“Edge of Battle”

09 Nov

Not long after the election results were in and I was idly wondering about the challenges our now lame duck president will have to face in his final term in office, I started reading a book by Dale Brown entitled, “Edge of Battle.”  What makes this book interesting is that while it’s a military action-type book, the plot is centered on – get this – illegal immigration.

If you want to get an idea of the real-life argument about Mexicans that cross the border – and quite illegally – to improve their lives and, as it’s been said, to do the jobs lazy Americans would never do, read this book.  Of course, Mr. Brown takes some liberties with how the President of the United States and his inner circle behaves – they’re really a bunch of idiots, more than the real-life politicians – but you can clearly see the issues surrounding this in this fictional assault on our sovereign borders, what we can do about it, and what we’re not going to do about it, things that leave the whole subject up in the air.

It’s a troubling topic of discussion and one Washington, from the President to Congress to the governors of the affected states and the mayors of the impacted cities.  The truth is that despite advances in technology to assist us, we cannot protect our borders as completely as we’d like; our borders with Mexico have more holes in them than a screen.  We do not have the manpower or resources, via Customs and Border Patrol (or even ICE) to do a good enough job of keeping border crossings at the points where it is legal, let alone anywhere else.

At the heart of the argument is the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 which says, briefly, that we cannot use the United States Army to do the job of the police in enforcing the laws of our land.  Mr. Brown does a great job making his characters waffle between not pissing off Americans by further infringing on their rights, the political ramifications, like, how pissed off Mexico might get if our military started forming up to protect the borders, to the worldwide ramifications such an action could have in the global community… and all with the clear need to do something because the problems in the book do, in fact, present a clear and present danger to the United States of America.

Personally, some of the shit Dale’s written in this book leap right into acts of war; in the part I’m reading now, a corrupt Mexican cabinet minister, with plans of domination of his own, sends the Mexican air force into US airspace and shoots down National Guard and CHP helicopters in order to aid the escape of a known terrorist.

The heroes in this book are brilliant… but inept, especially the task force leader, who is a US Army major; it makes you wonder how he got his gold leaves when you watch him do brave – but really stupid – things to stop a terrorist who has already nuked a city in Texas, bombed the shit out of San Francisco, and then had the unmitigated gall to not only attack the White House but almost succeeded in kidnapping the President (you’d have to read the first book in this series, “Act of War” to read about this) and with the aid of a really cunning and corrupt National Security Adviser.

Read the book and come back at a later date and let me know how the plot of the story – and its real-life implications – resonate with you.

1 Comment

Posted by on 9 November 2012 in Life, Living and Loving



One response to ““Edge of Battle”

  1. ericjbaker

    9 November 2012 at 23:26

    Most action heroes in books and movies are miserable idiots, aren’t they? Is there a worse spy than James Bond?

    That’s doesn’t mean it’s not fun, though. Books would be boring if they were just like real life.



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