Opinion

EXCLUSIVE: Brad Thor: ‘I’m very — very — worried about the Chinese’

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Fred J. Eckert Contributor

Brad Thor’s 19th thriller novel, “Backlash,” will be released tomorrow, June 25, and it should quickly become a bestseller. He’s produced a New York Times best-seller every year since 2002, and in one year he had two. With more than 15 million copies of his books in print, he’s one of America’s most popular authors.

What sets Brad Thor so far above and beyond nearly every other author of his genre is that readers are able to come away from his novels with a considerably deeper and significantly more accurate understanding of the threats America faces. His grasp of our struggles at this point in history far exceeds that of most people charged with a leadership role in this fight.

Consider some passages from his books that reflect his solid conservative worldview.

  • Dozing at dangerous times: “As technology boomed, life became easier. As life became easier, Americans grew softer. As Americans grew softer, the threats arrayed against the United States grew more deadly. Weakness encouraged aggression.”
  • Radical Islam: “The fundamentalism that drove them was a cancer. It infected almost everyone it touched. And yet the people best positioned to remove the cancer lacked the courage and the desire to do so. No matter how many atrocities were committed in the name of their religion and their God, the Muslim world was wholly incapable of combating the problem.”
  • What’s coming if America doesn’t confront it enemies far more seriously: “Like Israelis, Americans would find themselves in a state of constant siege. Beaches, restaurants, trains, buses, night clubs, grocery stores, schools, playgrounds, dog parks, movie theaters, sporting events, parades, shopping malls, even the places where they worshipped, nothing would be off-limits.”
  • Russia: “But while the September 11 attacks had demonstrated the asymmetric threat of Islamic terrorism, another threat — one far greater and far more powerful — was looming on the horizon. As it had done in Crimea, Russia planned to take back all of its former territory. It was going to continue with the Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. There was only one thing standing in Russia’s way — the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. But ever the tacticians, Moscow had already formulated a plan to break NATO.”

In the first part of an exclusive interview I conducted for The Daily Caller, Thor talks about his political philosophy and the threats America faces:

The Daily Caller: It’s obvious to anyone who reads your thrillers that you’re a conservative. How would you describe your political views?

Thor: The United States was setup to protect the biggest minority group there is — the individual.  I’m a constitutionalist. I have a libertarian streak; sometimes I call myself a “conservatarian.” Government can’t do many things right. I believe, as Jefferson did, that we establish government to protect our lives, our liberties and our pursuit of happiness, not to tell us how to run our lives.

It needs to keep us safe and get out of our way as much as possible. I believe in a strong national defense. As Ronald Reagan said, “It’s weakness, not strength, that tempts tyrants.” I’m a big, really big, fiscal conservative. I believe our deficits and national debt are serious national security issues.

The Caller: Who do you see as the greatest threat to America?

Thor: We face a lot of bad actors — especially China, Russia, Iran, North Korea. They each pose an interesting and unique set of threats. I think the Chinese are the most devious with the greatest potential to cause the most problems for us. Because their pockets are so deep. And because they’re light years ahead of the Russians when it comes to technology. So I think the one that can do us the greatest damage is China. I’m very — very — worried about the Chinese. But if the Russians figure out how to get inside and shut off the internet then that’s a huge problem no matter how deep or not so deep their pockets are.

The Caller: Do you think we’re up to the threats?

Thor: Absolutely. There are always those known unknowns. We never know exactly what’s coming. But the one good shift I’ve seen in the government — I was involved in one of the programs they did — is that they’ve realized they can’t fight the next war by looking in the rear-view mirror. And so they have developed and devoted a lot of resources to trying to stay six or seven steps ahead of the bad guys. I was in the Analytic Red Cell Unit at the Department of Homeland Security and our task was to help them come up with bad ideas before the bad guys had the bad ideas. I think we are up to the threats.

Click here to read the second part of this interview.

Fred J. Eckert twice served as a U.S. ambassador — to Fiji and to the Rome-based United Nations Agencies for Food & Agriculture — under President Ronald Reagan, who called him “a good friend and valued adviser, one of a kind.” He is a former Republican congressman from New York and author of a political satire novel that Library Journal called “One of the best political spoofs since The Mouse That Roared.”


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.