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"The War That Wasn't" - Fluff BG for "Anatomy
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:15am
Before I wrote "Anatomy", I started this. It's written in the format of a non-fictional book (Phong even made a .pdf of it up to sometime in Chapter 4), and inspired by Norman Friedman's book on the Cold War, The Fifty Year War. I once posted parts of Chapter 3, excised of mentions of the ADN and such, to the Trek forum as "How The Federation Went Bad".
And now, I give you the whole thing:
The War That Wasn't: Conflict and Strategy in the Cold War between the Alliance and the Federation
On 11 June 2152 AST, around the time frame of Stardate 43500, the extra-universal exploration vessel DNS Daniel Boone entered Universe Designate ST-3 at the system Wolf 359 and initiated First Contact between the Alliance of Democratic Nations and the United Federation of Planets. The occasion, while momentous enough, would have long-term consequences that neither government could predict.
When news first came of first contact with the Federation - with it the discovery of a number of alien interstellar empires - it was considered by citizenry to be mostly a new market for goods or a place to go visit and learn alternate history. Nobody in the Alliance could predict that the Alliance would be forced to fight two major interstellar wars and multiple minor conflicts in the Alpha and Gamma Quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy ST-3, conflicts that would kill over half a billion Alliance citizens.
At the same time, nobody in the Federation could anticipate that within a quarter century of this strange first contact, the flag of the Federation would be lowered for the final time at a bombed-out Starfleet Headquarters complex upon the total collapse of the Federation itself, itself coming after billions of deaths in the Dominion War and the First and Second Federation Civil Wars.
For all that leaders on both sides tried to overcome the fact, the Federation and the Alliance were incompatible from the first day. The clash of ideology and world-views, of economic systems, doomed the two great powers to conflict from the beginning. Efforts to overcome these key differences faltered in the face of two things: the Alliance's unwillingness to forswear the use of force to achieve strategic ends or to emulate the Federation, and the Federation's unwillingness to "turn back the clock" and undo the perceived paradise that they had crafted during the first half of the 24th Century Local Time.
There will undoubtedly be debate for decades, centuries, about the Federation. Could it have been saved? Could it have been preserved in some way? Did the Alliance cause it's fall, or merely hasten it? Or, perhaps, the Alliance both hastened the end and yet made it a better end than what certainly would have happened without it's presence. For example, historians will not soon forget that the 2nd Civil War was fought solely by the Federation against it's rebellious colonies without any form of foreign intervention, all this despite very clear Romulan and Klingon designs upon Federation territory; designs that could only be thwarted by the threat of Alliance military power.
For good or for ill, the Alliance's arrival forever changed the fate of the Alpha Quadrant, guaranteeing the collapse of the Federation. The intention of this work is to examine, from Day 1, the interactions between the two governments and their neighbors and their approachs to policy, as well as their mistakes. The role of the Federation's strange and flawed economy, the Alliance's pressing needs in other universes, the effect of third parties such as the Romulan Empire on planners on both sides, the Borg Incursions and Dominion War and their effects upon both the Federation and Alliance's war planners and policy-makers, and attempted interventions from other extrauniversal sources will all be examined to show a complete picture of the complex politico-military mechanisms that fueled this Cold War and resulted in the death of the Federation.
2. First Contact and the Settlement of New Liberty
When the Daniel Boone first made contact with the Federation, reactions in the Federation mostly consisted of shock. Federation scientists had long postulated the possibility of traveling between alternate timelines. It was not impossible, to them, that such civilizations could exist, and controlled inter-universal travel had already been postulated due to the infamous Helkan incident in the 23rd Century.
The real cause for shock was because the contact came during the height of the Borg scare, and as a result the Federation's reaction tended to caution over all else. Starfleet immediately called in every ship in range to guard the Boone. The Federation Security Council's first session about the Alliance, later on the 12th, was dedicated, solely, to determing if the Boone's arrival was not some kind of Borg trick. Their fears were alleviated only after a detailed briefing from several senior engineers and analysts on the noticable differences between the Boone and the Borg ships previously encountered; even then Starfleet went to the trouble of sending out one of the new Galaxy-class ships, the Odyssey, to meet the Boone even though the Odyssey was still undergoing final shakedown trials.
The Alliance Government's reaction was not quite so immediate. On the 12th of June, President Jennifer Verdes was informed of the contact by Harold Mayfield, the Secretary for the Foreign Ministry's Department of Initial Contact (DIC). The first high-level meeting concerning the contact was not until the 15th, when Foreign Minister Rachel MacKenzie and Defense Minister Gregory Rathbone held a Cabinent-level proceeding to prepare a report to President Verdes and Chancellor Nicolas Mamamtas (for distribution to the Council).
The 15th was the same day that the Boone arrived in orbit over Earth. The ship's approach was hushed up until the last minute, and Federation state press was not released to announce the contact until Federation President Maralo Tevala had already met with the captain and DIC contact specialist from the Boone. This meeting was followed on the 19th by a formal meeting between President Tevala and Secretary Mayfield, including a brief conversation between Tevala and Verdes over inter-universal radio, that set the foundation for official ties between the two nations.
As had been common in these contact situations, the Alliance asked for territory in which to set itself up. Hard currency was offered for a "colonial zone" in which the Alliance could settle. The Federation had several regions it wanted to be rid of, and it chose New Liberty.
New Liberty was named by several idealistic Federation settlers who had colonized the Earth-like planet to provide a home to displaced Bajoran refugees. The settlers had little love for the Federation central government, and as of yet there were no vital resources that New Liberty or it's surrounding worlds could offer. The Federation turned the sector over to the Alliance for ¢900 billion in currency, materials, and foodstuffs, to be paid in installments after the first jump gate assembly was finished.
The Boone arrived at New Liberty on the 1st of July, accompanied by transports carrying a pre-fabricated jump gate and power system. The 2nd was chosen for the official signover. New Liberty was declared a protectorate territory of the Alliance Government at that time; the local settlers and Bajorans were granted a charter for self-rule in their settlements and a voice in the provisional government to be established after the initial settlements of Alliance colonists was completed. Deliberations as to which nations would be granted initial colonization continued into the middle of July; it was on the 19th that the Council agreed to grant the initial colonization rights to Britain of Universe SE-1 and two new Alliance members, the Kingdom of Iran and the League of East Africa in Universe FHI-8. A provisional government was set up, with Iran picking the President and the East Africans and settlers selecting the officers of government, to be followed by general elections in time with the main Alliance elections in November 2153.
The settling of New Liberty and ten nearby inhabitable systems came quickly, as thousands of entrepreneurs moved in to have a part in the money to be had from expanding into the new market. By October New Liberty alone had gone from a population of 200 thousand to 40 million. At New Year's, the entire Colonial Zone had a population of over half a billion.
There was a complicating factor in the settlement of New Liberty; the sector that the Federation ceded was still partially occupied by the Cardassian Union. The Federation had sold it's claim to the occupied systems to the Alliance; the Alliance, in turn, offered to Cardassia ¢100 billion to evacuate the five occupied systems. The Cardassians refused; they insisted the systems had been Cardassian before their war with the Federation and that they had the stronger claim. The Cardassians undoubtedly felt they had the strategic advantage on the new Alliance Colonial Zone. Nearly two-thirds of the Alliance's border was with Cardassia or with the Cardassians' local satellite race, the Keloans. Though not all contemporary Cardassian records were saved from destruction during the fall of Cardassia Prime in 2161, there were a number of scattered reports that survived that indicated the potential for a Cardassian attack on the Alliance at this phase. The Alliance Defense Ministry was concerned enough with the possibility that they immediately posted an entire Corps, including substantial anti-starship artillery assets, to New Liberty; an aerospace naval bomber group joined them soon afterward.
The situation of the Cardassians at this point was probably unknown in either Paris or Washington. The Federation felt the Cardassians were still strong enough to continue the war; the Alliance, new to the universe, were still involved in establishing diplomatic contact and relations with the Alpha Quadrant's star-faring nations. The conception that the Cardassians were able to maintain the war was false, probably aided by Cardassian propaganda distributed through anti-war movements in the Federation. The Cardassian military was nearly out of it's reserves. Large portions of it's fleet had been lost against technologically-superior Federation ships and defenses. Their armies were busy suppressing revolts across their empire, especially in Bajor. Cardassia needed time to recover her strength, hence their reason for suing for peace in the first place. The risk of attack, in the end, was negligable.
The Alliance never gave up on trying to find a peaceful solution (a fact later ignored by anti-Alliance pacifist groups in the Federation). Negotiations were held on ST-3 Earth with the enthusiastic support of the Federation. State visits came next. On the 17th of August the President of the ST-3 Colonial Zone, Mitra Bakhtavar, hosted Cardassian Minister of External Affairs Dukor Turas on New Liberty. Bakhtavar and Turas signed a joint statement calling for "continued peace and cordial discussion" between the Alliance and Cardassia. That October, Foreign Minister Rachel MacKenzie traveled to Cardassia for high-level meetings with the Cardassian Detepa Council (the Alliance was still unaware how powerless the Council was in Cardassian politics) and again Cardassia pledged to find a peaceful solution to their rival claims. The peaceful discussions continued up into the next year, when the Federation granted the Cardassians the right to occupy and inspect Bajoran camps in Federation territory, prompting a flood of frantic, terrified Bajorans into the Colonial Zone and exposing to the Alliance press the first hints of how brutal the Cardassians were. A planned state visit by President Mamatmas to Cardassia in June 2153 (originally scheduled for President Verdes before her resignation) was canceled after the Alliance intervened in the Keloan Civil War (to be discussed in Chapter 5); by that point, the Alliance Foreign Ministry was under Boris Umachov, who was more hard-edged and aggressive than MacKenzie. The brief detente between Cardassia and the Alliance would be dead before summer of 2153.
Alliance-Federation relations were better off. In October 2152 Minister MacKenzie visited Earth after her trip to Cardassia and met with President Tevala. The discussions focused on the normalization of trade and on establishing full diplomatic relations. A week later Iason Parmika was appointed by the Alliance Council as the first Ambassador to the Federation.
The early issue of contention was access to the Inter-Universal Jump Gate Network. The Federation asked the Alliance for the technology to build their own and offered compensation. The Alliance was a signatory to the Treaty of New Brasilia and could not grant the request. Ambassador Parmika told Tevala and his administration to approach the Oversight Committee of the IUCEC (Inter-Universal Commerce and Exploration Commission). Tevala dispatched a diplomatic team to negotiate with the IUCEC and brought the Treaty of New Brasilia before the Federation Council. He encouraged passage. The Idealogues, however, blocked it. They insisted the Federation, as a multi-racial body focused on peaceful exploration, be excused from some of the provisions of the treaty, including the IUCEC's right to collect a quarter of the profits from gate fees. One Council Representative, Tabitha Hallworth of Alpha Centauri, went as far as to denounce the IUCEC and the Alliance for assigning fees and regulations to the use of the Gate Network, claiming that it was "the right of all sentient species" to explore and travel across the Multiverse without limit.
Tevala persisted. He addressed the Council in early December 2152 AST and explained to them that the Federation was not above the law. If it wanted to join the Multiversal community, it had to obey it's rules. The Idealogues tried and failed to filibuster a follow-up vote and the Council approved the Treaty, but with a fatal exception; they insisted on being given as many seats on the Oversight Committee as the Alliance had.
The Oversight Committee was over a hundred years old at this point, and predated the Alliance by ninety-seven years. When the Alliance was formed, their seats were not merged into one; their individual member governments maintained their seats and their control of them. The Alliance Government was finally granted it's own seat on the Committee in 2151, after it was obviously clear that the Government had little influence in the appointment of it's constituent nations' commissioners. The Federation Council and it's related advisors probably failed to understand just how little the Alliance Government could influence the commissioners of it's constituents. When the Commission refused the Federation term in February, the Federation Council immediately retracted acceptance of the New Brasilia Treaty. This would have negative ramifications for the Federation later on. As it is, the IUCEC decided to outright reject the Federation petition in April 2153 after the Federation expanded it's Basic Necessities Act to include it's defense industry and related businesses. The decision was defended as protecting the critical Gate technology from being stolen by Federation nationalization practices upon Federation entry into the IUCEC. The Federation's economic practices were already driving wedges between it and the megaversal community as a whole.
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:17am
3. The Federation Economy and How It Came To Be
The economy of the Federation at the time of the Boone's arrival is a central issue to everything that followed afterward. Misconceptions about the Federation's economy continue to abound. Apologists claim it was merely a unique form of Democratic-Socialism. A handful of right-wing figures still proclaim the Federation to have been Communist. Though both are not entirely incorrect, the truth is quite different from either view.
The Federation spent the 24th Century trying to build the "Enlightened Society"; a multi-racial society in which every member was dedicated to the betterment of sentient life. This was an implicit attack on capitalism and the free market, which was and always has been directed by the force of personal desire for wealth. The Federation government used, and sometimes abused, it's power in an effort to dismantle the private sector and institute a benevolent command economy who's sole purpose would be to provide for each member of Federation society. This central impulse created the system that would eventually tear the Federation apart.
The "Enlightened Society" was first proposed by a Vulcan philosopher-scientist, Sirok, in an academic essay published in 2289 Local. He used Vulcan society as a model. The Vulcans had a command economy, one of the few in the Federation, because of their devotion to Surakism. Surak's teachings opposed the idea of private property and the pursuit of personal power and luxury, as the way to cultural and social enlightenment was selfless service to society and the suppression of personal desires and emotions in favor of strict logical thinking, more properly translated as "reality-truth". Trying to improve one's power and wealth was dismissed as wasteful, an unending course that could only squander one's potential. Sirok proposed that other races, over time, would see the wisdom of Surak's way and recognize that their personal desires and greed were keeping them and their societies stagnant and unable to improve themselves. Various Leftist parties on Earth and other worlds took up the cause and publicized it widely.
The pressing questions about re-distribution was aided by the first forays into replicator technology. In 2295 scientists from Cambridge successfully tested the first replicator by creating a marble bust of Sir Issac Newton from a raw hunk of marble. Two years later, a team from Berkeley University near San Francisco successfully replicated a frankfurter and fed it to the pet Labrador of one of the researchers, with no ill effects to the canine. Though it was soon obvious that replicated food lacked the taste of "real" food, replicators proved a remarkable source of plentiful food. All that was needed was raw foodstuffs; replicators, hooked into transporter-related systems, could handle transportation and cooking needs at once by providing a fresh plate of cooked, ready food at the touch of a button. The power demands were a concern, but the development of ultra-light fusion reactors in 2304 Local provided a solution.
All that remained was politics. In 2302 the 35th Federation Council was elected. Sirok was Vulcan's choice. He drafted the Basic Necessities Act (BNA), which would allow the Federation's government to buy foodstuffs, medicine, and construction material at low, regulated prices to provide food, medical aid, and housing to all citizens. The act failed due to the estimated cost. Sirok and his small cadre of supporters counter-attacked publicly: they pointed out that Starfleet had not yet cut down it's forces to the level agreed to in the Khitomer Accords, costing money that could go to the BNA among other things. It was a selective release of information, as the complete demilitarization of the Federation-Klingon border was not meant to be completed until 2310, but it worked and the public began insisting on abiding by the Accords.
The 2306 elections were positive for Sirok's "New Way". They campaigned strongly enough to win several planetary governments, particularly regional governments with large numbers of urban dwellers, and gained enough seats in the Federation Council to come to the forefront. But they still failed to put through the BNA. Starfleet was proving a focal point for resistance, as many of it's political supporters, usually disparate and opposed to one another, banded together to oppose the BNA as requiring the scrapping of Starfleet. The New Way countered that Starfleet was no longer needed in such strength. There were no more threats to the Federation.
Starfleet found something to latch onto. In 2308 a shockwave was detected in Romulan space. Intelligent assets and Romulan press releases quickly determined the cause; the Romulans had successfully detonated a trilithium bomb. Trilithium, a waste product from the use of dilithium crystals in matter/antimatter reactors, was notoriously unstable and a few scientists had speculated that sufficient quantities of it, properly refined, could cause stars to explode. Starfleet brought the matter before the Council and insisted on maintaining defense spending. Only with their current force level could they protect the Federation from this "barbarous new Romulan weapon", which could "annihilate entire star systems". Reports indicating otherwise were quashed. Starfleet's leading admirals needed the fear the bomb engendered to keep the public from leaning toward Sirok.
Their exaggerations were probably greater than they imagined. Though Romulan sources are scarce even today, it is widely accepted that the trilithium bomb was a bust. The Romulans found that it was impossible, with their current means, to produce sufficient amounts of refined trilithium to cause even the smallest stars to explode. But they found the illusion Starfleet created valuable later on.
The Tomed Incident came later that year. Whether it was a purposeful attempt to embarrass Starfleet or not is still up to debate. Reacting to a slight provocation - an apparent violation of the Neutral Zone by a Federation ship - the Romulans launched a full-scale attack on a Federation starbase at Tomed. The starbase and it's defenders were destroyed, killing tens of thousands of Federation nationals. Starfleet responded viciously and a counter-attack led by Admiral Hikaru Sulu threw the Romulans back over the Neutral Zone. Both sides lost dozens of ships. Warnings were issued as both sides prepared for war.
Sirok grabbed his opportunity. He called on the Federation Council to negotiate with the Romulan government and prevent a war from shattering the peace so recently won. Some of Starfleet's nominal allies abandoned them and supported Sirok's peace movement. It seemed to them, and many in the Federation, that all of Starfleet's promises were hollow; it alone could not prevent conflict by it's strength, and the circulating press story that Starfleet provoked the Romulans into the attack made it seem that Starfleet was even willing to go to war to justify it's power, a war it obviously was ill-prepared to fight if the Romulans had defeated them so easily.
The Romulans knew better. They took more losses at Tomed than the Federation knew and Sulu's counter-attack had cost them dearly. They were not ready for war with the Federation, especially not with the Klingons ready to defend their "allies" for a chance at valuable Romulan territory. Furthermore, there were great security concerns. Too many Romulans, especially in the colonies, were opposed to the government's initiatives. The Romulans accepted Sirok's offer to negotiate, desiring a more permanent treaty that could give them time to upgrade their military and deal with their internal problems.
The two sides agreed to meet at Algeron. The Romulans' terms were strong. Fifty percent of both sides' Neutral Zone military installations would be dismantled (exempting listening posts) and the amount of forces they could deploy near the Neutral Zone reduced, the Romulans by a quarter and the Federation by seventy-five percent. In exchange, they would agree to a promise of non-aggression and compensation to the victims of Tomed. The Federation countered with an additional request to ban trilithium weapons. The Romulans were apparently stunned that the Federation would be concerned about a useless weapon, and failed to immediately address the issue. When the Federation's request became a virtual demand, the Romulans took their opportunity and agreed to a term to ban trilithium weapons so long as the Federation banned use of cloaking devices by Starfleet. The Federation agreed to all the terms.
The Romulan government was stunned. Their opening terms had been strong because they expected the Federation government to demand a more equitable reduction of forces. They had underestimated the pull Sirok was gaining in the Federation Government. Tomed had proven him right, it seemed: keeping Starfleet powerful would only guarantee more conflict and bloodshed, whereas peaceful negotiation and agreement would bring lasting peace. Khitomer had already provided the basis for the theory and it would be another half century before the Federation would begin to learn otherwise. The success of the Second Treaty of Algeron emboldened the Romulan government, and it would spend the next fifty years in diplomatic isolation, purging their government, industries, and education system of "undesirable" influences (driving many "reactionaries" into the colonies) in preparation for dealing, finally, with the Federation and Klingon Empire.
Sirok was now the major force in Federation government. He led the Federation Council in the removal of President Sorxana Metheloi, blaming her for failing to keep Starfleet under control. Sirok and the New Way allied with several leftist and non-Human parties at this point and mustered the strength to place Neo-Socialist leader Hadrian Benton into the Presidency. The Neo-Socialists were primarily strong in Human communities, only just beginning to expand their strength into non-Human Federation races; the alliance between the New Way and the Neo-Socialists would open them up to this extra step, as many of the Alpha Quadrant races far from the Klingon and Romulan borders mistrusted the other Human parties as too warlike.
With this new alliance, the New Way Coalition controlled the Federation government. It passed the BNA, with modifications insisted on by President Benton; the BNA now allowed the Federation government to nationalize companies that went bankrupt or refused to cooperate with the new system. Several groups protested that this was unconstitutional. A third of the Council walked out when the BNA was passed and several Council members resigned and urged their planetary governments to break with the Federation if the BNA was enforced. The Federation's private sector, however, soon proved structurally weak to the New Way. There were very few agricultural and construction companies of sufficient resources to oppose the Government because most were small, usually servicing only one continent or planetary region; many gave in rather than trying to oppose the BNA, and the handful that didn't were attacked on two fronts, the beginning of nationalization proceedings coinciding with a vicious press campaign against the company. The citizenry seemed to support the New Way: boycotts against resisting companies devastated most and brought them to heel within a year.
Starfleet was next. The Tomed Incident had provided the excuse Sirok and Benton needed. Two-thirds of Starfleet Command and a third of the Admiralty were sacked by the President and forced to resign. The purge prompted a wave of resignations from lower officers and NCOs in protest; Admirals Sulu and Chekov, the last prominent members of James Kirk's legendary crew still in Starfleet, were amongst them. It was an attempt to bluff Benton into ending his attempted purge but it failed, a failure that would have severe consequences for Starfleet in the coming years. The protests from the public were stronger than they had been from passage of the BNA, but ultimately the New Way prevailed, their supporters in the press playing down the anti-New Way protests and focusing on the more extreme, militant groups to discredit the others. President Benton created a new regulatory body, the Commission on Starfleet Operations, and filled it with New Way men. They in turn appointed a new Starfleet Command composed of "politically suitable" officers (including Starfleet Command's first two Vulcan admirals, mostly notable in that both had only just reached admiralty ranks and were assigned to minor dead-end bureaucracies due to the politics of the pre-purge Starfleet).
2310 was to be the year that the New Way solidified it's power. But the "Old Way" leaders had one last card to play. The New Way's central premise required that the Khitomer Accords be followed and that was about to be challenged. As the election year began, the Klingon Empire announced it could not meet the deadline for the 70% border demilitarization mark that was supposed to be achieved by this time. The Federation press fed upon itself in the frenzy to deal with the announcement due to the clear desire among New Way supporters to sweep it under the rug. The purged Starfleet elements forced the issue in public. The electorate reacted in a mixed fashion. It still wanted the BNA, the guaranteed homes, food, and medical treatment. But old fears of Klingon aggression popped up and anti-New Way demonstrations rocked the worlds along the Klingon Neutral Zone.
Benton proved more maneuverable than Sirok. Sirok insisted on negotiations, but Benton took a hard stance, which had the effect of destroying some of his support with the New Way. His own party was unwilling to abandon their growing popularity in the core worlds and the worlds far from the Klingon and Romulan frontiers. They threw him out. Sirok became President briefly, but his attempts at negotiation failed.
The Klingon Empire was simply unable, structurally, to disarm as much as Gorkon and Azetbur had intended - it's military-industrial complex had too much power. Azetbur pushed the issue in the Klingon High Council, fearing that the Federation might withdraw from the Khitomer Accords. There was resistance from several noble Klingon houses that now had to choose between their traditional support to the government or their own wealth, tied to the military industries. The military began openly defying her authority as well. Azetbur ignored the warnings of her ministers and continued trying to force through a demilitarization in line with the Khitomer Accords. As the Federation election drew closer, Azetbur's pushing hardened. A week before the election she finally managed a Council meeting that could order an immediate withdrawal from the bases, in effect de-militarizing them before the deadline in lieu of immediate dismantling. As she went into the Council Chamber, Azetbur was suddenly attacked by the bodyguards of one of her ministers and fatally stabbed. She died within minutes.
Azetbur's assassination a mere week before the election terrified the Federation populace. Certainly the same Klingon cabal that had killed her father on the eve of the Khitomer Accords was coming to power (in truth her killing was the result of a deranged ultratraditionalist Klingon who opposed female rule). They wanted to be protected. The New Way received it's first setback. Sirok and the four other Vulcan seats were safe due to the New Way's unwavering support from Vulcan, but outside of those seats, the New Way lost a third of it's number in the Council. Surprisingly, a number were lost to the Neo-Socialists, who proved capable - on an individual basis and despite their leadership's support for continued negotiation - of supporting defensive measures more than the pacifist New Way.
Several "Old Way" parties and candidates formed a Coalition and had a near majority to take over the government. They would have to induct the New Way or the Neo-Socialists. Sirok refused to budge from his pacifist position. The Neo-Socialists again proved their malleability when it came to assuming more power. They agreed to join the coalition so long as the BNA was not repealed. The Old Way had no choice and accepted the Neo-Socialists into their midst. With their support, Hikaru Sulu was elected President of the Federation Council.
Sulu would turn out to be the one last gasp of the pre-New Way Federation. Though the ruling coalition could not repeal the BNA, Sulu limited it's use. He stopped all proceeding nationalization cases and raised the price controls so that private sector was no longer in the red from government purchases. The BNA still required him to give the basic living standards (Basic Living Necessities, aka BLN) to all Federation citizens, a task which proved impossible. Sulu's new Cabinent found that even under Benton, funding was short. Only the core sectors could be provided with the BLN. The Neo-Socialists also proved to be mercenary. They would be unable to muster a vote to remove Sulu on their own, but they could still ally with the remaining members of the New Way and their old allies when it came to pushing their social agendas. They pushed through a Council resolution levying a 10% due from all member worlds, to be paid in either funds or BLN goods. Their projections, later proved overly optimistic, showed that this would allow 80% of the Federation to have the BLN within fifteen years.
The charter colonies refused to accept the resolution. Unrepresented in the Federation Council, the charter colonies were the political result of a desire to not give the Federation's founding races an unfair advantage in legislature (which could lead to newer races refusing to join to avoid being marginalized). However, in exchange for not being in the Council, the charter colonies were allowed to rule themselves under any government they wished (so long as it honored the Federation's Constitution) and were exempt from most taxes and dues that could be levied upon represented worlds. They were even permitted to field their own militaries, if they could afford them, so long as they subordinated them to Starfleet in times of crisis. By this point, the population explosion on Earth that started after the Earth-Romulan Wars had expanded to space, and many of these charter colonies were human, a number of them being from particular human cultures as well (there were also similar colonies of Tellarites, Andorians, Betazoids, and other key races).
The Neo-Socialists, again opposing their own coalition partners (And holding hostage their desires to end Starfleet's decline), forced through another Resolution ordering the President to enforce their initial resolution (at the same time they passed a law ensuring they could order dues from any future charter colonies). Sulu refused, citing the Constitution and the Federation's prior agreements with the colonies.
It was Sirok who broke the impasse. In private meetings with Sulu in June 2311, he told the President that if he didn't get the colonies to give the dues, the New Way would put forward a resolution in the Council that would slash Starfleet to such minimal levels that it would be impossible to protect the charter colonies. With the support of the Neo-Socialists and other pacifist groups, it would certainly pass with just enough votes to overcome Sulu's veto (literally one vote, in fact). This amounted to extortion. The colonies mostly lacked the defenses to protect themselves, especially near the frontier. They would have to build up their own defenses and it could cost far more than the dues the Federation was asking for.
Sulu acqueised and extracted a promise from Sirok that Starfleet would be allowed to pursue the New Fleet program that had been initially proposed under Metheloi (this would lead to the modernization of the Excelsior fleet and the building of the newly-planned Ambassador-class battle cruisers and New Orleans-class frigates, among other things). Sirok agreed, perhaps reluctantly. Sulu, not wanting to deal with a court battle with the colonial leaders, forwarded the agreement to the charter colonies, urging them to accept; he could not prevent Sirok and the New Way from getting what they wanted. All but a few charter colonies agreed. In groups over the next few weeks, they began cooperating with the dues and money and materials came into Federation coffers, allowing the BNA to be implemented in the inner tenth of the Federation's territory by 2314.
Sulu's victory was the modernization and upgrading of Starfleet. He then used this as a bargaining chip with the Klingons. The Klingons had become technologically stagnant at this point. Their economy was still unstable as it tried to deal with the cleanup of Quo'noS while overcoming the entrenched military-industrialists, and they could ill afford a new arms race with the Federation so far in the lead. Thus they would not be able to match Starfleet's new forces and lacked the offensive strength to threaten a successful pre-emptive strike before they came online. The new Klingon government under Chancellor Korlaq gave in and demilitarization was put back on track and would remain so for nearly twenty years.
Sulu also attempted to undo Benton's purge. He invited a number of commanders back, but many were rejected by the Commission of Starfleet Operations, which was still controlled by Benton's men. There were also public protests, as many Federation citizens linked those leaders with Tomed (which was coming to be seen as a disaster, not as a failed Romulan attack). Sulu tried to replace the Starfleet Commissioners but was compelled by legislative pressure to back down.
The 2314 elections led to the New Way regaining a few seats, almost all at the expense of the "Old Way", while the Neo-Socialists remained relatively stable in their numbers. Sirok wanted to remove Sulu and cease the New Fleet, but the Neo-Socialists (now under Michelle Moore) again sided with the other parties. They, perhaps more than Sirok, appreciated the need for a powerful Starfleet to keep the Klingons honest.
The two parties still agreed on the key issues, and were making advancements. As the Klingons met their demilitarization marks, the fears that had led to their setbacks in 2310 subsided. Furthermore, by 2318 the BLN was available on 2 out of every 10 Federation worlds. Both parties surged in public membership and support as they made the claim that they were eliminating poverty "for all time", which seemed to be true to the core worlds that voted for most of the Council (in contrast, by then the charter colonies were beginning to feel the ill effects of 10% of their GDPs going to the Federation central government for the BLN and poverty was increasing). The 39th Council was elected that same year, and the "Old Way" parties lost even more ground; the New Way Coalition and Neo-Socialists, together, gained enough seats to control sixty percent of the Council vote. The Neo-Socialists, who had more seats than the New Way, kept Sulu in power but forced him to remove half his Cabinent, including the Secretaries of Transportation, Finance, and Industry, plus the Chairman of the Security Council.
