The past century of peace with the advent of CONCORD has been a prosperous one for the Caldari State. Material conditions for the citizens of the State has grown as trade has been expanded and the demand for goods and technologies produced by Caldari corporations have been fulfilled in the interstellar marketplace. With the increase in peace has come with it a decrease in defense spending and military recruitment in the post-war environment following peace accords with the Gallente Federation.
While we in the State should never enjoy the material benefits of peace, the war with the Triglavian Collective has shown the military apparatus of the State caught by surprise and made complacent resulting in great loss of Caldari life and territories. The Triglavian Collective, while now a new threat to the State is not the only security challenge faced. Old foes in the Gallente Federation have been quietly re-arming during the administration of President Jacus Roden and expanding their military industries. The threat from the Minmatar Republic across our shared borders continues to require constant deterrence and vigilance.
The poor performance of the State military during the Triglavian invasions has clearly demonstrated that meaningful reforms need to take place to ensure the continued safety of the Caldari people. We have been lulled into a false sense of security and complacency with a century of peace and we must become awake to the requirements of new wars and their necessity of violence.
Expansion of the State military will come with costs, citizens may have to accept longer conscription terms in the military, lowered wages, or a decrease in material comforts and consumer goods. However, given the need to secure the survival of the State militarily these may be sacrifices that need to be made in order to ensure the continued welfare of the Caldari people.
It seems like you answered your own question, so I’ll mark this one down to an op-ed.
Despite my populist stance on the citizenry of the state and the reforms necessary to rebuild it, I’m actually not against rebuilding a more robust Navy in the service of the Caldari people in the interest of reducing reliance on corporate military and police forces. The Navy’s first priority is the defense and prosperity of the State, operating in a structure unbeholden to the whims of an individual megacorp manned by working class statesmen. Though I’ve butted heads with the Navy in the past, I’ve seen too many popular movements by workers brutally and barbarically quelled by corporate police and I don’t relish the idea of holes in the State’s defense being shored up by these corporate goons that would otherwise be manned by sympathetic statesmen in touch with their sense of humanity and solidarity with the common folk.
What I wonder though, and what the CEP ought to make public, is the realities and bottlenecks in logistics during the Invasion. Diving into this headfirst without adequate information seems like a surefire way to force increased demands on labor for exactly the same wage to meet an arbitrarily inflated production quota. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from what I understand of EDENCOM reports the issue isn’t so much the number of ships the State is able to field but the effectiveness. Missile technology specifically was poorly applied, and Navy doctrine failed to adapt to the requirements of combat against the Collective in lue of sticking to dated offensive missile doctrine not updated in decades.
Rather than focusing on the quantity perhaps the state should focus on the quality of their Navy by investing in updated redesigns for aging ship layouts based knowledge gained from the invasion and replacing their aging command structure with younger, more forward thinking officers capable of adapting to this new era of combat.
Given current CONCORD technology sharing protocols I feel seeking a qualitative advantage over potential adversaries in equipment and materiel is limited. There is merit in seeking a qualitative advantage in regards to tactics, doctrine, and command however that touches on the relationship between corporate militaries and the Navy and Army.
It is common practice for Navy and Army veterans to join a corporate military upon the conclusion of their term of enlistment. Increasingly this has left corporate militaries with a depth of experience and command capability to the detriment of national institutions whose force structure has had to rely on conscripts to make up their numbers and as the Triglavian invasions have shown, an ineffective command cadre.
Given this, I think the role of the corporate militaries in national defence needs to be reconsidered. If they are the only institutions with the capacity to conduct an effective defence of State interests at present then they could be given an expanded role to do so.
I’d partially agree with the expansion of corporate armed forces into the overall defense of the State. Not to imply that they don’t already: corporate military forces have a long and stories history of defending the borders of the State, especially areas where a given megacorporation has a vested interest in. Considering some corporqte security forces are better trained than the Navy, I think it would be quite useful to implement programs to cycle some former Navy members who’ve gone on to corporate security forces, back into the Navy to provide training. I was in the Navy myself, and I often saw young and promising officers get snatched up with lucrative contracts from their parent corporation, instead of going on to continue to serve the Navy.
There would no doubt be some contention between individuals from rival corporations who are more entrenched into their respective corporate culture than your standard fresh Navy recruit, but I think the Caldari spirit would usually win out in the end. Loyalty to the corporation is only slightly superceded by loyalty to the State.
The State is the apparatus of government under which the Caldari people has united since secession day. Each citizen must look after the well-being of the State, in the same way that the State must look after the well-being of it’s citizens. Therefore, if the current measures are not sufficient to keep our people safe, then the situation must be altered so that they are.
