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How to downgrade the fleet without upsetting the public?

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Re: How to downgrade the fleet without upsetting the public?
Post by Sigs   » Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:49 pm

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kzt wrote:The SL is like modern Germany. No real interest in actually generating any military power, it's just a jobs program, and some kickbacks to industrial companies.

The idea that every system will decide to spend many trillions per year on this seems questionable.



Its questionable until they review the war form start to finish.

-The SLN started the war, once the member systems start digging they will figure this out real quick.

-The SLN kept getting smacked around by a national and later an alliance less than 10% of their size and significantly less industrial might.

-After the SLN started the war and suffered a number of defeats they promptly left the vast majority of League members exposed and completely defenceless.

-Started threatening to drop intervention battalions on full League Members to force them to toe the line of the central government.


-League government promptly went ahead and attacked neutral systems and then just to send a message to the rest of the League they attacked at least 2 members in both cases they were completely defeated and in one of those cases they actually committed war crimes.


-The SLN was ready to commit atrocities against its own members against the Eridani Edict that they were supposed to enforce.


When all that is considered I would say most rational people would be very cautious when giving the SLN anything that they can use to oppress the member systems. the member systems are ignorant of what is happening in the verge and protectorates because they have no reason to worry, now they do and not because of the RMN or the GA but because of the SLN. The SLN demonstrated that in a case of a disagreement between a member system or a group of member systems and the central government it has no issues with committing mass murder and war crimes against core and shell worlds to get the wishes of the central government carried out. When that is considered the member systems don't have the luxury of looking at a verge or protectorate system getting its meager industry destroyed by the SLN, shake their head and move along because now its way too close to home. The SLN attacked Hypatia and Beowulf for leaving the League or trying to anyway, but most members will read between the lines and know that the central government could decide they need more power in their hands, or more money etc... and with them controlling a military that owes no allegiance to the member systems they can and will do as they please just like was demonstrated. Up until the war with the GA every member assumed the SLN is invincible, righteous and will defend its territory, after the war they know that the SLN was crushed because it let itself become obsolete and weak, it is led by war criminals, and will willingly abandon it's member systems and if necessary attack them to scare the rest. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want the central government to have the power of the only major fighting force in the League at their disposal and I definitely would not want to depend on the SLN to protect me with their track record of losing the first real war they fought.
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Re: How to downgrade the fleet without upsetting the public?
Post by Sigs   » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:11 pm

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tlb wrote:Given that the bad old SLN only did what it was directed to do by the civilian leadership (after the initial Byng and Crandall deployments), why would the core worlds have worries about a federal navy under the restructured League government? The atrocities for which they are specifically accused were ordered by the Mandarins.


I'm in the military, I have been in the military for well over a decade now and I can tell you one of those little things they taught us back in basic training is that just because you are given an illegal order doesn't mean you are protected if you carry it out. If I were ordered to kill a bunch of kids and I carried it out it wouldn't matter that someone ordered me to do so I am still responsible. Everyone from the person who gave the order down to those who carried it out would be held accountable. The SLN demonstrated that they have no integrity and in a disagreement between the government and the members they will fall on the side of the government the member systems have little choice but to try and limit it's power. This time it was the mandarins giving the orders, next war it would be the next group and since the everyone would realistically be aware that the League is corrupt and likely will remain so they cant have faith that it wont happen again.

Even if each core world built several SDs, that would not be a League defense unless they could be called up in an emergency like our National Guard; which would require that there be a federal command structure. If there is not central design and planning, how would we know that the individual units could even fight together?


That's why the League assembly would put it in writing that every member system that decides to maintain an SDF must maintain their ships to a certain standard so that you don't end up with some SDF's showing up with state of the art SD(P)'s and others come in with SD's from the reserve. With periodic mobilization and exercising you can find shortcomings and in times of war the SDF's or parts of them could fall under the command of the SLN, but when they are ordered to destroy a member system or commit atrocities they will think long and hard because it wont be the SLN committing the atrocities it would be the SDF of system X and no one would want to be marked for revenge when the dust settles.

Isn't it more likely that those worlds who particularly worry about defense would build something similar to a hardened Mycroft controlling system defense pods and a massive fleet of LACs?
Fixed defences are great but they are not the be all and end all, can one system form fixed defences to hold off 1,000 SD(P)'s all on their own during peace time? Whats worse is that if the SLN is used to enforce the will of the central government the targeted member systems cannot help eachother. Dividing the fighting power of the LEague to it's member systems means that the central government knows that the members have the means to tell them off and if need be can form a sizable fleet to get their message across.
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Re: How to downgrade the fleet without upsetting the public?
Post by Sigs   » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:18 pm

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kzt wrote:
Dauntless wrote:but can they really afford not to build up their SDFs?

also most Solly core worlds are very rich, they can easily afford a squadron or 2 of SDs. They just have never seen the need with the "invicible" SLN around to protect them.

