War Tactic by Don PendletonWar Tactic by Don Pendleton

War Tactic

byDon Pendleton

Mass Market Paperback | August 4, 2015

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Profit Pirates 

Tensions between China and the Philippines are on the rise, and a series of pirate attacks on Filipino ports and vessels only makes things worse. Phoenix Force discovers that the pirates are armed with American weapons. As they struggle to neutralize the threat on the sea, Able Team must hunt down the mastermind behind the attacks before the United States is forced into war. 

Stony Man 

The best military fighters and cyber techs from around the world, the Stony Man teams are on the front lines of America's war against terror, wherever it takes them. These elite black ops warriors put their lives on the line in the name of freedom.
Don Pendleton was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, December 12, 1927. During World War II, on December 7, 1942, days before his 15th birthday, Don enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a Radioman First Class until November of 1947. He served in all the war theaters, receiving various medals. He received his GED certificate of high school...
Title:War TacticFormat:Mass Market PaperbackProduct dimensions:320 pages, 6.6 × 4.1 × 0.86 inShipping dimensions:6.6 × 4.1 × 0.86 inPublished:August 4, 2015Publisher:HarlequinLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0373804520

ISBN - 13:9780373804528


Read from the Book

Stony Man Farm, VirginiaBarbara Price, Stony Man Farm's mission controller, pushed a lock of honey-blond hair from her eyes as she climbed out from under the briefing-room conference table. Examining her tight slacks for dust, she brushed her hands across her thighs and looked to Aaron "the Bear" Kurtz-man. Kurtzman was sitting in his wheelchair, looking at her expectantly."Well?" he said."Let 'er rip," Price stated.Kurtzman nodded and pressed a button on the control box in the surface of the table. He had spent the past few days wiring up new, higher-resolution, flat-screen monitors for the walls of the briefing room. Tasks such as these were among the hundreds of behind-the-scenes undertakings that Kurtzman and his cybernetics team fulfilled in support of the Farm's missions. While Kurtzman's upper body was massive and he could easily have pulled himself under the table to make the necessary connections, Price had offered to do it for him, if only to save him time.At Kurtzman's touch, the wall screens switched on, displaying a test pattern."Well, that looks good," said Price. "We should be ready when Hal calls for the briefing.""Yeah," Kurtzman agreed. "I just want to—" He stopped.One by one, the wall screens switched from the test pattern to the image of a rounded, purple cartoon monster eating a lollipop. As Price watched, amazed, the monster began to find its way through a series of mazes bearing math problems. At the end of each passageway, it devoured another piece of candy."What in the world?" Price asked."Gadgets." Kurtzman spit the name as if cursing."Gadgets?" Price asked. "What does he have to do with it?" Hermann "Gadgets" Schwarz was the technical expert on Able Team, one of the Farm's two counterterror teams. He was as skilled with electronics and hardware as Kurtzman, the Farm's computer expert and support team leader, was with software."Our network runs in several shells," said Kurtzman. "I keep the loosest security on the outer shell, the one that runs the office hardware. Encryption for our transmissions is handled on a deeper level of the network. But the outer layer, the one that handles just general connectivity among the hardware, can be adjusted internally.""I don't follow," said Price. "What's the connection?" She pointed at the cartoon monster. "What is that, Bear?""That," Kurtzman explained, "is Candy Monster Maze Farm online, one of the most popular smartphone apps on the market. It's one of those addictive puzzle games. I keep deleting it from the outer network shell. Gadgets keeps hacking his way in to put it back on, no matter how many times I revoke his admin privileges."Price hid her mouth behind her hand so Kurtzman would not see her smile. Schwarz was a notorious practical joker whose antics often helped the Farm's personnel blow off steam. Given the extreme stress under which they all operated, Price was secretly grateful for Schwarz's effect on morale. It might explain why, even though Able Team's leader, Carl Lyons, was an irascible grump, unit cohesion in Able Team was as high as it had ever been.That was also true of Phoenix Force, Stony Man's other counterterror team. Before David McCarter had become the leader of Phoenix Force, he was noted for his sharp tongue and glib nature. Yet the Briton had been awfully serious in the years since assuming leadership of the team, following the death of veteran Farm commando Yakov Katzenelnbogen.It was true what they said about the mantle of leadership. Price spent all her time worrying about the personnel of both teams, not to mention the support personnel who held them all together and made their missions possible.Kurtzman had produced a wireless compact keyboard and was now typing furiously at it. The purple, spherical monster was replaced on the wall screens with lines of code. As the monitors returned to the test pattern and then to a live feed of Hal Brognola sitting at his desk, a voice shouted from the corridor outside the briefing room."No!" said Schwarz as he walked through the doorway. He was holding his secure satellite smartphone and watching the screen as he walked, tapping away with both thumbs. "I was almost to level ten. Now I'm going to forfeit my bonus lollipops.""Gadgets—" Kurtzman snarled."Uh," Brognola interrupted from the wall screen. "If we could begin? I have an appropriations committee meeting in half an hour." Brognola was speaking from his office on the Potomac. As Director of the Sensitive Operations Group and one of the few men alive who understood the extent and scope of the Stony Man Farm Operation, Brognola had his fingers in a lot