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So why exactly PanO isn't armed up to the teeth ?

Discussion in 'PanOceania' started by eciu, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. Solar

    Solar Well-Known Member

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    I'll give you a much closer power analogy: military action by Israel against Iranian positions in Syria where Iran has lost men and material but has not declared war because it was not in their interest to do so.
     
  2. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    It's a non-core issue. Israel action in Syria isn't stopping Assad from winning so the consequences of tolerating Israeli action are minor.

    The consequences of tolerating PanO action was the establishment of the Japanese state and a significant upset in the balance of power in the Human Sphere. And that's before you consider the implications for regime survival.

    I agree that it's conceivable that YJ wouldn't escalate in response to PanO action. But I am saying that tolerating PanO action paints YJ a lot weaker than we've previously seen it. So much so that I don't see how it can act as a balancing power to PanO. Basically, I don't see how YJ can be the principal military balance for PanO while simultaneously being so weak as to tolerate PanO interference in this circumstance.

    The argument for "momentary weakness" as they deal with the uprising (al la Russia 1918-22) is valid. In which case Haqq and Nomads have seriously misstepped: but there's no real justification for them doing so. Equally PanO gambled heavily on YJ not escalating for relatively little gain.

    I find this incoherent with the structure of the setting, I also think it's unnecessary for the Uprising to be successful. It's always struck me as "a no fly zone seems like a good idea, how to make that work?"
     
  3. Stiopa

    Stiopa Trust The Fuckhead
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    Haqq and Nomad leaders aren't infallible. They might've - incorrectly - perceived YJ as a greater threat to their interests than Pan). It'd be a severe case of forgetting one of the core rules of realpolitik since at least Machiavelli, but people can be that stupid at times.

    PanO got quite a lot from the whole trainwreck; a new, relatively developed market for their goods and services. An opportunity to get an inside look at YJ military tech. A certain degree of soft power, as they might play the "defender of the weak" card for all it's worth.
     
  4. eciu

    eciu Easter worshiper

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    And all it will get is IA intervention and "Anticimento explodes" ^^ ;P
     
  5. Skoll

    Skoll Well-Known Member
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    the argument for momentary weakness can certainly be made. remember that large portions of the JSA were integrated into the yu jing military and the uprising began explosively with assassinations and hostile takeovers. A momentarily shaken yu jing, can ill afford to go to war with a power that outclasses them. Reminder that yu jing is a super power and pano is a hyper power, while yu jing is second to Pano it is not a close second.

    While Pano commits what would in all honesty be considered a warcrime (i.e. fighting the whole undeclared war in a foreign nations territory ). It was certainly not done so before an army of lawyers and aleph assisted law computing was done to make sure the O-12 would almost without a shadow of a doubt rule on their side, giving them legitimacy.

    We dont know how the O-12 works exactly, and we cant assume our factions work like the security council. So I dont think we can assume this functions like cold war intervention.

    Korean war would not have happened later in the cold war as Russian and Chinese veto would have prevented the UN sanctioned conflict.

    It is in fact likely that had Russia not had absolute veto power, uprisings in the red block would have received UN military backing. After the brink of the Cuban missile crisis both powers were incredibly hesitant to ever let escalations reach the threshold of mutual nuclear annihilation.
     
  6. Solar

    Solar Well-Known Member

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    What is strategically tolerable is defined by what you can do something about before it is defined by what you will do something about.

    Say you are the supreme commander of Yu Jing, the General Secretary of the Party or whatever. Your subordinates tell you that PanOceanian aircraft have enforced a blockade of some JSA positions and caused casualties amongst your strike craft. So what are the options? Obviously, this is a Casus Belli. But then, is war with PanO what you want right now?

    Can you actually expect to be able to win an all out conflict with the most powerful military force in the Sphere during an Uprising including a large part of your military? YJ during the Uprising was the weakest it has ever been, comparatively. The JSA performs significant roles for the YJ military and it's just kicked off across the Sphere, causing you to at a stroke 1) lose the entire capability of the JSA and 2) take thousands of casualties in loyal units dealing with that, and 3) have to direct huge numbers of loyal troops towards containing and dealing with that problem.

