It is the year 2006, and a succession of massive underwater explosions has left three of the world's largest oil tankers burning fiercely in the middle of the Strait of Hormuz. United States military intelligence conclude that the Iranians have finally carried out their long-standing threat to lay a minefield across the narrow seaway leading to the Persian Gulf. Worse yet, they plainly did it with the active assistance of the People's Republic of China. As world oil prices go berserk, Admiral Morgan, the US President's National Security Adviser, orders the US Navy instantly into the area - five carrier battle groups, sixty ships, while the minesweepers go desperately to work. Iran can be contained. But Admiral Morgan rounds on China, and develops a plan to eliminate their brand-new oil refinery in Hormuz, and then flatten their equally new Navy base in Burma.