Analysis of Klingon Diplomatic Negotiation Strategy and Tactics

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Executive Summary: The years following the Praxis mining accident have been marked by changes in Klingon diplomatic goals and tactics. There continues to be significant resistance from the ruling elite to the policy and security goals established by the Klingon High Council and Foreign Ministry. With internal stability the primary concern, factors external to the Empire play little role in determining Klingon foreign policy towards the Federation.
Background:
Klingon foreign policy over the last decade has proven quite erratic as the 24 Great Houses (tuqmey) of the High Council battle for control of the Empire. The effectiveness of Federation foreign policy initiatives is unknown but probably quite limited in the current environment.
The Klingon Foreign Ministry has rarely held high status in the warrior society of the Klingon Empire. However, recent interstellar events have caused the High Council to place far greater emphasis on foreign policy decisions and management. The Minister for Foreign Affairs now holds a prominent position on the High Council and the Ministry has increased in budget and personnel by 30 percent over the last earth decade.
Recent indicators suggest the Klingon foreign policy apparatus lacks the necessary information to support the foreign policy decision making process. This situation is probably due to the long history of military intelligence as the primary function of the Klingon Empire’s intelligence services supporting the High Command. Current reporting indicates the High Council and the Foreign Ministry are increasingly tasking the Empire’s intelligence services to support diplomatic activities. One such activity became publicly known when the Klingon Signals Intelligence Service hacked into the databases of Federation presidential political parties. Federation investigations determined the High Council authorized this operation.
Foreign Policy Strategy and Tactics
Intimidation and coercion: The Klingon Diplomatic Service has long employed practices of intimidation on personal and institutional levels. Threats of military or other action to the Federation and outside worlds are common in diplomatic negotiations. Klingons consider the “fear” response  be repulsive. While in a heated discussion with the Orangi Alliance the Klingon Ambassador Q’rah threatened a military invasion. The Orangi representative produced a weapon and instantly killed Q’rah; stating “if there was to be an invasion it would have to be done with one less Klingon.” Federation SIGINT reports high praise for the Orangi among members of the Klingon High Council. Reparations were made to the House of Q’rah and subsequent negotiations went smoothly.
Blame Outsiders: Klingon diplomatic strategy traditionally blamed its outside planetary systems and alliances for economic and industrial production failures throughout the Empire. This practice significantly abated in recent years due to the need to rely on external resources since the destruction of Praxis.
Proxy Worlds: The employment of intimidation tactics includes the use of proxy worlds to support Klingon interstellar positions. Even Federation or neutral planetary systems in and near the neutral zone are subject to Klingon threats and harassment. Physical isolation from Federation ‘safe space’ makes these worlds vulnerable regardless of their status. This vulnerability to coercion has fuelled support amongst outer worlds for the Klingon dilithium mining rights and the intergalactic free trade agreement. Those planetary systems in and around the neutral zone that have not capitulated to the Klingons have significantly increased their defense spending.
Factors motivating Klingon Foreign Policy Decisions:
Status quo: The most significant factor in all foreign policy decisions is the need to maintain the power of the Klingon High Council and ruling elite (Great Houses) in society. All decisions and policies serve to maintain this status quo.
Clan Interests:
Externally, the major houses (tuq) of the Klingon Empire engage in consensus decision making on foreign policy and national security matters. However, there are significant power struggles between houses which often manifest themselves in foreign policy (official or otherwise). Internal Negotiations, concessions, manipulations, and corrupt practices often determine the course of High Council decisions on mining, commercial, and interstellar trade operations. The result of this governance system may appear to Federation diplomats as aggressive and even irrational.
The arbitrator and final authority of High Council decisions is the Supreme Chancellor. Intelligence and diplomatic reporting suggests that the Supreme Chancellor often favors Houses of immense wealth and power, particularly those closest to his blood line. However, analysis of the Chancellor’s decisions on political appointments, commercial trade and mining contracts indicates that some effort is made to distribute wealth and political power among the Great Houses. The likely reason for these decisions is to raise the power of as many Houses as possible, thereby building personal loyalty, and lessening the possibility of bureaucratic resistance, subversion, assassinations, or even outright rebellion.
Self Interest and Family Honor: Klingon officers have, on occasion, taken unauthorized military actions if it is within their personal or clan’s interests. These actions are often done using risk analysis incorporating clan interests and the potential for individual officer advancement. It is not uncommon for Klingon warships to attack Federation ships, convoys, or outposts if the act is perceived to be a great benefit to the Empire. Such benefits often include destroying a well known foe, gaining a new advanced technology, killing criminals, and eliminating a perceived threat to the Empire.
Perception of lesser place in the Galaxy: Klingon culture carries with it the concepts of pride and honor. Much of society rests upon these two believe structures. Federation advances in science and technology as well as societal development represent an ongoing challenge to the Klingon belief system and the legitimacy of the Empire. Diplomatic reporting and defector debriefings highlight the concerns of senior High Council officials that the Federation has already advanced well past the Empire. The Praxis mining incident has added to the public perception of the Federation being superior system.
Collapse of the Empire: Several Klingon subjugated planets rebelled against the Empire in the aftermath of the destruction of Praxis and evacuation of the population off Kronos (Qo’noS). In recent years, still more have rejected Klingon military basing rights and renegotiated trade and mining agreements. The Klingon High Council has as a first priority to manage the dramatic geopolitical change that is occurring and prevent total collapse of the Empire. All foreign policy decisions support this objective.
Summary: Klingon foreign policy is employing few new strategy and tactics. The objectives of foreign policy remain the same – maintain the High Council, Great Houses, and the Empire. Foreign policy mechanisms are now stressed due to the intensity of forces internal to the Empire which include clan interests, actions of member planets, and the perception of stability.
Edward of Planet

