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Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War…
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Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War (edition 2016)

by P. W. Singer (Author)

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2221175,165 (3.1)2
Member:alpacaherder
Title:Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War
Authors:P. W. Singer (Author)
Info:Eamon Dolan/Mariner Books (2016), Edition: Reprint, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:USMC Commandant Reading List, Professional Development

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Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P. W. Singer

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Unreadable. Recommended to me by an Air Force pilot friend who undoubtedly loved the technology and science sprinkled throughout the book. I'm dull tho and also like to see characters that aren't cardboard, a writing style that doesn't move around constantly (creating confusion and eventual lack of interest), and a plot that really doesn't make too much sense once you get past the gimcracks. Good ideas here, but a failure in execution. ( )
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
Gave this two stars only because I appreciate that it's hard to write this sort of thing ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
An excellent book. Exciting and fast paced - full of action and adequate character development. Much of the story was focused on the technological "advances" and their impact on warfare & communications. The authors were still able to devote adequate time to character development & their back stories. Maybe the two authors can pick up the mantel of Tom Clancy and keep this branch of the genre alive and interesting ( )
  labdaddy4 | Nov 17, 2015 |
This gripping thriller about what the next world war might look like has captured the attention of Washington policymakers and defense industry insiders alike. Singer is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan Washington, D.C., think tank, and Cole is a former defense industry reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
Unlike so many other speculative fiction outings, this one is based on technologies already plausibly “in the works,” and the authors provide 374 endnotes to backstop the action and interfere with readers’ ability to sleep peacefully at night. Ghost Fleet is a novel of the post-Snowden world, in which the techniques the U.S. National Security Agency used on others are turned back against the Americans.
The story begins at the International Space Station. Russia and China have declared war against the United States, and a U.S. Air Force Colonel, on a disastrously timed space-walk, becomes the unwitting point of the spear. Oblivious to the political developments taking place on the blue globe spinning below, he finds the ISS reentry hatches sealed against him. “Goodbye, my friend. I am truly sorry. It is orders,” says his Russian cosmonaut colleague.
It’s the initial action in a war fought not solely, but significantly, in cyberspace. Takeover of the ISS enables the analogous Chinese space station, Tiangong-3, to systematically knock out every communications satellite that U.S. armed forces depend on. It soon becomes apparent that not only the satellites are down, all local-area communications networks are compromised, because military suppliers have been using low-cost Chinese-made computer chips in their planes, ships, and communications equipment by the unidentifiable thousands, and these chips are insecure, tiny moles. Only the mothballed planes and ships destined for the scrapyard are now safe: “The 707 passenger-jet derivatives did not have a modern chip anywhere, unlike the new KC-46s, which had turned out to be missile magnets like all the other Chinese-chipped gear.” This new top-to-bottom vulnerability of the military, which has become overly confident in the security of its communications systems, shows in brilliant and devastating relief.
This is a multiple point-of-view novel, with short scenes from many locations involving numerous protagonists, though most of the action takes place in the Pacific, San Francisco, and Hawaii, where “The Directorate”—comprising Chinese military, along with Russian elements under their command—has established an important outpost. At the story’s heart are the trials of the USS Zumwalt, an oddly designed, mothballed ship recalled into action after much of the modern U.S. fleet is destroyed—again at Pearl Harbor. The Zumwalt’s newly appointed captain, Jamie Simmons, is challenged militarily and by relations with his estranged father, retired chief petty officer Mike Simmons. Like the vintage tin cans—seagoing and aerial—rescued for the U.S. counterattack, retired military personnel are called back into service, and by some inevitable cosmic sense of humor or irony, Mike is assigned to the Zumwalt.
Other principal characters include: a Hawaiian woman working as a freelance assassin who is tracked by the omnipresent surveillance drones and a live Russian operative; a small team of surviving Marine insurgents harassing the Chinese forces on Oahu; a Russian who attempts to aid the Americans and ends up in a neuroscience laboratory nightmare; Sun-Tzu-spouting Admiral Wang, captain of the Chinese battleship Admiral Zheng He; and a wealthy Brit-turned-space-privateer. Other non-state players also emerge, providing a level of DIY unpredictability.
The epigrams for the several parts of the book come from Sun-Tzu’s advice to warriors, and the one for Part 3 is “All warfare is based on deception.” The levels of deception between the Chinese and Russian “allies,” between the antagonists, and arising from the inability to rely on secure communications is paranoia-inducing. Meanwhile, the roles of drones and robots escalate, which is great when they’re yours.
If you are a fan of techno-thrillers, like I am, this novel is the ultimate: fast-paced, high stakes, well-grounded, and, one may hope, consequential. International readers may be disappointed that the book is so US-centric—a casualty of “write what you know”? The book doesn’t come to a too-tidy conclusion, either, and that, is also sadly realistic. ( )
1 vote Vicki_Weisfeld | Nov 3, 2015 |
We have some semi-credible war nerds explaining how china will kick US's ass; how the military industrial complex is overcomplecting things to a point of being unusable, etc. Of course if you want to read something actually useful on that subject: The Pentagon Wars.
As for the plot... it's your standard fare: bad guys come in, good guys retreat, soul-searching in the middle of the book, and then a courageous fight to recapture the lost breaks out with a particularly heroic stand-off somewhere around the end. While some of the ideas in the book are actually of some interest (like the fact that military components and infrastructure are all in a rather dismal state), the actual plot as such is rather lacking.
Characters... Oh the characters... The evil Chinese who are evil because they are evil; and even an occasional glimmer of humanity ascribed to them is only there to then show just how evil they are. The pirate billionaire would have been actually sort of an insightful metaphor, if it wasn't taken so seriously. The father-son thing is just painful ... and so it goes. ( )
1 vote xMMynsOtcgan5Gd47 | Sep 15, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
P. W. Singerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cole, Augustmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0544142845, Hardcover)

