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The Complacency of the White Haven Admiralty (Spoilers)

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The Complacency of the White Haven Admiralty (Spoilers)
Post by Star Knight   » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:46 am

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So yeah I get it. RFC wrote himself into a corner after revising the plans for the series with AAC and ended up with the Alliance Navies being vastly overpowered compared to the SLN.

Thus we ended up with a half a dozen excuses for the Alliance Wallers not stomping over the League, while creating no interesting battle scenes whatsoever.

Oyster Bay. Waiting for Filareta. Ammunition shortages. Continuing the defend everything insanity. Mycroft is not ready. We don’t want to fight the League. Core Worlds won’t really like it. Light units are more suited for taking wormholes than Wallers etc.

Unfortunately, IMO these excuses only work as far as the plot develops but are not in line with in universe decision making.

Or actually they are in line with what goes on in universe – if you assume the current Manticoran leadership is complacent as it can get, argued and twisted itself into inaction by overthinking the strategic situation.

First about all those excuses and why they don’t work.
From a logistical standpoint, Oyster Bay - while devastating - was never a suitable plot tool to hinder alliance operations in the short term.
This has been discussed at length before but Honorverse ships are perfectly capable to live and fight off the fleet train without major logistical support for a long time. The logistical network doesn’t disappear just because the main yards are gone. The innumerable maintenance, repair, depot, refueling, arsenal and general support facilities and ships necessary to fight an interstellar war with thousands of starships still exist.
And generally speaking, a warship in the Honorverse will do just fine without major logistical support for a long time as long as it takes no battle damage (which isn’t very likely at all vs the SLN).

So while the situation after Oyster Bay would be disastrous in a shooting war against a near peer opponent like the RHN, its effects vs the League a pretty minor in the short term.

Long term they would have run into ammunition of spare parts issues but this only strengthens the argument for ending the war before the League can hit the ground running.

And the Grand Alliance negates this issue entirely anyway. No matter what you think about the Manticoran Alliance ability for prolonged combat against the League, the RHN doesn’t have any logistical issues after Oyster Bay and would stomp over the SLN just as well.
So are they any military reasons for not deploying the unified fleets against the League?

In UC RFC has them staying at home because they were waiting for Mycroft to get ready. I guess they are fearing follow up attacks to Oyster Bay or a renewed League effort for another Second Manticore disaster? Both argument make little sense. Oyster Bay was an operation conducted by a very small force. Because of that, they know a larger attack is very likely outside the capabilities of the Alignment. The outright state this in Mission of Honor in the aftermath of the attack. And the League attempting another Second Manticore? I don’t think you could seriously argue that?

So what are they defending against? Keep in mind, even without Mycroft, every critical alliance system is already protected by system defense pods. Apollo capable system defense pods even in case of Manticore and Grayson. Assembling Grand Fleet was always totally unnecessary from a military point of view. Home Fleet would have been perfectly capable of defeating Filareta in a conventional engagement. Just don’t park them somewhere out of sight like Truman at Beowulf. Do they never learn?

This problem ties in with the absurd Manticoran notion we saw during the second havenite ware with them wanting to defend every single Alliance star system. Remember the hundreds of missing conventional Super dreadnoughts? The Grayson Home Fleet, the single most powerful formation ever assembled in history before Grand Fleet? Not to beat a dead horse, but nothing has changed with Manticoran thinking. They have Grand Fleet sitting fat and happy and Beowulf / Manticore / Trevor doing exactly nothing without any military reason.

Just think about it for a second, there is exactly one star system the Alliance can’t afford to lose under any circumstances: Bolthole. That’s it, everything else is expendable from a purely military viewpoint. Of course you would want to defend the main systems anyway but you get the point, you don’t need what – close to a thousand Grand Alliance Wallers for that job. Not with the SLN decommissioning active wallers to free up personnel for their Battlecruisers.

So of course the main reason not to fight the League is political. RFC shows us a Manticoran/Alliance leadership determined to win the war by not actually fighting it, just forcing the Leagues hand somehow to get them to back down. And of course since the plot is ruled by authorial fiat it all works out in the end and the League crumbles. A fine story and very well told but nothing that stands up to further scrutiny IMO.

