Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

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False Prophet
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Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

Post by False Prophet » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:33 am

In my opinion, Space Colonisation can actually discourage war, or at least interplanetary wars. The reason is that unless you have jump ship and is confident on a quick victory, the cost of transportation, intelligence, and pacification would be too high to justify the profit. And, if you think about it, what happened on one planet may have very little impact on another planet, even if they are both in the same system and communications between the two is instant.

In the case of space colonies, war between the planet and the colonies is more likely to happen than interplanetary war, but if you can build a space colony, it implies that you have the capacity for space mining, and we all know that even asteroids are very rich in resources, and asteroids are plenty (unless you are talking about some rare magical mineral.)

Taxes and tributes may be a problem, but I believe that with a democratic central government and a good communication system, the matter can be settled without both sides going to war.

(How unfairly did the EF treated its colonies before OYW anyway?)

So, what is your opinion on the matter? Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

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Re: Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

Post by krullnar » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:40 am

I wish i could be so optimistic but no I doubt that space colonization could discourage war. That said this is very close to political topic which is a no no here so I'd say we just leave the discussion to the EF before the OYW.

That being the topic it's hard to tell really. They were most certainly oppressed but I'd say the EF as a whole had a lot of political unrest going on not just in the colonies. I think the real issue is one prejudice against spacenoids in general and less about treating colonies one way or another.
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Re: Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

Post by Dark Duel » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:02 am

The short answer is no. 00 is another good example, in a way. I mean, setting aside the excessively optimistic QBW/Innovator shenanigans from the end of the movie, it was stated that a big part of Aeolia Schenberg's long-term goal was to prevent humanity from taking the seeds of war with them into space. In that regard, the series and movie IMO both show that he failed spectacularly - just look at what's-his-name that piloted the Gadelaza for example.
And according to what I've heard from supplemental materials, there was yet another war that occurred after the ELS Incident depicted in the movie.
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Re: Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:18 pm

False Prophet wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:33 am
In my opinion, Space Colonisation can actually discourage war, or at least interplanetary wars. The reason is that unless you have jump ship and is confident on a quick victory, the cost of transportation, intelligence, and pacification would be too high to justify the profit. And, if you think about it, what happened on one planet may have very little impact on another planet, even if they are both in the same system and communications between the two is instant.
That depends on how difficult it is to travel to and from those colonies...

When the distances involved or technology for fast travel is advanced enough to permit a ship to travel from a colony to a planet or another colony economically, if not casually, then the economic equation is such that it's no longer cost-prohibitive for warfare to occur.

For instance, in Gundam's disparate eras travel between Earth and its space colonies in the Earth sphere is something that can be done almost as casually as an international business flight or riding a cargo ship to its next port of call. In a few shows, travel to other planets in the Sol system is something that can be done in a matter of weeks or a few months at most, which is fast enough that waging war for any particular reason isn't an economically-unsound prospect.

Or in, say, Star Trek, where commonplace faster-than-light technology enables rival governments to go striking at each other's colonies in a matter of a day or so even when they're tens of light years apart thanks to inhabited systems being so densely packed together.

To really stifle war you need the kind of travel conditions or distances where shipping an army or even just a warship to a colony or other planet takes an unreasonably long time and/or is prohibitively expensive. If an army needs to travel for months or years one-way just to reach its target then the morale equation and the economic factors make going to war by conventional means unfeasible except in the most extreme and dire circumstances... and sufficiently long distances will render war unfeasible period. After all, only a total psychopath would want to board a sleeper ship for dozens or hundreds of years to attack one target that may not even still be there when you arrive.



An example of distance stifling war in fiction would be Macross. Space fold technology has made FTL travel over short distances of a couple dozen to a hundred or so light years a casual affair as easy as taking an international plane flight or a pleasure cruise. That enables local conflicts (e.g. Macross Delta) to thrive. Traveling longer distances requires a lot more energy and potentially requires multiple fold jumps with downtime between them to recharge the fold system to avoid navigation hazards, so large-scale wars are effectively stifled by the logistical problems inherent in sending an armed force to attack a planet that will take anywhere from months to ten years to reach by the fastest and most efficient means of travel available.
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Re: Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

Post by False Prophet » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:41 am

krullnar wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:40 am
I wish i could be so optimistic but no I doubt that space colonization could discourage war. That said this is very close to political topic which is a no no here so I'd say we just leave the discussion to the EF before the OYW.

That being the topic it's hard to tell really. They were most certainly oppressed but I'd say the EF as a whole had a lot of political unrest going on not just in the colonies. I think the real issue is one prejudice against spacenoids in general and less about treating colonies one way or another.
The problem here was that unlike real life where the racist and the victims of racism have opportunites to confront each other, if you think about it, a lot of colonists in the 0070s might had never seen Earth or met an Earthling, and the vice versa was also truth. The impact of prejudice therefore might not be that visible for your typical colonists

(Of course that the Zabis did fan out some of the old hatred that otherwise would had died out.)

I am thinking something more in line with constitutional racism, like the system actively trying to screw over the colonists (Laplace?).

