Book review: Battlefield Ukraine


BATTLEFIELD UKRAINE: by James Rosone and Miranda Watson

Battlefield Ukraine is the type of novel I would not mind writing – and perhaps I will write one day.  So this is a high compliment (IMHO).  After over fifteen years of the war on terrorism, most novels are focused on counter-terrorism operations, Islamic extremism, espionage, and other small-unit / small scale conflict.  This novel aims to follow in the footsteps and style of Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising, Harold Coyle’s Team Yankee, Bob Forrest-Webb’s Chieftains, and Larry Bond novels.  It does a good job, bearing in mind this genre has some limitations.  Most importantly, while this novel has similarities with Red Storm Rising and similar books, it is an important political and technological update.  Red Storm Rising is quite dated with references to SM-1s, F-14s, F-19 stealth fighters, etc.  Also think about what that novel does not have: B-2 bombers, F-22s, F-35s, Javelins, GPS, JDAMs, etc.

These novels are action and equipment oriented and cover the whole spectrum of warfare, from the trench to the President.  They are not character driven except for a few characters who get a bit more page space than others.  This genre of novel simply cannot be a spiritual journey of redemption and discovery as they usually cover the perspectives of both sides and different military occupations (armor, infantry, aircraft pilot, intelligence analyst, spy, political leader, etc.).  And, frankly, I do not read these books for their “characters” but for the action and the fictional portrayal of force-on-force war.  Other books or types of books will cover one man’s search for himself amidst war and tragedy – but these will be focused on that person, and not cover dozens of aspects of warfare and geopolitics.

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My YouTube Channel

Dear blog friends, I’ve added a page for my YouTube channel, which has a bunch of 1080p travel videos from around the world (mostly Asia for the moment).  Enjoy!

My YouTube Page

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Operation Kaki Blue – An ASEAN War Short Story

My latest short story! Read here, or download!  Free for distribution.

This is a short story about the breakout of war in Southeast Asia.


Cover Operation Kaki Blue

Four hours and thirty minutes: that was how long it would be until she had been married a full day to Singapore navy Lieutenant Nengyi Yew, Myolie thought.  She had worn a traditional wedding gown, sleeveless with an open back; while he had worn his formal white naval uniform with brass buttons, black epaulets with two gold stripes—one thick, one thin—denoting his rank.  After exchanging vows, they had walked down the aisle of their local church in the Serangoon neighborhood, hand in hand, beneath an archway of sabres borne by Nengyi’s comrades from the RSS Tenacious.  The organ had boomed Handel’s Messiah as they had departed, celebrating their union through lead pipes.

For nearly an hour her focus had been on the ship where the very same men who had saluted the newlyweds with swords were afloat aboard their ship in the Singapore Strait, but some movement just beyond the Singaporean navy frigate caught her attention.  It was impossible to be certain, but it seemed like a very long and straight man with rounded limbs was hanging from a cable beneath a helicopter, being dropped into the warm waters of the Singapore Strait as if he was either being tortured to confess a crime or for the mere pleasure of hanging from the whirlybird and taking an occasional dip.  “It’s a sonobuoy,” Myolie heard a man who looked to be in his mid to late-thirties next to her explain to a little boy at his side.  “They are looking for submarines.”

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I have just entered a competition to propose ideas to NASA as part of their NASAiTech program.  My proposal is a study to identify and plan for an anti-matter propulsion infrastructure.  You can read the abstract below, and download the 5-page PDF.




By Liam H. Dooley




NASA requires a new approach to propulsion technologies that will provide rapid, efficient long distance space travel between planets within Earth’s solar system and beyond, as well as building and sustaining populations off of the planet whether in deep space or on terra firma.  NASA and space-faring companies and nations will require a lift capacity far beyond what is currently available.  This need would be best met with anti-matter based propulsion systems.  However, because anti-matter is not readily available naturally nor easily produced, NASA needs to foster the establishment of a national – or global – anti-matter production infrastructure.

This proposal 1) suggests NASA promote the establishment of an anti-matter propulsion fuel infrastructure through planning, programming, and budgeting; and 2) establish a study group to propose potential courses of action, national and globally, to create and establish an anti-matter propulsion fuel infrastructure.

