Troy Pearce and his elite team of drone experts are called in when rising tensions between China and Japan threaten to dramatically change the geopolitical climate of the world.
When China stakes a dubious claim in the hotly disputed waters of the East China Sea, the prime minister of Japan threatens to dispatch the country’s naval assets and tear up its antiwar constitution unless the Americans forcefully intervene. The war-weary Americans are reluctant to confront the powerful Chinese navy directly, but if the Japanese provoke a military conflict with their historic enemy, treaty obligations would draw the United States into the fight.
In order to deescalate the first foreign policy crisis of his administration, U.S. president Lane dispatches Troy Pearce and his team to Tokyo to defuse the situation. What they find is a quagmire of hawkish politicians, nationalistic fervor, special interests with their own hidden agendas, and possibly the greatest military threat that America has ever faced. In this treacherous atmosphere it will require all of Pearce’s cunning—and his team’s technological prowess—to separate the truth from misdirection, and prevent the world from plunging into war.
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Mike Maden, author of Drone and Blue Warrior, holds both a master’s and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California–Davis, specializing in international relations and comparative politics. He has lectured and consulted on the topics of war and the Middle East, among others. He has served as a political consultant and campaign manager in state and national elections, and hosted his own local weekly radio show for a year. He has written a hit Web TV series and several screenplays that are in development.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
SIX MILES DUE WEST OF THE SENKAKU/ DIAOYU ISLANDS
EAST CHINA SEA
1 MAY, 2017
The bloodred flag with the five golden stars snapped in the crisp morning breeze. The national flag of the People’s Republic of China was one of three held high by the naval honor guard, along with the flags of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and the East Sea Fleet commander, Admiral Ji Dongsheng.
Two hundred Chinese PLAN officers and sailors stood at rigid
attention on the fantail of the seventy-five-hundred-ton guided- missile destroyer Kunming, its ASW helicopter stowed away in the hangar for the occasion. The ship’s skilled helmsman fought to stay in place as the vessel rose and fell in the long swells.
Admiral Ji’s commanding voice cut through the buffeting wind. The handpicked crew stood proudly before him at rigid attention in their starched white uniforms and broad Soviet- style caps. The admiral’s thick neck, powerful jaw, and broad nose had earned him the nickname Bulldog behind his muscular back. A shrouded object stood just behind him.
“A thousand years ago our ancestors crossed the oceans of the world. We are not becoming a new navy, as the Westerners believe; we are the world’s oldest and greatest navy, reclaiming our lost heritage, reclaiming our lost territories, reclaiming the vast resources of our waters from the thieving hands that stole it. We are the guardians of the blue soil of our homeland and will defend it with our blood and our honor. Today is a great day. Today we lay claim to that which was always rightfully ours. Someday you will tell your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren
that you were here this day, on this ship beneath our glorious
flag, taking another step in the long march toward our rightful
destiny, our rightful place under the sun.”
The admiral paused for effect, surveying the proud young faces
before him. He twisted around and whipped off the linen shroud behind him. An engraved white-marble stele gleamed in the bright sun, thick and rectangular like a giant headstone. Admiral Ji nodded to four muscled sailors. They marched forward in lockstep and lifted the heavy stone off of the fantail and heaved it into the rolling blue water in a geysering splash.
The admiral shouted out the words from the national anthem, “Arise! All who refuse to be slaves! Let our flesh and blood become our new Great Wall!”
The officers and crew shouted and cheered as they pushed forward to the end of the fantail, but the marble stele had already sunk beneath the waves.
Ji’s weathered eyes caught a speck of gray in the faultless blue sky far above. A drone.
And so it begins.
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