I'm about 2/3 done now and what is struck me around the middle was that there wasn't going to be a female lead - The PM or President wasn't going to run into an old flame, there wouldn't be passion as the crisis was building - no time for love when there's an ultimatum looming. The tight time structure doesn't allow it, I suppose. Maybe that's a cool thing - it's certainly unusual.
Also - and I apologize if one of you mentioned this already, as I am trying to only skim your posts until I'm done - is there really any reason for the president to go up North to "see things for himself" other than to show the reader he's done his homework and loves to fly? I'm really hoping that there turns out to be a good reason reason to have him there in the last 75 pages.