If you look at the situation in universe it’s pretty insane actually. Manticore and the Alliance in general (with Pritchard back home, I guess the Empress calls the shots anyway right?) only have a limited window of opportunity to defeat the League. Given time, the League will ramp up R&D and production and crush the Alliance. This is known in universe and is stated by both sides multiple times.

In essence the Alliance is betting the farm on the League crumbling for some reason before it can switch into war mode. Thus, the Alliance holds back fighting the League with everything they’ve got as to not anger the Core Worlds too much or something. This is an insane strategy and almost went wrong as UC showed us.

On paper the entire lack of federal funds argument and lack of enthusiasm for war in the Core is sounds. But a hell of a lot things look fine on paper and go up in smoke as soon as tested in reality. Things are not so straightforward. At least our history has shown that forcing someone to back down by force of arms and or economic hardship rarely works. In fact it usually just strengthens the other sides resolve, no matter how constraint you think you are.
And we see that in UC. The Mandarins never would have backed down. In the end, they simply run out of time. They were actually in the process of resolving the funding issues and getting the Core Worlds worked up for war but they were defeated by the power of plot and authorial fiat.

And more importantly – and this is why I wrote complacency in the title – the technological and production gap was already closing much sooner than the Alliance anticipated and they failed to act on it. The Battle of Hypatia should have been a huge wakeup call for the Manticoran Admiralty, pushing them into action. Against what and whom? The Transtellar manufacturing capabilities! Denying the League to close the window for as long as possible, actually buying time for the magical political solution.
Reading UC I kept waiting for one attack in particular post Hypatia: Technodyne at Yildun.
I puzzled as to why this system was never mentioned to be honest. It should have been the prime target of Lacoon but I can only assume it was not taken. And even if it was (and it may escape me, been a long time since I last read the later books), there are probably dozens of similar targets in the League.

I mean has anyone at Manticore done the math on how many missiles the League can put out any given day once they settled on a semi decent design? *But their missiles suck at range* doesn’t fly once you build and deploy millions upon millions of them. Eventually you just run out of countermissiles. Take a look at the Battle of Sol in UC and imagine how fortified the system would have been merely 6 tmonths later.

Basically Manticore decided to bet the farm on wrapping this thing up before their limited window of opportunity closes. While of course, they have no way of knowing how long the window of opportunity will stay open. The League could find a solution to micro fusion bottles, FTL coms or whatever today and put it into mass production tomorrow. In fact, it’s entirely possible, even probable from a purely in universe point of view, that the Transtellars are already sitting on revolutionary tech which the SLN just hasn’t funded and or deployed yet.
Manticore can also not rule out the Alignment transferring some of their tech to the League. In fact they probably should have done that on a much wider scale than it happened.

At the very least they should be very worried about these possibilities and do their best to mitigate this danger. And if the current leadership cabal doesn’t want to act on it, there should be pressure to act from the second tier leadership and other Alliance members. Seriously, everyone from the Space Lords and Joint Chiefs to Fleet Commanders is just perfectly happy with the decision to concentrate on walling up the main systems and taking some wormholes?

While the lighter units are doing all the heavy lifting? How many gallant last stands of too few light units running into too many SLN Battlecruisers with way too many missiles pods would have been necessary for someone to finally get of their *** and do something about it?

The *too many systems to protect, we can’t disperse the wall* argument doesn’t fly. Start with the wormholes. There were what – a hundred termini taken during Lacoon? Stationing a Battle Division at each of them is not akin to dispersing the wall. There more than enough wallers around to do the job. Probably as a much as Manticoran Alliance light units if you do the numbers.