What will the next global conflict look like? Find out in this ripping, near-futuristic thriller.

The United States, China, and Russia eye each other across a twenty-first century version of the Cold War, which suddenly heats up at sea, on land, in the air, in outer space, and in cyberspace. The fighting involves everything from stealthy robotic–drone strikes to old warships from the navy’s “ghost fleet.” Fighter pilots unleash a Pearl Harbor–style attack; American veterans become low-tech insurgents; teenage hackers battle in digital playgrounds; Silicon Valley billionaires mobilize for cyber-war; and a serial killer carries out her own vendetta. Ultimately, victory will depend on blending the lessons of the past with the weapons of the future.

Ghost Fleet is a page-turning speculative thriller in the spirit of The Hunt for Red October. The debut novel by two leading experts on the cutting edge of national security, it is unique in that every trend and technology featured in the novel — no matter how sci-fi it may seem — is real, or could be soon.
 

 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 23 Mar 2015 10:48:27 -0400)

"What will the next global conflict look like? Find out in this ripping, near-futuristic thriller. The United States, China, and Russia eye each other across a twenty-first century version of the Cold War, which suddenly heats up at sea, on land, in the air, in outer space, and in cyberspace. The fighting involves everything from stealthy robotic-drone strikes to old warships from the navy's "ghost fleet." Fighter pilots unleash a Pearl Harbor-style attack; American veterans become low-tech insurgents; teenage hackers battle in digital playgrounds; Silicon Valley billionaires mobilize for cyber-war; and a serial killer carries out her own vendetta. Ultimately, victory will depend on blending the lessons of the past with the weapons of the future. Ghost Fleet is a page-turning speculative thriller in the spirit of The Hunt for Red October. The debut novel by two leading experts on the cutting edge of national security, it is unique in that every trend and technology featured in the novel -- no matter how sci-fi it may seem -- is real, or could be soon. "--… (more)

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