By 2320, the BNA began showing a dark side. Productivity in the core worlds was falling. Unemployment was rising steadily and the pressure on the BLN was increasing. Economists predicted that within ten years, the twenty inner-most systems of the Federation would be de facto command economies as local businesses closed down from a lack of both business and labor. Surveys indicated many people on Earth and nearby planets (save Vulcan) no longer believed it necessary for them to work for a living. The BLN provided everything they needed to survive. They could work little oddjobs once and a while for cash, but so long as they had homes, food, and medical care they were willing to just enjoy life.
It was about to get worse. In August 2320, the first planet-wide replicator system came online on Mars. Every being living on Mars now had access to public replicators to make whatever they wanted (save weapons, which were not programmed into the system). Earth, Alpha Centauri, and Andor had similar systems online in October, and thirty inner systems were completely online by New Year's. The consumer economy began to collapse. Why would anyone buy a manufactured item when they could easily replicate it for free? Even worse, the public replicator system was considered part of the BLN - the materials and energy needed to power this new, unexpected use of the system came from the BLN. Sulu decided to reform the system and limit it to food. This was not technically a violation of the BNA, so the Council did not stop him. Immediately a wave of public protest erupted; the planets with the replicators wanted the free goods the system offered. They also controlled a disproportionate number of Council seats, and their representatives heeded their protest. A new act, the Replicator Usage Act, was brought forward to the Council to make the use of public replicators for replicating "non-violent items" legal. Sulu vigorously opposed it. He went public; the Federation couldn't afford the RUA being implemented, since it would spike replicator use and require even more raw materials and energy (thus requiring more fusion reactors and even more fuel and staff for those). In 2321 another sixty inner systems gained replicators. Because of the way the Federation Council was set up, these ninety systems controlled a near-majority of the Federation seats at the time. Their neighbors began pursuing them too.
By 2322, eighty percent of the systems with Council seats had planet-wide replicators. Polls and public demonstrations demanded passage of the RUA. The New Way grabbed hold of the issue; Starfleet had to be reduced to provide the funding. The Neo-Socialists vacilitated while Sulu fought back, publicly reminding the Federation's electorate that the money for the BLN came from the charter colonies, who expected defense. Starfleet couldn't be reduced without compromising this.
The New Way won. When the 40th Federation Council convened, seventy-five percent of it's seats were held by the Neo-Socialists and the New Way. Sulu resigned the day after the elections and Sirok was immediately voted to replace him. The New Way and Neo-Socialists split the Cabinent, with the Neo-Socialists taking the key Secretariats of Finance, Industry, and Agriculture, as well as six of the eleven seats in the Federation Security Council. An increase in the levies on the colonies was passed on July 10th 2323, increasing it to 20% by the 2324 fiscal year and 25% by the 2330 fiscal year.
The charter colonies did the only thing left to them: they threatened to secede. Near the Triangle and the Romulan and Klingon frontiers, leaders from three economically powerful charter colony governments in the region - Pacifica, Algrossa, and Nippon - met to debate secession and the formation of a confederated government for self-defense. New Anglia, New Anatolia, the De Soto worlds, and the Hortak Constituency (Andorian) send officials to deliver ultimatums to the Federation government. Several more began openly deliberating secession.
The Neo-Socialists called upon the use of military force to bring the colonies into line. Starfleet could be used to blockade the worlds and force them to accept the will of the Federation government. Sirok wavered while the Neo-Socialists whipped up public support. The colonials were portrayed as greedy capitalists, more intent on their own wealth than on helping to raise all of the peoples of the Federation into prosperity. They had to be stopped, forced to bow to the democratic demands of the Federation's citizenry. Protests and demonstrations broke out against the rebelling colonies. The Colonial Affairs office was purged of suspected sympathizers, writers were fired from news services, and in a few cases confirmed citizens of the charter colonies were outright attacked. It became so bad that when the Federation Supreme Court gave a preliminary ruling in favor of the charter colonies, protestors picketed the Court and one of the Justices was even assaulted while trying to walk his dog.
Sirok was becoming an old man now, well into his 170s. He had worked for over three decades to see his vision of a Federation guided by Surak's teachings realized, and now the neo-Socialists had perverted it with their militarism. He addressed the Council on July 20th and asked them to compromise with the charter colonies. The Neo-Socialists, led by Moore, attacked him viciously. He clearly had no stomach to see his great society come to fruition. The Federation needed a leader who could bring the rebelling colonies to heel and put the Enlightened Society back on track. Half the New Way defected to the Neo-Socialists in the vote of no confidence. Sirok was removed and Moore became President. She immediately began purging the Federation government of Sirok's allies.
Starfleet again became a problem. Sulu had silently appointed officers he trusted into high positions during his Presidency. They refused to attack their own people. Moore sacked Sulu's men and brought back some of Benton's. Starfleet's rank and file nearly revolted now. And some of the public support for force was declining as it became clear that it might result in civil war. After only two months in the Presidency, the Neo-Socialists and New Way removed Moore from office and put in the Council Representative for Tellar, Jovark tha'Twissi.
Jovark played Sirok's old card. He informed the rebelling colonies that he'd have to cut Starfleet if they didn't agree to a dues increase. He also pointedly reminded them, in a public fashion, that they'd probably have to spend just as much of their GDPs to establish their own defenses, which in many cases would be reliant on resources within "loyal" Federation systems. Alone, they'd be easy pickings for the Tholians, Klingons, or newly-discovered Cardassians. The colonies' public reacted as Jovark hoped and their governments, mostly by slim majorities, backed down and accepted the dues. To facilitate the compromise, Jovark pushed through the Council a modification to the dues increase and removed the increase to 25% in 2330. He perhaps felt that the colony's economies might begin to recover as the BLN was extended to them (a miscalculation that the Secretariat of Finance made, as even the 25% number would not have allowed the BLN to be established in the charter colonies, not to mention the RUA). Nevertheless, the crisis passed without tearing the Federation apart.
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:19am
This was probably a good thing, as in 2325 new studies showed that the pollution of Quo'noS by the destruction of Praxis three decades before was beginning to decline due to several methods of treating it, mostly developed in the Federation. Though an entire generation of Klingon Homeworld dwellers were poisoned now, the ongoing evacuation could be ended by 2330. In May 2325 the New Anglia-based Center for Federation Defence issued a public report estimating that by 2338 the Klingon military would be able to resume rearmament, with a "year of maximum danger" in 2345; that is, the year that the Klingon Empire could reasonably attack the Federation and expect to win.
Jovark had already decided that Sulu's policy of supporting Starfleet's continued operation was a good policy and he continued it, including the ordering of the second updated flight of New Orleans-class frigates and the expansion of the Ambassador fleet. Jovark may have been influenced by Sulu's Security Advisor, Marilyn Cobalt, who avoided the forced purges in Sulu's final term and afterward. After Jovark's death in 2357, Cobalt wrote in her memoirs that Jovark had possessed very little personal understanding of military affairs and matters of Federation security, meaning he was likely to follow the best-sounding suggestion to come across, which was usually Cobalt due to Jovark's personal respect for Sulu (and by extension, Sulu's choices for advisors). Cobalt's advice centered on maintaining Starfleet as a credible military threat to the Federation's many aggressive neighbors. Though negotiations with the Gorn were finally paying off, there were still other threats to be concerned with, particularly the Tholians and the Klingons.
Jovark's party men, Security Council Chairwoman Marie Jospin and Senior Commissioner of Starfleet Operations Ikvora Dosh'kal, often complained about being ignored. They took their complaints to the Neo-Socialist leadership. When the Council officialy protested Cobalt's "unchecked influence on Starfleet policy" in the first open meeting of 2326, Jovark sent Cobalt to address them and defend herself, and Cobalt pointed out to the Council that the only thing keeping the Klingons in adherence with the Khitomer Accords now that Quo'noS was recovering. The Federation "had twenty years of guaranteed peace left". From 2345 and beyond, nothing could guarantee peace with the Klingon Empire any longer. Despite Jospin and Dosh'kal's protests, the Council accepted her argument.
Jovark also continued Sulu's policy of not levying dues on new charter colonies so that colonization efforts would not be hindered for such little gain. This had an even greater effect that Jovark probably intended. As the dues increase caused economic stagnation in the older established charter colonies, citizenry took off for new ones where taxes would be lower. The resulting increase in manpower - and thus in produced goods, materials, and resources - created an entire generation of economic prosperity in the colony worlds that probably enriched the Federation far more than it anticipated just by tax dues and tariffs from the resulting trade. Had wiser governments less fixed to their course been in power, they may have very well never placed dues upon these worlds. Of course, this did not happen and the boom ended after a generation; many of the colonies established in the 2310s would be levied with dues by the 40s, and by 2360 not a single charter colony in the Federation would be exempt from the dues. The economic health of the frontier charter colonies lapsed at precisely the same time that they were coming under direct external threat, which the Federation's central government often failed to appreciate.
Jovark's Presidency lasted twelve years before he resigned on his own, in which he proved to be a stable head of state, if not overly bright or willing to make sacrifices to reduce the decline of the Federation's private sector. His Vulcan successor, Turok of T'Pala, was the leader of the New Way and Sirok's successor. Turok decided he had no use for Starfleet. The budget crisis wasn't ending and strain on the system was growing. His new Cabinent mostly supported scalebacks in Starfleet, but it was pointed out that the Neo-Socialists still accepted Cobalt's views. Furthermore, scaling back Starfleet would breach the agreement with the charter colonies. They would certainly secede and just deal with the pain of establishing their own defenses.
Turok's new Chief Commissioner of Starfleet Operations, T'Par, found a solution. She advocated a silent, secret cutback in the form of "improving efficiency". The public would be told that waste in Starfleet spending would be cut, the fat removed and leaving only muscle. In truth, the new construction programs would be reduced in cost by cutting corners. Fewer and smaller weapons, as well as smaller and less sophisticated shield generators, would be mounted upon ships. The new weapons projects (which would, when re-instated later, eventually produce pulse phaser cannons and the quantum torpedo) would be cut in funding. The government could easily hide the exact funding going to each branch, and by classifying it those in the know could not go public. Turok agreed with T'Par's ideas. Starfleet's budget was thus "scaled back" by no less than 40%, as a result of supposed "improved financial efficiency". It would not be until the 2350s that Starfleet would begin to recover; only in 2367, after Wolf 359, would Starfleet's budget return to pre-Turok levels.
Turok's secret budget slashing of Starfleet was not enough to save the faltering system. In the 2330s, only a handful of private companies remained in the initial BNA-related industries, and mostly because they catered to wealthy tastes that could not be included under the BNA. The Federation had found it necessary, under Jovark, to nationalize 95 percent of the core sectors' private agricultural and construction companies, 70 percent of the companies that produced basic consumer goods (chairs, tables, cutlery, appliances, and other items to furnish the public housing provided by the BLN system), and 64 percent of the pharmaceutical companies. The industries that hadn't been touched were also declining from a lack of trained workers. Everyone was falling back on the BLN and the replicator systems, with fewer core sector citizens going to universities and colleges or entering the workforce. By 2340 PellCorp found it necessary to bring in workers from the charter colonies to man the key shipyards at Utopia Planitia due to the lack of a trained and skilled labor force in Sol system.
The GDP of the core sectors, once the heart of Federation industry, was falling as the expenses of the BLN went up. Unlike the charter colonies that didn't have BLN, there was less emigration from the core regions to accomodate the rising population. Immigration from the colonies, in the form of failed entrepreneurs and the poor looking for housing and sustenance, placed even greater burdens on the system. Only the Vulcans were uneffected, as the grip of strict devotion to Surak remained as tight as ever. Vulcans kept working despite the comforts offered, since it was illogical, to them, to become dormant and parasitical upon society. Economists began publishing dire estimates and warnings; the Federation couldn't last this way. By the end of the century, it was estimated that the GDP of Earth would be a mere fifth of it's GDP in 2300 even as it's population rose by thirty-five percent (immigration being partially offset by declining birth rates).
Even Sirok finally turned on his own system. In March 2343, at the age of 194, he published another work. It's title sent waves throughout the New Way; "The Failed Experiment". Sirok decided that the Federation could not implement the system he envisaged properly. The other races did not embrace Surak's principles; the embracing of logic and rejection of emotional thinking, the renunciation of personal gain and comfort for working together to better society. A contempotary Human advisor commented "It was as if Marx had renounced the 'Communist Manifesto' in his dotage." The effect on the New Way was profound. Their founder had rejected them. Something must have gone wrong.
Turok thought he found what had happened. The New Way had allowed their ideals to be corrupted by the Neo-Socialists, who had failed to follow Surak. He urged the New Way to reject the Neo-Socialists' agendas, to begin scaling back BLN until the people could be educated in the teaching of Surak. The Neo-Socialists counter-attacked. The New Way was outdated now, nothing more than a pack of weak-stomached Vulcans and Surakists. Only the Neo-Socialists could bring the Enlightened Society to fulfillment.
The Surakist label was clearly negative and unpopular. Despite the claims of the Federation being completely tolerant and unracist, there was always racist sentiments boiling under the surface in a number of communities, particularly against Vulcans, who were perceived as insufferably arrogant. Now the Neo-Socialists tapped that anti-Vulcan sentiment and directed it against the New Way. If a member of the New Way wanted to avoid being tainted by the label "Surakist", they had to break with Turok. Most did; the defectors merged with the Neo-Socialists who in turn removed Turok and elected a new President, a middle-aged Andorian named Jirvshk la'Jart.
Jirvshk had spent his younger years as a member and "agitator" of the Young Socialist Party of Andor in the 2290s, "agitating" on his Homeworld for a return to the "honored ways of our ancestors" and a rejection of "Human materialism". He had served as a member of the party hierarchy for years, working as a bureaucrat in the Andorian Ministry of BLN Distribution and holding it's Minister position for three years before his first election to Andor's seat in the Federation Council in 2332. In 2340, he was furthermore appointed Chairman of the Socialist Party Central Committee. Unlike prior Chairmen, he did not give up his Council seat, and kept the Chairman position even after being elected President. He immediately pushed through new protocol; Jirvshk intended that from then on, all Socialist Presidents of the Council would also be Chairmen of the Party's Central Committee. Jirvshk also used his positions, united, to crack down on dissent within the Party (which became capitalized in official correspondence). Dissenters in the bureaucracy were sacked and all dissent was threatened with potential expulsion from the party ranks. That threat alone was severe enough. With the merger, most of the bureaucratic positions managing both the BLN and the colonial levies belonged to the ruling Party. Jirvshk's "reforms" were proving a dangerous combination. Irate historians pointed out that by merging the leadership of the Government to the leadership of the Party and enforcing loyalty to the Party line, he was beginning to emulate the government type of the Soviet Union and it's satellites in the 20th Century. By the time the news widely circulated, Jirvshk had already begun his press reforms and managed to quash the debate in the core sectors by denying it air-time (it continued in the charter colonies, fueling secessionist and anti-government sentiment).
One of the first things Jirvshk did was try to put a positive spin on what had happened. The end of the New Way/Neo-Socialist ruling coalition was not a hostile one; it was a merger of the two parties, to better govern the Federation. To help facilitate government public relations, Jirvshk established the Federation Press Service and granted them a portion of the public communications bandwidth, which had been nationalized under Turok. Press corporations that protested had their licenses revoked. Two, Murdoch Broadcasting and Earth Today, sued and would eventually be heard before the Federation Supreme Court (though their victory in 2347 would be too little, too late, and would be ignored by Jirvshk).
To show that the merger of the Neo-Socialists and the New Way was an honest one, Jirvshk changed the party's name. They became the Party of the Federation's Ideals and would soon be called "Idealogues". What was left of the New Way, under Turok, became the Social Enlightenment Party, but within ten years their membership would be almost entirely composed of Vulcans or non-Vulcans converted to Surakism. A third party, the Social Progressives, would eventually come into being in the 2350s when Jirvshk's successors proved less capable than he in centralizing Party power in the government. The Idealogue Party was now the ruling power of the Federation. It would remain there, in various guises, until the collapse of the Federation itself.
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:20am
Jirvshk came into office with only a year left before the "year of maximum danger". The Klingons had begun rearming on schedule, with their equivalent of the 2338 Fiscal Year seeing an military budget increase of ten percent. Quo'noS' ozone layer was declared completely repaired a year later. By 2344, they were back to pre-Khitomer spending levels while the Federation was at an all-time low. Jirvshk wanted re-armament but not more than he wanted to maintain and expand the BLN, which he saw as the key to keeping the support for Socialism in the represented core sectors. The Galaxy Project seemed the best solution to reminding the Klingons of how strong the Federation was. But Jirvshk's plans for the future did not include the defense contractors. He had no legal pretense, yet, for nationalizing them, so he simply removed them from the loop. The Federation Starship Design Bureau (FSDB), the Federation Science Council, and various other new bureaucracies for reseach and development were established and staffed with Party loyalists in key positions. They were directed to take over the Galaxy Project. The defense contractors, particularly PellCorp, were disgusted, but could do nothing about it.
The Party loyalists, in turn, were highly nepotistic. For instance, Dr. Matthew Brahms, the Director of the Reactor Development Division, hired his own daughter to help develop the Galaxy-class's warp core despite her failure as a civilian engineer with PellCorp. The differing divisions in the FSDB bickered and struggled, forcing Bureau Director Gora Thashkta - the daughter-in-law of one of Jirvshk's old comrades from his agitating days - to mediate, and in turn she often had to get Jirvshk's permission for budget re-alignment as new technologies for the ship were proposed, scrapped, or altered. The Galaxy-class, originally scheduled to be built by the end of the decade and the beginning of the next, ended up over ten years overdue; the U.S.S. Galaxy would not be finished until 2362 and it's second unit, named the Enterprise after the current Enterprise's destruction at Narendra III, would be commissioned in 2363.
Narendra III turned out to be Jirvshk's salvation. The attacks there and at Khitomer by the Romulan Empire convinced the Klingons that the Romulans were too great a threat to leave uncontested while attacking the Federation. They met with Jirvshk and in January of 2347 the Khitomer Accords were "re-affirmed" by the two governments. The Klingons apparently respected Jirvshk more than his earlier two predecessors. He was a "warrior king", according to correspondence from Ambassador Dagktor. The Klingon Empire could rely on him and on the strength of Starfleet. The Klingons never really understood how weak Starfleet had become until the wars of the 50s, and the realization didn't really set in until after Wolf 359 (ironically after the Federation itself begin re-arming).
Jirvshk's external problems were apparently solved. The time for inward consolidation had come. Jirvshk was well-read and a fan of ancient and recent Andorian history. He admired, simultaneously, the ancient autocratic kings of Andor's pre-industrial societies and the Socialist governments that had ruled two of Andor's continents in the two centuries just before contact with other races occurred. Andor, like Earth, had seen the rise of Communist government, but unlike Earth's failed experiment with Communism, Andor's brand managed to stay in power until after alien contact reinforced their enemies and led to their downfall from an inability to meet the technological challenge (most non-Idealogue historians today agree that the Andorian anti-Communist governments' acquisition of alien technology did to their Communist govermments what Reagan's military revolution did to the Soviet Union). Jirvshk believed that Andorian Socialism, unlike it's disproven Human counterpart, could be imposed on the entire Federation. And he was the man to do it.
In 2346, the Idealogues faced their first elections and won nine out of ten seats. New Anglian Parliamentarian Frederick Howard, Duke of New Norfolk, lamented that "the rot is complete". The Federation's core sector populations were happy and content with the BLN. The Idealogues promised to keep it going, while their enemies did not. Thus the Idealogues won easily. Jirvshk took his opportunity. Within days of the results, he removed four of the other ten members of the Party Central Committee, accusing them of "Surakism". Their crime had been to suggest placing limits on the BLN - a politically suicidal thought that could cost the Idealogue Party prestige and support.
After this leadership purge, Jirvshk went after Starfleet indirectly. Though most of it's admirals were considered politically reliable, with the resignations of Sirok's supporters in 2343, Jirvshk distrusted the rank and file. He especially distrusted the Starfleet Marine Corps, which still recruited heavily from the same charter colonies that had reacted negatively to his rise. Jirvshk abolished the Marine Corps with an Executive Order on the 10th of August 2346 and sacked all of it's colonial-born officers. Starfleet Command protested that they needed a force to protect their ships and installations, and to use for planetary invasion. Jirvshk immediately forced through Council legislation establishing the Federation Security Force, formally approved on the 11th of August in a special session for the matter, which was staffed with the remains of the Marine Corps. The FSF for short, they recruited from the "loyal' inner worlds (which did not include Vulcan), gaining mostly listliss youth and the Party's faithful. Officially under the government, they in effect answered to Jirvshk alone, through the Party bureaucrats whom he placed in command.
Jirvshk decided that Starfleet Command wasn't as loyal as he wanted. He signed orders two weeks after the elections that purged Starfleet Command of several leading Admirals who had risen to prominence in Sulu and Jovark's days. Starfleet Commander-in-Chief Joseph Bruti was among those removed, as was the head of Starfleet Operations, Admiral Demora Sulu. The sacking of Hikaru Sulu's daughter, so soon after his passing (he died five days after the election), provoked a protest in San Francisco. It seemed that even twenty-six years of luxury under the BLN was not enough to completely eradicate the legend of the Kirk era from the minds of the common citizenry. Jirvshk decided to act against this "reactionary" tendency by ordering Starfleet to remove the name of Kirk and his comrades, anyone closely associated with him, from their list of potential ship names. He also had the section of Starfleet's history museum dedicated to Kirk's exploits reduced in size and scope and financed a propaganda campaign to revision Kirk's importance to the Federation. His reputed anti-Klingon racism, his violent tendencies, and his rebelliousness and militaristic impulses were espoused in a way to try and turn the public away from their hero worship for Kirk. The campaign mostly failed. The citizens of the Federation would continue to worship Kirk as the ideal Starfleet commander. Jirvshk's subordinantes hid the truth from him with rigged polls and by using Party faithful and hired citizens to hold scripted "protests" against Kirk's surviving comrades whenever they made public appearances. When Jirvshk acted on the false data and ordered the reduction of Leonard McCoy's pension, several members of Starfleet Command, including the heads of Starfleet Medical, secretly sent money to McCoy to compensate. Jirvshk never learned of this rebellion against his authority, probably for the better, as his likely reaction - a purge - would have crippled Starfleet's Medical division for a decade.
The FSF were officially supposed to provide infantry for military purposes and for providing security to government installations. Very quickly, it's Party officers proved the FSF was effective as a secret police force too. Though Jirvshk hadn't done anything to directly effect existing Constitutional rights, the FSF harassed his political adversaries, business owners, and visiting colonials. They recruited spies and moved them into the colonies and set up spy networks that reached into the upper levels of several charter colony governments. When Jirvshk heard that Nikolai Simonov, the Premier of Novya Moskva, was contemplating secession over the establishment of dues over the Muscovite systems in May of 2347, he had him secretly arrested and brought to Earth for trial. The FSF was already in position to be used to suppress the resulting protests. When they were called in to deal with protestors in the Muscovite capitol of Nikolingrad, force had to be used after the protestors began throwing Molotov cocktails. Sixteen people were killed and many wounded. Jirvshk used his control of public communications to block the news from getting out immediately. His propagandists used the time to spin the crackdown as the FSF responding to attacks against them. Jirvshk's enemies still protested. He was becoming a dictator. Juchiro Kanaga, President of Nippon, called on the Federation Council to remove Jirvshk. Kanaga was targeted for arrest by the FSF, but the local FSF commander was unwilling to open fire on the Nipponese Presidential Guards (he was later purged and imprisoned for insubordination). The FSF backed down and Nippon was "punished" by having Starfleet reduce it's presence, which resulted in a twenty percent increase of attacks by Orion pirates.
As Jirvshk struggled to consolidate his power, the budget problems did not improve. The Federation Government was going into debt from the burden of the BLN and abuse of the RUA. Jirvshk tackled the problem in two fashions, both of which having horrible consequences for the future. First, Jirvshk imposed dues on the charter colonies that had been exempt since their establishment during Sulu's Presidency, resulting in the incident on Novya Moskva. For a generation these worlds had generated a great deal of revenue through trade with the core sectors. Now their economies, just now becoming self-sufficient, were effectively reduced by a fifth. Discontent spiked, especially among the older people who in their youth had escaped to the outer charter colonies to escape economic stagnation from the inner colonies' dues. Several protests included the burning of the Federation flag and nationalist, secessionist sentiments gained popularity. In several cases the Party bureaucrats sent to begin overseeing the due payments were subjected to harrassment or even attack.
Jirvshk counter-attacked by reducing Starfleet presence in the most rebellious colonies. The Cardassians raided several for resources and slaves for their industrial complex or for brutish "training exercises" for their army conscripts, including the infamous Rape of Nova Savona in July of 2348. Raids by the Tsen'kethi were also common, and would end up provoking the Federation-Tsen'kethi War in the next decade. By 2349, most of the colonies in the region were battered by the combined squeezing of the due payments and damage from the raiding. Thousands of colonists were missing, presumed dead or somewhere in Cardassian space slaving away in forced labor camps. Violence against the bureaucrats had dropped to nothing and Jirvshk re-deployed Starfleet into the region in the first months of '49. He considered the region pacified, but he had in fact created for the Federation government a deadly enemy in the region. The local colonists would not soon forget Jirvshk's great crime against them, and they and their children would swear that it would never happen again.
At the same time as he raised dues, Jirvshk ordered the Secretariat of Finance to begin "issuing" more Federation credits. The Credit had been developed by the Government thirty years after the Federation's founding, mostly for the intent of being easy travel money that would be honored anywhere in the Federation and most places outside of it. At one time it was even valued on dilithium, before the re-crystallization process had been discovered. In recent years, the government had been issuing "living credits" for citizens to use with the BLN. There was still a theoretical limit to how much one could acquire with the BLN standard, so the living credits had some value as only so many were issued, depending on the number of people in a household. Jirvshk combined these currencies. They were not printed or coined, of course, and were not technically money; they were now just government-issued credits to ensure everyone had the BLN.
Naturally, every world or government had it's own currency. Some, like the Earth and Pacifican Dollars, Algrossan Mark, Anglian Pound, and Nova Roman Lira were quite popular and widespread as recognizable, valuable hard currency. By this time the Earth dollar was out of circulation, as the need for it collapsed with the destruction of Earth's consumer economy (Several other core world currencies had suffered similar fates), but the others were still in circulation and only weakened by the oppressive dues on the issuing governments. By Federation law, the credit could not be devalued compared to these currencies beyond a certain point (that law had been implemented over a century before to protect the citizenry from market changes in the relative value of the Federation credit, ensuring they could always get hard currency for it). The Federation Government still used the credit as a form of money in dealing with the private companies it bought goods from, including those in the charter colonies that it purchased BLN goods from due to lapses in production in the core worlds. The businesses were paid in credits that were worthless, but by law banks and other institutions had to honor them and allow them to be cashed in for hard currency, even as price controls ensured that the companies were effectively operating at a loss whenever the Government bought their goods. This produced a drain on the Federation economy as the colonies' hard currency was dragged down in value by the unrestrained issuing of the credit.
Jirvshk seemed to care little. As far as he was concerned, capitalism was a deviation of good social attitude. The glorification of amassing wealth was immoral, and the system it created - companies, corporations, stock markets - should be destroyed in favor of a government run system in which society made the decisions, not wealthy and decadent sentients. To further this end, he needed strong, personal control of the entire Federation, backed up by force and subversion if necessary.
The FSF was now the Party's personal army, but Jirvshk wanted a better apparatus for dealing with internal and external security threats so that the FSF could concentrate on being the visible arm of the Party's forces. He found his solution in a review of Starfleet Intelligence. One of it's bodies was Section 31, an analytical branch devoted to the interpretation of field intel. Jirvshk co-opted it by appointing one of his Party loyalists to lead it. Elements of the FSF were brought into Section 31 to operate under it's control against both internal and external threats. They would begin spying against dissidents, charter colony governments, and foreign governments. Jirvshk likely intended for Section 31 to be the Secret Police and Intelligence branch of his regime.
The transformation of the Federation into a pseudo-Communist state continued. By 2350 there were signs that the BLN's bureaucracy and management were showing the same corruptive tendancies as the old Soviet Union's apparatchik. Materials and hard currency sent to the Federation coffers were being skimmed away and sold for the wealth of bureaucrats, while the bureaucrats, to avoid Jirvshk's wrath, were cooking the books to avoid detection. The nationalized farms and factories providing goods for the BLN were later proved to be having the same problems.
Jirvshk was not finished. Ultimate power was within his grasp. He had already appointed close friends - and fellow Socialist idealogues - into key government positions, but he was not yet out of reach. He had cowed the colonies in the Alpha Quadrant frontier region by reminding them of their helplessness without Starfleet. His internal party purges had guaranteed a bureaucracy that was mostly loyal to him, for fear that he would fire them for deviating from his vision. Many of his would-be rivals had already been purged from the Party ranks and thus the government. But he could still be removed by the Federation Council or the Central Committee, who were growing leery of Jirvshk's growing authoritarianism. They would have to be removed before Jirvshk could become sole authority of the Federation.
We now know from recovered archival data that Jirvshk had apparently planned an internal coup and purge. Jirvshk, as Party Chairman, scheduled a meeting for the 2nd of August of that year with several leading members of the Federation Council (who would presumably be re-elected) and the Party itself at the Party headquarters in Trier on Earth. The same day, the FSF was scheduled to do large-scale, divisional maneuvers in Europe and in California. It seems obvious that Jirvshk was ready to take the final step; removing his potential rivals in the Party and Starfleet and taking direct control. But on June 6th, while making a tour of a new replicator assembly plant on Andor, Jirvshk suddenly collapsed. His physicians reported he had come down with Firvakh's Sickness, a terminal neurological disease. It was one of the quicker cases. Two days after his collapse, physicians agreed Jirvshk was no longer capable of governing. The disease's degeneration of his brain continued, and on the 13th Jirvshk slipped into a coma. He died on the 19th, taking all of his dreams of being a Socialist autocrat with him.