So this is getting way too long. All of this is of course happening because of plot. Personally I’m puzzled why RFC chose to go there in the first place with making the SLN entirely outdated and incompetent. This could have been handled differently.
But anyway, if I look at all of this from an in universe perspective, I get the impression of a Manticoran leadership overthinking the situation, arguing itself into inaction. In a way, they are acting too smart for their own good. They usually perform brilliantly on the field but basically ever since White Haven took over at the start of the second war strategic thought has gone out the window. I’ve talked about this before somewhere and won’t repeat it here, but in my mind the core issue they have is White Haven marginalizing Caparelli and running the war with his wife / main fleet commander and the head of state.

It didn’t work during the second war and it didn’t work now. If the League / the Mandarins had acted somewhat smarter and bought itself the necessary time Manticore would have walked into another disaster they probably could not have recovered from. In the end they were saved by the bell. While actually there was no convincing reason to not start Operation Nemesis after Second Manticore.
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Re: The Complacency of the White Haven Admiralty (Spoilers)
Post by kzt   » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:57 am

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I don’t really agree.

The most important part of avoiding a war to the knife is to not cause hundreds of systems to become committed to fighting to the bitter end. As I’ve mentioned else where, every core world is capable of building and maintaining a force somewhere between 25% and 150% of the RMN. So if they decide that instead of funding the SLN with the loose change they found under the cushions they will commit a significant percentage of GSP to it then it’s going to be monstrous.

In terms of offense they are probably at least 5 years away from having a mobile survivable combat fleet. However if you are really committed to the war you can drop survivable, and it goes to maybe 2 years.

In terms of defense, yes they could harden systems such that you can’t effectively threaten them without a large force within a year. That’s expensive, so if people have not decided they are war they won’t do that.

You really don’t want to disperse your heavy forces. You need multiple ships in service to deploy 1 on foreign station. So deploying 200 SDs means committing 400 to 600 to the mission. Which is the entire RMN supply of in service SDs.

I’d argue that the RMN never really accessed the threat of the spiders and graser tors correctly. For example, at the Beowulf terminus there were 12 ships that could have had a wedge and sidewalls up in 30 minutes. What would have been the result of say 60 graser torps dropping by for a visit after being kicked out of a merchant? An obliterated fleet.

So essentially the RMN survives because the MA doesn’t feel like killing them. Same way the entire orbital infrastructure around Beowulf, the one that was totally essential to the GA plan, still existed because the MA didn’t want to kill it.

To have a chance to survive a graser torp means maintaining your wedge, sidewalls and the front and rear walls all the time. Which wears out the nodes at a stupid rate, which they can’t replace because they are a special high tech product only built in blown up factories.
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Re: The Complacency of the White Haven Admiralty (Spoilers)
Post by Star Knight   » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:10 am

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The most important part of avoiding a war to the knife is to not cause hundreds of systems to become committed to fighting to the bitter end.


Avoiding the war to the bitter end means losing the war anyway if it had not been for plot and authorial fiat.

Avoiding the war likely Manticore tried means giving the Mandarins time and opportunity to close the gaps in funding, R&D and production. The League at large might not have wanted the fight the war at this point, but the Mandarins surely wanted to and they were well in the process of getting their house in order. Given time they would have had the means to stand up to the Alliance, even without the Core Worlds completely behind them. We already see that happening in UC and faster than anybody is expecting.

Also it is not unrealistic to imagine the plot playing out differently. If the Mandarins had *only* played the long term game, buying time they needed in the short term they might have been able to close the Alliances window of opportunity. 2 tyears like you are suggesting is nothing in Honorverse terms. You could run out the clock by bogus negotiations alone if you wanted to!

Of course plot events transpired differently and they run out of time but in universe you can develop strategy based on plot. So at minimum, the Alliance should done everything possible to ensure the window of opportunity doesn’t close for them. But they just sit around doing nothing, waiting for Lacoon to magically change everything. This is not a sound strategy, this is just gambling away valuable time, wasting a window of opportunity which they may very well never have again.

