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Has anyone read the ww3 book 2034: A Novel of the Next World War?

Vega1447

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2034

Just finished reading on Kindle. Deffo not worth buying a paper copy imo.

Plenty of reviews on the Goodreads link above - a lot of negative comment on the implausibility of a lot of the military stuff.

But the greatest implausibility imo is the opening scenario:

3 US warships are on a "freedom of navigation" exercise in the S China Sea. (Perfectly plausible of course.)

They spot an unflagged trawler showing flames and smoke.

The trawler isn't requesting assistance. (Yes I know that flames onboard can be a distress signal but read on.)

They board it, arrest the Chinese crew, search the trawler and find some mysterious electronics which they seize. (Sounds like piracy to me.)

They imprison the crew on the warship and secure the trawler alongside and set off. (More piracy?)

A Chinese warship demands that the trawler be released. (Seems reasonable, the 2 countries are not at war.)

The US commander refuses. (We aren't told on what grounds.)

And off the story goes.

Am I missing something here?

Has a warship in peacetime and in international waters (hence the freedom of navigation exercise) the right to arrest any ship without reason?

Maybe the detail that the trawler was unflagged was the rationale?

I'm almost indignant and it's only a novel! (And not a very good one.)
 
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Barbaria

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Sounds plausible

https://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf

Article 110 Right of visit
1. Except where acts of interference derive from powers conferred by treaty, a warship which encounters on the high seas a foreign ship, other than a ship entitled to complete immunity in accordance with articles 95 and 96, is not justified in boarding it unless there is reasonable ground for suspecting that:
(a) the ship is engaged in piracy;
(b) theshipisengagedintheslavetrade;
(c) the ship is engaged in unauthorized broadcasting and the flag
State of the warship has jurisdiction under article 109;
(d) the ship is without nationality;or
(e) though flying a foreign flag or refusing to show its flag, the ship

is, in reality, of the same nationality as the warship.
2. In the cases provided for in paragraph 1, the warship may proceed to verify the ship's right to fly its flag. To this end, it may send a boat under the command of an officer to the suspected ship. If suspicion remains after the documents have been checked, it may proceed to a further examination on
board the ship, which must be carried out with all possible consideration. 3. If the suspicions prove to be unfounded, and provided that the ship boarded has not committed any act justifying them, it shall be compensated
for any loss or damage that may have been sustained.
4. These provisions apply mutatis mutandis to military aircraft.
5. These provisions also apply to any other duly authorized ships or
aircraft clearly marked and identifiable as being on government service.
 

Vega1447

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Sounds plausible

https://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf

Article 110 Right of visit
1. Except where acts of interference derive from powers conferred by treaty, a warship which encounters on the high seas a foreign ship, other than a ship entitled to complete immunity in accordance with articles 95 and 96, is not justified in boarding it unless there is reasonable ground for suspecting that:
(a) the ship is engaged in piracy;
(b) theshipisengagedintheslavetrade;
(c) the ship is engaged in unauthorized broadcasting and the flag
State of the warship has jurisdiction under article 109;
(d) the ship is without nationality;or
(e) though flying a foreign flag or refusing to show its flag, the ship

is, in reality, of the same nationality as the warship.
2. In the cases provided for in paragraph 1, the warship may proceed to verify the ship's right to fly its flag. To this end, it may send a boat under the command of an officer to the suspected ship. If suspicion remains after the documents have been checked, it may proceed to a further examination on
board the ship, which must be carried out with all possible consideration. 3. If the suspicions prove to be unfounded, and provided that the ship boarded has not committed any act justifying them, it shall be compensated
for any loss or damage that may have been sustained.
4. These provisions apply mutatis mutandis to military aircraft.
5. These provisions also apply to any other duly authorized ships or
aircraft clearly marked and identifiable as being on government service.
I'm not sure.

Your highlighted clauses 1(d) and 1 (e)
(d) the ship is without nationality;or
(e) though flying a foreign flag or refusing to show its flag, the ship
is, in reality, of the same nationality as the warship.

surely don't imply that a vessel in international waters with no flag showing may be boarded and arrested by any warship?
Without any evident breach of the laws of the sea etc?

(I know that it is only a Tom Clancy type thriller but the authors are both military types.)
 

Barbaria

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surely don't imply that a vessel in international waters with no flag showing may be boarded and arrested by any warship?
Without any evident breach of the laws of the sea etc?
I believe that they can, if you do not fly any flag they can board you if they want, they can even shoot at you if you do not comply.
Important to have the flag up, answer any calls! On the high seas the one with the biggest gun wins.
 

penfold

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Not showing a flag is not the same as not having a nationality; there are grounds for boarding and inspection but seizure and arrest are going to be career-limiting events for the commander. Warships from the Philipines, Vietnam, Malaysia or Brunei(or more realistically the RN on Brunei's behalf) might be on better legal ground than the USN. On a delivery trip having read all the english novels onboard I waded through a copy of Clancy's SSN in french. Despite my french being very poor franglais his simplistic prose was comprehensible but the story was mostly rot.
 

Barbaria

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It is not career limiting of they find anything on the no no list onboard.
I believe a ship is to be regarded as no nationality if it does not fly a flag, and the nationality cannot be established in any way before boarding. So the novel have some correctness to it regarding the trawler. Nations will use variations of any suitable “law” to support their claim.
 
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