When the President and Cutter are alone in the conference room talking about their "little war" and Cutter suggests, "I think it's time the whole thing went away," the President replies, "Then it should go away. It never happened..." to which Cutter replies, "Yes, sir", but Cutter's lips don't move.
After the special operations team drops the satchel charge into the cocaine processing facility, a soldier on the right side of the frame can be seen firing his rifle to cover the team's retreat, but the rifle's report cannot be heard.
During the scene in which Ryan's motorcade is being attacked from the rooftops, many of the motorcade people jump out of their vehicles, and return fire with handguns. In one shot, a ground shooter fires at one of the thugs, and apparently hits him. However, the target grasps his abdomen, and plunges off the roof... before the shot is heard.
When Ryan buried the dead soldier near the river, Chavez told Ryan and Clark that "They were taking Captain Oso". Oso or Julio Vega was a sergeant. Ramirez was the captain and the credit title agrees with this. In the closed captioning on the DVD, Chavez actually says "They were taking the Captain and Oso" not Captain Oso.
During the Cortez/Cutter conversation in the Panama hotel room, Cortez says, "No more senseless violence, you'll have your victory." When Ryan plays the tape to distract Cortez, the tape has Cortez saying, "No more violence," missing out on the "senseless".
In the beginning of the film, the Coast Guard cutter is pursuing the Enchanter in seas that are at least 10 to 15 feet. Yet when the small boat is deployed to board the Enchanter, the ocean is flat calm.
When Escobedo confronts Cortez in the main office of the Cafe Lindo factory about Cortez's treachery, there are five men in the room -- Cortez, Escobedo, Jack Ryan and two of Escobedo's bodyguards. However, when Cortez's right hand man Sipo bursts in and guns down Escobedo, the two bodyguards are nowhere to be seen.
In the beginning of the film, two Coast Guardsmen are sent to man the forward gun. As they leave the hatch, the first is wearing an orange jacket while the second wears an orange vest over a dark blue shirt. In the next shot as they move forward along the rail, the man in the orange jacket is now behind the man in the vest. In the next shot as they approach the gun, both are now wearing orange vests over dark blue shirts. Next, we see a tighter shot as the man in the orange jacket mans the gun, followed by a longer shot where both are now back to wearing the vests.
When Chavez removes his helmet at the end of the sniper exercise, his hair appears to have more width than when he is in the office shortly afterwards, even allowing for him having washed his hair in the meantime.
When Jack drives the truck backwards through the wall during the ambush scene, he gets in the drivers seat without putting on his seatbelt. We then see the stunt double wearing a seatbelt in the long shot, but in the close-up, Jack is again unbuckled.
Bell helicopters are flown from the right seat, as is properly depicted in the final rescue sequence where scroungy pilot Tom Bower is shown alone at the controls. There are however, several fly-bys where another person can be seen in the left seat. In a dual control cockpit, this is where a co-pilot would sit, or in this case, the film pilot who was doing the actual flying.
The picture on the wall when Ryan visits Escobedo's house to prove Cortez's foul play, is of Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, a prominent 19th century Mexican politician (the action supposedly takes place in Colombia.)
When Clark's black-ops team blows up the Colombian drug plane, the aircraft's tail number is clearly visible. A tail number is similar to a license plate on a car and each aircraft has its own unique number. All civil aircraft registered in the US will have a tail number beginning with N. The tail number of the aircraft in this scene is N825WD. Since the plane is on a Colombian drug plantation, the aircraft would likely have a Colombian tail number beginning with the letters HK, not N. In real life, the aircraft is registered to a private aviation business in Wilmington, Delaware, USA.
After Petey is assigned his "special program" to break into Ritter's computer, he is seen typing a code that is non-functional. He is assigning constant values to a character variable that is 13 digits long, which is a base 10 number so large that a computer at that time could not possibly address it or store it in memory, and, furthermore, there is no known computer language that includes two equals signs as modals between the variable (e.g., "x") and the numeric constant - the assigned number; only one equals sign is used to assign variables, regardless of the computer language or platform. What is shown is all gibberish.
