Aug 032015
 

Poaching is a topic that literally makes me want to punch someone in the face. The idea that majestic animals are being hunted to the brink of extinction for a substance that is identical to your finger nails really eats at me. I would like nothing more than to unleash PRIMAL on the perpetrators of such a heinous, self-centered crime. Unfortunately I can’t, but I can write a book about it and use some of the proceeds to fund people who are fighting poaching.

PRIMAL Renegade takes Bishop on a wild adventure through Africa as he seeks retribution against a Chinese-backed poacher. It’s a journey that will tear at his moral fibre and ultimately see him lose something he values more than life itself.

For every pre-order past 1000 of PRIMAL Renegade, I’ll give half my royalties to the IAPF (International Anti Poaching Foundation, www.iapf.org). Pre-order Renegade, or gift it to a friend or family member, and you’ll help out this team of heavy hitters who are on the frontline protecting rhinos, elephants, and other species at risk from poaching.

Click on your bookstore of choice below to pre-order the ebook.

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Cheers,

JS

Don't let this happen. Support the IAPF.

Don’t let this happen. Support the IAPF.

Nov 162014
 

Central African Conflict Zone Sourcing

 C4ADS link analysis diagram for illicit ivory smuggling

Like a lot of people, I get pretty pissed off when I read that poachers kill up to 50 000 elephants each year just to harvest material that is chemically identical to my fingernails. My immediate reaction is to grab my gear, head over to Africa and start capping fuqtards. However, that’s probably going to achieve sweet f#ck all. Nope, the problem runs far deeper than just the poor bastards putting their lives on the line to drop the elephant. It runs all the way from Asia to the big game parks and back again.

Recently, a non-profit organization, C4ADS released two thoroughly detailed reports on the state of ivory smuggling. A boom in consumer demand in China has led to record levels of poaching, leading the elephant toward extinction in some parts of Africa. The reports caught my eye as they demonstrate similar methodology to that used by intelligence organizations to pull apart terrorist networks. Utilizing sophisticated analysis tools such as Palantir, they dive into the complex problem of the illicit ivory trade, from poaching through to smuggling and distribution.

Before I go further, allow me to digress. A lot of smart and motivated people are fighting against the illicit wildlife trade in Africa. Former-Special Forces soldiers like Damien Mander are working in an ‘Advise and Assist’ role with anti-poaching rangers to secure ‘High Target Species’ like rhinos and elephants. Other Non-Government Organizations like the IFAW are implementing a broad range of strategies including targeting consumer demand. This would be considered ‘PSYOPS’ or ‘Information Operations’ in a military context, and includes paying for advertising to influence the consumer. According to the IFAW 70% of the Chinese population polled believed that elephant tusks simply fall out like human teeth, and harvesting them did not result in killing the animal. They need to be educated to the bloody truth about ivory. And those eating Rhino horn also need to be reminded that they could simply chew their damn nails for all the same bullshit health benefits.

It’s important work, not just for the survival of these amazing creatures and the tourism dollars they bring to impoverished communities, but also to disrupt what has become a billion-dollar illicit industry for global organized crime. Within conflict-torn central and east Africa numerous criminal, terrorist, and insurgent groups rely on poaching. For example, Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa, Al-Shabaab in Somalia, and Janjaweed militias in Sudan, all use funding from ivory that usually end up in Chinese carving factories.

Regardless of the hard work being done, the prospects for these animals is bleak. In the years following 2006, when the Chinese government listed the ivory sector as part of the country’s ‘intangible cultural heritage’, ivory carvers and retailers have boomed. What was an attempt to save the ailing the Chinese ivory industry led to a rise in demand from the increasingly wealthy population. Now, the state-supported Chinese ivory industry relies on poaching for supply, and elephants are being culled at record rates. True, some other Asian countries like Thailand and Vietnam are also consumers, but they’re assessed as consuming far less than China.

