Tom Clancys Genius Essay

Tom Clancy’s geniusEnglish
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.

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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 degree in electronics, his current job eas monitoring
Sovien signals gathered by the NSA’s numerous listening posts and ferret
satellites. Along the way he’d also gotten a masters in the Russian
language (Clancy 55).

The description of Bob Toland could apply to anyone in the Washington
D.C. area or any neighborhood across the U.S.
With the ending of world communism, reunification of Germany, and
breakup of the Soviet Union, Tom Clancy’s books evolved to present more
modern enemies and even several ?What if?? situations. This is the case
with his latest novel Debt of Honor. This installment of the Jack Ryan
saga, Clancy’s main character, was published in 1994. It takes place
mostly on American soil with other parts in Japan and the Pacific
Ocean. This piece of tecno-thiller centers around a possible trade war
between the U.S. and Japan. This ?What if?? outlook of Clancy’s was
seen in real life in the spring of 1995 as a potential trade war with
Japan was averted by quick thinking on the part of both governments.

The novel is complete with Clancy’s usual well-timed and interesting
plot structure. As one coincidental event leads to another, the
antagonist of the story, Mr Yamata, realizes his chance to pay back the
debt of honor he has to the U.S. Yamata’s family was dishonored by
committing suicide on the island of Saipan rather than being captured by
the U.S. during World War II. This historical fact brings the plot to
life as the reader tends to wonder when this will happen.
The novel also highlights some very interesting political processes
involving ambassadors and diplomats. It brings to light the amount of
bargaining and ?give and take? that is required to accomplish an agenda
in international politics. This is illustrated by an American diplomat
and a Japanese diplomat discuss an upcoming treaty. ??Your help will be
invaluable, Chris,’ Nagumo said quietly, thinking more rapidly now. ?I
can help you with interpreting our laws–quietly, of course,’ he
added…(Clancy 206).?
Debt of Honor also brings about the idea that several enemies might
unite in order to achieve a common goal. The goal happens to be the
defeat of the United States by engineering a computer related crash of
the entire economic system of the U.S. This thought alone, of a
computer crash, has scared many writers and businesspeople who depend on
computers for work. The common computer crash has even reached home to
touch children and adults alike when the computer ceases to perfom as
expected and even freezes up. The particular crash that disables the
economy is quite commonly called a virus. Viruses effect Americans
almost everyday in ways they might not even recognize. One of the most
publicized viruses is the Michelangelo Virus. This virus attacks any
infected computer booted up on March 6, the birthday of 16th century
painter Michelangelo. It is obvious how the threat of a virus keeps
readers’ noses in Tom Clancy’s books.

As the face of world politics change, it is evident that the works of
Tom Clancy will change as well. From his beginnings with Red Storm
Rising and his latest novel Debt of Honor, Clancy has kept abreast of
current events and technologies in order to bring to the reader an
intriguing and realistic story. He has interviewed admirals, generals
and has even been to the White House to meet the President. His writing
mechanics and techniques of reader manipulation keep readers filled with
suspense and compassion for the characters until the book’s end. Even
at that point, it leaves readers longing for more.


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