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Post League Eridani

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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by GloriousRuse   » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:43 pm

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Which brings us back to, no matter what we make Inter (star)national law, how will it be enforced? Pretty much anyone with an interstellar navy (or a sufficiently dedicated action cell) can smash a planet in a world of C-fraction missiles and ships. And still threaten other planets.

Which leads us to a couple use cases to consider, so let’s go with an easy one:

Petty Kingdom A and Petty Kingdom B have some differences. Knowing that in planet killing land, he who shoots first has a chance to be he who shoots last, A decides to finish B. They do. Being petty Kingdoms, A manages to neutralize B’s “Boomers” (probably up hyper or boltholed missile ships that are the dying breath guarantee of MAD, which in turn hopefully keeps everyone honest) or B naively assumes A will never do this and has no boomer option.

The GA thumps it’s mighty chest. A points out that while they probably can’t smoke Manticore itself if the GA comes steamrolling them for retribution, there is almost certainly a planet in the GA insufficiently protected to stop EVERY missile even a third rate power can fling. The SEM “core” may be chanting for violent action from behind the safety of the toughest defenses in the Honorverse, but it’s hard to imagine any of the outliers are feeling happy knowing they are 1 in 15 planets that might be be obliterated at the price of the Manties getting justice.

Does Manticore proceed knowing that to gain justice for irrelevant Petty Kingdom B, one of its own is going to be eradicated? Does the SEM or the GA hold together after that decision is announced, or do people suddenly decide they don’t want to be sacrificed on the altar of the “The Right Thing”?
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by tlb   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:25 am

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This question reminds me of an earlier discussion about the Eridani Edict; so I am reposting this question, because I think it needs an answer in the light of the statements shown below.
Dilandu wrote:P.S. And must point out, that the assumption that "Eridani Edict is for universal good" is pretty much biased. Look at the other side; Eridani Edict basically made interstellar wars and imperialism a "joyful, fun and profitable enterprises". And it also left smaller and weaker star nations completely at the mercy of bigger and powerful, because the war in Honorverse is usual way of solving political problems, and lesser star nations could not have conventional forces capable of deterring the more powerful opponent.

quite possibly a cat wrote:Absolutely. Without the EE any star nation can say "Attack and we obliterate you."
--snip--
Honestly, I think the EE was a terrible idea the way it was mutually written. Defenders should be allowed the means needed to defend themselves. Even if that means planet busting the attacker. Ultimately, you need to be willing to shoot through the human shields or the bad guys win.

How does the Eridani Edict prevent a weak planet from threatening ultimate destruction in self defense?

After the Toulon ship evades the conquering Haven fleet; the Eridani Edict would not stop the Dague from hitting the Haven home planet with as much planet shattering damage as it could achieve. The League would not do anything to Toulon, because it is already under Haven control. The officers of the ship would be regarded as pirates, but that is what happened to them anyway.

If you cannot answer the question, then I do not think you can justify saying that the Eridani Edict basically made interstellar wars and imperialism a "joyful, fun and profitable enterprises".
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by GloriousRuse   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:40 pm

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That is a pretty reasonable question. And the answer lies more in intent than capability. Assured death is a game of wills. At the end of the day, there is no edict, law, or political catch in the Honorverse than can stop a people willing to commit societal suicide from taking another planet down with them. You truly can decide to Live Free or Die.

So a smaller nation faced with conventional conquest can indeed choose to planet-kill some of their invaders. The Eridani Edict just ensures that this decision means there is always, utterly, MAD. Because of the League’s weight, it was previously guaranteed that even the most powerful unilateral force anywhere else would also be genocided in retaliation.

At the strategic level, it basically ensures that everyone, everywhere, has a guaranteed overwhelming second strike ability. In short, you can never get first mover advantage in the exchange.

And for most cases, that is enough. Most people would rather accept a change of government than guaranteed death. Most ruling elites would prefer a favorable exile/retirement/client state status after conquest to hideous world ending fire as well. So long as Total Destruction is out, the. Larger nations have the ability to war against smaller nations with relative impunity.

But not all. It is not inconceivable that say, Torch, would rather die to the last man, woman, and child than allow a Mesan Reconquest. Nationalism, insufficient information, interests, fear, and honor may all also lead to “irrational” decisions to engage in mutual EEV suicide as well.

So you might say the League Enforced EE was the absolute best deterrent to planet-killing that could exist, albeit not any better at overcoming a human willingness to suffer the consequences than any MAD scheme could be.

Without a SL, that second strike is a lot less credible. You could conceivably threaten the SEM out of retaliation in a way the sheer mass of the League made impossible. Which means the odds of a successful first strike, particularly between either small states or states confident they can prevent the enemy from counter striking. Which on one end encourages small states to shoot first more often, on the other, gives large states a more credible chance of surviving EEV use.
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by noblehunter   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:05 pm

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One thing which would help is an internationally supported Eridani accord, if the GA and Solly successor states all sign on to take out the responsible parties, it does a lot to restore the weight of metal behind the SL Eridani Edict. The trick is coming up with a same level of perceived guarantee. The Edict was notable for being a cohesive act of foreign policy from a body which didn't do foreign policy. That gave it a sense of inevitability--the League will squash you like a bug--that will be difficult for an international agreement to achieve. Though having a joint Solly/Manty force lines a bunch of murderers against the wall would go a long way to establishing that certainty.
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by tlb   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:21 pm

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There has been a large amount of talk about world destruction, even though there has been no sign of any such thing in the stories. Is it simply forbearance by the author or due to actual principles such as discussed by Glorious Ruse?

