“2034: A Novel of the Next World War”

In his new novel, “2034,” Admiral Jim Stavridis envisions a not-too-distant future rife with cyber warfare and international conflict on the high seas. A “disturbingly plausible work of speculative fiction,” the book imagines a naval clash between the U.S. and China in the South China Sea.

Taking the leap from fact to fiction requires only imagination, according to Stavridis, who shared his insights on the book as part of the March 10 Jackson Visiting Fellow Discussion Forum.

While writing a work of fiction allowed for character development and a wider audience, Stavridis said, the book is informed by present-day facts on the ground and should serve as a political warning to the nation.

“The villain here is war and miscalculation,” said Stavridis, a retired four-star admiral who previously served as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.

The virtual discussion, which was attended by more than 130 viewers, was moderated by Paul Kennedy, J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History and Global Affairs at Yale.

Stavridis was asked to comment on how India and Iran could impact the global balance of power in the future. Both countries play a role in the central conflict in the book.

“We in the West would be wise to resolve our differences with Iran,” said Stavridis, who also predicted that India will rise to be a great power by the end of the century.

When asked about possible deterrents to cyberwarfare, Stavridis called for more public-private cooperation, better diplomacy, and “more policy people who deeply understand the technology side.”

Watch the recording