Monday, December 31, 2012

Threat Vector by Tom Clancy

Well Tom Clancy does it again. His latest book, Threat Vector is a high powered, high energy techno-military thriller based upon real time military issues and probable upcoming threats. Yes, you have Jack Ryan, who is once again President of the United States. A President of integrity and grit, by the way. A President who we hope for, but is entirely fictional. Additionally, the rest of the book's protagonists include all those Clancy characters you also know and love from novels past. Tough. Honest. Patriotic. And, most of all kick-ass. Yet this novel is more about the next generation, Jack junior and his cadre. Super sleuths. Super spies. Heroes.

The younger Ryan, and his entire generation of characters, is part of a group called The Campus. An off the books, black-ops organization. Basically doing things even Navy Seal Team 6 is forbidden to do. But like clockwork those amazing young Seals even make quite an appearance in this novel. You know the story is fiction, but deep down inside you also know that these young heroes have America's back and do their job well.

The international problem in this story is the Chinese. In all honesty anyone who has been watching and following along with the issues in the South China Sea isn't really surprised by this choice of topics. China's aggression and actions vis-a-vis America's allies in that part of the world is bordering on volatile. Their threat to block and/or control that all important South China Sea trade route has been an on-going problem for years and is only getting worse. It is not hard to see the war footing of Threat Vector turning into reality.

Then there is China's use of cyberwarfare.  The ability of clandestine organizations in the Chinese military to infiltrate and expose the USA's weaknesses when it comes to protecting our infrastructure, our military and our every aspect of our lives is very apparent. There are interesting real reports that appear periodically in papers across the USA,  about possible Chinese cyber attacks even on the Pentagon. Cyberwarfare is real and it is a growing concern. Not only for the USA but for every nation on the planet. What this novel shows is, if we are not careful there are ways our enemies can defeat us without firing one bullet.

As usual Tom Clancy is spot on with issues and real diplomatic problems facing our world. What is really refreshing in this novel is that someone, somewhere realized that the biggest threat to our nation is not some terrorist organization in the Middle East. But our biggest threat is the nation that is our banker. When you are in hock to those that hate you, and wish to supplant you as a leading world power,  alarm bells really need to go off.

Hopefully someone in Washington is listening. not sure they are in the White House. Yet maybe a national security wonk is listening in the bowels of the Pentagon. Well listening until we get a SecDef who thinks Neville Chamberlain was a great statesman, appeasing our enemies is the way to deal with evil or that the USA is the problem in the world, instead of freedom denying oligarchical tyrannies or fascist theocratic states.

In the meantime read this new book. You definitely won't be able to put it down. Unfortunately, afterwards, you might not be able to sleep so soundly either.

Qi en Pace,


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