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SKYBIRD:
Dale Brown’s Ops Report
Copyright © 2004, TDPI

SKYBIRD: Dale Brown’s Ops Report
Copyright © 2004, Target Direct Productions Inc.

November 2004

STATUS REPORT: “Act of War” on its way!

Whew! “Act Of War” the novel (as opposed to the Atari Interactive PC game of the same name, which is based on my novel and also comes out in early 2005) is finally off to senior editor Henry Ferris at William Morrow Publishers, and I have a couple days to get caught up on e-mail and commentary and all the other things I’ve been omitting since the last newsletter in July.

Speaking of the Atari computer game…WATCH THIS SPACE for more news on “Act Of War: Direct Action,” including a cover piece from “PC Gamer” magazine in their Holiday 2004 edition.

So what do I do now when I finish a book? Think about the NEXT one, of course! The deadline for book #18 is less than 10 MONTHS AWAY! I can feel the pressure already!

What can I reveal about “Act of War?”

“Act of War” is a modern-day domestic terrorism novel with an all-new cast of characters. Although it is set in modern-day America, it’s not a “typical” anti-terrorism story. My main objective in developing the story behind “Act of War” is to explore the possibilities of the war on terror, not describe what current-day agencies and units might do.

There will be plenty of other writers describing how their favorite civil or military unit might combat terrorists on U.S. soil. I tell a story about how ALL asymmetric small-unit missions should be fought in the 21st century.

Any intel on book #18?

Not yet. Stay tuned!

TACTICAL DOCTRINE: “Boots on the ground” and guerrilla warfare

It should be absolutely no surprise to my readers that I feel the keys to winning any modern-day war, whether it is a guerrilla, theater, or all-out intercontinental war, are twofold: the best intelligence and fully exploiting the latest technology. That’s what America needs to do to win.

In any battle or any situation America finds itself, any time we FAILED to take advantage of our superior technology and superior intelligence-gathering capabilities, we’ve lost.

Any time our commanders have fallen back on old ideas and old methodology, we’ve lost. When we didn’t see “shock and awe” in Operation Iraqi Freedom but instead saw Army and Marines get bogged down in fighting a few Iraqi soldiers or when soldiers get killed by roadside bombs and suicide bombers, I knew we were in trouble.

Any time we’ve compromised the safety and efficiency of our fighting men and women for “humanitarian” or “religious” reasons, or we’re concerned about “winning the hearts and minds” of the enemy, we’ve lost. One sniper firing one shot from a mosque is one too many—that mosque should have been leveled IMMEDIATELY. One sniper firing from a cemetery is one too many—a fuel-air bomb exploded over the cemetery would have killed every insurgent hiding there without disturbing the gravesites too much.

Worried about how the Iraqis might feel about us, or that they might hate us even more, if we bombed their cemeteries or mosques? News flash, my friends: THEY ALREADY HATE US! Not because we’re Americans, or because we’re “infidels,” but because WE INVADED THEIR HOME! This is a very difficult concept for Americans to understand, but it is the key to winning or losing in Iraq and other areas of the world in which we might get involved in the War On Terror:

Why did we lose the Vietnam War? You might say it was because political leaders didn’t allow the military to fight the war properly in order to win, and you’d be only half-right.

Why did we win the first Persian Gulf War? You might say it was because of our technological superiority, and again, you’d only be half-right.

The Vietnam War was a proxy war in which we were fighting an ideology but killing the citizens of the land we were fighting on. It was a no-win situation. Even if we decided to completely FLATTEN Hanoi, we would have lost the war in the end because you can’t fight against a CONCEPT or an IDEA or PHILOSOPHY. We were killing Vietnamese men, women, and children in the hopes of “liberating” them. It’s not possible.

The first Persian Gulf War was a victory because we were battling Iraqi troops that had invaded Kuwait and were threatening Saudi Arabia, an important American regional ally and trading partner. The objective was clear and simple: remove the Iraqi army from Kuwait and prevent them from threatening their neighbors again. When the mission was done, we STOPPED, and our troops went home.

The difference: limited time actually on the ground in Iraq—just enough to ensure the Iraqi Army wasn’t going to flank us and counterattack as we withdrew. We made no attempt whatsoever to occupy any portion of Iraq (except the airspace over mostly unpopulated areas of the country). WE STAYED AWAY FROM IRAQI HOMES.