Rhinos have already been poached out of existence in parts of central Africa and elephants are the next in line. Current trends point to elephants being killed off at a rate of at least 30,000 per year and this number is rising. Directly combating poachers in conflict-zones is an almost futile course of action. Many of the poachers are heavily armed military or guerrilla units that significantly outgun the rangers. They even use their heavy weapons and helicopters to massacre Elephants. On the other side of the problem, demand-reduction strategies are unlikely to influence the Chinese population and government at a rate fast enough to ensure the elephant’s survival in many areas.

Ugandan Helicopter Hunting

Ugandan military helicopter assessed as involved in poaching

C4ADS’s reports offer some alternative strategies. I can’t cover the 160 pages of analysis or summarize all the findings here. Instead, I’ll highlight some points that might stimulate some thoughts and discussion. C4ADS advocate complementing anti-poaching and demand-reduction strategies with ‘targeting’ the smuggling networks. In military parlance, this would be referred to as ‘non-kinetic targeting’ and some of C4ADS’s recommendations are similar to counter-proliferation (or in current jargon, counter-weapons of mass effect) operations. In the case of ivory smuggling, some recommended key nodes to target are the ports in Tanzania and Kenya, most notably Mombasa.

Mombasa Port

Smugglers rely predominantly on shipping to move bulk ivory from East Africa to East Asia (mainly China). C4ADS, using open sources (publicly available information) combined with anonymous interviews, was able to generate high fidelity intelligence on this smuggling network. They highlight the issue of information existing in silos and advocate the need for an intelligence-fusion center to generate actionable intelligence. Their report leads me to believe that they have generated a great deal of intelligence, fusing data ranging from financial information, money laundering, geospatial data, law-enforcement reports, with investigative journalism and basic link analysis. One of their most significant suggestions was that in the absence of government bodies doing this analysis, a NGO like C4ADS could potentially do it on a contracted basis.

Trafficking Route Analysis

Impact could then be made through a variety of ‘non-kinetic’ options. Trusted law enforcement agencies could be tipped off to conduct seizures and arrests. If convergence is identified between ivory smuggling networks and other forms of smuggling such as human-trafficking, drugs, or weapons, the likelihood of government response could be increased. Legitimate international shipping companies being used for smuggling could also be ‘incentivized to divest through reputational pressure’. Intelligence implicating corrupt government elites could be discreetly shared with international bodies to encourage the use of political pressure, sanctions, or other economic measures. Theoretically, costs would increase for the smuggling organizations, making the trade less lucrative for them and reducing poaching. And, let’s face it, as much as we may want to put warheads on foreheads this is likely to be a more achievable and successful line of operation.

Contracted intelligence services do, however, pose a number of questions. Much of C4ADS’s information was garnered from public sources, so what if the smugglers adapt and implement stronger operational security measures? Is it appropriate for a non-government organization to step up collection to utilize other forms of intelligence? Where does one draw the line between anonymous ‘interviews’ and running a HUMINT agent network? If publicly available software is used to monitor social media or online communications, where does it cross over into the cyber-espionage realm? What happens when the billion-dollar criminal enterprise decides to retaliate? What protections do the contractors have? If the NGO needs to operate from charitable donations, how hard would it be to operate in a semi-clandestine manner in order to protect its members?

A truly effective non-government intelligence capability probably only exists in the realms of fiction right now. The covert vigilantes in my PRIMAL series of books would definitely take the fight direct to China, to ‘influence’ policy makers and ivory kingpins. Yeah sure, they’d use some techniques frowned upon by not-for-profits and government agencies but you can bet your left ball they’d be effective. If that that’s the sort of rough justice that appeals to you can ‘Join PRIMAL’ here and I’ll let you know when a PRIMAL anti-poaching novel hits the shelves.