PS. The main thread on world destruction is the following:
Why the Honorverse would be full of dead planets

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8303
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by GloriousRuse   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:16 pm

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Up to this point, the EE has essentially allowed Weber to have conventional war in space. As written, it is believable that the verge nations have been held in check by it. You could argue which way it would go - would someone pull the trigger anyhow - but you could get a believable universe where the populations and governments of the verge would rather take new tax collectors and cushy retirements over a genocidal ending.

Simply, there was no way to win a Planet-killing exchange. Or even survive it. Post league , there very well may be. And that destabilizes the situation from “certain death” to “of the price is right”.
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by tlb   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:12 pm

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GloriousRuse wrote:Post league , there very well may be. And that destabilizes the situation from “certain death” to “of the price is right”.

But we are not really in a post League situation; the new Solarian League may have been trimmed back some, but for anyone outside the GA it is as formidable as before. The main limit imposed was what could happen to SLN ships encountering GA ships outside of League territory. Will that restriction be relaxed in time as the new League government takes shape, or soon after? While it is in place only Manticore, Grayson, Haven, the Andermani and any new allies (such as the Maya Sector) can effectively police a renewed Edict, but it would be logical to work the new League in somehow.
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by Castenea   » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:49 am

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tlb wrote:
GloriousRuse wrote:Post league , there very well may be. And that destabilizes the situation from “certain death” to “of the price is right”.

But we are not really in a post League situation; the new Solarian League may have been trimmed back some, but for anyone outside the GA it is as formidable as before. The main limit imposed was what could happen to SLN ships encountering GA ships outside of League territory. Will that restriction be relaxed in time as the new League government takes shape, or soon after? While it is in place only Manticore, Grayson, Haven, the Andermani and any new allies (such as the Maya Sector) can effectively police a renewed Edict, but it would be logical to work the new League in somehow.

Even before the destruction of the SL by Manticore, I think it would have been an interesting situation if: Planet Bophal has been devastated by Planet Bangalore.

Bophal had sufficient status to bring the situation to the attention of relevant people inside and outside the league.

The SLN assembles a task force and sets out on a punitive expedition to Bangalore. Two years after the Edict Violation the punitive expedition drops out of hyper and begins to proceed into the Bangalore system, then receives the following Message: "This is Lt. Alert of the Asgerd Navy, we are conducting trials of the former government of Bangalore. The Admiral and JAG will send you an update on the current status of proceeding in two hours."
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by cthia   » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:09 am

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GloriousRuse wrote:Up to this point, the EE has essentially allowed Weber to have conventional war in space. As written, it is believable that the verge nations have been held in check by it. You could argue which way it would go - would someone pull the trigger anyhow - but you could get a believable universe where the populations and governments of the verge would rather take new tax collectors and cushy retirements over a genocidal ending.

Simply, there was no way to win a Planet-killing exchange. Or even survive it. Post league , there very well may be. And that destabilizes the situation from “certain death” to “of the price is right”.

It kind of hinges on the morality of mankind. Similar to what keeps the use of nuclear weapons at bay here on Earth today. At the core of man, wars are still fought by the "humanity of people," similar to the gist of a statement uttered by Honor. At any rate, there's a difference in sacrificing oneself to a cause than sacrificing an entire planet and all of one's friends and loved ones. So, Weber's reliance upon human nature as an inherent deterrence does not require as much suspension of belief in that regard. IMO.

One of my concerns is exactly how much of a deterrent Manticore actually represents? Any and everyone knows how willing the SLN would have been to trade an eye for an eye. But I just don't see that as the RMN's MO. So, without that ruthless, uncompromising reputation, how much of a deterrence does the RMN really represent. Really?

Besides, doesn't letting loose an EEV - even in retribution and punishment - represent the exact same lack of morals, scruples and values?

What would make an EEV meted out as a punishment be any better than the original crime, meted out as a punishment?

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Post League Eridani
Post by tlb   » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:26 am

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GloriousRuse wrote:Up to this point, the EE has essentially allowed Weber to have conventional war in space. As written, it is believable that the verge nations have been held in check by it. You could argue which way it would go - would someone pull the trigger anyhow - but you could get a believable universe where the populations and governments of the verge would rather take new tax collectors and cushy retirements over a genocidal ending.

Simply, there was no way to win a Planet-killing exchange. Or even survive it. Post league , there very well may be. And that destabilizes the situation from “certain death” to “of the price is right”.

cthia wrote:It kind of hinges on the morality of mankind. Similar to what keeps the use of nuclear weapons at bay here on Earth today. At the core of man, wars are still fought by the "humanity of people," similar to the gist of a statement uttered by Honor. At any rate, there's a difference in sacrificing oneself to a cause than sacrificing an entire planet and all of one's friends and loved ones. So, Weber's reliance upon human nature as an inherent deterrence does not require as much suspension of belief in that regard. IMO.

One of my concerns is exactly how much of a deterrent Manticore actually represents? Any and everyone knows how willing the SLN would have been to trade an eye for an eye. But I just don't see that as the RMN's MO. So, without that ruthless, uncompromising reputation, how much of a deterrence does the RMN really represent. Really?

Besides, doesn't letting loose an EEV - even in retribution and punishment - represent the exact same lack of morals, scruples and values?

What would make an EEV meted out as a punishment be any better than the original crime, meted out as a punishment?

I am pretty sure that the current Eridani Edict does not specific an eye for an eye, or in this case a planet for a planet. Instead it says that all responsible individuals will be rounded up and tried for the crime, with execution as the punishment if found guilty.

http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/en ... ngton/31/0
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