Hell or high water…

Hey guys!

Hope everyone is doing well! As promised last Friday, I’m going to try to get back on the weekly blog schedule. As such, let’s get to it.

On the national security front, there are two things I’ve really been trying to follow the past week. 

First, there are the enormous protests in Hong Kong. I’m still worried beyond belief that China is going to send in ground troops from their army, and it’s going to be an absolute bloodbath. I’m also terrified for the people of Hong Kong.

Can you imagine living there? Knowing your “own” leaders supported an extradition bill to China

If that bill is put into place, then any semblance of freedom is gone. Arguably, in many respects, freedom is already gone because China is already tracking who the leaders are of the movement, filing names and faces into databases. 

It would be nice if America would take its typical leadership position and encourage the Chinese to show restraint. But alas, that’s not happened as strongly as it should have yet. Maybe there’s still time for that.

The second big news crisis I’ve been trying to follow is the lockdown/invasion of Kashmir by India. That has all kinds of nasty possibilities happening, since Pakistan has nukes, the people of Kashmir don’t want to be ruled by India, etc.

These are definitely interesting times, and I haven’t even touched on the news that we’re negotiating the end of the war in Afghanistan with the Taliban.

Anyway, love to hear everyone’s thoughts on either of these matters. Or even the last one, where to my eyes, it seems the Taliban is in the stronger negotiating position, and thus has no real need to negotiate our withdrawal. They know that will happen at some point anyway.

One other thing I thought I’d mention is the movie “Hell or High Water,” which I recently watched on Netflix. Oh. My. Word.

How did I miss this movie when it came out?! 

It is EASILY one of the best movies I’ve seen in probably five years. 

One critic said of it, “There’s not a moment out of place, not a shot that stays too long. If [David McKenzie] makes a better film in his career, he’ll be lucky.”

Another, “Hell or High Water offers a solidly crafted, well-acted Western heist thriller that eschews mindless gunplay in favor of confident pacing and full-bodied characters.”

I couldn’t agree more with these sentiments. As soon as I finished the film, I IMMEDIATELY wanted to watch it again. I didn’t have time to, but I certainly plan to.

If you’ve got Netflix and haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

Finally, speaking of time, my latest work — a story of two Marine NCOs in Afghanistan — continues to go well. Should be finishing it soon. Like maybe in a week or so.

Keep your fingers crossed about that. I’ve got to get this book done, come… (wait for it…) hell or high water. hahahahah

Oh, and let me know your thoughts on either the news above — I love a good conversation — or on Hell or High Water.

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

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New front page graphic 2Stan R. Mitchell is a writer and author, as well as a prior Marine infantryman. Mitchell served in Alpha Co., 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, and was lucky enough — or unlucky enough — to snag a Combat Action Ribbon. (The details of his military career.) Looking for something free to read? Here’s a piece of fiction that he wrote for you to sample. Hopefully, it’s both powerful and inspiring: The dreamer’s lament. And click the link at left to check out his books.

Russia on the march

Time Magazine published an incredible article about the resurgence of Russia in its April 15th edition.

While we in America have been focused on investigations into the President and savaging whoever isn’t on our political side, Russia has been on the move. Reaching across multiple continents, Russia has been deploying financial aid, military support, and diplomatic protection to a host of pretty awful leaders. “Tyrants,” as Time calls them. I agree.

The article (How Putin Built a Ragtag Empire of Tyrants and Failing States) is a must read, and a scary diagnosis of just how much power Russia has gained while we as a country have been focused on our own divided arguments and world-wide retraction as a stabilizing force for good.

Long-time readers of mine will know that I’ve been wary of (and fatigued by) America’s multiple commitments (and wars) across the globe since launching this website back in 2012. Long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A military that’s been stretched too thin. A national budget increasingly running higher into the red, and a national debt that’s grown just sickeningly high.

This commitment to worldwide stability in the past has cost us greatly as a country in dollars. And as a population, the costs of these wars have been mostly borne by a very small percentage of our population. (About one or two percent.)

I’ve been a frustrated citizen in the past decade or so over the high price of being the world’s policeman, but Russia’s moves the past few years (as brilliantly explained in the article above) shows there’s an uglier — and higher — cost to pulling back to our own borders. From stabilizing Syria, propping up Venezuela’s Maduro, and supporting cruel African dictators, Russia is showing it’s energetically ready to fill the void left by America.

Read the article and then tell me your thoughts. I’d love to have some high-level dialogue below. Where are you on the spectrum of worldwide engagement or retraction? And why?

(Please keep your commentary at a high level. Nasty political attacks — and know-it-all statements that sound like they were made by a ten-year-old who doesn’t want to listen to others —  will be immediately deleted.)

