My small political rant

As my long-time readers know, I do my best to avoid political posts. Lord knows, I can’t afford to lose half my readers. (Not now. And probably not ten years from now.)

But having said that, I can’t help but address a certain topic this week. No, I’m not talking impeachment. I’m not talking Trump, or Dems, or Left versus Right. I’m simply going to talk about the abandonment of the Kurds in Syria.

I’m not going to get into the weeds of it. Like, whether it’s just the “Kurds” or simply the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which were Kurdish-led. Or who’s to blame or why. I could do those things, but I don’t want to make this political.

The bottom line is I think MOST agree it was a really shitty thing to do. To abandon our allies like that. And thankfully, even Republicans are bucking the President on this.

I’m really hoping that Congress (in a bipartisan fashion) stands up to the President on this one. For the good of the Kurds, who lost a ton of people fighting ISIS (partly for us). And also for the good of our country. (What I mean by this is that I feel strongly that our country works best when our government operates as three co-equal branches, each with a system of checks and balances; just for a situation like this.)

If you feel as I do, sent a line or email or tweet (or something) to your Congressman and/or Senator. Let them know that we shouldn’t be abandoning our allies. And that we shouldn’t allow ISIS to reconstitute because the Kurds can’t pressure the terrorist group (because a feakin’ NATO ally, that we mostly helped arm, is whacking the crap out of them).

Okay, that’s the end of my rant. Don’t hate me for it.

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

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Stan R. Mitchell is the author of nine, fast-paced novels. He’s sold more than 70,000 books and writes military action and mystery genre, mostly. He’s also a prior infantry Marine, who LOVES writing!! Click the link at left to check out his books.

 

Marine Corps to use Artificial Intelligence to find new spec ops troops

I happened across an article on the use of Artificial Intelligence (link to Wikipedia about Artificial Intelligence) this week that first struck me as ludicrous. It seems the military could start using Artificial Intelligence to help decide who makes it into Marine special operations. (Article link.)

Being a bit skeptical, I read on. Mainly, I thought I’d mock what a dumb idea such a thing was. And ridicule the idiotic bean counters and bureaucrats who seemed naturally wired to mess up the tried-and-true, old way of doing things.

But the article describes why the military has been forced to consider the change. Essentially, it costs a ton of money to train a special ops soldier. (These days, they’re called MARSOC Raiders, but in my day they were called Force Recon Marines. But that’s a side tangent that’ll just make me feel old.)

Back to the point, besides a boatload of money, it also takes a SOLID two years, minimum, to train a MARSOC Raider (and that doesn’t count the boot camp, infantry training, and other stuff you must do even BEFORE you begin your MARSOC-specialized training).

Thus, you don’t want the hypothetical Sergeant Smith to get near the end of his MARSOC training and suddenly fail out of something. Or worse, decide that, “Well, ya know, maybe I’m not really enjoying this whole special ops, life-moving-at-a-100-mph thing after all.”

Not only would the Marine Corps lose that slot, but they lost the two years it’s going to take to get another shooter into that position.

According to the article, the AI will be used to study current Marines who have proven themselves to be successful in special operations, and who have lasted a long time in the highly demanding (and dangerous) jobs.

They’re trying to find certain characteristics. Maybe these types typically come from the South? Or from urban areas that lack many opportunities? Or from traditional families, with a strong support system? Or maybe from broken families, where as a youth the Marine had to be independent and look out for themselves?

Anyway, check out the article if it strikes your interest. Here’s the link again.

I’d love to hear your all’s thoughts on this. Does your company or industry use AI in anyway? And as a sidenote, maybe I need to use AI to decide what book I should write next!! (As a teaser, I think next week I’ll tell you what project I’m currently working on...)

That’s it from here, guys. Thanks for all your support! And hope you all have a great weekend!

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

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New front page graphic 2
Stan R. Mitchell is the author of nine, fast-paced novels. He’s sold more than 70,000 books and writes military action and mystery genre, mostly. He’s also a prior infantry Marine, who LOVES writing!! Click the link at left to check out his books.

Boko Haram still at it in Nigeria, three years after the fact

Almost exactly three years ago, in October 2016 to be precise, I published my fourth Nick Woods book. It was called Nigerian Terror,  and my worst fear about the book was that the bad guys in the story (a group of terrorists linked to ISIS called Boko Haram) would be defeated by the time the book was complete.

At the time, Boko Haram was a pretty serious force. They controlled more than 20,000 square miles of land and were doing some pretty messed up stuff; like all terrorist groups do, I suppose.

But my fear was by the time I finished the story, a pretty strong alliance of several countries (coordinated by the United States) would have the group knee-capped and on the verge of defeat. And then readers might read the book description about Boko Haram, shrug, and pass on the book.

Needless to say, I was wrong about Boko Haram, which should probably also serve as a cautionary tale for the predictions laid down by authors.

As a pure coincidence, I just happened on an article the other day that Boko Haram is as strong — or stronger — than ever. The group controls four of ten zones in the northern part of the country, and the Nigerian Army is on the defensive, according to the article. The Nigerian Army is ill-equipped, under-payed, and impotent.

Take a look at the article if you want, but it’s pretty depressing to read about, truthfully. Sadly, most of the problems laid out in the article are discussed in my book. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Anyway, that’s it from here. Hope everyone is well. If you haven’t read Nigerian Terror, definitely take a look at it. It’s a great read, in my humble opinion. (It’s also the highest ranked Nick Woods book in the series, according at Amazon, at 4.4 stars.)

Everyone have a great weekend, and I’ll catch up with you again soon!

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

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New front page graphic 2
Stan R. Mitchell is the author of nine, fast-paced novels. He’s sold more than 70,000 books and writes military action and mystery genre, mostly. He’s also a prior infantry Marine, who LOVES writing!! Click the link at left to check out his books.