In the scene where Jack has access to Ritter's computer, Jack is seen viewing and printing files. Then Ritter discovers Jack's diversionary phone call, so Ritter begins to delete the same files from the disk, and eventually clears the screen of the file Jack was accessing. Disk operating systems of all kinds do not allow an open file, the file jack was printing, to be deleted; thus, Jack should have been able to keep the file open as long as he wanted to and print or copy to another disk to use as evidence against Ritter. Furthermore, Ritter would have received an error message on his computer like, "CANNOT DELETE FILE - FILE IN USE", or some similar message, and not a "Deleting files *.*" message for the duration. The fact that the printer Jack was using ran out of paper is irrelevant.
The apparent 'supercomputer/codebreaker' that Petey uses to hack into Ritter's system is actually the Powderhorn system, a tape backup library made by StorageTek that includes magnetic tape cartridges and a robotic arm to retrieve the cartridges and load into a tape drive. So unless Ritter saved his password on a hard drive and it was backed up to a tape cartridge, this data storage system would not help Petey hack into Ritter's system.
In the beginning of the movie a person on the bridge of the Coast Guard cutter announces that the contact's course is "250 true". A contact's bearing can be described in true or relative angles, but the course is never described in relative terms. Neither in the Navy nor the Coast Guard would you ever hear the word "true" when describing a contact's course.
After Clark requests a helicopter with which to rescue his covert ops team, Ryan locates a local aviation operation, and asks to rent "the Huey". Although the helicopter shown has the same general fuselage shape as a Bell "Huey" (military designation UH-1) it is in fact a Bell 412 (a 4-blade, twin-engine, civilian-use-only ship) which has never been used by the military. There was a 2-blade version (the Bell 212) which was derived from the military UH-1N, but this was used only by the Navy, and was not referred to as a "Huey". This nickname was only applied to the 2-blade, single-engine Army version, of Vietnam War fame..
Dr. Ryan was appointed Deputy Director of the CIA after Admiral Greer took ill. This would place Dr. Ryan at the head of the chain of command for the CIA; therefore, no files that Mr. Ritter (of Operations) or even Mr. Cutter could be kept hidden from Jack, so there would be no need for Jack to "secretly" access the reciprocity files on Ritter's computer. All Jack had to do, as Ritter's Boss, was demand to see the files and any diskettes or other media Ritter was attempting to conceal regarding his and Cutter's "own little war." In other words, Jack had all the evidence he needed on demand, as Deputy Director, to tie the illegal war to Ritter, Cutter, and ultimately the President without the troops being killed or taken hostage.
When Ryan confronts Ritter about the Reciprocity operation, Ritter brandishes his "autographed 'Get out of jail free' card", which says that the President has authorised Reciprocity as it is important to national security. In that case, even if Ryan does not have a copy himself, the existence of that paper covers means that Ryan's actions are legitimate - unless the President's actions are deemed to be illegal as well.
When Jack Ryan is printing the Reciprocity files he finds he needs paper for the printer. When he opens the printer tray there is already paper in the tray and he then loads more and closes the tray, but fails to do so properly. In this position the printer would fail to print.
When the US squad is ambushed, the point man who was a mile away rushes back. In the scene that he first views the enemy over his squad mates, He hunkers down behind a rock supposedly at a sufficient distance he remains undetected. Unfortunately, for a couple of seconds an enemy soldier is visible moving up and down on the rocks directly behind him.
The laser guiding the cellulose bomb was aimed clearly on the large yellow pick-up truck in the driveway in front of the hacienda. This leads to the media speculation that a truck bomb went off. Yet, Ryan's intelligence photos of the aftermath of the explosion clearly shows a crater in the center of the compound, away from where the laser was aimed.
The goof item below may give away important plot points.
In the final scenes of the film (after the Cortez/Escobedo shoot-out) Jack Ryan - an ex-Marine - ignores at least three opportunities to arm himself: with the rifle that the thug who shot Escobedo dropped; the weapon Clark used to take out the guard outside the hostages' jail cell; and the sub-machine gun that Cortez dropped after the wood pile fell on him.