Mudd's policy has been to emphasize legal, negotiated, and nonviolent solutions to problems. However, we admit some problems and situations cannot be solved with polite words. The Founder's recent attack on the Federation Council might very easily be one such situation.
I am aware of the Council's mood for a violent response to this attack. Some action to deter repetition of the event might be appropriate. However, escalation of violence has never been the Federation's path. The Founders sent a raid of a few individuals which has resulted so far in zero deaths, two illnesses, and one prisoner taken by each side.
The dominant proposed response is a "joint operation targeted at reducing Dominion offensive capabilities" or alternately a "threat-reduction action". Behind these bland words sculpted to be devoid of menace, what we have proposed on the Council's agenda is mass murder and extensive destruction. We propose to cross into another power's territory, cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war.
Before we do this, there are some questions that ought to be asked and answered.
What is the objective of this operation?
Are we sure we have sufficient force to achieve this objective?
Are the politicians and people willing to pay the price in blood and iron to achieve this objective?
Are the politicians setting undue political restraints which would prevent the military from achieving the objective, or significantly increase the costs?
After the objective has been achieved, do we have a plan to get out?
After we have gotten out, will the basic problem that caused the conflict have been resolved?
I also warn against a basic political error often made in starting a war. Do not assume that by hurting a tyrant's people or armed forces, the tyrant will change his policy. Resolve in the face of adversity is a normal response, and not the sole trait of your own culture. I see no reason to believe limited losses in the Dominion's armed forces will change the Founder's arrogance, nor make them less inclined to adventurism. Experience also suggests that the Dominion can anticipate and ambush Alpha Quad operations, and that seeking attrition against the Dominion is painful.
Enough about a major offensive. Mudd is biased against war. Asimov's First Law does not allow us to remain inactive while a chain of events unfolds that will result in large numbers of sentient deaths.
The FIA and other similar organizations within the Federation, it's associates, and it's affiliates, ought to consider a minor offensive. Can one or two well equipped agents acting in secrecy do anything comparable to what the Founders attempted to do to the Council? Can anyone here propose a deterrent action comparable in scale and effect to the Founder's provocation? Can anyone here propose a course of action that would make them fear our intelligence and guile, rather than our firepower?
If none can, Founder arrogance is justified, and will not end.
I would also propose defensive actions, regardless of what offensive moves we might make. Mudd intends to be very sure all personnel active in our embassy are indeed our own people, and we will repeat the verification at irregular intervals until the threat is resolved. I would suggest other embassies, executive branch agencies, Starfleet units, and indeed your various government agencies on your home planets, should all start similar procedures. An occasional clip of hair or drop of blood is a small enough price to pay for security.
I am sorry to write at such length. I welcome comment.
Ambassador Joy Seven As Joy began her
second term on Council, her background and qualifications were