Empire Of The Ring - LightNovelsOnl.com
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Richard knew better than anyone else about the importance of Kazakhstan. He was a man who had worked in the State Department since he was young and had only been in charge of the European region, so he was as keen on Kazakhstan as Youngho.
The a.s.sistant secretary of state was a position of power to influence other countries' affairs.
Thankfully, he was especially fond of Youngho. It was because Richard's ancestor was an immigrant from Georgia. He knew well about Youngho's owners.h.i.+p of the Batumi's Arirang Hotel in Georgia, and his recent joint venture with the Georgian government on a double-track railway project.
The U.S. was a country that was made by immigrants. The descendants of immigrants would inevitably have their parents' yearning for their home country or affection for their fellow countrymen. When immigrant families got into politics, it was only natural that they wanted to help their countrymen. It was no different from the Jews living in the United States helping Israel.
This meant that it could affect U.S. policy. That was what Edwards from the U.S. Intelligence Service did. Edward, born in an Armenian immigrant family, was a member of the U.S. intelligence agency, but he frequently startled Youngho by taking care of Armenia. His mind was naturally moved toward Armenia though helping his ancestors' homeland was not beneficial to him.
"Political and government officials are well aware that if Central Asia collapses, the Caucasus will be in danger. But we can't help to let Central Asia fall behind in priorities because of our policy toward the Middle East. The lobby toward the Middle East is so strong that it is controlling the U.S. political body."
"I guess the politicians have no choice but to comply since they would have to think about the next election."
"That's the limit of politicians. The United States seems to be led by politicians, but without the support of bureaucracy, it is powerless. It's possible that policy consistency is maintained even when the president changes, because the bureaucracy is unshakable."
The U.S. was a country where any attempt to change the current law or other treaties with foreign countries in order to carry out one's campaign pledge was blocked by Congress and bureaucrats. The president had the right to appoint political officials, but he could not dare to touch orthodox bureaucrats recklessly.
"China is eager to make inroads into Europe, but if the U.S. shows interest only in the Middle East, what would European countries think of the U.S. government? Right now, Central Asian countries have doubts about U.S. policy too."
"What you are concerned about is already being discussed in the bureaucracy. It's just being held back by the new government. So I'd like to offer you a suggestion."
"You've got my attention."
"I know you might have come here to make the most out of this visit, but what if I say you could aim for a bigger gain in the future? All I'm asking is some time. Our bureaucrats need some time to persuade the appointed ministers and vice ministers from political circles."
"They are the kind of people who read and practice the president's intentions. For now, the president's election pledges will come first, but the president will slowly see the reality when he faced organized opposition from the bureaucracy. He will see that supporting Central Asia will be more beneficial for the U.S."
It seemed that Richard wanted to tame the ministers and vice ministers.
Whether it was possible or not would be revealed in time, but Youngho had a hope in him who was an official in charge of European affairs and who knew the importance of Central Asia.
"Okay, I've been helped by the U.S. too. It won't be very respectful of me if I say that I can't wait that much for an ally. We all have our own circ.u.mstances after all."
"Thank you for your understanding."
"I've already talked to the intelligence chief, but would you please help us buy 30 F-35 fighter jets and deliver them to Kazakhstan? And I hope we can buy stealth jets too someday. That is if the U.S. knows that Kazakhstan is in the frontline to deal with China and Russia."
"That's not an issue I can promise you, but I'll do my best to convince our government. And the rest of the matter you asked will have a satisfactory result by the end of the year."
In fact, even if Kazakhstan had only the latest F-35 fighter jets, the country would overwhelm China's fighter jets. Of course, China's fighter planes had also made great strides, but they still fell short of the U.S. fighters' performance. If F-22 Raptors were added, the sky would be dominated by Kazakhstan.
"Would that include the air defenses and attack missiles?"
"That's possible right away. But didn't you already decide to take Sweden's air defense system?"
"Kazakhstan is a big country. Sweden's air defense system is only enough to cover Russia. The air defense network in the eastern region where we have a border with China will be perfect for U.S. products."
"Hahaha... I see. That way, you'll be covered from top to bottom."
The U.S. air defense system was also densely packed in the Far East Asia region.
If it was installed in Kazakhstan, it would make China's gut nervous.
"I heard you helped the Georgians living in South Ossetia."
