Sunday, June 6, 2010

The War after Armageddon

The War after Armageddon by Ralph Peters
Tom Doherty Associates, September 2009
Hardcover, 384 pages
ISBN-13: 9780765323552
highly recommended

Publishers Weekly:
Military strategist Peters applies the predictions of his nonfiction Wars of Blood and Faith to this outstanding cautionary tale of a near-future war set in the Middle East. Lt. Gen. Gary “Flintlock” Harris commands troops hitting the beaches of what was once Israel before it was nuked into total destruction. Muslim extremists have exploded dirty bombs in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and most of the major European cities in an attempt to bring about “the Great Jihad.” America reacts by voting in a radical Christian government and reorganizing the National Guard as the Military Order of the Brothers in Christ (MOBIC). The fighting most resembles that of WWII as electronic jamming equipment cancels out the high-tech weaponry of each side, reducing the level of combat to suicide attacks and bayonet charges. Compelling characters, thrilling small-unit battle scenes and the terrifying possibility that it could all come true make this a must read. Copyright © Reed Business Information
My Thoughts:

This powerful cautionary tale is chilling simply because there are so many elements of truth in the background that lead to the "final" battle it depicts. Peters is masterful at portraying the complexities of battle scenes where the military finds itself essentially limited to hand to hand combat. Personally, I originally was disappointed that this isn't really as much of a science fiction selection as I hoped and had a legitimate concern that the actually plot was not as well developed and broad in scope as it could have been. However, once I started reading I could see that Peters deliberately chose to deliver his message through his novel exactly as it is written. I think fans of military fiction are especially going to appreciate the accuracy in Peters' story as it stands. Peters certainly has the background and expertise to accurately and realistically portray this scenario with a great deal of insight. In the end this novel delivers a very powerful message that overrides any little quibbles I might have over the plot.
highly recommended, especially for fans of military fiction

I could be jailed for writing this. But I am old and must set down the truth. opening.

Lieutenant General Gary "Flintlock" Harris was no traitor. That is a lie. There. I have written it. In black ink. And I will say more: He was not only a magnificent soldier, but a better Christian than those who brought him down. pg. 15

Science had undone itself. Harris tried to visualize the wild electronic war playing out in the darkness, with each side canceling the other’s capabilities with hyperjammers, signal leeches, and computer plagues. Only a handful of his country’s satellites remained aloft, and the devastating effects of electromagnetic- pulse simulators destroyed every electronic system with the least gap in its shielding. pg. 18

The simultaneous detonation of dirty bombs in Berlin, Hamburg, and Frankfurt, as well as in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Milan, Rome, London, and Manchester, had been the signal for the Great Jihad. Muslim radicals told their kind that Europe had lost its will, that it needed only a push to topple and leave a new caliphate standing.

It had been all madness. The Islamists hadn’t had the numbers. The majority of their fellow Muslims in Europe wanted no part of the violence. But enough rose up to seal the fate of the 20

Within a month, the counterattacks on Europe’s Muslims spread so widely and grew so brutal that the United States led the world in demanding that Europe’s governments end it. But the governments answered to the people, and the people wanted blood. Mobs ruled, even in parliaments. It was as if the rebellion had broken a dam behind which decades of fury had been rising. pg. 21

They opened the door. And the stench hit everyone like a fist. Even the Germans winced.

The corpses rose almost to the middle of the car’s interior. Men.Women. Children. Stiff. Wide- eyed. Mouths agape. pg. 23

So much had happened in the five years since he looked into that boxcar that the world in which he now led troops to war seemed unrecognizable. Dreamers had changed the world, but their dreams were grim. The great American effort to evacuate Europe’s Muslims had turned into a debacle. None of the states from which their ancestors had come would accept the refugees. Islamist firebrands declared that all that had transpired in Europe had been an American plot to oppress Muslims. Overcrowded ships lay at anchor in the Mediterranean or in the smack- down heat of the Persian Gulf. Arab governments took their cue to blame Washington for the suffering, unwilling to welcome Muslims who had lived in Europe amid liberal ideas. American counterarguments were mocked. The global media accused the United States of making pawns of the refugees. When a riot aboard a converted cruise ship turned deadly, the Europe an pogroms were forgotten as if they had been an embarrassing soccer match. All agreed that Washington was the true enemy of Islam. pg. 26

At that fateful moment, Iran launched a barrage of nuclear missiles at Israel, killing two million people. On the same day, nuclear devices exploded in downtown Los Angeles and on the Vegas Strip. pg. 27

With bewildering speed, the Military Order of the Brothers in Christ and their supporters had gotten their crusade against Islam, an invasion to retake the Biblical heartlands from the infidel. And as the favored MOBIC forces battled toward Jerusalem, Lieutenant General Flintlock Harris had the mission of taking Damascus with what remained of the Army and Marines. pg. 28

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