An uproarious scifi comedy that will have you laughing until your sides ache.

POC: Nicholas Eftimiades. Science Fiction Intelligence Files

Author “Edward of Planet Earth”.
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The New 2015 SciFi Bucket List

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True SciFi fans must complete at least half of the “bucket list”. Of course, this list is in addition to standard reading and watching the expected movies and shows: 2001 A Space Odyssey, Star Wars series, Blade Runner, Star Trek films and TOS series, Babylon Five, Firefly, etc.  Did I miss anything? Let me know your scifi bucket list.

Live long and prosper.

Nick

  1. Attend ComicCon in San Diego, or more importantly, DragonCon in Atlanta, GA (hosted over Labor Day)
  2. Attend any SciFi fan convention in costume
  3. Date a scifi chick (or guy if you are a female)
  4. Pull an all-nighter watching Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection.
  5. Play Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games for at least three months
  6. Have a collection of SciFI action figures or model spaceships.  Whether it’s books, films, games, toys, action figures, being a collector even briefly — is a requirement (you get points for collecting vintage figures, mint condition)
  7. Read at least one of each scifi books of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Arthur C. Clarke.  Most importantly you must read ALL five books of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy.  Some say there are only four books but I include “Mostly Harmless” by Douglas Adams.
  8. Play scifi Board or card game.  While not technically scifi, Game of Thrones, Descent, Magic The Gathering, and D&D, all qualify.
  9. Science Fiction Museum, located in Seattle, is the world’s premier  museum devoted to science fiction. It covers science fiction literature and films.  The museum also hosts a Science Fiction Hall of Fame dedicated to writers, artists, and filmmakers. 
  10. American UFO Sci-Fi Museum in Wisconsin Dells, WI.  The global UFO movement appears to be particularly popular in Wisconsin (And I thought it was Roswell).   The museum features a recreation of the famous Alien Autopsy in Nevada’s infamous Area 51 and an exhibit on the supposed 1947 alien crash in Roswell, New Mexico.  You can also learn about alien abductions, crop circles, and the like. 
  11. The Doctor Who Experience  Cardiff Bay, UK. An exciting interactive experience helping the Doctor, armed with his Sonic Screwdriver, to escape from his foes, fly the TARDIS and come face-to-face with some of the scariest monsters seen on screen.  Features filmed sequences with Matt Smith and full of special effects.  This multi-sensory experience is fun for the family and fans alike. 
  12. The Time Machine Museum of Science Fiction, Bromyard, Herefordshire, United Kingdom.  Note this is NOT the “Dr. Who Experience” that ran for so long in London.  That experience is now in Cardiff (Wales) where they film the show.  There is not much of a web site (not many pictures) so I can’t comment on what type of experience you get at this museum.  But the museum has  displays on Dr. Who, Star Wars, Red Dwarf, and Gerry Anderson’s full size puppets, dioramas and memorabilia from Thunderbirds and Stingray.
  13. London Film Museum  Near London’s famous “eye” on the South Bank features exhibits on sci-fi, horror, and fantasy.   It is called the “Movieum” and finding the unassuming entrance is a bit of a challenge.   Among the exhibits are Planet of the Apes,  and of course Harry Potter.
  14. The San Diego Air & Space Museum has a the “Science of Aliens” exhibition.  The exhibition is more science than science fiction but has some   classic science fiction film displays and props.
  15. International UFO Museum and Research Center  In July 1947, something happened northwest of Roswell, New Mexico, during a severe thunderstorm.  And ever since people have believed in UFOs.  This museum’s exhibits include information on the Roswell Incident, crop circles, UFO sightings, Area 51, ancient astronauts and abductions. The exhibits are designed not to convince anyone to believe one way or another about their subjects.
  16. The Alien Zone store is probably a “must see” when visiting Roswell New Mexico.  It’s got everything from alien tee shirts to shot glasses.
  17. Star Trek: The Exhibition is an interactive, museum-style collection of Star Trek artifacts and information.  It opened in Orlando, Florida.  the largest collection of authentic Star Trek artifacts and information ever put on public display. The array of must-see exhibits, spread across 10,000 square feet, includes sets, props, costumes, etc., culled from the five live-action Trek series, plus 10 films, including Star Trek (2009). More specifically, Star Trek lovers can see the life-sized ship model of the scorpion from Star Trek Nemesis, a Borg head, communicators, ship models, a Trek timeline and more, including… Kirk’s chair.  Complaints that you can’t take pictures.
  18. Jordan’s new Star Trek themed Red Sea Astrarium will feature  four hotels, Star Trek-themed attractions, and state of the art ‘space-flight adventure’ simulator ride.  King Abdullah II of Jordan (who appeared on Star Trek Voyager) is sure boldly going in my book.
  19. The great robot battle. This is more current robotics technology but it looks like something strait out of a scifi movie. MegaBots Inc., an American robotics company, challenged Suidobashi Heavy Industries to an epic duel. MegaBots wants to put its Mk. II giant fighting robot against Suidobashi’s Kuratas in a death match. (And when I say giant robots, I mean like 20 feet high.) The Japanese robotics company accepted the challenge, with one caveat: The duel will include not only giant robots shooting guns, but also melee combat as part of the competition. Stay tuned for this epic battle in 2016.
  20. Have lunch in Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant. This show (* It is a show!) is sensory overload as bikini-clad women fight mock battles using enormous robots. Robot Restaurant looks like something straight out of Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void, with neon lights, video screens and mirrors. It is more of a costume/dance show than “robot” spectacle. “Robots” are mostly remote controlled platforms that carry the dancers.
  21. And finally…….Meet William Shatner.  Whether at a convention, on the street, etc. Every true Scifi fan must meet Shatner at least once in their lifetime.  Such an iconic figure is unmatched in SciFi circles so you should meet him just once.  (By now it should be very clear I’m a Star Trek fan.)

