I rarely feel the need to visit this particular area of Planet Bob anymore, but since we were mentioned, I thought I'd clarify a thing or two for anyone who cares enough to read this far down.
The manner in which I handle our protectorates is determined on a case-by-case basis. No two people are alike, no two alliances are alike. Some of our protectorates have required quite a lot of hands-on instruction and very close monitoring. Others have a better feel for things and only need the blanket protection from raiders a protectorate agreement offers. The level of meddling I do in our protectorates' affairs depends on their needs or wishes, as well as my own observations. I'm well aware of what a fledgling alliance we've taken under our wing needs in any given incident. Occasionally, even a bit of fisticuffs provide an appropriate enough lesson for both sides, as long as it remains controlled, contained, and it is not a disproportionate reaction for only a minor offense. I encourage diplomacy and self defense, never bullying.
Sometimes I think in our old age and the condition Planet Bob is currently in, we forget the valuable lessons that are best learned when young and wee little, rather than later, smack in the middle of a complicated treaty web. Let the younguns stretch and exercise their wings, give them the chance to make their own decisions and learn from an occasional scraped knee. We're so accustomed to the tiniest conflict blowing out of proportion to the point of triggering the next Great War that their youthful enthusiasm is smothered and trolled to death. Weren't we all in their shoes once upon a time?
While I have absolutely no need to convince anyone else of my own actions on behalf of CotM where our protectorates are concerned, I will briefly point out that my attention was indeed directed toward this incident in question, and I did indeed step in to find out what I could of the other party's grievance. It was determined at that time that the wars would simply expire, so my role then shifted to offering monetary assistance to those who found themselves in the midst of the scuffle. While my counsel would have favored simply allowing the wars to expire as previously agreed, a different decision was made (obviously), which he felt would make it easier to clean house and make some positive changes in his alliance.
I can't speak for other protectorates, but our protectorates are not our tech farms, their leaders are not my clones or servants. We do our best to show them what we know, what we've learned, advise as best we can, keep them as safe as possible, and give them the room, patience and opportunity they need to flourish, if they in fact have the drive and desire themselves to do so.
I hope that satisfies anyone's morbid curiosity and puts to rest any lingering questions about their protectorate agreement or our part in it.