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Re: Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

Post by False Prophet » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:44 am

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:18 pm
That depends on how difficult it is to travel to and from those colonies...

When the distances involved or technology for fast travel is advanced enough to permit a ship to travel from a colony to a planet or another colony economically, if not casually, then the economic equation is such that it's no longer cost-prohibitive for warfare to occur.

For instance, in Gundam's disparate eras travel between Earth and its space colonies in the Earth sphere is something that can be done almost as casually as an international business flight or riding a cargo ship to its next port of call. In a few shows, travel to other planets in the Sol system is something that can be done in a matter of weeks or a few months at most, which is fast enough that waging war for any particular reason isn't an economically-unsound prospect.

Or in, say, Star Trek, where commonplace faster-than-light technology enables rival governments to go striking at each other's colonies in a matter of a day or so even when they're tens of light years apart thanks to inhabited systems being so densely packed together.

To really stifle war you need the kind of travel conditions or distances where shipping an army or even just a warship to a colony or other planet takes an unreasonably long time and/or is prohibitively expensive. If an army needs to travel for months or years one-way just to reach its target then the morale equation and the economic factors make going to war by conventional means unfeasible except in the most extreme and dire circumstances... and sufficiently long distances will render war unfeasible period. After all, only a total psychopath would want to board a sleeper ship for dozens or hundreds of years to attack one target that may not even still be there when you arrive.

An example of distance stifling war in fiction would be Macross. Space fold technology has made FTL travel over short distances of a couple dozen to a hundred or so light years a casual affair as easy as taking an international plane flight or a pleasure cruise. That enables local conflicts (e.g. Macross Delta) to thrive. Traveling longer distances requires a lot more energy and potentially requires multiple fold jumps with downtime between them to recharge the fold system to avoid navigation hazards, so large-scale wars are effectively stifled by the logistical problems inherent in sending an armed force to attack a planet that will take anywhere from months to ten years to reach by the fastest and most efficient means of travel available.

My point exactly. It all depend on whether the logistical conditions allow it. And if there is no FTL, there is no interplanetary war.

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Re: Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:52 am

False Prophet wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:41 am
The problem here was that unlike real life where the racist and the victims of racism have opportunites to confront each other, if you think about it, a lot of colonists in the 0070s might had never seen Earth or met an Earthling, and the vice versa was also truth. The impact of prejudice therefore might not be that visible for your typical colonists
Eh? Given the relative positions of the Sides in the orbital maps, you'd be able to see Earth fairly easily on a daily basis from most every colony. Side 3 would have the most obscured view, since its orbit is at L2 on the far side of the moon. Both the original series and Origin leave little doubt that there were many space colonists who were emigrees from Earth and that travel to and from Earth was a fairly regular thing. Side 3 had loads of contact with Earth, thanks to the military academy there. They'd all have seen Earth plenty on the news as well, since that was where the Earth Federation parliament was and they were member states in the Federation.

The logistics of communication and travel in the Earth sphere were on par with travel between our nations today, and thus weren't any barrier to bigotry and war. The kind of distances necessary for war to become economically unfeasible entailed living somewhere like Axis, Mars, or Jupiter, where it takes months to get from one place to another on the fastest ships.


False Prophet wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:41 am
I am thinking something more in line with constitutional racism, like the system actively trying to screw over the colonists (Laplace?).
As long as they're part of the same government and travel is feasible, distance would make it easier for the government to justify screwing them over... like how the Earth-based Earth Federation treated the space colonies as second-class members because they were economically dependant on Earth and populated by less-affluent citizens mainly. Or, really any iteration of the Earth governments in Gundam treating their distant space-based constituents poorly because they're out of sight and thus out of mind.

Mind you, the Earth Federation's policy on the colonies wasn't constitutionally-based... they actually up and removed constitutional racism AGAINST Earth-dwellers from the charter. (That whole "Newtypes shall be given priority in the government" schtick.)


False Prophet wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:44 am
My point exactly. It all depend on whether the logistical conditions allow it. And if there is no FTL, there is no interplanetary war.
Oh, you can have interplanetary war without FTL... you just need to have a good, fast sublight drive that'll get you between planets quickly. It's interstellar war that becomes an unsound prospect in a setting where there's no FTL. Nobody's gonna launch a generation ship just to ruin someone else's day.

Without a fast sublight drive, war against colonists on say, Mars or Jupiter would be a difficult and largely unsustainable prospect as it was in the 0080s of Gundam's Universal Century. When you have drives able to reduce the trip between planets to a reasonable length of time, as in Post-Disaster Iron-Blooded Orphans, then interplanetary warfare is an entirely reasonable prospect again.
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Re: Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:27 pm

At least in UC, the EFSF is so discouraged by the logistics and didn't really bother to start a real war with Axis, but just sent in a scout fleet in that many years even though they knew Zeon had a base over there. They also didn't do much to the Mars faction.

However, the EF is very passive in all sense anyway.


