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Treaties - A Reference Guide


HeroofTime55

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OK, this one annoys me. People always !@#$%*ing and comparing 50 different kinds of treaties. It's all wrong. There are 5 types of treaties, and no more.

MDAP - The highest treaty, requires two parties to always go to war along side each other. I would like to make a special note here - This is not the same as signing away your sovereignty. You always have the sovereign right to cancel a MADP in times of peace. But when war is on, you'd better honor your agreements. "Sovereignty" is not a valid reason for cancelling or refusing to act on one of these in times of war.

MDoAP - Basically the same as above, but you get a little room to say "If you start a war we don't like, and start to lose that war, we don't have to lose that war with you." All MDP's are actually MDoAP's. People who compare the two as if they are different are idiots. Because basically, you can always say "Oh well they are taking this action in defense of their interests and we're going to help them defend those interests." When a MDoAP includes one of those "no chaining" clauses (Which I'm just going to note is essentially telling them that you don't really consider each other that great of friends), then jumping in is only mandatory if they receive the initial blow in a war. Without that clause, it's mandatory whenever anyone declares on them, regardless of the progression of the war. As above, "sovereignty" cannot be used as an argument to ditch the obligations, and while it's in incredibly bad form, it's not actually wrong to cancel one of these if obligations were not invoked.

oDoAP - For the reasons outlined above, oDP's are actually oDoAP's, as are PIAT's. Basically, these give you an excuse to chain in to whatever conflict you want to, without being called a "bandwagoner" or a rogue alliance. These treaties are strictly worth less than anything with an 'M' in it. Do not, under any circumstances, ever write a "non-chaining clause" into one of these.

NAP - Simply says that two parties will not attack each other. Can be cancelled whenever either party fancies, so you should write a long cancellation period into it; These are literally worthless with nothing more than a 48 hour notification period. Put some meat into it and make it at least two weeks. A NAP supersedes any action required by even a MADP.

Other - This isn't really a 'type' of treaty, but more of a category - A catch-all for the oddball treaties. Things that don't fit into the first four types are relatively rare though, and frequently don't have an impact on war. If you sign a treaty where you both agree to sit down and watch Saturday morning cartoons over a bowl of cereal every weekend, that's great, but irrelevant to the point of this discussion.

A super special note on cancellation periods - When a treaty says you must give X days notice before cancellation, the treaty is still fully active for that period. If the treaty makes an explicit note that it reverts to something else the instant notice is given, then it never was whatever kind of treaty it was pretending to be, it was only ever whatever it reverted to, plus oDoA if it was one of the first three.

That means if you notify a party that you're cancelling the NAP, you'd better not attack them until the period is up (And the party you cancelled on should make every preparation in that time to prepare to receive you in war - this is the exact purpose for the NAP). If you're unsatisfied with a MADP partner's conduct, you can't submit notice and then claim the treaty is instantly invalid, because it's not.

A note on treaty conflicts - Having allies on both sides is not a treaty conflict. Having allies directly fighting each other is. If two treaties tell you to do two conflicting things, then, and only then, is there a treaty conflict. Inaction is usually the only proper resolution to a treaty conflict (barring a conflict between highly unusual treaties, the response to conflicts between any of the first four are all well defined). You must still fulfill any other obligations that arise separately from the conflict. And yes, you must enter both sides of a war if your treaties demand it.

A note on staying out of war - Unless a treaty says it, the only other time you are permitted to not honor a treaty obligation is if the other party (or in the case of a bloc, every other party) gives their explicit permission for you to not honor whatever particular terms they release you from.

A note on leaving war - You can only leave the war honorably with the blessing of each and every one of your allies that you are leaving behind in the conflict. You don't need the blessing of the entire coalition, just those direct allies with an activated 'M' clause. If you entered on an 'o' clause, you can leave whenever you fancy, though you'll get your ass chewed for being a coward if you tuck tail and run too soon.

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All treaties sign away your sovereignty. That's the whole purpose of them, they compel other people to do things.

Sovereignty is the absolute right to do whatever you want whenever you want.

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All treaties sign away your sovereignty. That's the whole purpose of them, they compel other people to do things.Sovereignty is the absolute right to do whatever you want whenever you want.

Correct - all of them AS GENERALLY WRITTEN in this cyber world anyway. In theory a treaty could be written that is JUST an optional military treaty. As they are usually written now, it includes a NAP and often an intelligence clause too, but there is really nothing that says an optional military treaty must have those clauses.

A Treaty could look like this:

Optional Military Treaty

Alliance "A" and Alliance "B" formally announce to Planet Bob that if either one is attacked for any reason, the other may, but is not obligated to, defend the other.