The Government announced a week of mourning to be held. Jirvshk's body was laid in state in the Presidential Palace Courtyard of Paris from the 27th of June to the 27th of July. The Chairman of the Security Council, Deborah Miller, served as interim President until the Council Elections were over. The FSF exercises were predictably post-poned. On the 2nd of August, the same day that Jirvshk was possibly intending to seize total power, Deborah Miller was elected President of the Federation Council and Chairwoman of the Party's Central Committee. She immediately renounced some of Jirvshk's strong-handed tactics and dedicated her Presidency to the pursuit of "Galactic Peace". The Federation's brief flirtation with dictatorship was over. Sirok, now 201 years old and suffering from the early stages of Bendii Syndrome, was present at her official inaugeration. He gave Miller his personal endorsement in what was his final public appearance; the architect of the "Enlightened Society" died on February 19th, 2351.
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:21am
Miller was the youngest Federation President in history, at only fifty-six years old. She had grown up under the rule of the New Way and Socialists and had been a dedicated member of the New Way up until Jirvshk had forcefully united them to the Socialists. He had given her the post of Security Chairwoman because of her connections to the New Way, probably hoping she would act contrary to the Government's desires and give him an excuse to reduce the power of the Security Council in favor of the Party Central Committee. Miller spent most of Jirvshk's Presidency playing a glorified secretary on matters of defense, as the traditional powers of the Security Council leadership were assumed de facto by Jirvshk. During this time period, however, Miller expanded her friendships into the traditional core of the old Socialists and helped to protect some of those who dissented against Jirvshk's more brutal methods. In a dangerous move, she even signed her name in a protest to Jirvshk about not giving aid to the colonies on the Cardassian border after the Rape of Nova Savona. Jirvshk most likely intended to purge her with the others and never intended for her to succeed him.
Jirvshk, in fact, had no chosen successor. He was still middle-aged for an Andorian, after all. Death was decades away and he knew from his study of history that rulers who appointed successors before their rule was absolute sometimes lost that rule to their intended successors. As such, he went out of his way to purge or reduce the power of any potential rival. This had the side effect of clearing out from immediate contention other politicians who might have tried to emulate Jirvshk's policies. Those who agreed with him were completely dependent upon Jirvshk for their positions, so that when he died they had little hope of being chosen by the existing Council. Instead, all that remained to lead was Miller and the core of the old New Way, which believed that peace had to be maintained at all cost to give the Federation time to adjust to the pains of their system. If only they could have enough time to get the BLN set up elsewhere, the secessionist sentiments in the colonies would subside and the Federation would be back on track. Naively, Miller seemed to believe that she could build the Enlightened Society even when it's own creator believed it impossible.
Miller agreed with Jirvshk on one thing. Whoever was President should be the Party's leader as well. It only made sense that the one senior member who stood above the rest enough to win the Party rank and file in the Council would also lead the Party. This meant her at the time. Fortunately for the Federation's legitimacy, there would be no cases of the Committee electing a replacement for their Chair before the Council could elect a President, not until Maria Sandoval's restoration of Jirvshk's ideals in the aftermath of the First Civil War. Miller proved as much a workaholic as Jirvshk had been, often working sixteen hour days shuttling back and forth between San Francisco, Paris, and Trier to run the Government and the Party.
The Party had not yet completely taken over the State as the Communist Party had in the Soviet Union, but it was getting close to it. Under Jirvshk, over seventy percent of the bureaucracy was brought under direct Party control, leaving only minor bureaucratic positions unconsolidated before Jirvshk's death. The Clerk of the Party's Central Committee was assigned the responsibility of ensuring these bureaucrats followed the Party line. Miller removed that responsibility. The Idealogue Party was not a monolithic entity, but like the Federation, a union of many different thinkers and idealists who could, together, do more than a single person dictating to the others. This would eventually cause chaos in the Party's hierarchy as newer managers and bureaucrats proved more individualistic - and ambitious - than the unambitious hacks that Jirvshk had been installing. For the moment, though, they kept their positions, so Miller's removal of the restraints did not effect the Party's control over the State for the time being.
There was resistance to Miller from two sides. On one side was opposition to her weakness in defense and foreign policy. Councilmen and various government bureaucrats from within and from outside the Party opposed her pacifism, pointing out that Starfleet was needed to keep the aggressive alien empires at bay. Miller had little patience for these "militarists". Sirok had proven four decades ago that military strength only provoked fear and uncertainty, and the impulse to attack before the other side was ready. The peace would surely be kept with negotiations and reasonable concessions. Miller's naivety would, ironically, kill more innocent people than Jirvshk's cold-bloodedness.
To deal with her opponents, Miller brought out one of Jirvshk's plans. She convinced the Council to allow her to ban from participation members who associated with organizations that displayed or advocated "unreasonable aggression against other races", "intolerance", "racism", and "anti-social thinking". The measure, dubbed the Tolerance in Government Act, passed and Miller used it to ban what handful of right-wing parties remained, on various and often differing grounds. It was her one major spurt of authoritarianism and would actually bring about the birth of the Idealogues' one major enemy later in the decade, the Social Progressives, after the Supreme Court struck down the act.
The other enemies were Jirvshk's closest supporters, led by FSDB Director Gora Thashkta, Senior Starfleet Commissioner Kevlask Metorhk, Section 31 Director Revork tha'Jwish, and Yevgeny Mishkin, Director of the FSF. All, like Jirvshk, believed in imposing a dictatorship for the good of the Federation and the advancement of Socialism. All posed a threat to Miller's vision of the Idealogues. They were all purged by Miller by the end of 2350 (with the exception of Revork, who cleverly supported Miller against the others to ensure his own power), along with their senior lieutenants, including the commander of the FSF's elite Earth Guards, self-declared "Comrade General" Maria Sandoval. Mishkin and Sandoval proved the most difficult to deal with post-purge, as they went underground with many of the fanatics they had trained in the FSF to form the Red Guards. Though Mishkin died while operating against the Cardassians a decade later, Sandoval lived on and would be there when the First Civil War opened up the government to a full totalitarian takeover.
Revork, surviving the purge, made sure to hide the true extent of Section 31's resources from Miller. He claimed Jirvshk had been waiting until after a coup to turn Section 31 into secret police. They were just a bunch of analysts now that Jirvshk's plans had not been met. As Jirvshk's handling of Section 31 had been secret and undocumented, Miller did not know otherwise and Revork's lie worked. He turned Section 31 into an apparatus to spy on the government for blackmail and, at the same time, to act as a black ops group in dealing with growing enemy threats to the Federation. Section 31's very existance was in fact classified (as it was a secret analytical branch of Starfleet Intelligence), though most governments settled for refusing to confirm or deny their existance on the odd occasion someone inquired.
Many of those purged by Miller would be replaced with the victims of Jirvshk's purges. As the Federation was not the Soviet Union and had a Constitution that forbade summary arrest and execution, those purged could not be sent to gulags or shot. They were merely unemployed and not recognized by the Party. Which meant they were available for rehire as soon as a new government came to power and were restored, including many old New Way people. Miller even named Turok's daughter T'Kyra as the new Director of the FSDB.
With the government shakeup completed by the first quarter of 2351, Miller found herself having to deal with the same problems Jirvshk had. A rising debt, BLN costs rising with it, and falling production. Miller was open-minded and asked for help. She found that even economists who were in the Idealogue Party thought that the BLN had to be restricted or fixed to taking jobs. This would end the slide in production, at the very least. Otherwise, the BLN's burden would become increasingly hard to carry. It was also pointed out that despite Sirok's desire for all Federation worlds to get the BLN, it had only been expanded to those worlds with Council representation. Only a very small handfall of charter colonies had the BLN and there wasn't enough resources to expand it even further and maintain the system already in place. Miller didn't know what to do.
Her new Senior Starfleet Commissioner, Janice McNeil, provided the solution she sought. McNeil had been a Commissioner when T'Par had performed the secret cutbacks under Turok. She recommended the same. Starfleet wanted a new line of ships, proposed under Jirvshk as the New Fleet Initiative (NFI), that would cost a great deal, an estimated quadrillion credits in cost. Resources that could be put to better use elsewhere in maintaining the BLN. The NFI was drastically reduced in favor of modernizing the Excelsior fleet again. It was actually a waste of resources, as the quality of phaser weapons had not greatly improved in the twenty years since their last upgrades had been finished.
To prevent pro-Starfleet members of the Party from attacking her, Miller agreed to allow Starfleet to use elements of the overdue and faltering Galaxy Project to build a new class of intermediary ship. The Nebula Project, as it was dubbed, became racked with similar problems. The Federation Science Council insisted that the ship be able to function as a science ship. Starfleet wanted a dedicated warship, but merely saying "dedicated warship" angered Miller when senior Starfleet admirals met with her to argue their case. Miller's position was unwavering. Starfleet could not be allowed to field "warships", since it would undo her moral authority as a peacekeeper. When a member of Starfleet's Fleet Planning Staff, Admiral Gerald LeMay, reminded her of Vegetius' saying "Si vis pacem, para bellum" ("If you wish for peace, prepare for war"), she sacked him and relegated him to a frontier command in Sector 221-B. Starfleet got the message loud and clear and never again brought up the subject with Miller. Eventually Starfleet managed to compromise with the Science Council. The Nebula-class ship would be a heavy cruiser in tonnage, but with a modular configuration; a pod placed "above" the primary saucer hull, attached to the drive hull, with the ship's mission determining whether it had a sensor pod or a weapons pod. Unlike Jirvshk, Miller allowed PellCorp to be called in to help design the Nebula and to build it. They threw aside Brahm's warp core, criticized and then modified the pod arrangement, and ended up building the first flight of ten Nebula ships at ten percent under the estimated budget and with the first ships delivered in 2357, an entire year ahead of schedule. Many Idealogues were rather uncomfortable with a private, morally inferior contractor outperforming the government's socially-conscious workers.
With Starfleet placated and funds freed up from slashing down NFI, Miller tackled the budget problem. First off, the immediate cash problem was solved by increasing dues to 25%. To deal with the problem of stagnation and falling production, a propaganda campaign was begun in the core worlds. Citizens were encouraged to reduce their use of the system and to find and hold jobs to produce so that everyone else could have their prosperity too. "There's plenty to go around" was the popular slogan of the campaign. Propaganda glorified the idea of working to better the Federation - and society - as a whole. The BLN provided food and housing so that they could work in happiness, assured of the future. The propaganda campaign had some effect. An entire generation of youth had grown up in the BLN and for many, the wonder had gone out of it. Without a challenge to draw their attention, they latched onto whatever cause they could find. Miller gave them one by encouraging them to take up jobs in farms, factories, or other things, or to join Starfleet or the FSF. She also pursued programs to bring the charter colonies back into line. She wanted to work with them, not against them. She publically apologized for Jirvshk's abandonment of them to foreign attack and asked them to be supportive of the Federation, that as soon as they fixed the previous errors the Federation Government would expand the BLN to them. Miller quickly found that so long as she didn't cut the dues, and in fact wanted to increase them, most charter colonies wanted nothing to do with the Federation. Jirvshk's strong-handed tactics were beyond her, but Miller was assured by McNeil that there was no need to worry. So long as the colonies thought Starfleet was protecting them, they would remain in the Federation and accept dues over time, even if it meant a lot of grumbling and posturing.
Miller's recent experiences with Starfleet had been bitter. The Admiralty were mostly crusty old men and women who were junior officers earlier in the century. They bitterly remembered the betrayal over Tomed and remembered just how genuine Klingon desires for peace had been, despite Miller's position to the contrary. They had grown up idolizing Pike and Kirk and their exploits in a galaxy where the Federation was the sole beacon of free civilization and had to be defended as such. They did not like Miller or her pacifist ideals, which they thought were ridiculous in the face of aggression from violent alien empires. Miller particularly disliked NCOs, the career enlistees who had little patience for ideology and who constantly berated the junior officers loyal to her vision. Miller decided that all Starfleet personnel should be trained to become potential officers, and that training would include proper ideaological study to remind them of the Federation's noble ideals. Members of Starfleet would become the standard bearers of the Enlightened Society, always diplomatic and committed to maintaining peace above all else. The decision to not maintain a respectable NCO corps, the backbone of a professional military, had horrible effects upon Starfleet, worsening the problems they'd had since the initial purge after Tomed in the early part of the century. The true depth of this mistake would be felt for the next twenty years all the way to the Dominion War.
Miller also took it upon herself to order their uniform changed. For over seventy years Starfleet had used a maroon jacket with rank insignia on the jacket's front clip for their officers, and a long-sleeved pull-on jacket for enlistees. Officers also wore service ribbons and medals, depending upon the occasion. Miller insisted this be stopped. These things, in her mind, glorified militarism and conflict. Starfleet was to be the keeper of the peace and it could not glorify any kind of conflict. With her Presidential authority, Miller ordered the ribbons removed from military uniform standards and had the uniforms re-organized. The result was a seemless two-piece jacket and trousers, black with service colors, with a communicator badge in the shape of Starfleet's signature arrowhead and rank pips on the collar as the only adornment permitted. For a short time, there was also a female version of the uniform that was a one-piece pull-on that brought back to memory the immodest mini-skirt uniforms of the prior century. Starfleet officers protested the uniform change and more than a number resigned; others in more distant posting refused to wear the new uniform (they were eventually brought to heel). The uniform would later earn derision and scorn in the Alliance. Stellar Navy sailors laughingly called Starfleet uniforms "Space Pajamas", a designation that many Starfleeters - at least at the uniforms' introduction - agreed with.
Under Miller, the corruption of the bureaucracy blossomed. Fear of Jirvshk had kept them from going too far, but Miller's weakness in internal policy - her favored slogan in discussions with the Central Committee was "Those who are not against us are with us" - effectively gave them a license to steal whatever they wanted. A substantial black market in various advanced pharmaceuticals and medical equipment stolen from the BLN distribution network had already crept in. It's most likely that the Klingon Medical Reforms in the 2350s was brought about by access to this black market more than any internal reform. Hard currency from the charter colonies also had a habit of disappearing, and ther were several Party officials at upper levels in the bureaucracy who openly benefited from skimming state funds. Their control of transport resources and government warehouses allowed many bureaucrats to funnel goods of varying kinds into the black market, or to buy illegal goods; the plentiful supply of Romulan ale was an obvious result.
Another issue that was coming to Miller's attention was the great cost being paid in transporting BLN-related materials from producers in the charter colonies to worlds with the BLN. As production in the core worlds fell, their economies - including the BLN - became more and more dependent upon goods and materials from the charter worlds. Transport costs were adding to the growing debt of the system. Miller consulted with her Cabinent and decided on the old solution of price controls on the shipping companies and following nationalization if need be, as well as price controls on shipyards so the Government could buy it's own fleet of transports. The Council was asked to pass the BLN Support Act in May of 2351; it was passed on the 28th after two days of debate.
The transport and shipbuilding corporations proved better prepared for a fight than any other group the Federation government had targeted so far. Nine out of ten of the biggest carrier companies and the five main shipyard owners, including PellCorp, filed a class-action suit in the Federation High Courts in the following month, charging that the BLN Support Act was a violation of their Constitutional rights to private property and free enterprise. The Central Committee, still having some of Jirvshk's men, urged Miller to order Starfleet and the FSF to seize the companies' assets. Miller again proved she was not Jirvshk; she left it to the courts. Fortunately for her, the matter would not be ruled upon until 2355, after Miller and the Party stuffed the Supreme Court with Idealogues.
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:22am
The Federation High Courts had become filled with Idealogues over the previous twenty years, but the Supreme Court had remained virtually the same since Sulu's time. It was the last body capable of blocking Idealogue policies, as it had done to Jirvshk in 2347 by ruling in favor of the press companies he had stripped licenses from. Jirvshk had ignored the Court, setting off a constitutional crisis by declaring that "the Court has made the decision, now it must enforce it!". Between 2347 and 2350 there were several incidents of the FSF and government harassing the Justices in one form or another. Unscheduled inspections of their homes and offices, stories by the state press slandering relatives and friends, and the use of young party radicals to vandalize and personally harrass the Justices and their families. Miller called the pressure off when she became President, believing she could reason with the Justices.
She later changed her mind after the Justices proved unwilling to bend the law for her ideals. In April of 2353, the Courts heard a case concerning her banning of political right-wing parties, Federation Defense League vs. The Presidency of the Federation Council. The FDL was one of the marginalized right-wing parties that Miller had banned from the Federation Council with the Tolerance in Government Act. Miller's government argued that if the Tolerance Act was overturned, it would hurt the Federation's foreign standing and allow extremist parties to participate in government. The FDL's argument was more to the point. Miller was trying to ensure a monopoly of the Idealogues in government by banning all parties save the Vulcans' Social Enlightenment Party and had violated Constitutional rights to free speech and participation in government to centralize party power. The Court sided with the FDL with a 7-4 vote and overturned the Tolerance Act.
Miller was enraged. The Court was undermining the Federation itself by allowing pro-military parties to run. They might even provoke a war by scaring other alien powers into attacking the Federation before they could come to power. Her advisors tried to calm her down. The FDL and the other parties had been out of power for decades. They could never win a seat because the majorities would always vote against them over their desire to reform and restrict the BLN. Miller stopped short of open conflict with the Court. She did authorize a propaganda effort to turn public support against the Court and the parties it opened up to the political process.
In the end, the FDL and it's allies proved the Party wrong. The parties had learned their lessons about opposing the BLN. It would be impossible and it would be better to hit the Idealogues where it would hurt them; their defense policies and the growing corruption in the system. After high-level meetings in the summer of 2353, the minor parties banded together to become the Social Progressives, with a few exceptions who thought the new coalition was selling out the charter colonies who were inreasingly becoming the economic and industrial core of the Federation.
Even as the remnants of the Right were pursuing a more pragmatic position from which to attack the Idealogues, Miller approved pro-BNA propaganda efforts in the charter colonies. Miller's personal view was that the ordinary citizen wanted to have the BLN and the charter colonies did not have it because their governments were controlled by greedy corporate influences. Polls to the contrary were dismissed as error or counter-propaganda against the government. The initial efforts seemed to succeed. In July of 2353, a year after the propaganda efforts began, the De Soto Worlds voted in an Idealogue government, which passed a law to institute their own variation of the BLN by raising taxes and instituting BNA-style measures. Miller happily brought it into the fold of the Federation's BLN system. A month later, in time with the Federation's Council Elections, another Idealogue government was elected in the Tellarite-majority Throjva Confederacy. It followed the same measures as the De Soto Worlds. Miller thought her views were succeeding.
In truth, the De Soto Worlds and the Throjva Confederacy were so weakened economically that takeover was inevitable. The same was true for the other charter colonies taken over by Idealogue governments in the following decade. Having been under the dues system the longest, and having their private consumer industries long crushed under the oppressive weight of the Federation's price controls and nationalization practices, these colonies had been plunged into economic recession by the 2330s and an outright depression by the time of Miller's Presidency. Their population growth was in the negative, due to the simultaneous flood of people leaving for outer colonies and the thriving private sectors there and the people leaving for BLN-supported worlds where they would at least be guaranteed a roof over their heads, food on their tables, and clothing. It was easy for the Idealogues to encourage the mass of unemployed or struggling lower class people left that they should institute the BLN on their own until the Federation could expand it to them. Of course, their production decline virtually insured their government would go bankrupt as it was forced to import whatever the Federation's BLN system didn't take. Miller likely accounted for that when she expanded to them the BLN despite opposition from the Secretariats of Finance and Living Standards.
What Miller never really understood was that despite the constant drains on their economies, the other charter worlds still maintained marginally healthy economies. Though stagnation from losing a quarter of their GDPs to the government was constant, there was still enough production and trade to ensure a maintainance of their own system. It would not be until the devaluation of local hard currencies grew to dangerous levels combined with the Federaiton's re-armament tactics that the system would be threatened with collapse. As a result, her pro-BLN propaganda campaign mostly failed. The local public was too bitter about the system and a perception of core worlder "laziness" - fostered from years of watching the core worlds become a virtual paradise on their labor - was beginning to grow within the charter colonies' populations.
Even then, there were some exceptions to the maintainance of the system. For instance, some of the charter colonies ended up having to subsidize their consumer industries to make up for losses from the Federation price controls forcing companies to sell BLN goods to the government at a loss. Such measures only served to embitter the populace even more.
2354 was the first election where the Idealogues had to deal with a united front amongst the remnants of the Right. The Social Progressives ran an excellent campaign under Maralo Tevala of Trill, one of the few non-Idealogues left on the Council and the future President. Tevala and the Progressives promised to maintain the BLN; their primary concern was with the Idealogues' "criminal" neglect of the Federation's defenses. The retired Marilyn Cobalt stepped back into the public light after twenty years, campaigning on her own for the Progressives and their promise to restore Starfleet to what it was under Sulu and Jovark. Jovark also emerged from retirement to publicly back the Progressives. The Idealogues took a hit. Tevala won re-election by an even larger margin from his original election in 2350 (mostly as a Trill reaction to Jirvshk's growing authoritarianism) and the Social Progressives found themselves winning a quarter of the seats in the Council. Tevala told a crowd of cheering supporters in the Trill city of Jeyti fi'Kala that "a new day was coming to the Federation".
The Idealogues were stunned that they had lost so much ground. The Party's Central Committee immediately held sessions as soon as the results were ratified. They demanded that Miller explain why the Party had lost over fifteen percent of the Council to political enemies they had long thought subdued. Miller was at a loss to explain. The Committee thought the answer was obvious; under Miller the Idealogues had been promoting a new idea for Starfleet that contrasted with many views in the public of what Starfleet should be. Miller proved resistant to their pressure. She pointed out they still had undisputed control of the Council. The Social Progressives had made an astounding leap in power, yes, but obviously the candidates they had beaten were simply not that good and had failed to appeal to the masses. The Party still controlled the Government bureaucracy. Her comment to Party Clerk Jeytas Gathali upon his protest was reportedly, "Let the Progressives spit against the wind, we still have the Government". The Committee thus failed to rein in Miller.
Miller's control of the bureaucracy and Party rank and file was still intact. She quickly made clear the Party would not tolerate dissent among it's Council Representatives. They had a duty to keep building the Enlightened Society. The Social Progressives could not be allowed to divert this by playing the Party against itself. She gave concessions to the bureaucrats, responding to complains of "repressing oversight" by reducing the Secretariat of Living Standard's budget for internal affairs. This worsened the problems with corruption while linking corruption to Party loyalty. If a bureaucrat wanted to keep his position and be able to enjoy Party resources for the BLN, he had to be loyal, and he often was. The worsening corruption, in turn, ensured the overstating and wasting of Federation resources. BLN shortages were avoided by the use of reserves and by order increases when it was clear that consumption was too high for intake.
The last governmental body that Miller didn't have control of was the Supreme Court. Already they had defied her by overturning the Tolerance Act. They would soon be due to hear the cases of the shipping companies and shipbuilders trying to overturn the BLN Support Act. The Support Act was pivotal to the establishment of the Enlightened Society and could not be allowed to be repealedd. Unsure of what to do, Miller finally turned to her only advisor on sensitive matters, Revork tha'Jwish.
Revork knew Miller was no Jirvshk and would not stomach Jirvshk's likely solution; a purge of the Court backed by force with the FSF. He merely advised her to run a propaganda campaign against the shipping companies and to pressure the Court to honor public needs. Privately, he decided to go even further than Jirvshk had gone. Jirvshk had merely planned to remove the Court and dissolve it, declaring the Central Committee the highest arbiter of law in the Federation. Revork decided to kill them. He enlisted the aid of Mishkin and the Red Guards to do so.
On the 12th of March 2355, a terrorist attack was carried out against the Court during a private meeting to debate a case. Gunmen, with knowledge of security measures, busted past the FSF forces responsible for defending the Justices and shot them all. A red bandana, the sign of the Red Guards, was left, and through various channels in the government and press, Maria Sandoval declared their responsibility for the attacks, the "killing of the so-called Justices, defenders of the bourgeoisie and oppressors of the proletariat who sought to keep the races in the chains of capitalist kleptocracy". Miller did not know that Revork had been behind this and genuinely thought the Justices had been brutally murdered by the Red Guards on their own accord. She was horrified, as Revork though she would be, and vowed to do whatever it took to take the Red Guards out of action. To this end, she actually expanded the powers of the FSF and began proceedings to outlaw firearms. She also attended the funerals of the Justices and granted generous pensions to their relatives.
Nevertheless, Miller was probably relieved to have the situation resolved. The last obstacle to the Enlightened Society had been removed, though in a way she regretted. The Council was convened on March 14th and accepted Miller's candidates. All of them, save Yevara Garx of Trill, were Idealogues. Five months later, on August 29th, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the BLN Support Act by a margin of 9-2 (Justices Yevara and Keilxana Dethie of Betazed ruled against, Dethie probably by the request of the Party Committee to keep the ruling from looking too lop-sided). The shipbuilding companies and transport companies now suffered as the consumer industry of the Federation had long suffered. The government forced existing shipping companies to transport BLN goods at absurdly low prices and sometimes outright confiscated transports for dedicated BLN transport while shipbuilders were forced to build thousands of transports for BLN use. An obvious result was the rapid expansion of the NCC designation numbers in Starfleet; the expanded construction of government transports was performed under the Naval Construction Contract bureaucracy.
For the moment, the shipbuilding industry was safe. The government's massive orders meant that more construction slips had to be established so that government orders, which legally had to take priority, could be met while paying customers were also serviced. This became one of the few positive aspects of the BLN, as this expansion in shipbuilding capability would prove valuable in the Federation's rearmament after Wolf 359, even as other aspects of rearmament guaranteed the Federation's collapse.
Miller's fall came in 2356. On the 10th of April, Starfleet Intelligence issued a warning that the Tsen'kethi Imperial Fleet was mobilizing. A Security Council meeting was convened. Revork gave the briefing and pointed out that the Tsen'kethi had been building up for eight years, after their initial raids on border colonies went unpunished. Security Council Chairman Germe Jilkva and Revork both urged Miller to reinforce the border regions. Miller refused on the grounds that the act would "provoke" the Tsen'kethi. There were, after all, other neighboring powers the Tsen'kethi might be targeting. The Cardassians, for instance, or the Talarian Steadhold. Despite objections from Starfleet and the Security Council, she refused to reinforce the border regions. Jilkva desperately appealed to the Party Central Committee, which urged her to at least make preparations, but Miller could not be swayed. In her mind, any action would be seen as aggressive and could provoke a war. It wasn't worth the risk.
On the 18th of April, the Tsen'kethi Imperium declared war on the Federation. The disputed Jilashan Worlds were overrun within three days of the declaration and every border sector was raided or invaded. Starfleet's present forces were forced out and a few dozen starships were lost - the worst Federation military disaster since Tomed.
By the 20th, Starfleet was issuing dire warnings of imminent collapse on the front. The Tsen'kethi may very well drive to slice off the Rimward sectors or perhaps a thrust toward the core sectors. They insisted that Miller release them to send in reinforcements and to begin restoring mothballed starships for the war. Miller outright refused. Obviously the Tsen'kethi had been provoked. Perhaps they could listen to reason. Perhaps they felt threatened by Federation power and were striking to protect their borders. When the local Starfleet commander, Admiral Rickover, requested permission to retaliate against targets in Tsen'kethi space to slow their advance, she sacked him - there was to be no aggressive acts to make the Tsen'kethi feel even more threatened.
To the Party, Miller's deranged insistance on strict adherence to Surakian ideals of non-violence had gone too far. She had been useful for placating the population in internal affairs but it was clearly time to bring back someone with iron. Otherwise the unofficial contract with the charter colonies - due payments for defense - would be jeopardized. The entire system would crash if the Federation failed to defend their colonies. Jeytas Gathali, the Betazoid Clerk of the Central Committee, went straight to the Federation Council. He had no standing there, but he was able to appeal to the Social Progressive representing Betazed, Iltaraxa Troi, to call him to speak. Miller was forced to watch as Gathali argued passionately for her removal. She was invited to defend herself by Salok of Vulcan, but her speech was unimaginative and mostly consisted of dire warnings that if the Council "gave in to the militarists", it would doom the Federation to war and downfall. The Council swept Miller out by a massive vote. She won only one out of ten votes, all from her supporters in the Party and the Vulcans' votes. Iltaraxa called on the Council to elect Gathali as President. He accepted and immediately restored Rickover, then ordered Starfleet to mobilize it's reserves and cease the Tsen'kethi advance.
Defeated in the Council, Miller appealed to the Central Committee to expel Gathali from it's ranks. Gathali had overstepped himself by not consulting the Committee - which he could not have done without tipping Miller off to his plan to unseat her. This was a violation of Party policy. Unknown to Miller, Gathali had already consulted with many of the Committee's members. They backed Gathali and removed Miller from the Party's Chair position. Gathali was elected to replace her, in line with Jirvshk's tradition.
Miller suffered a nervous breakdown at her removal, panicked by fears of escalating war leading to the destruction of the Federation. She tried to barricade herself in the Presidential office and had to be dragged out by security personnel. Her family had her admitted to a psychiatric facility. Miller recovered months later, with the war in full swing, and founded PAPAL - Progressive And Pacifist Action League. She authorized the group charter, calling interstellar war "an inherently racist or otherwise hateful act". PAPAL and other pacifist groups would soon become a political force within the Federation, noted mostly for snarling public traffic and other annoyances during vigorous anti-war, anti-Starfleet protests. Miller tried to argue to the public that the military expenditures of war and conflict would bring down the BLN System, the old "guns or butter" debate returned to life. She would have a greater effect in the early 60s than she was having at the moment.
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:23am
Gathali's Presidency was the first moderate leadership since Jovark twenty years before. Gathali himself was somewhat of a Jirvshkite and maintained Party control of the bureaucracy. He was already closely connected with them. Jirvshk had appointed him as Party Clerk because of Gathali's Betazoid talents; he was able to sense and feel his subordinates' thoughts and emotions and thus could tell when they were being truthful and when they were lying. Oftentimes, as Clerk, he had unearthed some of the growing corruption through these abilities, but Jirvshk and Miller had never let him act on that knowledge. Jirvshk undoubtedly knew that the corruption would make patronage and Party membership valueable as it became inseperable from lush government jobs, while Miller was trying to keep the bureaucracy - and the rest of the Party rank and file - on her side so that the Central Committee would not be able to remove her.
