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Old February 26 2011, 10:11 PM   #356
Rush Limborg
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Why? There's no evidence that anyone detected the Tzenkethi's operation whatsoever. Further, Section 31's primary mole on Romulus was former Tal Shiar Chairman Koval -- who, in Section 31: Rogue by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels, was playing Section 31 like a fiddle just as much as the Tzenkethi played the Romulans, and who was later killed after the Shinzon coup.
I have not read that book as of yet, so I might be missing something...but from what I have heard of it, Koval was handing them a list of Tal Shiar agents in Federation Space--the "playing" simply came from the fact that the "useless" world being handed to the Romulans wasn't so useless at all.
Rogue made it very clear that the list of Tal Shiar agents Koval was giving to Section 31 was of older agents who were scheduled to be purged. It was, in other worse, a useless list for which Section 31 traded control of an area of space with an incredibly powerful and dangerous natural phenomenon.
Frankly, I can't help but wonder, if it were as bad as all that, and that Koval was only duping 31 all along...why they would continue to support him.

It would seem, then, that this was simply one event, in which the two groups played a sort of staring contest, pushing limits.

After all, considering how this deal seemed to end up, the fact that they continued to work with Koval strongly implies that, despite this apparent betrayal, he was the best person to work with. It's for this same reason, frankly, that the U.S. dealt with Mubarak (and the Shah). He may be an SOB...but there aren't any better alternatives.

They let the Klingons abduct Dr. Phlox from the middle of San Francisco so that he could be forced by the Klingons to develop a cure for the Augment virus, but the Klingons double-crossed them by deciding to just kill Phlox, annihilate all life on the planets on which the virus had spread, and attacking the Enterprise and Columbia in violation of their agreement with Agent Harris.
Anyone could have made that kind of mistake, on the grounds that Phlox helping out the Klingons would have been a stepping stone for peace.

Of may have been events such as this which led to 31's characteristic paranoia.

The fact that what went like clockwork? To an outside observer who doesn't know the Tholians are involved because they haven't read Rough Beasts of Empire, there's nothing to indicate that there was any operation to go like clockwork.

Oh, c'mon. This is Romulus. Even before Tal'Aurua's death, they'd gone through three praetors in four years, lost their entire Senate, saw their entire slave caste emigrate out of Romulan territory, and had their Empire split in two. Romulus is so politically unstable that the fact that there were major political changes over the course of a year is not itself out of the norm for Romulan politics. There's no reason to think that anyone would look at them and say, "Hey, there was political instability in Ki Baratan. How strange!"
And then, suddenly, it seemed to stabilize.

Do yourself a favor, then: Don't read up on the more than dozen separate intelligence agencies with overlapping missions which make up the United States Intelligence Community; you'll give yourself a heart attack.
Granted. The US Government is certainly a test case in bureaucratic redundancy--and therefore, inneficiency. However, surely the UFP would learn from the mistakes of the past....

It wouldn't, per se. The idea I'm exploring is that perhaps the very act of working more closely with one-another will lead to it being harder for them to manipulate one-another and they'll all realize that. It's sorta like how the U.S. and U.K. work incredibly closely together, and while I'm sure that the CIA and MI6 both spy on one-another to an extent, ultimately no one's too concerned about it one way or the other. We're just too close for it to bother us anymore.
We've been allies with the UK for a long time, Sci. There's been no reason to fear any manipulation among such long-term allies. However...IF a nation/state allied with us as long as the UK were to betray us in that manner...we would be fools not to keep a sharp eye when dealing with our other allies. "Yes, we trusted an ally--and look what that brought us!"

Paranoia? Perhaps. Foolishness? Decidedly not.


Maybe. On the other hand, maybe Bacco doesn't want the Pact to know that she's not sure how to interpret Tezrene's words.
You'd better expain that....

Or maybe she thinks that Tezrene accidentally tipped the Assembly's hand and doesn't want the Pact to know that she knows the Assembly has ulterior motives for joining it out of hope to use it to split the Pact in the future.
Which makes it in Bacco's best interests to reveal her words to the Pact. Why would she want to wait?