YC122 showed that the State Armed Forces and the Corporate Security Forces were not capable of trading evenly with the Triglavians. This despite the fact that the performance of the Triglavians against every other major power was less than noteworthy. During an interview which was never published, I attributed this to the following issues:
1: Over-reliance on launchers, particularly battleship-size launchers, against an enemy whose ships had high speeds and low signature radii for vessels of their respective tonnage.
2: Exclusively using Mjolnir munitions against an enemy who exclusively relied on armour instead of shields.
3: Inexplicable shield resist holes which made it impossible for Caldari Navy or Loyalist Capsuleer logistics ships to keep Caldari Navy ships alive.
4: The inexplicable decision to concentrate all Electronic Warfare modules present on the grid on whichever Triglavian ship had been designated as the primary target for weapons fire, despite everyone who ever operated one knowing that these modules do not stack by intensity.
These issues were consistently brought up by Loyalist Capsuleers during the invasions, and they were consistently ignored whilst system after system disappeared into the void. Pouring additional funding and manpower into the navy will not have the desired result unless these glaring issues are resolved first.
However, there is another glaring problem which remains unaddressed to this day, namely that the most effective force the Triglavians had at their disposal during the invasions consisted of Traitor Capsuleers.
When Capsuleers decided to betray their parent nations in order to support a bunch of masked bastards who had no compunction about abducting entire systems worth of people, CONCORD did not react. Even now, CONCORD has not reacted. The traitors were not hunted down. They were not punished at all. To this day they are as free to wander into our sovereign territory as the most ardent loyalists.
The possibility that this inaction is caused by a lack of information or means at CONCORD’s disposal is non-existent, as they proved themselves perfectly capable of ignoring entire fleets of traitor Capsuleers, whilst also proving themselves capable of instantly annihilating any loyalist Capsuleer who accidentally shot or repped the wrong thing due to sleep deprivation whilst trying to save their people.
If CONCORD continues to insist that Capsuleers should be placed under it’s legislation, rather than that of their parent nations, and then proceeds to let them run amok in this manner, then CONCORD, by virtue of it’s decrees and inaction, is a detriment to not just the State, but to the whole cluster.
I am reluctant to comment, because speaking of this in public means exposing our shame and weakness to outsiders. But something must indeed be done, and the CEP has done little to reassure loyal Caldari this will be fixed.
As Tereven-haani alludes to, the problem appears not to be one of numbers or hardware, but of incompetent leadership. Too many brave citizens were led wholesale to slaughter at the command of incompetent donkeys.
Perhaps subversion also played a part. Someone deserves to be given a taste of their own tea, but the CEP remains silent. The Navy in dire need of reform.
Given the failure of the Navy in holding Caldari Prime in YC 115; the widespread subversion of its officers by Templis Dragonaur terrorists which saw Naval assets used to assist the renegade Tibus Heth; and now the incompetence shown by the Navy in defending State territories against the Triglavian Collective I think a serious discussion needs to be had on the ability of the Caldari Navy as a whole and what role it should play in the national defence into the future.
The Caldari Navy is a prestigious institution given its historical role in the State, but past performance means little if it cannot meet the requirements of today.
While the corporate militaries are post-war institutions and perhaps do not have the same prestige or historical status as the Caldari Navy or Army together they are larger than the State Armed Forces and meet or exceed it in training and equipment.
I think it might be time to seriously consider a corporate military version of the Chief Executive Panel under the joint command of the CEP Chair and task it with the duties of the national defence of the State.
We have different opinions concerning the campaign in YC115. I have always staunchly opposed the Provists but I would not call the campaign a failure.
I may regret mentioning this, because I have no desire to make this about ‘me’, but before my capsule training I was a Captain in the Navy. I am perhaps too close to this subject; some part of me will always be a Navy man. I want to see my proud institution thrive well into the future.
But I humbly suggest this gives me some small insight into the Navy’s flaws. My impression of the top brass was that much work could be done to improve the way merit is currently selected. The situation is serious, but I do not think hopeless. We should try to heal the Navy, not discard her.
I meant no disrespect to your service in the Navy or the uniform. However, I think I and many others grew up on the stories of heroism and valour performed by the Caldari Navy in the war of independence. I consider that the reason so many have continued to protest and riot in the aftermath of the Triglavian invasions is that the sense of betrayal runs as deep as the trust and respect that was afforded the Caldari Navy to defend the Caldari people.
I suppose ultimately the question as to whether the Caldari Navy continues as it has as an institution is based on whether it even can be reformed, or if the reasons for its failures are so systemic and run too deep that reform is impossible.
I think ultimately we shouldn’t let our love for tradition and history affect decisions based on performance and ability – especially where matters of the security of the State are concerned.