Arguments of this question is hard to answer.
You don't really have much reason for a war once you get interplanetary.
Earth Sphere, you still have to fight over lots of resources, but once you get interplanetary, the resources problem drops significantly. With that much resources in each planet's disposal, why would they want to fight each other?
Of course you can say that they have more resources to fight each others now...once you have some really ambitious faction, they will try to fight others.

So it all depends on technological level, politics, etc.

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Re: Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

Post by Phonix_1 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:03 pm

False Prophet wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:33 am
In my opinion, Space Colonisation can actually discourage war, or at least interplanetary wars. The reason is that unless you have jump ship and is confident on a quick victory, the cost of transportation, intelligence, and pacification would be too high to justify the profit. And, if you think about it, what happened on one planet may have very little impact on another planet, even if they are both in the same system and communications between the two is instant.

In the case of space colonies, war between the planet and the colonies is more likely to happen than interplanetary war, but if you can build a space colony, it implies that you have the capacity for space mining, and we all know that even asteroids are very rich in resources, and asteroids are plenty (unless you are talking about some rare magical mineral.)
Asteroids, planets and moons suitable for mining are still limited in numbers, there are still chances that different parties dispute for mining rights, ownership etc.
If they can't solve it by non-violent ways or there is no third-party act as arbitrator, things may turn ugly.
False Prophet wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:33 am
Taxes and tributes may be a problem, but I believe that with a democratic central government and a good communication system, the matter can be settled without both sides going to war.
Back in the days that empires ruling huge swathes of land, they could collect taxes and tributes, sent army to enforce the will of leader.
Interplanetary governments may be still possible, even without FTL.
False Prophet wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:33 am
(How unfairly did the EF treated its colonies before OYW anyway?)
In the UC timeline, Unicorn and some sources before it describes the space colonization project as large-scale forced emigration or mass exile, though forced emigration on this scale may be prohibitively expensive and settling them in Island 3 is very luxurious for mass exile.
That's why I am not a fan of this explanation, even it is canon now and we have no choice but to accept it.
If EF couldn't handle the disputes well and present it as "a brighter future for humanity", the project itself could spark up another war already.

When Full Frontal met Banagher in person at Palau, he said that colonies had a degree of autonomy, federal government retained the right to appoint the leaders and colonists had no right to vote in federal elections.

EF stopped colonization project two decades before OYW, kicking the unwanted to space and the privileged class could stay on Earth, this added insult to injury. Many colonists saw federal government as corrupt and out-of-touch.
I remembered that there was something like deportation laws for exiling criminals to colonies, like Australia in the past. I am not sure is it still part of the canon or not.

Living in UC must be desperate, "corrupted" (some comments on net don't agree the corruption issue), stagnant and out-of-touch EF that sometimes turns into fascist or some extremists that love whole-sale massacres are the only two choices available.
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False Prophet wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:33 am
So, what is your opinion on the matter? Can Space Colonisation discourage war?
Like the Arbiter said: were it so easy? :roll:
I don't call it "discouraging war", "eliminating some types of casus belli" or "avoiding some wars" at best, "simply changing the theaters" at worst.

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Re: Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:13 pm

MythSearcher wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:27 pm
At least in UC, the EFSF is so discouraged by the logistics and didn't really bother to start a real war with Axis, but just sent in a scout fleet in that many years even though they knew Zeon had a base over there. They also didn't do much to the Mars faction.

However, the EF is very passive in all sense anyway.
Probably the most telling detail of the whole logistical problem with long-range spaceflight in UC is that when the Principality of Zeon remnants who'd fled the Earth sphere wanted to start a fight they straight-up flew all of Axis into the Earth sphere instead of trying to shuttle back and forth to it.
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Re: Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

Post by MythSearcher » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:55 am

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:13 pm
Probably the most telling detail of the whole logistical problem with long-range spaceflight in UC is that when the Principality of Zeon remnants who'd fled the Earth sphere wanted to start a fight they straight-up flew all of Axis into the Earth sphere instead of trying to shuttle back and forth to it.
Yeah, and they are the ones that is the easy way, at least they have some secret supporters in Earth Sphere and thus will get logistic support once they are back.
EFSF won't get any at the asteroid belt.

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Re: Can Space Colonisation discourage war?

Post by Areku » Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:34 pm

Short answer: no.

Longer answer: Regardless of the type of colonization you have in mind, there would still be cost-effective ways to wage interplanetary war, especially if you're game for total war (indiscriminate mass destruction and suppression) rather than "space-D-Day" (such as a logistically-massive invasion that focuses combat/destruction upon enemy combatants). For example, the "weaker" side could pretty easily launch economically-disproportionate attacks with long-range salvos of finely-fragmenting missiles that would force large space habitats to use huge amounts of propellant to avoid damage or would serve as a "Kessler attack" on a planet/moon's orbital economy (a chain reaction of orbital debris and collisions that renders swathes of local orbits unusable for decades/centuries).

The same technologies and mechanics that make older forms of warfare impractical also open up new, often more economical ways to inflict mass destruction, and space colonization would do the same with interplanetary warfare.

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