Drone Command by Mike Maden draws readers into the main character’s
world. Troy Pearce, a former CIA operative is now CEO of Pearce
Security Systems, a firm that develops drone systems. This
book explores the geo-political world between China and Japan,
with the US positioning itself in the middle of the conflict.
The plot has China staking a dubious claim in the hotly disputed
waters of the East China Sea, with the desire to dominate
the region, while the prime minister of Japan threatens to
dispatch the country’s naval assets and tear up its
antiwar constitution unless the Americans forcefully intervene.
Although war-weary, American treaty obligations would draw
the US into a fight with the Chinese navy. President David
Lane sends former US President Margaret Myers and Troy to
decrease tensions and defuse the situation. But they are up
against both Chinese and Japanese hawkish politicians, nationalistic
fervor, special interests with their own hidden agendas, and
a great military threat. The action increases as Myers and
Pearce must discover China’s new weapon systems and
to demonstrate the US drone capabilities to the Japanese as
they hope to avoid war.
It is Maden’s opinion that “China wants to dominate
the region and become a global naval power in a similar way
we imposed the Monroe Doctrine. They spend three times as
much as Russia on defense and have doubled the money spent
since 2008 to build a blue water navy. They are attempting
to do this through ‘centric missiles,’ which are
a lot cheaper than building aircraft carriers and can upend
US navy capabilities.”
Troy and Myers are characters that readers wish exist in
the real world. These two heroes put country ahead of their
career, having a sense of duty. They believed in the Inaugural
words of JFK, “Ask not what your country can do for
you, ask what you can do for your country.” The only
part that distracts from the suspenseful plot is the backstory
on Troy. It is a bit confusing regarding what is happening
and readers long to return to the storyline and the technologies
used from the WU-14 Chinese weapon to the various drones.
Current events are used to alert readers to the economic situation.
A powerful quote, “China’s trade surplus with
the US was on the order of hundreds of billions of dollars
annually. China used those billions to buy American CEOs.
Nothing mattered more to American executives than profits.
They were more than happy to sacrifice American national interests.”
Throughout the book he shows how the characters want to wake
up Americans to the Chinese practices of unfair regulations,
manipulating the Yuan-dollar relationship, cheap Chinese labor,
and bad American tax laws.
Maden commented, “I wonder if Washington DC is acting
in the best interests of Americans as a whole. US corporations
show no loyalty to American workers because their profits
are at the expense of American society and the workers. I
hope that with all my books readers question how the US can
find security in a highly insecure world, and what role should
America play? I discuss this more in my next book where drone
terror comes to the US and anti-drone technology comes into
With Drone Command Maden is able to demonstrate that
he has done the research regarding drones, and has a clear
understanding of the delicate political balance that exists
between Japan, China, and the US.