Terran Military Preparedness
Terran Defense Philosophy
The Terran system of national defense rested upon the philosophy of the nation in arms that had been adopted in the Terran Republic with the “Martian Peace Accord” in 2465 and the “Mass Levy” in 2472. The decree establishing the Mass Levy mobilize the Terran citizenry for the defense of the Republic. The reliance on the military potential of the citizen soldier became an important part of Terran military tradition. While the details of army and star fleet organization and employment were important, the "citizen army" was thought to be militarily sufficient to defend Terra. Although Terra moved away from the armed nation to a professional army and star fleet after the Colonial Wars, she reinstituted the Mass Levy after the 1st Consular War. In that inconclusive conflict, the Northern Alliance dramatically reminded Terrans that wars were no longer simply quarrels between governments and colonial factions, fought by relatively small armies of professional soldiers. Wars were now conducted between entire peoples, fought by armies and starfleets of completely mobilized nations. In the years after 2661, Terra responded to the painful lessons of that war by constructing the foundation of her interstellar defenses on the massive mobilization of the citizenry in times of peril. The issue was not whether there should be general conscription but how long the term of service should be and who should be exempted from service. The resulting symbiotic bond between the army, starfleet, and starsystems of the Republic was characterized in a 2663 report by the Chamber of Deputies Levy Commission: “The modern concept of the army and starfleet is that it has no separate existence outside of the Republic.”
Organization and Reform after the 1st Consular War
Philosophical statements about the identification of the army and starfleet with the Republic, however, did not resolve the question of how to organize the army and star fleet effectively. Unfortunately, decisions about the length of service and the size of the professional components became controversial. Despite concern with questions of military organization and effectiveness, political leaders rarely discussed the most complex issues, such as economic mobilization. With the growing threat of war after 2663, the government reluctantly increased the term of service from two to three years in 2664 and thereby increased the size of the standing army and starfleet. While the most controversial portion of the 2664 bill concerned the term of service, the law also aimed to strengthen the core of professional noncommissioned officers and to provide better training for reservists and regulars.
The 2nd Consular War
Tragically for Terra, the Second Consular War began before the real effects of the reforms could be felt, and Terra entered that struggle with her chief opponent having better trained, better-equipped, and better-staffed reserve units. In comparison to the Northern Alliance, she had woefully neglected her reserves, and she had failed to prepare adequately for the demands of a massive internal war. The traumatic experience of the Second Consular War exercised a profound influence over the Terran perception of the nation in arms. It demonstrated the necessity and the methods for the entire nation to participate in a war against a faction as large and powerful as the Northern Alliance. The experience of that brutal total war convinced Terra that if she were to defend herself successfully against an attacking enemy, she must commit all her resources, both men and matériel, to the wartime effort. While she dreaded the enormous destructiveness and numerous deaths of another total war, she believed she had no choice but to endure them should there be a conflict with Reittia or an empire outside of Terran space. The possibility of an immensely lucky and quick victory always existed for Terra, but she had little choice in preparing for the “most unfavorable eventuality” of the long total war. She could hardly hope to win the short war without a miraculous series of extremely fortunate events. Preparing for the worst and not having it occur was better than not preparing and then having it happen. She had learned that bitter lesson from her inadequate preparation of 2665.
Next... Terran preparedness as a result of the Consular Wars
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