The Russian group went to the other meeting room while we went to the Oval Office.
I waited and finally asked ”We only have a few minutes. You have heard the package, what’s it worth to get that many missiles destroyed, to see those submarines never go on another patrol?”
”The nuclear limits by yield will allow us to reduce the number of our older missiles and replace them with newer more accurate dial a yield missiles and stay with the new numbers by total launch systems,” I said.
”I have the White House budget office working the financial numbers. I’m sure the Congressional budget office will do the same later,” I added.
The Joint Chiefs came in and asked for a moment to update me.
”The Reagan and its task force will dock at Vladivostok Naval base at 1000. News crews from all the majors are on board. They haven’t been told what is happening. Arrangements have been made for tugs to position it to the docks. It’s a media event as you wanted,” the Chief of Naval Operations said.
”The Air Force agreement was a little tougher to work out but the first group of twenty B52s will land at 1030 and news crews will also be there. I hope this does not backfire on us,” the Air Force Chief of Staff said.
”It could take weeks to figure out the short term and long term savings. Then you have the MIC (military industrial complex) that is going to fight any cuts in its budgets, research or manufacturing. That’s why they have facilities in nearly every state so they can torque up the congressional people to continue with making money,” Troy said.
The State Department team was working with the DOD team to make sure we were not going in the wrong direction with our negotiations. But no one could give me any firm numbers.
The two from the Senate foreign relations were part of my negotiating team. They were the ones that were important – the Senate had to vote on all treaties and I needed all the help I could get. The two from the House were getting summaries – not very timely.
I had a head full of thoughts of changes that could be made with the many agreements we were working on.
The Russians were heading back to the meeting room and I still had nothing to work with.
”We have come up with a number and that number is an additional five hundred billion to accept all the proposals,” President Orbatch said.
”That’s a lot more than I was expecting. A onetime payment of that much is out of my reach and Congress will not support that,” I said.
”Other US presidents have sent pallets of cash just to open negotiations,” President Orbatch said.
”Most of the time it didn’t produce the results expected, and I am not doing it that way.”
”With conditions, here is what I can do. Two hundred billion tomorrow after agreeing and signing all the proposals. Fifty billion each month for six months, provided the goals for the agreement are met.”
”There are a total of twelve hundred and eleven R36 and R39s. That’s two hundred that must be disarmed each month and two of the submarines to receive the next payment.”
”I am told that the there are twenty five-man teams from the Department of Energy and the DOD ready to leave in a few days. That’s only ten missiles per team per month and making the numbers work should be no problem. If the project is completed early, the final payments will be early,” I said.
”As far as the subs go, all we need are the reactor sections and fuel rods removed to count as completed. The rest of the sub you can ship to your scrap iron mills at your leisure,” I said.
”The two hundred billion will be in Treasury certificates – simply deposit them in your bank when you return to Moscow. ”
”One final restriction – you must agree to end all funding and weapons shipments to all terror groups – including Iran – that has been labeled as a terrorist nation,” I said.
”As a bonus for complying and completing all the proposals, there will be a one hundred billion final payment in one year. That is one hundred billion more than you wanted over the time frame that I can work with,” I said.
They retreated to the meeting room again, leaving us.
Senator Whitby and Fordes both started, ”The senate is not going to approve that kind of funding and you know the House will not either,” they said.
”I am not asking either house for the funding at this time. What I need is the Treaty of the Arctic ratified ASAP and get it out of the way. I need the nuclear reductions agreements and submarine limits treaty ratified quickly. Neither of these – the way we have written them – are not requiring immediate funding that I cannot get from other sources,” I said.
”I need commitment from the Russians that they are onboard and will comply and from you that the treaties will be approved quickly,” I said.
”The grain, loans and beef shipments are part of the State Department and Agriculture budgets. So nothing is needed from Congress for them.”