Germany is very rich.

Number of weapon systems ready for action:

Typhoon jets: 39 of 128
Tornado jets: 26 of 93
CH-53 transport helicopters: 16 of 72
NH-90 transport helicopters: 13 of 58
Tigre attack helicopters: 12 of 62
A400M transport aircraft: 3 of 15
Leopard 2 tanks: 105 of 224
Frigates: 5 of 13
Submarines: 0 out of 6

Specifically, the Bundeswehr’s ninth tank brigade in Münster only has nine operational Leopard 2 tanks — even though it promised to have 44 ready for the VJTF — and only three of the promised 14 Marder armored infantry vehicles.

They use broomsticks on AFVs to replace the machine guns they don't have.


Germany didn't just watch France be invaded by the UN and have its entire industry destroyed to send a message, because if it did then I can guarantee that the German Army and the German Air Force will find the funds to rebuild and the German government would be very motivated to provide those funds.
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Re: How to downgrade the fleet without upsetting the public?
Post by tlb   » Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:05 pm

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tlb wrote:] Isn't it more likely that those worlds who particularly worry about defense would build something similar to a hardened Mycroft controlling system defense pods and a massive fleet of LACs?

Sigs wrote:Fixed defences are great but they are not the be all and end all, can one system form fixed defences to hold off 1,000 SD(P)'s all on their own during peace time? Whats worse is that if the SLN is used to enforce the will of the central government the targeted member systems cannot help eachother. Dividing the fighting power of the LEague to it's member systems means that the central government knows that the members have the means to tell them off and if need be can form a sizable fleet to get their message across.

I have a passing acquaintance with the military and agree that we were taught in basic that "just following orders" is not a defense. I hope and expect that those who did commit atrocities will be tried and punished; but the point was that under the new Solarian League, the bureaucracy will be answerable to the assembly, which will have powers of oversight. So that the federal navy and the central government will have to answer to the representatives of the member worlds. That should mean that no longer will illegal commands be given.

In one of the books there is a discussion about separating the naval forces to defend all the members of the alliance and the problem that it causes. By trying to be strong everywhere, you end up not being strong enough anywhere. What happens, under this dispersal of naval strength, when an unknown adversary starts attacking individuals worlds of the League and the call goes out to unite all the SDF units together? If an individual world allows its forces to go, then it is unprotected; so shouldn't it refuse to let them go?

I fear that your conception of how the new League should work, means that there is no League at all and it is everyone for themselves. The cheese stands alone.
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Re: How to downgrade the fleet without upsetting the public?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:45 pm

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Sigs wrote:That's why the League assembly would put it in writing that every member system that decides to maintain an SDF must maintain their ships to a certain standard so that you don't end up with some SDF's showing up with state of the art SD(P)'s and others come in with SD's from the reserve.

That's one of those ideas that looks good at first glance but can turn into a disaster all too easily.

What coercion could the League government use against systems that choose to have some kind of SDF but won't toe the standard line?

But if they do the power could be misused in a couple of ways. One would be to constantly increase the minimum requirement - forcing systems to chose whether it even made sense to retain and SDF if they're being constantly being forces to build new, different, ships to chase a rapidly changing target. (So a misbehaving League could potentially convince most systems to scrap their SDFs by making the requirements for a compliant one impractically expensive)
Or conversely a standard that isn't updated when it should be could block improvements in SDF ship design. If such a rule had existed when SD(P)s were introduced I could easily see a central Naval bureaucracy refuse to accept SD(P)s as meeting the common standard because the sacrificed serviceability -- "we don't care what theoretical advantages you thing this design gives you; it doesn't meet the acceptance standards and building it will put you out of compliance with SDF standards!"
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Re: How to downgrade the fleet without upsetting the public?
Post by Sigs   » Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:33 pm

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tlb wrote:I have a passing acquaintance with the military and agree that we were taught in basic that "just following orders" is not a defense. I hope and expect that those who did commit atrocities will be tried and punished; but the point was that under the new Solarian League, the bureaucracy will be answerable to the assembly, which will have powers of oversight. So that the federal navy and the central government will have to answer to the representatives of the member worlds. That should mean that no longer will illegal commands be given.

