7. The Day After

David got home after mid­night. The flames of the house had died down, they had con­firmed there was no move­ment nearby, and the ODA had moved on site to do an assess­ment. Empty streets at that time of night. Rather than being bru­tally hot, the weather was just stuffy, mak­ing his wind­shield fog over and […]

Continue reading →

6. Bombs Over Tashkent

Tues­day, the streak hit a small cave nes­tled halfway up a ravine above the Koksu river in Ugam-Chatkal National Park, just east of Tashkent. The explo­sion looked minus­cule at first, then the sec­on­daries lit up the entire ravine. It started as a small dot danc­ing over the mouth of the cave as the voices over […]

Continue reading →

5. Saturday

Dear David, I know things have been tough for you at work the last few weeks. I hope you can feel com­fort­able talk­ing to me about what­ever you feel you can. I’m here for you. Love, Mar­tin David stared at the note, stuck with a mag­net to the front of the refrig­er­a­tor. It was writ­ten in […]

Continue reading →

4. Morning.

5 am. Alarm blar­ing. David’s eyes snap open to the liv­ing room ceil­ing. Chico the bijou was growl­ing at him, tug­ging at his leg. He was never happy when David occu­pied the entire couch. He reached over the press the dis­miss indi­ca­tor on his phone. It flashed a pale blue acknowl­edg­ment then went silent, dark. […]

Continue reading →

3. Intel.

David sat down at his desk, tum­bler of cof­fee next to his key­board, and inserted his iden­ti­card into the small reader in the slim­line com­puter client screwed into the under­side of his desk shelf. At the prompt, he swiped his index fin­ger over the reader build into his key­board, typed in his sev­en­teen digit password, […]

Continue reading →

2. The Off-Site.

In they come, every morn­ing at 5:30 am. The head­lights never stopped coast­ing past, but this is when they begin in earnest: a long chain of lights cut­ting through the angry pre-dawn, deep sea anglers bob­bing along the slightly uneven pave­ment in a mad rush to get inside the Belt­way before any­one else can clog […]

Continue reading →

1. The Pilot.

Through a cloud of dust, the boys began to play vol­ley­ball. It was an excit­ing game, lots of shout­ing, the ball bounc­ing back and forth as they tried to keep it aloft over the net. The game was always pop­u­lar here, it always had been. No one could remem­ber when their first game was, or even […]

Continue reading →

NaNoWriMo 2014

I’ve decided to par­tic­i­pate this year in National Novel Writ­ing Month, or NaNoW­riMo. I’ll be post­ing updates to the story, some excerpts (I’m unwill­ing to com­mit to seri­al­iz­ing every­thing here just yet), with the idea of even­tu­ally hav­ing 50,000 words or so by the end of the month. So, okay, it’s not really a novel, more of […]

Continue reading →

Afghanistan Should Inspire Skepticism of Syria

On Sun­day, all Amer­i­can and British com­bat oper­a­tions in Hel­mand province offi­cially ended. It was a long time com­ing, as Hel­mand has long been a thorn in the side of both country’s mil­i­taries: resis­tant to the magic COIN dust, extremely vio­lent, and polit­i­cally unsta­ble. It has been the scene of some of the worst excesses […]

Continue reading →

The False Promise of a Crystal Ball

If there’s one theme that could define Pres­i­dent Obama’s for­eign pol­icy the last six years, it is his tumul­tuous rela­tion­ship with the US intel­li­gence com­mu­nity. The IC is Obama’s favorite tar­get when Things Go Wrong: usu­ally because they did not use their crys­tal ball to cor­rectly pre­dict the future. It is that mis­per­cep­tion — that […]

Continue reading →