The 3 A.M. Phone Call

We all are contemplating a new president taking up residence in the White House. Foremost in our collective mind is how the arrival will deal with that infamous 3 A.M. phone call. Past scenarios always had as their pivot national security crises such as a Soviet nuclear attack, a Chinese invasion of Taiwan or a menacing spike in tensions in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. Now, we recognize that all that is so retro. It is imperative that we fix our attention on the contemporary scene in this rapidly changing, uncertain world. Here are candidate situations for which the future incumbent should be prepared.


It is 3:00 A.M. Washington is shrouded in the imperial capital's nocturnal heavy silence. The Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief is sleeping the sleep of the brave. The Secret Service pads soundlessly along the corridors in felt slippers. Then, the red-white and blue phone hums the first bars of Hail To The Chief. A ring bedecked hand languidly reaches for the receiver. Who is it?

TIGER WOODS pleads for you to join him in an early morning golf outing at Burning Tree in his quest for desperately needed advice on his faltering "short game" -- but, Afghan Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum is scheduled for a White House meeting to fine-tune the latest 'final' offensive against the Taliban -- Operation PIPE-DREAM.

FBI Director James Comey reporting that Bill CLINTON and Jennifer Flowers' daughter Marigold have just checked into a downtown Little Rock motel.

Bibi NETANYAHU offering courtesy notification that the Israelis have given up on Yahweh pledges and the IDF at dawn launched a massive offensive to reach the Euphrates by l'EID -- Operation Deuteronomy.

Afghanistan's Chief Executive Dr. ABDULLAH ABDULLAH protests that his half of the Kabul government will not participate in what now is "semi-final" offensive against the Taliban.

NSA Director General James CLAPPER reports that Bill & Marigold have just ordered an extra-large pizza with all the toppings from Domino's.

Alan GREENSPAN, calling from the Ayn Rand Seniors Shuffleboard Tournament in Miami Beach, proclaims that he has had an epiphany that a dangerous speculative bubble is developing.

General Joseph VOTEL, head of Central Command, announces that U.S. Special Operations forces together with the Iraq National Army at dawn have launched the 'final' campaign against ISIL at Mosul -- Operation Once & For All.

Ben BERNANKE conveys reassuring message that the ol' boy is beginning to lose it, and the very idea of a speculative bubble is risible.

CIA Director John BRENNAN reports that 'final' campaign against Al-Shabaab led by U.S. Special Operations forces and CIA irregulars has been postponed pending recommendation from 26 nation task force on appropriate name for the operation.

Ukraine President Dmitry PETROSHENKO alerts White House that Kiev, with the assistance of American advisers, has launched a 'final' offensive against Russian separatists in the Donbas at dawn -- Operation Blintzerkrieg.

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin-SALMAN gives notice that he has resigned to accept a position at Goldman Sachs as Cherif of International Operations - wants to sound you out on a plan to invest United States Treasury reserves in a major camel cloning project.

David CAMERON expresses effusive "thanks" -- not sure for what.

General David RODRIGUEZ, head of Africa Command, confirms plans for U.S. Special Operations forces designed "final' campaign against Boko Haram -- Operation INTO AFRICA.

The high-powered lawyer for London's Mayor Sadiq KHAN appeals for his release from VIP detention at Dulles Airport on the grounds that the name on his birth certificate actually is a transcription error: his real name is Sidney KAHN.

King SALMAN of Saudi Arabia informs President that KAS forces, assisted by U.S. Special Operations forces, have begun 'final' campaign against the Houthis -- Operation Roaring Minnows.

Chancellor Angelica MERKEL, under immense political pressure in Berlin, wants to brief the President on a plan to barter the Virgin Islands to Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN in exchange for imposing some restraint on the Gadarene surge of immigrants.

Admiral Kurt TIDD, head of Southern Command, sends SOS from Tegucigalpa that U.S. Special Operations forces in conjunction with Honduran National Army have completed preparations for Operation FORGET ME NOT -- but can't remember who the enemy is supposed to be.

Francoise HOLLANDE urgently wants to assure the President that France in on board for whatever Angela is cooking up -- as informed of just completed call by the DGSE.

Admiral Harry Harris Jr., head of Pacific Command, expresses his regrets that he has no operations in the pipeline at the moment; however, confident that if needed for the sake of geographical symmetry he could gin up something within 72 hours

Construction companies building the 40 foot Wall along Mexican border urgently request a saturation air drop of H1 visas over Sonora and Chihuahua to meet huge shortfall in available construction workers

Ambassador Liliana AYALDE in Brasilia texts that the 'final' campaign to oust President Delma ROUSSEFF was launched at dawn -- Operation Restore Hedge Fund.

Rahm EMANUEL desperately calling from Chicago City Hall which is besieged by howling lynch mob pleads for any Special Operations forces that might be left over (Operation SCAVENGER).

Barack OBAMA calls from Maui to check on whether the President has had a good night's sleep.