With most of the characters in Deitz's novels, Quinlan is not as good as he appears. His editing Santana's report was only done for himself, making it easier for Quinlan to rise up the ranks when the situation arose and as Santana is concerned, he will use him whenever he wants to. While Christine Vanderveen is the negotiator with the president, the story shifts between her, Santana and the Ramanthian queen who all have their own ideas of what is good for the world.
As for Quinlan, he doesn't care how many men were killed in order to get what he wants. Santana notices what is going on, even though he is powerless to stop him. As Santana is the officer assigned to kill Colonel Six, Quinlan is not shy about ordering him to do it without fail, and as it's all got to be hush, hush if there was a court marshal, everyone would get to know about it, even the politicians.
The reason that Colonel Six had come was to steal supplies, but there were others thought to be essential that he didn't steal, which seems suspicious. For Santana, putting the list of supplies with what was available at the time is essential to finding out what they were up against, as he suspects a serious amount of ammo and guns were also taken.
As the name of the book suggests, duty is what Santana is good at, but he can be taken advantage of in the most awful of ways by others, but he does have allies in his men and some women. When Duty Calls is Deitz's military SF novel with larger than life characters, dangerous assassins and ruthless me out to get ultimate power. This is too good to miss.