Defense Secretary Mattis walks into the Oval Office, followed by a group of other men and women in uniform. You notice that a lot of them aren’t very attractive, and you’re about to complain about it when Reince speaks.
“Mr. President, as I mentioned a few seconds ago, Secretary Mattis has an urgent briefing for you.”
You decide to talk to Reince later about needing to replace some of the less camera-ready people. At this particular moment you don’t have any desire to humiliate your employees by publicly criticizing their looks, because you’re a little tired out from giving such a great inaugural address. While you’re reminiscing about some of the speech’s best lines, Mattis speaks.
“Mr. President, we have a very serious situation on NATO’s eastern tier. Russian troops have crossed into Latvia and are advancing quickly on the capital. The Prime Minister of Latvia has fled to Stockholm and is calling on NATO to invoke Article 5 and come to their defense. I’m sure you have many questions, and I will answer them the best I can.”
You check your watch. This already feels like it’s taking a long time, and you’re overdue for a call with your lawyer about how your new Hong Kong casino is coming along. You decide to get to the heart of the matter. “We have many NATO members that aren’t paying their bills.”
Mattis and his staff exchange looks. “Mr. President, if you mean defense expenditures, it’s true that just like most NATO members, Latvia has not been spending at least two percent of its GDP on defense. But obviously, Article 5 of the NATO treaty pertains regardless. And besides, given the size of Latvia’s economy, we’re talking about a tiny amount of money. It’s your decision, but I’d hate to see the Russians destroy our most important military alliance because of a few million dollars in the Latvian defense budget.”
You wave your hand, shutting him up. “Don’t worry,” you say, “I know exactly what to do.”
- If you tweet, “I’ve said good things about Putin in the past, but to be perfectly honest, he is short. I call him Short Putin. Launching nukes against #ShortPutin now. So long to all the haters and losers!” turn to page 6.