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

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New front page graphic 2Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for a writing style that is “sharp, snappy, cinematic, and impacts with all the blunt force trauma of a hollowpoint to the head,” says Author Mark Allen.

A former newspaper journalist, Mitchell used to have to cram long stories into short sections of newsprint. He learned more than ten years ago how to cut the fat off a story, and he still to this day doesn’t believe in wasting time or space. (Not your time. And certainly not his time.)

Most people say his books read like movies, and even people who say they don’t “like to read” usually find themselves hooked on his books.

Pick up one of the works below and see if you don’t agree.

Stolen Daughter. Dolan has a ton of problems on his plate, but when the case of a missing seventeen-year-old girl falls in his lap, he answers the call. Dolan, a private investigator and former Army Ranger, is just the kind of guy to volunteer for such a thing. But he soon learns, as he races to the secluded mountains of North Carolina, that he’s in over his head. There’s a dirty cop involved. The mob, too. They want Dolan in the ground.

Take Down. Danny Acuff, a detective and former Force Recon Marine, uncovers a massive drug operation in the small, quaint town of Akin, Tennessee. And none of these locals are happy about a big-city cop from Memphis barging into their hometown. They want Danny gone, and they want him gone soon. Danny soon finds himself tangling with murderers, big boys from the hills sent to run him off, and even a dangerous couple of Special Forces men. A lot of people are going to die before this one finishes unwinding.

Sold Out (Nick Woods, No. 1). Nick Woods used to be one of our country’s greatest snipers. A Marine who completed a bloody, top-secret mission behind enemy lines years ago, he now just wants to live in peace with his wife. But the past is about to return in this tight sniper/CIA thriller.

Mexican Heat (Nick Woods, No. 2). The entire economy of Mexico is on the verge of collapse, dying under the crushing pressure of all the country’s drug cartels united under a single man. America doesn’t want to send troops, and the Mexican government is powerless to defend itself. That leaves one option: Find Nick Woods, let him hand-pick some men, and unleash him yet again.

Afghan Storm (Nick Woods, No.3). Time is ticking down on a deadly plot for the Taliban to overthrow the government of Afghanistan.  Time to send in Nick Woods and his private, military security company (Shield, Safeguard, and Shelter, or “S3”).

Nigerian Terror (Nick Woods, No.4). Nick Woods and his elite band of shooters from Shield, Safeguard, and Shelter (S3) deploy to Africa on their next mission to deal with an out-of-control terrorist group that now holds more than 20,000 square miles of land. This terrorist group, called the Boko Haram, has finally gotten the attention of America’s leaders. But what starts as a routine mission turns into something far more.

Little Man, and the Dixon County War. This book is an incredible story about a man too young to be wearing a badge, and too small to be enforcing the law. But the twenty-seven-year old Paul Zachary has been written up as a hero and he’s got some people who want him dead.

Soldier On. This short novel (approximately 70 pages long) is a moving story of World War II. As the war nears its end, the last elements of the German Army on the ground struggle to survive. The men know the war is lost and for the soldiers, it is pure hell. It is tough for the men, and tougher for the leaders. Hemmed in by Nazi SS units waiting to arrest or shoot retreating troops on one side, while advancing American troops advance mercilessly on the other, the men pray they must only endure the freezing weather of the last days. And that their supplies won’t run out. And that they won’t lose the honor and dignity they’ve spent years creating. Soldier On explores the mental struggles faced by every man who’s ever carried a rifle.

Two quick updates and one pretty cool video on future warfare challenges

Hey, guys!

Hope everyone is doing well! I have two quick announcements and one pretty cool thing to share.

nigerianterror_coverFirst, the paperback version of Nigerian Terror is now live and available for purchase. Sorry that it took a tad longer than expected, but I think you’ll agree it was worth the delay. It looks fantastic.

Second, Danny Acuff 6 will be published in just a couple of days or so! I’m getting the last edits done on it and I think you guys will love it. (Small preview: the Danny and Forrest showdown may finally take place!)

Finally, I thought I’d share this Marine Corps video, which gives a hint of what’s to come in the future.

The video is fascinating because it covers things I’d never considered, such as:

  • While newer weapon systems are deadlier, they are much heavier and more challenging to transport to the battlefield. They’re also less fuel efficient. Like, way less fuel efficient (because of the weight of their armor), which means you have to be able to transport more fuel in a combat zone.
  • The requirement for 3D printing on the battlefield, as well as the use of drones to move supplies and wounded Marines.
  • Implementation of exo-skeletons on the legs and other parts of the body, which will help men and women carry more weight.
  • And finally, robots and solar panels on packs. Plus a couple of other cool things.

The video is about four mins long, but I think you’ll enjoy it if you get a moment to watch it.

That’s it from here! And I’ll let you know the very minute Danny Acuff 6 is live and available for purchase. : )

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

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Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by Audible.com for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story.