A Volatile Situation Boils Over – Crimson Star is Out!

A Volatile Situation Boils Over – Crimson Star is Out!

While Matt Bowen and his Grex Luporum team close in on their target in Slovakia, Hank Foss has a different set of problems. A hotbed of unrest, rampant crime, and political violence, Phoenix has plenty for a Triarii Infantry Section to do. Especially when a narco capo starts forming his own revolutionary movement. But things can always get worse. The power grid goes down. Desperation mounts. Chaos intensifies. Blackouts bring coordinated attacks. The system grinds to a violent halt. And the only source of help might be a Trojan Horse. Because the People’s Republic of China only offers aid with strings attached… With Crimson Star, we take a step back in time to events contemporaneous with Escalation.  We get to see just how bad things have gotten Stateside.  And we get to see the…event…first hand. It’s live now on Kindle and Paperback!

Crimson Star Chapter 2

Crimson Star Chapter 2

He went in fast, going over the corpse in the doorway and stepping right.  There wasn’t a good place to move in the entryway; it formed a short hallway that opened up on the kitchen in the open central room, with a double door immediately to the left, that was currently closed. The closed door wasn’t the immediate threat, though.  The two men and a woman in the kitchen, the woman coming out of the bedroom beyond with what looked like a semi-auto shotgun, were. He stroked the trigger as he moved, driving forward and slowing just enough that he wouldn’t quite clear the short wall to his right before he dealt with the three threats in front of him.  His first shot took the tall, bald, heavily muscled man, covered in tattoos, high in the chest.  Red blossomed on the man’s white wife-beater and sprayed from his back, spattering the woman with the bobbed hair and red shirt in the face.  She blinked as the man crashed onto his back in front of her, then Huntsman put a bullet through her skull, the thunderclap of the report physically painful in the enclosed space.  Hank could already feel his ears

Crimson Star Chapter 1

Crimson Star Chapter 1

The desert felt downright cold in the hour before dawn. Hank Foss drew back the cutoff sock cuff on his wrist just far enough that he could make out the faintly luminous hands on his watch dial.  Five more minutes.  He slipped the cuff back in place and looked over at Cole Spencer, who lay in the shallow wash next to him. Spencer’s pitch-black face was obscured by a mottled pattern of sand and loam camouflage paint, just as Hank’s considerably lighter complexion was.  He met Hank’s eyes and nodded.  Hank nodded back, then started double-checking himself. He’d handed his rifle, a thoroughly customized 7.62 battle rifle that had started its life as a DPMS Oracle, off to Spencer, along with his assault pack.  All he had left on was his chest rig, his belt kit, and his pistol, a suppressed SIG Tactical 1911.  The holster was a miserably large chunk of nylon strapped to his thigh, but he found it preferable to any of the other carry options, and he couldn’t just carry the damned pistol as his primary. At least, once he was done with this first phase of the operation. Every strap had been taped, every buckle

Crimson Star Prologue

Crimson Star Prologue

New Wave of Murders Hits Baltimore   While estimates are still coming in, at least seventy-two people have been killed in a fresh wave of violence in Baltimore this weekend.  Victims include several police officers, and at least one family of four, identified as Jim and Patty Gorson and their two daughters. Gunfire tore through the night, and social media posts have claimed most of the killings in the name of the Black Kingdom Revolutionaries.  The group’s anonymous spokespersons have said that the killings are in retribution for the Fourth Reich’s assassination of activist Kamal Lamont Granger last week.   Standoff in Detroit   The siege of Harm’s Elementary School enters its second week today.  The leader of The Martyrs of Al Gharb, Abdulqaadir Ismaili Abdi, has issued another statement, claiming that, “The sons and daughters of the filthy kufar will be returned to their unbelieving mothers and fathers one limb, one piece at a time, unless Siad Muhammad Abdi, Ahmed Abu Qadir, and Ali Omar Hersi are freed.  If the Martyrs of Al Gharb do not receive, in addition, five hundred million dollars, we will cut out their tongues before we set them free.  Allahu Akhbar!” Local police still

On Iran and Soleimani

On Iran and Soleimani

On January 2, 2020, Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC Qods Force since 1998, took a well-deserved dirt nap. This has triggered a wave of prognostication illustrating a blinding level of ignorance of the context of the killing, or what came before it. Soleimani joined the IRGC during or just after the original Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979.  The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is one hand of the Islamic Revolution, the other being the Council of Guardians.  (More on them later.)  The IRGC is divided between the Basij (paramilitary militias raised for primarily domestic enforcement of the Revolution’s Khomeinist Shi’a ideology) and the Qods Force, which handles foreign engagement.  Which primarily consists of support, training, and direct action for terror groups, most notably Hezbollah.  The same Hezbollah responsible for the killing of 241 US Marines on October 23, 1983, in the Beirut Barracks bombing. So, what does the Qods Force and Soleimani have to do with Iraq?  A lot. The Qods Force being the primary foreign operations arm of the Islamic Revolution, it was instrumental in the Shi’a insurgency in Iraq following the invasion.  The EFP (Explosively Formed Projectile) IEDs used against many coalition convoys on the MSRs in