Read the complete proposal here:

Anti-Matter Propulsion System Infrastructure Study PDF

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Paws in Persia – A Photo Illustrated Short Story

In celebration of the passing (which is really the non-annulment) of the Iran nuclear agreement, I have written a short story that incorporates cats, traveling, and international politics. And some nice photos taken by me! Enjoy…whether or not you agree with the agreement. It is downloadable and available below as well. Liam

Download here in PDF: Paws in Persia

Paws in Persia cover8x11

Paws in Persia

A Short Photo-Illustrated Story

by Liam H. Dooley

Published by Liam H. Dooley, Ireland

© 2015, all rights reserved

This short story and its accompanying photographs may be shared in excerpt or in its entirety in electronic, paper, or other format under the condition that it is properly credited, without the knowledge or consent of the author, Liam H. Dooley.

There once was a young girl named Brygida.  Brygida lived in Cappadocia, Turkey, during a time when Greeks and Turks lived together.

Amidst the thousands of chimney stone formations that appeared to be either an upside-down ice cream cone several stories high or a smokestack so large that they contained a family home or a Greek church, Brygida lived a tranquil childhood hunting for ancient treasures or carrying water up ladders to family and neighbors.  Her family lived in an especially large and luxurious two-level cave, just beneath the ten-story high fortress of Uchisar – itself carved out of a small mountain, appearing like a thousand-eyed, earth monster with a flat skull on which an Ottoman flag flew.There one was a young girl named Brygida.  Brygida lived in Cappadocia, Turkey, during a time when Greeks and Turks lived together.

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New Blog Theme

Since I really don’t have so much to say about wine…it’s all good, though some is better than others – I have decided to change the blog to “warfare”.  Why?  First, because I needed a theme that started with a “W” sound to go with Writing and Roaming.  Second, because it is an issue that interests me and that is a theme, writ-large, of my novels and short stories and poems (when I write them).  Indeed, one of my first poems I wrote was an Ode to the Normandy Invasion.  Warfare – or rather international security, diplomacy, national security, defense issues, military history, and foreign policy are all issues that interest me, end up in my creative writing, and are relevant to many on a daily basis.

I will be writing about tanks, planes, battles, non-fiction books, and current events.  But this does not mean an end to my travels, nor my creative writing.  And on occasion, including very soon, I will post writings that combine all three elements.

Goreme, Turkey

Göreme, Turkey in Cappadocia.  A simply amazing place

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Tehran, the Nuclear Deal, and The Holy Diamond

Just a week ago the the P5+1(+0.5) and the Islamic Republic of Iran signed a deal to limit the IR of Iran’s nuclear facilities, production capabilities, and potential to develop a nuclear weapon / limitations on the potential to have a nuclear weapons programme.  To celebrate this agreement, I would like to offer a photo of The Holy Diamond, a quick assessment of the agreement, and finally a creative touch to wrap it all up.

Just a note, the P5 are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the One is Germany, and the 0.5 is the European Union.  It means that basically three countries (UK, France, and Germany) get double representation… Now is that fair?

holy diamond kindle tehran

The Holy Diamond Kindle Version in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

When 10,000 Nukes are More Than Zero

Did you ever hear of the SALT I, SALT II, START I, START II, and New START Treaties?  These are all nuclear weapons treaties signed between the US and USSR and then US and Russia.  Not all of them were ratified.  But some of them were or otherwise they were respected without ratification – and they all included the USSR/Russia keeping nuclear weapons.  And not just one or a dozen, but thousands!  If you think the Iranian deal was bad, then how does the US-USSR/Russia deal sound?

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The Holy Diamond Now (Finally) on iTunes/iBook!

The Holy Diamond is now on Apple’s iTunes and iBooks! 

It took me ages to figure out the correct formatting, the uploading process, and all that dull, administrivia stuff but it’s finally done!

All you have to do is search iTunes or iBooks for “The Holy Diamond” and it will come up on your results page (as below). BUT be sure you are registered in a country / iTunes account that allows ebooks/iBooks.  Not all of them do.  Don’t ask me why… welcome to Apple!

iBook screenshot 2









Screen capture from Apple iBooks


iTunes screen capture





Screen capture from iTunes keyword search


Thanks to all my friends, family, fans, supporters, and readers for your encouragement!


