|A piece of "Tom Clancy: Oath of office". I wish.|
Posted by: Bartb ® |
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President Ryan kept his tone conciliatory, caging his true feelings behind the knowledge of what was about to happen.
“The problem with the United States and our fights is most generally what we call ROE. Are you familiar with that term, François?” “I am, Mr. President,” Njaya said. “Rules of Engagement.” “Exactly,” Ryan said. “The rules under which our warfighters can unleash the devastating force at their fingertips get muddled. In our zest to be the world’s police force and protect the weak, we try very hard not to harm civilians, to use a measured response. Our airmen, soldiers, sailors, and Marines often go in with one hand figuratively tied behind their backs. They act as advisers,
trainers, and whatnot—when they are in actuality trained very well to inflict maximum damage on the enemies of the United States.” “Mr. President, I can assure you—” “Hear me out,” Ryan said. “The United States tries to fight fair. You know that.” His words took on a foreboding timbre, resolute, unyielding. It was the voice he used when Jack Junior had taken the car without permission. The one each of Sally’s boyfriends had heard when he’d first met them. Cathy said it sounded like he’d been gargling rocks. “But here’s the deal, François, war with the United States will always be
asymmetrical. When our men and women go in with clear objectives, they do not falter and they do not lose. Do you understand what I am saying, François?” “I do, but you must understand—” “Men loyal to you fired on a United States embassy,” Ryan continued. “They took innocent Americans hostage. I am sure you were not complicit in this travesty. And I will help you restore peace to your country. You can have the exact numbers later, but late last night, United States Marines arrived in Niger. About that same time, an additional company arrived in Chad. An undisclosed number of U.S. Special Forces personnel
personnel flew in last night as well. No less than eleven MQ-9 Reaper drones, each armed with Hellfire missiles, loiter over your skies. But I find the best way to deal with tyrants is through their pocketbook. Ten hours ago, I issued an executive order to what we call the Office of Foreign Assets Control to—” “Mr. President, please—” “You see, there are very few monetary transactions in the world that do not in some way touch an American bank. The OFAC has frozen sizable accounts. But with all the aliases used by your generals, mistakes will take some time to sort out.
So far these seized accounts amount to the tune of . . . let me find the exact figure . . . One-hundred-nine-million-three-hundred-eighty-one-thousand-nine-hundred-fifty-three dollars and seventeen cents.” Ryan leaned back in his chair, giving the other man time to do the math. Like most tyrants, he would have a very good idea of how much money he had skimmed from the coffers of his country. “Mr. President,” Njaya huffed. “Your negotiation tactics are brutish—” “We do not negotiate with terrorists,” Ryan said matter-of-factly. “You said yourself, François,
these men have acted on their own, outside the bounds of your authority—outside the law. If you have a method of contact, you must tell them to stand down immediately. Tell them you have called the United States to assist you.” “But I did not—” “Really?” Ryan said, dismissing the notion. “I am sure you did. In any case, that die is cast. Tell your men.” Ryan’s tone grew darker. “Or as God is my witness, Mr. President, they will face the unfettered wrath of the United States of America. This will not be an invasion of occupation. It will be punitive. Do I make myself clear?”
“Jack—” Njaya was pleading now, as if he might break into tears. A uniformed Air Force aide whispered something to the chairman of the joint chiefs, who, in turn, spoke to Bob Burgess. The secretary of defense gave Ryan a confirming nod. He held up both hands, opening and closing his outstretched fingers twice. “François,” Ryan said. “If you have a way, I’d suggest you contact your men in the next twenty seconds—”
Modified by Bartb at Thu, Jun 20, 2019, 07:01:20
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