Gathali tried to end the corruption. He instructed the Secretariat of Living Standards to look into the system, and the ten worst cases they found were brought up on charges. The bureaucracy's Party members protested to the Central Committee that Gathali was persecuting them. The Committee did not want the bureaucracy to be turned against the Government with a war on and forced Gathali to stop.
Starfleet's counterattack also had an unintended effect. It provoked a war with the Talarian Steadhold, which feared the massing of Starfleet forces on it's border was directed against the Steadhold instead of the Tsen'kethi flank. By fortune for both sides, the Talarian attack came too late to hit the Starfleet concentrations, who successfully counter-attacked the Tsen'kethi, but it did come down hard on the local colonies, including the Galen Colony, which suffered severe damage with entire settlements overrun and destroyed.
By late 2357, the war with the Talarians was over, while conflict with the Tsen'kethi continued as before. At this point, border raids from the Cardassians escalated. The Cardassian Central Command believed their moment was nigh. The Federation border colonies they desired, and which they had raided years before, were ripe for the taking, and the Federation had apparently proven weak. The Cardassians opened up their own war against the Federation starting with an offensive out of Bajor in March of 2358. Unlike the Talarians, they decided to declare war citing allegations of Federation support for Bajoran rebels - "terrorists" in Cardassian press releases - as provocation (this propaganda charge would be used by PAPAL to great effect in shaping public perception).
The Council Elections of 2358 saw the Idealogues slip a bit further. They were down to only about two-thirds of the Council Seats, with the Social Progressives claiming all of the rest save the five Vulcan-controlled seats. Gathali informed the Central Committee there was little to be worried about. Those defeated had all been Miller's people and it was obvious that this was in fact good for the Party, purging it of "Surakist" influence. Nevertheless there were problems. On the 2nd of August, Miller held a rally with PAPAL in San Francisco that virtually blockaded Starfleet Academy, demanding the government sue for peace. They even tried to win colonial support, claiming to the colonies that the militarists in Government were going to get them killed by the Tsen'kethi and the Cardassians for no reason.
Gathali's counter-charge was effective within the Party hierarchy, thought it failed to undermine PAPAL's growing numbers. Namely, that Miller was to blame for the crisis. She had naively undermined the Federation's defenses in the name of peace despite the fact that the Federation's neighbors coveted it's territory and were contemptuous of the notion of peace. Miller had nearly lost the alliance with the Klingons and had horribly weakened the Federation, according to Gathali. The charge had some effect on the populace in the first years of the wars, but when the two conflicts became quagmires PAPAL's propaganda (often backed by Cardassian propaganda) proved effective in turning public sentiment against the conflicts.
The Federation economy was already under enormous strain. Internal corruption meant that the BLN was in perpetual danger of shortages. There were growing cases of replicator shutdowns from lack of raw material. Miller and PAPAL latched upon the problems as more evidence that the Federation should make peace. Since the corruption in the system wasn't widely understood, most people assumed they were right and that the problem stemmed from the Federation's war efforts sucking away resources. They proved unwilling to endure reductions in the BLN. There mere rumor of a BLN reduction by the government - likely the work of PAPAL - caused planet-wide protests and rioting on Alpha Centauri. This served to confirm Cardassia's perception. The Federation's core was weak and without the stomach for a fight. Recovered records in 2361 indicated ambitious war plans up to a temporary occupation of Earth and the doubling of Cardassia's territory at the Federation's loss.
The press also helped with the notion that the wars were becoming a quagmire. They were filled with Miller's people due to the large number of propaganda projects she had carried out. They in turn had their supporters in the Party hierarchy, often nepotistic connections. Especially powerful were the "Young Paxist" faction of the Party and government. Youth, the sons and daughters of leading Party personnel, who had latched on to Miller's ideals and now refused to abandon them despite their apparent discrediting. From the beginning of the war, the Federation State Press tended to be anti-war and sometimes anti-Starfleet. The prevalance of Cardassian propaganda being accepted in the Federation is probably due to the News Service's willingness to publish their press releases uncritically as a part of a wider agenda to "save the Federation from itself," as anti-war writer Kayla Newton stated in a 2359 report on the MacGregor battle.
The wars and the Federation's growing economic woes went hand in hand. Gathali found that Turok and Miller had cut far too much muscle from Starfleet. It's ships were uniformly old, with only one out of ten vessels built within the decade and all by old designs. The first Nebula-class ships were still just coming off the assembly line and would be a decisive factor later. To deal with the problem now, Gathali asked for the Council to authorize increasing the budget for 2359. The Council refused, citing BLN commitments. The Central Committee even warned Gathali not to touch the BLN. The Party would lose too much.
Gathali went to the colonies. Those colonies who would be in the Cardassians' line of advance proved willing to raise emergency defense spending, more concerned now with violent alien invasion than giving cash to posh, pampered core worlders. Colonies elsewhere proved more resistant. Gathali in the end would only raise enough funds to build a third flight of frigates.
The 60s began with both wars in a stalemate. The Cardassian advance had been halted and was being steadily pushed back as they found themselves unable to bring enough firepower to bear against the Federation's larger, more powerful starships. They simultaneously had to deal with an escalation in the Klingon commitment to the Betreka Nebula. The Tsen'kethi and Federation continued to trade shots across their respective borders, which had finally been reclaimed. The growing stalemate had to be broken, in Gathali's view. Other alien empires were beginning to notice the Federation's weakness. If the Federation didn't knock out either power now it could face attack from multiple sides.
Gathali went back to the Council. Rearmament was now necessary; the Federation had to re-align it's priorities from the BLN to the military or risk being overrun. He brought with him indications of Tholian and Breen border movements that could mean imminent attacks in those regions as well. The Council now agreed to cut into the BLN for rearmament.
The Central Committee protested. They knew that the BLN was the one thing keeping them in power. If they abandoned it the Social Progressives might actually win the Council's majority. They demanded Gathali not touch the BLN. Gathali refused. The colonies could not be squeezed for any more dues, not until he had proven the Federation could and would defend them from attack. For the time being, the Federation citizenry would have to sacrifice a little to ensure they were safe. Rearmament was ordered to begin in 2361.
PAPAL leapt upon the issue with full force. Gathali was going to starve the core worlds to fight colonial wars. Millions would die for just a few parsecs of space. Cardassia's propagandists threw their full force into the effort. The worlds they were attacking? Cardassian-claimed space that the Federation callously settled without consulting Cardassia. The Rape of Nova Savona and other Cardassian atrocities were outright lies or distortions by Cardassia's enemies. Gathali found his own Press Service aiding the anti-war movement. When he sacked producers linked to it, protests erupted throughout the core worlds.
Rearmament would also prove difficult in of itself. The skilled labor and facilities for high-grade starship production were in private hands, and there were no laws allowing Gathali to enforce price controls on them. The Federation lacked the funds for the kind of full-scale buildup that Sulu had been able to threaten half a century before. Gathali's attempt to draft legislation doing so led to vicious protests from the defense contractors and from the anti-war movement. Analysts pointed out that the only way to afford rearmament would be to place BNA-style measures over the defense industries, including dozens of mining operations, shipbuilders, electronics companies. The sheer volume of necessary government bureaucracy would be impossible to staff properly, the stress on the government's transport systems would grow, and both would steal resources meant for the BLN system. Increased dues on the charter colonies would further damage their economies while the price controls for defense-related industries would cause entire portions of the private economy to crash and require government nationalization. Devaluation of the colonies' hard currency would increase from the need to issue even more Federation credits to pay for rearmament.
The Idealogue Party was now threatened with a split. Gathali rallied his supporters and the Social Progressives together. But the Central Committee could rally more. A vote of no confidence against Gathali, directed to be introduced by the Committee, was brought before the Council on the 29th of November 2361. Gathali tried to persuade the Council but failed. The Party could not abandon the BLN, the center of the Federation's system. Gathali was removed and his replacement was T'Kal of Vulcan.
T'Kal was on the Party Committee, one of the Vulcans who did not break with the Idealogues. Wiley and willing to manipulate, she had been Jirvshk's choice to rally anti-Turok sentiment amongst the Vulcans. Now she used that same power to manipulate the government. She did not touch the corruption like Gathali had tried, since logically the corruption of the bureaucracy was the incentive for the illogical to do the Party's will. She also thought it was illogical to oppose the powerful peace movement in Federation society. She immediately sought peace talks with the various powers. The Tsen'kethi proved most receptive, now growing leery of the Cardassian threat on their border. An armistice was agreed upon within two weeks. Peace negotiations began in February of 2361 and would produce an end to the war by te end of the year.
The Cardassians now had to deal with a war-tried Tsen'kethi fleet on their border and the ever-present threat that the Klingon Empire would attack Betreka Nebula again. The Nebula-class ships were also being used in the conflict against them and proved to be far too powerful for Cardassia to handle. Obviously they had miscalculated when they thought Starfleet was old and rusted. The USS Galaxy's launch in June of 2361 was the final straw. After a failed offensive in the fall of 2361 to try and gain back some ground, Cardassia settled into the worlds she held and offered an armistice. T'Kal seized it willingly. The crisis had passed.
But the damage had been done. Many colonies now questioned the effectiveness of Starfleet protection. The anti-war protests showed a disturbing willingness among the core worlders to abandon the very same colonists who made their paradise possible if it required even a temporary sacrifice. The Klingons also found themselves questioning the worth of their alliance with the Federation, doubts that would be exploited by the Duras faction.
Miller declared a great victory for her ideals. Obviously she had been right. Once the Federation proved it was not going to attack it's neighbors, they were no longer afraid and willing to wage war. PAPAL threw several peace celebrations in honor of the armistice with Cardassia and their political proponents pushed for immediate peace talks.
What Miller and her people did their best to suppress were the coming stories of Cardassian atrocities. Thousands of Federation nationals and Starfleet personnel taken as POWs were returning with charges of brutal and indiscriminate Cardassian torture, wanton raping and killing of POWs and civilians, and even the failure to return some of the POWs (later confirmed by the Alliance during the New Year's Offensive of 2154 AST). The charter colonies had several private production companies that funded documentaries and press specials that highlighted these allegations and the proof of it. T'Kal forced the Communications Secretariat to suppress the distribution of the material. It was obviously provocation by the militarists to continue the war by riling up public hostility. PAPAL went even further by charging the POWs were lying, often using Cardassian propaganda without constraint. The easy suppression of the evidence by the Government was a highlight of just how strong Federation control of it's communications network was, a factor in coming years (including the attempted Leyton coup).
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:25am
With the wars over it seemed that the peace had been restored. T'Kal was free to concern herself with domestic difficulties. The declining production in the Core Worlds was the most odious to her. It was not logical that the core worlders gained the benefits of the system without working for them. As one of Jirvshk's appointees to the Central Committee, she had been in agreement with him on a number of issues. The need for firm rule was one.
But the Central Committee was too used to it's independence and newfound power. As the determiners of the Party line, they were the ones who had the control of the bureaucracy. They alone could approve new Party directives. They refused T'Kal's request to begin finding methods of making the core worlders work. It would be political suicide for the Party.
What was decided instead was another dues increase for the charter colonies, this time to a third of the colonies' GDP. It would be sold off as a measure to ensure their security. The Party was not above using the recent war to scare the colonies into obedience. But many did not accept the reasoning. Protests and a handful of riots broke out amongst the colonies. For the first time, in fact, some of the colonial governments' executive branches took to cooking the books as well, making their GDP seem lower than they really were. These colonies - Algrossa, Pacifica, Novvy Moskva, amongst others - would later be centers of rebellion when the Federation found strong evidence of the false reporting and acted upon it.
One way in which T'Kal dealt with declining production was by turning to the corrections system. Penal work colonies were set up and criminals who volunteered would be allowed to work for a small wage and better access to luxuries. This did better than expected and most criminals in the Federation preferred time in the penal colonies than actual jails. But it couldn't begin to make up for the growing numbers of dormant citizens in the core worlds. The BLN was becoming parastical to the point of threatening the Federation's system with collapse.
T'Kal realized this above all else. In a secret meeting of the Central Committee and her Cabinent, she told them straight up that the Federation was effectively a tyranny. A tyranny of the represented core worlds, who were voting unfair benefits for themselves that the non-represented colonies had to pay for. The Federation had become a two-track system; the core worlds were de facto command economies with the government controlling over ninety percent of the economy, while the colonies were struggling free markets that had a constant loss of capital from the dues. The only thing keeping the colonies in the Federation was that they preferred things as they were to the prospect of rule by Cardassia, Romulus, and other alien empires. The Central Committee was clearly uncomfortable with being referred to as tyrants, but most had to admit T'Kal was right. They used the threat of abandoning the colonies to alien attack to compel those colonies to contribute to an unfair system that didn't benefit them.
T'Kal's point was that so long as the Federation could point to Cardassia and other empires and say, "Would you rather be under us or under them?", the colonies would side with the Federation. The great risk to the Federation was not an alien aggressor, which only served to solidify the system, but a two-sided threat: that a viable alternative would be found to the system. This would either be in the guise of an external alternative presenting a model for emulation (which the Alliance would later be) or internal necessity from the takeover of Federation government and society by "extreme pacifist" elements that would refuse to fight to defend the colonies. T'Kal used her points to argue for the suppression of PAPAL; they were a clear, logical threat to the Party and the Federation.
The Central Committee agreed with the spirit, but believed T'Kal wanted to go too far. Suppressing PAPAL openly and violently would turn them into martyrs. The people would vote them out of the Council. Miller might very well be encouraged to get her supporters in the Party to break away, which would lead to horrible instability in the system that might bring it all crashing down. Like it or not, PAPAL had to be left alone. A propaganda campaign to undermine Miller was ordered but proved unviable - too many members of the state press were sympathetic to PAPAL and T'Kal was unwilling to give too much access to the colonial press agencies.
The 2362 Council Elections were something of a draw all around. The Social Progressives held onto their seats and took a few from Miller's supporters, while the Idealogues saw a slight shift in favor of Miller's candidates. Again Miller and PAPAL believed it was a victory for their ideals. Trends showed that they mostly succeeded on the inner-most worlds, completely free of obvious military threat. Represented worlds in the border regions tended to vote for other Idealogues or the Social Progressives. T'Kal was kept on as President of the Council. The Central Committee now feared the growing power of Miller's faction. They asked T'Kal to bring Miller back into a position. T'Kal refused, knowing full well that the charter colonies would take it as a sign of betrayal.
In support of Miller, PAPAL staged a number of demonstrations in October of 2362, calling for T'Kal's removal and the restoration of Miller as President. T'Kal called in the FSF when a number of the demonstrations turned into riots. Dozens were injured in clashes across many inner core worlds (though not Earth, where PAPAL remained peaceful). The State Press ran the story with a clear anti-FSF slant and prompted public outrage at the organization. They stirred up memories of Jirvshk, saying the FSF was illegitimate and was only meant to be the private army of a single warmongering madman. It should not exist in the Enlightened Society. The Committee and the Council bowed to the pressure and together managed, successfully, to compel T'Kal to dissolve the FSF. She refolded the FSF back into Starfleet by merging it with Starfleet Security, but in the process she was forced to have all of their important military equipment destroyed. The Federation was without any organized, equipped ground force now.
The new player to the galactic stage at this time was the Ferengi Alliance. The Ferengi had and still have a reputation as ultra-capitalists, the ultimate exploiters, even if the Ferengi economy had as much controls upon it as the Federation did due to the endemic corruption and autocracy of the Grand Nagus and his regime. They were "into everything", according to a Secretariat of Trade report, buying and selling everywhere and literally creating an entirely new trade currency: gold-pressed latinum. The most important thing the Ferengi may have done was, ironically, artificially extend the lifetime of the Federation's private economy. Ferengi companies and brokers bought goods from the charter colonies - industrial technology, consumer goods, unique luxury items - and paid for it with gold-pressed latinum. In return they often sold throughout the Federation various items, consumer and otherwise, and acted as bankers and traders. The fresh influx of capital ended some of the stagnation setting in.
Even with the growing penal work colonies and the previous Miller-era propaganda attempts at getting the core worlders to return to work, production was still declining. In 2363 it was reported that the 2362 economic data showed production at an all-time low. The Federation GDP had declined by a fifth from what it was fifty years before. Earth's GDP was down by more than half what it had been in 2313, and some core worlds were down to a mere quarter of what they had before. Unemployment rates were through the roof. The system wasn't working, as had been clear for at least twenty years. But there were none in power who were willing to step forward and say it needed changing. To do so would be political suicide.
The data inspired an essay, Democracy Gone Wrong, by a Pacifican history professor and politician Samantha Morrison. Published in novelette form and on the comm systems in May of 2363, Morrison's conclusion was that the Federation was not run by the Idealogue Party but by the "Core Worlder Mob"; the voters of the core worlds who had Council representation and who used that to vote for the Idealogues, who would literally bribe the electorate with benefits - in this case, the BLN. The people did not question whether it was right that they had the system, or the system's worth; they wanted it and any who questioned it could not be allowed in office. Nor did they care that the charter colonies didn't have it, or that the colonies were paying most of the cost of the system now. They wanted their public housing and furnishing, their public education, and their plentiful stipend of credits. They would use their votes to keep it, no matter the price to the Federation.
Morrison's conclusion was shocking and horrifying. To end the stagnation, nothing less than the fall of the Federation would be necessary, and in such a way as to completely destroy the core worlds' infrastructure. Billions would have to die, both from attack and from post-attack starvation and lack of medical care, to actually end resistance to any changes in the system. Morrison was attacked by colleagues across the Federation for her theory, in many cases because it seemed unfathomable that the only way to end the system was to have so many people killed and entire worlds reduced to rubble. In the end, she proved more correct than any of her critics - perhaps even Morrison herself - believed.
PAPAL made it their personal crusade to attack Morrison, holding protests on her college and elsewhere, often attacking and destroying copies of her work on paper and electronic. Miller herself took part in one demonstration in which dozens of copies of the essay were burned. She denounced Morrison as elitist and a "fascist reactionary". The Party put pressure on Morrison's employer, the University of Monrovia, to fire her despite her tenure, and their members of Pacifica's government later tried to bar her from running for Congress. The violence of the reaction against Morrison made her work even more widely-read. Copies were spread everywhere. The essay was even translated into Klingonese (and later used as propaganda by the Duras faction) and Cardassian.
Morrison also inadvertantly caused T'Kal's downfall. In a private interview for a high class Vulcan reading circle, T'Kal stated that Morrison's conclusions were "regrettable but irrefutably logical". The system Sirok had envisioned could only work with logical races, and the other races were inherently illogical in their cultures and attitudes. Though her interview went on to say she did not believe that collapse would be necessary to end the system's decay, the damage had been done. The sound-byte was stumbled upon by State Press people covering Vulcan and transmitted to the rest of the Federation. The Core Worlds erupted in rage at having their own President betray them in such a way. PAPAL denounced T'Kal and demanded her removal from the Presidency.
T'Kal was called before the Central Committee. Her explaination to them was not acceptable, so T'Kal resigned her positions voluntarily. She would soon become an advocate of Vulcan secession from the Federation. Sympathizers of PAPAL called for the Committee to restore Miller. They were backed by bureaucrats who longed for the good old days under Miller, when nobody was watching them closely. But before the Committee could decide upon a replacement, the Council elected Iailmin Du'thurl of Bol.
Du'thurl was a compromise candidate in most respects. He did nothing of note during his Presidency, which was marked by a temporary end to production slide from the increased numbers of Ferengi orders from colonial industries. Other than that, the economy continued on as it had before.
The 2366 Elections were an entirely different animal due to the Borg Scare. With first contact having been made in early 2366 and the USS Enterprise having barely survived the encounter, the threat of Borg attack dominated the politics of the year. PAPAL tried in vain to maintain their peace campaign. In the end, some of their sympathizers in the Council were removed, and the Social Progressives gained forty percent of the Council seats. Together with elements of the Idealogues, they broke with the Central Committee - which wanted to maintain Du'thurl as President and Chairman - and elected their own President, Social Progressive leader Maralo Tevala.
The Committee was incensed that they had been ignored. For the first time in twenty-three years, the Committee Chair was not unified with the Presidency, an important loss of prestige. They withdrew patronage from some of the defectors, rending them independent and unlikely to be re-elected, as a warning to the others.
Tevala found, however, that there was little that could be done to prepare Starfleet for war with the Borg. The slipways for the Galaxy-class ships were all filled. There were no funds to increase production, and Tevala - like Gathali and T'Kal - believed it impossible to raise dues on the member nations. Things had to proceed as normal.
This was the shape in which the Federation found itself upon First Contact with the Alliance. Trade with the Alliance - and the rest of the known Megaverse - may have aided the colonies' economies even more, but Wolf 359 and the Rearmament Acts intervened.
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:26am
The Battle of Wolf 359 is considered one of the greatest disasters in Federation history, even though Tomed killed far more. A single enemy vessel penetrated into the heart of Federation space, wiping out over three dozen starships on it's way before being stopped by a stroke of good luck within range of Earth.
The battle brought down the Tevala Presidency and destroyed the Social Progressives. They had long run on a platform of protecting the Federation from external threat, but once they'd gotten the power to do so they'd apparently failed. There was no longer any reason to vote Social Progressive. The Central Committee used the opportunity to reconsolidate their hold on power. They sacked Du'thurl and appointed Gao Hi-Yuan as the new Committee Chairman. The wayward members of the Party saw the popular backlash and restored their links with the Committee. They joined in the vote that removed Tevala and placed Gao into the Presidency.
Wolf 359 was a disaster in another fashion. It revealed precisely how undefended the Federation really was. Starfleet was overstretched and incapable of in-depth defense. The Federation's defense at Wolf 359, 39 vessels that arrived piecemeal, displayed a woeful reserve that demonstrated that the Federation had no real reserve forces to be deployed in a crisis, only minor forces (a comparable study by the Alliance Stellar Navy showed that not a single Earth in the Alliance would have been so woefully underdefended in the event of a similar Borg incursion with a similar warning time). The illusion of Federation military strength had vanished at precisely the moment the Federation needed it. The Party would have to re-arm now.
The terror the Borg had inflicted helped to pave the way. Popular resistance to rearmament disappeared overnight. Miller tried to counter with propaganda, but aside from her diehards nobody would listen. PAPAL found that many of it's members were unwilling to stay with the cause when it meant destruction by the Borg, leaving only a dedicated core around Miller to continue the fight for absolute peace. The majority clearly favored rearmament to oppose any future Borg attacks (though Miller retained many sympathizers who agreed with her views up to remaining disarmed in the face of a Borg threat).
Federation rearmament officially began on January 21st 2153 AST with the passing of the Rearmament Acts. The Rearmament Acts were a series of differing resolutions and laws that gave the Federation Government broad, almost dictatorial powers (including the absolute consolidation of all interstellar subspace radio to the government), a dues increase to 40% for the colonies, and BNA-style measures upon the defense industries that became referred to as DEM (Defense Equipment and Material). Price controls were placed upon producers for a broad spectrum of defense-related industries, from electronics producers to mining operations extracting "strategic resources" to shipyards and weapons manufacturers.
PellCorp took the strongest hit. The Federation outright nationalized Utopia Planitia and several other remaining yards in the Core Sectors (an attempt to nationalize PellCorp's Algrossa Shipbuilding and Spacedock Complex was thwarted by the Algrossan government nationalizing it first to keep it under Algrossan control). The nationalization of Utopia Planitia included the firing of many personnel so that Party-approved management could be put into place, revenge by the FSDB for PellCorp showing it up over the Nebula. One of the most common sights associated with the Rearmament Acts was Starfleet Security carrying PellCorp's Utopia Planitia manager, Dwayne Higgins, out of his office after he refused to leave in an act of protest. The loss of many facilities and the forced price controls would ruin PellCorp over the next decade, and it would eventually be nationalized completely on the eve of the first Civil War.
The reaction in the Alliance shocked Gao and the Federation's leadership. The day after the Rearmament Acts were announced, the Washington Post printed a headline for their ST-3 section that screamed, "Federation Goes Red!" Within hours of the news, politicians and analysts across the Alliance were debating what seemed to be a large-scale Communization of the Federation's economy. They gave doomful predictions of Federation economic collapse or the outright destruction of their supposedly open society as the government implemented Communist-style gulags and forced labor to begin a military buildup. A commentator for the Times (of London) remarked that the Alliance should immediately match the Federation's "military expansion" or "we shall risk that the Federation will decide to expand it's peculiar brand of Communism to other universes." The very fear of Federation interference in support of Communist asipirations led the left-centrist ruling coalition of Chilé (Universe SE-1) to expel the Neo-Allendeistas from their numbers to avoid the Right using their presence against the Government in the next election.
By irony, Alliance President Jennifer Verdes publicly announced her resignation just two days before the Rearmament Acts were signed. Chancellor Nicolas Mamatmas became President on the 25th and his position, in turn, was taken by Jean-Pierre Montesque until the Chancellory elections in November. Mamatmas took charge of the situation and asked for explainations. He received one from Harriet Nitse, the National Security Advisor to American President George Lewis' Administation (USA of Universe AR-12).
Nitse, in a brief to both President Lewis and President Mamatmas, stated that the Federation was not yet Communist. The Idealogue Party had all the trappings of a potential ruler in a one-party state, but they had no desire - for the moment - to go that far. In fact, despite all the heavy regulation and nationalization of now-growing segments of the Federation economy, the Federation still had a free market. Even the government-controlled industries and businesses operated like they were still in a free market. There was no central planning, aside from bureaucratic attempts to keep up with BLN demand (and their abuse of it, though not yet fully apparent to the Alliance). The Federation was rather a Communist "evolution". That is, their system was slowly evolving into one that would require a Communist-themed government if the government - and the system - were to survive. The Idealogue Party would likely mutate into the center of a one-party Communist state in the Federation, which would be "goulash Communism on a grand scale" according to Nitse.
Nitse's report allowed Mamatmas to calm down the Joint Command Staff and members of the Council. The Federation did not post a threat. In a classified memo, Nitse speculated that the Federation's chosen method of rearmament, obviously taken to limit costs and thus prevent problems with the BLN, would be fatal. They were already dooming their system to collapse by adding such a large burden to the bureaucracy, forcing them to rely on the government's bureaucrats even as they in turn continued to swindle and embezzle funds and materials from the dues system. At the same time, the pure volume of industries related to defense would ensure the virtual destruction of the Federation's private economy as the demands of rearmament caused the government to buy more and more equipment and material, pushing private companies further into debt and bankruptcy, even as the unrestrained issuing of Federation credits devalued the other currencies and weakened the Federation's buying power in the acquisition of external resources. Eventually the faltering economies of the charter colonies would cause them to vote for the Idealogues in their own governments - and thus implement the BLN and place yet more strain on the dying system - or the colonies would secede to prevent the Federation from dragging them down too.
It was that last possibility that Nitse felt had to be taken into account. If the major charter colonies voted for secession, could and should the Alliance back them? There were pros and cons to either approach, and Nitse warned that even one colony of sufficient size breaking away could create a chain reaction that would destroy the Federation. The violence of this chain reaction could not be determined and could very well set the Federation's neighbors into a feeding frenzy as they used the chaos to eat up entire sectors.
Nitse, in the end, proved very accurate. While the first two major breakaways - Algrossa and Nippon - were survived, the third large breakaway would trigger the fist Federation Civil War, which in turn would trigger even more breakaways and the complete breakdown of the current system. She was also correct about where the Federation's system was taking them, though very few probably foresaw the terror of the Sandoval regime in the inter-Civil War period.
It would take a few years for the Rearmament Acts to come into full swing, due to the need to decide on what should be built and where. The restoration of Starfleet's material strength seemed to many to be an outward side of the Federation strengthening, even as the means of acquiring that powerful, advanced navy rotted the Federation away on the inside. The Federation's production still declined, and furthermore, many skilled managers and officials who were removed by nationalizations often emigrated to New Liberty and the Alliance, depriving the Federation of much-needed technical expertise. Often the Federation would buy a company and, instead of having the former owners continue to run it under government oversight as had always happened before, the owners would "take the cash and run", even as that currency bought less and less from the devaluation of Federation currencies from the unrestrained issuing of the credit. A handful of Federation colonies attempted to stabilize the collapse by fixing their currencies to gold-pressed latinum, but this only delayed the decline. Exports from the colonies dried up as more and more of their industries were being placed under rigid price controls by the government to buy one or another product related to Starfleet.
As the process worsened in the years leading up to the Dominion War, there was more and more emigration to the Alliance. Many charter colonies ceased using their currencies altogether from the collapse in their value and turned to the Alliance dollar, which by quirk of Federation law, was not fixed to the government credit. This in turn inspired the Federation to amend the law forcing the colonies to honor the credit at a fixed rate to all available currencies, not just their own. The colonies protested and tried in vain to sue in the Supreme Court (which became nothing more than a judicial rubber stamp to the Party's decisions). This was the crisis that resulted in Pacifican secession and thus the crisis that provoked the First Civil War.
By the beginning of the Dominion War, more charter colonies ended up going Idealogue just to get the BLN as their economies, long barely propped up by the private sector, collapsed from the DEM measures. The load grew even as the Federation had less and less with which to hold up the load. Something had to break. Algrossa's secession in 2158 AST provided an initial crack that might have expanded further if not for the Federation's short war with the Klingons and then the alliance between Cardassia and the Dominion. T'Kal's points remained true; the system consolidated when faced with direct and unavoidable external threat.
