Crisis in Norstrand
Assume there is a large island in the northern Pacific, close to the U.S. called Norstrand. This island was once a colony of the U.S., but is now independent. It has a large population of people whose ancestors emigrated from the U.S., who are English-speaking, and who identify as Americans, even though they are Norstrandian citizens. The rest of the population are ethnic Norsts and speak the local language, Norstrish.
[Edit: The ethnic Americans are a minority, in Norstrand, but constitute a majority in the Crumyan province, which also contains the U.S.’s largest naval base in the Pacific, a strategically critical asset.]
Norstrand was seeking an important trade agreement with Russia, to the U.S.’s displeasure but the negotiations broke down, so it turned back to the U.S., which was happy to quickly assent to a trade agreement. This led to protests by the ethnic Norsts, who wanted nothing more to do with their former colonial overlord. With support from Russia they overthrew the government and rescinded the agreement with the U.S.
In the background of all this, Russia has expressed its desire for a mutual security agreement with Norstrand, which could lead to Russian troops being based there, within quick striking distance of the U.S. mainland. Russia is also arming rebels in states allied with the U.S.
How would the U.S. respond?
For a thought-provoking read on this issue, see the most important speech given anywhere by anyone this year.
[Image: Flag of Norstrand]