2020: A Pivotal Year?

Navigating Strategic Change at a Time of COVID-19 Disruption

Non-Fiction - Gov/Politics
330 Pages
Reviewed on 04/19/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tommy Wong for Readers' Favorite

Robbin F. Laird's 2020: A Pivotal Year? Navigating Strategic Change at a Time of COVID-19 Disruption is a collection of essays and articles by numerous authors. As the world was unexpectedly and suddenly disrupted by COVID-19, which started in 2019 and became more severe in 2020, the world is in serious need of deep, rational, and objective analyses on the impact of COVID-19. The essays and articles included give such analyses. This is why 2020: A Pivotal Year? is such a valuable book at this point in time.

Edited by Robbin F. Laird, there are six chapters in 2020: A Pivotal Year? In each chapter, there are essays and articles covering a range of topics. I particularly liked the essay “The War Against Coronavirus or Is It?” by Pierre Tran, which is in Chapter 1, “Navigating the Covid-19 World”. Indeed, as we are trying to get the virus under control, should we use a strategy as if we are fighting in a war. The essay “Is a War with China Inevitable?” by Paul Dibb in Chapter 2, “Global Strategic Dynamics,” offers potent reading as the consequence is truly global. I found the essay “2020 a Pivotal Year?” by Robbin Laird in Chapter 6, “In Lieu of a Conclusion,” deeply insightful. It states: “The negative fruits of globalization were clearly demonstrated in 2020… after decades of relatively prosperity aided by a certain kind of globalization, that period of history is clearly over.” Yes, the post- COVID-19 world will be different. What will it be like? Laird's 2020: A Pivotal Year? points out the factors that will shape the post-COVID-19 world – a highly recommended read!

Foluso Falaye

The Covid-19 pandemic has seriously challenged governments around the world, and 2020 was definitely a notable and memorable year for all. Robbin F. Laird's 2020: A Pivotal Year? contains an overview of the challenge of navigating strategic change at a time of COVID-19 disruption. The book treats six different subjects, which are the impact of Covid-19 on defense and shaping a way forward; a number of broader global dynamics of change, including a variety of assessments of Brazil, the Pacific, and the Middle East; some French policy developments and the challenges of dealing with 21st-century authoritarian states; the launching of a new defense strategy for Australia and a shift in Australian-Chinese relations; some important historical perspectives for making future plans; and a set of concluding essays.

Robbin F. Laird's 2020: A Pivotal Year? is a highly comprehensive and informative literary anthology. When I saw the title of the book, I expected the author to be someone who has a good grasp of what they're talking about. They definitely do! The convincing arguments backed up by logic, facts, and historical examples are a testament. Robbin F. Laird reveals the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic may not be the last of its kind and it would be advisable for governments to prepare ahead for similar events in the future and the resulting threats that could come from other countries. Robbin F. Laird's 2020: A Pivotal Year? is highly recommended for people against authoritarian governments and readers who are concerned about the defense of some liberal democracies, especially in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Grace Masso

Edited by Robbin F. Laird, 2020: A Pivotal Year? Navigating Strategic Change at a Time of COVID-19 Disruption features compelling voices articulating leadership-related themes through the crucial period of the pandemic, a thought-provoking book for leaders. This book explores the global impact of the Covid-19 disruption and its rippling effects, especially across Europe and Asia. The book provides fresh perspectives on leading the world through the disaster into a future of hope. This book shows readers the opportunity for growth in the Covid-19 mess while looking at the effects of the disruption in different areas, and notably defense organizations. The book features authors and interviewers such as Anne Borzycki, John Blackburn, David Beaumont, Dr. Ross Babbage, Debalina Ghoshal, Paul Bracken, and many others.

This book provides a clear picture of the effects of the pandemic in Australia, Europe, and the UK. The book is divided into many parts, with the first focusing on the impact of the pandemic on defense and ways to shape the future. The other parts consider broader dynamics of change, with a focus on Brazil, the Pacific, and the Middle East, and other regions. This book will appeal to readers who are interested in how the pandemic has affected different parts of the world and the different sectors of social, political, and geopolitical life. As one reads through these essays, one begins to form a strong idea of what effective leadership entails in these challenging times. Robbin F. Laird's 2020: A Pivotal Year? is an interesting and informative book that provides an overview of the pandemic while exploring ways to move forward. It is filled with compelling social and political commentaries and features some of the contemporary leaders and how the pandemic affected their style of leadership. It is a well-researched, professionally edited, and engaging book, reflecting voices from different professional backgrounds.

Vincent Dublado

Robbin F. Laird's 2020: A Pivotal Year? Navigating Strategic Change at a Time of COVID-19 Disruption is an indispensable and informative book on the path toward the next normal after the pandemic. As mortality rates still continue to alarm certain parts of the world and raise questions on economic uncertainties, this book focuses on the impact of COVID-19 and strategic change evidenced in 2020. A number of article pieces here come from two major websites: Second Line of Defense and Defense Information. As the year 2020 will go down in infamy as the year of the pandemic, certain strategic dynamics must follow as life goes on. This book is divided into six parts: 1) the pandemic’s impact on defense; 2) Brazil, the Pacific, and Middle East assessments; 3) Europe-wide developments upon the Macron and Merkel leadership; 4) Australian developments; 5) historical perspectives; 6) a set of essays for the conclusion.

COVID-19 is not only a health crisis of global proportions, but it has also become a catalyst for restructuring the global economic system. Now, more than ever, a book like 2020: A Pivotal Year? is relevant as far as providing navigation to leaders and citizens on what is next. Robbin Laird talks with key figures to discuss key challenges and responses to black swan and gray swan events, which greatly helps to give you an idea of how to shape your life in the post-COVID world. We still have a long road ahead in understanding the full implications of COVID-19, but one thing is certain: We live in a time where we are significantly shaping a new way of doing things that will lead to the emergence of a new world. The challenge we are facing will not go away soon, so it is imperative to listen to what Laird and his colleagues have to say about the matter. This is in order to help us gain a better understanding of what we are dealing with and make more informed decisions in shaping our new way of life.

Rabia Tanveer

Robbin F. Laird's 2020: A Pivotal Year? Navigating Strategic Change at a Time of COVID-19 Disruption is a commentary on the COVID-19 crisis. The author has shared his views on the world's crisis due to COVID-19 and shared other essays by different authors to back his ideas. The first half of the book talks about the impact COVID-19 has had on the western world as it scrambles to get back to its feet. After that, the focus is on how the post-pandemic world has almost destroyed the Asian and European worlds' political dynamics. Quarantine, COVID-19 crisis effects on society and the economies of countries, the response of the European Union, and even insignificant things such as the toilet paper crisis, reveal a face of society unlike ever before. In conclusion, the authors reflect on what is yet to come for Europe, the USA, and Australia in 2021.

Robbin F. Laird's 2020: A Pivotal Year? is cohesive and conclusive. The authors pen their thoughts with facts, without any suppositions of what could have/would have/should have happened. The compilation smoothly transitions from one topic to the next, one country to the next, and one continent to the other. Each author has done their research, and it shows. Each essay brings something new to the table. The essays critically look at the COVID-19 response of France, the United States, and Australia. The authors draw comparisons where necessary and draw attention to the impact of this pandemic in the grand scheme of things. COVID-19 changed our geopolitical structures and relationships, and the authors carefully explain why that happened. The face of democracy changed, and that was inevitable. This collection will be beneficial to future and current students studying the impact of this pandemic on the present and the future.