An Intrepid Task - IC Secret
It was not a warm afternoon in Europolis, although the temperature was higher than normally expected. The Defence Commissioner was sat in his office preparing for a significant meeting between representatives from the Duxburian Union, Angleter, Halsberg and the United Kingdom.
"Mary, can you just make sure we have tea, and biscuits, plenty of fruit, um, what to do" he was rushing around his office tidying up. He had been up late last night working to be ready for this meeting.
The topic, nuclear disarmament. The question, how much could he achieve? Knowing it would be a difficult task he braced himself with a quick shot of whisky from a hip flask kept in his desk, alongside other special treats.
The phone rang "Yes Mary?" "Commissioner, the representatives are here" "Send them in"
He was ready, or at least, so he hoped...
Dame Judith Gibbon was the first to enter. She gave Asquith-Robinson a brisk handshake and introduced herself - "Afternoon, Commissioner. Judith Gibbon, Angleteric Defence Minister." - before sitting at the table and assembling her papers. She helped herself to a biscuit as she waited for the others to sit down.
Vincent Clarke arrived in Europolis with a lot on his mind. He'd spent most of the plane ride consulting with Stewahd Maximillian and General Reid on the acceptability of various numbahs and what goals the Duxburian Union should look to achieve. This was a very rare opportunity and he wanted to wahk out with some kind of deal. He'd relished every second of telling those two what he wanted...and having them listen politely. Neithah were very hot on nucleah disahmament, but this was, in fact, his nucleah ahsenal, and in the absence of a real Aeliah, his military. Maximillian clearly wasn't fond of him, but a Stewahd was powahless to firah cabinet officahs appointed by an Aeliah.
He made his way to the Defense Commission and found the right office, despite his questionable English skills. He saw that Judith Gibbon was already theyah. They'd nevah met befoah, but he recognized who she was and greeted her with a solid handshake. "Hallo Ministah Gibbon, Vincent Clahke am Rowe, Ofisliah am Krigo pro Iunio Duxburiano." He greeted Commissionah Asquith-Robinson second, indicating who he felt had more powah in this room.
Clarke wasn't terribly interested in the food (wheyah is the meat and hahd liquah?), so he sat down and poured over some moah notes. His bright red foldah sat on the table, highly ironic for the type of meeting that was about to take place.
The Commissioner welcomed the two ministers to his office, "Welcome, I hope that your journeys here weren't strenuous". Geoffrey pointed his guests towards the tea and coffee and biscuits that were on the coffee table in the corner of his office. Around the table were some leather sofas which were most comfortable to sit on. Geoffrey gestured and the ministers sat down. He picked up his documents,
"I am sure that the British and Halsbergian representatives will be here soon, anywhoo, lets carry on. Looking at this document both of your nations have roughly 4000 nuclear weapons each. That is quite a high number. We are here today to discuss how we can work together as a commission and your individual nations to get this number reduced to lower level. Let me start with some questions for each of you. Firstly, how can we work with you to reduce the numnber of weapons that your nations possess, what can we do to make everything work?, also the big one. Would your nations be prepared to reduce the number of nuclear weapons you possess?"
Halsberg last edited by
Defence Secretary Allen Moreno hurried in to the Commissioner's office, noting that much of the decor was unchanged from when his friend Commissioner Callaghan had occupied the Defence and Peacekeeping portfolio.
"Sorry I'm late! Had a bit of trouble when the plane was trying to land. Something about an unidentified helicopter flying erratically across Europolis. Wouldn't let us land until about half an hour ago. Anyway, here now!"
The Secretary heard the Commissioner's questions as he had walked in through the door, so was able to add something to the discussion.
"Quite massively broad questions there, Commissioner. I take it you mean what the Commission can do to reduce the number of nuclear weapons? The short answer really is nothing, apart from mediate agreement between ourselves for that to happen, like you're doing now. We've seen how the disarmament question is set back massively whenever the EU gets involved to any real degree. Like I say, apart from providing a neutral space and mediation services, there ain't much we'd like to see the EU do with this."
"Now, on to the main question, would we reduce our number of nuclear warheads. The answer in principle is yes, but only if several conditions are met. Number one, we do it in conjunction with ALL other nuclear states. Number two, the level we reduce by is proportionate, and takes account of the vastly disparate levels of nuclear capability between us. For example, reducing all stockpiles in the region by 50% would do nothing. Halsberg would have 150 warheads, while the DU and Angleter would still have thousands. So yes, there needs to be fairness for the states with limited ENAA licenses. Number three, this must be entirely voluntary. There must be no coercion for any element of this process. Everything that is achieved has to be achieved by unanimous and voluntary cooperation between our nations. As we've seen with the Council's messy attempt to get involved, this is key."
Judith Gibbon spoke up.
"Angleter is open, again, in principle, to cutting our number of nuclear weapons by half, or perhaps even more. But not much more."
"I'm happy to ansah yah questions, Commissionah," Vincent Clarke replied. "Iunio Duxburiano indeed has IIII thyll nucleah wah'eads. Secretahry Maheno is right in that disahmament will not work if it is a fohced process, nowah if the Commission is ovahzealous. If any progress is to be made, it must be voluntahry, with the suppowaht of all the nucleah states. No othah approach wahks.
Iunio Duxburiano is obviously open to nucleah disahmament, othahwise I would not be heyah. We ah willing to match owah pahtnahs in Angleteyah, as long as theiyah numbah is reasonable. Mowah than V.X pahcent is possible, but that depends on what Iunaik Dairgrexx and 'Alsbahg ah willing to go to. It would also cost an estimated I.X to III.X byll Kael to decommission that many wah'eads, a considahble sum of money. We ah concehrned, but optimistic that a deal can be made heyah today."
"I agree with you all. We have seen what happens when nuclear states are forced by legislation to do something with the Nuclear Weapons Act. I was against the act myself.
I have an idea which would perhaps would be suitable. It would involve a reduction by just over half for he larger nuclear states to say, 1800 warheads each whilst the states with smaller arsenals would reduce the number of warheads by a certain amount to maintain proportion. So for Example, Halsberg would drop to around 150-200 nuclear warheads whilst the UK, if they choose to do so, could drop to say 50 from their current 75.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you yourselves have any other ideas?"
Vincent Clarke wrote down some notes and examined numbahs. Then, he spoke again.
"Iunio Duxburiano would be willing to accept a nucleah wah'ead count of I.VIII.X.X, pending a matching offah from Angleteyah. As foah the othah states, we propose that Alsbahg move to I.V.X and Iunaik Dairgrexx move to V.X. In exchange foah the lowah count, we'd then station I.X.X wah'eads in Iunaik Dairgrexx, so they in effect also have I.V.X and match Alsbahg's count. Of course, this proposal is open to negotiation."
"Angleter would match that new figure of 1800. We'd be happy seeing Halsberg dropping to somewhere in the 150-200 region. We don't see any reason for the UK to reduce its warhead count from 74."
Halsberg last edited by Halsberg
"Halsberg, for its part, would be willing to disarm to a level of 150, with a view to further decreasing in the future alongside its nuclear counterparts. The other parts of Mr Clarke's proposal are also acceptable. Like Ms. Gibbon, the UK disarming from its current, relatively small level, seems premature right now when there's such a disparity."
"Well I am pleased to be able to see some agreement across all sides. It is most useful for everyone. Is there any help that I, as Defence Commissioner, or other EU institutions can provide to assist you with a formal agreement?"
Halsberg last edited by
"Obviously I can't speak for my counterparts, but I don't believe so. I'd say the preferred route forward would be a treaty between ourselves, authored by us too, that we can work with and ratify."