    YJ provided a balancing block to PanO in the sense that it had the resources and political will to withstand the casualties caused by an all-out war with PanOceania. It has never had the same amount of military might, but it could challenge and it could require PanO to pour huge amounts of resources into a conflict which would not be over quickly or easily, thus meaning that PanO was averse to war (we can win but are we willing to pay the cost?). But in the Uprising? The Hexahedron must have been filled with officers and analysts who couldn't believe their luck! Now is the chance to shore up a genuine long term strategic disaster for YJ and they cannot do anything about it, because if they declare open war over this that gives PanO a Casus Belli to go to town and strike YJ at it's weakest. They probably had some plans based on expecting that to happen! YJ made the right move in accepting the losses caused by PanO aircraft and not allowing themselves to be suckered into war with the Hyperpower while their forces are in disarray.

    Post the Uprising, the YJ high command put serious effort into boosting their effective capability in the short term so as to dissuade PanO from acting in that way again. As a result, PanO likely wouldn't make the same move, because the cost of that war is considerably more significant.
     
  7. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.

    Balance of power doesn't follow the logic.

    If Yu Jing is crippled by the loss of DaiNippon, then why the hell are Nomads and Haqq crippling their foil to PanO's crap? Regardless of moral outrage of the public. Because again, countries act in their own self-interest. Sometimes said self-interest is shorter-termed than others (say, Brits and French carving up the old Ottoman Empire in 1918, which led us to all the Middle East wars, because they drew lines on a map instead of breaking up the Ottoman Empire along the traditional tribal/cultural/religious boundaries). But that analysis of "Strong YJ + Nomads + Haqq (+-Ariadna) = PanO (+-Ariadna)" is about as basic as you get in Strategic Calculus. That's always been the described voting blocks in the fluff, even.

    If Yu Jing is not crippled by the loss of DaiNippon, then PanO is picking a fight with someone with just as many WMDs as they have, and who has demonstrated a much lower reluctance to engage in atrocities. Up to and including leveling their own cities with arty and air. Wouldn't be hard to 'accidentally' have a 'damaged spaceship' fall out of orbit onto a PanO city, let alone actually say, "fine, you want a war? It's on."



    Basically, the Nomads and Haqq are acting as if the loss of DaiNippon is little more than an annoyance to YJ overall, while PanO is acting as if it is crippling.

    Both of those statements cannot be true at the same time.



    All YJ had to do to respond to PanO's Steel Wall was to pull back from any position on Paradiso that was covering PanO territory. "Sorry, we have to deal with an internal problem and are overstretched right now. You gotta cover that space yourself." A particularly snarky Mandarin might suggest that PanO use some of those extra assets currently buzzing around YJ territory, but never in public (that would be horribly nekulturniye).
     
  8. AdmiralJCJF

    AdmiralJCJF Heart of the Hyperpower
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    Well, if you assume for a moment that PanOceania might be better informed about the real value of much of the Japanese territory than Haqqislam and the Nomads are (which might well be true) then it's not unbelievable that there might be very different understandings of the impact of the Uprising.

    And it's very fair to point to the crippling effect of integrated military forces turning on one another in a civil war. Entire armies have been functionally destroyed in many modern examples when that has happened. So arguing that PanOceania was acting in a "moment of weakness" isn't hard.

    Furthermore it's very clear that the arguments over Steel Wall rely on engagement inside Yu Jing sovereign territory. Shifting the onus away from that now that it's clear that this is an assumption unsupported in the text only demonstrates the overall weakness of the position arguing Uprising as an unexplained fuckup.
     
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  9. Solar

    Solar Well-Known Member

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    Yu Jing is temporarily reduced to a position where it is not in it's (Yu Jing's) interests to declare open war against PanO despite PanOceanian destruction of its aircraft over its territory. Situations change and this is one of them. The situation wrt the Nomads and Haqqislam is different because they are different powers with a different relationship with YJ.
     
  10. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    That is a granted point.

    But it is very surprising that the Nomads and Haqq (who were *also* approached by The Gray Man) wouldn't have the same info. I mean, it's relatively trivial to find local GDP-per-capita information, even for China.


    Also granted, but it is one HELL of a gamble.


    No, I'm no longer arguing the point because there's nothing more I can say that will convince anyone of the magnitude of holy fucking shit we're talking about. The US had to send multiple ships into the Black Sea and explicitly make the point that Turkey was still part of NATO and that Article 5 would apply to make that 2015 Su24 shootdown not turn into a war.