After Hypathia at the latest, they should have realized what’s happening on the tech and production front. They should also know about the Mandarin efforts to amend the constitution in the Assembly to resolve the funding issues. I mean come on, this should have really been the dripping wire for them as far as unrestricted operation go. An amended constitution offering the Mandarins essentially unlimited funds to build up the SLN negates Lacoon entirely. Yet we see nothing of the sort. All they do is sending out light task forces on increasingly more dangerous missions while the unified fleet sits at the heart of the Empire quite literally waiting for the next technological hammer to fall. But guess what, if and when the SLN demonstrates a workable solution in battle the window of opportunity of something like Operation Nemesis might already closed.

So you don’t want to fight a war with the Core worlds to the bitter end? Tough luck, if plot doesn’t save you, the Mandarins will roll over you without the core worlds fully geared up for war just as well. In actuality you have very few options fighting the League. Mainly two:
a) Destroy the entire infrastructure of the Core worlds and bomb a majority of humanity back to pre space age.
b)Kick the door down at Sol and break up the League threatening option a

Of course option b happened in the end but only because Honor finally snapped out of it after Beowulf. Saved by plot, nothing else. Without what happened at Beowulf they would have never gotten off their collective *** and invaded Sol. They just sit around convincing themselves of the soundness of their inaction right to the point of the SLN coming up with a semi decent technological solution to fight them. And this solution might already exist in the bowels of Technodyne R&D, no way of knowing.

As for deploying stuff being expensive – look again at what the SLN already deployed after only a few months of production. Millions of missiles between Sol and Hypathia. Millions upon millions more somewhere else. And actual funding was coming, UC is clear on that. Again, imagine the defenses of Earth a couple of months down the road. Would Kingsford really have surrendered with say, 10 million missiles inside the Kuiper Belt? How long would it take them to figure out to station missile pods way out system to be in range before the enemy can hyper out again?

You really don’t want to disperse your heavy forces. You need multiple ships in service to deploy 1 on foreign station. So deploying 200 SDs means committing 400 to 600 to the mission. Which is the entire RMN supply of in service SDs.

Nah we are not talking about long term deployments (which don’t work in the Honorverse like they do in the real world anyway), but active combat operations. The wallers stay in theater as long as its military necessary. You don’t rotate back for R&R after a tyear deployment or whatever. Its war, though luck. Also, its really only a short term deployment anyway. Lacoon wont go on for more than two years tops, no matter what.

I’d argue that the RMN never really accessed the threat of the spiders and graser tors correctly. For example, at the Beowulf terminus there were 12 ships that could have had a wedge and sidewalls up in 30 minutes. What would have been the result of say 60 graser torps dropping by for a visit after being kicked out of a merchant? An obliterated fleet.

Yeah but that was plot all the way anyway. The entirety of the fleet had no business hanging around the terminus and its forts while the vital yards in system were protected by Mycroft and freighters only. In my mind the best way to deter MA attacks with Graser torpedos are excessive LAC patrols. It should be possible to “sanitize” enough space around vital stations to make attacks really difficult. You could also just cover the entire area with sensor buoys to detect incoming sneak attacks.
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Re: The Complacency of the White Haven Admiralty (Spoilers)
Post by ldwechsler   » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:49 am

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Star Knight wrote:
The most important part of avoiding a war to the knife is to not cause hundreds of systems to become committed to fighting to the bitter end.


Avoiding the war to the bitter end means losing the war anyway if it had not been for plot and authorial fiat.

Avoiding the war likely Manticore tried means giving the Mandarins time and opportunity to close the gaps in funding, R&D and production. The League at large might not have wanted the fight the war at this point, but the Mandarins surely wanted to and they were well in the process of getting their house in order. Given time they would have had the means to stand up to the Alliance, even without the Core Worlds completely behind them. We already see that happening in UC and faster than anybody is expecting.

Also it is not unrealistic to imagine the plot playing out differently. If the Mandarins had *only* played the long term game, buying time they needed in the short term they might have been able to close the Alliances window of opportunity. 2 tyears like you are suggesting is nothing in Honorverse terms. You could run out the clock by bogus negotiations alone if you wanted to!

