FIRE ON THE WATER: China,
America, and the Future of
By Robert Haddick. Annapolis, Md.:
Naval Institute Press, 2014.
288 pp. $37.95
REBALANCING U.S. FORCES:
Basing and Forward Presence
in the Asia-Pacific
Edited by Carnes Lord and Andrew
S. Erickson. Naval Institute Press,
2014. 240 pp. $47.95
THE SOUTH CHINA SEA:
The Struggle for Power in Asia
By Bill Hayton. New Haven, Conn.:
Yale University Press, 2014.
320 pp. $35.00
ISBNs: 978-1-61251-795-7, 978-1-
The U.S. strategic shift of focus to the
Asia-Pacific Region and the rise of
China’s maritime strength, particularly in the East and South China Seas,
are likely to continue to bring about
engagement between the two nations
as China challenges the post-World
War II status quo of the region. In
“Fire on the Water,” Robert Haddick describes the rising
stakes in the region and proposes a strategy, including forward presence, to counter the threat in a way that matches
U.S. strengths against Chinese vulnerabilities. His prescriptions are designed to strengthen deterrence and the
alliances that the United States has fostered in the region.
In “Rebalancing U.S. Forces,” authors Lord and
Erikson assemble a set of essays by experts that discuss
forward basing and its vitality to U.S. power and influence. The essays point out that such bases are increasingly vulnerable, especially to Chinese long-range preci-sion-strike missiles. The essay authors argue the bases
cannot be taken for granted and that action must be
taken to maintain dependable access.
In “The South China Sea,” BBC journalist Bill Hayton
focuses his geo-strategic study on an area of increasing
tension, with multiple conflicting international claims and
in which China is seeking to establish hegemony to make
the South China Sea a Chinese domain, as the country his-
torically claims. The sea, with its heavy commercial ship-
ping traffic and potential mineral wealth, is one of the
most strategic waterways in the world, and one in which
international rivalry is seemingly destined to increase.
SOUTH PACIFIC CAULDRON:
World War II’s Great Forgotten
By Alan Rems. Annapolis, Md.:
Naval Institute Press, 2014.
312 pp. $38.95
The author of this comprehensive
campaign history aims to remind
readers of the land, air and naval
action that continued the Allied advance in the South
Pacific after the more famous battles for Guadalcanal, in
places with names like Rabaul, Lae, Torokina, Buna, Cape
Gloucester, Wewak and others long forgotten by most.
The vicious fighting in the inhospitable region continued
right up to the Japanese surrender. The significant contributions of Australian and New Zealand forces are chronicled, as is the Japanese perspective.
GUNBOATS OF WORLD
By Angus Konstam. Oxford, U.K.
Osprey Publishing, 2015.
48 pp. $17.95
It is easy for Sailors in the blue-water
U.S. Navy to be unaware of the naval
action waged by gunboats — actually
small ships — on some of the major rivers, lakes and estuaries of the world, as well as seas and oceans during World
War I. This monograph describes the gunboats of Austria-Hungary, Great Britain, Germany, Russia and the United
States. They shelled shores and engaged in naval actions in
the North Sea, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Aegean Sea,
Danube River, Tigris River, Yangtze River and even Lake
Tanganyika. The book, with original art, gives a flavor of
the history and technology of these workhorses whose
presence and power influenced the war in the theaters
where they steamed. ;
Seapower does not review works of fiction or self-published books.
Books Focus on Asia-Pacific Strategy,
South Pacific Combat, WWI Gunboats
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor