What we’re reading

by Martin Krieger

Ike’s Bluff by Evan Thomas, Threat Vector by Tom Clancy and Mark Greaney

There has been for some time an historical literature rehabilitating Eisenhower’s reputation as president. Of course, in part he looks better compared to some of his successors. In part, he is now portrayed as a military man who is quite aware of the costs of war, and unwilling to make war–but willing to have others believe he might be willing to use the atomic bomb. That’s Thomas’s notion of Ike’s bluff. It draws on previous work a good deal.

Tom Clancy’s last book was also about China as a problematic nation. Resource constraints force them to invade Siberia. In this book, in effect imitating the Japanese before and during WWII, they want to enlarge their influence on South and Southeast Asia to the edge of Australia, and the scheme here cyber invasion of US resources. Lots of hackers, lots of deniability. I can never tell how realistic are these books, and I tend to read to about p. 100 and then read pages 750-835, and sample in between. Thick and light.