Yesterday, the world witnessed a cancellation years in the making: The withdrawal of the Viridian Entente from the 2-member Balkan Entente bloc.
The Balkan Entente was signed in 2008; it's constituent AAs being Argonaut, VE, and GOD. Argo was a smallish Green alliance with a really complicated and silly government structure, which later merged into VE leaving GOD and VE the only parties to the treaty.
For whatever reason--disbandment denial, bad breath, dumb leaders--VE was never welcome among GOD's other bloc, SuperFriends, so the perpetual bond of the Balkan Entente served VE well as an avenue to a real bloc. In the period immediately post-Pax Pacifica (while SuperFriends and C&G pinched their noses and locked lips long enough to make sure NPO was dead-dead) the Balkan Entente continued to be a boon to both VE and GOD, and VE used the period to begin exploring options to create its own power base. In October 2010, VE's efforts paid off with Pandora's Box, a bloc comprised of itself, Fok, iFok, Poison Clan, Umbrella, and GOONS.
Unfortunately for VE, just over 2 weeks after the formation of PB, GOONS and Umbrella entered into the Doom House bloc with MK. With the C&G-SuperFriends charade finally ending, VE was once again left in the lurch; rather than captaining their third-rail bloc PB, their blocmates pulled the infant bloc toward DH and C&G. VE was left straddling two irreconcilable power spheres.
Pulled in two directions, VE sought to keep the peace. Only a very few know what must have gone on in the back rooms of DH, PB, SF, and C&G as their post-Karma nose-pinching quickly unraveled. In the end, VE was unable to stop the war that first DH and their Mjolnir allies and then DH and their Pacifican allies brought to SF in pursuit of GOD.
Regardless of whether GOD will come to terms with it, rather than defending their ally, VE was left playing conductor to the symphony of war in the first instance, and then a half-hearted defense in the second.
For over a year, the Balkan Entente was more than broken. Yet it remained. No longer an alliance between two alliances, now a sinister, mocking reminder of its failure. A sentimental relic.
For too long, the world's alliances have united almost universally behind the juvenile foreign policy most succinctly stated "friends over infra." In practice, this philosophy is more correctly "friends over infra, but not politics." And that is the entire problem with this sandbox mentality: Alliances are political entities, treaties are political unions, war is political. Any alliance--witness: even the VE--which pursues a foreign policy tainted by unions based or maintained solely upon friendship is doomed always to be leaving a friend out in the cold when the clouds of war gather.
Alliances must learn to embrace their true nature as political entities. Alliance leaders must learn restraint in which friends should be just that, and which friends also have the political continuity to also be allies. Not every friend can be an ally.
The result of this is laid out in part in my last blog "Irreparable Damage" so titled due to OsRavan's hyperbolic claim that this cornerstone of Justitian philosophy is doing irreparable damage to Digiterra:
The result of Justitian ideology is a world where alliances and blocs form distinct identities. They have distinct, intrinsic ideologies, beliefs, and values, and from that seed of identity they grow natural allegiance to some alliances, and natural animosity toward others. They ally themselves based on political relationships that grow out of identity-based amity. These natural allies have a vested interest in the success and defense of each other, and will defend each other with conviction and dedication. Unencumbered by no (or few) illogical, friendship-only, or convenience-based treaties, these alliances or blocs are free to go to war when war is called for, or free not to go to war when war is not called for.
While OsRavan's claim was silly in context, it is true. And it is not until alliances begin to adopt it that the global stagnation created by "friends over infra" will end.
This week, the Viridian Entente has finally come to that realization, has grown the backbone to act upon it, and has faced the hard reality of life in the political arena. For its step into the future--however late--VE deserves praise. I praise VE for its decision. And I call upon all the world to look to VE's example. We can break the logjam if we are all brave.