of pies in Washington.Not for the first time, Price looked at the big Fed, wondering about his health. Over the years Brognola had cut back on a number of bad habits as stress, work load and time had conspired against him. How he managed on a day-to-day basis was a testament to his mental and physical strength. Nobody was shooting at Hal—although, over the years, that had happened a time or two—but he shouldered a load that was as great or greater than any of the fighting personnel on the Farm's black-ops staff.Schwarz put his phone on the table. Kurtzman glared at the slim, nerdy-looking counterterrorist. Schwarz offered a sheepish grin before turning to greet his fellow Able Team members.Drinking from a disposable coffee cup that was probably full of Kurtzman's own nuclear-strength brew, which Kurtzman fermented in an industrial coffeemaker in the Farm's office annex, Carl "Ironman" Lyons strode into the briefing room. He nodded at Schwarz before settling his big frame into a chair of his own. The former LAPD detective was a big, imposing manwith a temper to match. Nonetheless, he was an extremely effective leader. Being able to tolerate Schwarz's sense of humor on a daily basis was probably a big point in his favor.Behind Lyons was Rosario Blancanales, who had been nicknamed "Politician" for as long as Price had known him. Blancanales, a soft-spoken Hispanic man with gray hair, was an expert at "role camouflage" and a former Black Beret. As Lyons and Blancanales exchanged knowing looks first with Schwarz and then with Kurtzman—who was still doing his best to look angry at Schwarz—Price signaled Kurtzman to bring up the satellite feed for Phoenix Force. The Phoenix Force team was preparing to embark from an air base in Manila and had set up a portable satellite transmission unit in one of the outbuildings. It looked as if the five members of Phoenix Force were sharing space with several stacks of wooden crates and other supplies, including a leaning tower of oil cans.While they barely fit within the field of view of their field camera, the members of Phoenix Force were all present. There was David McCarter, the fox-faced Briton who was their team leader. Beside him crouched Rafael En-cizo. The stocky, Cuban-born guerilla fighter was much shorter than square-jawed giant Gary Manning, a demolitions expert who had once served with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Kneeling in front of them was Calvin James, a lanky black man and former Navy SEAL from Chicago's South Side. Also kneeling to fit within the camera frame was T. J. Hawkins, the youngest member of the team. The Georgia-born former Ranger had also earned himself a set of para wings along the way. His easygoing manner belied just how experienced he was at what all the Phoenix Force commandos excelled—the dealing out of fast, efficient, overwhelming force."Okay, Hal," Price confirmed. "We're go."Brognola cleared his throat. He pressed a button on the keyboard at his end. The display of his office was replaced by a graphic representation of the South China Sea, with several blinking target points indicated."Beijing has laid claim to most of the South China Sea," he said without preamble. "This isn't the abrupt territory grab it might seem. They've been rattling their saber in the area for quite some time. It wasn't that long ago that they started sending oil rigs into the region, stepping up their resource exploration in waters claimed by nations like Vietnam. Sovereignty over all kinds of islands, and the waters around them, is in dispute. Most of Asia is getting nervous because China has gotten more and more aggressive over the past few years. They're the new military power on the block and they know it.""Like their new stealth fighter, which uses stolen American Raptor technology," Schwarz put in."Just so," said Brognola. "China also has a pretty spotty record of conducting 'military exercises' in the area that have proved dangerous to anyone who gets in the way. They've consistently expanded the budget for the People's Liberation Army. Throughout Asia, world leaders are concerned that China is getting ready to just take what it wants, and the rest of the world can like it.""Given how badly stretched our own military is," David McCarter said, "it makes sense. The Chinese are starting to feel like they can do what they want and nobody's going to stand up to them.""There's that," said Brognola. "But, potentially, it's already gotten to a shooting war, albeit a poorly publicized one. These red target indicators all designate locations for raids. Several Filipino ports and a number of cargo vessels and naval craft have been attacked. Some of the survivors of these raids are claiming the attackers were running Chinese colors, although so far, there's no proof of that.""So they're, what, trying to back up their claim to the area through force?" Lyons asked."Possibly," said Brognola. "Beijing swears it isn't behind the armed aggression, although the Filipinos are screaming bloody murder and asking for NATO intervention. It isn't just the Philippines that have seen their ships attacked, either, although so far they've taken a good portion of the damage. And it isn't uncommon for China to say one thing while doing another. The tensions are high. The entire region has become very volatile.""What's our stake, Hal?" Lyons asked."The Man wants us to get to the bottom of the attacks," Brognola replied. "Obviously there are very sensitive politics at play.""You mean the Chinese hold our markers," said McCarter. "And they're not shy about letting us know we owe them money.""The global economy is more complicated than that," Brognola said. "If things go south between the US and China, it will have far-reaching effects throughout the world, not just for us or for them. And, frankly, if China is getting more aggressive, we may need to step in and put them down.""Except we can't look like we're doing that," said Mc-Carter."Correct," said Brognola. "That's why it's us and not a more overt military action. The White House considered sending a carrier into the