Setting the Stage – The T’ai Kung

Setting the Stage – The T’ai Kung

King Wu inquired of the T’ai Kung: “I want to attain our aim [of overthrowing the Shang], but I have three doubts. I am afraid that our strength will be inadequate to attack the strong, to estrange his close supporters within the court, and disperse his people. What shall I do?” The T’ai Kung replied: “Accord with the situation, be very cautious in making plans, and employ your material resources. Now in order to attack the strong, you must nurture them to make them even stronger, and increase them to make them even more extensive. What is too strong will certainly break; what is too extensive must have deficiencies. Attack the strong through his strength. Cause the estrangement of his favored officials by using his favorites, and disperse his people by means of the people. “Now in the Tao of planning, thoroughness and secrecy are treasured. You should become involved with him in numerous affairs and ply him with temptations of profit. Conflict will then surely arise. “If you want to cause his close supporters to become estranged from him, you must do it by using what they love–making gifts to those he favors, giving them what they want. Tempt

The Explosive Conclusion – Option Zulu

The Explosive Conclusion – Option Zulu

  The lead elements of the PLA assault took their time approaching the university. Hank was up on the top floor, all too aware that he was a lot higher up than he wanted to be if the shelling started in earnest, watching as the first armored vehicles edged out of the trees and began spreading out across the fields to the north of the campus. Mostly painted in the weird blue, green, and gray PLAN marine camouflage, the first ZBD-2000 light tanks and ZBD-05 amphibious assault vehicles crept out onto the open ground, PLAN marines using the vehicles for cover as they advanced. They were moving more slowly and cautiously than Hank had expected. Maybe they’d taken more losses on landing than they’d anticipated. That slow, cautious advance wasn’t going to help them as much as they might have hoped. A tank’s main gun thundered off to his left as one of the dug-in M60A3s opened fire at what amounted to point-blank range for a tank. The Taiwanese had been upgrading their aging M60 and M48 tanks over the last few years. That particular M60A3 down there was covered in reactive armor and sported a 120mm main gun, instead

The War’s Not Over – Power Vacuum is Out!

The War’s Not Over – Power Vacuum is Out!

A large part of the Maelstrom Rising series has been aiming at how a next world war wouldn’t necessarily look like most people think. Power Vacuum drives that home, as it becomes clearer that Thunder Run was far from the end in Europe. The European Defense Council Has Fallen… …But Peace Has Not Come to Europe Will the Chaos Only Spread from Here? The thunder run into Germany has left Matt’s team battered and borderline combat ineffective. The Triarii don’t have the reinforcements for them to stand down, however. Commitments in the US and the Western Pacific have stretched them thin. And with Europe in chaos, there is no rest to be had. Jihadis have struck repeatedly, sowing bloodshed and confusion where possible, and it appears the Turks are involved. The Russians are pushing in the east, and they may have operatives in the heart of Western Europe as well. The European Defense Corps hasn’t stood down, either. And a new NGO that’s arrived to help might be the most dangerous enemy of all… *** Hybrid Warfare. It’s become something of a buzzword. There are books written about how it became a buzzword (One in particular, that proved to be a massive waste

Power Vacuum Chapter 1

Power Vacuum Chapter 1

I hate PSD work. One of the benefits of being in the Grex Luporum teams is that we can be mobile and unpredictable, moving quickly and often invisibly through the AO to get the mission done. When the mission is to act as a Personal Security Detachment, escorting a public figure, though, especially one who might end up becoming the next Prime Minister of Germany, it gets harder to stay unpredictable. Which was why I wasn’t all that surprised when the lead vehicle blew up just short of the bridge over the Ochtum. The armored Land Rover disappeared into a boiling black cloud that slammed out of the trees on the side of the road, the heavy thud of the detonation traveling through the ground toward us. I caught a glimpse of the vehicle a moment later, slewed halfway around with its back wheels against the median, the armored glass starred and a few hundred frag holes punched into the doors, as I keyed my radio. “Contact, right.” The Land Rover that had been hit cracked its doors, the Germans who formed the bulk of Wenzeslaus Gorman’s official PSD sticking their MP7s out through the “V” and covering down on

Power Vacuum Prologue

Power Vacuum Prologue

New Russian Military Exercises in Serbia   Recent reports indicate that what appears to be an entire Russian airborne battalion from the 7th Guards Air Assault Division has entered Serbia and is conducting joint exercises with the Serbian Army near the Hungarian border. So far, there have been no border crossings, but there are reports of live fire near the border. Hungarian Defense Forces are on high alert. Serbian relations with the West soured considerably following the Fourth Balkan War, in which Western forces intervened in the dispute between Serbia and Kosovo for the second time. The aftermath of that war saw Serbia drawn far more firmly into Russia’s orbit. With Russian forces pushing along the borders of Slovakia and Poland, ostensibly to create a “security buffer zone” between Russian-occupied territory and the war that erupted in Slovakia last year, this new movement presents a matter of some grave concern.   Chinese Naval Forces Shift Focus   Following reports of violence on and around the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, including the reported—though vehemently denied by PLAN spokesperson Bai Guanting—sinking of several PLAN destroyers and severe damage done to the PLAN aircraft carrier Shandong, it appears that the

