ISIS and the New Caliphate


CNA Strategic Studies press just released Reviving the Caliphate: Fad, or the Future? < by Julia McQuaid.

This paper examines the concept of restoring the caliphate in modern times, a notion that some extremist groups have supported in recent years. It focuses on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’s declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria in June 2014 and discusses the potential ramifications of this action on the region, the global jihadi movement, and U.S. interests in the broader Muslim world.

When we created the high Concept for Out of the Ashes several years ago we knew we wanted the focus of the story to be in the Middle East – the Greater Levant. This CNA study confirms the churn we anticipated would persist as the book hit the streets in May of this year.

Out of the Ashes


When we came up with the high concept for Out of the Ashes we did our due diligence and read all we could about the region. A few books stood out as invaluable to our work. One of the key ones was Tom Friedman’s From Beirut to Jerusalem. Here is some of the praise this book has garnered and why it guided our writing:

If you’re only going to read one book on the Middle East, this is it.”—Seymour M. Hersh

One of the most thought-provoking books ever written about the Middle East, From Beirut to Jerusalem remains vital to our understanding of this complex and volatile region of the world. Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman drew upon his ten years of experience reporting from Lebanon and Israel to write this now-classic work of journalism. In a new afterword, he updates his journey with a fresh discussion of the Arab Awakenings and how they are transforming the area, and a new look at relations between Israelis and Palestinians, and Israelis and Israelis. Rich with anecdote, history, analysis, and autobiography, From Beirut to Jerusalem will continue to shape how we see the Middle East for many years to come.

Art Under the Umbrellas


Coronado celebrates “Art under the umbrellas on Saturday August 2, 2014 from 10 AM to 4 PM at Coronado’s Spreckeles Park. Read more about this event here.

The Coronado Council of the Arts has featured my books at several previous events. An article from their recent web post here.

At this event I’ll be talking about several of my books, among them:

  • Leave No Man Behind: The Saga of Combat Search and Rescue
  • Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor – New York Times Best Seller
  • The Kissing Sailor – Amazon and Barnes and Noble Best Seller
  • Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes – Publisher’s Weekly Best Seller

Join us!

Out of the Ashes

tom clancy

Many people have asked us, “How does the new Tom Clancy OP-Center series differ from the wildly-successful ten-book series published between 1995 and 2005?” It is an important question and one that helps define the ground we stake out in Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes and will continue in future books in the series.

In addition to the action, adventure, military-techno journey we take the reader on, there are some overarching themes in Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes and these themes will continue in future books in the series.

  • The notion of civilian control of the military is “unsettled” in America in 2014
  • There is tension between government, military and intelligence entities, and the people
  • There is technology-enabled tension between counterterrorism efforts and civil liberties
  • There are issues that are “too hot to handle” for DoD, DoS et al…hence OpCenter
  • The United States is not a juggernaut, we have to be thoughtful how we apply power
  • This series will convey “strategic foresight” i.e. predict what will happen in future
  • The key to what OpCenter takes on regards leveraging “anticipatory intelligence”
  • Information is now a weapon…this is where network-centric warfare has evolved

The “new” OpCenter and the characters who man it will be a dramatic departure from the “old” OpCenter to reflect the sea change in the U.S. security posture since the series was created:

  • Even more than ten years removed, September 11, 2001 still drives U.S. security thinking
  • The creation of the Director of National Intelligence and the NCTC
  • The creation of the Department of Homeland Security
  • The creation of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
  • The creation of U.S. Cyber Command as a full combatant commander in 2013
  • The creation of Northern Command as a United States Combatant Commander
  • The success of the television series “24” and its recent re-boot
  • The success of the television series “Person of Interest”
  • The fact that the United States has been at war for twelve years – and counting
  • The major strategic shift involved in the U.S. “pivot to Asia”
  • That said, the validated U.S. near-term strategic focus is still the Mideast
  • The forces unleashed by the Arab Spring are causing more Mideast turmoil
  • In 2014, the U.S. military is reviving the counterterrorism vs. counterinsurgency issue

We believe we have delivered on these themes in Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes. Stay tuned for more in book two, Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Into the Fire.

Out of the Ashes


Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes is a reboot of the best-selling Op-Center series that produced twelve books between 1995 and 2005. Continuing in that best-selling tradition, Out of the Ashes was featured on Publisher’s Weekly and USA Today’s best-seller lists just two weeks after the book’s release.

