[LMB] Komarr and Rho Ceta (map)

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 16 06:44:45 GMT 2011


> From: Tel teldreaming at gmail.com

> On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 4:52 PM, John Lennard <john.c.lennard at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Tel offers an astrographical argument ... that cuts no ice at all so far as
> > I can see.
> >
> > Barrayar holding only the Komarran end of the wormhole leading to(wards)
> > them requires substantial installation (space station/s or forts) and the
> > constant presence of enough mobile units to defend against whatever attack
> > until reinforcements can be summoned.
> 
> But any trouble, given the astro set-up, would be readily apparent
> from numerous jumps out. You can't -sneak- a fleet around the Nexus,
> unless you have an undiscovered wormhole route. And Komarr would be
> under constant surveillance.
 
The Cetas apparently sneaked up on Barrayar fairly effectively. In fact, they seem 
to do that quite a bit.
> 
> Barrayar is a first-rate power while it holds and is exploiting
> Komarr, and a third-rate power otherwise. Yes. This is true.

So then where's the advantage in deliberately reducing themselves?
That's just silly and unrealistic.
 
> Nevertheless, most of the Nexus survives as single-planet polities
> just fine,
 
Except for all the ones that have been invaded or at least attacked by
the Cetagandans. All those satraps were independent planets once.
 
 and if Barrayar adjusted its foreign policy to the
> realities of that (alliance-making, etc), they'd do fine too even
> considering the Ceta threat. 
 
The realities of alliance making seem fairly clear to Barrayar - they've 
become quite popular in the Nexus, and are on good terms with their
neighbours. What possible advantage is there in creating an angry, 
revengeful neighbour to be a constant threat? They're far better off as
they are.
 
After taking Komarr, they have at least
> seven distant frontiers to defend, instead of one - the problems only
> multiply. Not only do they have to defend each of Komarr's jump
> points, but they also have to defend their frontier of control, well
> past Komarr and subject to the same supply problems you mention times
> lots.
 
Having just one was cataclysmic. Having just one made them horribly
vulnerable. Since taking Komarr they've faced no such threat. So that
argument doesn't seem to be at all valid.
> 
> The fundamental strategic problem with taking Komarr, rather than
> negotiating defense pacts etc., is that it's an involuntary
> arrangement. Which means that if Barrayar ever loses Komarr (not
> implausible), it'd have the devil's own time getting it back, because
> all any invader would have to do is offer Komarr a better deal.
 
No. Taking Komarr would be dead easy. Literally. All you have to do is
blow the domes and Komarr is no problem. Barrayar's difficulties are
because they were far kinder than that. But that's always there as a 
last resort.
 
Besides, they presumably had some kind of pact with Komarr before.
It didn't seem to be much use. Why would anyone put themselves back
into that obviously dangerous position? And, according to you, Komarr
is now hostile and vengeful, so why believe that they'd be more 
trustworthy this time?

> Barrayar has done very little to earn the loyalty of the average
> Komarran, and their local occupying government is non-trivially
> repressive. 
 
Textev? Curfews? Blood in the streets? The biggest complaint we've
seen lately is that the traffic doesn't run well. And that's the job of the
local government, not Barrayar. In another post you list all the good things
about Komarr at the moment, which doesn't seem to mesh with this
picture of miserable suffering.
 
And the whole thing's enforced by violence... if it's
> disintegrated forcefully, the divorce will not be friendly, and
> Barrayar will be left in a much worse position than it started in.
> 
Be realistic. If all Komarrans were as bitterly resentful as you say, then 
no 'divorce' would be friendly, or have a good result, no matter how it was
made. If the situation is as hostile as you say, Barrayar absolutely can't
afford a violently revengeful Komarr holding their only wormhole.

> Now, there are ways the Komarr/Barrayar relationship could become
> win/win and thus more stable. But they all involve the High Vor giving
> up their stranglehold on power, and political reform much more major
> than we've seen.
> -Tel

But why? For Barrayar it's a win already. Why would they consider giving
up their security and advantages, just to put themselves at great risk? That's
a very unrealistic suggestion, and it would be irresponsible of any 
Barrayaran government to even consider it, if the situation is as you say.
 
I know it's only fiction, but there has to be some realistic attitude to the 
subject. I can't see any arguments here that would fly in the real world. In 
fact, you've given some very good reasons to keep Komarr under firm 
control.

Gwynne 		 	   		  


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