* Start in Africa (for the money)
* Get Satellites and intercepters up in the North America and South America as soon as possible for the bonuses these give you
* Get the unlocks for additional soldiers from Officer Training (in the Barracks) as soon as you can - you'll need slots 5 & 6...
* Focus on Engineering, and make sure you sell everything that is worthless on the Grey Market. DON'T sell corpses even after they have been researched as these are often needed later in the game for a number of purposes
* Skip laser research until there is nothing else to study - go straight for Plasma
* The Light Plasma Rifle gives +10 to accuracy; being able to hit the target is better than missing with a bigger gun...
It's not about dying for your country...
...It's about helping the other guy die for his.