Masters of EarthEdit
The one constant in CEGA's political situation is turmoil. Although the Administration has grown through the years, weathering the effects of both positive and negative decisions, it has remained in a constant state of flux and Earth remains split by hatred and ruined by war. The Solar nations look askance at such chaos from their civilized and well-supplied stations, but they are poorly-situated to properly understand the actions taken and policies implemented by CEGA in the interest of global unity. Contrary to its outward appearance, CEGA is always changing (as its many factions vie for control), always growing, (as it restores a polluted planet) and always fighting against enemies both real and imagined.
The constant upheavals are partially responsible for external perceptions of CEGA as a political juggernaut; from the perspective of the colonies, CEGA is adapting to changes in its environment at an alarming rate. In this sense the contortions serve CEGA well, since many observers spend so much time trying to work out where the Administration is going that they do not stop to look at why it is moving in the first place. This is a critical failure; behind the fagade of unity lies a government moving in so many contradictory directions that it may well pull itself apart.
CEGA propaganda constantly proclaims that the clean-up of the Earth's environment requires unity under its administration. Despite the self-serving rhetoric, there is a basis of truth to this claim. The damage done during the late twenty-first and early twenty-second century is so widespread and severe that any repair requires operations on a global scale. However, CEGA has failed to coordinate eco-restoration projects on any scale since 2184, engendering doubts as to its commitment to restoring the planet. Existing cooperation is done solely at the behest of various Councilors cajoling and encouraging their home nations to undertake joint projects.
CEGA has used its funds to encourage the restoration of some areas, notably the Nile Valley, parts of the North American Great Plains and other eco-restoration works that individual member nations were either unable or unwilling to fund themselves. This has always been done with a specific purpose in mind, mostly with regard to improved resource extraction or reinforced control over a region. CEGA has avoided launching restoration projects solely for the sake of environment, especially in cases that would require the cooperation of a number of member nations. Thus, the Great Lakes and Rhine River remain poisonous, polluting all the lands around them and adding to the ongoing deterioration of the North Atlantic.
Every member nation is working toward returning its territory to its pre-Fall state, but they are doing so without coordination and with varying levels of devotion. For instance, on the North American west coast, the Green States of California have achieved great success. There, the only remaining ecological threat are the radioactive ruins of pre-Fall metropolises. On the other hand, the Maritime League's industrial expansion on the North American east coast has worsened the environmental problems, making even a few hours of breathing outside air hazardous to humans. This seesawing situation will not change without greater commitment and cooperation between member nations. However, the growing needs of Solar expansion are forcing many member nations to repeat the mistakes of their forefathers, risking a second Fall in their desire for Earth to regain its leading role in the Solar System.
No other member of the USN is under as much scrutiny by SolaPol's Edicts Enforcement Bureau as CEGA. The Administration supports dozens of military research labs and its member nations possess hundreds more between them. These labs are spread over three continents and well hidden, as much to avoid espionage as to prevent lawful investigation. This massive effort is due to the widespread belief within CEGA that Earth is at a grave technological disadvantage. Not all member nations agree with this prognosis; the League, in particular, claims scientific equality with any power in the Solar System. However, while this may be true in specific areas, such as in the important fields of exo-armor and drive system design, CEGA is noticeably behind the other Solar nations in virtually every other scientific discipline.
Only the conquest of the Orbitals made CEGA at all competitive in space, but both Jupiter and Venus remain well ahead in terms of technology and proficiency. To remedy this situation, CEGA is pouring resources into space research, to the detriment of eco-restoration efforts and ground-based technologies. The Non-Aligned States are taking advantage of this focus; CEGA has recently lost thelead in military exo-suit design to Japan, complementing the loss of superiority in naval exo-armors to the Australia-New Zealand Commonwealth (ANZAC) in 2210. CEGA's emphasis on military research has also failed to produce the economic benefits that a more balanced effort would bring.
The search for ever more powerful weapons also leads to dangerous ethical issues regarding the Edicts, especially given Earth's history of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons use during the Third World War. While no side used weapons of mass destruction during the Unification Wars, most nations did produce them. Rumors that CEGA is pursuing research into biological weapons are commonly held to be true, though CEGA has so far only been reprimanded for minor Edict violations. Edicts Enforcement Bureau agents are receiving an ever-decreasing level of cooperation from member nations. If any lab is discovered to be producing bioweapons, the social and political backlash would likely result in severe international sanctions, further weakening CEGA and Earth as a whole.
