As avid fans of our series will no doubt know, our coverage of military history doesn\'t stop at just \'history\', and several of our books, exemplified by the recent Elite double on Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, are as up-to-the-minute as is possible. If the reception of those two books is anything to go by, there is a lot of interest in modern topics. This is not a new phenomenon - throughout Osprey\'s 40-year history, we have consistently addressed \'modern\' conflicts, from the Falklands (the original 3-volume Men-at-Arms mini-series was published in November 1982, only 5 months after the war ended) to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (the relevant Men-at-Arms covering the troops engaged on both sides at the height of the conflict published in 1986, and written by an author who had just returned from the country).

Recently, however, this trend seems to have waned, with the development of the \'War on Terror\'. While we have coverage of the conventional forces involved in counter-insurgency conflicts across the world, there is little in the way of discussion on the irregular, paramilitary and rebel forces that oppose them. This is not to say that we have never addressed such irregulars. A fair part of the two Elite books on the Yugoslav Wars focuses on the militias, the Mujahideen have appeared in the aforementioned Afghanistan book, there is a plate depicting a PLO guerrilla in one of the Lebanon titles, and a fair part of Central American Wars 1959-89 considers the guerrilla armies involved. We even have a book dedicated to the Irish Volunteer Soldier.

While these groups may have been touched upon here and there, there is nothing in the way of dedicated and focused coverage. From terrorists to mercenaries and all the myriad of armed, angry and active forces in the world, there is a gap in Osprey\'s coverage. Now, one thing upon which we do pride ourselves is the detail and breadth of our coverage, so this is a source of some confusion for me. We obviously do not have a problem in discussing the non-professional side of modern warfare, as evidenced by the \'here and there\' discussions in existing titles, and have covered regular forces with histories as reprehensible as any irregular force.

This got me thinking about why we have overlooked the vast majority of opponents to regular troops in modern conflicts. I could only come up with two possible objections:

  • Placing them in an existing series, such as Men-at-Arms or Elite gives them an implicit respectability associated with such labels that suggest regular forces.
  • There is no interest from our readership in terrorists, mercenaries and paramilitaries of all ilks.
So, I\'m opening the floor to you guys - our readers - to voice your opinions. Are these subjects that should be given the \'Osprey treatment\', or should we leave well enough alone? If we were to turn our attention to them, could we, or, even, should we keep them in the existing series, or should they have their own dedicated series? What groups should be covered - are there any that are too close to the bone and should be avoided?