Putin in America’s Jurassic Park
America’s Jurassic Park is a wonder of the modern world; behind the electrified laws and moats of international norms we’ve contained millenia-old prehistoric beasts: Assasinasaurus, Irridentiraptor, Annexasaurus, etc… We even have a T-Rex. It is certainly a long way from our humble Monroe Doctrine beginnings. Trillions have been invested to create a place where people from all over could vacation in peace, stability, and a free market; we spared no expense.
Realists like Ian Malcom said our park couldn’t last, “the kind of control you’re attempting simply is… it’s not possible. If there is one thing the history of nations has taught us it’s that naked interest will not be contained. Chaos breaks free; it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously.” “Impossible,” we said. We have the most advanced international system in history; thinking machines and supercomputers – our network of institutions and diplomacy track, monitor, and manage the security all over park. Granted, sometimes something escapes, like the Terrorsaurus we had to put down. Delays, all major historical progress has delays.
Then Vladimir Putin sold us out. Putin is admittedly decadent and mercenary, but he’s smart. We needed him; you can’t de-bug 2 million lines of diplomatic code, suppress proliferation, and run all these counter-terrorism servers for a park this big without the Russian. He left the control room about an hour ago, asking us if we wanted some sodas, mumbling about using the vending machine. We thought the blinking lights on the security consoles were in error, but Putin had de-activated our international constraints to get at the embryos for Crimea and Soviet-Era Nationalism. Now, fences all over the park are likely without power – we can’t decide how to turn them back on.
Some say Putin has won; he’s running off with what he wanted. It doesn’t matter; he’s still somewhere in this park with us. There’s nowhere to go; he’ll probably crash his jeep and get killed by an Ethnic Separatisourus. In any case, that is no consolation to us – we can’t escape. On the East side of the park, the power might be down in the South China Sea Paddock. We all know what’s in there; it was attacking the fences when the feeders came. It never attacks the same place twice, systematically testing the fences for weaknesses. It remembers. If we don’t figure out how to reinvigorate our failing system, it’s only a matter of time before one of these dinosaurs realize the fences are no longer electrified; they’ll break loose and run amok in the park. These are aggressive motivators of state action that have no idea what century they’re living in and will defend themselves… violently, if necessary.
This was not a diplomatic excursion, but a serious investigation of the stability of the island. The investors are deeply concerned. Forty-eight months from now, if they aren’t convinced, they’ll shut us down. Hopefully, in 48 months, we’ll be accepting their apology. At this point, the only other option is being potential leftovers to an Economic Warisaurus.
Matthew Hipple is a U.S. Navy surface warfare officer. A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, he is Director of the NEXTWAR blog for the Center for International Maritime Security. While his opinions may not reflect those of the United States Navy, Department of Defense, or US Government, he wishes they did. Follow him on twitter: @AmericaHipple.