Minor edit on a typo. Otherwise a fairly clean chapter.
I was pleasantly surprised by the response to the chapter. I honestly expected some readers to report that Kurdish Dragon couldn't have occurred because of some technical reason. Instead, most of the technical and military people all agreed the scenario could have unfolded the way I laid it out. Well, even a blind pig finds an acorn every once in a while! I have to thank several of the readers who responded after earlier chapters. Several of them pointed out that the 101st would have been included, and that really tightened up my eventual scenario.
One of the problems with writing this chapter was that while the military advertises how fast they can mobilize a division and get it somewhere in the world, the figures they give are as much fiction as this story. They might say that an armored division could be on board a ship in a few days, and at sea for 7-10, and then unload and immediately go into battle, but that's not true. The only way it happens that fast is if everybody is on the base, the flatbeds and trains are lined up and ready to go, the ships are at the docks, the weather is perfect, etc. Real life is never like that. Add in the fact that moving this stuff is enormously expensive and time consuming, and is never actually practiced. To actually move a division from the U.S. to Turkey could easily cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take a month or more of time. Each way! Another issue is that the railroad network from Western Europe to Eastern Turkey is problematic at best. One of the reasons that American troops have been brought back from Europe to the U.S. is that following Gulf Storm they discovered that shipping troops from Germany to Iraq didn't actually save all that much time compared to shipping them from America. Interesting.
I did receive several emails from various military and ex-military types, explaining about how it could have happened, pointing out this tank or that airplane or this intelligence should have been highlighted. These things were all true, but one thing I wanted to avoid was an overly technical 'Tom Clancy' or 'Dale Brown' style war. Carl is writing the story first person, and as President he would only see the operational and strategic levels. He just wouldn't be getting into the nitty-gritty like some other writers would.
Now for the bad news - I am taking a major break in writing. I need to get several chapters ahead of where I currently am. I also have a certain degree of writer's block on future chapters. I am working through it, but it's there. 164 will be my last chapter for at least a month, and maybe two. Meanwhile, suggestions about what Carl does in his last two years in office will be gratefully welcomed. Watch my blog every week or two, and I will try to keep you informed. Thanks.