Short Story - King of (Poland?) ends cold war via space based nuclear weapons platform


New Member
Jun 28, 2018
I read this story in the 90s, but the collection it was from is more likely in the 70s-80s range.

The plot is as per the post title, but I remember a bit more (hopefully accurately):

The setting is the realatively nearish future (which, at the time, was during the Cold War, so has a Cold War kind of vibe). A visiting dignitary of some kind (probably American) arrives in the country (which I really want to say is Poland), and he meets with either the king or some representative of the government. They are basically making small talk as the American works up to whatever he came to discuss, and he displays some ignorance about Poland(?)' s government, which is in this story once again an elective monarchy.

The Polish(?) character explains the virtues of an elective monarchy: all the benefits of strong leadership and minimal bureaucracy means swift efficient government; the ruler has a clear mandate from the people, but no elections means he doesn't have to pander; and tyranny is protected against by an honored tradition of assassinating kings who abuse their power and/or don't listen to the people. In the event of an assassination, things aren't too bad, as they just hold another election. The visiting dignitary is bemused and a bit scandalized by talking brazenly about assassination, and generally gives off a "oh how parochial" vibe.

Then the Polish(?) character gets the notice (phone call, giant rocket launch, something) they were waiting for, and informs the visiting dignitary that the Polish superweapon platform has been deployed in space, assuring that any nation who acts aggressively will be instantly and utterly destroyed, and there is no way for any of the ground based systems held by the previous superpowers to compete. The dignitary sputters a bit, and the Polish(?) guy is like, "yeah well as explained previously we don't have to muck about we can just get things done, and we were pretty sick of this whole Cold War shadow of the bomb thing, sorry not sorry, we now have world peace or else."

I'm sure there were some more subtleties in the ending, it had a generally happy/positive outlook, not a "one minute to midnight" feel at all.

Thanks in advance!
TMTR is a qaint Peter Sellers cold war satire about an obscure central European nation that inadvertently acquires an atomic bomb, and therefore becomes important. There is a sequel called, I think, Mouse on the Moon.
Worth checking out, but doesnt really fit the op description.
Thanks for taking a crack at it, but this was a short story and played pretty straight.