The next world war will be among three world powers – U.S., China and Russia – and will be ignited by a surprise attack – similar to that against Pearl Harbor – that will be conducted by China. There will be hybrid F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Zumwalt Class stealth destroyers, laser beams, unmanned war vehicles. But the very core of the U.S. counteroffensive will be the U.S. Navy’s “Ghost Fleet” – the American war veterans who will become insurgents and will fight using the flotilla of old warships. There will be teens who will fight in the digital hacking battlefield; Silicon Valley billionaires that will lead the cyber war and one serial killer that will have his own agenda.
This World War III scenario is depicted in the futuristic thriller book titled “Ghost Fleet: A Novel Of The Next World War” written by Peter Singer and August Cole. Singer is a strategist at the New America Foundation and a consultant for the U.S. military. Cole is a former defense reporter with The Wall Street Journal.
What makes the book unique is that its fictional narrative is based and very grounded in reality. As Morning News USA reported recently, Russia has already joined the South China Sea conflict as an ally to China and that nuclear war is becoming real as Pentagon advances weapons citing nuclear upgrades from Russia, China and North Korea. Pentagon is also preparing for a nuclear space war with eyes on Russia and China.
Peter Singer gets Pentagon to listen
Pentagon is naturally dismissive of fiction writers, especially the ones predicting world wars. However, Singer got the Pentagon listening as he has credible track record to boot, The Wall Street Journal reported. The U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force have two of Singer’s books as official reading materials, WSJ noted.
“He’s the premier futurist in the national-security environment. Peter’s always where the ball is going to be. And people in the Pentagon listen to what he has to say,” Mark Jacobson, a special assistant to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, told WSJ.
Singer was also allowed to promote his book to an audience of a dozen Air Force officers during a briefing at the Pentagon according to WSJ.
“World War III may seem like something that was either a fear in the distant past or a risk in the distant future. But, as the Rolling Stones put it in ‘Gimme Shelter,’ ‘It’s just a shot away,’” Singer was quoted as saying.
“Ghost Fleet” has 400 endnotes as its fictional narrative was based on real research and reports. The book’s opening scene where there was an encounter between a U.S. P-8 plane and Chinese ships over the South China Sea had actually happened in May.
“War is not just revolutionary, it’s evolutionary. It’s survival of the fittest. And the real world is moving in such a way as to make this book potentially a work of prediction, which I’d rather never come true,” Singer said.
“Ghost Fleet: A Novel Of The Next World War”
In an exclusive interview with The Washington Post, Singer said “Ghost Fleet” is a novel that explores a scenario that is now fictional but could unfortunately be real. He highlighted that every single technology, every single trend and the things that characters say “are drawn from the real world.” He and co-author Cole have gone around meeting sources from U.S. Navy ships captains and fighter pilots to Silicon Valley capitalists. They were able to talk with Anonymous hackers as well as Chinese generals, Singer said.
He said the World War III scenario is realistic. Take for example the USS Zumwalt that he described in the book. In reality the U.S.S. Zumwalt is under construction right now in Maine, Singer told The Washington Post.
“The ship is highly robotic: A ship of its size a generation ago would’ve needed a crew of 1,200. I met with the captain; he will lead a crew of around 130. And that’s because robotics will do everything from run the engine room to being the firefighter. The ship is powered by millions of lines of Linux code. It’s the only ship in the fleet that’s going to toss off so much power that it can mount this other new technology called the electromagnetic rail gun,” Singer said.
The scenario in the book is realistic but Singer emphasized that it is also not a work of exact prediction: “It’s still a novel.”
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