You were, and shall always be, Mr. Spock

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How does one say good-bye to someone like Leonard Nimoy? Nimoy died on Friday morning, 27 February 2015 at age 83 at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was a month short of his 84th birthday and died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a byproduct of years of smoking decades earlier.

In the following months, hundreds of articles, blog posts, newscasts, interviews, and TV specials announced the passing of Star Trek’s iconic character Spock. For a brief period the news even ranked up with the horrific events that have, as of late, captured the world’s center stage.

Saying good-bye to Nimoy and the fictional character Spock will be difficult for die-hard Star Trek fans, myself included. All the memories we have held for decades will not fill the emptiness in the heart of fandom left by his passing. Star Trek remains the world’s most popular TV science fiction show. It did (and continues to do) that which few other shows have accomplished – give humanity hope for the future.

The media will report lots of information about Mr. Nimoy in coming weeks but there are a few basic facts you should know about our friend Spock:

Leonard Nimoy was Born in Boston on March 26, 1931, Leonard Simon Nimoy was the second son of Max and Dora Nimoy, Ukrainian immigrants and Orthodox Jews. His father worked as a barber. Nimoy performed as an actor since age eight. He took the “Live Long and Prosper” hand sign from a Rabbi at a temple he attended as a child.

Nimoy served in the Army for two years (1953-1955), rising to the rank of sergeant. He was stationed at Fort McPherson in Georgia for 18 months where he managed performances for the troops. During that time he also directed and starred as Stanley in the Atlanta Theater Guild’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire”.

After the Army, Nimoy went to California, where he worked as a soda jerk, movie usher, and cab driver. He studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. During the late 1950’s and early 1960’s he made numerous appearances on popular TV shows.

Then came Star Trek.

I heard Nimoy say in an interview once that he never had an acting job that lasted more than two weeks prior to his role in Star Trek. He also drove a taxi cab in the same area that he would eventually own a home in Bel Air.

Star Trek fans know Nimoy had mixed feelings about being typecast in the Spock character. He wrote the book “I Am Not Spock,” in 1975, and another titled “I Am Spock,” published in 1995. He recognized the tremendous impact he had on history in that role.

Leonard Nimoy was an accomplished actor, director, photographer, author, and poet. And yet for all he accomplished, history shall remember his signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).  Leonard Nimoy, you were part of something that continues to inspire and give hope to millions.  You are, and shall always be, Mr.  Spock

Nick Eftimiades

Author, Edward of Planet Earth