PLA Daily: Why does Ghost Fleet strike a chord with the Pentagon?

China Military
Zhang Tao

BEIJING, Mar. 8 (ChinaMil) -- The Ghost Fleet is a 2015 military bestseller published in the United States. The " novel of the next world war" involving the US, Russia and China made up by two military experts became a craze across the United States soon after publication.

It was not only one of the recommended books for the US military, but also the decision-making reference for the White House National Security Council, which includes too much information worth pondering.

The first intriguing point is the professional background of the two authors, P.W. Singer and August Cole.

The authors' professional backgrounds means that this book is not an ordinary military-themed novel. They worked for the New American Foundation and the Atlantic Council respectively.

The former is a non-partisan think tank with close ties to the mainstream media in the United States, while the latter is a mainstream think tank joined by heavyweight members such as Henry Kissinger and Joseph Nye, both of whom have strong influence on US decision-makers and policymakers.

The second intriguing point is the high degree of fit between the storyline and the operational concept of the US military.

From the "Air-Sea Battle Concept" to "Joint Operational Access", and then to the "Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons", the US military has been adjusting and changing its combat theories in recent years.

The name becomes more and more gentler, blurred, or in the words of some experts, deceptive. But its kernel is constantly improving, and its combat targets are also self-evident.

A fictional novel, yet with a storyline highly consistent with the concept of real combat, the skilled use of combat theory, the detailed analysis of weapons and equipment, and the meticulous descriptions of the educational backgrounds and personality characteristics of commanders of various warring parties are easy to make readers think it is a documentary.

The third intriguing point is the strong sense of crisis in the Americans.

On Dec 7, 1941, Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor, lighting the fuse of the Pacific War. The novel depicts the scene at Pearl Harbor under attack again, but in a new appearance: the war began from the cyberspace and the outer space. This setting reflects the "Pearl Harbor complex" in the hearts of the Americans, and is intended to tell people that in a future war, a "Pearl Harbor attack" is not impossible, but will appear in a new way.

However, the novel is, after all, fictional. The only superpower in the world that claims to be for "global interests", the "preemptive" policymaker, is described as a "victim", while other countries are senselessly imagined as "villains". Such an amoral assumption meets the intentions of some American elites and also completely exposes their inner hostility to China.

From the perspective of maintaining peace and well-being of the people of the world, we sincerely hope that it is only a novel. But we cannot be more vigilant against this Cold War mindset that does everything possible to find the enemy and set the enemy up.


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