The Dominion War would ultimately prove the last gasp of the United Federation of Planets, temporarily re-unifying the Federation in a struggle for it's freedom from Dominion tyranny. In the end, however, the Federation's contribution was short-lived and minor. The Alliance emerged from the war with the Dominion as conquerers of the Gamma Quadrant and undisputed Hegemon of the Alpha Quadrant, having completely eclipsed the Federation in importance and influence. At the same time that the Dominion War tapped into the Alliance's own strengths and turned them into an industrial juggernaught, the Federation's declining participation and the removal of the direct threat in the Alpha Quadrant brought all of their problems back into light with an even greater vengeance. The simultaneous pressure on the government to reform the system and to maintain the elements most responsible for their predicament was simply too much, resulting in colony secessions and the chain reaction Nitse predicted.
In the end, both T'Kal and Samantha Morrison were proven right. T'Kal had correctly observed that so long as no alternative to the system was presented, the colonies would suffer enormously in the name of being protected from brutal alien neighbors. The Alliance provided an alternative at precisely the same time that the Federation's system came under unbearable strain, thus providing a combination that doomed the Federation to collapse.
Just as much, Morrison's observations were correct. The Idealogue Party was dependent upon the Core Worlder Mob, which in turn was easy to whip into militaristic frenzy when their BLN was threatened by the growing number of seceding colonies. The same Core Worlders who once cheered Miller and PAPAL when they proclaimed war as racist became violent nationalists eager to crush the colonies and compel them back into servitude at gunpoint, all in the name of maintaining the BLN and their "paradise". These same Core Worlders would prove unwilling, to the point of extreme violence, to give up their luxuries, and willingly supported similar violence in government until that very same government turned it against them, using violence to compel them to work and thus solve the production problem. The resulting Reign of Terror, a near-decade of brutal Communist rule by Sandoval and the Red Guards, took enough fight out of the Mob that they gave no resistance beyond what Sandoval compelled from them when it came time to reclaim the breakaway colonies, a war that would ultimately bring an end to Sirok's grand experiment and the entire Federation with it.
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:26am
4. Alliance Strategic Planning - 2153
When Nicolas Mamatmas became Alliance President on January 25th 2153 AST, he inherited a host of problems with military planning. Because of anti-centralization influences from Rodislav Plotinikov's initial Administration in 2144-50, there was no body in the government to actually determine or advise upon defense policy or to formulate strategic plans.
The lack of such planning was not evident in the Alliance's only major war as of that time - the Clan War in Universe MWB-32 - because President Verdes had used her authority to give the theater commander, Admiral Robert Dale, complete autonomy in planning the war and prosecuting it. Dale was probably the foremost strategist in the entire Stellar Navy at the time, the most visible naval hero of the Agresskan War in the 2130s and, more recently, the author of the publicly-acclaimed and influential The Importance of Naval Power for Star-Faring Nations and the Chairman of the Alliance Council's short-lived Commission on Naval Strategy. He, alone of flag officers in the early Navy, had the prestige and influence to effectively run the war on his own with minimal oversight from Washington. In addition, the Clans were also hardly an effective opponent, far inferior in technological and numerical strength, and were dispatched easily.
Without a sole, certified strategist at the lead, the Alliance's advantages were offset by blunders, as the disasterous opening to the war with ComStar showed. Mamatmas came into power seven weeks after the initial disaster, first the loss of the blockading squadrons around Terra to JumpShip kamikaze jumps and then the loss of the three division initial invasion of Terra when they were attacked by NBC weapons, which the local planners had failed to provide protection from under the assumption that ComStar would abide by the Inner Sphere's Ares Conventions.
Before resigning over her diagnosis with Gephardt's Syndrome, Jennifer Verdes had already ordered the Joint Command Staff (JCS) to personally oversee a second invasion plan. Mamatmas found the plan partly-completed, but he was upset by what he considered to be the Joint Command Staff's tendency to underestimate ComStar, who Mamatmas rightly considered to be fanatics willing to go to any length to defend Terra and restore their supremacy over information transfer in the Inner Sphere. The Clan War's resolution, and easy victories over the Capellan Confederation's attempts to raid the Saint Ives Compact, had given the Alliance military a dangerous case of Victory Disease in relation to MWB-32.
Mamatmas initially focused on ensuring that the next attack on ComStar would be decisive. He replaced Defense Minister Garrett Montgomery with Gregory Rathbone, former British Minister of Defence, and Rathbone took a direct role in oversight of the JCS. When the second invasion of Terra was finally launched in mid-February, it would be with a prepared force, overwhelming in numbers and prepared for anything, that would defeat ComStar and drive the Blakists underground (there would be problems with Blakist terrorism well into the 2180s). The initial crisis dealt with, Mamatmas decided on creating two new bodies to deal with defense policy and military strategic planning.
For strategic planning, Mamatmas created the Armed Services' Strategic Planning Staff (SPS). The SPS would be led by an eight officers, two from each service, a junior and senior pair of four-star and five-star flag officers. It would have attached to it military planners, technical advisors and consultants, analysts both military and civilian, and liaisons with Alliance Intelligence and the newly-formed Alliance Security Agency, plus assorted necessary management staff. The SPS would devote it's existance to formulating and maintaining multiple war plans for every conceivable conflict and scenario, to be implemented at any moment the President and his advisors felt it necessary.
To advise the President in the future, Mamatmas formed the Security Committee. It would consist of the President, the Chancellor of the Alliance Council, the Ministers of Foreign Relations and Defense, the Alliance Security Advisor (head of ASA), the Director of the Alliance Intelligence Department, and two military chiefs: the Chairmen of the JCS and the SPS. There would be regularly-scheduled meetings in addition to whatever emergency sessions might be necessary during crisis (during the Dominion War there was usually at least one Security Committee meeting every other day, sometimes daily meetings for days on end).
These two actions crafted for the Alliance the tools for deliberate military planning, ensuring the Alliance would never be caught as it was with the ComStar situation (though it would be no guarantee against future blunder).
Early Alliance planning was centered around the findings of Dale's Commission on Naval Strategy in 2148. The Dale Report, as it was often called, came to the conclusion that the Alliance would not face a plausible threat from any known potentially hostile power before 2165, due to varying factors from economics, problems with technological upgrade, and the need to also defend from powers that had not joined the Alliance. The Report concluded that the Alliance should focus on a program of researching and developing new technologies that had been proposed since the Agresskan War and on establishing the proper military infrastructure for a large-scale mobilization. Contingencies were made for the possibility of beginning a provisional buildup of naval strength before the target date of the 2161 Fiscal Year, should the need for naval power become pressing. FY2161 was to be the first budget under which the Stellar Navy could enact mobilization in line with the Alliance's full industrial capacity and do so with modern designs and technology.
Enacting the Report's proposals, the Council passed the Naval Restoration Act in 2149. It's effects were delayed until the beginning of the Verdes Administration by the delaying tactics of Plotinikov, who opposed the Act. The Act had the effect of re-aligning portions of the naval budget toward subsidies for shipbuilding firms, weapons production companies, and other firms that produced materials vital to the expansion of the Navy. Several shipbuilding firms were contracted to design a new generation of warships with a new generation of enhanced weapons. Already, by 2151, the "inter-generational" warships - those built using techniques and technologies initially formed, or proposed, in the years between the Neo-Nazi and Agresskan conflicts and the immediate aftermath of the Agresskan War - were being constructed and successfully deployed. The Enterprise-class carrier and Freedom-class superdreadnought were the prides of the Navy, even as larger carriers and capital warships were being designed or conceived. These vessels would serve as doctrinal test-beds, their operation being used to test new applications of naval doctrine, such as flexible wall formations and integrated carrier-wall naval operations.
Another new vessel was the Valiant-class corvette. A small warship, the Valiant was a testbed in another fashion - it was equipped with the latest in stealth technology, including the Mark II Emissions Cloaking System (ECS - more commonly known in the Federation as a "cloaking device"), and the new generation of pulse phaser emitters, colloquially referred to as "pulse phaser cannons" due to their high kinetic-impacts and sheer power. This combination of technology, along with the most powerful matter/antimatter reactor available in it's weight class, made the Valiant into a highly economical killing machine, capable of doing damage to ships two to three times it's mass. In large numbers, Valiant-class corvettes could serve as heavy fleet support for larger vessels or interdict enemy shipping, crippling foes' transport capability. Another possible use was as a devastating strategic first strike weapon - waiting under cloak, Valiant-class ships could conceivably infiltrate enemy space upon the outbreak of hostilities and hit supply depots, shipyards, and other facilities critical to the enemy war effort. The attack on ComStar's Titan Shipyards in December 2152 was probably suppported by the Navy brass for the express purpose of displaying this capability.
Because of the Valiant, the Stellar Navy now got into a vicious interservice altercation with the Aerospace Force. The Aerospace Force, under Plotinikov, had been made responsible for protecting not just atmosphere and planetary space, but for in-system defense as well. The Navy was to operate as the offensive arm and the AF as the defensive arm. But the Navy wanted control of space period - the Aerospace Force would only control up to orbital space. This set the stage for a feud that lasted for all of Verdes' Presidency and the first two years of the Mamatmas Presidency before the Navy finally prevailed, leading to the scrapping of most of the Aerospace Force's space capability in favor of emphasizing them as air support for the Army and for planetary defense.
The Aerospace Force lost for a number of reasons. The most important was that unlike the Navy, the Aerospace Force did not have the high-ranking and respected advisors or the popularity before the public that the Navy commanded. The public eye was on the Navy - Dale and his supporters had done too well of a job in bringing the Navy's needs to the forefront, giving the Stellar Navy the ability to effectively eliminate the Aerospace Force from serious military operation for the better part of a decade.
The second reason was that the Aerospace Force had chronic problems with recruitment and equipment. Recruits preferred to go into the Stellar Navy if they wanted to get to space, and if they wanted something land-based, the Army was preferable. The Aerospace Force became laden with young "whiz kids" who all wanted to become officers and then leave in a decade or two to pursue lucrative private careers with their military experience, ensuring a dearth of experienced career personnel who serve as the backbone of any military. At the same time, the AF had lost it's core purpose for being. The standard offensive doctrine of the ADNAF - the use of warp-capable aerospace bombers that could deploy from ground bases into space and then hit strategic enemy targets with missiles - could no longer work with the technology at hand. Aerospace bombers weren't simply fast enough now while in warp flight, and despite efforts at ECM and stealth, they remained too visible - the disasters suffered by the Aerospace Force in the Winter War of '53 publicized, widely, the Aerospace Force's inability to attack as effectively or decisively as before.
This decline in Aerospace Force influence was seen on the Strategic Planning Staff, which went through no less than seven different ADNAF flag officers in it's first five years. The Air Marshals who joined the Staff found that their views were simply being ignored. There were some predictions that within twenty years the Aerospace Force would simply be folded into the Army to fulfill it's air support mission, which most personnel resented bitterly.
Another issue uncovered during the fiasco with ComStar was that the Alliance's intelligence capabilities were not being utilized properly. The Alliance Intelligence Department (AID) was formed with the intention that it would gather intel provided by the still-functioning national intel agencies to present to policy-makers. The problem was that the national intelligence agencies were not sharing information properly. Besides interservice rivalry, there was a national predilection by the various intel agencies toward maintaining secrecy and to not share information.
The ComStar situation proved this explosively. Multiple national intel agencies in the Alliance had penetrated ComStar security to one degree or another. The French Secret Service had turned a ComStar Precentor in charge of an HPG facility and been provided with critical codes and various communications between Terra and ComStar facilities elsewhere, while Mossad successfully turned a ROM communications specialist and thus compromised ComStar's entire operational plan (to the degree that the Israeli government knew about Primus Waterly's impending "holy war" before the Alliance government knew). The ComStar ROM agent who sabotaged the communications hub on Saint Ives had been identified before hostilities as a suspected spy by British MI5. But none of the services alerted the Alliance government to it's accomplishments, fearing that their moles and sources would be discovered and removed. The only service that did successfully alert the Alliance government of it's ComStar operations was the American CIA of SE-1, which was also the national intel agency most tightly-integrated into Alliance Intelligence - their alert provided the Alliance forewarning to the imminent defection of ComStar's Precentor-Martial Anastasius Focht.
AID's chief, Director Sir James Bronson, advised Verdes and then Mamatmas to put pressure on the national governments to be more cooperative with AID. Mamatmas went one better; he encouraged the introduction of legislation into the Council that would give AID more operating authority. In exchange for transferring assets for external intel - agents, analysts, and bureaucracy - to AID, the national governments would be allowed to maintain their own internal security divisions, which would still cooperate with AID at every level. The new measures passed in April 2153 by a decent margin, coming under the title of the Cooperative Intelligence Act.
A number of Alliance intelligence chiefs opposed the measures. CIA (AR-12) Director Renard Gaston resigned in protest when President Lewis refused to oppose them. Gaston made a public spectacle of the matter, insisting that the secrecy required in intelligence necessitated a very loose structure with as few people as possible being "in the loop". He made some head way, as a number of groups sued in the Alliance Court to overturn the Cooperative Intel Act. But many of the governments backed Mamatmas. Mossad chief Levi Meier supported the proposal publicly, as did CIA (SE-1) Director Samuel White Eagle (who would become the Chief Vice-Director of Intelligence and then the Director later in the decade). Both men were accused by various underlings of pandering to their governments' wishes. The largest opinion amongst intel people was that the program would not work, that it would add too many links to the chain and render secrecy unsustainable.
Bronson proved better than most gave him credit for. He ensured that even with the centralization of intelligence, there were no real disruptions in intelligence operations. He minimized the potential for leaks by not integrating AID in the way feared, but instead changing the people at the top who received the intel, ensuring that the chain of information remained small enough that security was more easily maintained.. Due to this, AID was probably spared a number of potential failures.
As Alliance military policy in the early 50s hinged upon the slow buildup of the fleet as mandated by the Restoration Acts, the Alliance never had the diplomatic freedom that other states believed it capable of. While what remained of the national navies and militaries gave some improved flexibility for defense-planning, the Alliance would not possess a fleet and central military large enough to truly engage in massive interstellar war until 2158, just in time for the Algrossa Crisis. The Alliance of 2153 was a far cry from the immediate post-war Alliance of 2163. The Stellar Navy was miniscule, consisting of 4,500 combat warships of varying age and models, unbalanced in favor of light warships. Power projection was sorely limited by a relative lack of heavy fleet units.
In the FY2153 Naval Budget, the Stellar Navy only appropriated funds for the upkeep and maintainance of 200 frontline combat warships of battleship tonnage or greater, and one could count it's major fleet units - superdreadnoughts and fleet carriers - on two hands. The Navy did not reach the desired 1:10 ratio of heavy fleet units to total fleet until FY2157. The Marine Corps consisted of just two hundred divisions as of the first of January 2153, as opposed to the two thousand division strength it would have at peak wartime strength. Because of Plotinikov's designs the Army's strength was the greatest of the services in '53 with two thousand divisions, even if it was predominately that of national army units inducted into Alliance service - some only temporarily - with just one hundred divisions of troops from actual enlistees into the Alliance Army itself. It's easy to see why one of the Alliance's worst difficulties during the Dominion War was the need for NCOs and junior officers to deal with swelling numbers; the plan for mobilization had been anticipated for major warfare after 2163, not 2160. Many people find it too easy to believe the Alliance was always a massive war-making juggernaught that easily overran it's foes. The Winter War's success was owed to superior Alliance ELINT capability, military doctrine, and tactical flexibility and not material superiority. Further Alliance military adventures in the pre-Dominion Alpha Quadrant would rely upon superior training, application of technology, and doctrine, not material.
The lack of brute power - particularly the shortage of heavy naval units - was a severe restraint on Alliance warmaking potential and certainly counts as a reason for why the Alliance chose to go to the negotiation table in January of '54 after the success of the New Year's Offensive against Cardassia. The Cardassians hadn't yet infiltrated the Alliance to the degree necessary to find out just how thin the shoestring was.
A complication in the early defense planning of the Alliance was Wolf 359. The Alliance's response to the arrival of the Borg was nearly as panicked as the Federation's. Planetary militias in the Colonial Zone were called up and the Alliance military began emergency planning for quick deployment of naval assets to fight the Borg, if necessary to do so only long enough to ensure an evacuation of as many colonists as possible should the Alliance decide to abandon the Alpha Quadrant in the event of the Borg proving too advanced to be defeated. President Verdes ordered ADN forces in Universe ST-3 to DefCon 2 and, perhaps more importantly, put the Alliance Armed Services as a whole to DefCon 3 (this would not be done again until the outbreak of the Dominion War and the following hostilities with New Plymouth in Universe CON-5). When the Federation asked for aid, President Verdes agreed and ordered the Navy to send what it could. The Kaga Carrier Battle Group was sent and ended up being just three hours away from Earth when the Borg cube was destroyed. Upon the final defeat of the Borg, the Alliance relaxed it's stance.
The Battle of Wolf 359 sent Alliance military planners, analysts, and experts scrambling. They got whatever records they could from the Federation to see just what the Borg were capable of, and the Federation was being very open about the entire thing. Most analysts believed that a much larger fleet might have defeated the Borg by pure volume of firepower (this belief would be vindicated by the second Borg incursion over six years later). The difficult question was how many ships the Borg were capable of sending. If one ship could fight, reasonably, one hundred Alliance warships, what would the Alliance do if the Borg invaded next time with ten ships? A hundred? A thousand? That much pure firepower would simply be too much. The decision was made to find alternative ways of dealing with the Borg. One such route was the line of creating computer viruses and other systems that could attack the Borg via their controlling computer systems.
The most significant outcome was the rise of the Enhanced Railguns, better known as Gauss Cannons. Already a conceptualized technology, successfully tested by the British and German navies of Universe SE-1, the Gauss Cannons had a very high muzzle velocity that gave them superior accuracy at longer range and greatly enhanced the ability of AP projectiles to punch through armor. The "New Fleet Generation" ship designs were specifically required to add Gauss Cannon armament to be acceptable. Analysis of data from Wolf 359 showed that the Borg cube was most damaged by kinetic impacts from debris. However the Borg "adapted" to their opponent, it was clear that their adaption to KE couldn't be as effective as the frequency nullification to phasers.
The desire to build a platform for a warship that could lead Alliance capital ship units of the New Generation into combat - against the Borg or other foes - led to another change. Initially the Alliance was planning on improving the Freedom-class design with an upgrade upon successful testing of other weapons. The desire for an even better ship led to a specific design team that was budgeted under the operational name "Project Vesuvius". The resulting ship would be the Vesuvius-class superdreadnought that has become one of the emblems of modern naval power.
The Borg complication would have one final effect. The Dale Report, and the Restoration Acts, had left room for partial increases in the early phase buildup, up to fifty percent by the 2154 Fiscal Year. Mamatmas felt compelled to use some of that, and a twenty percent increase in actual construction and force size was authorized by the Alliance Council for the '54 Fiscal Year. This would be the initial force that would keep Alliance "disagreements" with other powers in the Alpha Quadrant peaceful, until the Dominion War made full-scale mobilization necessary.
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:27am
5. The Keloan Crisis
Not long after Wolf 359, the Alliance waged it's first low-level conflict in the Alpha Quadrant. It was the first of a number of early low-level interventions that would increase tensions with the Federation while expanding the Alliance's spheres of influence. These interventions - Kelos, Thallon, Orion, Eloh - would provide the Alliance with future client allies.
Kelos was a newcomer to the galactic stage, having achieved warp capability a mere eighty years beforehand, in 2287. The Keloans managed to settle twenty star systems and claim roughly ten thousand cubic light years of space before being boxed in by the Cardassians, Tsen'kethi, and Federation. The Keloans were under the rule of a semi-autocratic monarchy, it's Kings possessing near-unrivaled political power from their dual role as heads of state and chief priests of the majority Keloan monotheist religion. Before the unification of Kelos under the Royal Family - the J'Keloiioa - the Keloans had a number of other governments, mostly principalities or oligarchies with one island nation that had a form of government with basic structural similarities to the Roman Republic. These divisions were serve as points of tension, as well as the economic consequences of the Royal Government's aggressive colonial program.
Over the course of the 24th Century, the Keloans drifted toward the Federation and Cardassians, suspicious of Tsen'kethi attempts to claim their frontier. In the 2340s, the Keloan Royal Family shifted to the Cardassians' camp in reaction to Jirvshk's undermining of conservative factions in the Federation, particularly the Betazoid royals and the varying surviving monarchies in the founding races' colonies. Jirvshk used the FSF to raise an opposition from the remnants of the old principalities and republic. As Kelos had a federated planetary legislature, though of limited power, there were varying parties. Jirvshk's infiltrators worked with local Keloan radicals to form a popular front amongst Kelos' minority nationalities and anti-monarchist factions. The popular front was made of many different parties - Socialists, Anti-Federalists, Nationalists, Republicans - but the non-radical parties were seeded with spies and agents of the party Jirvshk personally ordered the creation of: the Keloan Peoples' League. The KPL's first leader, Donsa Gemalra'ta, personally met with Jirvshk just two months before Jirvshk's death and promised to foment a revolution within the year. Jirvshk's death delayed that. Miller cut funding to the KPL and used FSF support for it as a reason to sack Mishkin and Sandoval, citing it as a violation of the Prime Directive.
As a result, during the 2350s the KPL was forced to mostly work on it's own. Mishkin still aided them when possible with Section 31 providing what supplies and aid it could. Donsa was unseated by his Party's leadership in 2353, after an agent denounced him as planning to make Kelos a puppet of the Federation - an accusation that was likely true - and he was replaced by Heltk K'meyla'ra. Heltk, unlike Donsa, had actually spent some if his youth in the Federation, studying on Earth in the University of Trier. He personally wrote translations of the works of Karl Marx and other early Earth Communists, as well as the Andorian Communist Horvik Taragk. Heltk believed that Kelos was ripe for the Revolution, as the current ruling King, Litav IX, was unpopular in non-monarchist circles. The KPL alone didn't have the popularity to take over, but the popular front could, and the KPL could use it to gain power and then, when it was secured, purge the "useful fools" from the government.
Heltk also tried to turn military officers while establishing the framework for his own paramilitary force, the Red Marchers. The Marchers were recruited from the youngest Keloans. Those conscripted into the Royal Federal Army and the military were especially desired by Heltk. With forces dedicated to the KPL and not the popular front or the government, he could consolidate his hold on the government. Heltk also recruited Keloan youth who would enter other government services and serve as spies to alert the KPL of whatever the government was planning.
The KPL finally had their chance at revolution during the war between the Cardassian and the Federation. The King allowed Cardassian troops and ships to station in Keloan space to fight the Federation, a technical violation of Keloan neutrality, and the popular front brought the issue into the forefront with a new ally, the enraged isolationist anti-alien faction. In late 2359, there was an incident at one of the Cardassian ground facilities in the former island republic of Quel'ta in which a Keloan girl was found raped and murdered. Cardassian DNA was found on the body (quite possibly planted by the KPL or Section 31) and the publication of the news, despite the efforts of the Royal Government, prompted anti-government demonstrations in Quel'ta. The attempts by the Royal Government to quell the demonstrations made them turn violent. The Cardassians feared that the Keloan popular front might prevail if they remained to enflame the situation, so the Cardassians pulled out.
This had the opposite effect. Emboldened by the departure of the powerful Cardassians, the popular front sparked a widepsread rebellion in every nation on Kelos and most of the colonies. Though some key cities, regions, and a handful of entire planets remained loyal to the King, the defections were crippling, especially those in the military. Even units that remained loyal were filled with officers and enlisted men who were acting as spies for the popular front. All throughout Kelos there was a general disgust with the monarchy for the previous decades of misrule. Rebellion finally reached J'Kelitao, the home nation of the Royal Family which they had ruled for over a millennium. Rebelling Army and Home Guard units took key cities and encircled the royal capital of J'Keloa, in which popular front provocateurs - mostly Red Marchers - were inciting riots and causing general chaos. Finally the legislature acted, asking King Litav to abdicate in the favor of his infant granddaughter and allow the popular front forces into the city in exchange for letting him go into exile with his family. Litav accepted and abdicated on the 24th of January 2360.
But the Red Marchers didn't care for the agreement. When the Royal Guards departed the palace a group of Red Marchers attacked it and ransacked it. The youth dragged Litav and his sons and son-in-law out before a crowd from the city's poor regions at the banks of the J'Keloa River. There, with the full backing of Heltk, the Red Marchers held a show trial in which King Litav and his family were accused of "treason against the Keloan People". Attempts by Litav and the others to calm the crowd were shouted down by the screaming and chanting of the Red Marchers. Litav, his sons Heltk and Maygat, and his son-in-law Dutayl had their throats slit to the roaring cheers, after which their corpses were tossed into the river. Litav's ailing wife Miyla was disconnected from the life support systems keeping her alive and left to suffocate before being tossed into the river. Litav's daughter Keylo was dragged before the crowd and thrown into it - having a reputation as a debutante and pampered brat by the people, Keylo was beaten to death by the mob and thrown into the J'Keloa with the rest of her family.
Litav's other daughter, Orea, had tried to sneak out of the palace with her infant daughter Miyla, but a spy for the KPL betrayed her to the Red Marchers, who shot Orea as she tried to escape. Her infant Miyla was not spared the brutality of the Mob. Taken to the riverfront, the assembled mob cheered wildly as the local brigade commander of the Red Marchers threw the squealing infant into the J'Keloa and proclaimed the end of the Royal Family. The Palace was then burned down and all monarchist symbols and statues defaced or destroyed, as was the Temple of the King, in which the priests and priestesses were also put to death by the triumphant revolutionaries.
Heltk then came before the legislature. The Monarchy was dead and it was time for new leadership. All identified monarchists in the Federal Assembly were required to denounce the Royal Family's "crimes" and leave their posts; those who refused were shot. With the popular front in sole control now, Heltk and his peers declared the birth of the Keloan People's Republic.
The brutality of the fall of the J'Keloiioa damaged the credibility of the new Republic from the start. Some began to call it "the Great Shame", horrified at the excessive cruelty shown against the royal family, long a symbol of stability on Keloa. There were also growing accounts of the killings of innocent Keloans. A college student from Quel'ta was executed by the Red Marchers for criticizing their actions. In J'Keloa City, there was the case of a poor old Keloan grandmother who at the killing of the Royal Family tried to take the infant princess Miyla out of the river and was shot dead with her entire family by the Marchers for the attempt. One particularly embarrassing report for the new government was the raping of several city-dwellers by the Red Marchers, including a priestess of the Temple (an act of sacrilege that horrified rural, conservative Keloans). The other popular front parties suffered the most, as they had let the "uncivilized radicals" perform such shameful deeds, with many switching their loyalties to the monarchists.
The remaining monarchist forces immediately began to launch a counter-revolution, centered around the fact that despite their claims the Marchers had missed one member of the family; Litav's grandson Morav, who had been sent to New Anglia in the Federation in case of the worst happening. The KPL tried to assassinate Morav on four occasions in the next seven years and each attempt failed.
The new Republic had to deal with the still-raging war between Cardassia and the Federation. The Cardassians and Federation both denounced the slaughtering of the Royal Family. The Cardassians attempted a military intervention, mostly to place their own collaborationist elements into the Keloan leadership to begin the outright annexation of Keloan territory, but were defeated by the Keloan Navy at Dey'goa, mostly by their incompetent leadership but with the Keloans utilizing several Federation-designed systems bought off the black market (likely from the Red Guards) The Cardassians decided not to try again and made peace with the new Republic.
Several of Kelos' colonies now began to revolt as word of the Great Shame spread. The new Republic found it could not control the loyalty of the military, as even the loyal populists questioned the brutality of the occupation of J'Keloa. Heltk decided it wasn't time to consolidate power. Rather, measures should be taken to restore stability. The Red Marchers were disbanded and some of those responsible for the brutalities in J'Keloa were put to death. This did not placate many Keloans, but it did serve to calm the situation and allow the new government to come together. Heltk was not initially tapped for the new High Minister position and was given the leadership of the Ministry of Security by the influence of the KPL. Heltk used the following year to attack and destroy his peers in the popular front one by one. His agents in their parties hierarchies provided most of the ammunition. Finally, in 2363, the Keloan Reformer's Party was purged from the government and it's lead members shot for reportedly spying for the Federation. Heltk was made High Minister and began moving key members of the Party into various positions, intending to seize power by 2370. In the interim he nationalized a number of failing industries, blaming the economy, and attempted to force local national and municipal governments to accept complete KPL control.
Heltk was still unable to completely suppress the monarchists. They held several areas on Kelos and in the colonies in which the government had no influence or control whatsoever. Each attempt to kill the Crown Prince Morav emboldened the monarchists. Finally, in 2367 Morav reached the legal age to assume the throne. The monarchists proclaimed him King Morav XI and increased their attacks while their ranks swelled from dissidents and others. The Keloan Civil War re-ignited after seven years of low-scale guerrila war.
The Cardassians saw their chance to take advantage of the situation. Agents were used to begin selling arms and equipment to both sides, in the hopes that the Keloans would wear each other out and the winner would be beholden to Cardassia. Because his communications with the monarchist revolt was limited, Morav never actually approved of the decision to accept Cardassian aid and desired to align Kelos with another power to protect his people from Cardassian designs. He approached the Federation and was rebuffed. Tevala and then Gao invoked the Prime Directive and refused to intervene. There was even a small patrol of Starfleet ships on the Federation-Keloan border to prevent attempts to smuggle arms in.
Finally, in February 2153 AST, Morav changed strategy and went to the ADN. He first went to Britain of Universe SE-1 to get their support in bringing his case before the Alliance Government. President Mamatmas and the Security Committee debated the issue. Aside from Foreign Minister MacKenzie, who believed the Alliance should remain neutral in all Alpha Quadrant affairs, the Committee urged the President to act.