Of course plot events transpired differently and they run out of time but in universe you can develop strategy based on plot. So at minimum, the Alliance should done everything possible to ensure the window of opportunity doesn’t close for them. But they just sit around doing nothing, waiting for Lacoon to magically change everything. This is not a sound strategy, this is just gambling away valuable time, wasting a window of opportunity which they may very well never have again.

After Hypathia at the latest, they should have realized what’s happening on the tech and production front. They should also know about the Mandarin efforts to amend the constitution in the Assembly to resolve the funding issues. I mean come on, this should have really been the dripping wire for them as far as unrestricted operation go. An amended constitution offering the Mandarins essentially unlimited funds to build up the SLN negates Lacoon entirely. Yet we see nothing of the sort. All they do is sending out light task forces on increasingly more dangerous missions while the unified fleet sits at the heart of the Empire quite literally waiting for the next technological hammer to fall. But guess what, if and when the SLN demonstrates a workable solution in battle the window of opportunity of something like Operation Nemesis might already closed.

So you don’t want to fight a war with the Core worlds to the bitter end? Tough luck, if plot doesn’t save you, the Mandarins will roll over you without the core worlds fully geared up for war just as well. In actuality you have very few options fighting the League. Mainly two:
a) Destroy the entire infrastructure of the Core worlds and bomb a majority of humanity back to pre space age.
b)Kick the door down at Sol and break up the League threatening option a

Of course option b happened in the end but only because Honor finally snapped out of it after Beowulf. Saved by plot, nothing else. Without what happened at Beowulf they would have never gotten off their collective *** and invaded Sol. They just sit around convincing themselves of the soundness of their inaction right to the point of the SLN coming up with a semi decent technological solution to fight them. And this solution might already exist in the bowels of Technodyne R&D, no way of knowing.

As for deploying stuff being expensive – look again at what the SLN already deployed after only a few months of production. Millions of missiles between Sol and Hypathia. Millions upon millions more somewhere else. And actual funding was coming, UC is clear on that. Again, imagine the defenses of Earth a couple of months down the road. Would Kingsford really have surrendered with say, 10 million missiles inside the Kuiper Belt? How long would it take them to figure out to station missile pods way out system to be in range before the enemy can hyper out again?

You really don’t want to disperse your heavy forces. You need multiple ships in service to deploy 1 on foreign station. So deploying 200 SDs means committing 400 to 600 to the mission. Which is the entire RMN supply of in service SDs.

Nah we are not talking about long term deployments (which don’t work in the Honorverse like they do in the real world anyway), but active combat operations. The wallers stay in theater as long as its military necessary. You don’t rotate back for R&R after a tyear deployment or whatever. Its war, though luck. Also, its really only a short term deployment anyway. Lacoon wont go on for more than two years tops, no matter what.

I’d argue that the RMN never really accessed the threat of the spiders and graser tors correctly. For example, at the Beowulf terminus there were 12 ships that could have had a wedge and sidewalls up in 30 minutes. What would have been the result of say 60 graser torps dropping by for a visit after being kicked out of a merchant? An obliterated fleet.

Yeah but that was plot all the way anyway. The entirety of the fleet had no business hanging around the terminus and its forts while the vital yards in system were protected by Mycroft and freighters only. In my mind the best way to deter MA attacks with Graser torpedos are excessive LAC patrols. It should be possible to “sanitize” enough space around vital stations to make attacks really difficult. You could also just cover the entire area with sensor buoys to detect incoming sneak attacks.


Let's be clear. In the real world, politicians and military leaders are all purely rational and all-knowing. If you believe that, there are bridges I can sell you.

Keep in mind that the whole story of the book takes place over nine months. Not a lot of time for a galactic war.

And it was hardly "war to the knife" until Hypatia. Even Cachalot there was huge damage but at least the admiral gave time to get off the destroyed orbitals.

And once the top folk at the GA realized what Buccaneer was fully up to and the meaning of Parthian Shot, well, it was a matter of months before the war's end.

Yes, they were complacent. They had won every battle up to that time. At Hypatia they had done huge damage to the Sollie fleet with only a handful of ships.

