The Council of the North

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Gunnland, Aug 9, 2018.

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  1. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    A new face sat in the third Gunnish council chair now. He was boyish looking, as if he were twenty rather than closer to forty, short with longish brown hair. Another baby-faced man on the other side of Beata. Dossiers on him would list Dionysius G. MacHugh (correctly) as the Crown's Attorney, an old friend of Robert Gunn, the principal actor in an affair last year that returned right-wing asylum seekers to Virumaa. He was the scion of a powerful Windhaven family; his great-uncle had been the cardinal archbishop and the most powerful figure in Gunnland after the Great Clan War of the 1940s. He did not speak, but just smiled courteously and passed notes to the others. His presence could only mean a reassertion of royal authority.

    Councilor MacBenach spoke now, and seemed relieved. Military officers and the 15AR Director had spoken for many days in her stead.

    "Queen Julian believes that we will soon engage in ministerial or summit-level meetings with Ivar to discuss the future of Gallo-Germania, its security situation, economic and trade concessions, and so forth. The agreement that holds Gunnish forces north of the 55th parallel, and Rurikgrad Pact combat forces east of the 80th meridian, will likely be renegotiated to reflect the new balance of power in the region, and the new security needs of Ivar's extended western force posture. But of course we will want something for our neutrality and cooperation with the Rurikgrad Pact in Crotobaltislavonia, and for acquiescing to the new realities of communist power in our region, and I expect we can wring concessions from the Crotobaltislavonians and the defeated Trivodnians. At the moment we are planning for bilateral talks, although we can ask for multilateral Four Party Talks to include our allies. We plan to ask for mining concessions in western Crotobaltislavonia, and a highway infrastructure project with free and secured north-south trade through Crotobaltislavonia."

    She paused.

    "The other matter is joining in coordinated clandestine efforts with the southerners to destabilize the Kadikistani Union. Queen Julian has ordered the 15AR to explore these options with the Staatsschutz should they become necessary, but the Council will need to determine a joint policy on the matter. Not just supporting regime change in Virumaa. Weakening the very core of the Union so that it cannot radiate its strength outwards into our lands."
     
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  2. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Mellenthin wondered aloud, "What makes Gunnland think there are any concessions to be wrung from CBS? CBS went to war for Rurikgrad. That it was beaten handily by Trivodnia is immaterial; the Kadikis see such efforts by CBS as worthy of reward in the form of Trivodnian territory. I don't see the Union leaving its client unsupported when the Council of the North comes calling. We should absolutely be cautious.

    "In fact," here Mellenthin sat forward, resting his arms on the table. "This other matter is a course that will take longer, but will bear the greater fruit. If the Union's internal dynamics can be used to our advantage, then is the time to work on CBS."
     
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  3. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Colonel MacGarry looked like they had come to an awkward juncture, and interjected.

    "I think what Councilor MacBenach means is that while our deployment to 'CBS' was publicly a humanitarian gesture, and while we made secret entreaties to Bourgogne that we would not obstruct a rapid deployment eastward, our diplomats worked a different angle on Ivar. To Ivar, the deployment was advertised just as Amstov accuses, as a means of obstructing the Burgundian countermove. Now according to 15AR, why Chagny abandoned Trivodnia is anyone's guess, though it is possible a few thousand Geotrian and Gunnish troops in their way had something to do with their calculus, despite our assurances to the contrary. Anyway, when our people sit down with the Kadikistanis, we shall take credit for their quick and easy war, and demand some recompense."

    MacGarry chuckled in his usual manner.

    "Also they want Third Division out of CBS as soon as possible, so that 15AR men embedded in our units stop snooping around, making local contacts, and doing recon for a future invasion. If they want us to hurry home..."

    He held his palm out, gesturing, pay.