In the months leading up to this, the Navy and the Marine Corps had drawn up an operational plan, Operation: Starlight, to intervene in the Keloan Civil War. With a growing refugee problem in the Colonial Zone - for a short time the Keloan refugees would outnumber the more popularly-known Bajoran refugees - they believed the Alliance could not remain neutral. They had appropriately planned for forces to be deployed to all worlds as peace-keepers. The young King supporting them
Mamatmas decided to bring the matter to the Alliance Council in a closed session. He found only two opponents to intervention, Pax Party Representatives Johann Tetzel and Zhang Li-Ling, but the greatest obstacle was that there was a sizable contingent from both sides of the aisle that opposed restoring Morav. French (AR-12) Representative Madeleine Toussiand rallied the "republican" sentiment in the Council, insisting that the Alliance must maintain a proper Republic on Kelos instead of returning rule to a monarchy that was so clearly unpopular as to be overthrown. The Republican sentiments were strong enough to kill the first attempt to vote when Mamatmas refused to alter the resolution to rule out a restoration of the J'Keloiioa. It took the combined influence of Mamatmans, Montesque, and British (SE-1) Representative Sir Kevin Maxwell-Fyfe to win the second vote by precisely one vote. The Council approved Operation: Starlight on the 20th of February 2152 AST. The Navy and Marine Corps said it could have troops ready to deploy in one week, the matter complicated by a desire to not give visible preparations in the Alpha Quadrant itself.
Morav returned to New Liberty, from which he gave several addresses on subspace radio to the Keloans, asking them to cease fighting and negotiate to restore their nation. His calls for reconciliation served as a code to many republicans and groups not with the KPL that a restored monarchy would not persecute them.
Heltk's response was to jam the transmissions and to order the KPL's militant branch to attempt another assassination of Morav, if need be with Cardassian help. He also put the Navy on higher alert, probably suspecting that Morav was getting ADN support of some kind.
In the mean time the Alliance quietly sent out orders to various Army divisions that would be used to reinforce the Marines and prepared for the diplomatic backlash. On the 28th of February, President Mamatmas gave the final go-ahead and the Alliance forces made their way into local Gates. The first warning in the Alpha Quadrant that the Alliance's military was on the move was the halt of traffic through New Liberty's Gate Assembly as it was used to move the ships into position. It was after midnight GST on March 1st that the Alliance naval forces crossed the border into Kelos; the Council Resolution authorizing intervention "with the support of the legitimate ruler of Kelos" was announced only an hour before, and it was only as they crossed the border that Morav sent another subspace broadcast from the command center of the DNS Freedom, the invasion fleet's flagship, calling on Keloans to rally to his banner and end the radical government to bring peace. The Alliance had achieved complete tactical surprise.
Immediately Heltk's Navy moved to intercept the Alliance naval squadrons. The Enterprise CVBG was engaged at Delkai, a small-scale naval battle that was the first instance of Alliance starfighters fighting Alpha Quadrant forces. It was virtually ignored because the Keloan squadron retreated after the first bombing run nearly crippled the squadron's cruiser-leader. A couple hours later, a more classical naval skirmish happened at Kelos itself, where the core of the Keloan fleet engaged the Akagi CVBG and the 2nd Battle Squadron. This was the first time that the Alliance's new Freedom-class superdreadnought had come under fire, though the Keloans found their weapons weren't up to penetrating it's thick shielding and armored hull. The battle was not much of a test anyway. Unlike the squadron that attacked the Enterprise at Delkai, the squadron Kelos was not under the command of KPL-member officers and only fired a few times for the honor of the Service before offering to stand down. At this the Marines began landing, often without firing shot due to the widespread monarchist attacks that managed to consolidate several cities.
By this time, J'Keloa City was under siege from forces answering the young King's call. Heltk gave a public broadcast to the people, asking them to "fight for our Republic" against "the exploiters come to restore tyranny", but Heltk had as little success against the revolts as his rivals had during his own. Heltk did make one final attempt to hold onto power by ordering the disbanded Red Marchers to rise up again and attack. This slowed progress, though Heltk found many of the former Marchers had become disenchanted after he had disbanded them and would not return, but on the 5th of March a Marine mechanized battalion in the 92nd Division entered J"Keloa City in the company of the King's Honored, a monarchist regiment that had re-assembled upon Morav's call to arms.
Years later it was learned that Heltk had tried to persuade his neighbors to intervene against his enemies. He appealed to Gao to "save Kelos from the counter-revolutionaries", but Gao was too busy dealing with re-armament to even consider Heltk's request. Heltk also made appeals to the Tsen'kethi and Cardassians, but their asking prices were too high. Heltk did eventually agree to the Cardassians' terms, but by that time it was too late and Cardassia was unwilling to go to war against the Alliance with Kelos having fallen and all of Cardassia's troops and ships shifted to use against the Federation (this was the buildup that was most famously thwarted by the actions of the USS Phoenix under Starfleet Captain Benjamin Maxwell). Heltk was out of options and chose to not outlive his short-lived revolution. When the Republic surrendered, Heltk barricaded himself in his office and killed himself before the Keloans could enter.
Morav entered J'Keloa City to cheering throngs and he immediately gave a speech from the same place that his family had been murdered years before. Morav's sentiments won him international accolades as he called upon Keloans to "heal our divisions and stand together again as a united people, made strong by our traditions and faith and made free by our will." His youth and energy - and the ideals he had absorbed from the Windsors and Anglian society - invigorated Keloan society. On the 16th of March 2153 Morav was coronated in a grand ceremony and the Kingdom of Kelos again proclaimed. Morav immediately called for elections to elect a Constitutional Congress that would decide upon a Royal Constitution for the Keloan people. Basing it off of English and Keloan common law and French republicanism, the Keloan Constitution was praised as the most practical the Keloans had ever possessed as a united government. It was officially accepted in March of 2154 after an acceptance plebiscite in January of '54 - the date chosen was the first anniversary of Morav's ascension to the throne - and elections held which brought to power a broad coalition of populist and religious parties.
In the interim Kelos became an ally of the Alliance. The interim government of Morav signed a mutual-defense and trade treaty with the Alliance in April of 2153, binding the Alliance to Kelos' defense for a period of three years while the Keloans rebuilt and re-established their military. Alliance military advisors were used to train the restored Royal Federal Army and Keloan companies, released from government control, bought licenses from Alliance companies to produce military equipment while establishing their own designs. A treaty of alliance would be signed over two years later which is still maintained.
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The Alliance's intervention sparked protest from the Federation and Cardassia. The two governments condemned the "interference in the affairs of the Keloan race" and demanded the Alliance withdraw from Kelos. President Mamatmas' reply to the two governments would have exchanged Alliance withdrawal in 18 months for the demilitarization of their borders with Kelos and a treaty binding Cardassia, the Federation, and the Alliance to defending Kelos from attack, but it was dismissed out of hand.
On the 25th of March, the Federation Council voted to impose sanctions on the Alliance, forbidding the sale of Federation electronics or other potential military equipment to entities inside the Alliance. The sanctions were symbolic and meaningless as the Alliance did not import Federation electronics or any such equipment. Plans to expand the sanctions and forbid imported Alliance goods were quashed by the Idealogue Party's Central Committee, who desired continued access to materials from the Alliance to help with rearmament.
Aside from government actions, PAPAL staged a number of anti-Alliance demonstrations across the Federation Core Worlds. Miller personally led one outside of the new Alliance Embassy on Earth, demanding Alliance withdrawal from Kelos and the removal of the Alliance Marine guard at the Embassy. None of the demonstrations became violent, although four of Miller's people had to be dragged away by Starfleet Security when they tried to breach the wall of the Alliance Embassy.
By April, Gao decided that the Alliance accomplishment at Kelos had to be accepted. At least this kept Kelos out of Cardassian hands and gave Cardassia something else to be worried about. He convinced the Federation Council to officially recognize Morav's government and restore diplomatic relations. There was hope amongst the Idealogues that their party on Kelos might yet win the government. Eventually the Keloan Social Enlightenment Party would end up as one of the populist parties in the ruling coalition, winning roughly six percent of the vote. Nevertheless their influence declined afterward and the Federation never got close to having their supporters on Kelos taking the government, a setback that would coincide with the increasing of tensions between the Alliance and Federation.
Cardassia's response was more quiet. After initial condemnations, the Cardassians finally acquiesed to recognizing Morav's government in June. By then the Cardassians had taken a very important decision for the near and far future. After some deliberation, the Central Command decided against early plans to withdraw from Bajor. With Kelos clearly moving into Alliance orbit, the Cardassians needed Bajor as a position to threaten the Federation's flank in any future war. It was reinforced and new measures were taken to try and quell the resistance movements on Bajor, measures that would directly lead to the hostilities to erupt at the end of the year.
The Central Command also began crafting a war plan for attacking the Alliance. The general goal was to occupy enough of the Alliance's Colonial Zone that disputes could be settled in Cardassia's favor. More optimistic hopes were for such a complete victory that the Alliance may very well withdraw from the Quadrant. A few high-ranking Guls spoke of what it could mean for Cardassia if they managed to seize the Alliance's Gate Assembly intact.
Ultimately the Keloan Crisis, while short-lived and considered low-scale to the Alliance public, was important. It established to the governments of the Alpha Quadrant the Alliance's willingness to use military intervention to handle a crisis. It was also the first step that set the Alliance and the Federation on a course toward political hostility. The Keloan Intervention was such a gross violation of the Federation's moral beliefs in non-interventionism - no matter what their own government did on occasion - that it provoked a great deal of controversy and created the first stirrings of anti-Alliance sentiment that would explode in later years. Additionally, the Cardassian reaction over Kelos - particularly their decision not to withdraw from their occupation of Bajor - had a profound effect upon events to come.
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6. The Bajoran Problem
The great issue of 2153 was Bajor. Kelos was the forerunner to this greater, more vicious argument amongst the powers, particularly the Alliance and Cardassia. Eventually the pressing questions of the issue - Bajoran resistance fighters or "terrorists" as the Federation and Cardassians claimed them, Alliance support for Bajoran refugees, the fate of Bajor itself - would lead to open war between the Alliance and Cardassia. But before the war could begin, the problems had to surface.
Bajor had never been a willing part of the Cardassian Union. The Bajorans' culture and society was millennia old. There is evidence that they were capable of interstellar travel as far back as eight centuries, Bajor's potential being limited by their cultural preference for stability and order in which to perfect themselves spiritually. After centuries of interstellar exploration the Bajorans only occupied roughly thirty solar systems around Bajor. As such, Bajor had a great deal of material wealth that was untapped. The Cardassians, in need of resources, quickly took over Bajor not too long after their government was overthrown by the military around 2318 Local.
Aside from occasional fights between villages and towns, Bajor had been peacefully unified for centuries by a theocratic form of government that relied upon the input of the Kai. They had no military with which to resist Cardassian invasion. The Cardassians began putting the Bajorans to work almost right away, forming forced labor camps at mines and other important resource areas in which the Bajorans were treated abysmally and often were killed by accidents or guard mistreatment. As the 24th Century wound onward, the Bajorans eventually began fighting back. They used whatever weapons they could get - stolen Cardassian weapons, weapons purchased off the black market - and tried to disrupt the Cardassian occupation. The Cardassians responded brutally, implementing harsh reprisal measures and reinforcing their troops on Bajor.
The Cardassians did not really care for altering Bajoran society. But as the rebellion wound on they took steps in that direction. Vedeks were carefully screened for sympathies to the Resistance and the Kai was forced to answer to the Cardassian Prefect on many matters to ensure the Bajoran religious hierarchy was not fomenting revolt. Certain works were outlawed and libraries were carefully screened of material, as well as certain forms of cultural expression being banned or tightly controlled so that they could not be used to stir up anti-Cardassian feeling. Some propaganda efforts were made to convince modern Bajorans that their ways were backward and should be abandoned; the Cardassians were the "wave of the future", trying only to help modernize the Bajoran race. The propaganda efforts backfired and the Cardassians ceased trying to justify their occupation.
Life on occupied Bajor was harsh. The Cardassians applied totalitarian methods to force total obedience from the Bajorans. The Obsidian Order and the military abducted whom they wanted whenever they wanted for any reason, ranging from suspected collusion with the Resistance to being disrespectful to Cardassian soldiers. The conscripts among the Cardassians were brutally treated by their superiors and took that out on the hapless Bajorans. By the time of Alliance First Contact in the Alpha Quadrant, Cardassian conscripts had become notorious on Bajor for their rapine, brutal actions. A study by the Cardassian government found that newer conscripts were often mistreated by the older ones and referred to as "children" until they'd taken the crucial step of forcing a Bajoran girl into sex, either by rape or other forms of coercion. Cardassian sexual mores could be quite conservative, especially considering the disgust engendered by the possible offspring of interspecies mating - the revelation that former Prefect Gul Dukat fathered a half-Bajoran daughter destroyed his career - and Cardassian attitudes about their racial purity, but this engendered an interest in Cardassian soldiers (particularly males) as to alien women. This was even justified at times as the inherently superior Cardassian forcing pleasure from inferior aliens, a notion that appealed to Cardassian "might makes right" attitudes of the time.
At the same time that revolt spread across Bajor, other Bajorans fled, mostly to the Federation. The first refugee camps came into existance in the 2320s. By the 2340s, the refugee population was well into the millions. Jirvshk used the local population to his own advantage, finding a handful of Bajoran radicals to form the Bajoran Peoples' Liberation Front. The BPLF was more terrorist than the other resistance forces and often brutal in it's attacks on the Cardassians - it was also loyal to Jirvshk, who intended for the BPLF to be the leaders of a Communist Bajor in the future, after the Federation was strong enough to strike at the Cardassians.
Jirvshk's death took the wind out of the BPLF's sails. At first the new Federation government was friendly to the Bajorans. But the Cardassian war quickly changed the Federation's attitude. To the Federation State Press and other Millerites looking to undermine the war effort, the Bajorans were perfect patsies. It began in 2359 with an article by PAPAL writer Mina Summer entitled The Unseen Hand, in which Summer charged that the Bajorans living in the Federation had "provoked" the Cardassians into attacking the Federation. The popularity of the article in the Core Worlds - where people had mostly never seen the Bajorans - made further attacks possible. In January 2360 Miller made a public call at a peace rally to arrest Bajoran leaders for "provoking this unjust war". Bajorans were quickly pilloried as religious fanatics who were bent on regaining their planet at all costs, no matter how many had to die for it.
The Federation State Press' political goals, made easier by the villification of Bajorans, led them to begin accepting Cardassian propaganda, and the earliest examples of uncritical acceptance of Cardassian sources was directed against Bajorans. Cardassian statistics and reports were used to claim that most Bajoran deaths in the Occupation were at the hands of other Bajorans, not Cardassians. Claims of the Cardassian abduction of Bajoran girls for sexual services were all lies fabricated by Bajoran provocateurs. Holovid star and senior PAPAL member Jenny Hamilton returned from a visit to Bajor - sanctioned and allowed by the Cardassian government - and claimed that the Bajorans were a "savage, primitive people" who "were bound fanatically to their outdated religion". "Parents encouraged their children to kill Cardassian schoolchildren in their playgrounds," Hamilton told a PAPAL rally on Alpha Centauri two months after her visit. The Federation Council bowed to PAPAL pressure and cut some of it's funding to Bajoran settlements, making the restoration of full funding conditional upon "inspections" to prove the Bajorans were not supporting the insurgency.
By the end of the war, polls showed that anti-Bajoran sentiment in the Federation Core Worlds was at sixty percent, as opposed to pro-Bajoran sentiment having been at seventy-five percent pre-war. Many in the Core Worlds had never met a Bajoran and were swift to accept what the press and PAPAL were claiming of their conduct. The charter colonies were more critical of Cardassian reports, but growing government control of the media - in the guise of the pro-PAPAL State Press - made their views difficult to spread Federation-wide.
The pressure did not relent post-war. After the POW controversy erupted, Miller declared to a crowd of PAPAL supporters in San Francisco that the Bajorans were "in league" with the militarists who were "encouraging" Federation POWS to lie about being abused by the Cardassians and that there was a conspiracy between Starfleet Command, the Bajorans, and the Klingon Empire to restart the war with Cardassia. When asked by a Bajoran spokesman, Kerpa Torys, about what the Bajorans needed to do to prove they were not trying to provoke another war, Miller declared that they should all accept Cardassian rule of their race and stop trying to resist it, to Kerpa's disgust and the cheers of PAPAL.
PAPAL's anti-Bajoran propaganda terrified the Bajoran settlers and refugees in the Federation. There were increasing fears that the Federation would abandon them to the Cardassians if the Cardassians made it a term of peace. Because of this, within weeks of the Alliance purchase of New Liberty and it's region being made official, thousands of Bajorans were moving into Alliance space.
Those Bajorans who initially fled into the Alliance ended up being right. In April 2153 AST, a meeting of the Cardassian Central Command decided that in order to stabilize Bajor, the Bajorans in the Federation had to be brought to heel. This would, in their view, demonstrate to the Resistance that they had nowhere to hide. The Bajoran people would soon come to understand that Cardassia's grip was absolute and unyielding. Their approach was to ask the Federation to allow Cardassian security forces to "inspect in force" the Bajoran camps and settlements in the Federation. Suspected Resistance fighters and supporters would be identified and taken by Cardassia for interrogation and trial. The request ended up sounding like a demand; the Cardassian terms made clear that the Cardassians would regard refusal as tacit Federation support for the Bajoran liberation movement.
Gao wished to negotiate the terms, identifying that they were very injurious to Federation sovereignty and would likely embolden the Cardassians. But the Cardassians prevented him from silently seeking better terms. They publicly announced the terms and why they were seeking them. The Core Worlders immediately took to the media polls and demanded that Gao agree. PAPAL demonstrated outside Gao's office in Paris and blockaded the Bajoran Relief Center in Amsterdam, pelting it's employees with objects and vandalizing the premises. "No more war for Bajor!" was the rallying cry of a Miller speech at Berkeley. Gao bowed to the pressure and asked the Federation Council to agree to the terms. It did so, it's Idealogue majority having been bullied into it by the Central Committee. The remaining Social Progressives walked out in protest.
Word had spread to the Bajorans living near the Cardassian border. Even before the Council officially agreed, panic had erupted in the settlements. A number of camps on lesser-developed worlds decided to go to ground. Many others opted to move into the Alliance. Some of these settlements' occupants sold everything they had and indebted themselves heavily to get space on a ship heading for New Liberty. They arrived in Alliance territory impoverished and in severe debt. Unscrupulous groups took advantage. The Orion Syndicate, Ferengi trade companies, everyone got into the action and many acted unethically, taking advantage of the Bajorans' terror to cheat them. There were worse cases; a number of Bajorans never made to New Liberty. They were either turned over to the Cardassians by captains working for the Obsidian Order or were sold into Orion slavery.
Many of those who were indebted did not remain so. As the refugees flooded into the Alliance Colonial Zone, charity groups and organizations rose to the occasion, paying off the Bajorans' debts while helping them find places to live. Billionaire philanthropist Marvin Edwards went to the extent of establishing an entirely new group - the Bajoran Relief and Education Fund - dedicated to helping the Bajoran refugees settle and to properly educate them so they could sustain themselves. On several worlds the Alliance colonists actively helped the Bajorans build their own small towns and communities - some of which still stand today and are still occupied by the refugees or their children - and voted in their local governments to raise funds to educate and train the Bajorans. While they had been villified in the Federation press, the Alliance's press agencies were often sympathetic and were being used to encourage donations and charity. Many Bajorans found the contrast remarkable.
The pace of refugees quickened as the Cardassians began their security operations. Dozens of Bajorans were seized. Even Federation citizens staying in the camps, mostly relief workers or spouses of Bajorans, were taken. Their fates were usually the same; they were tortured into confessions, often false, and either executed or sentenced to service in forced labor camps on or around Bajor. The Cardassians ranged everywhere in nearby Federation space, drawing complaints from Starfleet that they were not being properly notified as to Cardassian plans to launch an inspection.
The Cardassians soon began interdicting the refugee ships. Ships leaving worlds with Bajoran settlements were intercepted and forced to allow inspection, in which the Cardassians would seize those they declared suspect. The Cardassians initially limited themselves to vessels flagged in the Federation or other minor races and states; in June, they for the first time boarded an Alliance-flagged liner and carted off a Bajoran suspected of being a financier for the Resistance. The Alliance Government protested angrily to both the Federation and the Cardassians. They demanded the Federation fulfill it's duties and protect shipping in their own space. When Gao's government meekly responded that they were bound by their agreement to giving the Cardassians unfettered access for inspections, the Alliance announced they would begin sending their own naval warships to escort Alliance merchant convoys in the region. The first such convoy was done in July 2153, multiple liners and freighters making a business run into Federation space under escort from the carrier DNS Ticonderoga and her battle group. The Cardassians sent a handful of ships to demand they be allowed to inspect the civilian ships - a number of Bajorans had come aboard - and were rebuffed by the commanding Line Captain of the task force. Cardassia protested to the Alliance Government and accused them of supporting the Resistance.
The accusation would soon prove true. Following increasing Cardassian hostility from the Kelos intervention and Cardassian attempts to forcefully inspect Alliance civilian ships, President Mamatmas was given the view that the Cardassians had been made arrogant by how easily they had dealt with the Federation diplomatically. They were going to try the same thing with the Alliance as a natural consequence, eventually causing some kind of miscalculation that would lead to war. The opinions given were that the Alliance should prepare for war with Cardassia as a near-certainty instead of a mere possibility. A logical conclusion of this change of approach was that the Alliance should begin covertly aiding the Bajoran Resistance. After a second Security Committee meeting on the issue on June 27th, Mamatmas gave the go-ahead. The Alliance Security Agency would direct the operation, entitled Project Prometheus for security purposes, with input from Alliance Intelligence and the Defense Ministry. A budget was set aside for operational expenses and weapons procurement.
The question of how to aid the Bajoran Resistance was answered by the Alliance Marine Corps. Starting in 2150, they had recruited trainers from US Marine Force Recon, Russian Spetsnaz, and British SBS and SAS to form their own special forces unit that would be for long-term operations in enemy territory, including prisoner rescue and covert aid to resistance organizations and guerillas. The unit was designated the Special Tactics Regiment, which in turn was acronymed into STAR; the members of the unit became known as "Star" Marines, popularized today by holovid games and programs like "One Man Army".
The first STAR team was inserted via drop pod into Bajor by a Valiant-class vessel on July 20th. The vessel also jettisoned drop pods filled with equipment. Contact was pre-arranged and made with the Shakaar Resistance cell. The Marines re-armed the Bajorans with older Russian AK-90 assault rifles, utilizing a portable solar-powered replicator system to fabricate ammunition from raw supplies. The AK-90, favored by Spetsnaz even after newer rifles came into use by the Russian Army, was known as very reliable and resilient against damage. Furthermore, it's 7mm rounds were powerful even for a chemically-propelled round and would prove deadly to the Cardassians despite their favored field and uniform armor.
At the same time that the Alliance began it's first covert actions to support the Bajoran Resistance, the Strategic Planning Staff began to examine it's war plans. They presented the Security Committee with a plan that was defensive in nature. If possible, concentrated strikes would be used to eliminate Cardassian bases on the Alliance - and if necessary, Keloan - border. New Liberty would be reinforced and a limited border offensive to seize the disputed systems would be mounted after about twenty-four days. Mamatmas was unhappy with the idea of sitting still for three weeks, which he regarded as too much time for the Cardassians to mobilize reserves.
One of the officers on the SPS, Admiral Piotr Ogilev, had a different idea. In a briefing for the President in early July, he noted that going by records of the recent Cardassian war with the Federation, the Cardassians put a lot of emphasis on using intelligence sources to locate their opponents' best forces and to avoid them. It had become known recently that the Cardassians were creating HUMINT sources inside the Alliance to alert them of new ship movements, with a focus on the Alliance's battle line. Ogilev had the idea that the Cardassians would concentrate too highly on the movements of the Alliance's battleships due to the anti-fighter biases of the ST-3 militaries. He told Mamatmas and Defense Minister Rathbone that the Alliance could use it's carrier forces to launch a pre-emptive strike. Deployments of carriers could be hidden by far more visible positioning of battle squadrons toward Bajor.
Ogilev's plan required precise timing and good intelligence. Using ELINT capabilities - stealth ships operating in and out of the Badlands to bypass Cardassian sensor posts - the Alliance could be ready for a Cardassian redeployment of major fleet resources against New Liberty. The Cardassians would want to bring the ships into port to rearm them for blasting through Alliance system defense, creating a window of opportunity for a devastating first strike using carriers and cloaked attack ships. The Chairman of the SPS, Army Field Marshal Theodore Pollack, dismissed the idea as too risky and reliant upon ELINT. It would be better to prepare for a defensive war. Rathbone backed Pollack but Ogilev had his own crucial support, having contacted Admiral Dale on Strana Mechty - whom Mamatmas respected and considered a friend - and having received Dale's support. Mamatmas decided Ogilev's concept deserved support. He had the SPS draw up a second war plan to put it into action.
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:32am
There was some resistance to the idea of opposing the Cardassians head on. Former Foreign Minister Rachel MacKenzie, now running for Chancellor against Fyodor Ivanov, charged publicly that the government was taking too many risks. The Alliance wasn't ready for full-scale interstellar war and it should not be courting it by provoking Cardassia. Though MacKenzie stopped short of the appeasement policies supported by the Pax Party, she did support the idea of thoroughly investing the Bajoran refugees and making sure that they didn't have ties to "terrorism". Gao and Federation leaders often mis-interpreted MacKenzie's remarks on the matter and assumed she was anti-war, which explains their positive reaction to her electoral victory later in the year.
The true motivation behind MacKenzie's positions, and her split with the Mamatmas Administration, was her opposition to Mamatmas' foreign policy ideas. With President Verdes, MacKenzie had led the "Passive" school of thought, which assumed it was better to keep the ADN strongly neutral in local affairs in other universes and to only intervene when directly necessary, thus reducing the likelihood of the Alliance getting dragged into minor conflicts while ensuring they maintained good relations with most of the present powers.
Mamatmas, on the other hand, was in agreement with "Active" policy. The Alliance would establish itself with regional allies through which joint interests could be protected and Alliance power could be projected, thus dissuading attacks on Alliance citizens and shipping. Mamatmas believed strongly that the Passivist policies would merely leave the Alliance alone and without friends, while MacKenzie felt Activist policy was dangerous in the long-term. This Active/Passive split is still strong today.
The Cardassians knew the potential for war was increasing. Their desire to intimidate the Bajoran race into submission was impossible so long as the Bajorans had safe haven in the Alliance. From the point of view of Cardassian strategists, the Alliance would eventually attack Cardassia to free Bajor or from the obvious perception that Cardassia intended to attack the Alliance. In late June 1st Rank Gul Relim Torcet - Senior member of the Central Command's Military Strategy Staff - recommended to the Cardassian chiefs that Cardassia re-orient it's forces to face the Alliance, not the Federation. He feared that if the forces weren't already there when Cardassia was ready, the Alliance would detect a re-deployment and launch a pre-emptive strike. Relim's concerns were ignored; the Central Command desired to have those forces on the Federation border to pressure the Federation in the coming peace negotiations. They acceeded to moving more sensor posts toward the Alliance border and to establishing plans for the reserves to reinforce the border upon the outbreak of war. The Central Command also approached the Obsidian Order about keeping close watch on the Alliance's forces.
Though many Obsidian Order records have been lost, after the fall of Cardassia in the Dominion War a number of their records were recovered. Among them were documents written in the time period of July to August 2153 indicating Obsidian Order plans in relation to the Alliance. They were far more ambitious than originally perceived and would probably have sparked fear and disagreement from the Central Command for their audacity. The Obsidian Order planned to begin waging a terrorist campaign against the Alliance in 2154. Senior officials and military commanders would be targeted for assassination and Alliance military posts would be attacked. Kelos would also come under attack and King Morav targeted for assassination. One particularly ambitious plan was to assassinate President Mamatmas if he ever made a state visit. The Cardassians planned on implicating Bajoran xenophobe groups, hoping to provoke anti-Bajoran sentiment in the Alliance as propaganda had done in the Federation.
The potential success of such a campaign is widely debated. Preparations didn't go as fast as desired by proponents due to the reservations of some Order officials, who feared they might squander what HUMINT sources they had managed to establish in the Alliance. While some believe it may have very well worked, or at least done severe damage, there is also evidence that the Obsidian Order's goals were wildly unrealistic and their estimates of Alliance counter-intelligence overly optimistic. One surviving document - a letter written by a well-connected field chief and spymaster who oversaw operations in a region that included the Alliance Colonial Zone - blasted senior leadership for their "gross underestimation" of the Alliance. The chief pointed out that six of his agents had been compromised to Alliance security since operations began and that the sector's spy handler had apparently come under suspicion. Another incident came in August of 2153 when the Cardassians got wind that an Alliance agent has successfully hacked into a military base's computers and downloaded operational plans. The Obsidian Order purged the local security chief and had the base commander and his executive officer assassinated.
Alliance Intelligence inherited two fledgling networks established by British MI6 and East African ESI (External Security and Intelligence) thanks to the passing of the Cooperative Intelligence Act. They didn't consolidate the networks, fearing the process would jeopardize operations, but they did use them to good effect. Though ELINT would be the key in the conflict to come, HUMINT warned AID of Cardassian intentions as early as late July, when agents reported the movement of Cardassian reserves to positions that could threaten the Alliance's territory. HUMINT also played a role in the discovery of the "Madred Villages" and led to the identification of a number of forced labor camps where Federation nationals and Bajorans were being held - the liberations of those camps months later would be a serious blow to the Federation's image and would improve the Alliance's standing in the Alpha Quadrant.
The Federation could only stand by and watch. Gao was practical-minded and believed it was in the Federation's best interests to leave Cardassia and the Alliance to fight. He opposed efforts to directly involve the Federation in the growing tensions and did only what he was needed to in the agreement with Cardassia.
Some members of Starfleet were supportive of the idea of an Alliance victory over Cardassia. In a memo, Admiral Nechayev told the Commissioner of Starfleet Operations that "the Alliance is a preferable neighbor to Cardassia, and it would be to our advantage for the Alliance to win any future conflict. They are less likely to become aggressive against the Federation in the future than Cardassia is." Starfleet Command echoed the sentiment in a joint meaning with Gao and senior members of the Central Committee. Cardassia was less likely to be adventurous or aggressive if it suffered a setback against the Alliance.
