Behind the Scenes:

Book Three of The War Planners Series
Pawns of the Pacific

By Andrew Watts

Thanks for reading Book 3 of The War Planners series!  

I wrote the first draft of The War Planners while deployed on an aircraft carrier.  It was 2012 and I was the Air Operations officer for Destroyer Squadron Two, embarked on the USS Enterprise.  We were deployed the Middle East at the time.  Fast forward several years and I've made the USA Today bestseller list, and sold thousands of copies to readers like you.  I hope you enjoy the books!  

Read on to find out about some of the details behind the War Planners series.

War Planners IDEAS & Technology


Where did I get the idea for a Chinese military base in South America?  Several countries in Latin America have veered away from the US and towards Russia and China, politically.  Also, in recent years, China has increased its infrastructure and business investment in Latin America.  Chinese firms have purchased ports in the Panama Canal, may possibly break ground on a Nicaragua-based Pacific-to-Atlantic canal, and there may be a massive South America railroad projects in the works. China sells arms to Latin America (link) and their special forces are training in Latin America. (link)  


There is a scene in Pawns of the Pacific where a non-lethal electro-schock weapon is used.  Those weapons really exist!  Check it out:

And what's better than a electric-shock shotgun projectile round?  Why one that fits in a grenade-launcher, of course.


MARSOC was just getting going when I graduated the US Naval Academy.  I've always had tremendous respect for the Marines (please don't tell them that), as well as the special operations community.  I wanted to include a unit in one of my books, so I made them the team that infiltrated the Chinese base near Manta, Ecuador.

From the current Marine Raiders website:

"The Marine Raiders were elite units established by the United States Marine Corps during World War II to conduct Reconnaissance, raids, and other special operations, especially behind enemy lines. “Edson’s” Raiders of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion and “Carlson’s” Raiders of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion are said to be the first United States Special Operations Forces to form and see combat in WW II.  However, most combat operations saw the Raiders employed as regular infantry, and combined with the resentment within the rest of the Marines that the Raiders were an “elite force within an elite force”, led to the eventual abandonment of the experiment as their casualties couldn’t be replaced by similarly trained personnel.  Read more here.

Marine Corps Special Operations Command was reactivated in 2003, and is one of the elite special operations units in the US military.


The F/A-18G "Growler" replaced the Navy's EA-6B, and is a formidable electronic attack aircraft.  Here is a great article from a naval aviator who's flown them: I referenced that article when I wrote the book.

JSTARS, while flown by inferior pilots who are incapable of landing on ships at sea (just kidding guys), is incredibly impressive and also incredibly classified.  There is more about this aircraft that I don't know, than I do.  But every time I interacted with one of these platforms, they knew everything that was going on over the battlespace, and it was great to get information from them.

You can read about it here.


One of the scenes in War Planners #3 featured military attack drones operating in a swarm.  I admit using a little of my creative juices here.  But I suspect that it's not too far off.  Scientists and researchers have perfected the ability of drones flying in formation with each other.  (see below)

And as with all technology, there are military applications:



Tensions are running high between the United States and China. And a belligerent North Korea isn't helping matters. As members of the US military and intelligence community prepare for the worst, Chinese politicians play a dangerous game.

Read Now: LINK

Thanks for reading!

I know I've said this a lot to many of you over email or on Facebook.  But I really do appreciate you letting me make up stories for a living.  I hope you find them entertaining, and I'll do my best to keep quality work flowing.  Thanks and take care!

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I write two different series, with seven books total as of early 2019.  You can make sure you've read all of the books here.