Today J.R. takes on the topic of how we developed our story idea for Weapons of Mass Deception. If you’re just joining the Two Navy Guys blog series, you can get caught up here.
When we set out to find the premise of our story, a few things were really important to us:
- Significant – we wanted a topic that could have been ripped from the headlines.
- Historically accurate – whenever possible, we want to connect our story to actual events.
- Authentic – we want to leverage our military experiences as fodder for telling a kick-ass story of international intrigue.
Here’s J.R. with the details:
WMDs. Weapons of mass destruction. Nukes. Chemical weapons. Biologics. The kind of weapons that can wreak havoc on an entire nation, a continent, even the world.
For those of you that remember your Middle East history, Iraq and Iran fought a vicious war between 1980-88. The Iran-Iraq War had its roots in the Iranian Revolution of 1979, with Iraq seeking to take advantage of the political instability of their much larger neighbor to the east. Historians liken the conflict to World War One due to the extensive trench warfare and the Iraqi use of chemical weapons (i.e. WMDs). The Iran-Iraq War ended in a UN-brokered ceasefire and a return to pre-war borders. Half a million soldiers died, along with an equivalent number of civilians.
Fast forward to January 1991. Air power was the first phase of Operation DESERT STORM, the military operation against Saddam Hussein following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Coalition forces flew some of the best war planes in the world, far superior to the Iraqi Air Force of older Soviet and French-made planes. Within days, the Iraqis realized if they didn’t take action they might lose their entire air fleet.
So they did. They flew their remaining war planes to Iran. Coalition leaders were astounded. Iran, the country Saddam Hussein had been at war with only three short years before, was now the safe harbor for the Iraqi Air Force (estimates are up to 140 planes went to Iran).
Here’s the kicker: Saddam Hussein never got his planes back.
Put another twelve years on your time machine to early 2003, the eve of the invasion of Iraq. Imagine Iraq really did have WMDs, let’s say maybe a handful of nuclear devices. Surely Saddam Hussein would be looking for a place to hide these weapons… but where?
And that’s where our story begins, with a nuclear-capable Iraq on the eve of the invasion. If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, maybe Saddam Hussein decided to hide his WMDs in the last place anyone would be able to find them.
Now it’s your turn. Is this story idea strong enough to base an entire novel on? Is there a plot point you think we just have to include?
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