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Vandy

Panama Canal

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Two military aides escort the President to the Situation Room and place a red file in front of him marked 'TOP SECRET'

 

CIA Director: Mr. President, approximately 12 hours ago our KH-12 satellites which were flying over the Caribbean spotted two Mig-23 fighters departing Cuba for Panama. As Panama has no Armed Forces, we believe this may be the first delivery of some armaments to the nation in the wake of President Clinton's decision to retain control over the Panama Canal.

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Secretary Cohen what forces do we have available to intercept these fighters. 
 

Also, I want to see the Panamanian ambassador as soon as possible. Get him over here. 

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Secretary of Defense William Cohen: Intercepting the fighters over international waters would cause an international incident sir. From the intercepted cable, we know that more assets are a phone call away from being deployed. Our best option is to let them land and put assets on the ground to monitor the situation.

 

Staffer: Sir, the Panamanian Ambassador is on his way. Where would you like for him to be placed?

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@VandyI will see the Panamanian ambassador in the Oval. 

Okay, we will let these assets land but I want us to get all intelligence in the area on keeping track of these fighters and make sure our bases in Panama are on heightened alert. 

Edited by Michael

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CIA Director: I will see to it personally sir that Special Activities Division assets are deployed to Panama. I would also suggest doing the same for Cuba.

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Do it. Update me on any developments. Depending on the nature of my discussion with the Panamanian we will determine where to go from here. 

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Acting CIA Director Richard A. Clarke: Mr. President, we've deployed assets to Cuba and Panama per your order. The initial report is not good, it is believed that Panama is constructing an airbase within their country with funds it has obtained from Cuba. The Russians did this before in the 1970s in Syria with a naval facility. It is believed this Air Base will be joint use and could be a staging ground for an attack.

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What options would we have to move a carrier group near Panama and increase defensive capabilities for our Panamanian bases? 

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Secretary of Defense William Cohen: We have F-15s on the ground in Panama sir, they can easily counter a Mig-23 if necessary, we also have the 9th Infantry Division on the ground in Panama, they have been working to secure defensive positions for months and are holed up tight sir. I would also strongly, strongly urge caution in sending a carrier group to the region sir. Panama has no standing army, navy or air force, just a police force and several small boats. Showing so much aggression now could play into the hands of Panama.

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Also, I want all our Ambassadors in Latin American nations to speak with there Governments asking them to help us get Panama to end hostilities or at least stay neutral. 

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Besides full-scale invasion, what is our best option to ensure US trade routes in the Canal stay open.

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11 minutes ago, Michael said:

Also, I want all our Ambassadors in Latin American nations to speak with there Governments asking them to help us get Panama to end hostilities or at least stay neutral. 

 

State Department Official: As far as we can tell sir, there haven't been any hostilities. 

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4 minutes ago, Michael said:

Besides full-scale invasion, what is our best option to ensure US trade routes in the Canal stay open.

 

Secretary of Defense William Cohen: Panama controls the Pacific side sir, we hold the Atlantic Side. Unless you are sitting down and speaking with Panama, there is no other way.

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Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Anderson Sinner: Let's reach out to Panama about beginning official negotiations. I recommend we set these criteria: halting construction on the airbase which we will verify by keyhole satellite, and the commitment of no further mobility during the entirety of the talks. 

Further, let's communicate with several regional actors about our intention to negotiate and the basic premise that talks can't happen if either side is holding a gun at the other. They need to pressure Panama to talk, not escalate. Let's really emphasize Costa Rica in that regard. Let's also get feelers out towards allies in Europe and with Canada and China to be clear with Panama that a negotiation is best for everyone. 

 

If we can't get that fairly basic agreement, we can begin talking about alternative options. Mr. President, how do you feel about this plan of action?

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Keep intelligence focusing on that base, as well as on communication with Russia and Panama

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OOC: At Anderson's request, were going to slow this down until he is confirmed. After he is confirmed, we'll move to the next briefing and steps.

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Secretary Cohen, Mr. Chairman, 

 

I was hoping you could give me some specific concerns that were brought up to explain the Clinton Administration's concerns about handing over the canal. In preparation of the summit, I want to begin to lay out our full expectations in handing over the canal. 

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William Cohen, Secretary of Defense: The Panama Canal is of immense strategic importance to the United States, and indeed, to the global economy. China has recognized this fact, and is moving quickly to gain influence over the Panamanian government in order to have some pull over the canal. Yet just as worryingly, far-left rebel activities in Colombia could potentially threaten the canal, given Panama's lack of a substantial military. And the Panamanian government's immediate willingness to align itself with regimes hostile to the US should only make clearer the risk we take by letting them take the canal. I opposed the treaties granting Panama control of the canal; I maintain its a bad strategic choice.

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NUKE PANAMA! Withdraw our personnel and show them who is boss. Put this in your airbase and smoke it! 

((We are resetting, right?)) 

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William Cohen, Secretary of Defense: This is unnecessary, Mr. President, we have a diplomatic solution. (( :P ))

  • Haha 1

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