Anti-Alliance sentiment remained focused with PAPAL. It had not forgiven the Alliance for it's intervention on Kelos. Nor could it accept the Alliance's tolerance toward Bajorans. Barely a week would go by between PAPAL demonstrations at the Alliance Embassy and the State Press was filled with propaganda attempting to claim the Alliance Government was backing Bajoran terrorism. PAPAL became effectively pro-Cardassian now and would continue to serve as a mouthpiece for Cardassian propaganda.
The escalating tensions finally came to a head. On the 12th of August, four Cardassian warships operating in Federation space tried to force a convoy from the Alliance to allow inspections for Bajorans on their wanted list. The Alliance convoy, under the protection of a division of cruisers and destroyers, refused. The Cardassians decided to try and intimidate the convoy with a close fly-by with weapons armed. The Alliance commanders responded by locking weapons on the Cardassians, which panicked one of the Cardassian commanders, who opened fire. Several shots were exchanged and ships on both sides were damaged.
Reaction in the Alliance was immediate. The next day, at a session of the Council, Rep. Elijah Weisbaum called for a declaration of war on the Cardassian Union, citing the clearly unprovoked Cardassian attack on Alliance vessels in neutral space. Weisbaum's resolution was rejected out of hand, but not decisively. The media was making such a stir of the incident that calls for war were starting to be heard from the public, which was now thorougly pro-Bajoran and anti-Cardassian due to the increasing press stories of Cardassian atrocities against Bajoran civilians. President Mamatmas called for an emergency meeting of the Security Committee and promised to address the Council on the 14th. In addition, Alliance forces in ST-3 were ordered to DefCon 2 and reinforcements mandated in the war plan ordered into the Colonial Zone. In the Committee meeting, Mamatmas asked for opinions; Foreign Minister Umachov led the military chiefs in urging the President to ask the Council for a declaration of war. But Mamatmas was convinced to take a less aggressive route by Security Advisor Omiko Takahara; a call for sanctions, demands for reparations, and Cardassian promises of negotiation to settle "the Bajoran Question".
The reaction on Cardassia was completely different. The Central Command began to panic; they weren't ready for war with the Alliance and were still orientated to fight other powers. Indeed, they didn't want to go to war again for another four years, needing time to rebuild their fleet and re-establish stockpiles of weapons and supplies. The Guls realized they had allowed tensions to go too far. It was time to step back from the edge. Within ten hours of news of the battle reaching Cardassia, the Cardassians dispatched a message to the Alliance through their embassy in the Federation that apologized for the "misunderstanding" and asked for negotiations. Mamatmas got the note early on the 14th and presented it to the Alliance Council: the Cardassians "have gone too far, and they know they have gone too far", he informed the Council. Negotiations were now a possibility, and Mamatmas wanted to take them up to have a chance to settle the problems over the Bajorans before they escalated into a full-scale war.
The Cardassians still had to save face, and this would destroy their opening. Seeking to look good for their internal enemies, the Guls who were to begin negotiations began with very firm terms little different from what the Federation had accepted. The two main terms were unrestrained Cardassian access to Bajoran camps in the Alliance and the right to detain and try those they suspected of terrorism without Alliance input. The Cardassians never intended for those terms to last, and their negotiator to the Alliance Embassy in San Francisco told Ambassador Parmika so in their first meeting.
There was a leak. The Federation's Ambassador to the Alliance was Joseph Kranitz, a card-carrying member of PAPAL and part of the "Young Paxist" clique. His father was a member of the BLN Distribution Authority for the Eastern Seaboard and his grandfather had been a member of the Party Central Committee. These political connections brought Kranitz the appointment to Ambassador despite his youth and relative inexperience, an oversight that the Federation's Diplomatic Corps was now going to regret.
Kranitz, like many Paxists, placed a great deal of stock in PAPAL ideology and the belief that the common man was "inherently pacifist". Wars began because societies were either scared into them or were dragged into them by unjust government. By this logic, the best way to keep the Alliance from going to war was to make the stakes clear to the public and have them force their government into peace. Kranitz leaked the Cardassian message to the media, not realizing the Cardassians were merely grandstanding. The harsh terms and the language of the message - that Alliance refusal would force Cardassia to seek other means of satisfying their problem - provided fresh fodder for the media. Kranitz had intended for the media to act precisely as the Federation State Press did and circulate anti-war sentiments. Instead, most Alliance media outlets played up the threats and the terms of the Cardassian message. The public was already riled up over the skirmish on August 12th. This was the final straw; anti-Cardassian demonstrations were held on every single world of the Colonial Zone and in Washington on the 18th. Weisbaum personally led the rally in Washington and accused Cardassia of "bad faith" and trying to instigate a war. Kranitz held a meeting with President Mamatmas shortly after the press confirmed his involvement in the leak, seeking to "restart negotiations". Mamatmas turned him away and is said to have lamented that Kranitz had "made negotiations impossible". Kranitz was recalled and fired a week later.
Kranitz's ham-handed attempt to spur peace instead destroyed any hope of an agreement between Washington and Cardassia. Mamatmas had been planning to find some way to end the growing tensions by trying to convince Cardassia to willingly withdraw from Bajor in exchange for various economic packages and other possible terms. Now negotiation was politically impossible; it was an election year, and any attempt by Mamatmas to negotiate even a fair outcome with Cardassia could too easily be claimed as submission by opposition politicians. Mamatmas had to adopt the hard line, knowing it would eventually lead to war.
Though negotiations ultimately failed, the call for them did allow the two sides time to cool tensions. On the 15th Mamatmas restored the military alert level in ST-3 to DefCon 4, though he agreed with keeping the Aerospace Force's units on heightened rotation. After the Kranitz leak, he did not restore the alert level, hoping to at least buy time to delay any conflict until after the coming elections.
On Cardassia, the Guls who had promoted negotiation now found themselves marginalized. Four were re-assigned to minor bureaucratic posts. The "Expansionist" clique of leaders came into prominence and decided war was the only remaining option, though it was agreed that it would have to wait until Cardassia's reserves were fully replenished.
The entire root of the Bajoran Problem was the Cardassians' view that the Bajorans could not be given a safe haven. They had to be kept under constant threat and always in reach of Cardassian power. This decision led Cardassia to taking steps that would, in their view, fix them to a course concerning Bajor. Bajor itself was no longer as valuable as it had been. Losses to the increasing Resistance and the need for reprisals were becoming a cost that didn't mean the benefits of diminishing Bajoran resources. Bajor was simply not profitable any more. But now Cardassia had made the suppression of the Bajoran race itself as a priority. They had extracted an agreement from the Federation, costing political capital, and had invested national resources in the endeavor. Now they had already exchanged fire with the Alliance on the issue. The powers-that-be in the Central Command feared that if they were to pull back, the loss of face for Cardassia would be irrepairable. The Cardassian Empire was built on fear of indomitable Cardassian Will. Minorities and subjects had to understand that the Cardassians would not brook dissent or offense. You either obeyed or you were destroyed, no matter the cost to Cardassia. Backing down would jeopardize this image and endanger the Empire. So the Cardassians fixed themselves onto a course that could only end in war.
Just the same, there was no intristic value to Bajor for the Alliance. The Alliance was looking for the economic pluses of a new interstellar market, not for war with local powers. There were, to the minds of the Alliance's leadership, more pressing threats calling for Alliance resources. But 2153 was an election year and the Government could ill afford to look weak, since it could cost the DAP the Council elections. Furthermore, stability on Kelos required the Alliance to look strong and committed. Negotiations were only possible if they were fair and respectful. After the Kranitz Leak, the public perception was that the Cardassians were incapable of such negotiation. They demanded subjection and threatened war if it was refused. As such, they had to be dealt with strongly and with resolve. The Bajorans in the Alliance also proved a people easily sympathized with. Alliance media praised the Bajorans more than the Federation State Press villified them. To the public eye, they were hard workers, religiously devout, and generally friendly people who had been brutally conquered and oppressed by a militant, racist alien power. Stories and reports of Cardassian atrocities against Bajorans filled the media. It was hard for an Alliance citizen to be anti-Bajoran when the vid channels were filled with images of weeping Bajoran mothers remembering the callous killings of their children, or a young girl tearfully recalling what it was like to be gang-raped by Cardassian soldiers. By the time of August, the sentiment in the Alliance was that a war to free Bajor would be more like a moral crusade than a conventional war. Rather than try to cling to peace, there was a growing public perception that Cardassia had to be brought to heel; war with Cardassia was seen as an acceptable outcome to the Bajoran Problem.
The Federation remained on the sidelines during the crisis, unwilling and unable to do anything. Though PAPAL would continue it's traditional demands for peace, they were unheard in Cardassia and the Alliance. The entire mood of the time could be summed up by Federation News Reporter Harriet Williams in a public report on the 20th of August. "We continue to call for peace," Williams reported, "but nobody's hearing us. The war drums are too loud."
Posted: 2005-08-21 02:33am
7. The Alliance Election of 2153
The 2153 election year was looking to be the most viciously fought yet. The schism of the old Alliance Party had completed, creating the Democrats (DAP) and Federalists (FAP) we know today. The periphery parties - the Freedom Party, the LFPD, the Alliance Unionists - would also put forward challenges for seats in the Alliance Council. In addition to electing the Council for the next three years, the Chancellory was up for grabs. Montesque had already announced his intention to retire from public life. The Democrats found their preferred candidate early in Rachel MacKenzie. The Federalists decided to run Fyodor Ivanov again.
Most of the key issues at hand were domestic concerning the further integration of the Alliance nations' economies. There was a general favor for the planned naval rearmament, though the Freedom Party's candidates ran on a platform of increasing the buildup. The Alpha Quadrant was not a hot button issue at first.
The Bajoran Problem gave it wider focus. A number of prominent figures openly sympathized with Bajor. Their support for the Bajorans carried over into the media, and many media outlets had specials about the plight of Bajoran refugees flowing into the Alliance. The Bajoran Problem moved into the public eye and became a key issue in an August 1st debate between the Chancellory candidates. Ivanov found it was the one issue he could hurt MacKenzie on. In the debate he would accuse her for the first time of "appeasement". Her stated policies of negotiation with Cardassia - and "thorough investigation" of Bajoran refugees to weed out terrorists - were nothing more than appeasement "on the level of Britain and France at Munich". Ivanov went as far as to directly associate the Bajorans with the Czecho-Slovaks. The Cardassians were the greedy Nazis that MacKenzie - playing the unrepentant Chamberlain - would betray the innocent, defenseless Bajorans too. The polls shifted in Ivanov's favor. Clearly the public agreed that negotiation with the Cardassians was not going to work.
MacKenzie's platform tended to be focused on domestic issues, which was understandable due to the specific powers and purpose of the Chancellory. Still, with the memory of Jennifer Verdes still fresh, the public seemed to be more concerned with the fact that the next Chancellor would also be the next in line for President. The question for many voters was not whether MacKenzie would be a good Chancellor, but whether she would be a good President. Her commitment to the Passivist school of foreign policy thought damaged the public's perception of her.
The next debate came on the 19th, after the Kranitz Leak. MacKenzie had recognized her problem and adapted. When Ivanov attacked her again on foreign policy, she stunned him by agreeing that the Cardassians were "clearly a threat". "We must deal with them harshly and strongly" seemed a far cry from her initial position that "there must be a peaceful dialogue", as she had insisted before. She came under attack for the shift from the other direction now. Pax Party candidate Michel Lemaire accused her of "pandering to the bloodthirst of the Mob". A handful of her own party supporters deserted her for the shift, throwing their support to Lemaire.
Ultimately her shift saved MacKenzie's campaign. Without the Cardassian angle to attack her on, Ivanov had to fight her on the field of domestic policies. The popular sentiment was in favor of stronger integration than the Federalists were supporting. MacKenzie ended up winning the Chancellory with a clear majority of fifty-five percent of the vote. The Democrats carried the day, winning twenty-seven of the available forty-seven Council seats.
This was the first Alliance election after contact with the Alpha Quadrant, and the Federation watched it closely. The Federation government was mostly satisfied with the result. The Idealogues considered the DAP to be the "proto-form" of an enlightened party in the future. Even if the LFPD and Pax Party were closer to Federation policies, the Idealogue leaders knew that it was better for the change to more "enlightened" government to be gradual, so as to avoid backlash. The DAP was a step in the right direction.
The interesting thing was how much the Idealogues overlooked basis differences in the Alliance and Federation political structure. They considered the DAP's integration policies to be the foundation for the Alliance one day establishing their own BNA. They didn't quite realize at ths time that the Alliance system wouldn't work the same way as their's. Instead of the haphazard Federation Charter and the badly-planned system of charter colonies, the Alliance had a constitutionally-enshrined system that clearly defined the rights and powers of member nation governments versus those of the Alliance Government. It would be impossible, under the Constitution, for the government to impose any kind of BNA-style legislation. At the same time, there was no such thing as a charter colony; the colonies got to vote in elections the same as others, and often times Council Representatives would win elections on the colonist vote.
The election campaign climax would come under the increasing tensions with Cardassia. The issue came to further public interest as the campaigns continued; by election day polls indicated that no less than thirty-four percent of Alliance citizens considered the candidates' plans for dealing with Cardassia as "an important issue", a very high number considering it's unimportance just six months before.
The elections were well-timed. Even as Alliance voters were casting their ballots, a development was proceeding in the halls of power in the Federation and Cardassia. A development, born of a mistake, that would lead to war.
Posted: 2005-10-02 04:03am
8. The Hamblin Report
One of the key developments of 2153 was Federation President Gao's shift in policy, going from desired neutrality in the developing Cardassian-Alliance conflict to a pro-Cardassian military neutrality. The shift was somewhat sudden, coming shortly after the Kranitz Leak removed the possibility of any negotiated end to the growing tensions between Washington and Cardassia.
As soon as trade relations were established and interuniversal commerce began, the Federation's defense agencies began to analyze the Alliance. Their reports had long been finished by the time of the Kranitz Leak. However, they were also inaccurate in many ways. The teams that made the reports were lead by Party hacks, who were too close-minded to really understand what they were seeing. Most defauled to the Party line about societies such as the Alliance, the same line used in reference to the charter colonies - capitalist-run economies where the average person struggled to make a living and was restrained from making their political will known. As a result, they tended to downplay signs of growth in the Alliance economy, readily assuming that the same reduction in growth seen in their own charter colonies would afflict the Alliance once it's working populace found out about the "paradise" of the Federation and it's benevolent BLN system. As such, early on it was the opinion in the Federation that any economic strength by the Alliance would begin to decline when it's workers became less productive at seeing the alternative of the Federation's system, which it was assumed they would desire for themselves. And with loss of production would come the inability to build themselves up in military strength.
This view was challenged in August of 2153. On 29 August, the Centre for Federation Defence released a new report on the Alliance's potential, called the Alliance Future Capability Analysis (labeled AFCA #1). It is often called the Hamblin Report after the leader of the newly-formed Alliance Future Capability Analysis Team (AFCAT), James Hamblin, a former Starfleet officer who had been purged by Miller in the 2350s Local Time.
The Hamblin Report was more thorough than any of the others, gleaning from public sources the likely industrial capability of the Alliance in coming years. AFCAT took the additional step of analyzing any potential additions to the Alliance, giving it a much clearer picture of just how the Alliance might develop in coming years. The results of the study were shocking.
Hamblin and his team reported that by 2163 AST, the Alliance would have completed it's current research and infrastructure development plans and would be ready to commence a full-scale mobilization with state-of-the-art technology. When considering the nations likely to join the Alliance by then, Hamblin found that the Alliance's industrial capacity would be simply staggering. Although he did not expect the Alliance to be more than 1.1 times larger than the Federation in terms of inhabited systems and population, it's economy would be at least ten times as large, with a larger industrial base and population base from it's higher number of fully-developed worlds. AFCAT estimated that the Alliance would then be capable of easily supporting a peacetime fleet of 25,000 combat starships (the Stellar Navy was planning on 22,000 by 2165, assuming no wars) with as many as one billion troops under arms in a 50,000 division peacetime Army (plus a 5,000 division Marine Corps). At war, the Alliance would be capable of building itself up to 50,000 combat ships with the necessary support vessels to maintain such a fleet (the Stellar Navy believed it could build up to 45,000 by FY2165 if the Alliance were in a major interstellar war). It's massive population and industrial capacity ensured an Army that was "effectively unlimited in size" - Hamblin estimated that with their economy on a full war footing the Alliance could afford to put half a trillion men and women in uniform, likely more, and with full equipment for every unit. In light of the data, Hamblin and his team assigned the year 2165 AST - 2380 Local Time - as the "year of maximum danger".
The report was not taken seriously by some - to them, too much credit was being given to the Alliance - but others were uncomfortably aware that the government's more optimistic analysis might be unreasonable. Hamblin had already proven capable of accurate estimations - his teams had predicted the rampant inflation that had nearly destroyed the Talarian economy as well as the coming Klingon Civil War.
Among those who took Hamblin's data seriously were Admiral Garfield Dayton of Starfleet Intelligence and the Clerk of the Idealogue Party Central Committee, Rathgol Torskani. Gao soon joined their ranks after finishing his review of the report. On 5 September, he reversed his course on the growing Cardassian-Alliance tensions in a meeting with the Central Committee, informing them that "the Alliance may be the greatest threat the Alpha Quadrant will ever face" and that the Federation had to adopt a new policy to confront and contain them. Torskani only partially agreed. With the Borg Invasion still fresh on everyone's mind, Torskani brought up the question on if the Federation should try to draw the Alliance into a defensive anti-Borg pact, since their vast industrial base would be out of Borg reach and could be used to produce the fleets necessary to win a future war. The Committee wavered on that, familiar with how unpopular the Alliance had become due to the State Press and PAPAL. Gao also opposed the idea for a more cynical reason: the Federation would end up the junior partner in such a pact. He pointed out that by the year of maximum danger, the Alliance would be capable of building itself into a "hyperpower". Simply put, it would be more powerful than the rest of the Alpha Quadrant combined.
Gao and the others never really considered that the Alliance's multi-universal character would restrain them from exploiting that advantage - the Alliance might very well get drawn into war in other universes, and would certainly have to defend it's holdings elsewhere. There was some degree of arrogance in the upper echelons of the Federation about how important they were in the Alliance's planning, and for the rest of the Alpha Quadrant Cold War, the Federation would constantly assume they were of paramount importance to Alliance leadership even when the planners in Washington were more concerned with developments elsewhere. This would lead to persistant miscalculations by the Federation.
Gao's course was now set. The Alliance had to be opposed. However, none of his advisors had immediate ideas on restraining Alliance influence. Gao decided that the best bet would be to disgrace the current Alliance government, in the hope that a replacement government might be less aggressive. This set him on the path that would lead to the destruction of Gytep and the Winter War, as well as the end of his own political career.
Posted: 2005-10-03 06:24am
The first immediate reaction following the meeting of the 5th was to suppress the Hamblin Report to prevent panic in the government. Gao ordered AFCA #1 classified. He ordered Starfleet Intelligence to step up it's efforts to find links between the Alliance Government and the Bajoran Resistance and had Starfleet begin drawing up emergency war plans and projections. If absolutely necessary, the Federation could seize the New Liberty Gate, thus controlling entry into the Alpha Quadrant from other universes and minimizing the threat the Alliance presented.
In the meantime, Gao began tilting more favorably to the Cardassians. He shifted Starfleet toward the Alliance border and began to openly protest the use of Alliance combat ships to escort their shipping in Federation space. His orders to various government secretariats to aid the Cardassians had unintended side effects; the Federation ended up selling raw materials at low prices and, even worse, the Justice Secretariat ceased providing legal aid to Federation citizens accused of aiding Bajoran terrorists; many were not even allowed a court hearing before being transferred to Cardassian custody. The Cardassians caught on quickly; by mid November they were purposely targeting prominent citizens of the border worlds, falsely accusing members of colonial pro-defense parties and members of local government and militia so that they could be removed. When the Cardassians ceased these indictments during the Winter War, they had taken about five hundred Federation citizens as prisoners. A few disappeared, some were simply shot, and many were placed in work camps or the Madred Villages, where they would be liberated by Allied forces in the Winter War and caused further embarrassment to the Federation.
The Winter War led to AFCA #2, as it demonstrated the effectiveness of Alliance starfighters and the potential threat of it's interstellar aerospace craft. In AFCA #2, published on 19 June 2154 AST, Hamblin made only minor revisement to his fleet numbers, save to quantify the expected Alliance carrier fleet, an item of paramount importance at the time. The Alliance had just laid the keel to it's first "supercarrier", the Isoruku Yamamoto, and the preliminary FY2155 request by the Stellar Navy indicated plans to field sixty fleet carriers of the Enterprise type and fourteen supercarriers by 2163. They would soon have the dock space for that kind of construction: New Israel Shipyards had completed the Carrier Annex to their main Solomon facility and Newport News (SE-1) was refurbishing it's Marshville yards, providing the Alliance with three dozen more slipways capable of building ships of supercarrier size and tonnage.
Hamblin and his team crunched the new numbers and made changes from AFCA #1. They moved up the year of maximum danger to 2164 AST primarily on the grounds of expected Alliance carrier strength, as newer economic data ensured the Alliance would be capable of mass carrier production by 2161. They anticipated that the Alliance would focus on carrier production in peacetime, given the effective force multiplier that the carriers and their fighter wings represented. By 2164 AFCAT expected the Alliance to be fielding up to thirty supercarriers and sixty fleet carriers, with an adjacent fleet of one hundred and forty "battle" carriers (numbers on light carriers were not given as the Alliance had not yet committed to their production and were not expected to).
Analysis of the carrier actions in the war against Cardassia led Hamblin's team to establish the strength of Alliance fighters to the level that a single squadron of twenty fighters would be enough to equal the combat power of a Galaxy-class starship. This meant that the battle carriers equaled seven Galaxy-class ships, the fleet carriers equaled fourteen, and the supercarriers equaled twenty-five. To match this carrier fleet, Starfleet would have to either build 2,570 Galaxy-class starships - a sheer impossibility - or it would have to develop effective point-defense systems to counter the fighter threat (constructing carriers of their own was never seriously considered, even by Hamblin - the Federation simply didn't have the necessary doctrine to utilize carriers at the time, and it was just too revolutionary a step to take). The latter was the logical choice, of course, but it carried it's own problems. The Federation had never been forced to develop such weapons, and by the time they did the first part of Starfleet's post-Wolf 359 buildup would already be in the field. Those ships would have to immediatelly be re-designed to allow refitting with point-defense weapons once they were developed. The need to establish the industrial base to build dedicated point-defense systems would add further strain to Federation rearmament. Nevertheless, it was the path that was eventually chosen, especially as it became clear that the Alliance's newer generation of starfighters and anti-ship weapons would make their carriers even more potent.
AFCA #2 also made calculations on the Alliance Aerospace Force, which had been ignored previously. Analysis of the Alliance's production base for aerospace craft were almost as sobering as the potential for it's carrier fleet. Hamblin's team came to the conclusion that in the year of maximum danger, the Alliance could have up to 300,000 B-202G "Starfortress" strategic bombers, the latest model in the Aerospace Force's Bomber Command. Though they would be incapable of advancing far into the Federation, and their threat would be minimized with intact gravitic sensor nets to detect their approach, the sheer numbers would make defense impossible. Even prepared targets' shields could be overwhelmed through a large missile attack. Against such a threat, the Federation would have to deploy large numbers of it's new runabouts and converted Peregrine couriers to intercept any suspected contacts before they could attack Federation star systems. The Federation would have to build up it's capacity for producing these craft in turn, adding yet more to rearmament costs.
Had Hamblin known of the Aerospace Force's Long-Range Bomber Project, prospects would have looked much worse. From bases along the Federation border, the new generation of bombers (the SB-1 "LeMay") planned by the Aerospace Force could have reached Trill, Betazed, Bol, and Antares. If the Alliance were to ever gain a foothold in the Triangle region - as it was clear would happen by September 2154 - bombers would be in range of most of the Federation's key Core systems. With potential improvements to bomber-sized ECS units that were already public knowledge in the Alliance, even gravitic nets might not be able to detect them in time, significantly reducing the effectiveness of what would be very expensive defenses. This would be proven woefully true after Alliance intervention in the First Civil War.
It was not yet known, however, that the Aerospace Force was declining in influence. Key setbacks in the Winter War, along with the public lack of enthusiasm toward them compared to the Stellar Navy, would soon see much of Bomber Command gutted. By 2155 the Federation would recognize the decline of the Alliance Aerospace Force and would reduce the priority for countering the bomber threat, a decision that would cost them twelve years later against a Bomber Command restored to strength by three years of war.
Posted: 2005-10-04 03:31pm
AFCA #2 would be the last. Deborah Miller was President again due to Torskani's manuevering and she detested the think tanks in the colonies. To her the AFCA reports were "militarist propaganda", a trick to make the Federation militarize to fight non-existant threats. Torskani had a firm control over what she could and could not do - rearmament as planned had to continue. But he had not restrained her on the issue of the think tanks. Miller had the Centre for Federation Defence placed on a blacklist - it's reports were to no longer go heeded by Starfleet, a fact celebrated by the Earth-based think tanks and analysts who had often clashed with them. The Centre took the hint, and in 2156 it's name was officially changed to the Centre for Anglian Defence, providing advice to the New Anglian government.
Despite Miller's order, however, much of what Hamblin's team reported was already being considered by Starfleet Command. This would lead to multiple R&D projects on weapons and ship types to counter the growing Alliance threat, projects that would increase the cost of rearmament and help break the Federation in the end.
if one were to compare the Alpha Quadrant Cold War to the more popularly-known 20th Century Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the Federation plays an interesting dual role. While clearly in a similar position to the Soviets, with their de facto one party state and stagnating economy, they also had to deal with two American weaknesses of the Cold War; lack of public will for sustained defense spending and inferior numbers. The Federation was thus forced to attempt to develop weapons that could counteract their inferior numbers. Attempts to do so were mixed and the resource cost ended up high. Even more difficult would be the clear public opposition to rearmament as the Borg Scare faded from public memory.
It was clear that the Federation would never be capable of matching the Alliance militarily. As early as the first Hamblin Report, many began to argue for pursuing a friendship with the Alliance. However, Miller hated the Alliance too strongly to do such a thing; it would be left to her successor, Jaresh Inyo, to pursue what would be considered a short-lived detentè. By that time, the Winter War had made clear to all that the Alliance was more than capable of fighting a new, devastating kind of interstellar war, one that turned the Cardassian Union from a developing major power into a second-tier regional player.
Posted: 2005-10-06 02:49am
A word of warning. All future chapters will spoil Anatomy. You are forewarned!!!!
Posted: 2005-10-06 02:54am
9. A New Kind of War
On 20 November 2153 AST, the Bajoran refugee camp of Gytep was destroyed by a nuclear explosion. The attack killed over twenty-five hundred Bajoran refugees and aid workers, both Human and Bajoran, and shattered the tenuous peace of the region. Before the day was out the Federation and Cardassia blamed Bajoran terrorists, claiming by extension that Gytep was a terrorist camp disguised as a refugee settlement - Alliance press soon disproved this notion with live footage from the wreckage. The Alliance public became enraged and President Mamatmas put the military in ST-3 on DefCon 2. As both sides geared up for war, there was another shooting incident in Federation space between Alliance and Cardassian forces after another Cardassian attempt to board an Alliance-flagged merchant ship. This time, there were deaths on both sides. Mamatmas raised the local alert level to DefCon 1 and the military as a whole to DefCon 4.
On the 23rd, Mamatmas presented to the Alliance Council evidence that Cardassia had been responsible for the nuclear explosion at Gytep. The Council responded immediately; the Alliance declared war on Cardassia just in time for the planned opening carrier strikes. The Cardassians were caught off guard and the Alliance's carriers wiped out a Cardassian fleet that had been in the middle of refueling and preparation for it's own attack on the Alliance Colonial Zone. These strikes were immediately followed by a Cardassian fleet striking from Bajor; the Battle of Zygola was the result, the first large-scale contested naval battle the Alliance Stellar Navy waged as an independent force, and the Cardassians withdrew with less than half their attacking fleet after fighting a vicious contest.
While Zygola was being contested, a new kind of war was displayed to the Alpha Quadrant; Bomber Command launched an "India-Romeo" nuclear bombing operation (Attacks on enemy industrial and resource centers) on adjacent Cardassian systems, killing nearly two million Cardassians. It would be the only use of nuclear weapons on planet-side targets in the war, an act of direct retaliation for the atomic attack on Gytep. When news of the India-Romeo attacks reached Paris, the Federation leadership was horrified. One Starfleet admiral and a number of Federation Council Representatives were reported as becoming violently ill when they were told of the attacks, and the Federation Council denounced them immediately. Denouncement wasn't going to put the genie back in the bottle - the Alliance had forever changed the face of warfare in the Alpha Quadrant.
Another element to the war was soon being waged. Stealth attack ships, both in the service of the Stellar Navy and of national navies, began their Sierra-India missions (Supply Interdiction) and started torpedoing Cardassian merchant ships and transports. By the end of the war much of the Cardassian native shipping capacity had been lost to these attacks, crippling Cardassian military effectiveness for years.
The leadup to the war led to the downfall of Gao. Gao had banked everything on the intelligence indicating that Gytep was a terrorist camp. Unfortunately the only piece of damning evidence turned out to have been misinterpreted. Shipments of arms to Mwinyiburg, thought to be weapons bound for Gytep, were in fact being sent to the city militia as required by East African law. When this was revealed Gao was forced to resign from both of his positions. Kerlo Tobis, his Commissioner of Starfleet Operations, was put forward as his replacement, but Rathgol Torskani never planned on keeping him there. Torskani had plans to restore Miller on conditions, but did not want to do so until the Klingon succession had been settled. Tobis would be the Federation President until after the end of the war.
The error that led to Gao's downfall exposed key problems in the Federation's analyst services outside of Section 31. Again there had been a failure to make any investigations into how the Alliance worked, and thus nobody knew about the particular laws of East Africa (FHI-8) until after it was too late. It was a problem that would not be overcome any time soon. Too many of the analyst services were run by Party hacks, who colored the data due to their preconceptions or, in some cases, their desire to not deliver bad news to their bosses. The system self-perpetuated since many of their subordinates were also hacks or had ambitions to becoming hacks.