CEGA's "unified capitalist economy" is outwardly healthy, but has a little-publicized flaw. In truth, CEGA has no true national economy because its member nations have not integrated their individual financial systems. While CEGA does have official currency, its pretentiously-titled Earth dollar is in everyday use only in off-planet CEGA installations. On Earth, every member nation issues a currency of its own. The most powerful are the Royal Franc and Maritime Dollar, with the Swiss Franc, lndies Pound and Scandinavian Kronar running closely behind. The member nations also possess a multitude of economic systems, from semi-feudal to socialist.
Only a few truly have capitalist economic systems like those of the Solar Nations. The few capitalistic members of CEGA are the ones most responsible for its vigorous economic growth and financial success. The two largest capitalist nations, the Maritime League and West Indian Federation, are democracies; they tend to have low levels of corruption and high levels of efficiency and entrepreneurial endeavor. Somewhat less productive are nations like the Kingdom of France, highly centralized but capitalist economies run for the gain of an elite minority. In the long run, corruption and inequality is likely to damage such states, but for the moment they are thriving, given the economic growth stimulated by CEGA military spending. The planned economy of California is also doing well, though again the longterm outlook is dubious.
The real economic dangers to CEGA are the Republic of Texas and the New American States (NAS), both of which have completely unsustainable economic systems dependent on constant war and expansion. If CEGA starts to cut military expenditures these two states will likely collapse, and the aftershocks of their collapse could bankrupt the entire Administration. These countries are representative cases of a wider economic problem, that being CEGA's over-reliance on the arms trade. This problem is likely to get worse as the arms race with the Jovians shows every sign of increasing its pace. The ever-increasing levies paid by member nations to support this system cannot be borne forever.
Given the relative economic strength of the League and West Indies, it is natural that they exercise immense influence over the economies of other members. Attempting to free themselves of this control has led some member nations to go into debt to the Venusians. For the Venusians to gain the stranglehold they desire, they will have to break the League and the West Indies; no other CEGA members have the financial resources or proficiency to resist them successfully. However, a Solar System-wide war, with the accompanying dramatic increase in military expenditure, may well plunge the League and lndies into deep recession and allow the Venusians to buy up the pieces.
CEGA has made its main focus on three primary issues: its relations with Jupiter; its relations with the Non-Aligned States of Earth; and the environmental restoration of Earth itself. While these matters are not discussed in the council chambers on a daily basis, they do lie at the heart of what CEGA claims as its destiny. The purpose behind many of the machinations within CEGA, as well as its external policies, can be traced back to these underlying concerns.
Conflict with the Jovian Confederation Edit
For many CEGA citizens, the Jovians represent the ultimate form of rebellion against Earth rule: a nation of wealth and luxury built using people and resources stolen from the home planet during the Fall. CEGA's efficient propaganda machine is, in truth, only partially responsible for these sentiments; the poorer nations of Earth are eager to lay outside blame for their peoples' misery and destitution.
CEGA's political elite regards Jupiter with even less favor than does the average citizen; in addition to typical Earth-centric prejudices, the politicos are also aware that Jupiter is the primary barrier to CEGA's reacquisition of the colonies' loyalties. Failure to dominate the solar system will have serious consequences for the member nations; the greatest fear within the council is that, if Earth loses to an external power, the internal hatreds that CEGA was designed to suppress will come boiling to the surface and plunge Earth into another vicious war. Therefore, many in CEGA see the struggle with the Jovians as a struggle for survival, making it an end-sum game where anything less than total victory is unacceptable.
In such an environment a negotiated settlement is unlikely and even the moderate member nations, like the League and the West Indies, are reluctant to deviate from the course of confrontation. For as long as CEGA is seen as necessary to preserve peace on Earth, the moderates will remain reluctant supporters of Solar aggression, although one should note that the moderates only oppose war, not the wider goal of bringing the entire Solar System back under Earth control. Only the chance to guarantee victory through peaceful means would bring the moderates to the negotiating table. Since such a state of affairs is unlikely to occur while the Jovian Confederation retains both self-sufficiency and war-fighting capacity, only the most optimistic USN diplomat can foresee any purpose to negotiations, aside from deception and as a delaying tactic.
The Non-Aligned States are yet another barrier to peace. It is likely that, should CEGA show significant weakness or instability, the Non-Aligned States will seek military revenge for their losses in the Unification Wars. Finally, conventional military wisdom in the Joint Service holds that victory in space is the key to victory on Earth, despite the fact that three decades of orbital superiority have not given CEGA any decisive advantage (primarily due to the political infeasibility of using orbital bombardment on Earth). CEGA has funded its Space Navy at the expense of its Earth-based forces, prompting pro-Navy Councilors to justify the great sacrifices made to support the Navy. Against these factors, only a few small but vocal factions on the council are trying to avoid or lessen the impact of the seemingly inevitable conflict.
