“Timeliness” is a temptation that I think most military/spy fiction writers have to deal with. “Ripped from the headlines!” and “Prophetic!” are compliments that reviewers have used for works in the genre going back to Tom Clancy, at least. Those same phrases have been applied to some of my own work, and I’ll admit that it can be somewhat affirming (though often in a grim sort of way) to see events move in a generally similar direction to that predicted in one of your novels. It shows you that you read the situation fairly accurately.
Roi Tri Somboon Sirpreecha was nervous. It had been a whole fifteen days since he had reported to his post as the youngest, least-experienced platoon commander in the Thanan Phran, the Thai Rangers. It hadn’t been an easy fifteen days, either. While the Royal Thai Army provided the Thanan Phran with its officer and NCO corps, many of the men had their own ideas about discipline and responsibility. He’d long heard that many of the Rangers had been criminals, pardoned of their crimes for joining up, but he hadn’t realized just how shadowy the interior workings of the Thanan Phran could be until he’d caught one of his more experienced and respected Rangers brazenly stealing from one of the villagers when they’d passed through Ban Pha Hi on patrol. When he’d confronted the man, he’d found himself half-surrounded by suddenly surly Rangers, all with weapons close at hand. He’d held his ground, backed up by Sip Ek Klahan Phonarthit, and the Rangers had slowly backed down. The culprit, Kamun Amsir, had finally handed the stolen food back to the bent old woman, giving the Roi Tri a smile that promised that he would learn how the Thanan Phran worked, or