Emma: Very simple question but a very complicated answer:
My aviation background as a navigator-bombardier was simple: plan the flight, fly the plan, and be able to re-create it after the mission was over. That is how I have approached all of my flying, including civilian flying.
But that doesn't work with writing because of one stupid thing: the damned characters tend to take over and do things the writer (myself) doesn't expect.
In my novels, plot trumps character, which is how I view life and politics in general. Presidents don't get to choose what they get to do: geopolitics have already decided their fate for them. Vladimir Putin's future has already been chosen for him; so has the next president of the United States.
The cool thing for myself as an author is to write about this for an audience that doesn't know this geopolitical reality for themselves: they may be high on military facts, but they're not completely up on geopolitical factoids. That's where I like to step in.