    The Army Council and the Foreign Office were of one mind, now. Concessions would have to be made to the expanded influence of the superpower. But it was now essential to show strength and independence, to try to set the tone for a tolerable peace. All the hawks' grand strategy plans for securing some eastern buffer beyond the Elbener plains, in the way Lower Marpesia was a southern shield, were now shelved for small and clandestine operations. Foreign Secretary Larkin's hope for a non-aligned bloc between the Gothic Sea and the Kalahari Sea had gone up in a puff of smoke, or rather, in a fretful nervous breakdown of some Eiffellandian bureaucrat. Just like Commander Gallagher's attempt last year to negotiate a secret security pact with Bourgogne: once again the victim of the omnipresent Kadikistani threat. It was back to the MacGarry Doctrine, a multilateral conventional defense of Elben, and if that failed, back to the Old Plan: dynamite Ayr and prepare for guerilla warfare. Then Gunnland's ancient weaknesses, its roving paramilitary clans and their fractious squabbling leaders, would become its strengths.

    NB: "Army Council I" and "Army Council II" in this thread sort of lay out the history, debates, and development of Gunnish military doctrine: http://www.europe-game.eu/index.php?threads/engagements.12747/#post-342018
     
  4. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    The course of events proved Mellenthin correct. Gunnland's main objective was to secure overland access to Eiffellandian and Retalian markets for Northern goods, and secondly to get its hands on Crotobaltislavonian minerals and energy resources. Fyodorov's about-face put both objectives at risk. Had Banja Luka kiboshed the deal at the eleventh hour? Or Ivar? In a few hours, the markets would go crazy. Leader Blackthorn's two pillars of support, liberal-leaning businessmen from his wife's native Ayr, and hardline anti-communist Catholic corporatists, would collapse beneath him. Midway through a large military withdrawal from Crotobaltislavonia, the Army Council was not radiating flexibility.

    Plotters in the halls of power in Windhaven were getting febrile. At 15AR, Tyler was suggesting that Blackthorn accuse the Kuressaare régime of violating Gunnish territorial waters and authorize a cruise missile strike on the capital of Virumaa. At Washbridge House, Foreign Secretary Larkin proposed a ministerial summit with Kujundzic. Colonel Wilson was telling the Army Council that the worst he could do to retaliate would be to arm Victoria's partisans, but they were few in number, and while the Jews could be more disruptive, they were in the east and the Gunnish had poor relations with them anyway. Commander Gallagher suggested sending Reiver units to assist in the defense of Occitania, if only to gain experience fighting alongside the Eiffellandians. Colonel MacGarry had concluded that it would be best to accept the new order. And Blackthorn, by all accounts, was pacing in the Freehold like a caged animal as events spiraled out of his control, contemplating the unthinkable: sending Robert Gunn to Engellex. But nobody, not even Queen Julian, had heard from Robert Gunn in many days.

    Beata MacBenach looked grumpy. She was in Council chambers alone, for once.

    "And so what the Leader calls 'the intolerable peace' begins. A major setback for the Whites in Virumaa. News this morning that President Fyodorov has gone back at the last minute on his provisional agreement with Colonel Wilson. Our efforts to shape the aftermath of the Seven Day War to our advantage, which looked promising last week..." She shot a sullen look at Mellenthin that said, 'You were right, but it has only turned out that way.' "...have all come up empty. The Leader has asked us to deliberate about next steps. For once..." She smiled at her subversive comment, which she hoped would not be repeated to the Leader, the 15AR, the Foreign Office, or the Army Council. "...nobody seems to have a plan up their sleeves."
     
  5. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Mellenthin was alone today too. Steiner had been recalled for consultations with officialdom in Eschenbach. The ambassador to the council had a lot on his mind as well, which he turned over, considering what to share and what would be counterproductive. When Kadikistan had put its forces along Elben's eastern border on alert, the general staff had been appropriately concerned. The southern border areas were turning into a war zone with Elben's increasingly militarized police on one side and Nekmet on the other. And to add to it all, everyone back home was jittery with the king sick. It was the flu, so they said, but with a man that old, he could go to sleep and just not wake up...

