Talk:Council of Funding Nations
Very interesting discussion! On the question of membership, perhaps membership of the CFN is similar to to membership of the European Space Agency or the Large Hadron Collider project. In other words, not a question of eligibility (like the UN) but simply a coalition of the willing. In short, the funding nations are simply those who were willing to pay. Of course, in exchange for their contribution they get a share in the spoils, preferential protection (reflected in the score & funding mechanics) and the power to set the rules of engagement.
On the legalities, perhaps the CFN adopted an earlier preceedent set by one of its members and defined UFO occupants ans craft as "illegal enemy combatants" and, as such, not subject to the laws or norms of war nor to civil protection. X-COM's apparent licence to destroy real estate with impunity and risk civilians in the crossfire is harder to explain. I expect a large and hidden part of X-COM's funding is tied up in expensive insurance, compensation, & hush money schemes.
Spike 14:08, 11 March 2008 (PDT)
- 1 Quid pro quo
- 2 5th Geneva Convention
- 3 Further Discussion
Quid pro quo
Politics is never disinterested. In return for their financial contributions, the funding council nations received agreed material benefits:
- 1. Exclusive access to the spoils of operational missions at agreed, stable prices. X-COM could not auction the proceeds to the highest market bidder. Instead, proceeds were allocated to each nation in strict rotation. In the allocation of artefacts, each country's funding level determined both the precedence of allocation and the quantity of artefacts received. Once allocated the funding nations were free to trade or sell items to other FCN members, but not to other nations or the market. Clauses of the charter reserved to the FCN the right to act as a cartel and sell any collectively agreed surplus to the wider world, splitting the proceeds according to funding contributions.
- 2 All funding nations, equally, received all information gleaned from the project, including technologies. Nations were free to exploit this technology for internal use, but not to sell information or technology. Any manufactured goods sold would be subject to a royalty payable to the FCN and disbursed according to funding contributions.
- 3 Lastly, all nations received preferential protective treatment from X-COM forces, governed by a detailed technical appendix to the charter known as the Security Commitment Objectives - Resource Engagement (SCORE).
Spike 15:19, 11 March 2008 (PDT)
5th Geneva Convention
[Warning: Fiction! Speculation on background, not canonical!]
Convention V "Relative to the Covert Response to Exogenous Security Threats"
Declassified version, released 2023
Fifth Geneva Convention; Geneva, Helvetic Republic, 19 December 1998
Whereas it has become necessary for the governments of this Earth to join together for their collective defence in the face of [classified], this Convention is hereby promulgated to regulate their joint endeavour.
It is hereby declared and agreed that the exogenous threats, by nature of their [classified] and their demonstrated capacity for [classified], shall enjoy no protection under international law, including but not limited to the succeeding items.
Conventions I, II, III and IV are hereby abrogated with respect to the [classified] personnel or [classified].
The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, and the Geneva Protocol of 1925, shall not apply to responses to the exogenous threat. For avoidance of doubt this includes any fragmentation, incendiary, chemical, biological, radiological, [classified], or [classified] weapon. Furthermore the nations wheresoever qualified reserve the option to delegate their right under Article IV.1 of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, 1969, to forces operating under authority of this convention in the event of a significant [classified], [classified], or other situation deemed to [classified].
[classified] personnel or [classified] are illegal enemy combatants and are not entitled to the protection of any of the laws, customs or conventions of war, nor the protection of norms of civil and legal processes. Clearly, the notion of human rights is not applicable to [classified].
International and domestic laws, norms and customs of maritime and aircraft navigation, prize law, arrest and interception of shipping (or aircraft) are not applicable to [classified], or any [classified] vessels, [classified], craft or other vehicles.
Military, investigative, paramilitary, diplomatic, scientific, technical, medical, [classified] or [classified] personnel or forces acting under authority of this convention shall not be held liable in any jurisdiction, court, tribunal or arbitration process for any action directly or indirectly taken against exogenous threat personnel, [classified] or [classified] provided such action is conducted in accordance with the wider intent of this convention.