Their problem was that suddenly the Sollies, who had shown no talent previously for new design, came up with the hastas and then MAlign had its' own tricks. By the way, Foraker and Hemphill basically foreshadowed the whole thing.

The League is in disarray and will not be part of the picture for a while.
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Re: The Complacency of the White Haven Admiralty (Spoilers)
Post by Star Knight   » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:40 am

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Let's be clear. In the real world, politicians and military leaders are all purely rational and all-knowing. If you believe that, there are bridges I can sell you.

Uhm i dont believe that at all. Which is why i’m presenting an argument against the narrative that Manticoran / Alliance leadership is awesome and can do no wrong. In my opinion its anything but, i think they are screwing up the strategic game by the numbers since the begin of the second war.
I just think it’s hilarious very few are picking up on that while its getting clearer with every book without even the author ever attempting it right this way…

And once the top folk at the GA realized what Buccaneer was fully up to and the meaning of Parthian Shot, well, it was a matter of months before the war's end.

It was? I haven’t read anything beyond „oh uhm, that’s really bad and kinda evil“. I don’t see anything in UC which would point to imminent total warfare against the League before the Alignment attack on Beowulf. I see the top tier alliance naval leadership heading out to Beowulf for some political conference conveniently placed at the frontlines – seriously wtf on that one – the Chairman of the Joint Chief being bored enough to run of playing wargames with a Task Force commander, the First Space Lord stuck in some concert he doesn’t want to be at, the main fleet commander being preoccupied with haven’t another child and teaching treecats to shoot pulsers – I could go on.
We see them a hell of a lot doing rather unimportant to outright stupid stuff in UC, we don’t ever see them even arguing about the over strategy in the war. We never see them incorporating developments on the frontlines. It’s almost like the strategic picture doesn’t change fort hem at all while in reality they are only a few tmonths away from a really bad situation if the worst case estimates hold true. To me they come across as complacent, twisting their panties over Solarian feelings, convincing themselves how bright it is to do nothing and hope for the miracle of plot.
Of course i know why the story is told that way – also i don’t understand why the Leagues Navy wasn’t upgraded by the author post AAC – but if I’m looking at a in universe explanation… complacency its he right word for it.
So i’m glad you agree on that :)

Their problem was that suddenly the Sollies, who had shown no talent previously for new design, came up with the hastas and then MAlign had its' own tricks. By the way, Foraker and Hemphill basically foreshadowed the whole thing.

Sure, thats because it isnt hard to figure out. And they would have too if the White Haven Admiralty had done its job in the strategic department as well as the tech nerds do.

The League is in disarray and will not be part of the picture for a while.
If they are lucky. Only takes one Core World to bolthole.
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Re: The Complacency of the White Haven Admiralty (Spoilers)
Post by n7axw   » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:52 am

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I haven't read the book and have made the decision not to until it actually is published. So I won't comment on the specific incidents.

But two points. Star Knight seems to think that war should be conducted on a purely military basis without being impacted by politics. It never works that way. I don't think that there has ever been a war conducted that wasn't dominated by political considerations, not even a war to the knife. It have been said that war is politics conducted by another means.

Secondly, the war could have been conducted just as Star Knight suggests with the results he predicts. But then what? Then you wind up with a League po-ed with allies instead of at its own leadership and goes to work building the navy neccessary to swamp the allies. Given the League's size and fundamental strength, there would have been no stopping it.

The whole point of the Harrington doctrine was to exploit already existing fractures in the League to break it up on the one hand, but to leave the Leagues member worlds with as little need for revenge as possible.

It sort of sounds like this logic has gone out the window with the League navy conducting an Eridani incident to the horror of its members. That in turn opens the way for the allies to march on earth, so to speak, and deal with the Mandarins in the role of being the good guys rather than "evil empire." This last paragraph is just conjecture on my part. It sounds like a good story. I'm looking forward to it.