Into the Gray Zone – Area Denial is Live

Into the Gray Zone – Area Denial is Live

There’s a Shadow War going on… …And now the Triarii know it Now it’s time for the next move Hank and his section took a beating in West Texas, but they accomplished their mission and secured a strategic asset against a daring attempt to seize it. And in the process, they found out who’s really behind the war. Now it’s time to strike back. The government doesn’t want to admit Chinese involvement, despite what the Triarii and the Texas Rangers uncovered. So, once again, the Triarii must act on their own. Destination: The South China Sea Mission: Take the war to the People’s Republic of China But will that be more easily said than done?   China has been pushing extra-legal territorial claims in the Spratly and Paracel island chains in the South China Sea for years. They have built artificial islands on reefs and shoals to beef up their claims, while simultaneously bullying their neighbors in the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan, militarily and economically. They have even attempted to keep the US Navy out of international waters, claiming vast swathes of ocean as “security zones” around their ships. They have used irregular forces in the form of People’s

Strategic Assets Hits Audio

Strategic Assets Hits Audio

The march to get the Maelstrom Rising series on audio continues. Cody knocked it out of the park with Strategic Assets. (Granted, my Polish isn’t great, so I hope his pronunciations are better than mine would be–I trust that they are, given what he did with the Mandarin on Kill Yuan.) All 10 hours + of Strategic Assets is now available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. 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

Rolling the Dice – Thunder Run is Live Today!

Rolling the Dice – Thunder Run is Live Today!

Thunder Run has officially gone live on Kindle! Everything in Europe will change after this. Whether for the better or worse? That remains to be seen… Europe teeters on the brink… …As all sides consider their next move But can one more blow really end the war? The European Defense Council’s doomsday strike has been averted. More American forces have reached Poland. And the Russians are starting to turn up the pressure in the Baltic. Now, as the EDC’s irregular campaigns ramp up, a decision has to be made. Matt’s team will be back on the tip of the spear, regardless of the plan. But as forces start to move, and the leadership starts to outline their plan, the less he likes it. It sounds like wishful thinking to him. But he’s a Triarii team leader. He’ll always answer the call. Still, the questions remain. Does victory lie at the end? Or a situation made much, much worse? Get it here. And if you liked it, please consider leaving a rating or review.

Thunder Run Chapter 3

Thunder Run Chapter 3

A week and a half later, I walked into our TOC in Fort Grodzisko. The bunker hadn’t gotten much warmer since the winter, though it had gotten brighter, as more work lights were brought in. We still did some planning and intel collection on computers, but given how fast and how nasty the cyber war had gotten—not to mention how often power grids were being targeted, on both sides of the Atlantic—we used paper maps, whiteboards, and as much analog stuff as we could. And those needed light. Brian Hartrick was waiting in the “Grex Luporum Corner,” along with Shane Tucker and Bobby Burkhart, the other two Grex Luporum team leaders in country. There weren’t a lot of us, and we were in high demand in the States—and there were whispers about new ops in the Western Pacific, though those were extremely hush-hush at the moment—so Shane, Bobby, and I were it for the moment. We were also all understrength. We’d taken losses over the last few months since all this started. None of our ten-man teams were sitting at more than eight bodies. “You made it.” Hartrick’s sardonic tone always sounded like he wasn’t sure if what he was

Thunder Run Chapter 2

Thunder Run Chapter 2

The Territorial Defense troops were piling out of the Star 266 trucks where they’d pulled over on the side of the road, and the first couple of squads had already started to spread out into the woods as Chris and I rejoined Scott and the rest of the team. Scott and Arkadiusz had already deconflicted and linked up with the Poles. The two of them were standing near the lead truck, talking to Jaskolski while Reuben guided the Light Infantry point elements into the woods. It would not be a good thing if they stumbled on us in the dark and the wrong people got shot. I glanced over the men and women spreading out into the trees. They were better equipped than the raid force had been, but that wasn’t saying a lot. Load bearing vests worn over bulky, early 2000s era body armor turned even the fittest soldier into a lumbering pear shape, and not all these boys and girls were lean and mean studs to begin with. They at least had night vision, monoculars mounted on old MICH helmets. The Territorial Defense Brigades had gotten a lot of the Wojska Lądowe’s old FB Beryl 5.56 AKs, as