Why is the book doing so well? Above all else, and continuing in the Clancy tradition, Out of the Ashes is prescient. It looks to the future of intelligence, terrorism and military operations and shows what threats to our national security will look like tomorrow. Set in the cauldron of the Middle East, Out of the Ashes is a deep dive into tomorrow’s headlines today. It also takes the readers into the labyrinth of the tensions in this volatile region. Our research for this book took us to several great sources, one of which was Robert Fisk’s The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East.

Military Monday with John D. Gresham and Author George Galdorisi – Op Center

Popular Military Internet Radio with Writestream on BlogTalkRadio

Understanding the Mideast


When we began to do our research and due diligence to conceive and write, Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes we started out with scores of scholarly books to consult. We whittled that down to just a dozen key books that helped us understand the conundrum that is the Greater Middle East.

At the very top of that short list was Bernard Lewis classic: The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years. We commend it to anyone who wants to begin to understand this complex region in 2014. Here is what booklist has to say about this gem:

For more than 50 years, Lewis has strived mightily and successfully to explain the cultures and histories of Middle Eastern peoples to Western readers. The task of writing a political history of the region has already been fulfilled by him and by many others. In his latest work, Lewis has chosen to accentuate the social, economic, and cultural changes that have occurred over 20 centuries. He ranges from seemingly trivial concerns (changes in dress and manners in an Arab coffeehouse) to earth-shaking events (the Mongol conquest of Mesopotamia) in painting a rich, varied, and fascinating portrait of a region that is steeped in traditionalism while often forced by geography and politics to accept change. As always, Lewis is eloquent, incisive, and displays an intuitive grasp of the social dynamics of the culture he describes. Both scholars and general readers with an interest in the Middle East will find this work a delight. Jay Freeman

Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes takes the reader on a fast-paced thrill ride through Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and the Greater Middle East.

The Clancy Tradition Continues


This year saw two “reboots” the Tom Clancy Op-Center series and another movie starring Jack Ryan – the fifth movie with “America’s action hero.” Adam Kepler put it this way in the New York Times.

Someone once said, “Never trust a man with two first names,” but that wit obviously was not referring to Jack Ryan, the C.I.A. analyst and reluctant action hero of Tom Clancy’s series of spy novels. The closest thing pop culture may have to an American James Bond, the character has appeared in four films, which were collectively rereleased in December by Paramount Home Video as “The Jack Ryan Collection.” And now he is the focus of a fifth, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” which arrived in theaters in January of this year. It turns out that every era gets a Jack Ryan to fit the times.

Read more here.

More Early Praise for Out of the Ashes

Out of the Ashes

Kirkus Reviews had this to say about Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes:

Even when it’s been disbanded and its creator has died, you can’t keep a good agency down—especially when it’s as badly needed as Clancy’s National Crisis Management Center.”

Jeff Edwards, bestselling author of THE SEVENTH ANGEL and SWORD OF SHIVA, had this to say about Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes:

Op-Center is back with a vengeance!  OUT OF THE ASHES isn’t just a reboot of the Op-Center series; it’s one of the best techno-thrillers to hit the shelves in a long time.  Dick Couch and George Galdorisi have just raised the bar for military adventure fiction.  Suit up, strap in, and hang on, because you’re in for one hell of a ride.

Tom Clancy Presents: Out of the Ashes

Out of the Ashes

A key book reviewer, Bookist, had this to say about Tom Clancy Presents: Out of the Ashes, just out this week:

Tom Clancy’s Op-Center books (12 in all) were popular, but the series ended after the last one was published in 2005. Now, almost 10 years later, St. Martin’s has resurrected Op-Center with this offering from coauthors Couch and Galdorisi. A series of terrorist attacks at NFL stadiums during games causes havoc, and the president’s response does little to restore confidence. He realizes the time has come to reestablish the Op-Center, a group known for its unmatched SWAT, computer, and infiltration skills. The recruitment process takes up the beginning third of the novel and proves surprisingly compelling. Once the team is up and running, the operation to strike back at the terrorists begins. Couch and Galdorisi are veteran military-thriller authors, and they show their talents here. Op-Center fans will be pleased to have the series back and will look forward to more installments in the future.

More reviews on Amazon here