Signed for alliance A

-

Signed for alliance B

-

-----------------------------------

What's given up? Nothing. By that treaty, one signatory can even attack the other at any time and for any reason. There's no NAP attached at all.

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All treaties sign away your sovereignty. That's the whole purpose of them, they compel other people to do things.Sovereignty is the absolute right to do whatever you want whenever you want.

Incorrect, you exercise your sovereignty in the signing of the treaty. Sovereignty isn't the right to do whatever you goddamn please.

You make the sovereign decision to make a promise. You lose honor in breaking your promise, as well as trust.

Generally correct, though I'm tempted to call out a few nitpicking details.

Please do. I'm a perfectionist, don't hold back, perhaps it is an error on my part.

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Incorrect, you exercise your sovereignty in the signing of the treaty. Sovereignty isn't the right to do whatever you goddamn please.

An important factor of sovereignty is its degree of absoluteness. A sovereign power has absolute sovereignty if it has the unlimited right to control everything and every kind of activity in its territory. This means that it is not restricted by a constitution, by the laws of its predecessors, or by custom, and no areas of law or behavior are reserved as being outside its control.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereignty

Depends on how one defines sovereignty. But, in a nutshell, I think it is. However, we give it up all the time - starting with joining an alliance. Which is - as I look at it - an implied Mutual Defense and Mutual Aggression Pact with the other members of your alliance.

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Incorrect, you exercise your sovereignty in the signing of the treaty. Sovereignty isn't the right to do whatever you goddamn please.
An important factor of sovereignty is its degree of absoluteness. A sovereign power has absolute sovereignty if it has the unlimited right to control everything and every kind of activity in its territory. This means that it is not restricted by a constitution, by the laws of its predecessors, or by custom, and no areas of law or behavior are reserved as being outside its control. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SovereigntyDepends on how one defines sovereignty. But, in a nutshell, I think it is. However, we give it up all the time - starting with joining an alliance. Which is - as I look at it - an implied Mutual Defense and Mutual Aggression Pact with the other members of your alliance.

When you sign a treaty, you are making a promise to do something. If you then violate that promise, in a way you're violating your own will, you're violating your own control over your alliance by going back on your decision. In sort of a crazy paradoxical way. So when you break a treaty, are you extending your sovereignty, or violating it, by violating the sovereign decisions you made in the past? Yeah, figure that one out.

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Incorrect, you exercise your sovereignty in the signing of the treaty. Sovereignty isn't the right to do whatever you goddamn please.
An important factor of sovereignty is its degree of absoluteness. A sovereign power has absolute sovereignty if it has the unlimited right to control everything and every kind of activity in its territory. This means that it is not restricted by a constitution, by the laws of its predecessors, or by custom, and no areas of law or behavior are reserved as being outside its control. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SovereigntyDepends on how one defines sovereignty. But, in a nutshell, I think it is. However, we give it up all the time - starting with joining an alliance. Which is - as I look at it - an implied Mutual Defense and Mutual Aggression Pact with the other members of your alliance.
When you sign a treaty, you are making a promise to do something. If you then violate that promise, in a way you're violating your own will, you're violating your own control over your alliance by going back on your decision. In sort of a crazy paradoxical way. So when you break a treaty, are you extending your sovereignty, or violating it, by violating the sovereign decisions you made in the past? Yeah, figure that one out.

Or even better, are the sovereign decisions you made in the past standing in the way of your ability to make sovereign abilities now? Would you be able to make a time machine to go in the past and stop yourself from making those sovereign decisions? Would inadvertently killing your past self be a limit on your sovereignty because it would also make your future self vanish?

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PIAT =/= ODPSome PIATs do have OD clauses in them but not all, I've never written a PIAT with an OD clause in.

OD(A)Ps are very flexible things. Some people treat them like others treat a PIAT, some treat them like others treat a MDP. PIATs to ODPs all act mostly as a statement that "we like these guys more than most people, and we'll talk with them in case something might go wrong". And even if there's no optional defense clause, people will stick up for PIAT allies if they feel like they're unfairly attacked. You'll get trolled to hell for a no OD/OA clause however, which is why many alliances sign an ODAP as a lowest level treaty.

A bit of nitpicking.. NAPs on the whole are worthless in modern warfare. Nobody's going to say, "Hey, you attacked our MADP partner, we'll give you two days to prepare before we blitz you".

And honestly, treaty lawyering doesn't work. You can lay down these chivalrous guidelines about treaty conflicts, entering, leaving war, but in a full blown war, all anyone cares about is that their side wins and that the alliances they like the most take the least damage. IMO, a treaty is little more than an indicator on which alliances are 'most liked' by that alliance.

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A bit of nitpicking.. NAPs on the whole are worthless in modern warfare. Nobody's going to say, "Hey, you attacked our MADP partner, we'll give you two days to prepare before we blitz you".