    "Beata," Mellenthin returned her smile, a smile of trust to go along with the use of her given name. "First of all, I ask that prayers be said for my king. He is getting along, but every little bit helps, especially from above. Second, my counsel for the council now is one of watching and waiting. We should extend our feelers and use what influence we can to influence events without tipping our hands. For instance, Virumaa. We should consider what more we can do to assist the Whites? The same with Loago, a strong statement there in support of the government against the communists would no doubt be welcome. And there are the rumors of unrest in the far north of Kadikistan that could be used to our advantage."

    The Elbener had been going on. He quickly concluded, "Whatever measures we do decide to pursue, they should be ones that provide the greatest benefit for the least expense."
     
  6. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Beata MacBenach had been up with the sun for what promised to be the first busy day on the Council since the end of the Seven Days' War. She looked across the table bleary-eyed at Mellenthin. The Geotrians seemed to be absent but there was still quorum to ram through the fait accompi from Eschenbach.

    "Well, this is easy when my bosses and yours hammer everything out and send their decisions along. Cuts out all the diplomatic back-and-forth, doesn't it? I move to extend an invitation to invite Caledonia to sign the Windhaven Treaty that was formally and unanimously approved several months ago."

    The only problem was Article 8. If Geotri didn't vote in favor, was the vote unanimous?

    There were two ways to skin this cat. In the Caledonian case, technically, as the Elbeners had pointed out, the three allies had already unanimously approved Caledonian membership when the Council was established. Beata had been up with the lawyers in the pre-dawn hours discussing another loophole, one that would allow future nations to be added to the Council even if a member nation did not have a representative present in-council.

    "The Gunnish view of Article 8 is that abstentions and absences do not detract from unanimity, so that the unanimous vote in Article 8 means all of the votes that are cast by member nations, not that all member nations must cast those votes. Is that the Elbener interpretation as well?"


     
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  7. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Mellenthin had been up before dawn and had even gotten a jog in. Cold air was bracing! And that Gunnish breakfast. The diplomat from Elben had really taken to the local cuisine.

    Giving his opposite a nod of respect, he answered, "I agree with Gunnland's interpretation of Article 8 and give my second to the motion. Any opposed?" He gave the room a glance just in case and then finished, "Caledonia shall be invited."
     
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  8. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Elbener Embassy, Windhaven

    Von Mellenthin sat at his desk working on a document. He hunted and pecked away; words and sentences were formed, albeit slowly. It was a call to his colleagues of the council to meet to discuss recommendations for their governments on the crisis in the Long Sea, down south of Gallia, but a flash getting brighter by the day.

    "Gunnland, Geotri, and Caledonia..." Mellenthin thought about what recommendations ought to be considered. Auraria was hostile to the Church while the Anti-State was friendly to it. "'We must offer a united front against that den of iniquity...' Yes."

    @Gunnland @Geotri The Natal @The Natal
     
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  9. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Despite the power struggles, Beata still had her job. Of course so did the boyish-looking colonel, Steve MacGarry. The Army Council meant job security, even if the colonels' moderation and pragmatism annoyed the hardliner Integrity "professors," as they were called. Everyone had breathed a sigh of relief when the calm and collected William MacDougall Bowerman walked out of the Thing wearing the chain of the Leader. There were rumors that the "professors" never wanted him, but l'affaire Birmingham ruined their plans for a hung parliament.

    But there were lots of rumors.

    Foreign Secretary Larkin had sent down a fat file on the Long Sea incident. There was also a thin 15AR file. In general Beata saw the wisdom in courting the East as an ally. Make Kadikistan fight on two fronts in the next war. That made sense. But Larkin thought more regionally. A cordon sanitaire around CBS, a corridor for trade goods to the rich Eiffello-Retalian markets, these things went through another nation.

    "What is the view on the matter in Lars?"
     
