Sunday, March 16, 2014

Localized Action

I finally finished off the last Tom Clancy novel I had not read, Red Storm Rising. I've mentioned it here before, but it's basically a "What if..." tale about a World War III set in the mid-'80s. The USSR is trying to neutralize NATO with a surprise attack so that they can then seize the oil of the Persian Gulf. The action begins in Iceland and Germany, and continues in Iceland and Germany and the North Atlantic, and finally concludes in Iceland and Germany and the North Atlantic.

It was a good read, and parts very interesting and tense (submarine warfare), but I was surprised at how small-scale the conflict seemed. I wonder if this particular scenario was one that was seriously thought about back in those days. Nuclear weapons almost did not feature into the story at all, which I also thought was interesting, and makes me wonder again how much of this scenario was based in reality. I know Clancy was pretty thorough in his research in a lot of areas, but I'm not sure if grand strategy was one of them. This book was pretty early in his career, and I'm not sure if he would have had the clout to talk with top military strategists like he probably did later on.

It was a fun read, and will really take you back to the Cold War era, if you wish to go. Now I need to figure out what I want to read next.

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