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Battlefield America

Date: 05-28-11
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Dale Brown

Bestselling author Dale Brown discussed how his new thriller relates to the real possibility of a deadly battle against the government and detailed how he honed his unique style of speculative fiction. He said that the impetus for his latest book comes from both the economic crisis as well as news reports of militia groups that have been actively threatening state governors who have been investigating and prosecuting their organizations. "That just amazed me," he marveled, "but that's the nature of the condition that we're in, especially if the economy does a double-dip recession, which is what I describe in the book." Over the course of the evening, Brown also talked about issues such as unmanned military craft, the drawbacks of the draft, and his service in the Civil Air Patrol.

Brown explained that his writing style came from an interest in geopolitics and current events, but also a desire to avoid basing his fiction in the present day or delving into science fiction. As such, he said, his novels are based "two to five years in the future" and are informed by his research into emerging technologies. Having written in this style for 25 years, he noted that numerous advancements portrayed in his books have come to fruition, such as GPS and laser guided weapons. Conversely, Brown observed that some concepts appear to be on the horizon when he pens his books, but ultimately do not develop into a reality. This was the case with a concept for a "Space Defense Force," which was a key part of his previous novels but is now being "downplayed" in the fictional universe since, in real life, the once promising possibility now seems to be a development for the distant future.

Beyond the fictional world which he has created via his writings, Brown shared his opinion on a number of issues related to the US military. He argued that a volunteer army is preferable to one that is comprised of people who are drafted, because the soldiers actively chose to enlist. This choice to join, Brown surmised, gives the volunteer soldiers a higher level of dedication and greater psychological preparation for being involved in an armed conflict. He also dismissed the concept that an all-volunteer military does not represent society as a whole. "That doesn't matter," he contended, "I want the absolute best military we can field and I think that comes from volunteers."

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