"I only supplied some daily necessities than helping them. Anyone would've done that once they saw how they lived."
"People of Georgian descent in the U.S. are very grateful for your consideration."
"It's weird that it's been a long time, and it's been mentioned all over again."
"It's been a long time since then. I feel weird being thanked by you."
"There are quite a few people who have left South Ossetia and immigrated to the United States. It's been spread among them. They said that the hotel manager called Katya supplied the daily necessities to a Georgian village. She's your person too, isn't she?"
"She's my business partner. Well, when many people were suffering from the South Ossetia crisis, I took a business trip there, and that was the beginning of my businesses there."
As Youngho talked about the situation in South Ossetia, Richard looked serious. Then, he pulled the chair slightly closer to Youngho.
"Is there no way to bring South Ossetia back into Georgia?"
"If Russia fell, that would be possible."
"Wouldn't it take at least a century to see Russia go down?"
"You don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. If there's a sudden change, Russia should give up its own republics."
"I'm not saying because I am the a.s.sistant secretary for European affairs, but in fact, Russia is getting weaker. Russia is selling high-tech weapon manufacturing techniques to China, which means its economic situation is not great."
"But it is still the only country that can stand up to the U.S."
"If Georgia were to reclaim South Ossetia, would you lend a hand?"
"Georgia already has an alliance with the U.S. and even the U.S. military resides in the country. Would it need our help?"
"The U.S. can't interfere with Georgia's domestic affairs."
"Kazakhstan is on the same page. We also see Russia as a potential enemy, but would Russia stand still if it knows that we're involved?"
"a.s.suming that there will be a sudden change in Russia's circ.u.mstance, it will be more than enough if you could give side support to Georgia."
"We want to help Georgia, but we have to decide first if we're willing to take the risk."
Even though Richard was a U.S. State Department official, he was asking for Youngho, who was the Duke of Kazakh royal family to help Georgia regain South Ossetia, forgetting his position.
This was exactly what Edward did for his motherland. Although he did not forget his ident.i.ty as a CIA agent, his mind was skewed toward Armenia in many ways.
It was an ironic situation for Youngho that the U.S. a.s.sistant secretary of state for European affairs was making such a proposal to him.
"Your Highness, the reason I'm asking you is because Kazakhstan is the host country of Caucasus and Central Asia."
"I don't know where you see the connection between the recovery of South Ossetia and Kazakhstan's status."
"Most of the Soviet republics gained independence from the collapse of the Soviet Union, and now they are a serious state power, but some are still campaigning for secession. Western countries have been unable to reach out to help because of Russia's existence."
"How can we do the job when the U.S. is reluctant to do it?"
"You took Kyrgyzstan as a federal state without thinking about Russia's stance, didn't you? I gained some hope when I saw that."
"Kyrgyzstan is definitely an independent country and does not border Russia. Also, it was voluntarily decided by the Kyrgyz people. However, South Ossetia was incorporated into Russia voluntarily, wasn't it?"
"There was no reason for South Ossetia to do that since it's blocked by mountain ranges, and it would be more inconvenient for the people if it was incorporated to Russia. This was only pushed by Russia in order to make it an outpost to subjugate Georgia."
It was Russia's southward policy that separated South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia, but now it had lost momentum due to economic sanctions caused by the Ukraine crisis.
Georgia would one day reclaim its lost land. There was no reason for Youngho to be involved in that now. There would be no gain for Kazakhstan except for honor. Youngho was going to refuse it, but Richard made an unexpected offer.
"It sounds like I'm bargaining, but if Your Highness is willing to help Georgia, I'll do my best to get what you want."
"Haven't you thought of a case where Kazakhstan can't help Georgia because of circ.u.mstances even if it wanted to? Then your promise to help me will not be effective?"
"Of course, it doesn't matter. Regardless of your help to Georgia, it is my duty to help the relation of the U.S. and other countries."
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"That's good to hear. But I wonder why you're asking me that."
"Because I've decided that you're not a political person. There was also a rumor that you were a humanist."
"I've only learned today that I'm a humanist. Well, then I'll help Georgia as far as I can. But if you push it too hard, our relations.h.i.+p will get back to square one."
"I know it's a difficult task in reality. But I'll be content knowing that Georgia has a helper."