2010
29.05

FiveBooks
Andy McNab on Anti-Terror, The Politics of War
Published 27 May 2010

Andy’s ‘Five Books’ are My Friend the Mercenary (James Brabazon), Crusades (Terry Jones and Alan Ereira), 52 Days (James Fergusso), Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (Siegfried Sassoon) and: 

Your fifth choice is a Ministry of Defence green paper.

“Yes, a bit geeky this one. This is an MOD green paper pre-empting the white paper and it’s a very clear and concise document about the politics of war. We are a trading nation and we will go to war to keep our trading routes clear. Alan Greenspan said we went to war in Iraq for the oil, and he was right. The fuel is coming on line now (the army is getting a deal for something like five pence a litre) and, though Basra is never going to be a day out in Margate, things have calmed down because people are making money. It’s about the freedom of goods, services and information and to secure our food and resources. That’s the way we do it. We don’t send in the gunships any more, but we go into joint operations with America because they have the same doctrine as us. We are in Afghanistan because we need stability in the region…”

Interview by Anna Blundy

Go here to read the full interview about Andys book choices on the FiveBooks website

2010
27.05

7Days
Monday 24 May, 2010

Andy McNab was given unprecedented access to British Army welfare services as he gets to grips with some tough issues in his latest novel ‘War Torn’.

The story follows a platoon in Afghanistan who suffer both physical and mental injuries. And former soldier McNab, author of ‘Bravo Two Zero’, got some genuine understanding of the lives of the families left behind.

While counselling is available for any traumatised servicemen and women, McNab, a former SAS man himself, admits problems could arise because of the stigma about asking for psychological help.

“In the Army you’ve got this young macho environment,” he says. “ They don’t want to be seen as ‘jellyheads’.

But junior and senior NCOs are now trained to identify if there’s a problem and try and work it out at the early stages.

But believe me, you haven’t got loads of lads sitting traumatised in these forward operating bases, far from it.” [Post continues below ‘War Torn’ Special Offer]

Order Now to Save 50% on Andy McNab’s ‘War Torn’

He continues: “What we forget is that there’s a population of men and women in this country who like to fight. There’s a ten-month waiting list to get into the Army.

“If problems arise, it’s later on. Between 11-13 per cent of people who come out of the services have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in some form.”

McNab is now 50 and although he has been out of the army for 17 years the author is still shrouded in mystery. He has become famous for being anonymous, his picture always cast in shadow, his real name never revealed. Some wonder if all the secrecy is hype or necessity. He insists that after taking part in intelligence-gathering missions in Northern Ireland years ago, he and others could be in danger should his identity be revealed. He also served in Gibraltar, Germany and the Middle East.

But he admits that his new life as an author can be frustrating.

McNab was at one stage a technical adviser in Hollywood on movies such as ‘Heat’, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. And his play about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, ‘Last Night, Another Soldier’, is due to be staged by the Old Vic this year.

He explains: “I got into a world of ‘luvvies’ but I found some things frustrating. If someone booked an appointment for 9am, I’d be there. They’d say, ‘we’ve changed it’. That really used to annoy me.”

Source: 7Days

2010
27.05

Daily Echo
Monday 24th May 2010
By Stephen Bailey »

IF you’ve ever gone windsurfing in Studland Bay and got annoyed with another sailor, it’s good you decided to back off, because SAS soldier turned author Andy McNab has done a spot of windsurfing there himself – not that you would have recognised him.

The photo-shy Special Forces legend was visiting Dorset on business last week to give a lecture at Bovington Tank Museum and promote his new book, War Torn.

He appears at lectures with this face visible but asks for no photography – but do audiences try and get sneaky pictures of him anyway?

“People are all right – they know there’s a serious reason for it,” he told the Daily Echo, “because of the stuff I did in Northern Ireland.”

That “stuff” was working with the secretive 14 Intelligence Company trying to recruit informers.

If people recognise Andy, they could suddenly realise a Republican friend had actually been associating with the enemy.

McNab has been to the Tank Museum before and knows Dorset well, partly thanks to training with the Special Boat Service at Poole. And he is an honorary member of the 2 Rifles sergeant’s mess, a battalion of the regiment which replaced the Devon and Dorsets.

His new book tells the story of an ordinary soldier during the Afghanistan war and his wife’s anxious wait for news back home.

McNab keeps up-to-date by going to Afghanistan three or four times a year, either as a military commentator, or through his work with a private security firm.

