COUNTDOWN WWIII: OPERATION PERSIAN GULF BY W.X. DAVIES WITH THE STRATEGIC OPERATIONS GROUP

Standard

Copyright 1984.

It is the near future of 1987 and the Ayatollah Khomeini dies. This leads to a power struggle within the Islamic Republic of Iran. On one side the mullahs. On the other an army general who stages a coup. The coup manages to take Tehran and some other major cities but the mullahs remain in control of a good part of the country. The mullahs turn to the Soviets to help them in the war. They send in troops and the army general turns to the U.S. which starts sending troops and supplies. Soon the Marines land at the strategic oil fields and the Soviets threaten to attack with nuclear weapons. In steps Triad with a plan to defuse the situation. They plan to free a dissident mullah held by the regime. The cleric is a moderate who supports neither the Soviets or America but has broad support among the population. His government would restore the status quo of an Iran in neither of the superpower spheres. So they must rescue him and convince the Soviets to also accept this alternative. Otherwise the world will be plunged into a nuclear war.

So for the final book in the series the author sets it in Iran. He envisioned factional fighting and a civil war after the Ayatollah’s death. He was only off by his death two years but there was speculation of what a post-Khomeini regime would be like. The reality was that the mullahs grip was strong and they remain in power to this day. But they didn’t know that at the time. A plausible scenario that ratcheted up the threat to a possible full blown nuclear war between the U.S and Soviets. I love the realpolitik approach by the author to solve the crisis. Just return the status quo with them assassinating the pro-western general and the Soviets taking out the head mullah. An exciting story to end the series.

So the series ends. I hope that the author enjoyed writing it for I don’t think he had much success in achieving a more sophisticated espionage capability for the U.S. In fact I think this was probably not read by many and remains an obscure series. Some real Books that Time Forgot. I personally enjoyed the series and wish I discovered it when it first came out. I would have loved to see where this series would have continued. But for now it is more of a historical curiosity to those like me who love the old cold war thrillers.

COUNTDOWN WWIII: OPERATION CHOKE POINT BY W.X. DAVIES WITH THE STRATEGIC OPERATIONS GROUP

Standard

Copyright 1984.

In the near future a border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana threatens the peace of the region. Guyana has a socialist government and receives massive aid from the Soviets in weapons and advisers. They also get seasoned Cuban troops fresh from Angola. Tensions escalate and soon a shooting war starts. A war that sees the inexperienced Venezuelan army lose ground to the Cubans. Naturally the U.S. is concerned about the threat to Venezuela’s oil and calls on Triad to defuse the situation. They start by finding the secret Soviet staging area in Costa Rica a country destabilized as all the region is by insurgencies. They gather a force of anti-Communist refugees to launch an attack on the base. They also have to stage an assassination of a KGB official and make it look like an accident to preserve the status of their main Soviet double agent Mr. Clean.

The third book in the series has the crisis in South America. Wow times have changed to have Venezuela a U.S. ally fighting Cubans and a Socialist government. This definitely does feel dated. Still for the times is was a fairly accurate scenario. Guyana did have a Socialist government and the border dispute is real although has never became anything serious. Central America was envisioned as being engulfed in guerrilla wars which was where the region seemed headed. I like how it accurately portrays a U.S. government paralyzed politically from getting involved and the Byzantine machinations that Triad uses to accomplish it’s objectives. Another enjoyable book in this little known series.

COUNTDOWN WWIII: OPERATION BLACK SEA BY W.X. DAVIES WITH THE STRATEGIC OPERATIONS GROUP

Standard

Copyright 1984.

In the near future of 1986 Turkey has had a military coup. The military government has not done a good job of running the economy so decides to start a war with Greece to distract peoples attention. They declare that disputed waters are now Turkish. To back it up they invade and occupy some islands off the coast. The Greeks respond and now two NATO allies are at war. The Soviets exploit this by backing Greece with arms shipments and sharing intelligence. At the same time Enver Hoxha the leader of Albania is dying. The Soviets see this as an opportunity to reclaim a former satellite nation and invade. The U.S. seems in a no win situation as events spiral out of control. Enter Triad the Global Crisis Task Force. They come up with a plan to parachute a squad of Green Berets into Greece and go over the border and attack invading Soviet forces. The plan is to provoke the Soviets into violating the Greek border and driving Greece back into the NATO fold.

The second book in the series deals with the tensions between Greece and Turkey. There have been numerous incidents between the two over the territorial waters of the Aegean. Several times this almost lead to a shooting war. Even now the countries don’t get along. So this scenario was a very real possibility. Throw into this a Soviet invasion of Albania and you have a nice little crisis that could spiral out into a much broader war. The author once again weaves an exciting tale of this conflict and the Triad response to contain it the best way possible.

COUNTDOWN WWIII: OPERATION NORTH AFRICA BY W.X. DAVIES WITH THE STRATEGIC OPERATIONS GROUP

Standard

Copyright 1984.

It is the near future of 1986. A new President Creighton Turner has created a new team to combat the growing tension with the Soviet Union. The Global Crisis Task Force is to consist of four experts in political, economic, communications and intelligence affairs. They are to formulate contingency plans and prevent the crisis from occurring and to arrest the crisis if it does occur. Reporting directly to the President they are code named Triad.

Their first assignment is a crisis in North Africa. Libya with the backing of the Soviets are fomenting trouble in the two pro-western nations of Tunisia and Morocco. In Tunisia they are backing an Islamist leader and giving material support to an armed invasion of that country. In Morocco they are providing military aid to the Polisario insurgency in the Western Sahara. Both threaten to bring down these pro-western regimes and tip the balance of power in the Mediterranean. Triad must work at turning a corrupt Soviet agent codenamed Mr. Clean because of his bald head to gain valuable intelligence. They also have to lead a group of dissidents into Libya to destroy an anti-satellite installation.

So this is the first of a series from the eighties. I remember seeing it and thinking that it sounded interesting but never actually getting it. Well thanks to the internet I was able to acquire this series and see what its all about. I found it a very intelligent and interesting read. The group Triad was mainly about defusing the situation so it didn’t spin out of control. The geopolitics at the time are portrayed accurately. The only thing that bothered me was that they had an F-16 land and take off from a carrier. Otherwise everything in the book seems accurate and believable.

W.X. Davies is a pseudonym for a well known writer. I have never found out who this mysterious well known writer is. He states that the purpose of the series is to “entertain and argue for a more sophisticated espionage capability for the U.S.” I don’t know if he succeed in the second but the first was a success. Also the Strategic Operations Group was an informal advisory council whose military, intelligence and security experience provides much of the background for the stories.

I can’t find anything on this group so I don’t know if it still exists. They did a good job of providing the politics of the countries but could use a lesson in modern jet fighters.