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Pune, 3rd April 2024: After his book ‘The Russia – Ukraine War’ in 2022, Ajay Singh has followed up with yet another detailed account of the ongoing conflicts of Ukraine and Gaza, and the potential conflict over Taiwan. His latest book “Ukraine, Gaza, Taiwan … A World at War” is the seventh book which this prolific writer has produced in a decade, and is meticulously researched, written in his usual clear lucid style. The book provides a compelling account of the major conflicts facing the world, tracing in detail their causes and manner of conduct. Interestingly, even though the conflicts are still ongoing, the author has produced some very plausible end states, possible outcomes, and impact on the world. The author brings out how, three different conflicts in three different continents, widely separated geographically and in the manner of engagement are still interlinked, and how they could shape the world and the very trajectory and course of geopolitics in this century.


 The part on Ukraine begins with a Chronology of events leading to the present conflict. Ajay writes that Russia and Ukraine ‘have a conjoined history going back to the 10th Century’ when both countries were part of the ‘Keivan Rus’ Empire. Both became part of the USSR from 1921 onwards, till its dissolution in 1991, when they became independent nations.

The backdrop and the root cause of the war – Ukraine’s decision to join NATO in 2019 – has been well brought out. Putin’s personality and his desire to get Russia back to the pre-eminence it held in the days of the USSR also comes out. For Putin, the expansion of NATO right up to Russia’s borders was a direct threat. As he himself put it;” Can’t they see this. After this we have no place to go. We can’t go backwards anymore.”

The conduct of the War, right from the planning stage onwards is covered in great detail, with a military mind’s analysis of the conduct of operations. He has analyzed the different phases of the war starting with the Russian airborne operation against Kyiv, which he says “came within inches of success,” the slow Russian conquest of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk; the Ukrainian counter-offensive of October 22; the winter war, capture of Bakhmut and even the infamous “Wagner Mutiny” and its aftermath.  All this is presented in an easy story telling style that is easy to understand.

The conduct of the ‘Ukrainian Spring offensive’ of 2023, has been objectively and minutely examined.  He has stated that “it has petered out and unlikely to progress much. This was the last ‘throw of dice’ and Ukraine doesn’t have the reserves or stamina for a fresh offensive.” The lack of success has tilted the war decisively and irrevocably in Russia’s favour, and with western support petering out, Ukraine may not be in a position to counter a Russian offensive, which the author predicts could come this year.

The Lessons from the ‘Ukrainian Battlefield’ are superbly analyzed.  While stating that ‘warfare has not changed, it has merely evolved’, Ajay highlights a photo from a cover story in the Economist showing a long line of tired soldiers making their way through a muddy battlefield which could be straight out of World War I with one vital difference a swarm of drones overhead – the weapon system that was ubiquitous and dominated the battlefield.

  He clearly states that the ‘era of long wars are back’ and this has multiple implications which vary from recruitment, mobilization, to force sustenance and developing war fighting doctrines. There are many other aspects covered to include information and cyber war, firepower being the deciding factor, the role of armour and mechanised warfare, air and naval operations and the nuclear threat.

As regarding ‘The Endgame’ he feels that a fair and equitable negotiated peace that looks after the interests of both sides is the most desired but there is no common ground. He feels that the most likely end state would be Russia keeping the areas it has already captured in a fait accompli as they did when they annexed Crimea in 2014. The line between Russia and Ukraine would then become the LOC (Line of Contact) just like the LOC between India and Pakistan.


In the buildup to the horrendous Hamas attacks on Israel on Simchat Torah Day, the author traces the convoluted history of the Middle East right from the Biblical times till creation of Israel in 1948 and its battles for survival. The Wars of 1967 and 1973, the Invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and 2006, and even the classical Israeli operations like the Raid on Entebbe and the attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1983, have been lucidly brought out, revealing the psyche and thought processes of both the Palestinians and the Israelis.

As per the author, the reason for the Hamas attack was that the Palestinian’s cause was largely being forgotten as Israel was gaining acceptance in the Arab world with the signing of the Abrahms Accord in September 2020. Saudi Arabia too was set to accept Israel and with it, the ‘two-state solution’ which the Palestinians had been demanding for decades would be swept under the carpet.

