowed to board a Chinese war vessel and observe its operations. In Crashback, Fabey describes how every year the US is "losing sea." He predicts the next great struggle between military superpowers will play out in the Pacific, and his book, more than any other, is an accurate preview of how that conflict might unfold.
An alarming message from an award-winning journalist with unprecedented access to the highest naval officers in America and China and their ships and weapons, this is a chilling look at the "warm war" over control of the South China Sea—one that is threatening to flare into full-scale conflict.
Out in the Pacific Ocean, there is a war taking place. It is a "warm war," a shoving match between the United States, since WWII the uncontested ruler of the seas, 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 such as Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and South Korea respond 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. He was among the only journalists allowed to board a Chinese war vessel and observe its operations. In Crashback, Fabey describes how every year the US is "losing sea." He predicts the next great struggle between military superpowers will play out in the Pacific, and his book, more than any other, is an accurate preview of how that conflict might unfold.
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About the Author-
  • Michael Fabey has reported on military and naval affairs for most of his career. In his work for National Geographic Traveler, the Economist Group, Defense News, Aviation Week, and Jane's, he has collected more than two dozen reporting awards, including the prestigious Timothy White Award. Few journalists have had as much firsthand experience of America's naval ships and aircraft and the officers who command them. A Philadelphia native, he currently resides in Spotsylvania, Virginia. Crashback: The Power Clash Between the US and China in the Pacific is his first book.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    June 1, 2017

    A Timothy White Award-winning journalist who focuses on military and especially naval affairs, Fabey highlights tensions in the Pacific, where China is currently challenging U.S. dominance of the seas since World War II with a navy that is now the world's largest.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2017
    An examination of military confrontation in the western Pacific and the dangers it poses for those who now play a calculated game of chicken.Take your pick: China is either our adversary or our friend. You'll find plenty of books to support either position. Military journalist Fabey takes the former point of view; indeed, the first sentence is, "The United States and China are at war in the Western Pacific." That war, he adds, hasn't come down to widespread shooting--yet--but is nonetheless "warm," waged over small atolls and islands that may not add up to much but stand as outposts of "military hegemony and the diplomatic and economic influence that naturally follows that hegemony." Who the hegemon is depends on your point of view. The author would seem to agree with both the proposition that sovereign states have territorial rights and that U.S. shipping should enjoy freedom of the seas. He worries, naturally, that America is not playing hard enough--though the current administration supports hard power, it has isolationist tendencies, too. Fabey often writes as if possessed by the set piece- and cliche-happy ghost of Tom Clancy: "No other navy in the world would challenge it. But there was one navy that was willing to try"; "Can't we just talk this over? At the highest echelons of the U.S. Navy there certainly are senior officers who are willing to do that...In short, they believe that the U.S. can actually trust China." For all its alternately leaden and overwrought passages, however, there's good on-the-ground (or, better, on-the-sea) reporting from both sides of the conflict. Fabey 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, as well as for the countermeasures that U.S. military leaders are already taking by way of "naming and shaming" and otherwise containing China's ambitions at sea. Of interest to policy wonks, naval strategists, and specialists in the region.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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The Power Clash Between the U.S. and China in the Pacific
Michael Fabey
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