I had breakfast with my mates at 0600 and then walked them back to the 406s. All of the men had driven back home last night.
Back in the Oval Office I had a list of calls to make before the Russians came.
One was to the Treasurer of the United States – Albert Morrison. I asked questions for over ten minutes, finally telling him what I needed from him and when.
I was sure from his attitude he was going to call members on the House and Senate finance committees informing them of my request and ask them for guidance.
By 0730 the Arctic Circle countries were starting to come in. I had Vice President Harrison doing the greeting of each of them. I was busy meeting with everyone it seemed.
General Ingram was keeping me updated on the progress of the Reagan Task Force voyage into the Sea of Japan and Vladivostok. The Reagan would be docking around 1600 and the B52s landing around 1630. Both would be in prime time news.
The Russian group came in as we were finishing up. At 0800 we went to the meeting room with the other five Arctic Circle nations. They had all been given a draft of the proposed treaty, its amendments, bylaws, and guidelines.
It was along here in the discussion the Secret Service agent handed me a note that a group from the UN was in the lobby demanding to be a part of the meeting.
I asked the group if anyone had notified the UN of the meeting and invited them to this meeting. No one admitted to notifying the UN but they were here.
The group decided to allow them in to observe the vote and discussion. A Secret Service agent brought the four representatives. One was from India, one from China, one from Indonesia and the other from Belgium. India and China had been problems for the last twenty years; they were both in a desperate search for raw materials for their industries. I knew as soon as I saw them they were going to try to leverage their way into the agreement.
The main table was full – the five countries had brought aides with them to help then digest the information. I had a small table brought in and placed off to the side for the UN to sit at.
The agreement was read then we went down the amendments one at a time in the first section. That section identified the participants and how much land area each claimed to have within the Arctic Circle. There was no objections with that section.
The next section was formation of a council to oversee all exploration. The council was to approve or reject any contracting firms that were to extract the minerals. It was also to have a science division looking at best practices for restoration and new and unknown minerals.
It was in this section that the UN people tried to get involved. They wanted the UN scientific committees to take control of all scientific matters, all environmental matters and control all development and extraction of all items found.
”You were allowed to join this final reading to observe and are not part of the negotiations or discussions in the meetings. We have spent days working through this treaty with hundreds of hours in discussions with the seven affected countries,” I told the four.
”If you cannot abide by those terms I will have you escorted out,” I said.
They were not happy campers. The leader of the group left to go call the UN Secretariat to voice his displeasure. We continued on with the discussion.
The rest of the proposed treaty was read section by section with a few changes. By 1000 we were finished. My staff made the final changes to the documents and they were printed with spaces for the nations to sign.
We signed all of them except one copy that was to be signed in public.
At 1100 the Rose Garden had been set up with a podium and tables for the signing of the treaty. For the US, the final step was a Senate vote to the make it official.
Speeches by the other leaders ran the news conference into lunch. The day was quickly getting away from me. There was a state lunch with the leaders before they left to return home.
After lunch the Russians and my group finished the last of the aid package we were going to offer. After fine tuning the wording and a final printing, we were close to signing.
We were going to sign all the agreements in the Oval Office to get them out of the way and under one folder. Then we would publicly sign a cover sheet with a list of all the other documents. It would be a less confusing event that way.
In the Oval Office I was joined by Vice President Harrison, Troy, Senators Whitby and Fordes, Kansas Rep Harvey Wallbanger and Arizona Rep Kirtland Jasper, the speaker of the house, the house minority leader and the majority and minority leaders of the Senate along with State Department Secretary Dean and Under-Secretary Borden.
The Russian delegation was led by President Orbatch and senior advisor Anton Pavlenko.
Arriving late was treasury director Albert Morrison. He and an aide were carrying four attaché cases.
The senators and two reps were invited because their committees support would be needed to pass the treaties and make them official.
For the benefit of all, copies were passed out to all present. Then my aide read through each group of documents that completed each treaty of agreement. At the end of each I asked President Orbatch and Anton if they were factual representations of our discussion and agreements. As he indicated they were, we moved on the next agreement.
We finished all the agreements and treaties then signed all of them. The last step was up to the Senate to make the treaties law.
General Ingram knocked, then came in and handed me a note, ”Media will be allowed to go live in ten minutes for the Russia ventures. ”
I gave it to Troy and said, ”Turn on the big screen – mute it and find the channel.”
The last item was the cash funds I had promised. I asked Treasury Director Albert Morrison if he had brought the items I had requested.
”Yes Madam President – two hundred billion; four thousand treasury notes, one hundred million on each,” he said as he placed the cases on the table and opened them.
”Do you have the paperwork for me?” I asked.
”Yes,” he said as he handed me the paper.
I moved the cases over to President Orbatch and Anton, ”I believe that completes the initial financial agreement we have discussed. The six fifty billion dollar payments will be started thirty days from today based on percentage of destruction of the missiles and submarines as we agreed,” I said.
I took out the Thimble Shoals check book and wrote out a check to the US Treasury for the two hundred billion dollars.
I placed the check on the papers Albert had given me, ”Pass that down the table to Director Morrison so he can mark it paid for me,” I said.
”A personal check for two hundred billion dollars! You have got be fucking kidding me!” Rep Wallbanger said.
