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Oath of Office is a techno-thriller novel published in 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons and is part of the Jack Ryan universe series.
Plot[edit | edit source]
In Iran, a series of protests break out between a group of dissidents led by Reza Kazem and the Iranian theocratic government in what is favorably dubbed by the international press as the "Persian Spring." However, Kazem's organization is revealed to be a proxy force for the Iranian government allied with rogue elements in the Russian GRU. The GRU steals two 51T6 anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs) from the Russian armory and then covertly provides it to Kazem through Portuguese arms dealer Urbano da Rocha. Nevertheless, Kazem uses the missiles for his own ends, intent on sending them to low earth orbit and detonating them, causing the debris to destroy all the satellites at that altitude.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Jack Ryan has been dealing with a multitude of crises at home and abroad. A deadly strain of flu, as well as spring floods, occur across the country, and his political rival, Senator Michelle Chadwick, criticizes his policies using bot-planted fake news stories about him. Overseas, the United States embassy in Cameroon comes under siege from the Cameroonian government eager on arresting opposition leader General Mbida, who had taken refuge there, while Russia is plotting to stage an invasion of Ukraine disguised as a military exercise. Regarding the Persian Spring, President Ryan is the lone dissenting voice in the generally favorable opinion on the events in Iran due to his skepticism of Kazem.
Russian SVR officer Erik Dovzhenko has been coordinating with Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps major Parviz Sassani in capturing and executing dissidents in Iran at great personal risk to himself, since his lover Maryam Farhad is secretly allied with Kazem's organization. When Sassani finds out about Farhad and kills her, Dovzhenko decides to defect and flees the country out of guilt. Relentlessly pursued by the Iranian major, he flies to Afghanistan to warn Farhad's friend Ysabel Kashani, who works at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), that Sassani is hunting for him and her due to their connection to Farhad.
Kashani then informs her ex-boyfriend Jack Ryan Jr., who is on the ground in Portugal with his fellow Campus operatives to monitor da Rocha and his French assassin Lucile Fournier, who had just struck a deal with a pair of Russian GRU officers. Ryan and his cousin Dominic Caruso travel to the Afghan city of Herat to meet Kashani and Dovzhenko, only to be ambushed and abducted by Taliban opium smugglers critical of Kashani's work shortly after arriving. Caruso barely escapes and contacts Campus operative John Clark before recuperating in the United States military base in Bagram.
After defusing the situation in Cameroon by blackmailing the Cameroonian President into withdrawing troops from the U.S. embassy there, President Ryan covertly sends the Secret Service to shadow Chadwick and protect her from imminent assassination due to the fake news stories. They manage to foil an attempt by SVR officer Elizaveta Bobkova, who was secretly tasked by the GRU. Meanwhile, in Herat, Ryan, Kashani, and Dovzhenko manage to dispatch their captors and travel all the way to neighboring Iran.
In Portugal, Clark and his fellow Campus operatives Domingo Chavez, Barry Jankowski, and Adara Sherman rescue da Rocha from the Russian GRU officers, who had double-crossed him on the missile deal and had killed Fournier. Da Rocha then tells them about the nuclear weapons, which Clark relays to President Ryan and later to his son. Now in Iran, Ryan, Dovzhenko, and Kashani talk to an Iranian nuclear scientist named Atash Yazdani for information about the missiles in exchange for treating his ill son, when Sassani tracks them down and attacks them. After a fistfight, Yazdani kills the Iranian major, and then agrees to help the trio by installing malware in the nuclear defense facility where he works in Mashhad, crashing the computer system there.
After Yazdani plants the malware, President Ryan orders the destruction of the Mashhad facility, which destroys all but one of the missiles. Ryan, Kashani, Dovzhenko, and Yazdani then pinpoint the location of the second missile to a nearby cave but fail to stop it from being launched into space. However, they locate Kazem and dispatch him there. Meanwhile, with the help of two scientists, President Ryan orders the change in orbit of an American-owned satellite targeted by the missile, avoiding a collision.
Russia moves its troops out of Ukraine. Yazdani and his son are later transported out of the country. Dovzhenko becomes a double agent for the CIA and SVR, and Kashani decides to work in Russia.