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On the ridiculous phenomenon known as the "MnDoAP"


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One of the stupidest aspects of modern politics is the phenomenon of the MnDoAP. I have no idea whether topics have already been made on this as I haven't been around in literally years (so forgive me if I'm repeating an existing thread) but I come from a time when this wasn't a thing. An MDoAP was an MDoAP, and alliances turned into pariahs when they failed to honour them (and were respected forever when they did.) A non-chaining defence clause basically renders MDoAPs a fancier sounding ODOAP. It's a treaty for politicians, not friends. You're all complaining that politics is stagnating. Why not cut the bs and only sign a treaty when you actually mean it? 

 

I know you all know this, but the reason a chaining clause is important is that an alliance is unlikely to be directly attacked, but drawn into a conflict as a result of treaties. That is because alliances in the politics of this world are rarely important in their own right, but are part of groups of alliances (sometimes blocs, sometimes less formal than that) which have political interests *as groups*. So in order for a mutual defence clause to be meaningful, it needs to be chaining. Otherwise, your ally can find themselves vastly outnumbered and getting rolled while you don't lift a finger, because it wasn't a "direct attack." If you trust someone enough, promising to come into a chaining war with them isn't a problem, because they can always excuse you. And if not, why the heck bother with the whole "mutual defence" farce in the first place?

 

Basically, grow a pair. :rolleyes:

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There are a lot of sections of various treaties that don't really have meaning.  Frankly, I don't remember a time where the "M" part of any treaty actually HAD meaning for the power players, and I've been here since 2008.  It's why I've preferred optional treaties.  

 

I also have no clue why anyone bothers with intelligence clauses.  Those are not actually followed from what I have observed.  At least with a "M" level treaty, when it isn't followed, it is actually easy for everyone else to understand that it didn't happen.  Not that it is a benefit to either party to drop a treaty, but if we all just stuck to optional most of the time there would be less complaining.

 

On the other hand, the lack of following the "intelligence" clause is another matter entirely as it is hard to prove that an alliance failed to warn another alliance about a threat.

 

 

Edited by White Chocolate
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42 minutes ago, White Chocolate said:

There are a lot of sections of various treaties that don't really have meaning.  Frankly, I don't remember a time where the "M" part of any treaty actually HAD meaning for the power players, and I've been here since 2008.  It's why I've preferred optional treaties.  

 

I also have no clue why anyone bothers with intelligence clauses.  Those are not actually followed from what I have observed.  At least with a "M" level treaty, when it isn't followed, it is actually easy for everyone else to understand that it didn't happen.  Not that it is a benefit to either party to drop a treaty, but if we all just stuck to optional most of the time there would be less complaining.

 

On the other hand, the lack of following the "intelligence" clause is another matter entirely as it is hard to prove that an alliance failed to warn another alliance about a threat.

 

 

 

The important question is; how would one alliance learn about a threat to one of their allies unless they were told in confidence by another of their allies? So the intelligence clause in a treaty would contradict the principle that discussion between allies is private.

 

I think they are just one of those things.

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15 minutes ago, Blackatron said:

 

The important question is; how would one alliance learn about a threat to one of their allies unless they were told in confidence by another of their allies? So the intelligence clause in a treaty would contradict the principle that discussion between allies is private.

 

There is nothing about the lack of an intelligence clause inside a treaty that would stop or otherwise prevent a person from telling another person of a threat to one's alliance.  It just wouldn't "require" it to happen.  

 

Think of a treaty as being the minimum standards of expected behavior between alliances only.  Alliances can (in theory...damn it is worse than I thought if I have to actually be saying this in a post on the subject :P ) actually treat each other BETTER than what is written out in the agreement.

 

 

Edited by White Chocolate
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I will agree with White Chocolate on intelligence clauses. They don't seem followed at all, anymore, with people preferring to tie the web up in treaties rather than actually admitting who their targets are.

 

The n has its utility in allowing a little more flexibility among treatying nations. For example,if you like NPO but don't want to encourage defense of NG from a counter in an aggressive war, you can slip that "n" in there so that NPO might defend NG, but counters resulting are not your problem. It can help if you generally aren't included in war planning or prevent scheming to pull you in against another ally.

 

Unfortunately, the jaded use of the M in treaties has resulted in putting together the supremacy clause (or pulling it back, if it's from before my time). I'm honestly surprised that I haven't heard more complaining about that, since it severely impacts the value of M-level treaties already signed. In my own humble opinion, any AA shouldn't commit to more than 3 M-level treaties (particularly interconnected ones). Otherwise, you've devalued yourself as an ally by ensuring you'll be in opposition to at least one of your allies in any given conflict. Blocs count as a single M-level tie in this valuation (1 out of 3) due to the mutual commitments of everyone in the bloc to ensure all act in concert.