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By Liam H. Dooley, Fiction Author

I have owned the MacBook 12 inch retina for about two weeks, with moderate use.  I want to give you an honest review that is more than just a critic or expert looking at it at an Apple conference or posting their review 20 minutes after taking it out of the box.

The summary?  This is not a good computer for most people, and Apple basically screwed up.  But it’s not the worst product in the world either.

MacBook Air versus MacBook 12 inch retina

I owned a 2012 MacBook Air 11 inch and was looking to upgrade.  The Air was declining in processing power, battery life, and its 128 gb hard drive was inadequate for 2015.  And I just wanted a new computer.  So what to get?

Well, if you don’t want a Mac, then this eliminates all of the computers I was looking at.  I was trying to decide between either MacBook Air, this MacBook 12 inch, and MacBook Pro 13 inch retina.  But what were my requirements?

Well, what I can say is that in my 3 years or so of using the 11 inch MacBook Air I never said, “I wish this was smaller!”  The Air was a good size and, in fact, closer to 12 inches rather than 11.  It easily opened up on planes, easily fit into any bag, and was light enough while being so hard and rigid that it could easily take a moderate beating.  What I needed in particular was more battery life and better resolution.  And cost was not an issue.

MacBook 12 inch with Holy Diamond

MacBook 12 inch with Holy Diamond

If Only….

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Believe or Not Believe: Seymour Hersh and the Truth of the Osama bin Laden Raid at Abbottabad, Pakistan

By Liam H. Dooley

Fiction author of The Holy Diamond


Conspiracy Skeptic

I am not a conspiracy theorist.  I believe that terrorists  and al Qaeda attacked the USA on 11 September 2001.  I am certain that while the US had strategic warning about an imminent attack by Japan in 1941, they were operationally surprised when the bombs fell upon Pearl Harbor.  I don’t think some bizarre combination of the CIA, mafia, military-industrial complex, and aliens assassinated President John F. Kennedy.  I am firmly convinced that there is no Illuminati nor freemason society running things – anymore than the world is influenced by powerful people of all types and forms in very public ways such as campaign donations, government lobbying, charitable donations, and the like.

So when I first read about Seymour Hersh’s article that the May 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden by US special forces was largely fabricated or altered by the US and Pakistan, I greeted it not with just scepticism but outrage.  How could such a reputable and accomplished journalist publish a story that could have come straight out of the Republic of Texas or a bad season of 24?  But then, I started thinking.

Seymour Hersh Article link:

Let me say that I have never been in the military, though I have worked for military and security organizations as a contractor, consultant, appointee, etc.  I have never planned a major military operation, and my shooting skills have gone from passable at best to embarrassing.

But as a writer of fiction who hopes to write about modern warfare, I have thought about military issues extensively.  At one point I had a focus on World War Two, but now it is fair to say I am more familiar with present-day operations thanks in large part to extensive coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in the form of TV documentaries, news pieces, books, and even films.  I can watch films and guesstimate with some accuracy the good and the bad; the fabricated and the authentic.  A sniper running around in gym clothes in Behind Enemy Lines?  Utter nonsense.  Needing to make a phone call to call in air support over a telephone?  Not only possible, but happened and will likely happen again (at least to some military, not necessarily the US military as had happened in Grenada, 1983).

I saw Zero Dark Thirty and read a few books on the bin Laden raid, such as Mark Owen’s No Easy Day.  The film captured the nature of intelligence collection and analysis – what President George W. Bush referred to as connecting the dots.  The book related the intensive training and operations that US special forces were engaged in during the wars of the past fourteen years.  The hunt for bin Laden, in these books, was a long, patient effort that required luck and perseverance and, indeed, did not necessarily figure as a priority in intelligence or policy.

Yet even when the raid occurred, and some US Republicans were criticizing President Obama for taking credit for the operation and also claiming that the decision to conduct the operation was easy, I had some fundamental questions of operations and policy.

obama bin laden death

Why Not Bombs Away?

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