Stealth War by Robert Spalding
  • Title: Stealth War
  • Subtitle: How China Took Over While America's Elite Slept
  • Author(s): Robert Spalding
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Year: 2019-10-01
  • ISBN-10: 0593084357
  • ISBN-13: 9780593084359


Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept” by Robert Spalding is a thought-provoking and meticulously researched book that sheds light on the growing influence of China in the global arena. Spalding, a retired Air Force Brigadier General, presents a compelling argument about China’s strategy of economic and technological dominance, which has undermined America’s position as a world leader.

The author highlights the crucial role played by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in executing these tactics. Spalding emphasizes that while American leaders were preoccupied with short-term gains, China strategically advanced its interests through a combination of intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, and cyber espionage. The book delves into the CCP’s long-term planning and its use of military expansionism, economic warfare, and information control to fortify its position on the global stage.

Spalding further explores the consequences of China’s rise and how it poses a significant threat to America’s economic prosperity, national security, and democratic values. The author argues that unless the United States wakes up to this stealth war and takes effective action, it risks falling behind in critical areas such as advanced technology, manufacturing, and global influence.

Stealth War” ultimately serves as a wake-up call, urging readers to recognize the challenges posed by China’s ascent and advocating for a united front to counter its ambitions. Spalding’s expertise as a military strategist and his deep understanding of the geopolitical landscape make this book a compelling and eye-opening read for anyone interested in the ever-evolving power dynamics between China and the United States.


Book Review

Stealth War: How China Took Over While America's Elite Slept - A Wake-up Call to Protect America's Future

In “Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept,” retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Spalding provides a chilling account of China’s rise to power and the negligent approach taken by America’s elite in countering this threat. Through his extensive military and diplomatic experience, Spalding paints a comprehensive picture of China’s stealthy tactics and the detrimental consequences for the United States.

Spalding begins by exploring China’s strategic maneuvers towards economic dominance, shedding light on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) deliberate plan to surpass the United States. He highlights the immense damage caused by China’s intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, and the manipulation of global trade. Spalding emphasizes that while American politicians and business leaders were blinded by short-term economic gains, China played the long game, steadily weakening America’s economic and technological advantages.

One enlightening aspect of the book is Spalding’s examination of China’s use of cyber espionage to gather sensitive information from American corporations, government agencies, and even individual citizens. He underscores the need for strong cybersecurity measures and the danger of underestimating China’s capabilities in this covert warfare domain. Spalding notably describes several instances where China stole valuable trade and military secrets, further showcasing the gravity of the situation.

Another alarming aspect explored in the book is China’s aggressive military expansionism. Spalding highlights China’s militarization of the South China Sea, which threatens vital shipping routes and challenges America’s naval dominance in the region. He exposes the dangers posed by China’s theft of military technologies, including the replication of the F-35 fighter jet, potentially compromising America’s military edge.

Furthermore, “Stealth War” unveils the intricate propaganda machinery that the CCP employs to manipulate narratives both at home and abroad. Spalding explains how China controls information flow through censorship, disinformation campaigns, and the utilization of technology giants to suppress dissent and shape international opinions. These tactics, combined with China’s economic leverage, allow them to control narrative narratives and sway global perception in their favor.

Spalding makes a compelling argument for the need to address the China challenge. He argues that America’s complacency, fueled by short-term economic gains and political division, has allowed China to seize strategic positions in critical industries such as artificial intelligence, 5G, and advanced manufacturing. He warns of the dire consequences if the United States fails to respond swiftly and effectively.

While the book focuses primarily on the shortcomings of America’s elite, Spalding does provide insights into potential solutions. He advocates for a comprehensive approach that includes securing supply chains, investing in critical technologies, fostering innovation, and strengthening alliances. Additionally, he emphasizes the importance of raising public awareness and holding politicians and business leaders accountable for their role in facilitating China’s rise.

Stealth War” is an eye-opening and alarming account of China’s ambitions and the negligence of America’s elite in recognizing and countering these threats. Spalding’s combination of military expertise, diplomatic experience, and meticulous research lends credibility to his arguments. His analysis is compelling and backed by numerous examples that illustrate the extent to which China has capitalized on America’s neglect.

