This post originally appeared on USNI Blog on January 30, 2009 and is reprinted today given the role the SEALS played in killing OBL.
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.
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.