Sir: from the US--the planning and strategic truths combined with sound reasoning that underlie all of your work fills a void in military professionalism successfully translated to literary audiences outside of state militaries. I pre-preordered your and look forward to reading it. Importantly, when the war in UKR ends--as all wars do, there’s a rumor of war much closer to your home which deserves extensive analytic development. So much work to do; so little time. Most Respectfully, COL Vince Alcazar, USAF, ret.

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Sir, first my congratulations and second, some shameless sucking up.

So, I congratulate you on your century; quite honestly, I envy your new avocation. Just to ensure that I was using my words correctly, I researched the difference between vocation and avocation and, surprise!, I had it right. A vocation is work you do because you have to - your career as a soldier, perhaps - whereas an avocation is what you do for pleasure, not pay. That is not to say that you write for free - I certainly hope not - but it is obvious from it's quality that you do enjoy writing. Very clearly, your writing has been well researched and is very clearly expressed; I am terrifically happy to have subscribed to your prior Substack and now to this updated version of that product.

That was the first item; now for the second. Today I finished reading White Sun War and, quite honestly, I was terrifically impressed by the book. I am of an age (I also am retired, but am "senior" to you) where I have read many new authors. One that comes to mind is Tom Clancy; not for his later thrillers - although I did enjoy them as well - but for his first great success, The Hunt For Red October. It was said at the time of it's publication that the US Navy was upset at all of the technical detail in Clancy's book and wondered about the security breach that allowed him the information. Of course, the information was all open source and Clancy simply took the time and trouble to seek it out. [Truthfully, I always thought that claim was simply publisher's hype.]

I found your White Sun War to be full of technical information, some of which (I presume) is a bit (only a bit) "creative" but it is my thought that far, far and away the majority of the technical material actually exists currently or is a very logical and planned extension of current technology.

In any event, I was terrifically taken with the book.

End of shameless sucking up.

Again, congratulations on your century. [Even in Canada where cricket is a very, very minor sport I am aware of the significance of a century in cricket.]

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Thanks for the cricket reference and, earlier, the recommendation to read John Scalzi's Old Man's War series. Great game, great read!

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Howzat !

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Congratulations, Mick! That is quite an accomplishment in 15 months. Though being born in the US, but married to a Trinidadian and now a Spaniard I must say leaving out Trinidad (Brian Lara)/ West Indies from the cricket nations breaks my heart!

But in all seriousness, your writing has benefited my thinking in matters even beyond war and strategy. And it is helped reignite a passion I once had for military and diplomatic history and current events. Thank you!

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Thanks Mick, erudite, informative and entertaining.

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As the great Batsman Geoffrey Boycot put it. When you reach your century, change guard and start on a new one.

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May 7, 2023·edited May 7, 2023


At your (first) century we can take stock and say: it is a thrill to have since 2022 your new voice amongst us: fluent; possessing gravitas; tough-minded; accurately insightful and then decisive (all-in with Ukraine from day one, never wavering, always pressing our side to help them more).

An important new voice making an important contribution - congratulations!

Mark Leggett

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Congratulations, sir, on having done the ton!

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That explains a lot about how you were able to produce so much so quickly and at a high level of quality - your retirement and the Ukraine war were basically simultaneous events.

That at least did mean you could quickly provide quite current contextual analysis. We have all benefited from that. It truly is a terrible misbegotten war, but it is the reality.

I am glad that you have been such a good guide in understanding not only your perspective and your analyses of the war, but perhaps more importantly, the thought process that undergirds the analysis itself. Thank you.

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“ a terrible misbegotten war”

This metaphor is quite lame because begetting necessitates two parents, whereas we must always remember that this war has only one parent. Indeed, a better sexual metaphor is serial rape or attempted rape, beginning in 2014 and repeated every day since then.

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