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GA-League War

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Re: GA-League War
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon May 04, 2020 11:39 pm

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GloriousRuse wrote:@ TLB. On the contrary. I'm against planet busting, and all for using the threat of planet busting to keep the war in the verge. Because it doesn't matter if you lose the verge war. You can always re-mobilize the core and come back later. For the GA to put you down long term, they need to come in to the core.

For everything else, I think it was Weber or one of his co-authors who said

"The rematch wouldn't be a war, it'd be a landslide."


Again, the problem is that the other side can turn around and say the same thing. "Don't come to the Haven Sector"

It's not an effective deterrent if everyone has the capability to do it. There's a deterrent to the deterrent. It's a toothless argument, since no one can enforce it without also losing big.
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Re: GA-League War
Post by GloriousRuse   » Tue May 05, 2020 9:11 am

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Except for, you know, that’s how deterrents work. After all, we have many powers capable of either destroying a rival nation or imposing shattering nuclear losses. And every one of them has a “Attacking the homeland means I nuke you” policy.

And wouldn’t you know it, we have yet to have one nuclear power invade another. Even in those places where one side has vast conventional superiority and and a good reason (not always a moral reason) to want to invade. Because yes, both sides can do it. That’s the basis of MAD. It was, in fact, the corner stone of NATO defense policy until the offset strategies managed to level the playing field a bit in the 80s.

Or why the Russians openly advocate their right to use nukes to shield regional aggression. Knowing full well that may work in the Baltics, but probably not Berlin.

Pretending that “the enemy could do it to us, so it’s not a deterrent” would be, at best, a thorough misunderstanding of how deterrence policy works in practice and history. Indeed, it would take a willful disregard of the 20th and 21st centuries. At worst it’s rationalization to cover the fact we want big space wars.

I would be positively appalled if the GA was dumb enough not to say “if you come in to the Manticore sector, that’s our red line”. And this is rather the point with WMD of any type. They keep state wars limited because the alternative is a war of utter annihilation.

And that’s the rub in any honorverse scenario where the league can be challenged. What allowed everyone to have fun-reading battles of ship and fleet design was the league. No one would “go nuclear”, because it meant inevitable eradication by an incontestable force. Well, there’s no sheriff in the playground anymore so all of a sudden the squalling children need to grow up. All of a sudden major wars on the PR-SK model now aren’t viable. Small fights in small places over matters of national interest short of the planet killing line.

And we don’t want that. We want our Napoleon/WW2 in space. But that all went away on the honorverse’s August of 1945, when we realized the league could not serve as the 800 pound gorilla.
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Re: GA-League War
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue May 05, 2020 9:47 am

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Potato wrote:Explain how you will somehow convince people that an attack which does not produce civilian megadeaths is an Eridani Edict violation. Making statements completely disconnected from reality a la Baghdad Bob is the quickest way to destroy your own credibility. The Edict is pretty tightly proscribed as a part of the League constitution (it is not an interstellar law or treaty). Its provisions are clearly laid out in infodumps, and simply conducting combat operations does not even begin to approach the threshold needed to retaliate with genocidal counterattacks. Such grossly disproportionate responses are the quickest way to form resistance both internally and externally (aka nuking Argentina).

And even if the Edict is triggered a megadeath causing planetary strike is absolutely NOT part of it's permitted response. The Edict is very clear - violate it and the SLN comes, enacts regime change and carts away all responsible for punishment.

That said, during the actual war with Manticore the Mandarins clearly thought they could get away with inflicting Edict violations. So the various member planets might not instantly revolt -- even after the SLN violates something they've accepted for centuries as a bedrock, inviolate, ban on mass civilian slaughter. But, oddly, sometimes making that Red Line statement that you've got a contingency plan to violate the accepted rules of war can cause greater internal destabilization than just going ahead and, unannounced, carrying out that violation.

