Mercenaries haven’t really been a staple of mainstream thrillers since the ’80s. Tom Clancy introduced Jack Ryan, an analyst, as the hero of his techno-thrillers, and it seemed to set the tone for much of the genre to come. Harold Coyle’s heroes were mostly tankers. Dale Brown’s were bomber pilots. As the GWOT got started, even the more shadowy operatives, like Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp and Brad Taylor’s Pike Logan were still directly operating within the government apparatus, if so black that they “didn’t exist.” So, why did I go with mercenaries for the Praetorian series, Kill Yuan, and the Brannigan’s Blackhearts series? Well, I think that has several answers.
I was in USMC recruit training the day Coalition Forces crossed the line of departure into Iraq. I was still there — almost ready to graduate the day that “major combat operations” came to an end. A year-and-a-half later, as a newly minted Recon Marine I deployed to Iraq for the first time. Within two weeks of our arrival in-country, the first shots had been exchanged between the insurgents and Marines of 1st Recon Bn. It didn’t slow down much for the rest of the deployment. A lot of words have been written, spoken or shouted about the war, most of them coming from people who were never there — by individuals who never experienced the dust, the heat, the threat, or the frustration. Some of us have spoken up and voiced our stories, but the vast majority of what is said is from those with no experience; from those who presume to know all there is to know. I am not here to tell my story; there is very little about it that is much different from the stories told by the thousands of other soldiers and Marines who saw combat in Mesopotamia. Instead, I am going to look at
While the media and many news sites cover the violence in Mali and Syria, it bears mentioning that there are still al-Qaeda and other fundamentalist groups operating within Iraq itself. Violence increased with the withdrawal of US troops last year, and the al-Qaeda involvement in the Syrian civil war has highlighted the fact that the organization we fought for almost nine years is far from dead. On March 11, a suicide bomber in Dibis, northwest of Kirkuk, killed three people and wounded 165, mostly school children at a nearby girls’ school. On the 7th, two gunmen and an Iraqi policeman were killed in a firefight in Ramadi. A third gunman, suspected to be al-Qaeda, was arrested. The three had planted an IED on the road to Anbar University, and had two more in their possession. Read more: http://sofrep.com/18137/iraq-isnt-exactly-over/#ixzz2NRCZzich