The clash of civilizations will be won... by the highest bidder What happens when America's most lethal military contractor becomes uncontrollably powerful? His election promised a new day for America... but dangerous storm clouds are on the horizon. The newly inaugurated president, Joseph Gardner, pledged to start pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq on his first day in office - no questions asked. Meanwhile, former president Kevin Martindale and retired Air Force lieutenant-general Patrick McLanahan have left government behind for the lucrative world of military contracting. Their private firm, Scion Aviation International, has been hired by the Pentagon to take over aerial patrols in northern Iraq as the U.S. military begins to downsize its presence there. Yet Iraq quickly reemerges as a hot zone: Kurdish nationalist attacks have led the Republic of Turkey to invade northern Iraq. The new American presi dent needs to regain control of the situation - immediately - but he's reluctant to send U.S. forces back into harm's way, leaving Scion the only credible force in the region capable of blunting the Turks' advances. But when Patrick McLanahan makes the decision to take the fight to the Turks, can the president rein him in? And just where does McLanahan's loyalty ultimately lie: with his country, his commander in chief, his fellow warriors... or with his company's shareholders?