But the response to a violation isn't supposed to be another violation. (Though in a war with a peer adversary where you're physically incapable of applying the prescribed regime change I could see them resorting to retaliatory strikes if one of their worlds was subject to illegal orbital bombardment. If you can't apply the law you fall back on the mutually assured destruction that the law was supposed to head off. And hopefully both sides quickly back down from planet killing)
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Re: GA-League War
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue May 05, 2020 10:24 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
GloriousRuse wrote:@ TLB. On the contrary. I'm against planet busting, and all for using the threat of planet busting to keep the war in the verge. Because it doesn't matter if you lose the verge war. You can always re-mobilize the core and come back later. For the GA to put you down long term, they need to come in to the core.

For everything else, I think it was Weber or one of his co-authors who said

"The rematch wouldn't be a war, it'd be a landslide."


Again, the problem is that the other side can turn around and say the same thing. "Don't come to the Haven Sector"

It's not an effective deterrent if everyone has the capability to do it. There's a deterrent to the deterrent. It's a toothless argument, since no one can enforce it without also losing big.

I don't know that a deterrent is toothless if everybody has the capability to do it. That's pretty much the basis of mutually assured destruction between the US and the Soviets/Russians. Neither side has been willing to use a nuke on the other because everyone loses big.
(Though this does require the ability for enough strikes to get through to devastate both sides and reasonable conviction that both sides are willing to respond; despite the knowledge that it just ends badly for everyone.

The key difference I see between MAD and the Edict is that retaliatory nuclear response has been part of the normal, if sometimes bemoaned or derided, nuclear use plans almost since the beginning. And yes, there is also an implied threat that a conventional invasion that threatens the regime or the homeland might push that side into nuclear response despite MAD. But retaliatory bombardment response is directly contradictory to the Edicts purpose and plans; the Edict has existed for centuries due directly to the League population's disgust and abhorrence of that kind of strike and it explicitly eschews a MAD style bombardment response for any reason. So trying to say that because today's MAD has an implicit first use if the homeland is threatened means that the Edict has an implied first bombardment if the Core is threatened just utterly ignores the vast ways they, and the population's beliefs and expectations about them, are radically different. The Edict was outlawing MAD, not embracing it.
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Re: GA-League War
Post by Potato   » Tue May 05, 2020 10:49 am

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tlb wrote:
Potato wrote:It is genuinely baffling that that the majority's opinion on this forum is that the first solution to any strategic situation is usually genocide.

How did you arrive at that being a majority opinion?


The fact that people routinely suggest Edict violations, ways to bypass the Edict, and other sundry ideas as if inflicting civilian megadeaths is not abhorrent, to the point that even the author has commented that he is confused as to why people keep entertaining the idea.
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Re: GA-League War
Post by tlb   » Tue May 05, 2020 11:34 am

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Potato wrote:It is genuinely baffling that that the majority's opinion on this forum is that the first solution to any strategic situation is usually genocide.

tlb wrote:How did you arrive at that being a majority opinion?

Potato wrote:The fact that people routinely suggest Edict violations, ways to bypass the Edict, and other sundry ideas as if inflicting civilian megadeaths is not abhorrent, to the point that even the author has commented that he is confused as to why people keep entertaining the idea.

However, if you check, I think you will find that it is pretty much the same group of people each time going back to the discussion of why the Honorverse should contain many dead planets (even though it does not).
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Re: GA-League War
Post by Sigs   » Wed May 06, 2020 11:45 pm

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GloriousRuse wrote:Fighting from the league side:

First step is that you make it diplomatically clear any strikes or invasion against the core will constitute an Eridani violation in your eyes, and that this will result in massive planet killing retaliation - justification only has to be good enough to fig leaf.
The second you do that the 100 SD(P)s and 120 CLAC's and 600 SD's will be going into the core, hitting any and every SLN base, ship, spacer etc... I would personally go on a take no prisoner approach. I would inform the League that due to their instigation of the war, and subsequent threats of basically genocide from this point on each and every ship in the SLN and each and every member of the SLN as well as all the Mandarins are considered pirates and will be destroyed no surrender accepted. Then I would go straight to Sol, destroy the SLN Home Fleet, send a delegation to the capital and demand the surrender of the Mandarins, the senior elected government officials as well as every member of the assembly who voted for that asinine policy and inform that the League is now a Rogue state and because of their actions/threats they will surrender or the Alliance will go from system to systems destroying the SLN and any industry found in that system until the League surrenders or the Alliance runs out of targets. Most core and shell systems will be horrified at the actions of the League Leadership and will secede all on their own to distance themselves from any of that insanity. The League members can play dumb when the verge is concerned but when the League and the SLN start threatening a well established and visible nation that could incidentally crush the SLN rather quickly because they have superior technology , better logistics support, battle-hardened crews and leadership that survived a 10 year was against a larger opponent and eventually defeated said opponent it will be a whole different thing especially when the RMN/GSN fleet is in Earth Orbit within a week demanding the surrender and dissolution of the League.