Overall, “Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept” is a critically important book for anyone concerned about the well-being of the United States and its future in the face of China’s rise. Spalding’s expertise and compelling narrative provide a wake-up call to all, urging immediate action to safeguard American economic prosperity, national security, and democratic values against the aggressive tactics employed by China.

Word Count: 618

Economic and military power are the keys to any nation’s global influence, and cyber is the way to achieve both.

Key Ideas

In “Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept,” Robert Spalding presents several key ideas that shed light on China’s rise to power and the awareness and action required from America’s elite to counter this threat effectively. Some of the key ideas from the book include:

  1. China's strategic approach to economic dominance Spalding highlights China’s deliberate and long-term strategy to surpass the United States economically. He explores how China has used tactics such as intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, and unfair trade practices to gain an advantage, while America’s leaders were preoccupied with short-term gains and neglected the potential ramifications.

  2. The neglect and complacency of America's elite The book exposes the negligence of American politicians and business leaders in recognizing and addressing the growing influence of China. Spalding posits that a lack of understanding, short-sightedness, and a focus on immediate economic gains allowed China to steadily undermine America’s economic and technological strengths.

  3. China's military expansionism and technological advancements Spalding delves into China’s aggressive military expansionism, specifically in the South China Sea region. He highlights the dangers posed by China’s acquisition of military technologies through theft and reverse engineering, which could compromise America’s military edge. The book emphasizes the importance of countering these advances for maintaining global balance and preserving national security.

  4. China's cyber espionage capabilities Spalding explores China’s significant use of cyber espionage to gather sensitive information from American entities. He reveals instances where China has stolen valuable trade secrets, military technologies, and personal data, highlighting the need for robust cybersecurity measures and increased awareness of the cyber warfare threat.

  5. China's control of information and propaganda The book uncovers China’s manipulation of information and censorship to control narratives both domestically and globally. Spalding discusses China’s use of technology giants to suppress dissent and shape international opinions, emphasizing the dangers of an uninformed public and the importance of countering China’s information warfare tactics.

  6. The urgency for action and comprehensive response Spalding stresses the need for immediate action from America’s leaders to protect national interests and counter China’s rise. He advocates for securing supply chains, investing in critical technologies, fostering innovation, strengthening alliances, and holding politicians and business leaders accountable for facilitating China’s ascendancy.

Overall, “Stealth War” presents a comprehensive analysis of China’s multifaceted approach to achieving global dominance and highlights the need for a united and proactive response from America’s elite to protect America’s economic prosperity, national security, and democratic values.


Target Audience

The book “Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept” by Robert Spalding is targeted at a diverse audience concerned with the geopolitical landscape and the rising influence of China. It is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Policy Makers and Government Officials The book provides invaluable insights into the strategy and tactics employed by China to achieve dominance in the global arena. Policy makers and government officials can benefit from Spalding’s analysis to make informed decisions regarding national security, economic policies, and international relations.

  • Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs “Stealth War” offers a wake-up call to business leaders and entrepreneurs who may have underestimated the risks and consequences of China’s economic aggression. It highlights the need for developing resilient business strategies, securing supply chains, and protecting intellectual property to navigate the challenges posed by China’s rise.

  • Academic Researchers and Scholars Academics and scholars specializing in international relations, economics, cybersecurity, and technology will find “Stealth War” to be valuable and thought-provoking. Spalding’s meticulous research, extensive footnotes, and references provide a wealth of information for further analysis and scholarly discourse on China’s tactics and their implications for the United States.

  • Military and National Security Professionals The book is highly relevant to military and national security professionals interested in understanding the complex interplay of economic, technological, and military power in today’s global landscape. Spalding’s insights into China’s military expansionism and cyber espionage highlight the critical areas where the United States needs to strengthen its defenses.

  • General Public and Concerned Citizens “Stealth War” is accessible to the general public, making it an ideal read for concerned citizens who seek a deeper understanding of the challenges posed by China’s rise. It exposes the risks to American economic prosperity, technological innovation, and democratic values. The book empowers individuals to engage in informed discussions and advocate for necessary actions to protect America’s interests.

In conclusion, “Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept” is recommended reading for a broad range of audiences. Its comprehensive exploration of China’s tactics, coupled with the urgency conveyed by the author, makes it essential for policy makers, business leaders, scholars, military professionals, and the general public alike. By providing a well-researched and engaging analysis, Spalding prompts vital conversations and calls for action to safeguard America’s future.

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