  10. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Mellenthin was ready. "It is hard to know exactly what is going on down there with pirates and unidentified submarines and all these navies deciding to join the fray. It will get out of control. Some junior officer of the deck of one of those ships will give the order to fire at the wrong moment and the Long Sea will be a war zone."

    The Elbener shook his head as he finished this little opening and then he continued. "I have been authorized by my government to reveal that Elben has an understanding with the Anti-State allowing our submarines to stop at one of the Anti-State's ports for resupply. This understanding has been beneficial to both sides. On the other hand, Auraria is actively hostile towards our way of life."
     
  11. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Heads turned as a man glided into the room, balding and impeccably dressed. Tortoise-shell spectacles, olive blazer, pocket-square, cuff-links, Order of St. Basil tie pin, and for the love of Christ, thought Colonel MacGarry as the man came into view, a solid olive kilt to match. Beata closed her eyes and exhaled softly in embarrassment.

    "The Aurarians are animals, obviously," said the natty fellow taking his seat on the other side of Councilwoman MacBenach. "I am Théophile Gladstone-Pape, Leader Bowerman has agreed to allow me to represent the Thing here. We are forming a foreign affairs committee now that the Foreign Office operates under royal prerogative." Colonel MacGarry scowled but remained silent. Beata thought the marpesienne MT was looking at Mellenthin oddly. He seemed untrustworthy. Gladstone-Pape kept speaking.

    "If it means the end of the criminal regime in Villesen and the shuttering of the pleasure palaces of Solis, I would kowtow to Hayabusa myself. There are the Nicosians to consider. And the Neustrian situation. But we are stronger together, and the Thing is eager to support Karl Maria and make sure the North acts as a united front."

    Beata had a flashback to the time the 15AR director Thomas MacIntyre came into the Council and tried to start a war. She made sure not to look at Colonel MacGarry, but she knew they were thinking the same thing. There would be a meeting at Dunrobin Castle that evening.
     
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  12. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    Taaniel Kalda, who worked as the Virunian ambassador to Elben has been delegated to be the kingdom's representative in the summits of the Council of the North too. During his stay on the continent, he let his hair grow out more, ending the buzz cut style, but kept the two week ginger stubble. It was the first time Virumaa was a part of this summit as a full member of the Council of the North, but he still was very surprised by the one sided criticism towards Auraria, and lack of thereof for the Post Delegationists.

    "Honorable members and allies, Virumaa is a catholic country and understands how grave the violations against our church are since the Revolution, when one of the most prolific Catholic Monarchies was turned into a libertine den of hedonism," he started his speech, but he stopped for a moment to look at the Gunnish delegates. Their very own internal conflicts will spill over this meeting too, Taaniel thought.

    "I don't want to be misunderstood. Virumaa was a shield 60 years ago and it bled in fighting to keep away the Marxism-Leninonivism in Milesia, Calidia, Loago and Borovanger. So we cannot be called pro-communistic in any way, but at the same time, we need to warn of the dangers of Post-Delegationism, as it promises the same anarcho-egalitarian chaos that destroys civilisations and cultures. As there are many Virunians who martyred to keep away Post-Delegationism from Scania during the Pohjan Revolution, we feel that the respect the Post-Delegationists show towards the church is only a pragmatic way to placate us, not one of their normal policies. That is why I would say that rather we align with the Anti-State and the Anarchist North, we should let them fight eachother in peace," said Taaniel.
     
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  13. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    "These are valid concerns and the sacrifice made by Caledonia are honored." Mellenthin paused, giving thought to his words. "It is my understanding that the Anti-State is a collection of autonomous communities that band together for mutual support on this or that issue rather than anarchy with everyone out for himself. Perhaps I am misinformed."

    The representative of Elben looked over at Beata before going on, "Allowing them to fight between themselves is once way of going forward, yes."
     