    Look, at this point we need to start talking about strategic assumptions. It's open information that the US tries to keep forces available to fight one or two limited (ie, non-nuclear) wars against a peer nation (ok, let's name them Russia and China-backed North Korea), plus 2 brushfire wars elsewhere (Say, Iraq and Afghanistan). Plus the strategic forces to fight a planet-ending nuclear war, but we don't talk about them much.

    Russia planned for about the same, though they relied a bit more on their nuclear side to level the playing field. Different national attitudes towards nukes, after all. The Russians saw small nukes (Hiroshima or Nagasaki-sized) as being really dang big bombs, but still tactical-commander release and not political-leader release. The Americans saw any nuclear use as strategic.

    The UK, as a maritime empire, planned the Royal Navy to be big enough to defeat any peer competitor in a shooting war, AND still maintain their regular patrols everywhere else. Once your nation gets colonies on other planets, you really need to think like a maritime empire (more like the US or UK, less like Russia or China). Travel time between home and your colony is just too long otherwise.

    Since the Human Sphere has been in space for about a hundred years, that should be enough time for everyone to wrap their minds around it. Plus, PanO should be familiar with the idea, being largely heirs to the old Commonwealth and British Empire before that. I'd be very surprised if Yu Jing didn't take all the pages from the Pacific War, where the US understood a maritime empire (and was/is one) and the Japanese, well, didn't.


    But now we get to the ugly, unexpected habanero.

    Once you get into space, everyone has WMDs. Private-company asteroid miners have kinetic WMDs, and may even have nuclear excavation charges.

    Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest SOB in the galaxy, after all (thank you Mass Effect 2!).

    250,000tons of basic nickel-iron is cheap and relatively easy to divert into a planetary impact trajectory, given enough time to do it (at minimum energy, a year or so to the Belt, however long to wait for the right rocks and alignments, and maybe a month of low-power thrusting to put the rock into an impact trajectory because it's a very heavy load to shift). Said quarter-million tons of iron is all of 34,250 m^3. That's a sphere a little over 40 meters in diameter, fairly small and easy to miss unless you were looking in the right direction when it was nudged. Once in motion, it's dead cold, not radiating anything.

    At Earth escape velocity, a mere 12km/sec, she will pack 4 megatons. That's basically minimum yield possible. At minimal Earth-Belt travel speeds, make that 16 megatons (remember, bang goes up at the square of the speed increase, so twice the speed means 4x the boom). And we're usually talking a couple times faster than that in the Infinity Sphere.

    So when the Fan gets a large load of sewage, you'd better have a solid track on every single rock in every solar system you have a colony in.

    And this isn't counting someone getting a wild idea to boost a small-ish spacecraft (I'm talking small naval ship size, so ~5,000 tons and probably more like 10k) and deciding to 'land' it on a military base at a thousand km/sec. Or a city.
     
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  11. AdmiralJCJF

    AdmiralJCJF Heart of the Hyperpower
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    I get that you enjoy waving your strategic experience around, and repeating the same things about the ease with which any spaceborne power (or even less) have access to them, but they aren't relevant to this conversation at all.

    The whole Uprising was fought in places everyone involved wanted to capture/control intact (as much as possible) and the widest scale atrocities were on a much lower tactical level.

    And, furthermore, it has no bearing on the key points of disagreement.

    There's nothing more I can do to explain that there are multiple real world examples of peer powers (which is one of the key points you are ignoring, you keep turning back to the US which is a terrible example because it doesn't have any modern peer powers) interfering openly in uprisings without provoking a wider war.

    Beyond which, and this is the real killer for your position, you've admitted yourself that it's clear that ALEPH supported the uprising. At which point Yu Jing are objectively fucked no matter what else is going on. That point alone makes everything you have been appealing to void.
     
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  12. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    I'm referring to US experience and practice during the Cold War, when we *had* a major league peer, the Soviets. The US maintained a Standing Army in Europe big enough to fight 3/4 of the entire Soviet army, plus an 'if you start a fight in Korea, you *are* fighting the US' division or so. And we still kept enough other troops around to do things like Vietnam (550,000 at peak), additional forces in Japan, regular deployments of Marines into the Mediterranean Sea or anywhere else, etc.

    And I keep harping on the strategic problem because we need times of conflict when both sides have the ability to utterly annihilate each other to compare against.

    If you step back to the British Empire, nobody could destroy them. The weapons didn't exist. So you saw a lot more gunboat diplomacy then. You don't see much direct gunboat diplomacy between the US and USSR during the Cold War, it was all proxy fights. Or bumper boats and black ops like in Infinity.