I wasn't referring specifically to anything you or anyone else individually had said. I was referring to the general habit people have of associating every antagonistic foreign government with Hitler and World War II.

I see. Bear in mind that Mubarak, as a brutal dictator, had a strong incentive to portray the Muslim Brotherhood as being much more dangerous and radical than it necessarily is (for he needed to justify his suppression of it, and use of anti-Brotherhood laws to deny democracy to Egypt, to the United States). I'm not saying we should trust them per se -- but there are a lot of people who've been studying the Brotherhood who've said it's a lot more moderate than Mubarak portrayed them as being. And certainly everything I've read has indicated that the Brotherhood's leadership is as old and disconnected from the majority of young Egyptians (who make up something like two thirds of the population) as Mubarak was. So I'm not convinced we need to be as afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood as of the extremists who run Iran.
Bear in mind, also, Hamas's connection to the Brotherhood--as well as Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Brotherhood--who is considered the 9th (I think that's the number) most influential Muslim in the world--constantly making anti-Semitic and anti-Western rants to the effect that Hitler was justified in his "keeping the Jews in check". And of course...he went to Egypt recently, amid great cheers--and the Google exec who had sworn up and down that the Brotherhood would not co-opt his revolution...ended up fearing for his life.

To a point. But the moderates are already in power in the Typhon Pact states, and there's no evidence of major political instability in any of them save the Romulans -- where a moderate took power as a result of that instability. There's certainly no evidence of a popular rebellion. So I think you're making an exceedingly poor comparison.
Once again...the Breen and the Tholians, again, seem a bit more radical than the "moderates" of which you speak.

Maybe, but that's irrelevant to the point, which is simply that the United States has been spreading its culture to other cultures and that this can breed resentment. That's not even a criticism of the U.S. per se. It's just a fact. Similarly, it's pretty much a given that the Federation's ultimate goal is to peacefully and consensually unite the galaxy under the Federation Flag. That's not necessarily bad -- but it's definitely something that can breed fear and resentment and is not untrue.
So...would you suggest there is a solution to this problem?

I would suggest that the best course of action would be to rebuild the fleet, but to avoid the appearance of doing it in a belligerent or hostile way. Retain the ability to kick ass, but don't let it look like that's the goal.

Build more capital ships like the refit Galaxy class and the Sovereign class. Build more Vesta class starships. Make sure a significant percentage of the ships being built are more combat-oriented ships like the Defiants, but make sure the percentage is not so large that it appears that the primary purpose of the rebuilding is to build up for a war.

And start, as quietly as possible, covertly refitting as many ships as possible, and equipping as many new ships as possible, with the slipstream drive. As Zero Sum Game demonstrated, the slipstream drive gives a significant tactical advantage to Federation starships -- yet it's an innocuous-enough seeming technology that even if word leaks that a much larger percentage of the Starfleet is being equipped with it, that won't automatically be something the Pact can use as an excuse to begin all-out war, because they wouldn't be able to drum up domestic and foreign support for such a conflict by saying, "Well, they're building this new engine...!" without risking being loudly condemned.

I'd also make it a point to increase, as much as possible, military aid to allied or friendly states like the Cardassian Union, Ferengi Alliance, and the Talarian Republic. And certainly to the Klingon Empire.
Here, we can agree.

It would probably be a really good idea to start building up Starfleet's combat capacity deep within Federation territory, but not near the various Pact borders. In Paths of Disharmony, for instance, there was no Starfleet Starbase in orbit of Andor, nor a dedicated Starlfeet fleet based solely out of Andor to defend it. If Starfleet starts putting at least one major starbase in orbit of every Federation Member State's capital planet and assigning a dedicated fleet to the defense of every Federation Member State's major planets, that would go a long way towards increasing defense capabilities without appearing to be there for the purpose of attacking the Pact. Indeed, Starfleet could easily cite the need for such dedicated Member State defenses in the wake of the Borg Invasion -- "Once upon a time, most enemies targeted only Earth, the Federation capital, and ignored the other Member worlds, but in the wake of the Borg Invasion, that's just not the case anymore. So we've got to make sure that there's a starbase and a fleet in orbit to defend every single Member world."