Why is that important? Because CITIZENS WILL ALWAYS FIGHT FOR THEIR HOMELAND, even against so-called “liberators,” “humanitarians,” or “peacekeepers.” AMERICANS MUST UNDERSTAND THIS! American troops cannot stand on Iraqi soil, kill an Iraqi, and claim we were “killing the enemy.” They will always see it as killing one of them on THEIR HOMELAND.

An American soldier kills an Iraqi soldier on Kuwaiti soil, and the world will welcome the American as a hero. Move a few miles north across the Iraqi border and kill the same Iraqi soldier? Now the American is a heartless warmongering invader.

It’s not an idea reserved only for Iraq or Vietnam—it would be the same as if it happened in the most violent ghettos in Los Angeles or New York. An Israeli security officer shoots a suspected terrorist bomber at an El Al ticket counter in Los Angeles, and the country wonders who authorized that Israeli to be armed? Very little discussion about the terrorist—all eyes were on the Israeli security guard. Why? Because he was a foreigner who shot an American on American soil.

Any time you hear anyone—military, ex military, politician, or pundit—talk about MORE boots on the ground, or even SAY the words “boots on the ground,” RUN LIKE HELL THE OTHER WAY! Yes, I’m talking about you, Senators John Kerry, John McCain, Richard Lugar, and Ted Kennedy! These are the old guys, the “graybeards,” who think you can win a war simply by throwing more manpower or firepower at it.

So how do we win the war in Iraq?

First of all, STOP THINKING THIS IS AN IRAQI WAR! This war is being fought on Iraqi soil, but it is NOT A WAR AGAINST IRAQ. Despite criticism from the “graybeards,” THIS IS A WAR AGAINST TERRORISM that is being fought, FOR NOW, on Iraqi soil.

Think about this: 14 of the 19 hijackers of the four airliners involved in the attacks on Nine-Eleven were from Saudi Arabia. So why didn’t we invade or even threaten Saudi Arabia in retaliation? Simple: the largest percentage of American oil imports, 16%, come from Saudi Arabia.

What’s the next best thing? Invade a neighbor of Saudi Arabia—especially one with a long history of causing trouble with the U.S., its allies, and interests in the region—and then park a thousand tanks and armored vehicles there.

You really didn’t think all those tanks were going to be used in the streets of Baghdad, did you? Those tanks also directly threaten other rogue states in the region: Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, even ally Turkey.

What’s been the result of the “war in Iraq?” Yes, Saddam Hussein is no longer in power; and yes, an average of almost two U.S. soldiers are killed every day out there due to hostile action. But what else has happened?

Syria is planning on pulling its troops out of Lebanon.

Libya has completely given up its nuclear weapons program.

Direct elections will be held in Iraq in January—a first for any of the Persian Gulf states. Direct elections were also held in Afghanistan, something completely unheard-of for that country.

Saudi Arabia is increasing its oil production to nearly one hundred percent and is doing more each day to assist the U.S in investigating possible terrorists in the kingdom (although they have a LONG way to go before anyone will characterize them as being “cooperative”).

You can try to make the argument, as John Kerry and his supporters try to do, that “the world is a more dangerous place” and “Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are signing up recruits faster than ever because of George Bush.” The fact remains that the United States now has a better capability to strike any number of terrorist states in the volatile Persian Gulf region because we have troops in Iraq right now.

You think al-Qaeda is signing up recruits fast now? Wait and see what would happen if the United States decided to completely pull out of Iraq right now. Al-Qaeda and every other terror organization’s ranks would be filling up rapidly—and moderate Arab states left in the lurch, like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, and Egypt would be embracing these terrorist groups in order to preserve their own existence. Every moderate Arab country would have its own Hezbollah, Hamas, or Mehdi Army group to contend with in order to hang onto power.

If “boots on the ground” is not the answer, what is?

The future of our involvement in Iraq will be an extension of the operation currently underway in Fallujah right now: supporting indigenous Iraqi ground forces with precision, sustained, and devastating aerial firepower. But we need to take the gloves off even more. Every building—be it a mosque, school, residential building, or hospital--that houses an active insurgent becomes a target.