 

I'd rather see that "n" in more treaties to create more clearly delineated sides. If you like someone and want to defend them, but aren't close to their allies, then that "n" can save you from a war that you don't care about. I wouldn't even count it against the 3 M limit above, since it deliberately breaks chains of counters.

 

Ultimately, what I'd like to see is more gradual ramp-ups in relationships. This jumping straight into Ms or even Mns are the biggest problem with politics on Bob. There's a range of ties from NAPs to ODoAPs to, yes, MnDoAPs that aren't fully utilized. I'm not a fan of seeing a straight jump from nothing to MDoAP. Even a MnDoAP at least gives you an out if this new friend of yours goes crazy. Relationships aren't an either/or thing, and ebb and rise over time. I'd like to see more treaties recognizing this analog relationship.

 

I understand "n"s make it harder for people to warplan, but that's part of the drama and challenge of it. I get the gratification of just fighting to fight, but that isn't politics. Most people are here for politics.

Edited by Duderonomy
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18 minutes ago, XxHouseArrestXx said:

Speak for yourself lol. 

There's a reason that no one in gov tells me anything. You're confusing AAs for monolithic strawmen. Trust me, some of my opinions are not popular at NG. See my opinions on amount of M-level treaties or the rate at which they are signed.

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1 hour ago, Blackatron said:

 

The important question is; how would one alliance learn about a threat to one of their allies unless they were told in confidence by another of their allies? So the intelligence clause in a treaty would contradict the principle that discussion between allies is private.

 

I think they are just one of those things.

Considering recent events, it's also worth defining what is a threat to another alliance. A plan to roll that alliance itself, obviously, but how far does it extend? Are you required to notify an AA if one of their other treaty partners is on the chopping block? What about an alliance that they are friends with, but not necessarily treaty partners?

 

And to bring back an old gem from oA, does it extend backwards in time? Should coalition builders not only worry about an AAs current treaty partners, but also any treaty partners they may have in the future?

 

Obviously, that's all splitting hairs and elawyery, but it's a result of the cynical treaty-signing nowadays, especially among the "friends>infra" critics. A friend doesn't sign a treaty he doesn't intend to honor. You also don't sign up to an AA, declare one war, and then cry for aid.

 

It's part of the reason that I find treaty cancellations refreshing. While I think downgrades should be used more often, there's no reason that hard feelings should come from them. Sometimes, you see yourselves going in different directions and have to be honest with each other about it. Broken ties can be mended. Betrayed ones shouldn't be.

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4 hours ago, Auctor said:

This became a thing because everyone wanted to keep signing 35-40 treaties apiece.

This.

 

I have never supported MnDoAPs, save for briefly in 2008 when we were attempting to renegotiate BLEU (ended up as just a trade pact [Agora] since blocs were, are, and always will be a terrible idea), which I then quickly reneged on with a poorly written speech about how we need to stand together.

 

But, since no one else I've met seemed to share this view, except Oculus, I have been forced to be content to sign treaties with a non-chaining clause. And people have been decrying Oculus for its lack of a non-chaining clause. Absurd.

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Optional treaties make perfect sense when one considers the fact that action is complicity, and an alliance should not always act, and shouldn't act when to act would be against its character.

 

On 4/29/2013 at 10:21 PM, Schattenmann said:
Quote

Congrats to both involved, so many optionals in there, perhaps a bit more commitment in the next one, but always a good way to foster a greater relationship.

Schatt... Been awhile

 

As a matter of principle, Justitia's Cult signs only optional treaties.  This philosophy pre-dates the advent of the non-chaining MD, but for simplicity's sake the aim is similar.  Barbula and anyone else who can read, continue on; everyone else, you stopped reading 10 words ago anyway.

 

The reasoning behind this is:  Justitia's Cult first and foremost is an entity unto its own, serving only the will of Justitia as interpreted by Her Presbyter; what terrestrial power can then bind us to service?  M-treaties are compulsory; their very nature removes control of an alliance's actions from its leadership and membership, they cede sovereignty into the hands of the other.  Justitia's Cult acts upon its principles; we may or may not enter any war whether we have a treaty or not, based upon the underlying cause of the war, its merits, the principles involved, and our ability to further Justitia's will by doing so.  Those alliances with which we sign a treaty are those whose ideals and principles closely match our own, such that when we sign a treaty, no government need question our loyalty to them, nor us theirs, and will know that Justitia's Cult will defend them where defense is warranted.  But we cannot and will not sign away that ability to discern.  "Optional" has a mewling connotation to the mewling politicians of the world, but for us does not mean "if we think we'll win" it means "because you are in the right, or because you are not."