”Congress will need to fund the DOE and NRC the extra money for manpower and logistics to remove the uranium from the missiles and subs and transportation to the storage in Nevada,” I added.
”Will you support the agreements and back me?” I asked point blank.
”Yes, overall they are good agreements and treaties. Yes I can support you and them,” Senator Whitby said and he was joined with Senator Fordes.
”Tomorrow is going to be one busy day. The discussion by the seven on the Arctic treaty begins at 0800 with a working breakfast and the signing at 0945. Shortly after at 1000 there is a blowout news event happening with the events in Russia and the arrival of the task force and bombers,” I said
“At 1100 is the signing of all the agreements and a news conference.”
”Tonight I am hosting President Orbatch, Anton and wives and my family to the Diplomats Ball at the State Department. I know all of you got invitations. If you returned them I will see you there,” I said as the Russians returned.
”You drive a hard bargain; we accept your terms,” President Orbatch said.
We shook hands for now and would put it to ink tomorrow. I heard the 406s landing on the grass. My family was here for tonight’s gala. Each of them came with JBG escort-dance partners who we had used in the last few years.
With tuxes and evening gowns flowing, the mates and escorts came in as the Russians went back to Blair House to get ready. I was looking for a break – I needed to put all of today in order in my head.
I was worn out but enthused at the steps we had taken and the progress made. Today would be reveled to be historic and I hoped history would remember it favorably.
Aides, Senators and clerks scattered – some to get ready for tonight’s ball. I met my mates and the escorts in the living section of the White House. After brief hugs and hellos, my mates followed me to bedrooms. They could talk to me as I showered and dressed.
I listened about things at home and then about JBG from Vicky and Ching Lee. Andy had requested two hundred heat seeking rockets and two hundred laser guided missiles that required new helmets for the pilots and launch tubes affixed to bottom of the helicopters – and of course training.
I asked if they had arrived and when the training was scheduled. Vicky said that it was underway and that only helicopters assigned to the six OPEC countries contract were getting the upgrade.
I wondered why Andy wanted laser verses other systems. With laser the pilot had to stay on line of sight, exposed to return fire. With other systems, once the target was locked the pilot could fire and then move on looking for the next target. I was sure that Andy had something in mind.
I was dressed in another designer evening gown supplied by some worlds famous designer, my hair was done by a new hairdresser who added some flare to my normal hairstyle.
The limos carried us to Plaza Hotel where the festivities were being held tonight. The Secret Service and State Department had spent two days going through the hotel, its kitchen and the staff and set up security protocol. There had been dozens of official government functions there over the years.
Many guests were already there. The tables were big, real silver and gold settings – the best gold trimmed China – the table cloths were silk and trimmed with intricate designs.
The meet and greet and introductions lasted forty five minutes along with the finger food. So many people wanted to be photographed with us and the Russians by the White House photographer.
The State Department had done the seating. President Orbatch and I were across from each other on the main table. My unique family was an unusual problem when it came to the seating. Large round tables solved some of the problems.
It was a five star meal with all the trimmings. After the meal was cleared away we moved into the grand hall. The band played to sooth stressed nerves and then started with dance music.
I danced with Gordon, my mates, Anton and President Orbatch. With Anton I first asked his wife if I could borrow him for a dance.
I sent a note to the band director with a request for several numbers in a row that I knew Anton would like from our experience in Uganda. They were fast and energetic – it was Anton and I along with my mates with their escorts on the dance floor – everyone else quickly headed for their chairs. We still practiced dancing whenever we had the chance; unfortunately that was not that often any more.
When the group of melodies finished we were out of breath. It was a good thing the gala was over. The booze and food had long been carried away. It had been a good evening. My mates spending the evening in the White House with me would be the icing on the cake.
I missed the boys, Sara and Takeo but I was spending the weekend at home to be with all my family. I would need the weekend off after tomorrow as busy as it was going to be.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.
The Russian group went to the other meeting room while we went to the Oval Office.