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‘Rogue Forces’ by Dale Brown

  You know you’re in for a quite a read when the book reveals an extensive list of characters, military weapons and acronyms — before the first page.
  That’s Dale Brown for you, and he’s one of the best in the business when it comes to writing military thrillers. The Nevada resident is a former U.S. Air Force captain, and he clearly knows what he’s talking about. In fact, he blends fact and fiction in such a seamless fashion that it can be difficult to tell which is which.
  Brown is also pretty imaginative, especially when it comes to cutting-edge technology. He dives into the mythology surrounding the
military-industrial complex and Area 51. He even includes the Las Vegas area into his stories. His novels can be dense at times but always exciting.
  In addition, Brown also impresses with his extensive command of modern geopolitical happenings. Last year’s “Shadow Command” took place, among others, in Russia, Iran, Nevada, Washington, D.C., and lower Earth orbit (technically outer space).
  His latest suspense story, “Rogue Forces,” is a more tightly constructed, narrowly focused story. “Shadow Command” was all over the place, in terms of geography, subplots and techno jargon. It was, at times, mind-numbing to follow.
  In “Rogue Forces,” he’s got fewer characters and fewer places to travel to. It’s easier on the brain and hence, easier to keep track of.
Frankly, it’s a better story because of its narrower focus. Its geopolitical drama is more realistic than last year’s plot involving
military space stations, robots and absurdly crazy leaders.
 The action in “Rogue Forces” almost exclusively takes place in Turkey and Iraq and centers around the very-real possibility of Turkey
invading northern Iraq with full force to eliminate Kurdish terrorists. This would present a major problem for the U.S. and the region, since Turkey is a key ally and the U.S. is preparing to leave Iraq after years of war and instability.
  The new president of the United States, Joseph Gardner, is committed to the goal of leaving Iraq quickly. Former president Kevin Martindale and retired Air Force general/troublemaker Patrick McLanahan have teamed up to lead a large military contractor, Scion Aviation International. With the U.S. downsizing, Scion has picked up the contract to patrol northern Iraq (which opens another can of worms about military contracting, i.e. the Blackwater controversy). But when Kurdish rebels conduct cross-border attacks into Turkey, it stirs the secular nation into action.
  Unfortunately, the vice president, McLanahan and others are caught in the fighting, which threatens to break out into full-scale war. But as faithful Brown readers should know by now, McLanahan always has something up his sleeve.

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