There is no doubt that America needs a presence in the Middle East to assert and protect its national self-interests and the interests of its friends and allies. My argument has always been that the United States HAD a strong presence in the Middle East with the Gulf Cooperative Council states (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates) plus Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey; we had started bringing in aircraft carrier groups into the Persian Gulf again; and we had a No-Fly Zone encompassing two-thirds of Iraq, ultimately encompassing ALL of Iraq just before the war began. In short, we HAD a substantial military presence, if not downright control, over the region.

It is obvious that we cannot sustain our present troop deployments. We rely too much on the National Guard and Reserves for front-line fighters to the point where we’ve exhausted them and driven down recruitment. Some active-duty units are looking at their SECOND Iraq deployment already, and that will affect retention and recruitment as well. There are other potential conflict areas in the world that cannot be covered because we have so many troops committed to Iraq. Programs like “stop-loss” (involuntarily delaying retirement or separation due to a critical need for certain specialties) makes the situation even worse.

We need to pull U.S. forces out of Baghdad and the other cities in Iraq and support the Iraqi government with tactical and strategic air power from bases outside the Sunni Triangle. We deploy some air units for months at a time to places like Guam, Diego Garcia, and Australia—we can certainly deploy bomber and strike fighter squadrons to bases in the desert in Iraq just as easily.

We can’t be afraid of angering the Iraqi people with our military efforts to stop insurgents and protect Coalition lives. The terrorists are no friends of the Iraqi people; many more Iraqi civilians will be hurt or killed if the United States completely withdrew. We need to use every bit of intelligence gathering technology we have to locate and strike insurgents everywhere in the region.

With American troops on the ground and in the cities of Iraq, we’re playing a very, very dangerous game. Being an airpower advocate, I would not have put troops on the ground. But they’re there now, and we need to prosecute and win this war: simply withdrawing would be even more costly in the long run.

If we are going to be occupiers, we have to do it all the way. We can’t pretend we are anyone’s friends, protectors, or allies. We will ALWAYS be perceived as invaders, no matter how many good deeds we do. We might as well ACT like invaders, go after the insurgents with every weapon and tool in our arsenal, and do the job RIGHT!

MISSION PLANNING: Bogus perceptions of the conflict in Iraq

I read the headlines in The New York Times online (www.nytimes.com) every day. To their credit (and my surprise), they recently had a guest Op-Ed piece by former U.S. Central Command commander General Tommy Franks, who blasted Senator John Kerry on his descriptions of the hunt for Usama bin Laden in Afghanistan. According to Franks, we did not have bin Laden “surrounded;” we did not “outsource” the fighting to local warlords; we did not “let him slip through our fingers.”

But for every piece that tries to set the record straight, The New York Times will have six other pieces that completely distort the truth. They ran three such articles in mid-October: one on the 343rd Quartermaster Co.’s refusal to go on a supply mission in Iraq; another on the inevitability of reinstating the draft; and a third on how America created the insurgency in Iraq.

Always being America’s apologist newspaper, The Times insisted that the South Carolina National Guard troops that refused to go on the supply mission were fully justified because the Bush Administration failed to equip our forces properly. There was no mention of the fact that another unit completed the mission without incident; there was also no mention of the multitude of reasons those unit members gave for not going. What was the real reason: broken-down trucks? Insufficient armor? Insufficient escorts? Insufficient air cover? Contaminated fuel supposedly going to an aviation unit?

Let’s put a couple more reasons on the table, as unsavory and worrisome as they are. How about a breakdown—or COMPLETE LACK--of military discipline? Insufficient training? Piss-poor attitude by a bunch of Guardsmen who thought joining the Guard didn’t mean having to serve overseas in a combat zone? How about worrying about getting hurt just as they were getting ready to rotate back home?

Or was it the big stinky elephant in the room that no one wants to admit is there: were the members of that company just plain SCARED?

There is no doubt that this incident points out a deficiency in leadership of that unit. If my first sergeants came to me with these concerns before the convoy was to set out, I as the company commander would probably have ridden in the lead vehicle in order to demonstrate my confidence in my unit’s capability to complete the mission; THEN, I would have gotten together with those same senior NCOs to try to figure out ways to address future concerns. Maybe I’d have to chew somebody out for failing to take a leadership position; maybe I’d feel the need to get up in front of my entire company to talk to them about the incident.

It is easy for guys like me to armchair quarterback this incident from the comfort of my home in the United States, but one thing is certain: the order to go on that mission was proper and lawful, and the members assigned to that mission had no lawful reason to refuse it.