However the fame his exploits with the Bravo Two Zero patrol during the 1991 Gulf War brings puts him in the spotlight among soldiers.

If there’s gunfire and he ducks first, he gets stick for a week. “I have to wait for them to get into cover first,” he laughed.

He added: “The lads are alright. They’re a bit quiet in the five to 10 minutes after a contact, then they all want to be in the book, they want to be in the newspaper column.”

Go here to read the full article

2010
25.05

Andy was a guest on the Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show Podcast yesterday where in talks – in a suit – about buses, about War Torn being 500 pages (who ripped out 28 pages of my copy??), Andys formula of writing, the upcoming Nick Stone movie, Andys new job as a director for a Boy Soldier movie, Andy bluffing, politics, Afghanistan and there’s a big challenge….

Go here and select the 24th of May to listen or download the podcast. Andy is on from 6min16s.

Below is a little video clip taken during the (radio) show.

Thanx again Ali for sharing!!

2010
06.05

Ah sigh, thought we were done with politics, but politics is not done with us it seems. Today the Daily Mail digs up stuff from 2005 to make their point against labour:

“SAS defied MoD to rescue two of its men held hostage in Iraq as top commanders ‘prepared to quit’ over ban on mission”:
The SAS launched a daring mission to rescue two of its own men held hostage in Iraq against the orders of the Ministry of Defence, the Daily Mail can reveal. The elite unit was pushed to the brink of mutiny after it was banned from saving the SAS soldiers captured by militants because to do so would embarrass the Government. The astonishing edict drove SAS officers close to mass resignation, according to a hardhitting report by the Tory MP Adam Holloway, a former Guards officer.

Details of the incident in 2005 expose the shameful way the Armed Forces have become politicised under Labour – with political spin put before soldiers’ lives.

And here comes the good part:

Mr Holloway’s explosive account is supported by General Sir Mike Jackson, who was head of the Army at the time but only learned of the scandal later. General Jackson last night made clear his disgust at the way soldiers were asked to sacrifice their men for political reasons, shattering the sacred military covenant that no man is left behind on the battlefield. He told the Mail: ‘The story as you relate it chimes with my memory of the events. It was not only a brave but a very necessary operation to release those two captured soldiers. The British Army looks after its own. Underline that three times.’

Read the full article in the Daily Mail here

Three years prior to these events, in 2002,  members of Bravo Two Zero stated in a BBC Panorama documentary:

SAS patrol ‘left to die’

Eight SAS soldiers in the Gulf War were abandoned by their commanders after their mission went wrong, a BBC investigation suggests.
Requests for rescue made by the Bravo Two Zero patrol – operating behind enemy lines, with patrol leader Andy McNab – were ignored until it was too late, the BBC Panorama programme says.

Three of the patrol were killed, four were captured and tortured and one escaped during the ill-fated mission to destroy Iraqi Scud missiles in 1991.
The official inquiry into what went wrong has always maintained that no comprehensible messages for help were ever received.

But Panorama has seen an SAS log recording calls for assistance from the patrol, which it says shows emergency requests were received, ignored and covered up.

You can read the full transcript of the Panorama documentary here

THE SECRET SAS LOG ENTRIES

THURSDAY 24TH JANUARY 1991: B Sqn Northern MSR gp reported that they had been compromised and requested exfil asp. Exfil did not take place as it was unclear whether they had had a contact or if it was a chance compromise.

FRIDAY 25TH: B20 made TACBE contact again, it was reasonable to assume that…they were moving South. A CH 47 crew were on standby for B20 and as from now >there will be 1 crew on permanent standby.

SATURDAY 26TH: Poss further communication from B20 using TACBE to a passing F15, this contact came from a location on the main E&E route. Op mounted tonight to pull them out. (CH 47 returned to Al Jouf without completing the mission due to bad weather.)

So..if the Daily Mail can dig up old cows.. so can we 😉

2010
03.05

Soldier turned best-selling author Andy McNab is to speak at The Tank Museum to mark the release of his new novel ‘War Torn’.

Drawing on his own military experience and extensive research he has conducted both in theatre and on the ‘home front’, ‘War Torn’ provides a window on the experience of the modern British soldier in Helmand – and at home.

Date of Event: 19th May 2010
Time of Event: 19:30
Venue: The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, BH20 6JG – Tel: (+44) (0)1929 405096
Entry Fee: £12.50

Source: The Tank Museum