Welcome to the premiere post of Meet the Author! I am very pleased to have e-interviewed Dick Couch about his latest work, The Sheriff of Ramadi: Navy SEALs and the Winning of al-Anbar.
What inspired you to write The Sheriff of Ramadi?
I became interested in The Sheriff when I learned of the intensity of the fighting in Ramadi/al-Anbar, and that the SEALs were taking to the streets to fight with the Army and the Marines. This is the first time SEALs have ever done this. Early on, I felt it would be the story of courage in the face of certain defeat as things were very bleak in the summer of 2006. The courage was there, more than I would have imagined, and it turned out to be a pivotal victory in Iraq.
How did you convince the Navy SEALs to talk with you?
That’s not hard for me as I have a good reputation for respecting privacy issues and telling an accurate story. And they forgive me for my oversights. It also helps that I’ve, been there, done that, and have a drawer full of T-shirts–most of them very old T-shirts.
Who should read The Sheriff of Ramadi?
I think its a good read for anyone who wants to understand the role of a direct-action force in a major counterinsurgency battle. It’s also revealing look at the role of snipers in urban battle. And of course, it’s a good text for the multi-dimensional role of Navy SEALs in an insurgency. And finally, on a macro scale, the lessons of Ramadi will be most useful as we turn our attention to Afghanistan.
You have written 6 fiction books and 6 non-fiction books. Which type is easier to write?
Without question, fiction. When I write novels, I get to go hang out with my imaginary friends for a few hours every day. Good fun. Non-fiction requires research, travel, and the responsibility of getting someone else’s story right. It’s a 110,000 word term paper.
Any future books in the works?
I have a short, non-fiction work on tactical ethics which I’m finishing up; then perhaps another book on SOF training–maybe the Rangers this time.
Dick Couch is a rare find. He is a scholar and practitioner having served on active duty with the Navy Underwater Demolition and SEAL teams for five years.
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