Ajay writes that “Israel’s predictable reaction of bombing all suspected Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip – irrespective of collateral damage – was expected”. The very vehemence of their response soon changed the perception of Israel from being a victim to an aggressor. Israel has virtually razed Gaza to the ground, over 85% of its 2.3 million population has been displaced over 30,000 people killed, over 53,000 wounded and 7,000 missing as a result of ‘Operation Iron Sword’ which Ajay has covered in the greatest of detail. The numbers are already three times the civilian casualties of the Russia – Ukraine War, but Israel is “nowhere near its goal of eliminating Hamas and getting its hostages back.”

He says that while he feels that Hamas and its leadership will most probably be eliminated, but they will simply rise in another form while the hostages remain a pawns in the larger game.  The question remains as to whether Israel can occupy the Gaza Strip, what will happen to its inhabitants and who will pay for the reconstruction. Also, he brings out that world patience is running out, and Israel may not be allowed to prosecute the war to attain its complete aims. This conflict has brought the Palestinian cause back in the limelight, and perhaps the only way to lasting peace is the implementation of “a two-state solution” acceptable to both parties. But that may be a far cry and the conflict is “just another bloody chapter in the continual cycle of violence that engulfs the entire Middle East and threatens to inflame the world.”


 The third part of the book covers the likely Chinese invasion of Taiwan and begins with a quote from President Xi;” The reunification of Taiwan by force if necessary is an inevitability”. The question in the minds of policy makers across the globe is; “Will China will attack Taiwan and seize it by military force? If so, how will the US respond?” There are no satisfactory answers to that.

Ajay has stated that the USA is now diverted in the Middle East and Europe and “has been deflected from the area of its main interest the Indo-Pacific.” Could China take advantage of this and seize the moment? But will the US – the champion of Democracy – which stands for Taiwan’s democratic way of life as opposed to Chinese autocracy, be willing to “shed American blood for its ideals.”

As always, the backdrop has been meticulously brought out which provides insights into the conflict, and the Chinese and Taiwanese stance over the years. China seeks to reunify the island with the Chinese mainland, and President Xi has repeatedly called upon the PLA to be ready to take-over the island by force by 2027. This date can be advanced to 2024, taking advantage of global events (including the US Presidential elections.

Ajay has painted a very possible scenario of the Chinese invasion of Taiwan. It could begin with one of the many Chinese exercises being converted into the real invasion, a takeover of the outlying islands in a slow salami-slicing, followed by the naval and air blockade of Taiwan. An amphibious assault could be launched, but the difficulties of launching it across the 130 km long Straits of Taiwan are well brought out. In the scenario he has painted, the US does intervene and push the Chinese forces back in a series of air and naval engagements, though at a high cost. But that is the big “If.”  Should US not enter the conflict, China might be able to take over Taiwan, though at a high cost. Then, “Its preeminence as a global power is assured. It would be able to control the Indo-Pacific and dominate the semi-conductor industry.”


Ajay is an acclaimed author having published over seven books and authored over 200 articles. In this book, he has presented these conflicts in a very lucid manner, covering the past, the present situation and the possible outcomes. Comprehensive in scope there is no doubt that the book is contemporary, extremely readable and is of great value to all those who wish to delve deeper into the various layers of these wars.

Three subjects of vital importance have been weaved together by a compelling narrative and acute analysis that makes it difficult to put this book down.

Details of Book

Name – “UKRAINE, GAZA, TAIWAN…..A World at War

Author – Ajay Singh

Publisher – Pentagon Press

Hard-bound, 278 pages

Cover price – 995/ (Available at discounted price at select outlets)

Procurement Link

About the book Author

Ajay Singh

Ajay Singh is the international award-winning author of seven books and over 200 published articles. His books span a wide genre encompassing history, contemporary warfare, novels, short stories and poetry. He writes screenplay for film and television, has co-hosted a TV series, and is a renowned public speaker who conducts talks across the country.

He is the recipient of the Rabindranath Tagore International Award for Art and Literature – 2021, the Star Award for Excellence, and the Bharat Literary Award -2023 for his contribution to contemporary literature.

Happily married, he lives in Pune and can be contacted at [email protected]