Call of Duty and Subversion

Call of Duty and Subversion

So, the teaser trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War has raised some eyebrows. Also, it has apparently infuriated some Communists. Which is all to the good. It’s essentially a series of clips from an interview with KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov in the ’80s, discussing Soviet “Active Measures,” the subversion campaign used by the KGB against the Soviet Union’s adversaries, the chief one of which was the United States. The trailer has also been censored in China, ostensibly because of Tiananmen Square footage (though one might wonder if the Chinese, who have also practiced subversion and propaganda to a greater extent than some might realize, might be censoring it for other reasons, as well). I’ve been effectively tuned out of the Call of Duty franchise for a while. I’ve heard some good things about the Modern Warfare reboot (or whatever it is) from last year, but it hasn’t been in the budget (either looking at money or disk space). This surprised me, though. (Especially after Activision/Blizzard bent the knee to the PRC last year.) That a major media company might actually be calling out Communists, and in a much more real-world context, is fascinating. The trailer provides a few

The “Fourth Balkan War” and the Real World

The “Fourth Balkan War” and the Real World

I admittedly haven’t worked out a lot of the details of the Fourth Balkan War. It’s part of the background, though largely as combat experience for a number of the veterans who form the backbone of the Triarii.   The general sweep is that it was, essentially, NATO’s last gasp, trying to defuse a powder keg situation between Kosovo and Serbia, based on news reports a couple years ago about Kosovo seeking to build it’s own army–to Belgrade’s rather strident objections.   In-universe, obviously, the powder keg was *mostly* defused. Though it was a lot nastier than most people Stateside got to see.   Yet, looking at the overall real-world situation in the Balkans right now, as Shirvan of Caspian Report outlines it, the Fourth Balkan War could very easily have turned into the flashpoint that started the Maelstrom Rising series. Not only do you have a large Muslim population–and while it seems to have been mostly supplanted by Chechnya in the popular consciousness, Bosnia-Herzegovina has been a prime recruiting ground for Al Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Daesh–but increasingly Russian, European, and Chinese interests have turned toward the Balkans. It is still possible that a flare-up in the Balkans now would see

Words of Wisdom on The Nature Of War

Words of Wisdom on The Nature Of War

I do a lot of research for my writing, particularly the military thriller writing. Unlike some authors, who take long vacations as “research” (I can’t afford to, and so much of the on-the-ground stuff is extrapolated from Google Earth.), most of my research is directed toward history, current events, and warfare. I’ve got an ever-increasing military professional reading library, from which the following words of wisdom come: “It is often said that guerrilla warfare is primitive. This generalization is dangerously misleading and true only in the technological sense. If one considers the picture as a whole, a paradox is immediately apparent, and the primitive form is understood to be in fact more sophisticated than nuclear war or atomic war or war as it was waged by conventional armies, navies, and air forces. Guerrilla war is not dependent for success on the efficient operation of complex mechanical devices, highly organized logistical systems, or the accuracy of electronic computers. It can be conducted in any terrain, in any climate, in any weather; in swamps, in mountains, in farmed fields. Its basic element is man, and man is more complex than any of his machines. He is endowed with intelligence, emotions, and will.

Go Behind the Lines – Strategic Assets is Out!

Go Behind the Lines – Strategic Assets is Out!

And it’s time for our second release of the month. Strategic Assets went live at midnight. A few people of the paperback persuasion have already ordered it, since the paperback went live several days early. They retook Gdansk… …At a terrible cost for both sides. Where and when will the next blow fall? Winter is setting in, and Eastern Europe is hurting.  Russians prowl on one side, while the European Defense Council’s forces sit on the German side of the border, strangely quiet.  Matt and his team have recovered from the wounds they received in Gdansk, but as low-intensity warfare continues, the question remains: What is the EDC waiting for? The Triarii are sure that the same people who launched the war aren’t giving up.  They’ve already killed thousands.  Power is their only goal, and the EDC won’t simply leave the Americans and Poles in peace.  They can’t.  Too much blood has already been shed. So, Matt and his team get a new mission. Go deep into enemy territory and find out what is happening. Before the next hammer blow ends the war for good…   Getting back to Grex Luporum Team X in Europe, this one’s a little different from

Strategic Assets Chapter 2

Strategic Assets Chapter 2

Nine men with weapons and gear made for a tight fit in the little van. We ended up stacked up on the street as each man piled in, trying to climb into a seat without getting rifle or pouches snagged on seats, seatbelts, or door frames. Chris was already in the driver’s seat, looking over his shoulder as I climbed into the right seat. I didn’t have to worry about the crowding; privilege of command. Chris had the heater running full blast, and I was already sweating under my jacket, despite the cold. “Come on, come on!” Chris was a bit older than I was, but he tended to be a bit more excitable. He’d been a SEAL before the Triarii, but he was now a minister in some splinter Protestant church, and an all-around nice guy. “They’re moving while we’re still sitting here!” The van rocked on its shocks as nine big men in combat gear clambered aboard. I was trying to watch every direction at once, scanning windows and doors all around us. While the obvious threat might have run to the south, I’d learned a long time before that there was rarely only one threat, and the

