Eastern Europe erupts in war as the Russians rush to the aid of their compatriots in Moldova, happily trampling Ukraine in the process. As usual, Air Force veteran Brown (Night of the Hawk, 1992, etc.) gives all the good parts to the pilots. They never get mentioned by name, but America's fast-food swilling, loose-talking, draft-dodging President and his control-freak, borderline-dominatrix, unelected-tsarina, anti-military, knee-jerk liberal wife are the real villains in this near-future military technothriller. Their rush to de-fund the troops--plus their reliance on bull sessions to solve the world's arguments--nearly undoes the nice new world order left by George Bush. They're just not prepared for the brutality of a retro-rigid Russia where old-line Stalinist Vitaly Velichko has usurped Boris Yeltsin's seat and loosed the dogs of war on the former Soviet republics of Moldova and Ukraine. The guy simply does not play fair--he uses nukes without having a meeting to get in touch with the world's feelings. It's up to America's new downsized Air Force to come to the aid of Ukraine, where the planes are all Soviet antiques but the pilots are all heart. American heroes include Robert Redford look-alike Darren Mace, who was supposed to but didn't drop a nuke on Saddam Hussein, and superpilotess- businesswoman Rebecca Furness, a victim of the First Lady's ruthless reductions in force. The Ukrainian hero is Pavlo Tychina, a first-rate flyer out for some serious revenge after his fiancÇe falls victim to the Russian neutron bomb. The action is, as you expect from Brown, great. But the surprisingly violent Clinton-bashing--while amusing--will probably not make a lot of new friends for the genre.