FIRE ON THE WATER

CHINA, AMERICA, AND THE FUTURE OF THE PACIFIC
By ROBERT HADDICK

—Advance Praise—























“Robert Haddick’s very timely Fire on
the Water explains in clear terms what’s
at stake for the United States and why
current policies intended to counter the
rise of China in the western Pacific are
only increasing the dangers posed by
China in the western Pacific. He
provides a lucid analysis of the
challenges ahead and proposes a bold
yet sensible strategy that will keep the
peace and protect America’s interests in
Asia.”
—LT. GEN. DAVID DEPTULA, USAF
(RET.), chief planner of the 1991 Gulf War
air campaign



“In Fire on the Water, Robert Haddick writes
compellingly about the growth of China’s blue-water
navy and proposes real and achievable solutions to
counter the threat. It is must-reading for every informed
citizen.”
—JOHN F. LEHMAN JR., Secretary of the Navy, 1981–87

“Fire on the Water is the right book at the right time.
Haddick offers his own unique strategy for how the
United States can best position itself for success in the
western Pacific. Perhaps most refreshing is his
discussion of ‘competitive strategies’ and how the
United States should seek to maximize its natural
military, economic, and diplomatic advantages to shape
Chinese decision making.”
—CONGRESSMAN J. RANDY FORBES, U.S. House of
Representatives, 4th District of Virginia

“The security of the United States is inextricably woven
into the security of the Indo-Pacific region. Cooperation
and healthy competition will help deter nations from
confrontation. Haddick's book proposes interesting
approaches for our nation as we address those
challenges.”
—ADM. TIMOTHY J. KEATING, USN (RET.),
Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command, 2007‒9

“Fire on the Water is a powerful and needed corrective
to our current habit of responding to global challenges
with gauzy aspirations and comforting rhetoric. Haddick
dissects the diplomatic, technological, economic, and
military challenges facing our nation and proposes a
rigorously analyzed strategy that persuasively argues for
action now if we are to maintain peace and stability in
the western Pacific at an affordable cost.”
—LT. GEN. WALLACE “CHIP” GREGSON, USMC
(RET.), Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific
Security Affairs, 2009‒11

NAVAL INSTITUTE PRESS BOOK NEWS




n Fire on the Water, Robert Haddick contends that much of the general public and many U.S.
policy experts are unaware of the threat that China’s military modernization poses to America’s
national interests in the Asia-Pacific region. He maintains that within a decade China will have the
military power to place U.S. influence throughout East Asia at risk. To avoid a future crisis, the
United States needs to fashion a new and more competitive strategy, one that better matches the
strengths of the United States and its allies against China’s vulnerabilities.
The U.S. forward military presence in East Asia is essential to protecting America’s
standard of living, its strategic interests, and the region’s stability. This will be an increasingly
difficult burden for the United States to sustain. However, U.S. forward presence will be less costly
and less risky than encouraging China’s neighbors to counter China’s rising power by themselves,
which would likely result in an unstable arms race and a conflict that would damage America’s
interests.
China’s military strategy, centered on its rapidly expanding aerospace, naval, and land-based
missile forces, is exploiting emerging vulnerabilities in America’s forces in the region. Plagued by
institutional barriers, the United States has been slow to adapt to China’s rapid military
modernization. Current U.S. responses are impractical because they expend defense resources
against China’s strengths rather than its weaknesses.
Fire on the Water proposes far-reaching changes to U.S. diplomacy, military programs, and
strategies to counter China’s well-designed military modernization plan. The proposed competitive
strategy will strengthen deterrence and bolster the credibility of U.S. alliances in the region.
Throughout history the rapid arrival of a new great power has usually resulted in conflict. The
United States, China, and Asia can avoid that fate if the United States adopts a more competitive
strategy to influence China’s choices and thus maintain the region’s stability and prosperity.


ROBERT HADDICK is a military analyst with three decades of experience researching security trends
in Asia. He is currently based in Washington, D.C., as a research contractor for U.S. Special
Operations Command. A former U.S. Marine Corps officer with service in East Asia and Africa, he
has also been a columnist for Foreign Policy Magazine, the managing editor of Small Wars Journal,
and a consultant to U.S. Central Command, the U.S. State Department, and the National
Intelligence Council.


FIRE ON THE WATER: CHINA, AMERICA, AND THE FUTURE OF THE PACIFIC
by Robert Haddick
Publication date: 15 September 2014 │288 pp., 15 photos, 4 maps. | Price: $37.95 / £22.39
ISBN: 978-1-61251-795-7 │ History • China │ eBook edition also available.

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