Long shadows were stretching from the towering brickworks of the Red House over the green yards surrounding it. The sun was close to setting, but the Presidential Mansion was a busy as it hadn't been in days. A new administration had gathered in the wood-paneled rooms, behind colored windows and the art-deco engraved doors. An administration with ambitions to change the course of history. "Good evening, friends, comrades." Donna Trumm, no, President Trumm had taken the seat in the presidential office with overabundant confidence and with a certain sense of entitlement. She had little doubt that she belonged here and it had shown from the very first day, despite often still not yet finding the way to the toilet on her own. She had a historical mission to fulfill, of that much the new president was certain. Everything else she would figure out along the way. "We all have a lot of work to do, so I am trying to keep this particular meeting as short as possible. Louis and Ralph," she waved to the Chief Secretaries of Defense and Foreign Affairs, "you've already set in motion our plans in Burgundy, which will hopefully help to prolong the war there to weaken our enemies and keep them distracted for now. This should give us time to renew our armed forces without exposing us to potential attacks from the Cussians, at least not more so than we already are. The announcement will be made as soon as we have finished drawing up the order. Meanwhile, we will have to draft up new plans for the economy to finance this reform programme. But that's not what I called you here to discuss right now. All in due time. We can only do so much through institutional reforms, new laws or buying new things. Our chief goal must be to reinvigorate the spirit of the citizenry, to instill a new sense of pride in the World Republic and a new faith in its historic mission, its manifest destiny. Even before our election victory, I had given the different proposals you all had put forward some thought and now, with access to Intelligence briefings, this picture has become much clearer." Donna thought back. There had been suggestions of a space programme and other scientific endeavours to generate this pride through technological progress. Others had suggested a massive immigration campaign that would show to the world and the citizens of the SWR alike that the Republic was the most desirable place to live in. Some more outlandish plans had even considered staging incidents with the Cussians or the southern Engellish, to unite the SWR through an outside threat. None of those had impressed the new President. "I believe that expansion is the way to go, that by bringing in a new state, any state, into the union, we could revive the belief that this Republic isn't just another state in Westernesse, but that it has a global mission to complete. And I have pondered long and hard about where we could feasibly achieve such an expansion, an expansion that can't be just the military conquest of a neighbour, at least not purely. The most likely and feasible choices are our direct neighbours. Clarenthia and Beautancus, however, are both too stable internally, at least at the moment. Any attempt to even just carve out a defecting border territory is likely to fail and carries the potential risk of confrontation with Dominion forces. A confrontation that is sure to nip our plans in the bud and have the opposing effects on our plans than intended. This leaves Vaquero Free State and its puppet territory in Tapenagá. I believe it is possible to destabilize their government and that our current ressources are furthermore sufficient to foster sufficient support for statehood amongst the populace. Not unimportantly, too, the territories would be of strategic value and alleviate the threat the Cussians pose to Westport in case of war. Integrating these countries is furthermore feasible from an economic point of view and would benefit the SWR instead of overburdening it. Ladies and gentlemen, my decision on this matter is final. Let us proceed to discuss the details of this operation..."