 

On 7/22/2011 at 9:59 AM, Schattenmann said:


Do that even exist anymore? I mean people only "defend" an ally if he is on the winning side or they drag their feet into a doomed fight.


Optional treaties are the only treaties CoJ has considered. For an alliance that takes things seriously, an optional treaty creates an atmosphere between allies of trust and responsibility. Compulsory treaties remove a lot of logic from the decision-making process; they are enablers of "brilliant political moves." They also preserve sovereignty; an alliance is a sovereign body, compulsory treaties remove the decision from their signatories. Besides, what's the practical difference between an ODP and a MD+ treaty with a non-chaining clause? What's the difference between an ODP and a MD+ that gets "honored" by one party going to war for a week then pulling out while the other still stays at war? No, I'm perfectly comfortable with my optional treaties, and our past and current allies have been as well.

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MDoAP itself was a watered down MADP when folks decided they didn't want to be on the hook for those.

 

Quite honestly, if your commitment to your ally is solely determined by the terms you've agreed to on paper, you're probably a lame ally anyway.

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I'm quite partial to ODoAPs myself, the reason being that I don't want to be drawn into a war that is irrelevant to the interests of my membership, or a war that is a result of an ally failing to follow our advice. I can see the allure of MnDoAPs as well because alot of peripheral alliances don't really want to get sucked into a coalition war where they will have marginal influence at the command table.

 

I've always been a proponent of the rational actor theory and think that alliance governments have a duty to select the course of action best for their membership, rather than because of [ooc] friendships abroad. Sometimes an alliance needs to back an ally because it is in its strategic interests to do so, but feelings of friendship with foreign government officials should never be mixed up in this... that's a path towards compromising your responsibilities as a government officer.

Edited by Immortan Junka
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4 hours ago, Schattenmann said:

Optional treaties make perfect sense when one considers the fact that action is complicity, and an alliance should not always act, and shouldn't act when to act would be against its character.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have no issue with ODOAPs. I would just prefer that we didn't undermine the value of MDoAPs with non-chaining clauses.

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21 minutes ago, Wayfarer said:

 

I have no issue with ODOAPs. I would just prefer that we didn't undermine the value of MDoAPs with non-chaining clauses.

MDoAPs are still MDoAPs (barring supremecy clauses). If someone will sign an MnDoAP with you but not a MDoAP, then there's a book you should read:

15979707.jpg

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I think non-chaining MDPs make sense if you're signing with someone who might have other treaty partners you don't 100% support. It let's an alliance choose who they support without letting the treaty Web pull them into wars they don't support.

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32 minutes ago, Sephiroth said:

I think non-chaining MDPs make sense if you're signing with someone who might have other treaty partners you don't 100% support. It let's an alliance choose who they support without letting the treaty Web pull them into wars they don't support.

This is really all it's about. You can't force your allies to only ally people you like and so on, even as small as the game is now.

 

Non-chaining MDPs also allow for containment of wars before they go global, which means less ridiculous amount of bloodletting because someone got bored and hit the right part of the treaty web to make some drama.

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10 hours ago, DragonsPhyre said:

This is really all it's about. You can't force your allies to only ally people you like and so on, even as small as the game is now.

 

Non-chaining MDPs also allow for containment of wars before they go global, which means less ridiculous amount of bloodletting because someone got bored and hit the right part of the treaty web to make some drama.

I think the problem as OP sees it is that every treaty these days is an MnDoAP. Meaning that no one wants to be 100% committed to defending another alliance.

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1 hour ago, Vladimir Poutine said:

I think the problem as OP sees it is that every treaty these days is an MnDoAP. Meaning that no one wants to be 100% committed to defending another alliance.

Being 100% committed to defending another alliance means that you, as an alliance not just the government, need to be 100% sure that other alliance will never make a choice entering a war that you disagree with vehemently. It also means having the kind of relationship between alliances that survives when that inevitably happens. Ideally, a MDoAP is a sign of that kind of relationship and built trust, a public statement that your two alliances have enough shared values and goals that you can't see each other operating at their best without the other one behind their back.

 

Reality is, of course, very different. Treaties are political tools, same as wars. And similar to wars, they've become heavily leaned on and somewhat devalued over the years as the treaty web expands, contracts, and splits according to whatever winds the various governments and active members feel blowing. Right now, those winds are highly in favor of Oculus so the treaty web is centered around them and they are the instigators of major alliance wars. Some alliances are just far more able and willing to put their values and plans into motion and so those become the norm around which most of the rest operate. Could it change? Yes, sure, but it requires a deep cultural shift. That takes time and risks on behalf of alliances both big and small. Not everyone is willing to commit to that for different reasons. It's about playing it safe and comfortable vs risky and potentially very volatile.

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