It is also nonsensical and disingenuous for The Times’ editorial page writers to blame it on the Bush Administration before all the facts are in. The responsible journalist would have investigated to find out if the unit had everything it was supposed to have in its Table of Organization and Equipment, and if it didn’t to find out why. The Times took the simple way out: they just blamed it on President Bush. But that’s par for the course for them anyway.

Columnist Paul Krugman’s piece about the inevitability of reinstating the draft is another example of The Times’ propensity for describing the war in Iraq as a quagmire, a never-ending money-sucking killing-field with no purpose, led by a President and administration that is naïve at best and stupid at worst.

I think it is fair to say that all soldiers would rather be home with their families; I also think it is reasonable to say that if you tell a soldier he will be going home in 12 months and then he’s told he’ll have to stay an extra 3 months that he might be worried, disappointed, and maybe even angry. I know how disappointed my niece and nephew were to learn that their dad, my youngest brother, wasn’t coming home when they were originally told he would. But Krugman takes the dramatic leap forward and says our troops are “exhausted” and under “severe stress,” and that “there are no more troops to send.”

There are about a million soldiers in the Army including Reserves and National Guard; about 600,000 in the Navy; 200,000 in the Marines; and 600,000 in the Air Force. That’s 2,400,000 troops available. At the very height of the fighting, we had about 175,000 troops committed to action in the Middle East and Central Asia. So how can Krugman say “there are no more troops to send?”

I know that not every soldier in the U.S. military is trained to carry a rifle and patrol the streets of Fallujah—you can’t make an argument about availability of forces based on just raw numbers. But neither can you look at one month, two months, six months, or even a year in any war and make sweeping statements about its progress, outcome, or efficacy.

I don’t doubt they’re under stress—show me one soldier on the battlefield that’s NOT under stress. And I personally don’t think we should be sending the National Guard overseas. The National Guard belongs in the U.S., ready to defend our homeland and assist the states in disaster relief. We should be using the Guard to patrol our borders, search containers at ports, patrol oil refineries and other critical infrastructure points, and other anti-terrorist duties that aren’t being done.

But being under stress and using Reserve and Guard units in Iraq doesn’t mean we’re going to re-institute the draft. President Bush says he’s not going to do it while he’s commander-in-chief. Why don’t Paul Krugman and John Kerry believe him? Unless there’s some catastrophic terrorist event or a major regional war breaks out somewhere else, such as on the Korean peninsula or elsewhere in the Middle East, we won’t need draftees.

I think it’s more likely for a Democratic administration to institute the draft: Presidents Kennedy and Johnson certainly did not hesitate to use it; Democratic U.S. Representative Charles Rangel introduced a bill to institute the draft, pitching it as a “civil rights” protection measure because a disproportionate number of blacks were being “forced” to join the military because they have so few opportunities in the civilian world. Many liberal pundits have argued that the true voice of the American people will ONLY be heard if ordinary citizens are FORCED to pick up a gun and go overseas to fight, as with the Vietnam conflict.

But the bottom line is: we don’t need the draft to win the war on terror. We just need to have the anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-Republican, anti-conservative voices stop making dire unfounded predictions about our future.

The third piece in The Times, by Michael R. Gordon, jumped on the term “catastrophic success”—the notion often quoted by Senator John Kerry that we had a “plan to win the war but no plan to win the peace.” Gordon makes the argument that the United States CAUSED the insurgency by not anticipating the numbers of Iraqi front-line troops that would take off their uniforms and turn themselves into guerrilla fighters; not anticipating the numbers of foreign fighters that would cross the borders just to get a chance to take a shot at an American soldier; and not anticipating the number and ruthlessness of religious leaders who would whip up their followers and turn them into human bombs and cannon fodder time after time.

Gordon’s argument: if only we had thought about these things more before going in, we would have committed MORE troops, sealed off the borders better, guarded Iraq’s oil infrastructure better to prevent sabotage, and been better able to train more Iraqis to become police and soldiers to take over the task of defending the country sooner. By quoting a lot of unnamed sources, Gordon makes the argument that a multitude of military leaders were pressing the Pentagon to send many hundreds of thousands of troops to Iraq, but Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ignorantly disagreed.

Gordon does admit later in his article that U.S. military commanders got all the forces they requested (unlike conflicts in Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo), although he quotes more unnamed sources that say they “would have liked a bigger reserve.”

