Night over N. Korea. Most of NK is in black, and does not appear to be connected to China and S. Korea, though it is. The NK capital is the bright spot surrounded by black. The bright spot to the south is Seoul.
December 30, 2014


Full Force & Effect

Tom Clancy died back in 2013, but his last few books were collaborations with Mark Greaney, who may have written all or most of them. Greaney picked up the franchise with Support and Defend, the first book to appear after Clancy's death.

Support and Defend focused primarily on one operative within the Campus organization, a covert security organization that is off-books from the standard intelligence groups. The current book, Full Force and Effect, returns to the Ryan presidency, and the cast of characters, Mary Pat Foley, Arnie von Damm, Scott Adler who surround Jack Ryan, as well as characters centered around the Campus, Dom and Ding Chavez, Gavin Biery, and others.

The mission this time concerns N. Korea, their exploitation of a new mineral resource that is rich in rare earths, and their efforts to gain a functional ICBM. This involves procuring foreign scientists who are versed in rare earth mining operations. The Americans have two operations going, one involving Jack Ryan, out of the Campus, and the other involving Adam Yao, who has been seen in other books, on behalf of the CIA.

A good portion of the detail is accurate. In one place there is a list of three minerals, bastnäsite, a source of cerium; monazite, a source of cerium (Ce), lanthanum (La), neodymium (Nd), and samarium (Sm); and xenotime, a source of yttrium (Y). Froth floatation cells, or tanks are used in processing ores. There are buildings on Lewinsville Road in McLean, Va that are part of the intelligence community, including ODNI.*

* The latter was of particular interest to me, because I used to ride home with my wife, and we would cross Lewinsville Rd from 123 to get to Rt 7, and at the time (1974-86, approximately) it was largely suburban with no big buildings on it.

The book is relatively swift moving, and entertaining. It moves faster than Ulysses, which is true of most popular fiction.

Next up, Call of Duty, the first book in a new series by David Weber.

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