For the Alpha Quadrant, the most surprising aspect of the Alliance's campaign was it's swiftness. Within three days the Alliance, still waging it's first offensive against the Cardassian frontier, launched a second attack on Darane and secured it, making Darane the first Bajoran world liberated and forcing the Cardassian fleet into two seperate engagements - the first was indecisive, the second was a key Alliance victory despite the single greatest concentration of Cardassian ships ever attempted. Just a week later the Alliance Aerospace Force was launching sorties from Darane to support the besieged cities on Bajor. By the 10th of December, not even three weeks after the onset of hostilities, the Alliance was landing troops on Bajor. The Cardassian Third Fleet attempted to prevent the landings but were annihilated when trapped against the Prodigal.
The war had expended by then. The Sydonis Incident led to further declarations of war against Cardassia by the Federated Commonwealth and Saint Ives Compact of Universe MWB-32. They joined the fighting officially on Christmas Day 2153 AST with an offensive launched from Alliance space away from Bajor, through the Cardassian-Keloan border region toward the key planets of Dervak and Pelikar. Dervak fell on the 28th; the Federated Commonwealth's new fleet was defeated two days later at Pelikar by the Cardassian Tsen'kethi Frontier Fleet, a victory that came too late for Cardassia.
On New Year's Eve, the Cardassians launched one final desperate spoiler attack with what ships they had left, under the command of Gul Skrain Dukat. The offensive caught Alliance forces was about to launch the New Year Offensive and led to the deaths of a quarter million Army and Marine personnel caught in space. But the Cardassian fleet was beaten back with severe losses without crippling the attacking forces; the New Year's Offensive drove them back even further despite the victory at Pelikar.
Two days later, on 3 January 2154, the last Cardassian holdouts on Bajor were defeated in the Turoa Mountains after a failed surprise attack on an Alliance firebase by the remnants of the 13th Provisional Order. Within hours, a coup d'etat by civilian authorities backed by the Cardassian Home Guard removed Cardassian Legate Aamin Kelataza and his senior supporters from power. A senior member of the Detepa Council, Loralo Puvek, was voted as the new Minister of the Council with the support of Gul Uvil Keve, and the remains of the Central Command recognized his authority. He agreed to the unconditional terms for an armistice. A ceasefire was called on 5 January and the official armistice was signed two days later. The Winter War was over.
The sheer speed of the Alliance campaign sent shockwaves across the Alpha Quadrant. In the first three weeks, the Cardassians had lost more than a quarter of their war fleet and billions of tons of shipping capacity. Millions of Cardassian troops were then captured or killed in the Alliance's offensives. They were often completely outgunned by the Alliance Army and Marine Corps. The fighting on Bajor particularly proved that, where two major Cardassian troop concentrations - at Ikila and the Dakhur Plains - were crushed with attacks by Alliance tanks and artillery. By the end of the war, the Cardassian Union was no longer a major power. It's economy was devastated, it was relying on foreign shipping just to move critical goods between it's worlds, and key industrial resources had been lost.
To the Alliance, the war was justification of the leading theory on how to conduct wars. Sustained Initiative Warfare was an invention of the Russians (Universe SE-1). In the Third Anglo-Russian Space War in the 2040s AST, the Russian Federation had fought the combined might of the Anglo-American Treaty Alliance nations with what is considered the first application of modern Sustained Initiative War. The intervention of the UNSE from Universe PA-6 - the first extrauniversal military intervention in known history - only managed to stop the Russian advance, and led to the negotiated peace that ended the war.
Since the war, military thinkers from across the Multiverse had tried to work out the elements and problems of the system. It had it's weaknesses - reliance on an efficient and well-protected method of supply, risk of disruption by unforseen enemy attacks, fatigue to machine and man - but the benefits were such that many generals and admirals advocated it. Published in 2059 AST, Kevin Pollard's "The Russian Gambit" was the first written explaination of the Russian strategy. Marshal Anatoly Ligachev's "Initiative War: How Russia Resisted The Anglo Powers" was published ten years later and confirmed most of Pollard's book. Both became standard reading material in military academies across the Multiverse.
By the founding of the Alliance, the Neo-Nazi Rebellion and the Agresskan War had seemed to confirm the value of Sustained Initiative Warfare. Most officers had come to view it as the ideal form of war - one in which the initiative would be grabbed early and the enemy paralyzed by constant attrition and command shock as the attacking force did as it pleased. Critics pointed to elements of both wars to show the dangers in relying on the method. Particularly convincing was the collapse of the early Agresskan offensive after their fleet was defeated at Alpha Centauri. It seemed to highlight all the dangers of overreliance on sheer initiative grabbing. Had Dukat's forces been slightly more successful, perhaps it would have done the same. As it was, Dukat himself had learned his lessons from the war. Cardassian war-planning for a future conflict would take Sustained Initiative into consideration.
The Federation drew it's own lessons from the war. They had an advantage in dealing with the Alliance that Cardassia did not - strategic depth. Cardassia Prime was closer to New Liberty than Earth was. The Federation would have more space to trade to build up for a counter-attack. This was Federation planning even after the Alliance was invited into the Triangle Region. Closer to Earth, it nevertheless meant an Alliance attack from that front would have to go through a more populated area of the Federation, with far greater defenses. The Federation would thus plan on trading space for time to build up a counter-force that could strike an over-extended Alliance invasion that was trying to replenish it's supply stocks. The timing would be critical - where the Stellar Navy went and where the Army landed, the Aerospace Force would follow, and it would bring it's dangerous B-202s with it.
Perhaps the greatest impact of the war (particularly for the Federation) was the revelations about the Cardassians' work camps and Madred Villages. The discovery of the work camps in Bajoran and Cardassian territory, including the wholesale slaughter at Rupek and other camps, shocked the Alpha Quadrant. After years of propaganda Cardassia could no longer hide their most brutal tendencies. The Federation reacted predictably - the State Press suppressed the information with Tobis' blessing.
The Madred Villages were even more damning. On the 27th of December, just two days after the libeation of the Villages, eight interstellar governments condemned Cardassia and demanded assurances that their nationals had not been among the abductees. The Federation was the only major power that did not issue any kind of complaint or condemnation - it was quashed on behalf of PAPAL (instead the Federation used the day to condemn the Alliance's use of thermobaric weapons on Cardassian holdouts on Bajor).
The Federation government had never been more embarrassed. Hundreds of Federation nationals had been found in the camps and villages - some not alive - and most had been written off as dead or "missing persons" by the Federation. Some had been imprisoned for over twenty years, since the Cardassian border raids during Jirvshk's Presidency. In the charter colonies, anti-Federation protests were waged for months. Several colonies that had citizens found in the camps openly re-allocated government funds meant to pay their dues to the Federation government, stating the money was compensation to the victims. The Federation Council demanded they restore the funds. All ended up doing so due to court rulings against them.
Nova Savona, which had never recovered from the brutal attack in Jirvshk's time, did more than re-allocate dues or protest. On 11 January, after having confirmed the survival of literally thousands of their citizens taken in the Rape of Nova Savona, Nova Savona's Parliament elected to declare complete independence from the Federation. It immediately petitioned for Alliance membership. The Alliance government was wary - the war had just ended and they didn't want a new crisis in the Alpha Quadrant. But Nova Savona was so economically poor and unimportant that the Federation government didn't actively resist the secession. They simply imposed tariffs on goods from Nova Savona, looking to disrupt what health it's economy had, and let it go. They would come to regret it years later, after the recovery of the Nova Savonan economy following their acceptance into the Alliance in December 2154.
The secession of Nova Savona and the unrest in the charter colonies on the Cardassian frontier did nothing to change the habits of the Party or PAPAL. PAPAL staged celebrations the day the armistice was signed - they were all pro-Cardassian - and came up with the idea that if Cardassian leaders would be tried for war crimes, so should Alliance leaders. In February 2154 PAPAL began publicly agitating for President Mamatmas and Federated Commonwealth First Prince Hanse Davion to be arrested by Starfleet Security when they arrived in April for the pre-scheduled Moscow Summit with other Alpha Quadrant Heads of State. The Presidential Security Service took the threat to Mamatmas seriously enough that they doubled his guard detail and insisted he remain in the Alliance Embassy when he was not at the summit.
The liberated Federation nationals came to be called the Forgotten, because that's precisely what happened to them in the Core Worlds. The Press Service refused to run stories on their survival and return. When some returned, they were at times harassed by PAPAL on the grounds that they were anti-Cardassian terrorists or Alliance sympathizers. The Party forced many to sign statements that they were not subjected to torture by the Cardassians or that they had committed crimes against the Cardassian state. Some could not even return to the Federation - the Secretariet of Justice set up a list of those confirmed alive and after investigating them, threatened to press terrorism charges on those with links to Bajoran groups or colony independence movements.
The news could not be hidden from Starfleet. Dozens of Starfleet officers, including high-ranking officers like Admiral Dennis Ross and Captain Edward Jellico, resigned their commissions. Some of those resignations were from Starfleet personnel who had lost family to the Cardassians, or even worse, had thought they'd lost family to find out they were still alive and had been found in a Cardassian camp. Many wrote scathing editorials in local non-Press Service media about the "betrayal against the Forgotten" for years. Almost all of them emigrated to the Alliance over time and many would end up fighting Starfleet and the Federation as members of the Colonial forces in the First Civil War.
The Forgotten, for their part, ended up emigrating as well, unable to take the abuse and sheer apathy that their fellow Federation citizens showed them. Some weren't even allowed to return, having been brought up on charges of one kind or another, ranging from terrorism-related charges to genetic enhancement. The Alliance Government and local planetary governments of the Colonial Zone granted them temporary aid that became permanent with the Displaced Victims Relief Act, signed into law on March 10th 2154. Intended for other circumstances as well as those of Cardassia, the act authorized the government to provide financial aid to settle those freed from the camps in lieu of the victims winning claims against the government responsible for displacing them.
The final note of importance is Bajor. Even as fighting continued on the planet, troops in secure areas went to work helping the locals in rebuilding homes, bridges, power grids, and other essentials. After the war, the Alliance actually increased troop numbers in Bajoran space for the purpose of aiding in rebuilding, assigning one hundred divisions to the region, including seventy-six to Bajor itself. When the Fourth Council convened in January, once of it's first votes was for the Bajoran Recovery Act, allocating $80 trillion ADN to begin rebuilding Bajor and it's surrounding worlds. Some national governments would pitch in their own funds, as would private individuals - by February, millions of aid workers - including engineers, architects, construction workers, electricians, and other specialists - were headed to Bajor to begin a full-scale rebuilding effort. Added to the troops on Bajor, they gave a favorable impression to the battered Bajoran populace. A provisional government was soon established, it's main purpose being to write a new constitution for Bajor and it's neigboring worlds.
As the year continued and the recovery effort showed growing progress, Bajoran society began to heal from the Occupation; the economy and the environment recovered, cities were rebuilt, and new lives were found for those who had lost everything. The resulting renassiance would come to be called the Bajoran Spring (to be covered in Chapter 12). In the coming years, Bajoran prosperity would become the single most visible and lasting symbol of Alliance victory in the Winter War. President Mamatmas would later write that freeing and rebuilding Bajor "was probably the greatest achievement of my Administration". A freed and prospering Bajor also served to legitimize, in the eyes of many, the kind of warfare the Alliance had used to accomplish it.
Posted: 2005-10-07 02:57am
Finally got a chance to catch up. An awesome read. Keep up the good work, comrade.
Have a very nice day.
Posted: 2005-10-07 05:44am
10. The Post-War Cleanup
When the new government of the Cardassian Union signed the armistice on the 7th of January, it was in the worst shape Cardassia had ever been in. Resource-rich worlds had been lost to the Allied advance; millions of Cardassians were dead, including experienced military personnel; entire shipyards had been wrecked; the merchant fleet was stretched to the limit from losses to Alliance stealth ships. The Cardassian deficit had already nearly doubled, becoming roughly 85% of the Cardassian Union's annual GDP, which was expected to fall in 2154 from the war damage.
Loralo Puvek had effectively taken control of the Cardassian government, the first Cardassian civilian head of government in over sixty years. A day after the armistice was signed, he signed the official decree establishing the Cardassian Restoration Committee, a new branch of government to be headed by Puvek's second, Ukeney Jurel. On the 10th, he gave his first public speech to a crowd in the Imperial Plaza, calling on Cardassia to "work together to rebuild and restore what is our's". The crowd had been carefully handpicked and cheered on cue. Nobody outside of the Capital saw the angry protests.
Xenophobia, always an undercurrent in Cardassian society, exploded. An impromptu gathering turned into a lynch mob that stormed into the Alien Quarter. Five Cardassian business owners were murdered in the streets and an establishment, an exotic dancer club called Tralam Peker, was torched. The next day, alien dancers who had worked at the club were attacked in their homes - a number were raped and two were found beaten to death. To restore order, the Home Guard was deployed by Puvek; they in turn executed ten leaders in the mob as a warning to the others. The rioting stopped now that the military had gotten involved, although anti-alien propaganda would continue to circulate through Cardassia in the coming years (ironically they would later form the core of the anti-Dominion resistance, indirectly aiding the aliens they hated the most).
Despite the distractions, Puvek had a vision for Cardassia. He was well-traveled, including trips to the Federation before and after the border wars, and envied the prosperity enjoyed there and amongst other aliens. In Puvek's opinion, the problem was that too much of the Cardassian economy was tied up in military production, which sucked away valuable resources and had now, clearly, gained Cardassia nothing. This would change now. Puvek planned to end the dominance of the military industrialists and focus on populism by producing and providing the average Cardassian with luxuries they could not normally afford.
To accomplish this, Puvek would need peace with his neighbors. He pushed to begin immediate negotiations for an official peace treaty with the Alliance and it's co-belligerents. He also pursued agreements with Cardassia's other neighbors; at one point, in a February meeting with the Federation Ambassador T'Lyra, Puvek stated his desire to end all of Cardassia's standing disputes in one single large treaty with all of it's former enemies. It remains to be seen if Puvek truly desired "peace in our time" (his exact words to T'Lyra) or if he was simply trying to buy time.
Some of the press in the Alliance tried to label Puvek a reformer and an advocate of the free market for his desire to dismantle the strong ties between military and industry. In truth Puvek was the closest thing the Cardassians had to a Socialist. By breaking the military-industrial complex Puvek would break the key oligarchs who operated a Cardassian economy that was already quasi-free market. He didn't even try to hide his aspirations to a planned economy. On 29 January Puvek authorized the "Seven Year Plan", a detailed outline for Cardassian production that would shift the Cardassian economy toward exportable consumer goods to improve living standards for the average Cardassian. In an attempt to appease the military Puvek did not slash military production as much as he wanted. The Seven Year Plan would allow for Cardassia to rebuild to near pre-war levels considered sufficient in the face of peace treaties with Cardassia's neighbors; in private he promised Guls Keve and Dukat that a follow-up Five Year Plan would finish Cardassian re-armament while establishing the foundation economy that would make Cardassia prosperous.
Cardassia's industrialists were incensed. They exploited every political connection they had left to oppose Puvek and threatened to shut down their factories - several did so at the beginning of February when Puvek publicly refused their demands. Puvek responded by seizing the factories with military force. He enticed workers to continue working by setting up a collective ownership of factories - the Cardassian State would own 51% and the workers would own the rest through a joint trust. This and other pro-worker legislation won Puvek some short-term popularity. The surviving oligarchs backed down.
Puvek's popularity was not as rooted as it appeared. Cardassian workers appreciated his efforts, but that did not erase the bitterness they felt toward the armistice with the Alliance. Millions of their countrymen had been slaughtered, the Bajoran terrorists that plagued them had been "rewarded", and Cardassian territory was under alien occupation. Returning veterans, eager to avoid the stigma of defeat, took the opinion that they had been betrayed. Puvek did not see these dangerous undercurrents, but others did. In a February 27th lecture to students at Oxford, Dr. Richard Mann referred to Puvek's government as "Weimar Cardassia" - to those in Alliance foreign policy circles who knew about the situation in Cardassia, it was inter-war Germany all over again. The only question was when Puvek would be destroyed, not if.
It happened sooner than any anticipated. On 8 March, after weeks of saber-rattling on the Federation border, the Tsen'kethi Imperium suddenly invaded the Cardassian Union. Within 24 hours of the attack, the Cardassian sector governor on Pelikar declared independence from the Cardassian Union "to preserve these worlds" - he turned to the Alliance and the Federated Commonwealth for recognition and aid. The Tsen'kethi Frontier Fleet, the only Cardassian naval unit to have fought in and not been defeated in the Winter War, counter-attacked, but without it's supplies on Pelikar it was forced to draw back. Puvek found himself at war once more, with a populace that immediately turned against him. His days were now numbered.
Posted: 2005-10-08 12:58am
The armistice provoked a small crisis on the other side as well. When the Commonwealth Estates General was called to give a rubber stamp verification to the armistice later on the 7th, most of it's members refused to come and prevented a quorum from being reached.
The problem: by the armistice terms, the signatories at war with Cardassia agreed that they would not annex any of the systems they occupied and would leave territorial dispositions up to the final peace treaty. This was intolerable to many expansionists and other key leaders, who provoked the rest. The Commonwealth had seized those worlds and lost lives doing so. It was simply unfathomable to not integrate them into the Federated Commonwealth. To let them go back to Cardassia was seen as a betrayal to the AFFC soldiers who fought and died to take them in the first place. The defeat at Pelikar near the end of the war added further fuel to the fire for both the expansionists and the isolationists (who were the only major group to unanimously support the armistice from the beginning). For the price paid in blood, they felt that the Commonwealth should be allowed to keep the territories it held. A number of key leaders demanded that the armistice be re-written if it was to be accepted.
It was already clear that re-writing the armistice would be impossible, and Hanse Davion knew full well that his allies would not accept a blatant land-grab in the fashion being demanded. He was also not required to get the Estates General's approval for the armistice. The Commonwealth legislature could be easily overruled by his perogative. But Hanse also preferred to give the Estates General the appearance of importance, since it appeased his own people and avoided problems with the Alliance Government, which contained individuals who had already shown a willingness to pressure allies into more democratic practices.
Hanse Davion was famously known as "The Fox" for his skills at manipulation and his personal craftiness, a reputation he would live up to in this case. He now saw an opportunity. His Occupation Zone was not as large as he desired it and he knew that the Alliance wanted the peace to stand. Through his Diplomatic Minister, Sir Nigel Tannenbaum, Hanse used his problems to extract a deal from the Alliance: he would get approval for the armistice in exchange for the Alliance transferring jointly-held worlds, including Dervak, to the Commonwealth OZ, thus giving Hanse a stronger hand to play in peace negotiations. Under advice from Security Advisor Takahara and Foreign Minister Umachov, Mamatmas agreed on the 11 January. Hanse presented the deal to key leaders of the Estates General, which met on the 12th and approved the armistice. The entire case went off so well for Hanse that it has long been suspected that he had arranged for the crisis in the first place.
In the Alliance itself, a vicious debate was coming about what to do with the funding for the war. Out of the extra money the Council and the national governments had raised specifically for the war, about $100 trillion was left. The issue of what to do with it dominated politics in Washington.
Phillippe Guissard, the Minister of the Treasury, wanted the money back, to add to the government reserve accounts established with the surplus from the government's first fiscal years. He argued intensely that to allow the military to spend all of the money after the war had ended would hurt the Administration's public standing. To win support from the Foreign Ministry, Guissard agreed that if the money were to be returned to the Treasury, half of it would be earmarked for relief efforts in the Alpha Quadrant.
The Alliance military and Defense Ministry opposed Guissard. Minister Rathbone argued that the Stellar Navy needed to accelerate construction to restore force levels due to losses in the war; the $100 trillion would more than suffice. He argued that the Government was under no legal obligation to return the money, which was better used to restore the Navy to planned levels and to expand the military to accomodate the new security situation in the Alpha Quadrant. Rathbone was backed heavily by the military, particularly Kevin Taggert (the General of the Army) and Sir Richard Hollingwood (the Navy's Chief Admiral). Hollingwood was particularly incensed when Guissard suggested that the Navy "should manage with what it's been given" - the Alliance's security committments had grown and the Stellar Navy had to grow to match it.
The budget fight carried over into the Council. Several joint meetings between Guissard, Rathbone, the JCS, and their respective allies in the Council took place. A near-compromise was hammered out when, in meetings on 3 February, Guissard agreed to allow the Stellar Navy to keep $25 trillion. The money would be used to accelerate the production of the first five Yamamoto-class supercarriers, provide funds to begin building an extra squadron of capital ships and for new facilities in the territories the Alliance was expected to take from Cardassia, fund the refurbishment of the Thai (AGC-1) naval base at Gamma Terra, and replace lost ships from the Winter War. Guissard also agreed that an additional $10 trillion would be added to the Stellar Navy's FY2155 budget to lay down keels for another squadron of capital line ships.
Taggert felt betrayed. He had been pushing to raise the funds to add five million men to the Army to reduce his reliance on the national armies, but the Army had been excluded from winning any extra cash from the war surplus. The next day one of his allies in the Council, Rep. Patrick Erzberger of the United States (AR-12), sabotaged the agreement when it was brought to the Council Committee on Defense Affairs by attaching a rider to the official authorization bill. The Erzberger Proviso would force "matching funds" for the services out of the war surplus; instead of $75 trillion going to the government and $25 trillion to the Navy, each service would get $25 trillion. Taggard clearly believed Guissard would then reduce the amount going to the Navy, but he would still get something.
Guissard was outraged at the entire JCS, whom he assumed engineered the situation, and had his principal ally Rep. Anne-Marie Foquet (SE-1) - the Chairwoman of the Committee - kill the bill. He now refused to deal with them any longer. On 7 February, after days of meetings with his subordinates, Guissard officially transferred the $100 trillion back into non-military government accounts. He informed President Mamatmas that he would no longer negotiate with the military, which he accused of trying to undermine him and the Ministry of the Treasury. Rathbone countered, accusing Guissard of egotism and of jeopardizing Alliance security. Some of the money was needed to rebuild the Navy to the necessary level to fulfill all of it's defensive requirements. The Alliance was, he argued, now responsible for defense of it's occupation zones and Bajor and the Kingdom of Thailand (AGC-1), which had just won a key approval vote by the Council Committee on Membership Application.
Mamatmas sided with neither side at first. As far as he was concerned, they were all in the wrong. He did give them both small victories, allowing Guissard to put $30 trillion into the government reserve and authorizing $10 trillion to begin replacing the Winter War losses. Neither side was satisfied. Guissard pushed his fellow ministers to join him in fighting the "treacherous Service Chiefs" - he took a personal disliking to them now.
Taggert and Hollingwood went further. They arranged for a retired military officer in their acquaitance, British Field Marshal Sir Scott Hetford-Grey, to write a scathing article about the budget fight for the Times (of London), hoping the public would react and force the Administration to overrule Guissard. Hollingwood went even further in private, joining with some of his senior admirals to leak critical data on ship strength to the press in hopes of rousing pro-Navy sentiment. A journalist-historian covering the story later called this the "Second Revolt of the Admirals".
By 25 February, several papers were now running Hetford-Grey's article, and the Navy leaks had turned up the public pressure. Allies of the Stellar Navy were now pressing the entire Council to vote on giving the Navy $40 trillion out of the reserve. Rep. Erzberger and Representative Sir Kevin Maxwell-Fyfe (Britain SE-1) co-wrote legislation that would have not only given half of the reserve to the military, but it would also have increased the defense budget by $50 trillion for the enxt four fiscal years: receiving the same amounts yearly as they would from the reserve, the Army and Stellar Navy would get $40 trillion/year while the Aerospace Force and Marines would get $5 trillion/year. In the JCS, Commandant Tokugawa and Marshal Longwell protested viciously at being given so little - as Chairwoman of the JCS, Longwell had better access to the President and the Security Committee to make her protests known.
By 1 March Mamatmas had lost his patience with the budget fight and the chaos it was causing in the Council, which he felt had more important things to worry about. First he took on Guissard, who had re-assigned the money without even consulting Security Advisor Takahara on the security situation. In a Cabinent meeting, he demanded Guissard resign. Guissard protested but was shouted down - he issued his resignation the next day. Theresa Cunningham, the Chancellor of the Exchequer for Britain AR-12, was nominated to be his replacement.
Mamatmas turned his attention to the military. On 6 March he met with the Service Chiefs and gave Taggert and Hollingwood the chance to resign. They refused and Mamatmas sacked them. Fleet Admiral Isabelle Crenshaw, the senior naval member on the Strategic Planning Staff, and Field Marshal Pollack, the SPS's Chairman, were promoted to replace them. Pollack was in turn replaced by Field Marshal Pauline Lykos, and Crenshaw by Fleet Admiral Robert Dale. Dale was given the SPS Chair. Hollingwood's allies resigned as well in protest.
In the end, however, the Stellar Navy got what Hollingwood wanted. On 19 March, with Cardassia seeming to be on the verge of revolution or falling to the Tsen'kethi, Mamatmas gave them the $30 trillion that had been requested. He gave the other services an extra $10 trillion. This touched off a different debacle, as naval and army leaders protested that the Aerospace Force wasn't important enough to warrant the extra money. This would be their last budgetary victory for the next six years.
Posted: 2005-10-08 03:57am
Kerlo Tobis' Presidency barely outlasted the Winter War. By 4 February the Klingon Civil War was over. Chancellor Gowron and his loyalists had prevailed against the Duras, in large part from Federation aid revealing the Romulan aid being sent to the Duras. Because the Federation had aided him, Gowron re-affirmed the Khitomer Accords.
For Torskani, it was now safe to remove Tobis and put Miller back in. He offered Miller a return to the Presidency if she did not interfere with rearmament and accepted the Central Committee's direction in defense policy. At first Miller resisted, believing that PAPAL had regained enough support that she could persuade the Council to re-elect her without a backroom deal. But Torskani was ready for her when she had PAPAL stage large-scale demonstrations. Pro-rearmament demonstrators appeared at many of the demonstrations and in a few cases provoked near-riots with PAPAL activists. PAPAL no longer had the tacit support of the masses. Having been defeated, Miller reluctantly agreed to terms. She was restored as Federation President on 16 February 2154. Her inaugeration speech repeated her usual pacifist rhetoric. She had wanted to speak out against the Alliance but Torskani forced her to excise direct anti-Alliance remarks out of the speech. He also stopped her from publicly banning Mamatmas and Hanse Davion from attending the Moscow Summit.
Miller did change course on one critical issue: Bajor. For years she had allowed PAPAL to make blatantly racist attacks on Bajorans. Now she reversed the practice. She ordered the State Press to run sympathetic stories on the Bajorans, who were now "at risk" of having their "natural way of life" destroyed by the Alliance, in favor of Human customs. Several State Press leaders protested, having come to seriously believe their own propaganda; Miller responded by having the State Press purged.
The goal with Bajor now was to use the Alliance's intention to build a Bajoran government against it. Pro-Federation parties would be supported to secure power, bringing Bajor into the Federation's sphere of influence. Miller turned to Bajoran expatriates still in the Federation, mostly intellectuals who had supported the Idealogue Party, and had them move back to Bajor to encourage a pro-Federation stance - they founded the Bajoran Ideal-Democratic Party. Miller granted aid for Bajoran rebuilding, though most of it never reached Bajor after it was tied up in the Federation Council by the demand that the aid not be used for "military purposes".
Miller never understood just how little the Federation was liked amongst many in the Bajoran refugee coommunity, who soon spread that dislike to Bajorans on Bajor itself. Though the aid that got threw and private aid from Federation sources did give the Federation a respectable reputation amongst portions of the Bajoran populace, Miller's "Ideal-Democrats" never came close to gaining power in the new Bajoran government being established. As on Kelos, Federation attempts to bring new races into Federation influence via populist welfare parties failed and failed miserably.
In April Miller attended the Moscow Summit, which started on the 15th. She proved completely inept at dealing with her peers. Gowron started detesting her and likely began reconsidering his devotion to the Klingon-Federation Alliance at that time. Mamatmas, the consummate "no nonsense" politician, found her to be naive and "seemingly delusional". He later wrote in his memoirs that "Miller had no real idea on how international relations worked, and her glowing idealist phrases were more annoying than insightful." Hanse Davion privately mocked and ridiculed Miller; he told his nephew and military chief Morgan Hasek-Davion that Miller was "as insane as a Liao, as fanatical as a Kurita, and as inept as a Marik". At the Summit he completely outmaneuvered her in her attempts to argue against the Commonwealth's attempts to gain territory in the Alpha Quadrant. He charmed and flattered her at times and at others he was openly hostile. By the end of the Summit he had made an "agreemenet between statesmen" with Miller, swapping vague, badl-worded guarantees of limits on expansion (actual and in influence) from his new holdings for firm trade concessions from the Federation. The wording was such that no Federation government could find Hanse as having betrayed the deal, but Miller - despite her own propaganda against him - seemed to take Hanse at his word. As expected, he would end up exceeding the agreed-upon limits.
During the April Summit the Cardassian-Tsen'kethi conflict reached it's climax. Autarch Kovk'kivis attended the Summit as expected but rejected all attempts by Miller to get him to make peace with Cardassia. He openly told the assembled leaders that he "intended to finish what the Alliance started". He also argued fervently with King Morav of Kelos and Murluno ke'Ytaklu, the Lord Protector of the Talarian Steadhold, about Tsen'kethi claims on Keloan and Talarian territory. He stopped short of threatening conflict, well aware that the Alliance was Kelos' protector and that the Talarians had begun receiving aid from the Alliance. He was forced to leave the Summit early when, on 20 April, his fleet was defeated by Cardassian forces under Gul Dukat in the Mekelos system, a victory that would break the Tsen'kethi offensive on Cardassia. The victory restored Cardassia's morale - it also led to the end to Loralo Puvek's civilian government.
Posted: 2005-10-08 11:27pm
I love this story.
Keep up the good work.