And if they are ‘so systemic’ as you imply? What then? Dissolve it? I’m sure 8 megacorporate navies, each 1/8th the size of the Caldari Navy, will work fine. It’s not like they’ll have completely separate command and control structures, or be so mutually mistrustful and rivalrous that they’ll have difficulty coordinating. And certainly, they’d never just fail to show up to defend the assets of another mega, right?
Face it: the threshold for ‘reform is impossible’ is too high to bear, because the alternatives to actually attempting whatever reform the Caldari Navy needs… are completely inadequate, unworkable, and asking for even greater failure.
If it is shown that the Caldari Navy is now surplus to the requirements of defence of the State, then its dissolution should always be considered as an option. Alternatively, with respects to its history the Navy could operate museum fleets to educate the youth on the glories of the past.
That being said, I think the Triglavian invasions of the State has shown the current force structures of the State Armed Forces are increasingly inadequate to defend the Caldari people. Mass conscription may have worked in the past, but relying on conscripts fulfilling their mandatory service seems an untenable strategy for the present. Three years is just enough time for a conscript to achieve maturity and experience in modern tactics and doctrines at which point they are rotated out of service.
Caldari corporate militaries show an alternative approach which is more appropriate for the demands of modern warfare: a volunteer force that is highly motivated, well trained, and staffed wholly by career professionals who consider war their vocation. The interests of the State and its defence is better served by professional war-fighters as opposed to conscripts who by comparison are lacking in experience, motivation, and tactics given their terms of service.
The creation of a joint command under the CEP overseeing the combined operations of corporate militaries in the national interest and defence by facilitating co-operation, interoperability between the different branches, personnel exchanges, and joint training operations. Far from increasing tensions, military co-operation between CEP members would foster mutual understanding and diplomacy in the shared interests of the State.
I see no need for pessimism in doing so, for while it is true competition might become heated at times in the State that never means Caldari consider each other enemies, especially where the common good is concerned.
The idea that the problems plaguing the Navy are so systemic as to make reform impossible does not necessarily mean that the Navy ‘is now surplus to the requirements of defence of the State’. Nor does the difference in approach between mass conscription and a professional Navy mean that an institution used to dealing with the former cannot be shifted to the latter.
As for the creation of a joint command under the CEP… you’d be again duplicating existing C&C capabilities. But no, you wouldn’t be reducing rivalries or mistrust. Instead, you’d be creating it within the individual corporate forces—units often tasked with inter-corporate cooperation would begin to be seen as having split loyalties.
And there would be units that are more-frequently assigned to the joint command, in part for exactly the reason you (correctly, IMO) object to mass conscription: in order to avoid it, everyone would need to cycle through the joint command, but that would leave units being cycled out just as they were getting fully acclimated to the new way of doing things. Then they’d be back in their corporate command structure, having to re-acclimate to that and running the risk of poor performance during that period. Unless every corporate force were immediately transitioned to doing things exactly the way the joint command group does things (which means abandoning their respective corporate cultural variations), that kind of rotation would essentially mean poorer performance both in and immediately following the joint deployment period.
I think the worst has already occurred for the State during the Triglavian invasions. The Caldari State came under attack from an external enemy and the ill-defined role and scope of corporate militaries in the national defence played a significant role in the failures that arose.
I believe the lack of protocols for unified command between the SAF and Megacorp security lead to an inability to best co-ordinate the use of all military assets available. There might be an onus of responsibility made upon the Caldari Navy but they were not the only military forces that could have been deployed at the time.
As such we in the State should make plans that better incorporate and co-ordinate all the forces available both national and corporate to best ensure the common defence now and into the future.
We do prefer peace and trade over war. But being peaceful doesn’t mean being toothless. Being peaceful implies having means of fighting but resorting not to.
In the same way not taking action when you’re invaded or asking others to take down arms is not being peaceful or pacifist either - it’s being a coward and a doormat. (I’ve brought it up since I remember a lot of such pathetic doormats telling me to ‘stop fighting gallenteans’ when we were being invaded by them during glorious days of YC110-115).
I think this has only happened due to the whims of the Triglavian Collective. Given the performance of the State military during their invasions if the Triglavians had wanted to capture all the territory of the State there would have been little preventing them doing so.
I am open to discussing ideas and opinions on the IGS irrespective of their source. Outside perspective or experience can provide novel insights.
I think the unfortunate reality we face right now is that despite our desire for peace, we continue to be called to make war. I think the Amarr have the right idea, we need to expand our military to defend ourselves.
I believe in intensive development way more than extensive. Two centuries ago when we won our independence from gallenteans we managed to win not because we had larger army, in fact, our numbers were quite small in comparison to gallenteans. We won because we were better pilots than them despite their numbers.
You left. You upped stakes and left your homeworld. It was the right decision, and it’s what let you come back centuries later to liberate those you had to leave behind, but if you’d won that initial war, there wouldn’t have been a need to liberate the place, it would never have been occupied.