The ironic thing is that this is supposed to be how it works. People treat NAP's like toilet paper, yes, but they are an agreement like any other agreement. If your NAP partner attacks your MADP partner, the most you can do is give the cancellation notice, and then wait the given period before attacking. NAP's are supposed to restrict you from attacking, after all. Don't sign them if you don't intend to honor them.

And honestly, treaty lawyering doesn't work. You can lay down these chivalrous guidelines about treaty conflicts, entering, leaving war, but in a full blown war, all anyone cares about is that their side wins and that the alliances they like the most take the least damage. IMO, a treaty is little more than an indicator on which alliances are 'most liked' by that alliance.

But it does matter. You need to understand, this isn't about gaining sympathy, or morality/chivalry, or winning wars. It's about your word, and how much it can be trusted. If you break your word on a frequent basis, people are not going to trust you. The examples you set are far stronger than any amount of rhetoric. The dynamics are a bit more complicated, there is a whole cost-benefit analysis to signing treaties, but being untrustworthy has a huge impact in that field. After all, what's the point in signing a contract if you know ahead of time the other party isn't going to honor it when it's needed most?

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There's an interesting discussion here. If an alliance is not willing to put its pixels on the bottom line, why even create a Treaty, regardless of type? It seems to me that any attempt to negate a Treaty by fiat is nothing more than trying to save one's "honor" by dishonoring the agreement made.

While this is my personal opinion only, I have seen alliances that put their honor into their treaties, even to the point of death of the alliance. They go to war in defense of their treaty partners, or ask their treaty partners to do the same. The focus does not shift in a treaty. It is an agreement of honor between two (or more) alliances. The treaty does not sever honor, it joins the individual honor of each alliance into a greater and larger honor that both signatories declare. That IS the treaty, regardless of type or category.

Breaking that honor, no matter who initiates the action, dishonors both signatories, regardless of the word battles in the OWF, where one "friend" determines their honor greater than that of the other, Period. It is honor that creates the Treaty. It is dishonor which breaks that Treaty, no matter when it occurs. It does not become a matter of nullifying a Treaty, it becomes a matter of desertion among alliances. Period.

When, in peace, treaties are nullified, a mutual agreement of the act exists at some level, and the signatories may well retain economic, trade, or other aspects of kindsmanship between them. There are certainly times when one signatory, either knowingly or unknowingly, violates a term or condition of a Treaty. However, in this case it is the obligation of the offended signatory to work diligently to bring the Treaty back into it's rightful state or condition between the two (or more) signatories--for the sake of honor. Using such opportunities for healing and learning to strengthen the bond of honor between the signatories as simple, "I told you so!" moments is juvenile at best, and completely disingenuous as a matter of fact. We have seen that moment as well.

The point being, it is honor that remains within the core of any written agreement between two (or more) alliances. Should one signatory take such opportunities, in peace OR in war, to dishonor the other, that is not the result. The Treaty is dishonored, both parties suffer the same fate; their honor is besmirched. It should be. Don't place your word where it does not belong. Protect your honor at all costs, especially when you have given it to another. No matter what! Then, no matter the style or caption at the top, the honor which is consumed within the document will prevail, both (or more) signatories will enjoy the greater honor created by it, and regardless of outcome, honor will survive--even if the alliance(s) do not.

To me, that alone is something worth fighting for. Very little else ever is. Power is granted, not taken. If you don't understand this most basic, fundamental truth (Honor), you should just not put your name on any document which requires it. Period. The better or worse condition of signatories is shared between them, at all times. Trust is earned, not demanded. When you show your lack of knowledge or appreciation for where you have placed the honor of your alliance, others will notice. Of that you can be sure.

And especially here, in Digiterra, there is virtually no hope of having a second chance of creating a good first impression.

Just my opinion.

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All treaties sign away your sovereignty. That's the whole purpose of them, they compel other people to do things.Sovereignty is the absolute right to do whatever you want whenever you want.
Incorrect, you exercise your sovereignty in the signing of the treaty.

It is true that you exercise your sovereignty in the signing of the treaty.

Sovereignty isn't the right to do whatever you goddamn please.

Yes, it is. That's what the word means.

The word derives from medieval ideas about kingship. A sovereign is a medieval king; a sovereign state is one that exercises the same powers as a medieval king had.

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Lots of words are derived from old concepts that don't retain the exact meaning they had in the past. I don't see why "sovereign" has to be an exception.

Language evolves, constantly. The word means something different than it did in the past. Especially in the context of CN.

All that said, there are still logical limits to even your extreme sense of the word. For example, you can't contradict yourself. And contradicting yourself is what you're doing when you break a treaty.

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