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  14. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    "What I would like is a joint study of our immediate regional interests, and a frank conversation about them. Is the Kadikistan threat-level still our main concern? What about the troubling reports from the Northern Cooperative Unions? How can the North extend our influence into central Gallogermania? Is regime change in Crotobaltislavonia in the medium-term on the table? Has Serenierre become our major geopolitical rival, with Lars and Neustria hanging in the balance?"

    Théophile did not mention the empire.
     
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  15. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Mellenthin had overshot. He had not meant to come off that way, but the Caledonian response hit close to home considering how Elben had responded to the Gunns before. Lucky for him this Gunnish professor was giving him an out without having to walk back his proposal.
     
  16. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    "I do think that after the death of Nikolai Leninov, Kadikistan has calmed down a lot and we can be very thankful that with the Status Quo Treaties we are shielded from their expansionist policies. The problems we face today are based on Aurarian libertinism and Serenien communism, though the Serazinism is a strange form of communism, as it mixes Catholicism with marxism and statism, to create the leading ideology of Serenierre. Even so, their rise with the victory in Occitania is concerning for us, as for now, their use of Catholicism in politics might be a problem because it challenges our political monopoly over the social teachings of the church. I do not think that the NCU is a threat, especially considering the death of their late Premier, as probably now their will concentrate on their internal politics, but I do think that we must do something to attract Neustria, Lars or Bourgogne and see them in time, ascend into the Council of the North", said Taaniel
     
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  17. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    With the Virunian condemnation of the Occitan Immigration Program and of Gunnland's slow rapprochement with Serenierre, the next session of the Council of the North promised to be a bit tense. After the greeting of the representatives, Taavi Kalda started with the first issue.

    "Esteemed colleagues, your excellencies, respect for our cultures, languages and faith has the the main element which has defined a general Nordic identity. We have never been open to forms of internationalistic revolutionarism which threatened the moral fabric of our countries, let alone life through such a hellish moment like the Occitans, to have our people gassed and exterminated, only to have our communist oppressors replace us with Himyari refugees, with the sole purpose of diluting our culture. That is why Virumaa has took a stand and has rebuked its relationship with the Protectorate of Occitania as the regime is only a ground for communist and free-mason inspired social engineering meant to destroy peoples, cultures and histories.

    What I will ask for it for the Council of the North to stand together in this condemnation. I know that they are heretic Cathars, but they will, at least, for a time keep the communists occupied in there, before they turn their eyes to Germania or towards the North. That is why I also want to open this subject too and to make sure that your excellencies understand what dangerous game the Serenien are playing. Rather than just being communistic and atheistic like Kadikistan, they have decided to make a puppet out of the Archbishop of Villesen and to turn him into a form of preacher for some sort of liberation theology that perverts the Rerum Novarum and the Quadricesimo Annum, the very backbone of the social teachings of the church that created distributism and corporatism, and to transform them into some sort of apologetic pamphlets that support Marxian economics. I do find that this is idea of subverting the church's teachings and the people's faiths to the reign of a communist party hell bent on continental domination is something that our colleagues from Gunnland should watch out for, as they will soon meet with PM Martinique,"
    said Taaniel, hoping to find some support in the Elbener representatives, as he knew the Gunnishmen will defent their avenue of external politics.
     
  18. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    "Communists. Sodomites. Cathars. Protestants. Liberals. That is the South." Théophile had counted each population of deplorables on his fingers. "And I don't see why one group should matter more to us than another. Inwardly, however, he was smiling at the thought that the Council would convince Windhaven to abandon a policy of rapprochement with Serenierre. Serenien opposition could sink his plans for an empire, plans that were now smeared on the front pages of The Advocate.

    Speaking of things on the front page of The Advocate, it had been a long day in the Foreign Office. The ambassador to Justosia had been quickly recalled for consultations, rather than lecture the Milenio Palace on historical trivia. Queen Julian was livid at the Justosians for their vulgar arrogance and inflated sense of importance, and livid at those in the Foreign Office who had suggested she explore a Justosian match in order to secure the kingdom's southern interests. Beata MacLeish MacBenach sighed.

