Tom Clancy

English Tom Clancy's genius The Cold War and post Cold War eras have brought with them many interesting aspects. New technologies initially meant for mass destruction filter down into the civilian world, making current lives easier. One example of this is the anti-lock braking systems of today's cars. Originally designed to slow fighter-planes on landing without skidding, these systems make it safer for parents to take their children on vacation. One less noted advancement the eras brought is a considerable amount of exciting and forewarning fiction. While most authors chose to warn of nuclear and post nuclear holocaust, one significant author chose a different approach. Tom Clancy chose to write of conventional warfare and sometimes unconventional enemies. Between his novel Red Storm Rising and Debt of Honor, Tom Clancy makes evident the changing face of America's enemies and threats, while staying true to issues that keep people interested in his books. Published in 1986, Red Storm Rising is Tom Clancy's second novel dealing with the former Soviet Union as a potential enemy. This was a time when America's finest tank and infantry units went on exercises in Germany fully armed with the expectation that the Russians could attack them at any time. This was also a time when the Soviets did the same exercises with the same amount of live ammunition. Therefore there was reason enough to worry about potential conflicts. Deep within the ocean waters, submarines played similar cat and mouse games with other submarines and surface ships. However some of these submarines were more dangerous then a whole army because they were fully loaded with nuclear missles. These facts were well know to the American public and made Red Storm Rising all the more real when it combined land and ocean warfare in a way that captivated millions of readers. The book begins as the Soviet Union's ability to provide their own oil is cut off by a terrorist attack. Right away it is noted that two very frightening events have just happened. Terrorism, for one, is a major scare tactic that can and does strike fear into millions. This was demonstrated by two suspected attacks in the U.S. recently (Bombing of Flight 800 and the Olympic Park bombing). Secondly, the threat of losing petroleum resources is enough to drive governments to drastic measures. This fact is evident in the world's participation in the 1991 Gulf War. The leaders of the Soviet Union decided that the only way to prevent the total collapse of their economy and country was to seize the oil rich Middle East. They also realized that the countries that make up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in particular the United States would not stand for this hostile action. Consequently the Soviets determine that it will be necessary to neutralize NATO conventionally; that is to say without nuclear weapons. Of course, throughout the Cold War the many themes of the U.S.S.R. attacking the U.S are presented by various authors. All of these had the same result: nuclear holocaust. One exception is that Red Storm Rising is the first to present it (theme of U.S.S.R. attacking the U.S.) in a non-nuclear scenario. This is very intriguing to examine the possibilities which include all the new technological weapons in the American and Soviet arsenals. Red Storm Rising captivates audiences with its techno-wizardry of smart bombs and satellite guided cruise missles. ?It was like an arcade game. Big, slow-moving blips denoted the aircraft. Smaller, quicker blips were the Mach-2 missiles (Clancy 178).? This was seen by a radar operator who was under attack during Red Storm Rising. However it is not the high tech gadgets that appeal to audiences of Red Storm Rising. There is a personable feel as the reader becomes better acquainted with the characters and sympathizes for them and the decisions they make. This is not the story of machines run by artificial intelligence, these are real people, friends, and neighbors of the reader. Bob Toland was a middle-level analyst at the National Security Agency. He'd left the Navy after six years whey the adventure of uniformed service had palled, but he remained an active reservist. His work at NSA dovetailed nicely with his naval reserve service. A communications expert with a