    @AdmiralJCJF , you should really read the book Blind Man's Bluff.


    Today, Russians still have the strategic weapons, but don't have the tactical balance-of-forces advantage they had during the Cold War.

    The Chinese don't have the Strategic weapons numbers like the Russians do, but do have the tactical ground forces to pull it off. The Chinese lack the Sealift (amphibious assault ships) to be able to project that power much beyond their borders, though.

    So the US can get away with a lot of gunboat diplomacy to anyone but Russia, and Russia can get away with it with anyone, because no-one is willing to run the risk that the Russians won't lob a nuke to make their point. Somewhat ironic, considering that the US is the only nation to use nukes in war.
     
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  13. AdmiralJCJF

    AdmiralJCJF Heart of the Hyperpower
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    You just proved my point with your own response.

    Even the Russians were never the peer of the US, not at any point in the Cold War.

    Re-read the first paragraph of your own post.
     
  14. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I know what I wrote. Probably should edit that to say "The US and NATO maintained a standing army in Europe big enough to fight 3/4 of the entire Soviet army." But I will leave it as-is. Plus, the Soviets do have a nice long coastline to send Marine Divisions to go visit. Arctic or Pacific sides. Not to forget punching up through Georgia etc west of the Caspian Sea. The Soviets were highly unlikely to leave their borders undefended, so the NATO forces in Europe wouldn't have to face the entire Soviet Army directly.

    The Soviet side of that ground-combat equation was counterbalanced by their nuclear advantage. More birds, bigger yield warheads (due to lesser accuracy), and more warheads per bird after the SS-19 missile went into service.

    The US (and rest of NATO) probably could have held if the ball had gone up but things stayed non-nuclear, though things see-sawed back and forth in relative ground-forces power balance. Anytime after about 1985, you could roughly plan on one NATO tank company (~14 tanks) stopping an entire Soviet tank battalion (33+ tanks). Things get a little iffy in the late 1960s and up to the early 1980s, because the T64/72/80 had a much bigger gun (125mm) than their NATO counterparts (105mm). Before the 1960s, there's rough parity. 100mm gun in the T55s versus 90mm in the M26/47/48s. NATO optics were better, so more likely to get hits beyond 1500m, but the Soviets had looked at the terrain and said "we only need to worry about hitting up to 1500m." So you'd see a few really long-range shots thinning the hordes, then the Soviets would get into dead ground where the tanks couldn't see them, and then there's a horrible shooting match as soon as the incoming Tank Division (~3x Regiments of 3x tank battalions each, so a good 300 tanks) pops over the hill 1500m away from the first NATO positions. The assumption is that any one NATO battalion is facing an entire Tank Division. NATO is planning defense in depth, shoot and fall back, repeat until no more tanks, assuming that large portions of Germany will be at least temporarily lost to the Soviet advance. Hope there weren't too many bio or chemical weapons used there...

    As soon as the Soviets start throwing nukes around though... ugh. Game over, man!
     
  15. Solodice

    Solodice Freshly Squeezed Troll

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    So, uh, yeah we've nose dived into O/T land in here.

    @psychoticstorm I think this thread might of ran its logical course...

    Also, Uprising is over and done with. JSA is gone for YJ, the fluff ranged from meh to bleh, and the CB PR was bad. Time to move on.
     
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  16. AdmiralJCJF

    AdmiralJCJF Heart of the Hyperpower
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    So, yeah.

    I still disagree with the facts of your claims regarding the Uprising.

    Nothing added here has changed that.
     
  17. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    What was the topic again?
     
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  18. Stiopa

    Stiopa Trust The Fuckhead
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    "PanO cannot into nice things"
     
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  19. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    Why PanO's actions against YJ were a huge gamble that they were lucky paid off and presage significant shake ups in the balance of power within the Human Sphere.

    And why this was an unconvincing turn of events (Edit: @Stiopa neatly summarised precisely why it's so unconvincing).

    Or at least that's what I was discussing.
     
  20. Stiopa

    Stiopa Trust The Fuckhead
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    To expand on that:

    Discussion on Uprising/real life politics and strategy really belongs to a different thread.

    Most recent "PanO can't nice things" wave had obviously faded (for now). Personally, I'm holding my judgement until any and all November updates. @eciu, I'm still planning to write my letter to CB, just after the updates. Will keep you posted.
     
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