Strategic Assets Chapter 1

Strategic Assets Chapter 1

We were only about half a block away from Saint Augustine’s Church when the explosion shattered the morning calm. I saw the ugly black cloud of dust, smoke, and debris billow out from around the corner a fraction of a second before the ground shook with the tooth-rattling boom. Scott and I dove between a van and a box truck, getting into the questionable cover of a crooked brick wall that bordered the narrow lawn on the side of the street. I glanced up at the clear, cold, blue sky, scanning between the barren branches above for fast movers. My hand had instinctively moved for the pistol under my jacket, even though there wasn’t a blessed thing I could do with it if the EDC was bombing Wroclaw. The sky was clear, though, and no more explosions followed that first big one. Instead, gunfire rattled down the street near the church, and yells and screams split the morning air as the smoke rose higher in the sky. Scott and I looked at each other for a second before we both drew our weapons. I pulled the radio out of my back pocket. “Chatty, Deacon,” I called. “Contact at St. Augustine’s.

Weaponized Outrage Judo

Weaponized Outrage Judo

So, some of you might have noticed a bit of a kerfuffle around SPOTREPS – A Maelstrom Rising Anthology during the last couple of days. Someone (identity unknown and uninvestigated due to a complete lack of giving a damn) pulled a drive-by on the reviews within the first few hours after it went live. Most of their one-star review was gibberish. Mike Kupari had to look some of the nonsense jargon up. Turns out, the “reviewer” (who most likely did not like the book and had a grudge against one or another of the authors) was using specifically “ethno-nationalist” terms. Their bitch was that we didn’t buy into the idea that the only viable foundation for a nation-state is race. That a republic based on the Natural Law and the equality of all under the law was “magic” and in no way preferable to Marxism and Communism. Larry Correia promptly rubbed his big hands in glee and turned his considerable fanbase loose. We call it a “Hooning.” (Long story.) Many bought the book out of sheer spite. If the racist punk who tried to drag it through the mud was hoping to damage the anthology, their hatred had the opposite

It’s Here – SPOTREPS Is Out

It’s Here – SPOTREPS Is Out

Today is the day. For the first time, I’ve got other authors – including some powerhouses – playing in my sandbox. SPOTREPS – A Maelstrom Rising Anthology is live on Kindle and Paperback. The World Order is Crumbling… …And only a handful stand in the breach. But should they defend the status quo, or destroy it? The Triarii were founded to hold the line, to fill in the gaps where order was breaking down in the US, and then overseas as what looks very much like World War III breaks out.  They aren’t the only ones, though. Many men and women can see what’s coming.  And they’re pissed. From the Stateside unrest to peacekeeping missions abroad, to mercenary operations in Africa and South America, twelve authors bring their talents to the Maelstrom Rising series.  Twelve stories of action, combat, and intrigue set against the backdrop of a new kind of World War. The future of war is amorphous and dirty. Are you ready?  

Strategic Assets Prologue

Strategic Assets Prologue

Yes, it’s getting close. With SPOTREPS coming out in days, Strategic Assets is not far behind. Violent Divisions Grow Sharper Across the US In the aftermath of the mass blackouts and terrorist attacks that all but paralyzed the United States in the early fall, a divide that has lain beneath the surface for years has become all the more bitter and pronounced. States have locked down their points of entry, some using the National Guard, some using a combination of law enforcement, National Guard, and private military companies. Many cities have become sharply divided by area, some neighborhoods becoming veritable fortresses controlled by local groups, which now go openly armed. The right-wing organization calling itself The Triarii has taken control of several Midwestern and Western cities, as well as major supply chains. In the meantime, considerable portions of the Northeast and West Coast appear to be all but completely under the de facto control of the left-wing People’s Revolutionary Action. PRA spokesperson Shirley Wang stated yesterday, “The fascists and racists who have exploited this tragedy are on the move. We have no choice but to act decisively, to stop them by any means necessary. The racist, xenophobic defenders of a corrupt

SPOTREPS – A Maelstrom Rising Anthology Foreword

SPOTREPS – A Maelstrom Rising Anthology Foreword

This collection came together thanks to a couple of things. One goes way back to the beginning of my writing career. In a way, it could even be said that this entire book is Dave Reeder’s fault. I sent Dave a copy of Task Force Desperate, in the hopes that he’d review it on Breach-Bang-Clear. He did, and the review was pretty glowing. Over the next couple of years, as the American Praetorians series advanced, his enthusiasm didn’t wane. In many ways, I’m indebted to Dave as a perpetual source of encouragement as an action thriller writer. He also brought up the possibility of writing in one or another of my series. When the idea for the Maelstrom Rising series came to me, I initially worked up a little promotional graphic, a black and white photo of a raging fire on a street, with the following text:   Most of the pundits are calling it World War Three, though a friend of mine says it’s really more like Five or Six. Others are calling it the Great Global Breakdown, or the War of All Against All. We Triarii? We just call it work.   Dave immediately wanted to know what