Code Name Love 72 (GMJ 50)
Yes, this book must be read! January 8, 2020
This book is remarkable in that it is the 50th in James' Code Name series, quite an achievement and accomplished in a mere five years. The man certainly seems driven to tell these stories which reveal little-known aspects of the world's military history as well as of recent events in Africa.
This latest book tells of South Africa's, also Rhodesia's, effective use of horse-mounted soldiers in their counterinsurgency and counter-terror wars. Surely this is unique in modern warfare and applicable only to the terrain and circumstances in southern Africa and probably never in modern Europe or North America.
But what I most focused on in this book was its dealing with the CIA's extraordinary rendition program, a shameful and illegal use of the territories of other nations to avoid having prisoners tortured on US soil. This is an embarrassing reminder for this American of how we as a nation have lost our sense of justice and our humanity.
It's a great book and I highly recommend it.
Code Name Swan 53 (GMJ 45) Impressive research and analysis.
As the author states, no one finishes a GMJ book without having learned some fascinating military history. In this book I found his analysis of Hezbollah to be a real eye-opener. Before reading this I, like many others I'm sure, assumed Hezbollah to be just another rag-tag and ill-disciplined group running amok with AK-47s, and not a serious challenge to the Israelis. He states they are "highly organized. They are an army and the most powerful non-state actor in the world." Hezbollah turned out to be the greatest existential threat to the Israeli state when it invaded Lebanon in 2006, an extremely ill-advised move. Israel encountered fierce resistance and lost tanks, something totally unexpected.
Once again, Code Name Swan 53 met my expectations; I learned more military history and enjoyed the continuing adventures of Spymaster Angelique and her two companions, former special forces operators, Foxtrot and Geelslang.
Code Name Rebecca 65 (GMJ 44) Another Superb book by George M James.
In this novel, the 44th in the series, this South African author continues his fictional narrative of missions engaged in by the spymaster Angelique and her ever present body guards and friends, along with some help at times from some Special Forces operators. These stories are always interesting and plausible, so much so that the reader wonders if these events are based on real events but masked as fiction. But this book also continues the practice of teaching the reader of historical events and modern developments in weaponry and tactics. This white South African historian and analyst strongly defends the expertise of his country's military. This new military, almost totally black, maintains the high standards it inherited from the previous national entity, on the orders of Mr. Mandela when taking office, keeping South Africa's military a real power broker on the continent. All three services have the latest equipment, some of it manufactured locally and often superior to that of the West. The author also makes the point that there is no danger of a coup d'etat as there is in other nations. The point is that South Africa's military is top notch and very patriotic, and can be counted on to protect its nation. The reader, whom we hope is also a serious observer of world events, will note that South Africa is a nation to be reckoned with.
Code Name Mélisse (GMJ 41) A Most Intriguing Book!
This book, as well as the others in the series, uses fictional characters to reveal what happens in the world of special operators in a part of the planet that is little known to most of us. Africa attracts little interest for us in the West and so it remains relatively unknown. But there are some extremely intriguing things going on there. South Africa is often depicted as the poster child of a failed state when it most definitely is not. The whites ceded the vote to blacks and so it's now a black-ruled nation, but it remains very much a First World nation. This black-ruled nation has its own arms industry and military that rivals those of the West. Their special operations people are simply the best and that makes South Africa the power broker in the sub-Saharan region. That's the reality. Here is a fictional story based on that reality, a story involving the special operations people and their chiefs from various nations meeting to eliminate a shared threat. And to do so they are testing new methods, and reviving old ones, of insertion and elimination of threats. Yes, a most intriguing book.
Code Name Wednesday 7 (GMJ 42) Startling Revelations!
Don't expect a soft message from this writer. He's a South African and they are noted for their blunt and direct way of speaking and you will find all that in his books. You must not interpret his manner as anti-American; clearly he's very pro-American but he holds no punches when criticizing the American way of war and our errors in policy. It's a message that must be given if we are to adequately know what's really going on, what we are not learning from the main-stream media. James does not preach to the choir here; he tells it like it is. Example: "When the CIA got the Bush 43 go-ahead to torture prisoners, they had no idea how to do so, yes, they asked us for assistance, rather embarrassingly so for themselves. They adopted the SERE training to this effect and they failed miserably. When they opened secret and illegal prisons across the world we warned them not to do so, that it will come back to haunt them. We said that if you wish to be effective you must go all the way, that is to kill the prisoner afterwards or don't detain him in the first place. Simple, effective and deadly as a message as well as calculated. They would not, they did not have the moral fibre to do so and and still don't, but they don't mind launching Hellfire missiles at innocents and feeling proud about their efforts which are pathetic in efficiency.
Code Name Lucy (GMJ 28) Great Real - World Military / Police Analysis!