Combine that with an information campaign about neo-barbs looking to dismantle the EE and old terra if need be. Bluntly, the SLN has enough ships to ensure frac C missiles hit planets and since they are the guarantors of the EE to begin with, you enter a MAD scenario with the GA. Ultimately neither of you want to go “nuclear” because it’s horrible for both of you...but if it does go that way, you have a lot more real estate to lose.
Don't you think that suddenly 1,700 League members will break their legs running to the Alliance to inform them that they have and want nothing to do with the League? What do you think happens when they give those orders to the SLN and they have to carry out a genocide against 10 billion people knowing that the Alliance will inevitably retaliate and kill as many people as they can? They know they will kill a whole lot of innocent people, and they know that they will return to a League that lost a trillion people IF the League still exists since the League would disintegrate as the members work on distancing themselves and the SLN revolts. Rajampet might be an asshole, a homicidal asshole maybe but I don't think he is genocidal and I don't think any SLN member would like to attack their name in the history books as participating in an EE violation.




But really, it’s about the threat. The threat keeps the GA on the frontier, and you can recover from any frontier defeat.
The threat will get the GA to the core and the SLN bases so fast that the Mandarin's heads are going to spin.

The rest is just using neo-barb aggression and threat to seize even more power for your directorates, then convincing the mandarins and trans solars that each of them stand to gain from massive war spending and modernization.
And every member system is terrified that the 3,600 Alliance ships will come after them.


Let that play out for a few years, possibly offering a concessionary peace. Use the defeat to shock the rest of the politicos and population into accepting your spend plan, your dominance having so clearly been based on false assumption.

Come back in ten years and curb stomp the GA.

If you are British you MUST go to Sandhurst, if you are American go to Westpoint or Annapolis, if you are Canadian go to RMC because we definitely need military geniuses like you in uniform... I mean the Afghan War and the Iraq war would have been so quick... and only at the price of at least 75,000,000 dead men, women and children... my hat is off to you because you sir are a f**king military genius that make every other military genius in the history of humanity seem incompetent by comparison.
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Re: GA-League War
Post by Sigs   » Wed May 06, 2020 11:48 pm

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:

Nuking Argentina might have been bad PR, but Thatcher might have gotten away with it if the US and the USSR had been willing to accept it.

Yeah but in this scenario Argentina has enough nukes to destroy NATO along with Britain.
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Re: GA-League War
Post by Sigs   » Wed May 06, 2020 11:55 pm

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GloriousRuse wrote:But, just in case you don't believe me because - ironically, given we're talking about what people believe - it would suit you not to...well, here are some quotes from the most recent US Nuclear Posture Review. It's a public document.

"This review rests on a bedrock truth: nuclear weapons have and will continue to play a critical role in deterring nuclear attack and in preventing large-scale conventional warfare between nuclear-armed states for the foreseeable future. U.S. nuclear weapons not only defend our allies against conventional and nuclear threats, they also help them avoid the need to develop their own nuclear arsenals. This, in turn, furthers global security. "

Do you see riots in Chicago right now over the potential for starting a nuclear war to defend an ally against a conventional threat? Perhaps the members of NATO have sworn off the alliance because of this declaration that the US will go nuclear in a conventional war?

