Well I wasn't very inspired to write tonight, but felt the desire to nontheless, so I thought I'd share with the world at large my opinions on two of the most recent books I've read. I'll start with Wildfire, by Nelson DeMille.
I don't know what I was expecting when I picked this book, but I've always loved political and international intrigue, so it jumped out at me a little because of that. Basically, the book is about a group of right-wing politicals who form a plan to blow up two American cities, making it look as if Islamic terrorists were attacking the United States, which in turn would set off an automated national defense response system, codename Wildfire, which would devestate Islamic nations with nuclear missiles from the United States nuclear arsenal.
Apparently, lacking any cold-war enemies left to fight, these bad guys needed to blow off some steam in the misguided effort to create a unified peaceful post-holocaust world.
The interesting thing about this novel, the thing that will keep you awake at night wondering, is that it's all possible. If you take the time to read it, or listen to it in the case of you audiobook junkies, you'll hear the author's preface statement. In this statement, he clearly explains a working knowledge of the united states nuclear response system and states that "wildfire" truly does exist, albeit under a completely different codename.
The book is set in October 2002, just one year after the bombing of the world trade center towers, and much time and reflection is spent detailing the current state of Homeland defense, FAA security measures, and lack thereof regarding possible terrorist attacks on the United States.
After reading half the book, I couldn't put it down. Just the idea that something like this exists is a scary thought. I'd hate to give away too much on here, but if you've read it yourself, I'd love to hear your opinions. I had never spent much time considering the world's nuclear outlook in a post-MAD environment. (Mutually Assured Destruction), but it a project like wildfire does exist, this explains why no islamic country would dare drop a nuke in america.
One line, mentioned by the character John Cory, stated that a man said, after the world trade center bombings, "Thank god it was only a plane." It struck me as strange until I got his point. No one who has a gun, attacks with a knife. Translate that into modern corellary and you get "No one who has a nuke, attacks with a plane." Scary thought huh?
The premise for the novel is that attacking the united states would trigger complete islamic obliteration from the face of the earth, and that certain amounts of information about "wildfire" are leaked to the islamic terrorist leaders to keep them in fear of american retaliatory response. Twenty years ago, under the MAD principle, if Russia bombed us, we bombed them back. It was easy. Russia is a fortified country with hard targets that we KNOW of. Modern civilization and black market sales of nuclear weaponry, coupled with the difficulty in locating islamic terrorists makes the MAD principle out-dated. Simply stated, we don't know WHERE they are if they hit us, so we let them ALL know that we will bomb them ALL off the map if ANY of them dares to consider going nuclear in their efforts against america. It's a really scary thought. I urge you to read it. I'm not going to tell you that it will "open your eyes" because it's only a work of fiction, however it DOES make you think a little bit.