A Dangerous Dispute


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    President Marcus Tristan sat in his office, feeling a sense of being totally overwhelmed. He had retreated from the public light for some time, feeling that the position he had undertaken was nearly impossible to fulfill. Nearly every nation in the Union wanted to maintain their soveriegnty, but all expected results on his part. It was a terrible situation he found himself in.

    Just then, the phone on his desk rang. He stared at it, wondering wether or not he'd want to pick it up. After the third ring he did, and spoke.

    **"Hello?"

    "President Tristan, it's good to talk to you again."**

    It was Viktor Draugen, President of the Federal Republic of Belarum, Tristan's home nation. He was usually happy to talk to his fellow countrymen, and nearly always obliged them in small ways, so long as they reciprocated on their part. Belarum would often be one of the first nations to launch into some kind of regional initiative on behalf of Tristan. But today would soon prove to be different.

    **"Mr. Draugen, I don't mean to be offensive, but why was I not notified of your actions in Alikhstan?"

    "I'm calling to notify you now, Mr. Tristan. We simply needed to insure the strictest of secrecy around this operation, otherwise key targets could have shifted."

    "Regardless, you should have told me. How the hell am I supposed to justify Regional inaction on this?"

    "Actually, we've got that all figured out for you, Marcus. I specifically outlined a plan for this little war, and that plan includes you."

    "You're going to have to explain this to me, Viktor."

    "You see, our nation took action at your behest. Because of the instability inside the EU Security Council, you were very uneasy about sending Belarian and Trieran troops in alongside Soviet ones. So you decided on sending in soldiers you could trust - Belarian soldiers. And then, you realized that there does exist a body which can contribute significant manpower to an operation such as this one. And that would be the European Treaty Organization."**

    There was a long pause. Tristan wondered wether or not something like this was entirely ethical, but he was left with little options. Draugen spoke again.

    **"Come on, President Tristan. The plan is flawless. It gives us what we want, and we're allowing you to control your legacy. We know that you've been a wreck since the East-West negotiations fell through, but we're giving you a shot to have enough popularity to get a second term. June 2007 is just around the corner, Marcus."

    "I agree that the EUSC is a disaster, but I've got serious misgivings about this. Have you informed anyone in your staff about this?"

    "It's between my top circle and you, Marcus. You're in the clear."

    "Alright, I'll do it. I'll need to give a speech sometime soon. Good day, Viktor."

    "Goodbye, Mr. President."**


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