Signatory governments commit to indemnify and save harmless any military, paramilitary and [classified] forces acting under authority of this convention in respect of any claimed or actual damages, lawsuit or [classified] arising from actions undertaken under authority of this convention, howsoever [classified], including but not limited to [classified], except in clear cases of gross and deliberate negligence.
International and domestic laws pertaining to the treatment or welfare of domestic, agricultural, laboratory and experimental animals or [classified] shall not apply to operations or activities carried out during or in direct or indirect support of actions authorised by this convention, nor to [classified].
The adminstration, interpretation and operation of the powers embodied in this convention shall be conducted by a Council of the signatory funding nations, exercising a vote proportionate to their agreed funding level and in the absence of consensus, by simple majority vote. The Council is hereby empowered to make any further required regulations or directives for operation of the executive, command, operational and material implementation of this convention, without further reference to the signatory funding nations. The Council shall remain the final arbiter and interpreting authority of the meaning of the convention.
The creation, operation, maintenance and funding of such executive, command, operational and material means as are required to conduct the functions enabled by this convention are hereby authorised. The continuing existence and funding of the executive, command, operational and material forces in being is to be subject to a periodic vote of the council established under Article 10.
Signatory nations shall use all means consistent with their internal laws and executive powers of government to preserve at all times and at all costs, including [classified] or if necessary [classified], the necessarily covert nature of this convention and all operations, institutions, activities and [classified] arising from its execution.
Spike 16:30, 11 March 2008 (PDT)
Countries withdrawing from the CFN
Just a thought that occurred to me while reading this. There should be something touching on CFN groups that have chosen to withdraw still having certain obligations that are required of them (or even loss of some rights previously enjoyed). Just a few that I can think off the bat include:
- They are still required to maintain the secrecy of the project.
- X-Com still has exclusive rights to construct bases and operate in their territory as they see fit.
It makes me wonder, are withdrawing countries shifting their loyalty over to the aliens, or are they just turning a blind eye to the whole affair and just not caring what happens one way or the other?
- NKF 23:56, 11 March 2008 (PDT)
- yes definitely should be residual obligations as you say. I agree that non membership is for a variety of reasons, such as not taking the alien threat seriously, not believing in XCom's ability, not wanting to provoke the aliens, etc. And even many of the funding countries may be playing a double game, supporting XCom while they see which way the wind blows and keeping their options open with the aliens: no doubt the aliens offer many inducements to cooperate: computer technology, lasers, stealth aircraft, cellular telephones, plasma-based consumer entertainment systems...
Spike 02:41, 12 March 2008 (PDT)
Canon vs. fanfiction
My idea is more to analise the Canon of the X-COM universe rather than to write more Fan fiction like the Data Canisters, or the V Geneva Convention above (nice piece of work in any case). The difference between both can be seen on Spike's Qui Pro Quo section (which I added to the CFN page) and the V Convention. The difference between both is that on the first there's just an analysis and comparision to the real life and how it would using the current laws of physics/politics/etc. The V Convention is a step forward, namely creating a fictionalized treaty (or fan fiction) that does not belong to the canon of the X-COM series.
I've based my idea of the Technical Commentaries on the Star Wars Technical Commentaries page. The author describes his work as: 'This hobby simply uses the methods and language of science to consider the question: “If the STAR WARS universe were real, how would its phenomena be understood?”'. The fact that it does not has fan fiction has even rated it a link on Wikipedia.
To be honest, I think that a lot of material on the UFOPaedia suffers from the 'fan fiction' syndrome: the authors thought it was OK to expand the canon of the original series a bit and give their own personal perspective (some examples: description of combat scenes while talking about soldiers or planes). I have nothing against fanfiction (namely since I've written quite a bit of it based on X-COM), but that is not canon and it should have its own space and not to be included in articles related to the game.
After saying this, I'd just like to add that there is a lot of background work regarding this V Convention, on the possible nature of the agreement that can be presented as a technical commentary. The key here is present and discuss theory, like NKF's comments regarding the withdrawl from the treaty. - Hobbes 07:28, 12 March 2008 (PDT)
- Ok Hobbes I understand your distinction, and I agree. as you noted,the 5th Convention is a fictional hypothesis to work through some of the analysis. But of course it is fictional in form as well as in part of its content. Spike 11:22, 12 March 2008 (PDT)
- I really like the stuff from this article, but isn't UFOpaedia supposed to just cover canon? The realistic approach is nice, but I think that perhaps you might want to consider adding a disclaimer somewhere that some of this stuff is what you wrote yourself, and isn't contained in the actual game. -Conrad Gray 23:27, 12 April 2008 (PDT)
Other excluded nations?
