While discussing corporate matters with SM.RB directors today, I logged onto the Intergalactic Summit channel and had a long conversation with Commander Diana Kim.
Cdr Kim and I have what I would describe as a strained friendship. We have differing views of the political climate in New Eden and different approaches to diplomacy. That said, we learned a good bit about one another today and have reconciled some of those differences. The main point of view we share in common is our view on the Drifters that have begun showing up all over the cluster. There have been numerous vocal appeals for an offensive action to be taken against this new potential threat, an idea which we agree to be potentially disastrous.
First, the actions of the Drifters are not indicative of an invasive intent. With their unbelievable firepower and highly advanced technology, they could steamroll through several constellations unopposed before any real defense could be mounted – and even that, it seems, would be in vain. But their craft patrol passively, aggressing only those who have initiated hostilities. A full-scale assault is likely to change this, and quickly.
In addition, there is very little we actually know about the Drifters versus the vast amount of unknowns. We have no solid idea of their numbers, origins, or operational capacity. We do not know where they stage from, but are aware (thanks to a leaked transmission from Dr. Tukoss) that at least one of their staging points has hundreds of their battleships at the ready. I sincerely doubt that this is their only fortification, so we are dealing with a very powerful military force.
Beyond the capabilities of the Drifters stands the conflicted status of New Eden as a whole. The major empires have been embroiled in an expensive conflict for several years now, all while Sansha’s Nation continually stages incursions into civilized space and the capsuleer alliances fight tooth-and-nail for every inch of null security space. Quite simply, the assets required to mount an effective defense are being spent elsewhere at ludicrous speed.
I have always thought of Diana as an inveterate warmonger, bloodthirsty and xenophobic. She acknowledged her hatred of the Federation but balked at my assumption that this extended to the Gallente race as a whole. She shared with me the details of an appeal that she and other prominent officers of the State Protectorate had made, requesting a cease-fire in the Cal-Gal conflict zone. Common ground at last.
The problem, we both realized, is that peace can never be achieved without mutual accountability. We discussed the present situation and the events that led up to this, and based on our discussion I am at work drafting a proposal to establish a military inquiry into the events surrounding Operation Highlander, the Battle of Caldari Prime, and the deployment and destruction of the CN Shiigeru.
The objective of this inquiry will be to establish when, and by whom, proper standards of military action were violated. In short, to seek and prosecute the perpetuators of war crimes on all sides of the conflict. With this resolved we will seek a suspension or abolition of the Emergency Militia War Powers Act, so that the empires can focus on protecting their citizens from these greater threats.