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by The Trading Card Addict of Aweland. . 54 reads.

Telegram from Imperium Anglorum on 10th July, 2018 (Reupload)

This is a telegram sent by Imperium Anglorum, Delegate of Europe, to European WA nations.


I'd like to ask you to vote against the current GA resolution which is to repeal my resolution Ban on Secret Treaties. Now, the author Jocospor, comes from the Confederation of Corrupt Dictators, which is a region which in the past, made its intention known to try to invade and overthrow Europe.

Just from that, I don't think we as a region should support their proposals. I'm also not entirely convinced that this repeal isn't just an attempt to try to win something after that invasion obviously didn't succeed (I mean, we're all still here).

However, looking at the proposal itself, it contains basically three arguments: (1) secret treaties may be useful at defeating a foe, (2) secret treaties produce deterrence, and (3) secret treaties may be useful at changing the terms of trade.

Further examination shows these are simply logically false or, more generously, produce harm nations employing such tactics.

Argument 1 is an invitation for nations to deceive each other about what gets what out of a war. This encourages states to overpromise. Overpromising creates ripe conditions for further conflict. The World Assembly has an ethical obligation to prevent future conflict. A body made up of persons which have ethical obligations does not absolve those persons of those obligations. And nations do not have an interest in throwing themselves into wars in which they are unsure of victory.

A real world example of this is Italy after the First World War, where territories from the Austro-Hungarian Empire were not transferred as promised at in the postwar settlement, leading to the rise of strong nationalist movements. Similarly, there was significant conflict in the postwar Near East, where Arabia was engulfed in internecine warfare due to broken promises by the Entente. The former led, in part, to the Second World War. The latter still lives with us today, 100 years hence. These kinds of issues, and the complicated network of secret alliances the caused the war, are why American President Woodrow Wilson proposed the elimination of secret diplomacy in his Fourteen points.

Argument 2 just can't possibly be true. You cannot deter anyone if you don't tell them that you are ready to defend yourself. It's the same way that someone won't burgle your house if they can see signs noting security systems. Or, that someone won't try to beat you up if they don't have a good chance of winning. The proposal is arguing that secret treaties produce deterrence, but simply put, if an invading force doesn't know about costs, it doesn't appear in their decision making.

Argument 3 also can't possibly be true. If you want to create trade agreements with secret treaties, how could someone effectively do trade if the government has concealed tariff rates from them? Or if the breadth of the free trade zone is unknown, meaning they don't know from whom and to whom they can sell their goods? Both of these create significant risk, which increases the expected costs of doing business, leading to people doing less of it. Either way, nations are better off with more transparency.

I think that if one is going to propose a repeal, one should have decent reasons. What we have here are reasons which mostly don't make much sense, where nations taking the actions that the proposal claims they will take would in fact endanger themselves. That's not reasonable or rational for a nation to do, and why you should vote Against the proposed repeal.

You can do so here, or simply at the General Assembly page.

Imperium Anglorum
Delegate, Europe