2034: The War With China?

I am not a person who enjoys novels. My youngest daughter was therefore astonished when she saw me reading 2034: A Novel of the Next World War. “Yes, but it’s about a potential war between the United States and China. Plus, it’s written by an author I really like and admire, Admiral Stavridis [and Elliot Ackerman]”, I said. I admit that this was an exceptional experience and not only because of the genre, but mainly because this is one of the most thoughtful books anyone interested in geopolitics and the fate of the world should read now.

2034. About 12 years from now. Might as well say tomorrow. Russian President Vladimir Putin still occupies the highest office in the Kremlin – a scenario that made me smile – and the Israelis have lost the Golan after a military confrontation with Syria – an outcome that makes me cringe, since I have seen with my own eyes how vital this territory is to Israel’s security. The Chinese are still vying for “[…] uncontested control of the South China Sea.” Equipped with superior cyber capabilities, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army neutralizes the weapons and communications system of a flotilla of three American warships. Only one of them will remain afloat at the end of the confrontation. A military operation that was supposed to serve as a message turned into a World War.

Continue reading “2034: The War With China?”

PM Narendra Modi and Patrick Brown: A Story of Loyalty

Among the qualities displayed by people in life, none is more important to me than loyalty. Without it, you don’t go far. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who participated in a political rally to support Ontario Progressive-Conservative Party leadership candidate Patrick Brown, gave one of the most eloquent manifestations of that quality a few days ago.

Here’s the story:

“Brown met Modi more than five years ago at a trade conference in Gujarat, a state in western India. At that time, Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat and an international pariah. He was accused of being complicit in the deadly 2002 riots that killed more than a thousand people in the state, most of them Muslims.

Even though the courts refused to prosecute Modi, the U.S. refused to issue him a visa and other countries imposed diplomatic boycotts.

That’s when some of Modi’s friends in Gujarat asked “if a Canadian politician could come to speak at his trade conference to try to rebuild this brand of his of being a person who’s going to bring investment to India,” Brown said.

“So I went, I got to know him, I spoke at his conference and we hit it off, so he kept on inviting me back.”

[…]

He [Brown] remembers Modi telling him: “I will never forget who was here during our most difficult days.””

Now, PM Modi – the leader of the 4th military power in the world – has taken upon himself to take time in a busy official state visit to participate in a partisan activity in Canada’s biggest province, Ontario.

I did not know much about Narendra Modi, but his show of friendship and loyalty this week will definitely make me look in his direction from now on.

If the true qualities of a person – or a leader – can be observed in little gestures, then Prime Minister Modi is quite impressive.

The bottom line is: loyalty matters. Period.