“Cocktails From Hell; Five Complex Wars Shaping the 21st Century” provides a concise and sobering examination of the five complex wars shaping the 21st century. Retired Army Colonel Austin Bay crafts a textbook examination of the most troubling regions and shares his thoughts with our listeners.
Bay derived the book title from the idea that there are usually several factors involved in the mix of a geopolitical conflict, a “cocktail” if you will.
For observers of recent history, some of the potential tinderboxes are obvious like Korea and Chinese expansion in the South China Sea. Some others may not be on everyone’s radar, including Iran’s proxy war in Yemen the seemingly eternal conflicts in the Congo.
Cocktails From Hell is a must read for anyone who follows strategy and world history. Col. Bay outlines not only the “what” but the historical context and the “why” for each region featured in his book. Bay highlights the “knowns” of each scenario and also the unknowns and potential wildcards in each case.
The chapter on the Congo is particularly disturbing not only because of the extent of the violence but also the fact that we so rarely hear about these conflicts through our media. Bay highlights this point with the comment that there were 10-12 violent conflicts taking place in the Congo when his book went to press. “The Congo is roughly the size of Western Europe – imagine if there were 10 wars taking place right now in Europe – do you think we would be hearing about it?”
Bay adds that if there would have been a sixth chapter of his book, it would have involved the turmoil and potential ramifications of what is taking place on our own southern border including the cartel wars and catastrophe in Venezuela.
TAKEAWAY: “ I’m not being predictive about what is going to happen, I show you some alternatives and discuss the goals and strategic cocktails of some of the participants.”