America's security community is on edge. The Russian premier has just died and been replaced by President Zorkin (Richard Marner) a man whose international ambitions are something of an unknown quantity. Fortunately seasoned CIA agent Jack Ryan (Ben Affleck) is on hand to profile the man in the hot seat. But then the USA's worst fear comes true when Baltimore is struck by a nuclear device during a football game. Ryan's boss Cabot (Morgan Freeman), is convinced this isn't really a Russian strike and dispatches Ryan to uncover the truth before the USA and Russian Federation slide into WWIII. A shadowy terrorist group might just hold the key.