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On Worlds at War


Stormsend

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To begin, when I refer to "worlds," I mean the real world and the alternate universe we commonly refer to as Planet Bob.

In several ways, the real world and the CN world can reflect each other. Take both world histories. We began as warlike states opposing each other and gradually moved to wars of coalitions. We then began to slowly amass power in times of peace and sought to retain power while avoiding war.

Perhaps the biggest reflection between the two worlds is the evolution of war itself. "New wars" theorists have developed several ideas and come to the conclusion that victory in war does not depend wholly on how much damage one side does to the other. Rather, the idea of popular support and small, surprise guerrilla groups being the tide-turning elements of a war have emerged.

While the guerrilla idea is not much of a factor in the CN world, the idea of popular support is one to be looked at closely.

While I have fundamental problems with "new wars" theorists (attempting to eliminate Clausewitz's influence in modern war theory is just plain dumb in my opinion), the idea of public opinion in wars intrigues me in both worlds. It wasn't too long ago that one side completely dominated the other through force/numbers alone. However, we saw a slow transition through diplomatic manipulation to keep a side's strength limited not by military action but through influence over the masses.

Then, all of a sudden, the idea of diplomatic control gave way into a modern, popular movement that used public support and not military power to help tear down an institution. Add to that public support a bit of military strength, and we saw the fall of the longest-running institution of power in the CN world.

In the real world, a major world power cannot claim victory in two countries because of small groups with some public support and guerrilla tactics.

It is, as Bart Shuurman, defender of the Clauswitz school of thought, says, only logical that the materially inferior would pursue strategies that bypass his opponents military superiority. In both cases, we see this in different ways. In the CN example, the strategy was to politically paint one side as the "bad" side and gain enough military support as a result that they could overcome the other side's superiority. In the real world example, the major army has no idea how to deal with small non-armies that are capable of dealing unexpected amounts of damage to their own troops.

War in both worlds have changed to some degree, though because of the construction of the CN world, we have not (yet) seen the rise of smaller militant groups capable of dealing massive amounts of damage despite their inferiority.

Do you think we ever will see that day?

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I think that guerrilla warfare is a poor example of how warfare has advanced, but besides that I like the point. Politics in both worlds revolve around controlling stats (i.e. resources). In the real world certain combinations of resources and certain management styles of those resources can prove superior to other combinations and styles, allowing for some governments to gain superiority to others, and this is the same in CN. We have already started seeing sophistication in procurement and style, and we have evidence of its effectiveness through watching the old Citadel alliances wage warfare. This is an example of raw nation count failing to match sophisticated game play. So for starters I think that technical superiority is already trumping raw nation count in CN warfare, and that there are many elite alliances that could punch holes in larger NS alliances.

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There may be some groups out there now that could do a great deal of damage to a much larger group. However, for that to be anything that affects the politics of Planet Bob, we would need a political situation where calling in allies vs. smaller groups is considered weak. If this affects the alliances ability to get and maintain allies, even better. Otherwise, no matter how well the small group fights, they will eventually be overwhelmed. Right or wrong, alliance size (or the number of mandatory military pacts an alliance has) is still an indication of power. Using this advantage is seen as normal, as opposed to weak. However, if attitudes changed, it could happen. On Planet Steve, for instance, public arguments often center on if a fight is "fair" - based on size and power. A group can always declare "up" and if they win, more glory. Thus what is left once size is removed is organization and dedication of the members to the fight. It hasn't always been this way on Steve. So things can change.

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