The excellent analysis of the nations that are on the UNSC/G8+5 but not on the CFN got me thinking about other nations that weren't included. My guess is that the developers of the game probably just picked whichever nations seemed good. Regardless, I want to continue this exercise a bit more, since I'm a politics junkie.
Now, keep in mind that this is all from a late '90s perspective, which I guess could explain why Pakistan would be a viable nation to be considered (as Hobbes mentioned), since back then, it was a democracy and I don't think it was as angry at India, or as unstable as it is now. I think we can think of some other developed/militarily strong nations that aren't in the canonical CFN. Take Israel, for example. It's in a region that wasn't covered very much, and has a very powerful military and intelligence force, and there are even Israeli members in Rainbow Six. My guess for why they were excluded is that they're simply too controversial. No one would want to bring the Israel/Arab divide into the anti-alien crusade. So relatively powerful and moderate Egypt is in the CFN instead, though I think Turkey would have been a better choice. Much of this also explains why Taiwan was not a member.
- Well, one of the main criteria is the geographical allocations of the UNSC. Israel should belong to the Asia bloc but its membership has been vetoed by the Arab nations and until 2000 could not even be elected to the UNSC (on that year it was partially admitted to the Western bloc). Turkey isn't an Arab country and also belongs to the Western bloc, while Taiwan has lost UN membership as the People's Republic of China assumed the international representation of China on the UN back in the 70s (plus only a few countries internationally recognize the Republic of China instead of the PRC). - Hobbes 17:51, 14 April 2008 (PDT)
Also, here's a fanfiction idea: what if Mossad discovered X-COM or the alien threat, and decided to create its own anti-alien force independent on the world's war effort? Anyone read World War Z?
- I think Israel (and the rest of the world) would be secretly informed of X-COM's existence and would have allowed, or tolerated its activities. It could be well possible for Israel to engage on its own anti-alien activities, although due to its smaller size it would have to covertly operate in other nations of the Middle East, which might cause a lot of incidents and a military escalation with its Arab neighbours. - Hobbes 17:51, 14 April 2008 (PDT)
Another idea is to consider the biggest contributors to the armed real-life branch of the U.N.: the Peacekeeping Forces. However, if you check out the Wikipedia article you'll find out that there's a lot of controversy as well, since many of the contributing nations are not particularly well-developed: "Despite the large number of contributors, the greatest burden continues to be borne by a core group of developing countries. The 10 main troop-contributing countries to UN peacekeeping operations as of March 2007 were Pakistan (10,173), Bangladesh (9,675), India (9,471), Nepal (3,626), Jordan (3,564), Uruguay (2,583), Italy (2,539), Ghana, Nigeria and France." -Conrad Gray 23:43, 12 April 2008 (PDT)
- From the Wikipedia article there are 2 main reasons for that to happen: the presence of developed countries armed forces may evoke remembrances of imperialism, plus the financial incentive to developing countries since they get paid for each soldier they send. Plus, peacekeeping does not require technological advanced armed forces and the contributions are made voluntary. There isn't an 'armed real-life branch' of the UN (it would imply recruiting, training, equipping and basing such forces) but temporary national forces deployed on the interest of the contributing nations. - Hobbes 17:51, 14 April 2008 (PDT)
Does anyone think any other national governments besides the CFN countries and Switzerland knew about the alien threat and X-COM? I'd like to think that they were pretty much left out of the loop. The idea of a huge multinational military force sanctioned by a cabal of the most powerful nations of the U.N., fighting aliens and creating advanced weapons from their technology, would probably cause as much panic as if the secret was revealed to the entire general public. -Conrad Gray 00:01, 13 April 2008 (PDT)
- I would presume they'd all know. There is simply no way to hide the war from anyone with effective radar or aircraft. Nor is there a way to hide the battles occuring in populated areas without the help of the local government.--(name here) 14:42, 15 April 2008 (PDT)
- Agreed. All significant governments would be in on the cover-up, with the common goal of preventing civilian panic from forcing their hand. Whether the goal of a government was to collaborate with aliens, to fight them, to sit on the fence, or to wait and see, they wouldn't want public hysteria forcing the agenda. The international control of X-Com and its regulation by some kind of treaty is an important safeguard, otherwise as Conrad Gray says the non-participating governments would be alarmed and see it as a threat. Also as we know X-Com is capped at 250 armed agents and an absolute maximum of 64 aircraft. As long as X-Com has only conventional weapons it's not much of a threat to a government.
