Clancy introduces the reader to the moral ambiguity of a pre-Jack Ryan-led US government. On the one hand, the government wants to destroy the flow of illegal drugs into the US. However, the methods adopted to achieve this breach international law and when things go wrong, a scramble ensues amongst senior politicians, including the President, to "hush things up". Ryna's strong moral code kicks in and he sets out to save the lives of the soldiers deserted in Columbia, with little regard for his own career.
The introduction of Ding Chavez takes the strain off Clark being the only 'Superman' at Ryan's disposal in later novels and is a welcome addition to the cast in Clancy's novels.
The unpleasant nature of those at the top in government only serves to make us slighly wary of who really is leading us.
All in all, another excellent novel from Clancy, provoking us to wonder what actually goes on at the top levels of government as much as in the war against drugs.