Trump, Putin, Cold War 2.0: just the beginning of it all the Canadian Admiral Dunne recalled.
The Admiral cleared his throat. “I know why you all came to this optional lecture, so let’s get straight to the heart of it shall we.” He placed both palms on the professor’s podium. “First we used the Bull and the Bear’s natural animosities to incite internal struggle.” The admiral told the classroom of up-and-coming strategists.
Dunne took his cover off and laid it down in front of him.
“I’m sure you all don’t mind,” he said.
Nobody raised any objection. Straight as an arrow with a white head of hair, Dunne looked a man of good fitness in his sixties–partially due to regular training, partly due to Canada’s healthcare system. It never failed to take people by surprise when folks found out that he was pushing 90. He felt it now as sweat beaded on his forehead under the classroom’s bright lights.
“As I’m sure you’ve all read,” the admiral dabbed his cheeks with napkin. “The beginning of this century marked a time in human history when technology outpaced government policy essentially creating a digital wild west.”
The admiral began pacing back and forth in front of the walls of faded chalkboards.
“After three decades of planning, the Prime Minister and the heads of the Canadian military initiated the second phase of operation “Frozen Dawn” in motion.”
A few of the future officers in the audience smiled at the mention, undoubtedly out of pride.
“After the social media platform Twitter became the main means of communication for the U.S. president, Canadian cyber ops found a backdoor into the official POTUS account and began sending direct messages and, at times, publishing public tweets. By shaking the public’s confidence in the office of the president, our old neighbors to the south began to see a collapse in their fragile republic.” Dunne returned to behind the podium. “As a result, the a faithless American public elected more and more radicals to office all the while making certain Russian interests nervous.”
“Everything came to a head in 2024 when in a rash fit of paranoia, we believe,” Dunne accentuated. “When a call between newly elected U.S. president Peterson and President Putin went south. Two hours later, 33 nuclear warheads were launched from 11 different bases destroying roughly three quarters of all organic life on earth.”
The smiles in the audience that had persisted now dropped. The admiral’s grim tone forced them into retreat for the time being.
“This is when the Canadian government executed the last phase of “Frozen Dawn.” With a now non-existent energy grid and the ‘long winter’ setting in, the Americans were the first to fall to our Moose cavalry. As roads iced over and temperatures dropped, more and more of our troops ventured southward mounted on skis and skates. The silver lining of the long winter, I suppose, was that our hearty people know how to handle snow.” The admiral allowed himself a chuckle.
A few chuckles could be heard from the audience. For the most part each were engrossed in the living history of the admiral. This all had been before their time.
“In two short years,” The admiral continued. “Canadian forces had taken control of the Americas, with of course some hold out forces in the mountains of Chile. Still such domination had not been seen since the height of the Roman Empire.” The admiral stood straighter and fixed his tie.
“We soon sent fleets across the Atlantic into Europe occasionally meeting small but sparse bands of humans. For the most part though,” The admiral found himself at a momentary loss. “We found nothing, so we built.”
The house lights slowly grew in intensity as the professor, a retired Air Force captain, who had been sitting in the front row stood and approached the admiral.
“It appears we’re out of time,” the professor said to Dunne. “Class,” he continued turning to his students. “Admiral Horace Dunne.”
In unison every man and woman in the hall stood and saluted. Dunne saluted in response. After a brief chat with the professor and after everyone had left the hall Dunne made his way for the exit. He collected his gear and bundled up.
It was snowing outside. It was always snowing. He smiled as he looked to the frozen canal. ‘The Hague sure is beautiful in June.’