Setting the Stage: Peter Zeihan on Economics and Demographics

Setting the Stage: Peter Zeihan on Economics and Demographics

This video came across my radar a week or so ago.  It’s a long listen, but well worth it.  Dr. Peter Zeihan goes into some of the economics and demographics of the collapse of the post-war world order.  Some of these trends have gone into the background to the Maelstrom Rising series already.  Zeihan’s talk has further fleshed some of them out. Now, I don’t necessarily agree with his entire forecast.  I think he’s overlooking a number of, shall we say, violent variables.  His outlook is almost entirely economic and demographic, leaving aside some of the potential impacts of violent ideology, desperation politics, terrorism, and “hybrid” Fourth Generation Warfare.  Many of these variables have the potential to derail the economics he’s talking about. The demographics can also lead into some of these problems.  As was mentioned in a discussion of this video, the solution to demographic problems has occasionally been “foreign adventures.” All of that said, the Maelstrom Rising series is predicated on the trends that Zeihan outlines.  The difference is, the crisis brought about by these trends leads to desperation.  And desperate governments can do things that, in the long run, are extremely destructive and stupid.  Maelstrom Rising is about the

More Audio is Here!

More Audio is Here!

Tantor Media has just released the audio version of Holding Action, Book 2 in the Maelstrom Rising series.  Steve Marvel read it, and as I’ve said before, I’ve been quite impressed with his attention to detail. Buying time with blood…. Matt Bowen and his team made it out of Slovakia by the skin of their teeth. But the fight’s not over. And there’s no rest for the weary. The European Defense Council, desperate to salvage their dream of a Europe reshaped in their image, threaten invasion of Poland. The Triarii and what is left of American forces in Northern Europe stand by their Polish allies. But they’re outnumbered and outgunned. And they might well be watching the wrong part of the border. Get it today! As for Crimson Star…I’m still working on it.  Just passed the 91k word mark.  This has turned into a bit more of a “discovery writing” experience as I’ve gone along.  I should have a cover soon, and be able to get the preorder up for release sometime in late January.  (Hopefully Tantor will be willing to pick that one up, too.) Also, my apologies for not keeping up on the blog.  It’s been busy; I’ll try

Escalation is out on Audio!

Escalation is out on Audio!

I’ve had people asking about getting my books on audio for several years now.  I’ve given it a shot a couple of times, but things haven’t worked out to continue with the ACX Royalty Share arrangement. However, a couple of months ago, I was contacted by Tantor Media, asking if the audio rights to the Maelstrom Rising series were available.  Tantor’s not a small company; they’ve got thousands of audiobooks in their catalog.  So, I signed on. Escalation is out today.  Holding Action is in production, and will be out on the 10th of December.  Steve Marvel is narrating, and while I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, I’ve communicated with him some, and his attention to detail is admirable, and his rendition of the news stories in the Prologue (in the Sample) is spot on. Meanwhile, I’m hammering away at Crimson Star.  It’s being a bit of a bear, but I’m getting a handle on it.  Taking the scene back to CONUS presents a whole new set of complications.  Preorder and release date are still yet to be determined; I’ve got to get closer to finishing first. Kill or Capture‘s been out for a bit now. 

The True Legacy of the Cold War

The True Legacy of the Cold War

A lot of people see the Cold War as distant history.  There was even one political scientist/economist who wrote a book in 1992 claiming that the end of the Cold War was “The End of History.” Obviously, that thesis didn’t age well. But even leaving aside the nonsense that with the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new age of democracy and peace had dawned, a lot of us still see a rupture between the Cold War and the present strategic situation.  There is no such rupture, though.  History doesn’t work in “eras” except in high school textbooks. Yes, this is in reference to my last post.  An expansion, if you will.  If you want to understand why we seem to be trapped in “endless war,” then you need to understand what happened since World War II, and how that has contributed to where we are now. The Cold War has been described as the multi-decade tensions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, marked by espionage, massive conventional forces staring at each other across the Iron Curtain, and the Mutually Assured Destruction of thousands of nuclear weapons pointed in both directions.  And those were part of it.  But the Cold

On Endless War

On Endless War

A recent headline about the failure to withdraw from Afghanistan got me thinking about the “endless war” talk that’s been going on for at least the last decade.  It ties in with the “war weariness” narrative that started less than two years into the Iraq War, a war weariness felt by a population that sacrificed little or nothing.  They were just tired of seeing it on the news. But there’s something there.  The point just is not necessarily what the pundits think it is. “The Long War” as some have called it didn’t start on September 11th, 2001.  We’d been clashing with jihadi elements for a long time before that.  The Iranian Hostage Crisis began with a Shi’a jihadist revolution, that immediately targeted Americans.  It has been pointed out that the US directly supported the Shah, whose Savak secret police could rival the KGB for brutality at times, thus making the US the revolutionaries’ enemy, justifiably.  (It should be pointed out that most countries in the region have equally repressive police forces, including the “good” ones who are still our allies.) But the Islamic Revolution, like just about every other revolution in history, promptly proved itself every bit as bad, if