- Of course only a select few within each government and military would be aware of the true situation. In fact you might have one part of a government trying to cover up the alien menace, while another agency of the same government was working to uncover what was going on. The truth is out there. :) Spike 15:34, 15 April 2008 (PDT)
- My issue with that is that it seems unlikely that they would reveal the situation to every unstable undeveloped nation out there or rogue state. I kind of think of X-Com as rather like the Congress of Berlin or Berlin Conference or any of those events in history where the superpowers got together to determine the fate of the world as they sought it. I guess X-Com would notify the nations powerful or developed enough to have a heavy stake in the war, but I think they would selectively pick and choose to tell only certain countries. Who wants Iraq or North Korea or Libya to know what's happening? Certainly there would be a lot of outcry going after an X-Com operation from unnotified authorities, but as long as the major powers have an agreement, I think the CFN would be able to live without everyone knowing. And besides, X-Com has the most sophisticated stealth tech in the world. -Conrad Gray 15:41, 15 April 2008 (PDT)
- I'd still think that they would have eventually to inform the alien presence to every government in the world, or at least to the major participants in regional areas. Can you imagine what North Korea would think if they detected unidentified craft (alien or X-COM) coming from South Korea or Japan? Or Iraq/Iran spotting craft coming from the other country? Unless you informed the participants there would be a strong possibility of military escalation and conflict between those countries. Probably one way to measure this would be the implementation of X-COM bases: as the network expanded across the globe the countries on the area of operations of that base would have to be informed.
- Another argument is the question of alien infiltration on those countries. Imagine you are Saddam or Kim, and you get this reports of strange planes flying and landing on your territory. You're already paranoid, so this only serves to reinforce your paranoia that something is going on but no one is letting you know what it is. Then a UFO lands on Bagdad or Pyongyang, a Sectoid comes out and says 'take me to your leader' and then tells you that they are from another planet and his race wants to make a deal, offering tech and so on. I'd think that they would jump at that oportunity: they have no idea of the alien's real plans, plus all the major nations decided to cut you out, so you'd want some payback (plus, those alien guns and craft would REALLY be nice to display on your military parades commemorating your birthday). - Hobbes 17:56, 15 April 2008 (PDT)
- Isn't that different from how you portrayed it in your Unknown Menace fanfiction, though? -Conrad Gray 22:06, 15 April 2008 (PDT)
- Yeah, just checked and it is different. I guess I've changed my opinion since then :). - Hobbes 05:51, 16 April 2008 (PDT)
- Well, because the game isn't exactly explicit on this issue, and everyone has a "personal canon" for the purposes of stories or original work or whatever, I think I'll use the one established in "Unknown Menace" until I can get a copy of Diane Duane's novelization, or a translation of the Russian one. I guess I like the greater secrecy because I was thinking of X-Com more MIB-style, and thus the less governments (and people) who know about it, the more interesting it. And excluding certain countries opens itself up to all sorts of intrigue. It also makes me think of GURPS Black Ops. But that's just me. -Conrad Gray 09:06, 16 April 2008 (PDT)B
Funding Council for XCOM: Enemy Unknown
- I look forward to this level of analysis in articles of future X-COM games. :D I see that in that game they exchanged Spain and Italy for Mexico and Argentina, and also added the choice of soldier nationalities from non-funding countries. - Conrad Gray 18:52, 29 September 2012 (EDT)
- This actually may be the basis of a nice article about the Council for the new game :) Hobbes 11:02, 30 September 2012 (EDT)