The Times needs to step back and compare their criticism with actual events. The fact is that the United States invaded a major Middle East capital with a mostly Muslim and anti-West population of 5,500,000 and a standing army of about 500,000, and brought down a deeply entrenched dictatorship in about three weeks, using a total force of about 150,000 troops. It is quite obvious that the Pentagon had the number EXACTLY correct to accomplish the mission.

But what about post-war Iraq? Did we not have a plan to “win the peace,” as The Times and so many others contend?

The original plan, as described by The Times, was for the U.S. to withdraw troops after Saddam’s government was taken down so that a force of about 50,000 troops would remain, mostly in the north and south. Was this at all realistic? Gordon’s argument is that because we didn’t flood the Sunni Triangle with 300,000 troops, the insurgency began and started to infest city after city until it became out of control.

In his book “Plan of Attack” (which sounds suspiciously like another best-seller I’m familiar with) Bob Woodward “quotes” Secretary of State Colin Powell as telling President Bush “You break it, you fix it,” meaning that if President Bush gave the order to invade that he was responsible for reconstructing post-war Iraq.

I don’t buy any of it for a second!

There is no question that Saddam Hussein was a murderous dictator who destabilized the entire Middle East, repeatedly ignored United Nations Security Council resolutions, and shot at U.S. planes on a weekly basis over the No-Fly Zone.

Riddle me this: whose fault is it for the rise of Saddam Hussein? Is Saddam solely to blame? Many people blame American foreign policy—at first supporting Saddam, them opposing him; slapping restrictions and embargoes on him that only served to hurt his people but kept him rich and in power; and generally turning him into either a martyr or a hero to his people and to many in the Arab world.

I contend THE IRAQI PEOPLE are to blame for Saddam Hussein and his government, and it is the Iraqi people who are to blame for the situation there right now.

I blame all these so-called “clerics” who are whipping up religious fervor against America now but remained silent while Saddam was in power. I blame the Kurds and the Shiites for not rising up after the first Gulf War when they had the chance, when America set up No-Fly Zones SPECIFICALLY TO PROTECT THEM, and when even Congress passed a resolution of support for Kurdish rebels—even authorizing money for any rebel leader brave enough to step forward and try to set up a government.

By the summer of 1991, Iraq was ripe for a change in government. Saddam’s military was gutted; its borders were wide open; it was bankrupt, badly defeated, and virtually helpless. Where were the “insurgents” then? Where were the “firebrand” clerics? Where were the foreign “freedom fighters?”

The same situation was in place in the summer of 2003 as in the summer of 1991: if the Iraqi people wanted freedom, it was there ready for them to take it. The United States created the conditions whereby the citizens of Iraq could have formed any government they chose. Even if it was not a government in America’s favor, if the majority of the Iraqi people wanted it, they could’ve had it.

They didn’t take it.

If the United States should have anticipated anything, we should have realized that the Iraqi people are either too socialized, too ignorant, or too broken after decades of dictatorial rule to form their own representative, free, peaceful, capitalistic, and open government. They aren’t free for the same reason that people in Russia, China, North Korea, or Saudi Arabia aren’t free: not because they don’t DESIRE freedom, but because the people are either too scared or too coddled to demand something better.

So when the United States goes in and takes down the most powerful Arab regime in the Middle East, one that threatens peace and security for the entire region as well as for vital American interests, who is responsible for “fixing” it?

The Iraqi people are--NOT the United States of America.

My point is this: WE DIDN’T “BREAK” IRAQ—IT WAS ALREADY BROKEN WHEN WE GOT THERE. This is the message that’s being obfuscated in this election year, why all the fingers are pointing at President Bush. They’re pointing at the wrong guy.

They should be pointing at the Iraqi people. They are the ones to blame for the situation in their country right now.

If the United States simply left Iraq right now, sure, there would be complete Chaos, similar to what happened between the former Yugoslavian states after the death of their dictator Josip Broz Tito and the breakup of the Soviet Union. But how long do you think it would last before some other leader—a dictator like Saddam, a firebrand cleric like Muqtada al-Sadr, or a Shiite opportunist like Ahmed Chalabi—would take control? A month? Six months? A year?

It took Slobodan Milosevic ONE DAY to take control of Serbia after the collapse of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.