The problem is that the SLN has no experience with a central government that is also a democracy so they don't know if it will actually work. Then there is the problem that the majority of remaining members would be out the loop because of travel times to and from the capital. What I would consider is that the League may become business as usual in 10-30 years, because the GA is demanding a change in government and a genuine democracy but the formation and running of that democracy would be in the hands of the very people who would benefit from the return of the bureaucracy. Cant really expect the people that got you in the current mess to not take advantage and steer the government and the nation back to the original problem.
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Re: How to downgrade the fleet without upsetting the public?
Post by tlb   » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:10 pm

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tlb wrote:I have a passing acquaintance with the military and agree that we were taught in basic that "just following orders" is not a defense. I hope and expect that those who did commit atrocities will be tried and punished; but the point was that under the new Solarian League, the bureaucracy will be answerable to the assembly, which will have powers of oversight. So that the federal navy and the central government will have to answer to the representatives of the member worlds. That should mean that no longer will illegal commands be given.

Sigs wrote:The problem is that the SLN has no experience with a central government that is also a democracy so they don't know if it will actually work. Then there is the problem that the majority of remaining members would be out the loop because of travel times to and from the capital. What I would consider is that the League may become business as usual in 10-30 years, because the GA is demanding a change in government and a genuine democracy but the formation and running of that democracy would be in the hands of the very people who would benefit from the return of the bureaucracy. Cant really expect the people that got you in the current mess to not take advantage and steer the government and the nation back to the original problem.

They can try; but without OFS and the opportunity for graft with the transtellar corporations in the Verge, I do not think that they can become as corrupt as before. If the new constitution puts any thought into how departments are funded, in addition to how they need to be audited by committees of the Assembly, then it should take much more than several decades to get back into trouble. Since everyone has prolong, the memory of the bad times will last much longer also.
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Re: How to downgrade the fleet without upsetting the public?
Post by Sigs   » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:26 pm

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tlb wrote:In one of the books there is a discussion about separating the naval forces to defend all the members of the alliance and the problem that it causes. By trying to be strong everywhere, you end up not being strong enough anywhere. What happens, under this dispersal of naval strength, when an unknown adversary starts attacking individuals worlds of the League and the call goes out to unite all the SDF units together? If an individual world allows its forces to go, then it is unprotected; so shouldn't it refuse to let them go?

I fear that your conception of how the new League should work, means that there is no League at all and it is everyone for themselves. The cheese stands alone.

Im not talking about being strong everywhere, I am talking about every system deciding what level of defence they want once the ships that the SLN expect are dispatched. MEaning if the SLN expects system A to provide 25 SD(P)'s and system A is well aware of those expectations they cannot refuse to send those ships during wartime because they didn't build more for home defence. When we know that Beowulf can maintain 36 SD's without breaking a sweat I imagine that most core/shell systems can easily support a fleet of at least 60 SD(P);s nd some over 100.

Jonathan_S wrote:That's one of those ideas that looks good at first glance but can turn into a disaster all too easily.

What coercion could the League government use against systems that choose to have some kind of SDF but won't toe the standard line?

But if they do the power could be misused in a couple of ways. One would be to constantly increase the minimum requirement - forcing systems to chose whether it even made sense to retain and SDF if they're being constantly being forces to build new, different, ships to chase a rapidly changing target. (So a misbehaving League could potentially convince most systems to scrap their SDFs by making the requirements for a compliant one impractically expensive)
Or conversely a standard that isn't updated when it should be could block improvements in SDF ship design. If such a rule had existed when SD(P)s were introduced I could easily see a central Naval bureaucracy refuse to accept SD(P)s as meeting the common standard because the sacrificed serviceability -- "we don't care what theoretical advantages you thing this design gives you; it doesn't meet the acceptance standards and building it will put you out of compliance with SDF standards!"




So let me answer both of you with how I would go about reforming the League and the SLN:

The SLN would be formed around a fleet train to support offensive operations along with light combatants (BC(P)/BC(L), CA's CL's and DD's along with some CLACs)
Their combat duties would include anti piracy and protecting merchant marine etc...


Every ember system would be obligated to create an SDF with a standard say .25-.5% of the system GDP minimum, and designate that only a portion of the SDF could be called into federal service at anyone time. If a system has a GDP that can support 100 SD(P)'s with appropriate light combatants at .5% GDP the SLN would be entitled to 25% of those ships in the event of an emergency. If a system wants to spend 2% of its GDP to build a fleet of 400 SD(P)'s they are welcomed to and only 25 of those would be expected in federal service at any one time, if on the otherhand the SDF decides to spend .5% of their GDP on a navy and build only 25 SD(P)'s and the rest is in fixed forts and missile pods,LACs and destroyers/cruisers then so be it they will still be expected to deploy the 25 SD(P)'s even if they are left with nothing at home and I would assume their neighbours would be very unhappy if they were to notice that the system government is doing the very bare minimum because that would mean they would expect their neighbours to help protect them or that the SLN will not take their ships because they don't have a defense force without them.


