Mission Compromised

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Mission Compromised is a novel written in 2002 by Oliver North and Joe Musser that details the story of one of the most secretive military units in history. It is officially fiction but in later interviews North mentions that he changed "names, dates, and places" so as not to violate numerous non-disclosure agreements.[1]

The Unit[edit]

The "United Nations International Sanctions Enforcement Group" (ISEG) is a top-secret special operations unit, a thirty-eight-man group of hand-picked U.S. and British specialists consisting of twenty-seven Americans and eleven Britons on loan from the Special Air Service by private arrangement between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The U.S. personnel are all on detail from the Delta Force, Navy SEALs, the United States Air Force, and the Army's Intelligence Support Activity. As far as their services are concerned, they're on detail to the NSC staff. They are all carried as 'detached duty' with their parent departments and agencies.

Operating under the National Security Council's Special Projects Office, the ISEG receives its orders directly from the National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, who is acting under the direction of the UN.

The regional teams in this Sanctions Enforcement Group make sure that those who do violate properly imposed UN sanctions do not persist in efforts to thwart international laws and the will of the international community.

Once the UN executive has determined that an international lawbreaker is repeatedly violating UN sanctions and is a threat to international law and order, and this international criminal refuses to surrender himself to the justice of the UN's tribunal in The Hague, then the ISEG is authorized to take whatever means necessary to stop the violations. They have total authority to 'take out' such people.

Being sanctioned by the UN, the U.S. personnel of ISEG are able to circumvent Executive Order 12333, which forbids assassinations.

Funding for the training and operational activities of the ISEG and the ISETs is all handled by a special allocation from the British prime minister and the UN Secretary General. Unlike in the U.S. system, the PM and SG both have discretionary accounts that don't have to be reported to anybody. They both have contributed cash to fund the accounts that the members will be handling.

The ISETs[edit]

The ISEG consists of a three-man headquarters element: a United States Army captain, a British SAS lieutenant, and a United States Navy chief.

The group is further divided into five, seven-man teams called 'ISETs', which stands for International Sanctions Enforcement Teams. Each ISET is designated to cover a specific geographical region:

Each of these five teams is headed by an American. The deputy team leaders are all SAS.

In all there are thirty-five men in the ISEG, seven per team. The ISEG command element consists of five U.S. Military officers and one enlisted man.


Special Projects Office (SPO)

  • Lieutenant Colonel Peter James Newman, USMC; Commanding Officer, Special Projects Office and UN ISEG
  • Lieutenant Tom McDade, USN; former Navy SEAL instructor, currently assigned as Intelligence and Communications Director in the SPO (S-2, S-5)
  • Captain Bart Coombs, USA; former Delta Force operator, currently assigned as Operations and Training Director in the SPO (S-3)
  • Captain Dan Robertson, USAF; former Spec Ops MH-53 Pave Low helicopter pilot, currently assigned as Logistics and Transportation Director in the SPO (S-4)
  • First Lieutenant Sonia Duvall, USA; administration assistant in the SPO

U.S. Government

United Nations

  • First Deputy Secretary General of the UN Dimitri Komulakov; Harrod's superior at the UN, is also a former KGB agent
  • Major Wilbur Ellwood, UK SAS; Chief Watch Officer, UN Command Center


  • Captain Joshua Weiskopf, USA; chief of the ISEG, reports directly to Newman
  • Captain Bruno Macklin, UK SAS; Weiskoph's Executive Officer
  • Sergeant Major Dan Gabbard, USMC; the senior enlisted man in the ISEG


  • Rachel Newman; Peter Newman's wife, who is a flight attendant with TWA
  • Leonid Dotensk; a former KGB agent who is now selling Russian weapons to Iraq
  • Hussein Kamil al-Majid; son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, Commanding Officer of the Amn Al-Khass, Iraq's security service
  • Oliver North, Newman's predecessor and confidant.


The book begins with Dr. Simon Harrod, the National Security Advisor, briefing Maj. Newman on his new assignment, the National Security Council's Special Projects Office. This position was formerly held by Oliver North. Newman at first resists his new assignment, but Harrod wins him over after telling him his first assignment is to go after Mohammed Farah Aidid, the Somali terrorist who killed Newman's brother Jim, a Delta soldier, in Mogadishu in 1993. Harrod then gives Newman the specifics about the ISEG, who will be able to circumvent Executive Order 12333, which forbids U.S. forces from committing assassinations.

Newman meets the ISEG at Andrews Air Force Base. He then begins training them in Fort Bragg for their assignment in Mogadishu. Then, UN Secretary Komulakov tells Harrod that the new assignment is to attack Saddam Hussein's palace in Tikrit on March 6, where Saddam will be holding a meeting of the world's terror leaders. Aidid is not asked to attend, however, Harrod tells Newman that Aidid will be there to make it easier to change the mission.

Unbeknownst to Newman and the ISEG, Komulakov and Dotensk have been selling Soviet-era nuclear weapons to Iraq, primarily through Hussein Kamil al-Majid. Kamil will also be at the March 6 meeting in Tikrit. This poses a problem because Kamil is currently Komulakov's and Dotensk's only customer.

The ISEG deploys and Newman inserts ISET Echo and Weiskoph into Iraq. They make their way to Tikrit and "paint" Saddam's palace with a laser target designator (LTD). Newman launches a Global Hawk UAV, which is loaded with explosives, to crash into Saddam's palace, killing all of the world's terror leaders. The plan seems OK, but Komulakov has other plans.

Komulakov monitors ISET Echo's movements from the UN Command Center. He relays the coordinates of ISET Echo to Dotensk, who relays them to Kamil. Kamil then sends Amn Al-Khass soldiers to kill ISET Echo. After a battle with American F-15s, most of the Iraqi soldiers are killed, but they managed to kill ISET Echo. The LTD is damaged and won't function. Newman reconfigures the Global Hawk to manually crash into the palace. A huge explosion happens, but Saddam and his guests are unharmed.

Newman's command aircraft is shot down over Iraq. He meets up with an Iraqi, Eli Yusef Habib, who helps him make it into Syria. After Newman makes it into Turkey, he goes to Iskenderun. There he meets up with William Goode, a friend of Oliver North. Goode takes Newman to Cyprus, where they meet up with Grisham and Rachel. After Goode's boat was destroyed, Newman and Rachel escaped in a black sedan. The next time they and their infant son James (named after Peter's brother) were seen was Dec. 1995 in Bethlehem with Eli Yusef Habib.