POST-STRIKE ANALYSIS: Replies to Reader Mail readermail@DaleBrown.info

18 July 2004

Dear Mr Brown

I have just finished your latest two books and found them to be excellent as usual!! What prompted me to write to you today was the announcement on the BBC news website that Northrop Grumman had been awarded a $1 billion dollar contract to develop unmanned fighter planes, the picture accompanying the article was remarkably similar to your cover pictures of the filghthawks, is this another example of real life mirroring fiction. As well as this there was an article in FHM (UK Edition) of an exoskeleton for soldiers with a self contained power pack, albeit petrol driven, that reminded me immediately of the amazing Tin Man armour that you invented for Tinman. It never ceases to amaze me that writers endeavours so often precede actual events. Please keep up the good work, your books are excellent and I must have re-read each one at least three times (just finished reading my very tired copy of Hammerheads for the umpteenth time)

Thanks for the kudos!

25 July 2004

Dale,

Am a huge fan of your books. I have always been a military nut and your books are the best! As much as I enjoy Clancy's books for their political angles, your action scenes and ability to play with my emotions are are soooo much better than his. I cried like a baby when Wendy Mac died.

I must admit I am slightly behind in the reading of your books as I have only just purchased Air Battle Force (won't take long to finish that before picking up my copy of Plan of Attack) but am so happy that you have bought back Daren Mace!! Since reading Chains of Command I kept hoping he would keep coming back and finally he has. Was there a reason he was missing for so long or were he and Rebecca Furness meant to be totally separate to the Megafortress team? Or were they bought back because of other pressures - ie the readers demanding the best characters be bought back?

Here is hoping that Daren Mace stays around for good, just as Gunny Wohl, Hal and the rest have!!!!!!

Daren Mace returns in “Air Battle Force” and becomes a recurring character in “Plan of Attack.” Yes, many, many readers DEMANDED he return, and so he has.

9 September 2004

Dear mr Brown

With many many thanks for countless hours of enjoyment while reading your books. I was introduced to them while i was in the Iraqi desert (Desert Storm, the first one.) and i have to tell you something you like to use the B-52 in your books well they are evil pieces of machinery. I was part of 2nd Armoured Cavalry regiment, we led 7th corps in to Iraq. At night the A-10s would practice on us and what a show. idea use a souped up A-10 in one of your books because those are vicious machines. But as we moved further and further north we could see the Air Force pounding the hell out of the Iraqis.

Yes, the B-52H Stratofortresses are evil machines—and they will be in service for AT LEAST the next 20 years! Amazing but true!

My good friend Richard Herman Jr. wrote about the incredible A-10 Thunderbolt II “Warthog” in his excellent novels “Dark Wing” and “Iron Gate.” I defer to his knowledge, expertise, and writing skills to portray the A-10 in all its glory!

14 September 2004

Just wanted to say again how much I enjoy reading your work. I'm currently in the middle of the Dreamland series. I would also like to echo the comments of several other readers in that I would LOVE to see your books make it to the big screen. I think George Clooney would make a great Patrick McLanahan. Also, hope all is well since the legal hoopla began. Just keep up the good work.

The legal hoopla has been adjudicated, and I am back in the office, working away. I won’t be doing too much flying for awhile, but at least I’m not doing a Martha Stewart.

Hey, George…have your people call my people about a great role for you, OK?

15 September 2004

Hi

First all thank you for taking the time to read this email.

Isn't it time the RAAF made an appearance in one of your up and coming novels?

My argument for the RAAF appearing in one of your novels is that Australia has contributed special forces and air power to the USA endeavors in Afghanistan and Iraq. Australia has also contributed the majority of troops to the peace keeping force in East Timor. Please bear these facts in mind when you need an allied nation writing your next novel. But most of all thanks for giving me books that I enjoy reading an enjoyable book can be hard to find!

Cheers

Hmmm… a new novel set in Australia…? I LIKE IT!

16 September 2004

Thank you very so much for books. I have been reading them since I was a senior in high school back in '98. I have just finished Plan of Attack after trying to get for 4 months. And can I say WOW, I just couldn't put it down. I own all your books whether paperback and hardback and as well as the Dreamland series. Again thank you for making your novels so desirable to read.

I always had wanted to go into the Air Force and was unable to when I had a chance. Thank you for the experience through your books.

p.s. I think I’m going to start over again. I love Silver Tower and Flight of the Old Dog.

Thanks for your great e-mail!

