Maelstrom Rising Tech: Kamikaze Drones

Maelstrom Rising Tech: Kamikaze Drones

The Maelstrom Rising series already features some “cutting-edge” tech.  Some of that tech has already been fielded; some of it is in development.  One of these pieces of tech are “kamikaze drones,” which get employed to devastating effect in Escalation.  A couple of my readers have commented on how scary they are.  But they’re real, and we’re going to see more of them in the years to come. (Side note: While tech will feature in the Maelstrom Rising series, it will never be depicted as the panacea that you might find in a lot of ’90s techno-thrillers.  Anyone who has read my stuff before should already be aware of that.  High tech complicates logistics, and logistics are already hampering everybody’s war effort in Maelstrom Rising.) These kamikaze drones have been in development for some time.  The US and Israel appear to have been the primary developers.  The US has begun fielding the Switchblade drone several years ago.

Couple of Things

Couple of Things

It’s becoming harder and harder to get the word out to you, the fans, that I’ve got new books out.  Facebook throttles everything.  Amazon Marketing Services has gotten less and less effective over the last six to nine months, as the market has gotten more and more saturated.  And that same market saturation makes visibility more difficult, as well.  So, the solution is more of a direct contact between me, the author, and you, the reader.  The newsletter is one of the best ways to accomplish that.  So, if you haven’t read Drawing the Line before, or even if you have, go ahead and sign up.  It will help ensure that you do get the word when I’ve got stuff happening, instead of letting it get lost in the noise.

Setting the Stage Part 7: European Defense Council

The actual insignia of the real-world Eurocorps.

Recruited in secret, trained and equipped in secret (there was plenty of money for the Corps’ equipment; it was mostly in “black” accounts and various other secret and officially illegal shelters and revenue streams), the European Defense Corps was built on the bones of the old Euro Corps and trained and commanded by French and German veterans of Afghanistan, Mali, and the Balkans.  Impressed and indoctrinated heavily with the mission of a united Europe, and the evils of nationalism and traditionalism, the young men who were recruited, many of them foreigners, were subjected to a harsh training regimen, rivalling that of the French Foreign Legion

ESCALATION Chapter 2

ESCALATION Chapter 2

The abandoned farm sat right at the no-man’s land between the Belgian peacekeeping sector and one of the few, small, Loyalist Slovak Army sectors. While what was left of the Army that hadn’t gone over to the Nationalists after the initial riots was still outwardly loyal to the shaky government in Bratislava, that loyalty was in question among many of the peacekeepers, especially the Germans and Belgians. None of this would have been happening if the Slovaks hadn’t already had enough of both Brussels’ financial demands and the forced immigration, mostly of young Kosovar, Bosnian, and Syrian men. To that end, most of the EDC peacekeepers made no secret of the fact that they didn’t trust the Slovak Army.

Setting the Stage Part 6

Setting the Stage Part 6

Russian actions across the former Soviet Union…have been met with open hostility from the West. While that hostility is not misplaced, given the general disregard for the Laws of Ground Warfare displayed by Russian forces, both regular and irregular, and the realities of alliances on the ground, it has led to clashes and showdowns, especially in Syria, where the Russians are backing Bashar al Assad’s government, while the US and the West have backed militias they consider to be democratic rebels

ESCALATION Chapter 1

ESCALATION Chapter 1

We barely paused, just turning and burning back down the hall.As I came out, I glanced down the stairway, in time to see two men in dark clothes, chest rigs, and turbans start up the stairs.  I threw myself across the hallway as they opened fire, bullets chewing into the ceiling and sending bits of plaster raining down on us, and returned fire.  My first shot smashed into the smaller man’s collarbone, sending him reeling as the follow-up shot tore his throat out.The snap of the bullet made the taller, skinnier guy flinch.  Which was when Jordan leaned out of the door and shot him in the skull.  His head snapped backward as he crashed onto his back.  Red started seeping from the turban wrapped around his head.

ESCALATION Prologue

ESCALATION Prologue

In the third such killing in the last six months, Senator Tyrone Billings of Michigan was killed by a VBIED outside his Ann Arbor home last night.  This comes after three months of threats, following Billings’ vote against S.8853, the “Hate Speech” law that would bring the US into line with European Union standards.  Most of Senator Billings’ security was killed in the blast.  Police have no leads.

The War Planners

The War Planners

A good chunk of the middle of the book is devoted to the Red Cell’s planning, suiting the book’s title, The War Planners.  These people, from various intelligence and defense agencies, as well as private contractors, are getting into the weeds on not only military defenses, but psychological warfare, economic warfare, information operations, and infrastructure attacks and weaknesses.  Watts clearly put some research in, and understands at least some of not only the Chinese model of “Unrestricted Warfare,” but also something about how Chinese intelligence agencies work.Getting into the rest of the book might be getting too far into spoilery territory.  Suffice it to say that not all is necessarily as it seems, and it becomes a very Ludlum-esque thriller…

Setting the Stage Part 5: China and the West

Setting the Stage Part 5: China and the West

It’s not just Africa, either.  Chinese companies have taken over the bulk of the resource extraction from Afghanistan, and Chinese companies have done business with Mexican cartels for illegally mined iron, stolen petroleum, and other natural resources which have become a major source of cartel income.While there have been many scenarios about war with China published, any major war between China and the West will doubtless involve considerable combat in Africa and Latin America, to cut Beijing off from its vassals and the resources they can provide.On the cyber warfare front, there have been many indicators that have not been corroborated, but the Chinese cyber warfare unit has been active against the United States for some time.