The time is “present day”. Russia’s president is a former KGB officer who uses phrases like “The fall of the Soviet Union was one of the greatest tragedies of the last century”. The modern reincarnation of the KGB – the FSB – is all-powerful in Russia. Businesses are “nationalised” – which is “new-speak” for stealing – and their stolen wealth is for some peculiar reason handled by Russia’s national natural gas company Gazprom.
Indeed, that is a pretty accurate description of today’s Russia, which in recent years has come more and more to resemble its predecessor, the Soviet Union. The country is run by a czar who says there is a “special democracy” which exists in Russia; and when the czar decides to extend the country’s sphere of influence beyond its borders, the rest of the world just watches without having the cojones to do anything about it.
Fortunately, this is not the case in Tom Clancy’s latest and last novel, Command Authority . Clancy, who in October last year sadly died, didn’t believe in appeasement and rightly so. And that is what makes his last novel so enjoyable.
Using historical facts and situations that have happened in the recent years in and around the Russian Federation, Command Authority paints a grim picture for Estonia. The tiny Nordic country is invaded by Russian forces, retaliating for “terrorist acts” against its eastern neighbour, and despite it being a NATO member, the alliance hasn’t seemingly come to Estonia’s defence. Clancy’s description of the brief war, including a map of the town of Põlva in south-eastern Estonia, titled “The Battle for Põlva”, sends shivers across one’s back, especially when one has a connection with the country – mainly because the action is so incredibly realistic that one could actually imagine it all happening.