By Alan Judd
After collage and Sandhurst, Charles Thoroughgood has now joined the attack Commados and is on a four-month travel of accountability in Armagh and Belfast. The thankless job dealing with him and his males -- to patrol the tension-filled streets via weeks of boredom punctuated by way of bursts of horror -- takes them via instances of tragedy, insanity, laughter and terror.
Alan Judd tells Thoroughgood's story with verve, compassion and humour. the result's a very high quality novel which blends sour human incident with military farce.
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Extra info for A Breed of Heroes
It was quite the eclectic and opinionated group. As I got to be friends with them, I started to receive better and better inside info on whether or not an attack was going to happen that day or the next. I stayed at the Al Safeer for about four months. One of these gentlemen, Iraqi born, is still a friend of mine. In fact, with my wife, we have traveled throughout Europe together on vacations. Of course, I can no longer admit to knowing him as now I would be considered fraternizing with the enemy and my security clearance would be subject to review.
In addition to Blackwater, two other private military contractors, DynCorp International and Triple Canopy, provide protective services to the State Department. Blackwater reports more shooting incidents than the other two contractors combined. 23 The notable point is that Blackwater, at the time, was privately held. As such the company lacked both a corporate board and shareholders. This setup allowed the owner, Erik Prince, free reign when it came to the operational protocols he implemented for his organization.
The documents reviewed by the committee indicate that Blackwater embarked on this mission without sufficient preparation, resources, or support for its personnel. According to these documents, Blackwater took on the Fallujah mission before its contract officially began and after being warned by its predecessor that it was too dangerous. The company sent its team on the mission without properly armored vehicles and machine guns. And it cut the standard mission team by two members, thus depriving them of rear gunners.