2010
04.12

Killing? It’s just a job for Andy McNab. The highly decorated soldier and best-selling author feels no fear; rather he enjoys the excitement of conflict. But is this physically powerful man actually an emotional coward? And is anyone brave enough to ask him?

Interview: Andy McNab, soldier and best-selling author
Published Date: 30 November 2010
By Catherine Deveney

ANDY McNab is the most affable, good-humoured man you could meet, which makes his absence of empathy all the more startling. The ex-SAS man, the most decorated soldier in the British Army since the Second World War, and now best-selling author of the Nick Stone thriller series, is sitting with a Diet Coke, agreeing he “couldn’t have cared less” the first time he killed a man.

What if someone got run over and killed in front of him? “Well, they’re dead, aren’t they? What’s the point in being upset?” Married five times, he talks with equal detachment about ex-wives. What does his fifth wife think of him? “That I’m a dickhead.” Thing is, he’s just been tested for an experiment at Cambridge university and the parts of his brain governing empathy and fear were both visibly underdeveloped.

How did he feel about that? “Great,” he says. We both laugh. Even the psychologist joked about it. “He said, ‘You don’t care do you?'” And McNab’s wife? “She just said, ‘I know’. She’s known for years. That’s why she says I’m a dickhead.”

Blue eyes … dark hair … the craggy side of handsome. Friendly and engaged. McNab is never photographed openly – nor does he use his real name – because of his intelligence background in Northern Ireland. But we meet in a London hotel and he talks fast, in a Cockney drawl, with the openness of a man who’s figured things out and doesn’t much care what others think. Clues to his extraordinary levels of detachment are all there in a complex life story, from his abandonment as a baby to his capture and torture in Iraq. There are clues in his books too. The man who entered the British army with a reading age of 11 has just published Zero Hour, the 13th Nick Stone novel. Stone, a tough, independent intelligence operative, is a largely autobiographical creation, McNab admits. It’s easier that way. He describes Stone as “an emotional dwarf”. But he also says he has the capacity to be “soft as shit”. Draw your own conclusions.

Go here to read the full interview in The Scotsman

Andy McNab in The Scotsman 2010

2010
30.11

BFBS Radio: Richard Hatch interviewed Andy on Friday while he was in Kabul. Thanks for sending this Nicky!

2010
27.11

“Our troops are fighting a war as professional soldiers, not victims, and the sooner everyone switches on to this fact, the better” ~ Andy McNab

Andy McNab: In the eyes of the Army, the BBC stands ‘Accused’ over drama
27 November 2010

“It makes me furious the way our soldiers are continuously portrayed as victims in life: victims of war, victims of bullying, victims of bad organisation and leadership.

If an alien had landed in the UK at any time in the last five years, it could be forgiven for thinking that the British Army consists of compete idiots or sadistic bullies.

The truth is, the Army has never been as well-equipped, trained, or experienced as it is right now. And, contrary to popular belief, soldiers do not moan about being issued bad boots, nor are they preparing to hang themselves. They are far from victims.

They are highly competent, professional soldiers who join to fight in Afghanistan; doing exactly the job they have been trained to do.

I am writing this article from Afghanistan, while visiting our troops for a few days. And, guess what, I haven’t seen a single victim, idiot or bully yet. All I see, wherever I look, are soldiers getting on with the job.

I served in the British Army for 18 years, both in the infantry and in the SAS. I have trained recruits and commanded soldiers on hundreds of operations, and I know that our soldiers do not want or need our pity.

Today, along with my writing, I am director of an international private security company which has involvement in many countries, including Afghanistan. I employ soldiers when they leave the Army because they are a high quality product. Not traumatised victims.

The continuous drip effect of “our poor boys” is as incorrect as it is unhelpful. If we, at home, continually feel sorry for our soldiers, this will affect the way our army fights for our national interest.

The latest incident of soldier victimisation reared its ugly head during Accused, BBC One’s new drama following those accused of crimes awaiting the verdict of their trial.

In the second instalment of the six-part series, shown on Monday, the drama focused on the British Army, notably the extreme culture of bullying and intimidation in a fictitious army unit in Helmand Province.

One soldier is shown committing suicide after enduring retribution for having failed to show courage in combat. In one scene, the victimised soldier has a barrel of human excrement poured over him.

General Sir Peter Wall, the Chief of the General Staff, wrote to the BBC director general, Mark Thompson, calling Accused “inaccurate and misleading”, and “deeply distasteful and offensive” to the families of soldiers in Helmand. General Wall also demanded that the programme be dropped.

Accused was written by Jimmy McGovern, the 61-year-old author of Cracker and The Street. McGovern has been quoted as saying: “As a dramatist I was interested in exploring how soldiers have to be of a certain mindset to kill.”

But what McGovern has done, and the BBC allowed him to do, was ignore the first rule of writing – write what you know.

I have sold more than 30 million books and written two Hollywood film scripts based on my own experience, but I would never dream of writing about a pub landlord in a gritty northern town. Because I wouldn’t have a clue.”

Go here to read the full article in The Telegraph

2010
26.11

After a tough day of EOD, you’ve gotta cut loose…

2010
22.11

* 100 fallen heroes in 2010 *

By Duncan Larcombe, Defence Editor
Published: 20 Nov 2010

The Sun today salutes the 100 men who have laid down their lives for this country in Afghanistan in 2010.

Every one of them died a hero.

Go here to read the full article and the Roll of Honour in The Sun

May they all rest in peace.

MyView

By Andy McNab

“Obviously the 100th death of 2010 is a really sad landmark.

But now is not the time for us, the public, to start getting wobbly about Afghanistan.

There really is light at the end of the tunnel. The sacrifices and the work carried out by the troops on the ground are really having results.

One of the tangible results is that, since the summer, casualties have gone down because of the troops’ efforts in taking on the Taliban.

As a result, the 100th soldier killed has died towards the end of the year rather than at the end of summer, which some experts were predicting. We have reached this landmark much, much later than they said because there are troops on the ground, controlling the ground – controlling the Taliban. Where we are is where we are, but the deaths are not in vain.

The country is starting to get a little bit shaky about Afghanistan. More people are against it than there have been before.

But now is not the time to be wobbly. We are nearly there.”

2010
22.11

On the Force Select website you can find several interviews with Andy McNab regarding Force Select, also in audio!

Go here to see the list on the Force Select website