Thunder In The Whirlwind by Robert Vaughan
When border tensions in South America reach a boiling point, the United States provides Columbia with military assistance to help in a struggle against rebels supported by neighboring Venezuela. The “police action” quickly escalates, and six captured Americans are publicly executed. The president, a disabled Vietnam veteran himself, commits troops to battle.
U.S. forces are withdrawn when the president loses his reelection campaign, but during the withdrawal a top American commander and his staff are captured by the Columbian rebels.
Enter Major General Arlie Grant, chief of the Pentagon’s contingency deployment. He sends in a team to save the Americans, led by Colonel Jack Patterson, a close friend. The result: a successful rescue of American prisoners. The cost: the lives of Patterson and three other officers. But the jubilant national mood is shattered when it is learned that 34 innocent civilians, including women and children, were massacred in the action—supposedly by U.S. forces.
Someone has to pay the price for the alleged misdeed, so Arlie Grant will face the highest-profile court martial since the My Lai trials of the Vietnam War. But that is only the beginning, as he chooses Major Paula Patterson, Jack’s daughter, as his defense counsel and is further accused of sending Patterson off to be killed so that he can have the woman he loves, Jack’s wife . . .
With the scope of a Tom Clancy adventure and intrigue of a Nelson DeMille thriller, THUNDER IN THE WHIRLWIND takes the reader behind tomorrow’s headlines and paints an unforgettable inside portrait of the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad.