Disclaimer: I am a known government GPA Cabinet member and a former GPA President, thus you can probably assume that my word carries a bit of weight when it comes to the Agency. I am anyway handling this affair from a player's POV rather than from an IC angle, and I can't currently really talk on behalf of the GPA, anyway, thus this isn't an "official" stance. Specifically, none of this blog entry has been arranged in the GPA.
(This disclaimer isn't really one of those "I don't want any responsibility" ones. It's just me explaining where I am coming from with this entry.)
Source: Some info on Dulra
Enough with the off topic. I'll later make a comprehensive blog entry.
My and Roq's exchange started with his reference of some NAMBLA incident, which would have involved Rayvon and in which the GPA would have been reliant on VE's "muscle" to solve some situation with UINE (and Lennox). The GPA wouldn't have done anything and would have avoided any "hardline" stance. Relevant posts will follow in the first two comments (too many quote tags don't fit in one entry).
I'll start from the end, by addressing that last question from Roq:
So Jerdge, ultimately, if a major alliance let someone like Lennox in and didn't force them to pay reps, what would GPA do?
I can't answer for the GPA, but I can tell you that it would certainly depend on the situation. This is IMO is valid for any and every alliance which found themselves in a similar scenario.
It is a known fact that the GPA has for long been little involved with the rest of CN, but consistently friendly with anyone she had some contact with; the Agency also has no mutual military treaties. All of this means that the GPA has little interest and no attitude for offensive campaigns, and also that she should never expect to be able to win alliance-wide wars.
When openly provoked others may go for a military solution because it's their interest to do so, because they don't know how else to deal with the situation or just because they think it's the best way to make their point. The GPA would probably go through the diplomatic route, which would involve a lot of talks.
I don't believe that there are many scenarios in which war is really necessary to explain to people that harbouring rogues isn't a good idea, thus I can finally answer to Roq that I don't think that the GPA would find it impossible to solve any other situation like the one he mentioned. According to my experience, people are reasonable and professional in handling such cases without any sort of unneeded confrontation.
If the GPA really found herself being openly and intentionally provoked by another major alliance, through a rogue or in some other way, the issue would probably be bigger than just the excuse used to try trigger something.
The matter is too vast to be addressed with a general solution, anyway: all I can say is that ad hoc solutions would have to be found for each case.
Back to the discussion on Lennox's story, I'll try to avoid writing a long and nitpicking reply, but I'll just resume the main historical events. They're boring, but they show why I was irritated by Roq's recollection and interpretation of them, thus I consider it necessary to recall them to close that part of our debate.
- On 26.07.10 Lennox, a NSO member, spied away a GPA nuke.
When contacted, the NSO government immediately denied having given any authorization. The GPA asked for a modest reparation (the nuke cost), which came out to be conflicting with NSO's policies about reparations. A negotiation then began over what measure had to be taken to correct the wrong, eventually ending with the NSO declaring that they wouldn't have protected nor helped Lennox if the GPA had attacked him. After a few days of wait, the GPA eventually decided to not attack him.
I was Assistant MoFA at the time and I had access to the documentation (but I had been on vacancy).
- On 13.10.10 Lennox, another 2 NSO members and a Gondor nation attacked GPA nations, citing "NAMBLA" in their war reasons. Lennox tried to extort 2 tech levels in exchange for immediate peace (lol).
The NSO booted Lennox and Gondor booted their member. The other two NSO members (one of which was Rayvon, pretty much unknown to me at the time) had just been cheated by Lennox; they peaced out and the GPA reached an agreement with the NSO about reasonable reparations (which shipment was never actually requested, and which I explicitly waived a couple of months later). Government members of a few alliances contacted the GPA offering support (you'd be surprised to know what alliances contacted us, but I won't make their names here). From the limited mention of them on our forums, VE was also aware of the situation, but I have no evidence of them offering support at that point.
Lennox and the former Gondor member moved to the NAMBLA AA and continued to fight. After three days from the intial attack Lennox started asking for peace, at the same time moving to the Crimson Fists AA, at the time a newly created UINE Protectorate. Lennox should have been CF's government, but that was stalled while we were looking for a solution in terms of appropriate reparations. I think that Exodus was too involved at some point, but don't quote me on that. AFAIK Lennox joined Polaris only after having concluded a peace deal with the GPA (600 tech as reparations). The former Gondor member also peaced out with an agreement to pay 400 tech; this second peace was brokered by Polaris, which the other former rogue joined too.
At the time I was still AMoFA.
- On 07.12.10 Lennox again went rogue against the GPA, again under the NAMBLA AA. That time he tried to extort 200 tech. We got some shots at him while he was on his way out of CN.
At that time I was the GPA MoFA.
Bottom line, while several parties offered support in case things became big, the GPA continued to pursue the rogues and to civilly talk with every alliance involved. Whatever support anyone might have promised, the Agency didn't use it to strongarm anyone into doing anything.
It was a novelty for me to know that VE approached UINE explaining that they they would have responded in force in case they military protected the rogues against us, and I only now learn who was the non-GPA witness at the conclusion of our negotiations with Lennox. I don't anyway think that any of that should change much of my vision of how we conduct ourselves when we have some foreign issue to solve; especially as VE's declarations of unilateral protection weren't much a new thing at the time either, but there's no mention of them in any of the hundreds of posts and query lines I can dig on our forums over the whole Lennox "saga".
I anyway apologize to Roq for having implied that he didn't know what he was talking of. I still believe that his interpretation of how the GPA operates, with or without external support, is wrong, but I acknowledge that the pieces of news he was building his interpretation over were basically correct. I was wrong on that, and I shouldn't have talked down to him.
I guess this is a lesson for poor old me to not trust my recollection of details...