Xiamen Network

So what do you think? Is a contracted intelligence-fusion center a viable strategy in the fight against illicit wildlife smuggling? Can NGOs hope to save the elephants while the Chinese government supports the ivory industry and demand for ivory is so high? Or will another few hundred thousand elephants die to satisfy the material needs of the economically upward but environmentally ignorant Chinese?

JS

Aug 162014
 

 

PRIMAL InceptionEver since the release of PRIMAL Unleashed, I’ve received a crap load of emails, tweets and messages asking for more on Ice. I’ve got to admit that he’s one of my all time favorite PRIMAL characters. Why? Because he’s a soldier’s soldier. A quiet professional. The type of man that every operator wants to fight alongside. It’s pretty easy to understand why I wanted to go back and tell his story.

PRIMAL Inception is one of three novellas that give the background to PRIMAL and some of the key characters. They are small projects that I’ve been working on concurrently with the development of the next three full-length PRMAL novels: Reckoning, Nemesis, and Redemption. Rest assured that they will be released on schedule, maybe even a little early. Make sure you’ve signed up to PRIMAL on the website so I can keep you updated.

And if you get a chance to review any of the books that would rock.

You can find PRIMAL Inception on Amazon here.

Back to it,

JS

 

 

 

 

May 252014
 

PRIMAL Mirza

Team, I just wanted to let you all know that my latest novella, PRIMAL Mirza, is free for a limited time.

Unlike the previous PRIMAL books this one isn’t actually about our vigilante organisation. But, it does tell the backstory of one of my favourite PRIMAL characters – Mirza Mansoor.

Set in India it’s a fast paced adventure wrapped in poverty, corruption and treacherous greed. In a time of dire need one man will answer India’s call for a hero.

Click on your bookstore of choice below to download the ebook.

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For those of you who don’t shop on Amazon, the next book in the series is PRIMAL Reckoning. Book one in a trilogy that pits our team of global vigilantes against Mexican cartels, civilian paramilitary contractors, and ultimately, the CIA. I’ll be releasing all future PRIMAL books in all stores so if you haven’t yet ‘Join PRIMAL’ here to be kept informed of upcoming releases. I’ll only email you when I have a new book or news pertaining to my work.

Indian Commandos in Kashmir

Para Commandos in Kashmir

Mar 042014
 

PRIMAL Fury smallJPGFury – Violent anger. A wild and dangerous force. Webster’s definition is pretty much smack on when it comes to my latest PRIMAL novel. Sex trafficking is something that makes me very, very angry. The fact that piece of sh$t, scumbag, dickwads are trafficking women and children for pleasure is, quiet frankly, fucked up!

So what happens when team PRIMAL turns their attention to a gang of traffickers abducting women and selling them to sickos? Violent anger by a wild and dangerous force! Bishop and the team go on a door kicking, body stacking safari that leads them half way round the world. But this war on dickwad traffickers isn’t all beer and skittles. They soon face off against their most sinister opponent ever – a clandestine Yakuza clan.

Right now PRIMAL might be a fictional but sex trafficking isn’t. Every day thousands of women and children are forced into a life of misery by men who deserve to have their manhood hacked off with a blunt knife. However there are people and organizations out there trying to make a real difference. They might not have kinetic options but they do make an impact and they do need your help. Check out these links for the opportunity to give them some much needed support. International Justice Mission, Stop the Traffik, Not for Sale and the Polaris Project.

This is the first PRIMAL book that I have released with my new publisher – Thomas & Mercer. I gotta say Alan Turkus and his team have been an absolute pleasure to work with. They’ve been responsive to all of my outlandish demands and I hope this is the first of a long line of PRIMAL adventures. You can order PRIMAL Fury hardcopies, audiobooks and eBooks on Amazon.

Back to working on the next PRIMAL adventure – PRIMAL Reckoning.

JS

 

Aug 022013
 

PRIMAZONSo it’s finally happened. I’ve sold my soul to the devil and signed PRIMAL up to a publishing house. I might add that the publishing house is Amazon Publishing and not some antiquated team of literatertards who don’t get what I write or why.