I've read many of the GMJ series and continue to be impressed with the author's policy analysis and research into weapons systems. Here's just a sample of what you'll find in this book:
"[T]he Chinese thought long and hard on what they wanted and then started building at a rate which will make the Chinese Navy larger and more powerful than the US & Royal Navies combined and with modern vessels (the Roosevelt-Dreadnought Principle again, Angelique) within the next two decades. What is particularly impressive is that they are doing so in a very planned and systematic way. Again, let us analyze the patterns here – first came the smaller escort vessels in large numbers combined with advanced submarines using the best technology from anywhere (Russia, South Africa, Israel and home grown). Then only the large aircraft carriers, experimenting to see what works for them in a combination of size and quality, the age old Chinese outlook of more is better. My sources tell me that they would rather have twice as many aircraft groups as the US Navy, even if smaller, than risking all on a few vastly expensive Ford & Nimitz & Queen Elizabeth class carriers. Ironically, what the West jeer at – the Russian designed 61,000-ton heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser – is seen by them as the baseline to start from. Their aircraft carriers will be smaller, I am told, but they will have many more of them and they will have steam catapults, time will tell. However, what we see right now is smart, really smart, thinking, they are setting up the groundwork very methodologically."
I remind the reader that these books are written and sold as novels with three very-dangerous but very-entertaining main characters in the spy and counter-insurgency trade. But the author often uses his characters, as you see from the quote above, to introduce their "shop talk" which is real-life policy and intelligence
Code Name Masemole 26 (GMJ 48)
Necessity for any Truthseeker
"George M. James here connects the dots so many have failed to link in the past. He seems to have brought together information previously spoken of only in hushed tones and in isolated circumstances but now put forward to the reader as a coherent whole. There is a plan for what's going on around us; they are not random events and James pulls no punches. He's challenging, he's difficult but what he reveals is surely a necessity for any truthseeker."
Code Name Anika (GMJ 27) A Great Read
"This GMJ novel, like the others in the series tells of a fictional love interest among two South African Special Forces operators, but the author also uses that story to reveal some real-life commentary about weapons, tactics, and policy. He emphasizes that he's not anti-American or anti-West in any way, but he does express some valid criticism that should be heeded. Following are some quoted passages:
"It is not Special Forces’ job to fight but to conduct important reconnaissance without being found, there is no place for any other ideas. Yes, we can fight and better than anyone else but that is not our first task."
"Once you read the book you will know what to do and that is another point most miss when reading GMJ Books. The narrator is actually telling you how to operate in this sphere and he is revealing Special Forces techniques you did not know about and I assure you once again, others are taking note, your enemies. Yes, they are studying these books with great attention."
"Special Forces, or the American and British version are by tradition 'heavy' forces. They have to be supported with air cover and they always (justifiably so) want the ability to extract to safety when in difficulty which is often. This is a weak point in this sphere for reasons I will explain below and one which will bite them in the ass in the future. Historically, we operated without any air cover for up to eleven months at a time, for years, behind enemy lines, something rather unique in South African Special Forces history ... "
"What is the use of having highly trained and specially chosen troops if you don’t use them properly? We will never understand the way the US Military is wasting their Special Forces using absurd tactics and the difference is clear to see in Syria, even NATO admits that the Russians are winning hands down and are achieving a lot more than the US & NATO efforts could do for many years. The Russians also won hands down in the Crimea, Georgia and Ukraine by the way, the US trained troops could not run away fast enough. Whatever Mr Putin is doing, is noticeably working. And whose fault is this but a White House unable and unwilling to say the words 'Muslim Terrorist' among other things? If you cannot name something for what it is, you cannot deal with it, it really is that simple and it shows a deeply flawed personality trait ... "
Code Name July 27 (GMJ 49) The South African Way of War
In this book the author once again returns to the subject of covert and special forces operations in Sub Saharan Africa, the new counter-terror battleground where he is an expert. And he again asserts that his own nation, South Africa, has one of the world's finest Special Forces Units. I wonder how his readers react to that. Does the American reader dismiss that claim as mere baseless boasting and say they surely can't be better than the SEALs? Will the Briton dismiss that statement with his own patriotic defense of the SAS? And I ask myself if our rush to judgment is a simple dismissal of anything African being of lesser quality. If so, that would be latent racism. Let me remind the reader here of the undisputed reputations both the white Boers and the black Zulus have in warfare. Both gave the British Empire one hell of a go long ago. And now both groups, among others, constitute the present Republic of South Africa.
And let me also remind the reader that South African warrior skills were further honed by their long (1966-1989) Border War as well as the Rhodesian Bush War where South African Army Special Forces, Air Force pilots, and Police Counter-Insurgency Units learned the tricks of the trade. The fact is that the South African Army has not lost a battle since Tobruk, under British Command, in 1941. In 1978 they conducted the largest parachute operation since World War Two and in 1987-1988 won the largest tank battle in Africa since World War Two. And they did so with homegrown equipment that was and are superior to what the West or the USSR could produce. They still lead the world in many fields as is explained in many GMJ Books.
As an American Vietnam Veteran, I recognize that my own nation was deeply affected by the Vietnam War but it was of short duration and far away. For South Africans their war was long and at home, virtually an existential event for them. Surely every middle-aged man today can say he did his obligatory service. We all know of far too many exemptions certain American classes obtained (Bolton, Biden, and others) during our war while I doubt that many exemptions were given in South Africa, and shameful if indeed received.
I think we can accept the author's claim that his nation's Special Forces, and indeed its entire military, are proven to be far superior to any other on that continent. The same can be said of their covert teams roaming around in secret fighting in the shadows about which nothing is written or known. Let's read this book with an open mind and learn something of the South African way of war. If you read between the lines you will see the reality that the author warns about. There is much knowledge gained from reading the GMJ Series, knowledge that will save American lives if implemented.