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I haven't even finished the book yet and I already consider it to be required reading for anyone who REALLY wants to know the story behind more than 20 years of Russian and Chinese tampering in US technology, infrastructure, social media, and political processes, including the 2016 election.
A must read. Book provides objective analysis and detailed accounts of the stealth war China and Russia are waging with the US to undermine its democracy and influence in the world. Very timely given the Trumps administrations current attempts to address China's unfair trade practices and theft of US intellectual property as well as Russia's interference in US elections.
The author has done a great job of exposing the web of activity over many years by our enemies. If we are to fight this, we must first understand it, acknowledge it and develop a plan. Our enemies are counting on us either not paying attention or being too 'bored' with the details to care. This book should be an urgent call to action.
The Shadow War by CNN reporter Jim Scuitto reads like one of his extended reports – informative but not the full story. He argues that other countries – specifically China & Russia, have been engaged in what he describes as a 'shadow war' – a death-by-a-thousand-cuts conflict where no single incidence rises to the declaration of full hostilities. He points to China’s land-grab of South China Sea archipelagos converted into man-made islands. These 'unsinkable aircraft carriers’ are intended to deter vulnerable US aircraft carriers from entering Asian waters and thus challenges our marine superiority. He notes the rapid buildup of the Chinse navy is expected to exceed ours in number of war vessels within a decade. He points to Chinese and Russian advances in space warfare demonstrating 'hunter-killer' satellites ultimately capable of disabling our ability to target missiles and smart bombs. He details the advances and remarkable buildup that the Russian navy has achieved in submarines and hypersonic missiles. He concludes with the Russian gambit to tilt our 2016 presidential election away from interventionist Hillary Clinton. Throughout he cites only US government and military sources whose job it is to be paranoid, but leaves out the ‘why’ of what motivates China & Russia to such behavior.
I find this book very informative and alarming. It covers many details that could not possibly be squeezed into the CNN Breaking News. This book exposes the winning-without-fighting strategy employed by both China and Russia in their attempt to achieve their national goal and vie for superpower. It shows the many passive-aggressive tactics utilized to deal with their political opponents and to compete with the United States for dominance both under the water, on earth and in space. This book wakes me up to the lethality of cyber attack and how our existence is so dependent on the integrity of our space assets. With space being lawless, an ambitious political and emotional miscalculation could easily trigger a cyber space and nuclear war. As more countries develop capability for space exploration along with the desire to control and dominate, conflict is almost inevitable. Humans make mistakes; miscalculation happens; our existence hinges on each superpower-leader’s choice in moments of intense need to control by force and subdue its opponent to attain or maintain dominance. There’s quite a bit of parallel in human behavior at every level. What happens at the interpersonal level is also played out on world politics: desire to control, desire to expand, desire to regain lost territory, jealousy, envy, competition, the vying for superpower, passive-aggressive move, overt aggression, transgression of boundary, etc…all of which has the potential to cause out-of-control conflict.
Well that scared the s___ our of me. Sciutto builds a compelling case of how both Russia & China have moved aggressively against the USA via unconventional means. We are unprepared & our presidents have proven feckless (Obama gets the worst criticism, but really this is a failure from W thru Trump). Depressing, but it needs to be said and even more importantly heard (I was gratified to see signs of hawkishness toward China in the first Dem debate).
He’s such a good storyteller. It’s a fast read that makes you want to keep reading, very hard to put down.
It reminded me a lot of Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk. That was an examination of Executive branch departments, this is more national security and defense, primarily in relation to China and Russia, but they both use stories and the people who lived them to highlight overlooked and important parts of our government. Parts that most people are unaware of but are critically important and may be failing in certain ways (mostly from the top, the people doing the work are great).
He had so many stories and details I did not know anything about. One example was the section about The Air Force Space Command, almost entirely unknown to me, despite laughing a little at Trump’s Space Force decision. Trump was probably right in the long term. It keeps getting more differentiated from what The Air Force does; it’s already so different, they do need their own focus, budget, skills, soldiers, etc. Perhaps it would have felt less laughable if the new logos and uniforms weren’t so based on pop culture.
But...but...holy cannoli did this book’s editors need to be better. There are so many annoying repetitions, then a lack of reminders of who people are when we actually need them. I haven’t been this annoyed by this kind of thing since my last Laurell K. Hamilton Anita Blake book.
Nevertheless, if I was to recommend 10 must-read books for the last few years, this would definitely be on the list. I’m usually ready to move on to a next book by the end of nonfiction books because my to-read shelves are overflowing, but I was disappointed to be done with this. I would love more chapters from him about how our military, government and politics work.
This a sobering wake up call to those who think the US is essentially safe no matter what. Ordinary Americans are little informed of the onslaught against us and how complex must be our national vigilance and response. Jim Scuitto has the background to begin to reveal to us what is surreptitiously occurring by our adversaries as well as to expose us to the shortcomings in the U.S. Policy to meet the challenges. The book is at once revealing and scary...but necessary.
Jim Sciutto’s The Shadow War is an awesome and well-written book about USA’s relationships or rather non-relationships with North Korea, Russia, and China. It’s a stunning, scary, and honest story about US’s playing catch-up as a world power. We all read about this subject over the years, but Sciutto combines information with interesting details. He is a first-class journalist.
The outstanding part to me was the Russian involvement in Ukraine; the secrets stolen by the Chinese spies. even making money selling them to their government; the disturbing cyber war; the race in space; and finally today’s lack of rules of war (with exception to the sea).
In his apolitical book, Sciutto shows extensive knowledge of foreign politics from his experiences, which are supported by professional quotes.
My only disappointment came when I reached the Epilogue. I didn’t want to stop reading!