Why did I do it and what does it mean? Well for starters it means I can now write full time, f@ck yeah! That means more PRIMAL more often. It also means that there will be hard copies and audiobooks available, lots of fans have been asking for both. In the short term it has delayed the release of PRIMAL Fury but in the long term it’s going to be HUGE.

Does this mean that I will compromise when it comes to keeping PRIMAL grittier than one of Chuck Norris’ turds? Hell no! The guys at Amazon Publishing are on team with letting me run things as I always have. What they bring to the party is distribution and the skills to turn out an even better final product. The entire PRIMAL series will be relaunched in December including a new ‘extended’ PRIMAL Origin that includes PRIMAL’s first mission. The relaunch will be closely followed by PRIMAL Fury which will be the first book launched by Amazon Publishing.

Until that time you can still buy all three of the current ‘limited edition’ indie versions here.

I want to finish this entry by passing on my heartfelt thanks to all the PRIMAL fans that have made this ‘huge’ move possible. You took a chance on an unknown author and it’s you guys who have made PRIMAL what it is. I write because you guys read! I also want to thank Amazon for the opportunity to work with a forward thinking and flexible organisation, they truly are the SOF of the publishing world. Lastly I want to thank my agent Scott Miller for hooking it all up, much appreciated bro.

Now I’ve got to get back to mapping out PRIMAL Mirza.

JS

 

 

Jun 062012
 

PRIMAL Vengeance is out now on Amazon. Fuck yeah, it feels great to have finally launched it down range to all the PRIMAL fans. Its been a while coming, for that I apologize but hey, it’s here now so quit bitching and get reading.

I think this is the best PRIMAL yet; it’s fast, it’s lethal, and it’s more of Bishop and Mirza kicking in doors and scalping bad guys. There are cool weapons, high-tech gear and a certain sexy former Iranian operative that may or may not get her kit off! You’re gonna love it so get on to Amazon and download it now.

The story revolves around the current conflict between Sudan and South Sudan and includes the usual assassination, kidnapping, and blackmail missions ranging from Khartoum to Shanghai. The PRIMAL team also gets involved in training a local militia in a classic Green Beret style FID mission.

As a book, Vengeance is a little different to Unleashed. It’s shorter and lighter on the boring bits, but it picks up the pace faster and gets straight to the action. Bear with me, I’m still getting the hang of all this writing business. This is also the first book that I’ve used a testing team on. Five fans were selected to test it and provide feedback, they did and this is the final product. You know who you are guys, the book is as slick as it is because of you.

That’s it from me, I need to get my arse in to gear and pump out PRIMAL Fury, or Rage, or Mild Disgruntlement or whatever the hell it ends up being called. For some reason I keep wanting to call it PRIMAL Nemesis. Anyway back to it.

Cheers,

Jack S

 

 

Oct 162011
 

Let’s face it the world’s a pretty f#$ked up place at the moment. We’ve got extremist elements trying to kill and rape their way into power, corrupt bankers sending the little man bust and criminals getting away with murder, people smuggling, drug trafficking and more. It’s a world crying out for someone with the balls to hold evil bastards to account. Enter PRIMAL!

For those of you who have been following world events, we live in pretty interesting times. Gaddafi’s armories have been looted by the same extremists who were fighting Coalition forces in Iraq only a few years ago. MANPADS (man portable air defense systems) are the big ticket item for these guys. How long before one of these ‘rebels’ takes a shot at an airliner with an Igla-S missile?

Across the other side of the Middle East, in Iran, equally radical Muslims of the Shia variety are conducting a systematic campaign to develop nuclear weapons. The efforts of Israel and the US read like something out of an espionage thriller: cyberwarfare using secret agents to install the STUXNET virus, assassins bombing Iranian scientists, and the US Air Force pouring money into researching deep-penetrating munitions that can neutralize Iranian bunkers. However if the international community’s utter failure to prevent a country that harbors arguably the highest number of Islamic Extremists per capita from getting the A-Bomb is anything to go by (Pakistan), Iran’s acquisition of this technology is inevitable.

