San Diegans, living in the midst of a heavy military presence have daily reminders that the potential of warfare is something that we simply cannot just ignore. Indeed, as noted philosopher, essayist, and novelist George Santayana famously commented, “Only the dead have seen the end of war”.

Coronado resident and former naval aviator George Galdorisi has his focus on the horizon trying to intuit what future wars might be like in order to help the United States better prepare for a conflict that might one day force the nation’s hand. His latest novel, Fire and Ice, published by Braveship Books is another entry in an increasingly popular genre known as FICINT (Fictional Intelligence), which melds narrative and non-fiction. In essence, it is imagining future warfare scenarios based on the realities of high-end combat and real-world intelligence, not fantasy – the U.S. national security community has now embraced this new genre as a useful instrument to discern how tomorrow’s wars will be fought.

Fire and Ice is an engrossing thriller focused on the political-military tensions created by a modern-day Russia at its vindictive worst. Vladimir Putin emerges as a central character that uses the fulcrum of Belarus to hold Western Europe hostage by strangling their oil and gas supplies. Fire and Ice poses the plausible and highly realistic question: Can Putin and his rogue nation be thwarted through the combined efforts of EU and US political and military might?

Central figures Rick Holden and Laura Peters find themselves thrown together by their parent agencies — the CIA and the DoD’s European Command — respectively. Their mission to rescue an American captured by Putin’s henchmen is successful, but then they must shift gears and race against time to thwart vengeful Chechen terrorists from getting their hands on weapons of mass destruction and starting a nuclear war in Europe. Drawing on cutting-edge military technology developed in recent years, and referred to as AI (Artificial Intelligence), Galdorisi leverages both his decades of experience as a naval aviator and his current work at a U.S. Navy laboratory creating innovative technology to inject a new and harrowing level of future warfare reality into the-for the moment-fictional Fire and Ice.

Whilst reading, I was struck by how prescient this book truly is given the fact that it was conceived in 2018, and without revealing the plot, the narrative of a larger country invading a smaller, the blockage of the Suez Canal, and cyber-attacks on energy facilities do populate today’s headlines.

Author George Galdorisi is a Coronado resident, career naval aviator, and New York Times bestselling author. His thirty years of active duty service included four command tours, five years as a carrier strike group chief of staff, and leader of the delegation for military-to-military consultations with the Chinese Navy. He is the Director of Strategic Assessments and Technical Futures at the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific in San Diego.