Don

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When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: The Complacency of the White Haven Admiralty (Spoilers)
Post by Star Knight   » Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:14 am

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Well since you havent read the book its kinda hard to argue without spoiling it…

But two points. Star Knight seems to think that war should be conducted on a purely military basis without being impacted by politics. It never works that way. I don't think that there has ever been a war conducted that wasn't dominated by political considerations, not even a war to the knife. It have been said that war is politics conducted by another means.

If you want to pu it this way… my argument is actually that Manticore is making the mistake of having the political goals dominating military strategy to the point of coming close to squandering their short term, short lived advantage.

Secondly, the war could have been conducted just as Star Knight suggests with the results he predicts. But then what? Then you wind up with a League po-ed with allies instead of at its own leadership and goes to work building the navy neccessary to swamp the allies. Given the League's size and fundamental strength, there would have been no stopping it.

Well, read the book. I think with my approach you would end up just where the book actually ended.

The whole point of the Harrington doctrine was to exploit already existing fractures in the League to break it up on the one hand, but to leave the Leagues member worlds with as little need for revenge as possible.

And how well did it work? Read the book and find out. ;)
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Re: The Complacency of the White Haven Admiralty (Spoilers)
Post by Crown Loyalist   » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:14 am

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You're thinking of all the military considerations, and disregarding the political ones.

If you look at the situation in universe it’s pretty insane actually. Manticore and the Alliance in general (with Pritchard back home, I guess the Empress calls the shots anyway right?) only have a limited window of opportunity to defeat the League. Given time, the League will ramp up R&D and production and crush the Alliance. This is known in universe and is stated by both sides multiple times.

In essence the Alliance is betting the farm on the League crumbling for some reason before it can switch into war mode. Thus, the Alliance holds back fighting the League with everything they’ve got as to not anger the Core Worlds too much or something. This is an insane strategy and almost went wrong as UC showed us.

On paper the entire lack of federal funds argument and lack of enthusiasm for war in the Core is sounds. But a hell of a lot things look fine on paper and go up in smoke as soon as tested in reality. Things are not so straightforward. At least our history has shown that forcing someone to back down by force of arms and or economic hardship rarely works. In fact it usually just strengthens the other sides resolve, no matter how constraint you think you are.
And we see that in UC. The Mandarins never would have backed down. In the end, they simply run out of time. They were actually in the process of resolving the funding issues and getting the Core Worlds worked up for war but they were defeated by the power of plot and authorial fiat.


I just don't agree with this assessment of the situation.

If you want to identify a serious mistake in Manticoran policy, it was allowing Honor to lead a battle fleet to Sol right after the events at Beowulf. That was just irresponsible.
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Re: The Complacency of the White Haven Admiralty (Spoilers)
Post by Star Knight   » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:39 am

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You're thinking of all the military considerations, and disregarding the political ones.
I specifically addressed the political side in the opening post. But ff you are aiming for a political solution within a given amount of time and your military window of opportunity to enforce said solution closes in x-1 the military considerations take point, wouldn’t you say?
UC showed us the strategy of the Alliance was failing and the window of opportunity was closing on their chosen political strategy.

I just don't agree with this assessment of the situation.


Yeah ok but why?


If you want to identify a serious mistake in Manticoran policy, it was allowing Honor to lead a battle fleet to Sol right after the events at Beowulf. That was just irresponsible.

Yes. And it was also just another symptom of the problem I’m describing.
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Re: The Complacency of the White Haven Admiralty (Spoilers)
Post by noblehunter   » Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:01 am

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Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:49 pm

The GA's strategy was working pretty well until Mesa got nuked. The League was months away from collapsing in economic and constitutional turmoil. Whatever improvements the League made in the meantime would amount to very little.

I don't actually buy that the Mandarins could have leveraged Houdini's finale into a quick and dirty constitutional amendment. It'd be like the American Federal government trying to take direct control of state finances. No matter how dangerous the situation, it's too contrary to basic assumptions about the relationship between State and Federal governments. Not to mention I think it'd be difficult to convince people to generalize from nuking Mesa to nuking anywhere.

The League was beaten when it became clear they couldn't reverse Lacoon. In my opinion, it was authorial fiat that gave them a chance to avoid it by changing the Constitution.
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