    "I shall inform Leader Bowerman of the two concerns from Virumaa in advance of his meeting with Ms. Martinique."

    On the other side of Councilor MacBenach, the present military attaché, Colonel MacGarry, tested his microphone with his finger. Puh. Puh.

    "It is the view of the Army Council that military considerations should be paramount in our relations with the South. Bourgogne holds the key to a land war between Serenierre and Auraria on one side and Lars and Eiffelland on the other. We should assess who has the political will and military strength to win such a conflict. Frankly speaking, backing the winner of that conflict, or choosing the winner, would be in our geo-strategic interest. It is the view of the Army Council that, for the first time in recent history, Northern hegemony in Gallo-Germania is possible. At the very least it is time for joint exercises with Virumaa on the continent."

    Théophile and Beata raised their eyebrows but appreciated the frankness of the military man. Perhaps it would save them from discussing the relative virtues of Protestants and communists.
     
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  19. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Mellenthin listened to all this with fingers steepled. Separating his hands and laying them on the table, he noted, "Elben has become quite familiar in recent months with flocks of refugees who do not share with it a common way of life. It can be quite destabilizing. It has always been the view of our charitable organizations that Himyari are best helped in Himyar."

    The Elbenese diplomat looked around at his colleague from Virumaa and the those from Gunnland. "Fellow councilors of the North, while I do not speak for Bourgogne, but for His Majesty the King of Elben, my master wears more than one hat, as you are aware." His gaze passed around the table again, "He and his regents in the grand duchy are more than eager to see Bourgogne brought into the security framework of the Council. However, it is a matter of dealing with the mentality that remains present in Bourgogne, that Bourgogne is capable of going it alone. However, I can say that due to recent events, the war and the inability to relieve Trivodnia and now the secession of Neustria, elements within the grand duchy are starting to realize such policy can no longer be sustained."
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  20. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    Taavi Kalda was happy that Colonel McGarry brought in the military subject. As a nobleman from Virumaa, he followed what was seen as the honourable thing to do and went to the Military Academy, being now officially a captain in the White Army, even if he barely served.

    "I thank Colonel McGarry for his insight. I must state that as Bourgogne felt itself strang enough and exceptional in its position of power, Virumaa felt the same. Being bred as a nation in the fires of the Crusade of the North, then of the imperial expansion to Himyar, has made us arrogant and decadent, up to the point that we were so weak that we have let even nations the like of Azraq or Natal to push us away from Himyar. We needed to rough wake up call and I feel that Bourgogne had an even worse one, as they failed to even capture a war ridden country like Slavonia, yet they flaunted their position as the strongest country in Gallia, not needing allies and here they are. An Elbener king on their throne and more than half of their nation breaking away. They need the Council of the North more than ever.

    As for the Gallia vs Germania paradigm, it is clear that the politics of the continent are divided in three main camps. Two which are irreconciliable and one which is sitting on the fence. The Council of the North can now really be the one playing the continental king maker. But we must be aware that we must first and foremost provide safety for our citizens first. I for one, have no love for the south. I feel that the Larsians and the Eiffellanders are too arrogant, the Occitans to savage, the Aurarians too anarchic, the Friulian hypocritical and the Serenien to cruel and double faced. Yet, I do think that we are the safest in a world where the power of the south is led by Eiffelland, rather than Serenierre. We have seen in the Long Sea crisis how while Auraria depended on northern help, they were snubbed by Villesen. If we are to befriend SRN, what guarantees do we have that in the moment we let our guard down for less than a second, we aren't stabbed in the back by the communists? The Serenierre have befriended Kadikistan only when they needed so they can chug them off when they weren't necessary anymore, just remember the war in Borovanger, for that. It has befriended Auraria but then turned their back on it during the Long Sea crisis. On the other side, Eiffelland... they won't start a war as their military doctrine is based solely on defence. We can be sure that if there is a Trier led alliance in the south, our own southern flank is secure," he stated
     
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