The non-fiction foundations or complements to this book are American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America and Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror.
In a nut-shell, this a marvelous depiction of what happens in the future when enemies of the USA plant two small nuclear devices in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, leading to a nation-wide call to arms with crusade overtones.
From a military, intelligence, and cultural point of view, this book is well worth reading. I view the negative whining against this book with scorn–this book is intended for intelligent people interested in reality and it certainly makes the case most ably that our demons are much more dangerous to the Republic and the Constitution than are any Islamic demons that might be stirring.
From a military point of view, it does a fine job of anticipating the day when our huge dependence on digital systems leads to a complete breakdown as the satellites are neutralizes and everything digital fails in the face of electro-magnetic pulse bomb attacks and other jamming methods. If I were a brigade commander, once of my top priorities would be to practice “zero-tech” maneuvers over a sustained period, restoring runners, motorcycles, commander's intent, etc.
I was not thrilled when the Marine Corps closed down its air breather imagery capabilities, and while we have drones today we still cannot process all that we collect. WHen digital neutralization is combined with rear area attacks (including attacks on the theater headquarters, it gets very sporty. When dirty nuclear bombs are added to the mix, it gets even worse. If this book makes any point other than beware one's own demons, it is that we are not ready–by any stretch of delusional imagination–for real-world down and dirty war in the future.
The author is clever on multiple fronts–for example, ports where we might land have been heavily contaminated, placing a premium on landing craft, but they are in short supply having been judged “archaic relics” by peacetime generals. Similarly, we are totally unprepared for both major swarms of refugees, and the poisoning of water supplies across an entire region, leaving hundreds of thousands of festering dead.
I found this book absorbing. As the Democratic Senate leader prepares to by-pass the Constitution (learn more at Phi Beta Iota), and our military leadership continues to confuse loyalty to the chain of command with loyalty to the Constitution and the defense of the Republic against all enemies domestic and foreign, I consider this novel a marvelous wake-up call.
Those who are not affecionados of the military or familiar with its jargon should first consult the list and description of characters, and the gloassary, at the end of the book. Although the author has worked very hard to remove jargon, it is the nature of the military to speak in tongues, and this might be confusing to some.
Over-all I found the book provocative, not least because it buttresses my grave concern about the absence of religious counter-intelligence within the US Government as well as at state and local and international organizational levels; and because it confirms my long-standing concern about the over-digitization of the U.S. military.
Other books I recommend along with this one:
War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
Battle Ready (Commander Series)
Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Fields of Fire