(Frankly, I think that's a longstanding problem with Federation defensive strategies, too, but I digress.)
...Yes...however, what of the "Member States" whose capitals are near the Pact borders?

All that should be combined with attempts at stronger diplomatic outreaches and trade deals. Give them incentives to have peaceful coexistence. Let them see the carrot along with the stick.

Bottom line: The key is to be able to kick ass without looking like that's the goal. Do it slowly, and steadily, and don't give them an excuse to throw the first punch. Make sure that the rebuilding of the fleet seems more like a natural rebuild from the Borg Invasion than a deliberate attempt to prepare for war. And all the while, give them reasons to see how peace is possible and is better. Make it clear that you don't want war and aren't looking for an excuse to throw the first punch, and they're less likely to want to throw the first punch themselves.
Again, I would agree. However, I am curious as to how "slow" you would have the build up be.

Eh, they're testy, but I wouldn't characterize them as particularly so. Neither one acted if they thought their actions would give the Federation a pretext for open warfare. The Breen only acted when they could maintain plausible deniability, and the Tholians only acted when they could do so without violating any treaties. So I reject the premise that either one is so testy as to be looking for any excuse to start a war the way you seem to be claiming.
The testing of limits, while seemingly harmless in the beginning, has the increasing risk over time of causing an actual diplomatic incident. A state in question will test a limit in the way you describe, and should there be no sufficient reprisal, they would then proceed to test even further next time.

On that note, I am curious as to whether Tezrene has been reigned in by her government. If not...there is no real reason for her to speak more radically next time--again, to test limits.

Not necessarily. First off, everyone's military was hit hard by the Borg, because everyone was in the Azure Nebula (save the Tholians), remember? And the Romulans were invaded by the Borg, too.

And the other thing is, it's not clear that any of the Pact states' militaries were so large as Starfleet before the Invasion. Even if Starfleet has lost 40% of its ships and personnel, it's entirely possible that Starfleet is so much larger than the other space forces that it still has a sizeable advantage. We don't know.
Again...the Borg's express intent was to destroy humanity. The Romulans and the Tzenkethi were far less relevent to the Borg's agenda.

Then there's no reason to conclude that is a goal of theirs.
I will repeat the rest of my response:

I'm simply saying it might work to their advantage to set their sights on particular strategic sites, should, again, escalation occur due to a tragic unanticipated event.
Recall all the tensions before WWI. All it took was an intrinsically meanigless spark to light the powder keg, because the tensions were so high.

And the Breen and the Tholians seem to have major chips on their shoulders, daring the Federation to knock them off. Tezrene's rant, again, either shows the Assembly's incompetence in diplomatic structure and chain of command, or simmering hostility. And of course, there is the Breen's apparent "arms race" with the slipstream drive.
That's irrelevant to rfmcdpei's point, which is simply that the Typhon Pact is not experiencing the sort of widespread rebellion to which you previously alluded (Egyptian Revolution, French Revolution, etc.).
As I said, those examples were only to illustrate the strength of radicalism vs. the strength of moderation. I did not imply that the Pact is experiencing rebellion--simply that radical factions competing for control with moderate factions run a serious risk, provided the moderates fail to organize themselves in a manner to defeat the radicals.

In the case of the Pact, the Tholians and the Breen are powder kegs. If not tamed, more "incidents" will occur from those Members.

Just to make things clear: I do not suggest that the more moderate factions in the Pact cannot be reached out to. They should be, by all means! I am simply saying that the more militant factions (seemingly represented by Tezrene) must not be ignored, or dismissed as being held in check by the moderates.
"The saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia.... 'Needs and abilities' are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to 'the State shall take, the State shall give'."
--David Mamet

Last edited by Rush Limborg; February 27 2011 at 01:38 AM.
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