Domination of EarthEdit
Despite a seeming focus on the Solar Nations, CEGA is well aware that half of Earth still remains outside its authority. Indeed, CEGA's drive for control of Earth orbit was begun as a step to ensure planetary victory.
However, CEGA's threats following its conquest of the Orbitals did not impress the Non-Aligned States; within a three-week period the Azanians, Chinese, Japanese and Australians all test-detonated fusion weapons, the clear statement being that any attempt to use orbital weapons to attack the Non-Aligned States would bring about the destruction of both sides. Stymied, CEGA turned its attention to solar reacquisition. The Imperialist faction successfully argued that as CEGA's solar power base grew, its strategic position over the Non-Aligned States would improve.
No CEGA Councilor anticipated that the Non-Aligned States would achieve a foothold in orbit, a victory accomplished thanks to large numbers of Orbital refugees entering their service. The ATS and Azanian Compact both have a strong orbital presence, and are beginning to expand their interests around the solar system, building ties with the Solar Nations. This has been a slow process because the Non-Aligned States lack CEGA's resources, but the Non-Aligned are proving to be good trade partners, resulting in rapidly increasing growth as rising numbers of Mercurian ships end up docking at Non-Aligned stations. Paranoia about an alliance between their solar and planetary enemies is beginning to infect CEGA's dealings with the Non-Aligned States. CEGA is becoming both more threatening and more conciliatory, a contradictory approach that is radically increasing military tensions.
By the middle of the twenty-first century, Earth supported thirteen billion people. While this number may not have been sustainable (a point still hotly debated by planetary ecologists), there is no doubt that the present population level of 4.2 billion is all the Earth can support while half the planet remains a poisoned wasteland. CEGA's member nations are acutely aware of the limitations placed on their economies and ambitions by the Earth's ecological conditions. One problem is that global eco-restoration would require vast quantities of resources, most of which CEGA would have to import from the Solar nations. Since CEGA is unwilling to place itself at the mercy of a Solar trade embargo, few projects get started, and those that do make use of materials acquired by privateers or other covert means.
CEGA's military goals require a vast industrial and resource base, placing the Earth's already precarious environment under pressure that it cannot support indefinitely. It was because the Earth was veering toward a second ecological collapse that the Unification Wars ended. During that period, it was only the inclusion of conquered territory that allowed the founding members of CEGA to keep the war effort going. Now, those territories have added all they can and still the member nations need more resources. CEGA can either back off from its imperial ambitions in order to save the planet from another ecological collapse, or speed up its conquest of the solar system such that it can seize the resources it needs to simply fix the damage later.
Power, Passion, and Tragedy: History of CEGAEdit
- Main Article: History of CEGA
Earth's history produces in its people a depth of emotion that no Solar Nation can truly comprehend. Solar history is but a footnote to the millennia of human existence on Earth. To Earthers of any political allegiance, the Solar Nations are simply an adjunct to their world. The nations of Earth believe that they are humankind in its natural state; their history is the story of humankind and their cultures are humankind's greatest legacy. The achievements of the Solar Nations are seen as little more than theft, built as they are on the ashes of the Fall.
CEGA is fundamentally committed to seeking restitution for this perceived betrayal, thus restoring Earth's rightful dominance and rebuilding everything lost in the Fall. This sense of injustice provides the moral rationale for CEGA's military endeavors, in addition to its basic need for the resources and technical expertise of the colonies. Much of CEGA's emotional vigor had been traced by historians back to religious and social traditions of North America and Europe; despite nearly complete cultural upheaval, many of these traditions have been retained in recognizable form, enabling CEGA citizens to claim superiority based on the words, deeds and beliefs of hundreds of generations of ancestors.
- Main Article: CEGA Bureaucracy
The average Solar national often perceives the Central Earth Government and Administration as a monolithic political power, unified both in its control of the Earth system and in its exterior goals. Only the few individuals who elect to make a deep study of Earth politics are aware of the fragmented nature of CEGA's existence.
Created primarily as a false front meant to impress the Orbital colonies and encourage their membership, CEGA was forced into full legitimacy when an elated solar community welcomed the new government into the United Solar Nations. In order to prevent the various independent states from gaining significant voting power in the USN, CEGA's member nations agreed to maintain their support of its fagade as a unified world government. The USN granted CEGA a planetary-level seat, making it equal to all of the combined independent states with regard to interplanetary affairs.