"U.S. nuclear capabilities cannot prevent all conflict, and should not be expected to do so. But, they contribute uniquely to the deterrence of both nuclear and non-nuclear aggression. They are essential for these purposes and will be so for the foreseeable future. Non-nuclear forces also play essential deterrence roles, but do not provide comparable deterrence effects--as is reflected by past, periodic, and catastrophic failures of conventional deterrence to prevent Great Power war before the advent of nuclear deterrence. In addition, conventional forces alone are inadequate to assure many allies
who rightly place enormous value on U.S. extended nuclear deterrence for their security, which correspondingly is also key to non-proliferation."

Looks familiar...

" However, deterring nuclear attack is not the sole purpose of nuclear weapons. Given the diverse threats and profound uncertainties of the current and future threat environment, U.S. nuclear forces play the following critical roles in U.S. national security strategy. They contribute to the:

› Deterrence of nuclear and non-nuclear attack;

› Assurance of allies and partners;

› Achievement of U.S. objectives if deterrence fails; and

› Capacity to hedge against an uncertain future.

These roles are complementary and interrelated, and the adequacy of U.S. nuclear forces must be assessed against each role and the strategy designed to fulfill it."

There it is again. Deterrence of non-nuclear attack. But how can this be when...

"The United States remains committed to its efforts in support of the ultimate global elimination of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons"

Turns out, that's for other people.

Also, the US promotes and is a signatory to the conventions that prohibit deliberate genocide, unnecessary suffering, indiscriminate targeting of civilians, and so forth. Indeed, it both backs and encourages that international order. And yet...

"China’s military modernization and pursuit of regional dominance have emerged as a major challenge to U.S. interests in Asia...

...The United States is prepared to respond decisively to Chinese non-nuclear or nuclear aggression. U.S. exercises in the Asia-Pacific region, among other objectives, demonstrate this preparedness, as will increasing the range of graduated nuclear response options available to the President."

Woah. We just admitted we would nuke China over matters of pacific territorial strategy. We who endorse the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, international law, and promote standards of human rights both in and outside of conflict.

Yet, somehow, I don't see allies jumping ship over the hypocrisy. Or riots in the street. Well, some of those, but mostly over quarantines.

Mind you China has 300+ nuclear weapons, at least some of which would get through and glass a good chunk of the western seaboard.

I mean, we could keep doing this, but once you're in the nuclear league - or for Honorverse, the league where the SL is not safeguarding you - the rules are whatever you say they are based on interests, fear, and calculation. And no, the moral outrage that would be expressed by a college freshman doesn't really matter.

------------

And as to "you c-frac us, we'll c-frac you", that's perfect. Because if both sides are terrified of being c-frac'd, then they fight a limited war. And so long as they fight a limited war, the SL can always spend it's way to victory in time.



Let me put it this way then, the GA backs off and makes peace with the League but they set up what amounts to Deadman switches in the League...they inform them that if you attack the Haven sector we will destroy all the core and shell worlds... Check Mate! A threat like that works if you have a weapon I don't have... if you have a nuke and I don't well you can do whatever you want since I cant retaliate, but if you have a nuke and I have a nuke it is a MAD scenario...and the threat works both ways.
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Re: GA-League War
Post by Sigs   » Thu May 07, 2020 12:03 am

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GloriousRuse wrote:Except for, you know, that’s how deterrents work. After all, we have many powers capable of either destroying a rival nation or imposing shattering nuclear losses. And every one of them has a “Attacking the homeland means I nuke you” policy.

And wouldn’t you know it, we have yet to have one nuclear power invade another.

What you initially suggested is that the SLN will threaten to kill every civilian in the Alliance if the Alliance attacks the core which will give enough time for the SLN:
GloriousRuse wrote:Let that play out for a few years, possibly offering a concessionary peace. Use the defeat to shock the rest of the politicos and population into accepting your spend plan, your dominance having so clearly been based on false assumption.

Come back in ten years and curb stomp the GA.

At which point the GA knows what will happen, pre-deploys weapon systems within the GA afterall its a big place and inform the League that if an SLN warship was to come within 300 LY of the Haven Sector we blow the core...what are you gona do then?


MAD=Mutual Assured Destruction

Just incase you missed it, it is a deterrent because both sides can do it. Its not like the US would Nuke the USSR in case of a conventional invasion but the USSR would not do the same thing if they were invaded by the US through conventional means...
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