18 September 2004

I have been a loyal airman, and read all of your books, but wonder when you are going to have time to update the website. Not pressuring you, just wondering. As you might be able to guess I eagerly await your next novel.

Not to whine too much, no excuses…but to say the least, it has been ONE HELL of a year for me. Frankly, I wondered how I’d make it through it.

Thankfully, I have a wonderful wife who supported me, wonderful friends who backed me, a cooperative prosecutor, a good legal team, and a sympathetic judge, and I made it through just fine.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the Web site that got neglected—it was book #17, and my family life, and my friends and fans. The newsletters and most of my personal and social life got put on the back burner. I was still working on “Act Of War,” but it was very hard to be creative when I didn’t know what the very near future was going to hold for me. When I got my sentence, I realized that the Court was offering me a chance to get my career and family back, and I jumped at the opportunity.

My sentence is not yet complete, but my life is slowly returning to normal. “Act of War” is in to the editors and I’m hard at work at (yet untitled) book #18.

I have said this often enough when referring to the attitude necessary to break in to the writing business, but I had the opportunity to re-learn this lesson as it applies to life…

NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER! NEVER LOSE HOPE! NEVER STOP FIGHTING!

I don’t mean this in the legal arena—you always have to evaluate your tactical position and decide the best course of action, which may or may not be to fight. In my case, I decided not to challenge the legal charges against me, and I know I made the right decision.

But there are so many obstacles we face in life, and it would be so easy to just give up, stop making decisions, or stop fighting to make your voice heard. DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN! Keep on fighting. Look for answers to problems no matter how late in the game it is.


One final Post-Strike Analysis report:

Patrick McLanahan and Brad Elliott are cigar smokers; many of my good friends and some relatives are cigar aficionados. I receive cigars as gifts all the time because, I assume, I portray some sort of knowledge or affinity for them.

But, truth to tell, I never tried one—until recently.

I’m sure I did everything wrong. YES, I used a butane lighter—a big no-no, I now realize. I’m sure I clipped it at the wrong spot. I can’t even tell you which cigar I tried first. The family was over 2,000 miles away in Hawaii so they couldn’t complain—and I waited until I knew they were gone before I tried it.

It was great. I had a glass of ’91 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvingnon Alexander Valley on a crisp fall evening on my back deck, enjoying my first cigar. I didn’t puke. I’m sure I scared away a few raccoons and coyotes. I am now a cigar guy.

I remember back in college rushing the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, when a dozen of us pledges were locked in a closet with cigars for a couple hours reciting the Brothers’ hometowns and majors: I refused to even hold a cigar then, and I was almost tossed out. Why did I do it now? A rite of passage? Peer pressure? Doing something naughty while the family was away?

Who the heck knows? Maybe I’ll have another cigar and think about it some more.

Have a great November! GBA, Dale…

www.DaleBrown.info

Click here for more on Plan Of Attack!

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Plan Of Attack (MAY 2004)

The unthinkable is about to happen in this high-flying novel of adventure and suspense.

In Air Battle Force, Dale Brown introduced U.S. Air Force aerial warfare expert Major General Patrick McLanahan and his air combat unit of the future. Armed with a force of these robotic planes, the general and a handful of commandos were secretly deployed to the oil-rich nation of Turkmenistan to stop a Taliban invasion. And though the Americans won the battle, the war is far from over....

To punish McLanahan and his fleet of robot warplanes for their audacity, Russian president General Anatoliy Gryzlov decides to do the unthinkable: a sneak attack on America-unlike anything ever believed possible-that devastates her strategic air forces.

McLanahan has collected information that not only foretold the Russians' daring plan, but also gave him the data he needs to plan a counterstrike that could stop the Russian war machine dead in its tracks. But Patrick is no longer in charge of Air Battle Force, and the Russian sneak attack has left the embattled U.S. president with few options: retaliate with every weapon in his arsenal, even if it triggers a global thermonuclear war, or to a cease fire on Russia's terms...

...or listen to a disgraced and discredited young bomber commander's long-shot plan of attack.

"The novels of Dale Brown brim with violent action, detailed descriptions of sophisticated weaponry and political intrigue... His ability to bring technical weaponry to life is amazing."
--San Francisco Chronicle

Contact Information:

Rights:
Robert Gottlieb
Trident Media Group
(212) 262-4810

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Parker Information Resources
bparker@parkerinfo.com

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