“Today, we’ll be making decisions critical to the safety of our country and its citizens. These decisions will entail military action which will lead to the destruction of facilities and human lives. I don’t have to say, none of these decisions can be taken lightly. Each one, in and of itself, will be a very heavy burden, a burden we must all carry for the rest of our days,” President Egan says gravely. “Yet it is vital that, as leaders of the United States, we make these decisions,”
Looking around the Situation Room at those seated before him – the chairman of the joint chiefs, an admiral, two generals, the directors of the CIA and the NSA, his secretary of defense – the president assesses the realities of this moment. Though I’m commander in chief, I feel inadequate to the task before me. Only these four military men have any strategic planning and military experience at the command level. I am humbled in their presence.
“Dean, you said that you wanted to start with the list of military sites we need to consider. Let’s have it,” Egan says with a sigh.
Dean Hargrove rises and walks to the podium. After adjusting a sheaf of papers in front of him, he turns on a computer. The Great Seal of the United States of America appears on the screen at the front of the room; all eyes are drawn to the thirteen arrows in the grip of the eagle’s talon.