So for a League with 1,000 members with an average of 60 SD(P)'s per member we can potentially see the SLN having acess to 15,000 SD(P)'s in time of war. The SLN will be responsible for offensive operations while the SDF's would be responsible to potect their home systems and rotate the SD(P)'s from the front if they have the ships

A system that invests in a proper SDF can in times of war have a fleet of SD(P)'s to protect it's self acked up by fixed defences without waiting for the SLN to rescue them and without fear that their entire fleet would be stripped from home defence unless they build the bare minimum that the SLN expects and then they have noone to blame but themselvs.

Divide the League into sectors and each sector has an SLN fleet base associated with it, at any point in time 10% of the available SD(P)'s from that sector would be in service with the SLN to conduct exercises and work up training as well as drilling the fleet train. Those ships would answer to the SLN for the training but ultimately in peacetime they would fall under their home government.


So at anyone time the SLN might have 1,500 SD(P)'s in service none of those would be available for offensiveoperations until the assembly has passed a resolution and a full mobilization would require the systems to ratify any law that places ships in active service of the SLN and under the control of the federal government. If the federal government requires the mobilization of all the ships designated for federal service it needs to be ratified by the assembly and 75% of the member systems not just the assembly.

Systems have whatever level of defence they feel comfortable with and the SLN gets the ships it needs only if there is an actual emergency, and they cant have a loophole that allowed 11th fleet to go to Manticore because the SD(P)'s can refuse to move as long as there is no actual order from both the assembly and the home government.


If a system chooses not to participate they will not recieve protection from the SLN and will be kicked out of the LEague alltogether. And as for the minimum standard changing? The Assembly and the member systems will have to agree with a seignificant majority to up the contribution requirment and change of technological standard would have to be ratified by the home government no matter what the assembly says.
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Re: How to downgrade the fleet without upsetting the public?
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:41 pm

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Sigs wrote:
kzt wrote:The SL is like modern Germany. No real interest in actually generating any military power, it's just a jobs program, and some kickbacks to industrial companies.

The idea that every system will decide to spend many trillions per year on this seems questionable.



Its questionable until they review the war form start to finish.

-The SLN started the war, once the member systems start digging they will figure this out real quick.

-The SLN kept getting smacked around by a national and later an alliance less than 10% of their size and significantly less industrial might.

-After the SLN started the war and suffered a number of defeats they promptly left the vast majority of League members exposed and completely defenceless.

-Started threatening to drop intervention battalions on full League Members to force them to toe the line of the central government.


-League government promptly went ahead and attacked neutral systems and then just to send a message to the rest of the League they attacked at least 2 members in both cases they were completely defeated and in one of those cases they actually committed war crimes.


-The SLN was ready to commit atrocities against its own members against the Eridani Edict that they were supposed to enforce.


When all that is considered I would say most rational people would be very cautious when giving the SLN anything that they can use to oppress the member systems. the member systems are ignorant of what is happening in the verge and protectorates because they have no reason to worry, now they do and not because of the RMN or the GA but because of the SLN. The SLN demonstrated that in a case of a disagreement between a member system or a group of member systems and the central government it has no issues with committing mass murder and war crimes against core and shell worlds to get the wishes of the central government carried out. When that is considered the member systems don't have the luxury of looking at a verge or protectorate system getting its meager industry destroyed by the SLN, shake their head and move along because now its way too close to home. The SLN attacked Hypatia and Beowulf for leaving the League or trying to anyway, but most members will read between the lines and know that the central government could decide they need more power in their hands, or more money etc... and with them controlling a military that owes no allegiance to the member systems they can and will do as they please just like was demonstrated. Up until the war with the GA every member assumed the SLN is invincible, righteous and will defend its territory, after the war they know that the SLN was crushed because it let itself become obsolete and weak, it is led by war criminals, and will willingly abandon it's member systems and if necessary attack them to scare the rest. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want the central government to have the power of the only major fighting force in the League at their disposal and I definitely would not want to depend on the SLN to protect me with their track record of losing the first real war they fought.


A proposed amendment to the Solarian Legue Constitution:


A well regulated System Defense Force being neccessary for a free solar system, the right of the member systems to have well regulated System Defense Forces shall not be infringed.
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Re: How to downgrade the fleet without upsetting the public?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:28 pm

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:
A proposed amendment to the Solarian Legue Constitution:


A well regulated System Defense Force being neccessary for a free solar system, the right of the member systems to have well regulated System Defense Forces shall not be infringed.

How is that a change?

Even under the old constitution systems had to right to build SDFs and nobody infringed on that right (well not until the SLN started attacking it's own -- arguable attacking a system and its SDF could be seen as infringing).
Sure most system didn't bother to build significant SDFs because they thought they had better things to do with their funds. But their inalienable right still existed.
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