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Review of Executive Intent by Dale Brown

Elise Cooper for BLACKFIVE

Dale Brown’s latest novel, Executive Intent, combines military technology with political intrigue. There are a lot of confrontational episodes between the United States military and America’s old adversaries, Russia and China. Mr. Brown uniquely explores how Americans need to be aware of Russia’s re-emergence and China’s new status as super powers.


The book begins with an encounter between one of America’s aircraft carriers and a Chinese fighter plane, a Sukhoi-34. Brown uses the plot to explore the need for America to have a base in space that can fire anti-ballistic missiles to protect America and her allies. The story takes off when China and Russia join forces to threaten the US. What unfolds is a combination of military and political decisions based on the technology at hand. He weaves together stories that build up to a high climax. It is a fascinating theory in which Brown explained that, “If Russia and China put away their differences and worked together to harass the US, it would be a serious problem. We could lose control over a particular ocean or region. What I wanted to do is create a level of anxiety in the world.”

There are a number of questions Mr. Brown poses to the reader through a suspenseful plot. How should America respond to a threat by another super power? Should there be military bases in space? Should weapons be allowed on those bases? Is there a need to develop a strong missile defense system? What happens when political figures, America’s leaders, turn out to be pacifists, and how will that affect America’s national security? He answers these questions through action-packed encounters where technology plays a leading role. asked Brown why he wrote a book centering on a military space base considering the US signed a treaty that forms the basis of international space law. He commented that “Military pundits are fearful of a military space race. The US is finding more competition with nations such as China, Russia, and India. They point to the space treaty and say it prohibits weapons in space. It prohibits weapons of mass destruction in space, but does not prohibit lasers or defensive missiles.”

One of the main points of the book is how politics affect the military. Brown points out that the military is run by civilians and the Commander-in-Chief, the head of the military, is the President. He explores how politicians ultimately make the final decision in how to respond to threats. He commented that “we have the technology to do that, it’s the political will we need. One of the sub-plots of the story is that the President was putting on blinders regarding the use of technology.”

Although the book is an enjoyable read, the characters need to be better developed earlier in the story. As the plot progresses, Brown develops the character’s personalities more. It is obvious that his fans crave a book that concentrates on the latest weapon system and technology. He admitted that “the humans are not the main characters of the story. I think the technology and the weapons are the main characters.”

The book has something for everyone. A military buff will be able to look into the technological future in the next 2 to 5 years. There is also a suspenseful, insightful plot that centers on the political personalities affecting our national security. Overall the book is an interesting read.