CEGA Joint Military ServiceEdit
- Main Article: CEGA Joint Military Service
During the later Unification Wars the two continental alliances set up the Military Coordination Bureau to ensure cooperation between their armies around the globe. The MCB proved its worth many times over, and officers returning to national service after a period in it were usually promoted. Thus, MCB service became a route to advancement, and positions became highly sought after. With the formation of CEGA, the continental alliances realized that no one state could afford the massive space fleet their ambitions would require. This meant they needed a joint fleet that no single state could control, and therefore, under the aegis of CEGA, the MCB was expanded into the Joint Military Service (often shortened to Joint Service).
The JMS is divided into three distinct forces, the Space Navy, Forward Defense Armies and Occupation Control Units. Many observers mistake the FDA and OCU for the same force, since they use the same ranks and uniforms, and collectively call them the CEGA Army. Above the three services is the JMS High Command, which reports directly to the CEGA Council and is located within Goliath Station in the L4 Orbital cluster. The Joint Service does not recruit untrained civilians; all troops come fully trained from member nations. The Navy is an exception in that many of its recruits, while they may have useful skills, almost always require training in zero-g operations, which the Navy carries out at its academy on Goliath Station.
- Main Article: North America
Every person in the Solar System has heard of North America, one of the foci of the early push into space. Many colonies can trace their creation back to people from this part of Earth. Today this continent is not what it was in the past; old hatreds and new ideologies have divided a land once known for its unity. The North American nations are powerful, however, and they are well aware of their history. They remember the great sacrifices their ancestors made to reach and colonize the far reaches of the Solar System, and the dark years of the Fall have been recorded in meticulously recovered detail.
CEGA's driving desire to bend the Solar System to its will is primarily a North American goal. Wanting more than mere equality among the Solar Nations, the states and peoples of this continent firmly believe that Earth (with CEGA at its head) is the logical seat of power of the entire Solar System. It is primarily this one jointly held belief, built on the memories of a united and dominant North America, that keeps the various North American nations in a state of wary cooperation with each other and the other CEGA members.
- - Source: excerpt from IGS textfile "An Introduction to Earth"
- Main Article: Europe
There is an element of truth to the oft-quoted statement of King Jean-Marie of France that "Europe is the USE, the USE is Europe." Unlike North America, there is no sign of any attempt by the poverty-stricken European Occupied Territories to establish separate identities for themselves. While the three mighty empires that dominate the USE are unchallenged in Europe, the growth of the UK and the less obvious influence of the Swiss are quite considerable.
Europe has a certain traditional idealism that is not present in the Alliance. Due to popular acceptance of their leaders' professed nobility, the people of Europe all tend to regard themselves as culturally superior to the "new blood" of the rest of the Solar System; this spirit has, if anything, increased since the formation of CEGA. The domination of offplanet arts and entertainment by European productions has reinforced the selfperception of aristocracy. The USE'S uniformity of political systems has encouraged peaceful cooperation as well as the development of a continent-wide cultural identity. While the nations of Europe all have social differences, their monarchial governments share enough political traits such that international affairs are easily coordinated, with few of the ructions that vex the Alliance.
- -Source: excerpt from IGS textfile "An Introduction to Earth"
- Main Article: North Africa
CEGA dominates this region, with the sole exception of the Republic of Judea-Samaria, which is protected by its advanced military and its status as a signatory to the Jerusalem Accords. CEGA has constructed a continental alliance to rule Africa and the Middle East, but the African Union is nothing more than a front for CEGA rule and is completely ineffectual. The region is also CEGA's poorest, though major eco-restoration works might at least make it agriculturally self-sufficient inside this decade. While CEGA rules the interior with an iron fist, the region's borders are hotbeds of friction due to the absence of the major fronts that stabilize so many of CEGA's other borders.
To the east there is Persia and the Turkish Alliance, while to the south lie the Ethiopian Empire, Swahili Confederacy, USN administered Congo Environmental Protectorate and the violent and ever-shifting Guinea States. In such an environment, intrigue and smuggling have become major industries, further encouraging the growth of internal dissent in the African Union. As a result many believe this region may be more dangerous than the growing tensions in the South Pacific, because in Africa and the Middle East, the small nations facing off against CEGA have little room to maneuver and may choose to lash out unexpectedly.
- - Source: audio transcript, introductory lecture, Nature of Political Dynamics, Academy St. Cloud