Earlier this year, I published a short story, OMEGA, co-written with Amir Husain, CEO and founder at SparkCognition. The narrative explores the nature of strategic surprise in the AI era, and how the US, as well as its European allies, might respond to such an upset in Europe. Exploring setbacks and failure is just one way such FICINT writing can help.
“Incoming!” shouted Piotr Nowak, a master sergeant in Poland’s Jednostka Wojskowa Komandosów special operations unit. Dropping to the ground, he clawed aside a veil of brittle green moss to wedge himself into a gap beneath a downed tree. He hoped the five other members of his military advisory team, crouched around the fist-shaped rock formation behind him, heard his shouts. To further reinforce Ukraine’s armed forces against increasingly brazen Russian military support for separatists in the eastern part of the country, Poland’s government had been quietly supplying military trainers. A pro-Russian military coup in Belarus two weeks earlier only served to raise tensions in the region – and the stakes for the JWK on the ground.
An instant later incoming Russian Grad rocket artillery announced itself with a shrill shriek. Then a rapid succession of sharp explosive pops as the dozen rockets burst overhead. Nowak quickly realized these weren’t ordinary fires.
Read more at the US Army Mad Scientist program’s blog.
SIXTH PLANET, HOTH SYSTEM – The tauntaun ran screaming across the crevasses and zig-zag trenches dug into Nev Ice Flow, fur singed black and gold and slathered in crimson.
A tauntaun doesn’t bleed red though. Rebel infantry does.
So starts the short story “When the Blood Runs Cold,” my contribution to the upcoming anthology STRATEGY STRIKES BACK: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict,” due out in May from Potomac Books. It is an eye-witness news account of the Rebel retreat from Hoth that is modeled on Ernie Pyle’s dispatches during World War II.
While my approach to answering the question of what the Star Wars universe can teach us about contemporary and future conflict relies on fiction, the collection of more than two dozen essays includes analysis from the smartest writers on strategy and military affairs today.
Kudos to editors John Amble, Max Brooks, Matt Cavanaugh, and Jaym Gates for producing such a valuable – and enjoyable – book. It can be read for entertainment as well as for professional development, which will give plenty of people a chance to talk at work about the Death Star’s acquisition travails or the ethics of Rebel tactics or morale within the Imperial cadre.
No writer should be shy about clamoring for pre-orders, and in that spirit here is a link: http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/potomac-books/9781640120334/
The view that fiction belongs on modern military reading lists is becoming mainstream. One only need look at the titles on the reading lists put out by US Special Operations Command or the senior officers of the Navy and Marine Corps to see that it has a valued place in military professional development. And this is not limited to the Iliad and the Odyssey. Fiction, and specifically science fiction and future-war fiction, is going mainstream in Western militaries.
Read the full article at RUSI Journal.