”If you can’t run with the big dogs, you get to go sit in the corner and lick your gonads with the puppies. I haven’t had to sit in the corner in a long time,” I said.
He looked at it one more – time shaking his head – and quickly handed it to Albert.
The TV went live as Troy dropped the mute. ”Breaking news – this is ZNN news aboard the USS Reagan with its task force, we have entered Russian territory and are docked at the Vladivostok Russian Navy Base,” the reporter Toby Nash said as the film they had taken earlier was being shown.
”Toby, why are the US Navy ships there?” the desk asked.
”We have been told that this is now a joint US-Russian navy base. That is ALL we have been told. I do understand there is going to be a news conference here in an hour or two after the Admirals set the format and have discussions. We were also told a news conference was happening at the White House very soon.”
There were various clips of the entry into the harbor escorted by Russian frigates with the decks filled with Russian sailors in dress uniforms. The dock was full of Russian sailors in their best uniforms, cheering as the USS Reagan was tied up and the gangplank was lowered.
The media was furious; they were witnessing the news break of the century and could not broadcast a word until it was approved and a connection made. That was not going to happen until 1600 Eastern. They had known about the arrival and docking for three hours.
The shipboard media was in a frenzy – a Russian military harbor pilot had been placed on by a Russian helicopter. The task force had been escorted by several Russian frigates.
I made the announcement that all discussions related to the agreements and treaties were to be considered as classified. The treaties and agreements themselves would be de-classified as necessary for congressional approval.
I had barely finished when the next news break came with video of the bomber group landing at the Russian airbase. It was the same as at the navy bases. There were cheering Russian officers and airmen and angry US media people.
They had been flown in an advance plane for the bombers. They had portable communications radios, several tow bars to fit the B52s and a variety of refueling adapter fittings. They had been in Russia for four hours, however, not knowing what for. They were only told fifteen minutes before the first bomber touched down – just long enough to set up broadcast equipment and contact their stations.
With the media in an uproar, we signed the last document for the cameras and answered questions for thirty minutes before shutting it down.
With their bags already packed, President Orbatch, Anton, their wives and I went back to Andrews for their return to Moscow. It was raining and nasty so there were quick goodbyes; it had been a busy week. I was glad I was going home for the weekend.
I rode in the Beast with a couple of Secret Service agents while deep in thought.
Other Presidents since Lynden Johnson had done money transfers to foreign countries to buy favors, influence foreign policy or make foreign policy. They had used the CIA, the Defense Department and sometimes the State Department.
The money transfers – more often than not – proved to be bad foreign policy. Johnson couldn’t buy loyalty or victory in Vietnam with the bundles of cash he sent there. Nixon, Carter and Reagan couldn’t solve turmoil in Central America and the Middle East with buckets of money – our money. The drug war rages on and the Middle East is still at war with itself.
Clinton and the Bush’s tried unsuccessfully to buy favorable foreign policy in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt and nearly everywhere else with piles of money and failed.
Obama had thrown caution to the wind by trying to buy a deal with Iran, only to have them take the pallets of cash with no real strings attached and laugh at him. They dug in their heels demanding more, an end to embargoes for them to reduce their supporting terrorists and a nuclear agreement.
They did neither – I had fought Iran supported terrorists for years and they were still trying to kill me and my family.
Presidents Trump and Thomas after him had reduced foreign and military aide to many countries, calling on them to do more instead of us doing so much.
The nagging fear was that the Russians would turn around and bite my ass. Only time would tell, but I had attached bull ropes to the money they could get. The biggest amount was dependent on firm action to carry out the agreement.
In reality, it was their money. I could give it back and possibility change the future or we risk war and they would have to wait a century to get it by the bank’s rules.
It was the lesser of two evils – a chance of a war that would eventually engulf all Europe or try to prevent it. I chose the last.
At the White House a mob was waiting on me. All the members of the Joint Chiefs and their staff, Secretary Dean of the State Department and the under secretary plus my staff were waiting for me. I was in no mood for anything except a chance to clear my head and take a few deep breaths.
With the door closed behind me, the kitchen staff brought in bottles of champagne and tubs of cold beer.
Troy and Secretary Dean took turns reading cables they had received from the European countries since the announcements. Most were positive and encouraging, pledging to assistant in any way possible. They understood what war in Europe could do; they had lived through it twice and the never ending consequences.
I wondered why they had not done all they could do three months ago.
The Joint Chiefs took turns reading cables from our military allies located around the world – the reductions in nuclear weapons numbers alone were making some happy and some worried.
Maybe the reduction of twelve hundred missiles meant something after all. But then in the end, it would be a total of twenty four hundred when the new limits went into effect.
Even at that, we would still have enough to destroy the world a thousand times over.
China – on the other hand – was furious. Tomorrow they would be even more. The B52s and the Russian bomber group were flying to the border and then along it with fighter escort.
The gas valve was going to be closed at 0800. With the high pressure in the pipeline it would be noon when the flames went out in Chinese factories, then the crap would hit the fan for sure.
The announcements that the other two carrier groups were moving immediately was not lost on them, even though I had done it for other reasons.
The cold beer was refreshing; I had two.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.
I had breakfast with my mates at 0600 and then walked them back to the 406s. All of the men had driven back home last night.