Many look at the pre-empt against the Order the start of the war. It however started long before that. It didn't start with the Polar bs either. Waters were tested when they went Safari Hunting on Red Sphere, testing to see what the NPO and Red Dawn as a whole would do. The response was nothing, because we weren't in a position to. We knew it was an attempt to draw us into a conflict, to see if we would honor the old Moldavi doctrine. At that time the world was put on notice, the NPO was going to do nothing. This let Doomhouse know they could launch a war and the world would do nothing about it. But there had to be a separation of allies and connections. It was right here at that moment when it all started.
If I step away and place myself in their shoes the next step was to probe (if not already done) to see who still had anger at NPO. Pretty easy pickings, but it had to be tangible and touchable. I am sure in many places it was a hard sell and the idea soon became to catch them on the periphery. Its pretty easy to talk about the "Orders" because people will still see it and the NPO over the last couple years did nothing to openly distance themselves. Enter Polar falling for the okey doke. Through treaty webs and activation the NPO could be drawn in and DH would be able to jump right in without spending political capital.
I logged in and the rumors of a war against Polar were growing. Immediately talk began of their treaties and how we could be drawn in. It was not a position we wanted to be in. Discussion upon discussion about should we, if there was a war. Could we? Had we recovered enough to stand on the battlefield. NS was one thing but our membership wasn't as exercised in war as we had been in the past. It was a true discussion that held an overwhelming feel of "oh !@#$". Then the war started.
Being who I am, full of piss and vinegar at times, I wanted to know why we weren't immediately jumping in. Surely Polar was stupid for falling for such a clear trap, but did that mean they deserved what was going to happen? It was during these discussions when I realized that wasn't the real issue. We owed Polar absolutely nothing, in fact they had been !@#$%* to us for some time. This was a trap to pull the NPO in. Every post on the OWF and attitudes screamed it. But to us Polar had to be accountable for their actions and if they fell prey to their own stupidity, who the hell were we to step in and fix it. All of it was rather moot because treaty activation would pull us in.
We were ready, although not willing, to enter if we were called. It was clear if we did go in, everyone that wanted a shot at the NPO would take it. Our general side didn't want this and already internal issues were hitting the Order. Due to his RL career, then Emperor Cortath was being pulled heavily by real life causing decisions and actions to be delayed and general haphazard. Our allies general knew this and worked to keep us out, for this we were thankful. At one point we felt we were 48 hours from having to go in, communication had dropped to a dribble and we were left in some darkness. Things were very much out of a our control and I definitely felt trapped and hand tied. Had 48 hours passed we would have entered the war? Its really hard to say because history never gave it that chance; the New Pacific Order was pre-empted by Doomhouse, I personally exploded. I realized right then and there we had been outplayed in a huge way.