The following is the fourth chapter in the Make Love, Not Statecraft cycle, in which Liberal Arts flower children devolve into Machiavellian monsters. For those who’ve just stumbled upon this tragic tale, you can start from the beginning, pick up from last time or just dive right in.
Fresh off forging a binding, pacifying and above all, successful alliance, I did what any aspiring megalomaniac would do: profit ruthlessly from my new and improved position. Inciting a little Cuban Missile Crisis would fit that bill nicely.
But, I'm getting ahead of myself. On the surface, little had changed after the NOTO ratification meeting. After all, the alliance wasn’t official and it’d take a few days to ratify. But, I had fresh information to use to my own ends.
At that point most folks were scared shitless of us. Judging by what I’d heard (and later confirmed) from the grapevine, people were afraid we were developing nukes. Little did they know, we already had them. But, in the quest for improving the Durendal Khanate’s place in the world, having people too afraid could be a problem. As Machiavelli once said, “a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred; because he can endure very well being feared whilst he is not hated.” To be hated would be disastrous for our developing empire.
If that fear ever darkened into a pit of hatred, then the other forces of the Earth might do some very stupid things. When they are afraid, they are deterred. When they hate, they become a threat. Hate is a very powerful and intense emotion, and in the hands of our future underlings—I mean, fellow states—it would be very dangerous indeed. It was far safer, at that moment, to have the other states in the world of Statecraft be afraid of us. If they hated, they’d fight and then we’d have a problem. Why? Well, the Khanate had no army to speak of at the time!
Still, there was another issue. Due to the nature of our economy, our political situation and our universalist aims, remaining peaceful and isolationist simply wouldn’t do. Inevitably there’d be a balance against us, regardless of fear or hatred, by another power. Now the most likely balancer, Styrkuria was, if not subdued, hampered. With the loss of the Orion Mountains, and the city that lied within, they lost a third of their potential economic capacity. Mind, they had good reason to give it to us, but now that they were dependent on us for SK and economically stunted, they were effectively neutralized as a true military threat.
But that didn’t mean the Eastern or Southern states wouldn’t put up a fight in the late game. Thus, we knew we had to find someone to make an example of, publically. Someone to destroy completely and relatively legitimately. It’d be a way to announce our power, deter any future threats in the late term and enshrine our prestige. That’s not to mention the economic gains of more territory.
Not only that, it would serve usto expand our alliance to the other country in the North, Ennor. They were rich in steel, pacifistic and could be a useful buffer in any future conflict with the south. The tricky part was getting them involved in NOTO. They’d been characteristically isolationist from the get-go. I had to find a way to get them to join our coalition, if only for added security...and to make sure it wasn’t only Styrkuria we were in diplomatic bed with.
Those competing problems danced in my mind as I left the NOTO negotiating table that evening. It was by luck that I found a way to kill those three birds with one stone. At the Bon, our school’s dining hall, I ran into the leader of one of the other countries. The Chairwoman of the communist nation of DACT, Clarissa was an interesting and passionate leader. We engaged in small talk about the simulation, about the agonizing learning curve, and, of course, the Orion Mountains issue.
It was in that conversation that I steered towards one of my ‘fears’: Nuclear missiles. I let slip to her an important bit of intel I had gathered: that yes, there was a country in Statecraft that had nukes already. That state? Why, it was Styrkuria of all things. I only casually leaked one of the most important state secrets of an ally to a foreign national. There wouldn’t be any negative repercussions, right?
Fast forward a few days and I get a very urgent message from the Master Commander herself. She demanded a NOTO meeting, for there was a sudden global emergency that threatened our peace and security. I dash off to the meeting to find the whole of her country, along with a very pissed off Freuden. When I inquired as to why, I gleaned some enlightening intelligence: apparently, they had proof that DACT now possessed nuclear technology and the resource capacity to build a nuclear warhead. By doing so, they were becoming a direct threat to the stability of the international system. Thus, it was up to us to "solve" the problem.
What a coincidence, another state developing weapons. Whatever why? It's not like they knew for certain of any states with nuclear weapons...
Upon hearing this deeply troubling news, I nodded gravely and began to think. I could barely contain my internal glee: it had worked! At least, it had seemed to. It was quite the coincidence that DACT had developed the tech to build those nukes a little after I told them about Styrkuria’s arsenal. Regardless, my poker face held fast and I suggested we bring in Ennor. I posited that they were a pacifistic, powerful state that could be useful as a co-equal partner of the Northern bloc.
The Styrkuri agreed and called Ennor into our meeting. Once there, we sold them the pitch on NOTO, all the while neglecting to mention our mutual nuclear arsenal. It took some prodding, but the notion of DACT with nukes was a horrifying thought, so they joined our burgeoning alliance. First bird down. Next, the firebrand of Styrkuria, Phoebe, drafted a call to denounce DACT in the UN. Over the next hour, a flurry of denouncements, memos and messages flooded the intranet of Statecraft. In minutes, DACT was the new focus of everyone in class.
With the Orion Mountains crisis resolved, a space for a new, artificial conflict had been opened up. Our little Cuban Missile Crisis would do quite nicely. If all would go according to plan, the DACT Missile Crisis would be the perfect distraction from the Khanate. If they were seen as the militaristic, destabilizing actor, the Khanate could be seen as a potential stabilizer. Two birds down. And, if worse came to worse, military action may be required. Who better than the militaristic Durendalians? We’d neutralize the communist, nuclear threat...and acquire some new real estate and prestige along the way. Bam. All three birds down. With this crisis, my concerns for my country would be dispelled and peace and order would sweep across the world of Statecraft.
That is, if things went according to plan.