This is the world PRIMAL steps into with the release of my new novel PRIMAL Unleashed. Unleashed picks up from PRIMAL Origin, and follows Vance and the team as they establish PRIMAL. New agents are recruited and pitted against Ukrainian gangsters, Taliban warlords and Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders.

PRIMAL Unleashed is now available on the digital shelves, if you want to read how this team of vigilante operatives steps in where government agencies fail, check it out at Amazon, Smashwords, or Barnes & Noble.

Til next time,

Jack


Jul 152011
 

After a long hard slog the first PRIMAL story is finally available as an eBook on Amazon and Smashwords.

Acclaimed action thriller writer Matthew Reilly (ICE STATION) has read it and had this to say.

“If you like Tom Clancy, you’ll like PRIMAL. It bristles with authenticity because the guy who wrote it used to do it for real.”

I really enjoyed writing this short story; it’s fast paced, full of action and tells the story of how PRIMAL came to be. What’s more it’s free, or at least as cheap as we could make it in places like Amazon.

So what’s on the cards for Jack Silkstone and the PRIMAL Creative team now? We’re working on the first PRIMAL YouTube video. It is set to be released in the next month. Look out for it on our channel and on Facebook. Fans of FreddieW and Corridor Digital are going to love it.

In addition our first full-length novel PRIMAL Unleashed is scheduled for release in November 2011.

Till I next blog,

Jack Silkstone

 

 

Jun 202011
 

So who are PRIMAL? They’re a bad ass team of technology enabled gunslingers waging a war against evil bastards across the globe. The key to PRIMAL is their complete lack of fear. No target is too big, too untouchable or too powerful for PRIMAL. They’re a gunned up, geared up, completely ruthless version of the A-Team. Less the complete lack of realism. These guys have no master and are not about to shirk a good old fashioned interrogation session to protect the innocent.

Burn a village, pollute a rainforest, spread fear and pain. These are all good ways to get the attention of a team of operatives that make the Israeli Mossad look like pizza delivery boys.

So how the hell did PRIMAL come into existence? The first novelette, PRIMAL Origin, gives you a heads up on how the team came together. The concept however was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan where I had the pleasure of working with some of the world’s finest Special Forces. UK SBS, US Green Berets, SEALs, Delta as well as Canadian JTF2 and Australian SAS and Commandos. Immersed in a world of targeting Taliban Commanders and other High Value Targets I constantly found myself imagining what these guys could achieve without the caveats of Government control. If they could wage unconstrained warfare against the world’s worst. So as I interacted with these amazing warriors I started to build a concept, a concept that would evolve into PRIMAL.

I won’t lie, I’m just like every other guy on the planet. I love action movies, first person shooters, fast cars, technology, guns, cool kit and of course beautiful women. I grew up with Dirk Pitt, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, Doom, Wolfenstein, Commando Comics, James Bond, Rambo, The Predator and more. As a young man I have embraced Counter Strike, Half-life, The Bourne Series, Top Gear, Call of Duty the list goes on and on. Coupled with my military experience this seething mass of adrenalin-fueled testosterone has evolved into PRIMAL.

This Blog is an opportunity for me to interact with everyone who is interested in all things PRIMAL. I’m going to update on PRIMAL books, short films and other concepts on a regular basis. I’m also going to comment on cool technology, fast cars, guns and other military hardware. I’ll put a Jack Silkstone/PRIMAL bent on world events and give insight onto how a technology enabled, independent, Special Ops team might handle some of the world’s problems. But most importantly I’m going to interact with PRIMAL supporters all over the world. I’m going to give away some free stuff and invite you to be a part of creating more PRIMAL missions.

Roll out the Target Packs, it’s time to deal some justice PRIMAL style.

Jack Silkstone