region, and still might, but that's symbolism only. What we need is real problem solvingbut the problem solvers can't be linked to the United States government. That's where Phoenix Force comes in.""Bloody hell," McCarter said quietly.Brognola pretended not to hear. "The world cannot afford war with China. But first, we've got to neutralize the immediate threat while getting to the bottom of what's going on. We have tasked several of our newer satellites to tracking the comings and goings of the marauder ships. Using advanced imaging technology similar to methods we've employed before, we have produced a list of potential target sites, as well as probabilities for future raids. There is definitely a calculated pattern to the attacks. They are not random. Your job, Phoenix, will be to neutralize the raids while determining, if you can, who the players are. You will be supported by Jack Grimaldi, who'll act as your pilot for both transportation and air support.""We saw G-Force outside," Calvin James said. "He's got a pimped-out Sikorsky waiting for us.""And Able, Hal?" Lyons asked."That's where the other shoe falls," said Brognola. "What evidence the Filipinos have recovered points a strange finger away from China and toward the United States. Several fragments and discarded pieces of weaponry have been recovered from the raids. They're the latest high-tech hardware from RhemCorp, a United States contractor."Schwarz made an exaggerated face-palm. "Not again.""Gadgets is right," Blancanales said. "This wouldn't be the first time we've encountered an American businessman selling high-tech weaponry to foreign powers. I'm starting to think the security clearance process our military employs for vendors may be seriously flawed.""Regardless," Brognola continued, "Able will investigate RhemCorp's facilities here in the United States. Export of the weapons concerned is strictly controlled by US law and security regulations. The only way these weapons are getting out is if they're doing so illegally.""Let's just go arrest the guy," muttered Lyons. "I guarantee you it's the suit in charge.""RhemCorp's CEO is this man," Price said. She reached across Kurtzman and tapped a key on his keyboard. The photo of a middle-aged man with oddly smooth features appeared on the wall screens."Whoa." Schwarz whistled. "Somebody's been at the Botox.""That guy's doctor left him with just the one expression, I guess," Lyons said."Harold Rhemsen," said Price. "He's forty-five years old. No known political ties. He's a registered independent. No affiliations to any group more controversial than the local rotary. We've been through his business records.""I searched pretty thoroughly," Kurtzman advised."Obviously we can always go deeper. He could be hiding things using shell corporations we've not yet discovered. But so far, no smoking guns. Whatever he's doing, if he is dirty, is pretty well concealed, and probably goes back a long way.""How so?" Brognola asked."I can answer that," Schwarz offered. He was quietly typing with his thumbs on his smartphone again, but he did not even look down as he spoke. "Financial fraud is like trolling the internet. The longer you have to set up your dummy accounts, the older they'll be when somebody looks at them, and the more legitimate they'll appear.""Spoken like a man who has done his fair share of online trolling," Kurtzman commented, spearing his colleague with a disapproving eye.Schwarz flushed slightly. Kurtzman picked up for him. "The point is," said Kurtzman, "everything about Rhem-sen could be made up, but if it was established long enough ago, it's going to take a while for us to find evidence of that.""I still say we just roll in there and arrest him," Lyons said. "He's going to lie. And then we're going to leave. And when we come back he's going to try to kill us. Let's just cut to the end.""Five bucks says he tries to kill us right way," Schwarz said."You're on," said Lyons. He turned away from the electronics expert as the monitors switched from the picture of Rhemsen to the feed from Brognola's office."If I could continue" Brognola cleared his throat again. "Obviously, I need you to use some discretion. Able Team will be operating under the auspices of Justice on this, since the origin of the US-made weaponry has nothing to do with China itself. But of course the two are connected, if only because the raids are being conducted using these illegally obtained rocket systems.""XM-Thorns," Schwarz declared, apparently scrolling through data that had been uploaded to his phone. "Nasty stuff. Very compact. Very light and very powerful.""Yes," Brognola agreed. "That's part of what makes this so urgent, separate from the greater political concerns where China is involved. Bear has transmitted complete mission dossiers to all of your secure smartphones, including the specifications for the recovered weaponry, the target lists and real-time updates as our satellite imaging provides new data for Phoenix." He looked down at his watch. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get to that meeting.""We're on it," McCarter stated. "Wheels up in five.""Thanks, Hal," Price said. "Stay safe.""This is Wonderland," Brognola responded. "Nobody's safe. Good hunting, all of you."The screens went blank and then returned to the test pattern. Lyons stood and gestured to his Able Team colleagues."Let's move, ladies," Lyons grumbled. "I'll draw an SUV from the motor pool and have Cowboy fill it with things that explode." He was referring to John "Cowboy" Kissinger, the Farm's armorer."Catch you later," Schwarz said to Price and Kurtzman. Blancanales nodded. The two men followed their team leader into the corridor, leaving Price and Kurtz-man alone in the briefing room.Kurtzman pushed his chair away from the table. Just as Price, too, started to rise, the image on the conference room screens once again became that of the purple, spherical monster chasing candy through its puzzle maze. Kurtzman sighed heavily and put his head in his hands.Price hurried out, hoping she could make the control room before she started to laugh.