Claire did it, first.

Flower Power, photo taken by Bernie Boston for The Washington Star on 21 October 1967

On 15 August, I was presented with the following issue from the Bodetesencean military.  It's titled "Military Demands Increased Spending".  I'm not seeing an authorial byline, so this may be one of the original issues written for the game.

The Department of Defense has put its case for a substantial increase in funding for the coming financial year.

Right off the bat I'm disinclined towards this increase because not only is Bodetesence not at war, but we're certainly not losing one that would require an increase in defense spending.  I should note though that my nation will actually never be at war because that's not a NationStates function.  Let's see what the interested parties have to say for themselves.

Option 1

‘These are turbulent times we live in,’ says Defense Chief Chastity Hamilton. ‘Turbulent and dangerous. And the only sensible response to that, of course, is to build a lot more weapons. Unless we get the funding we need, I can’t promise that we’ll be able to defend Bodetesence’s sovereign borders from rogue nations and foreign powers. Or those leaky boatloads of refugees, for that matter.’

Chief Hamilton's claim of "the only sensible response" lacks any reliable evidence that Bodetesence is actually threatened.  When the world is turbulent, a sensible response would be calmness and stability; when the world is dangerous (in whatever sense they mean), a sensible response would be carefulness, not antagonization of others by investing in "a lot more weapons."  Lastly, are boatloads of refugees something from which our nation needs defending?

Option 2

‘NO MORE BOMBS,’ chant the protestors outside Parliament House, in a repetitious and increasingly annoying appeal. Spokesperson Harambe Norris, speaking through a feedback-afflicted microphone, says, ‘Bodetesence needs fewer weapons, not more! Make the world a safer place! Disarm now!’

The spokesperson here has the same problem as my chief of defense: lack of evidence that their demands would result in their goal.  Bodetesence is safe now.  We're secure now.  Whatever we're doing now seems to be working, and without any evidence to the contrary, I'm not going to change that in the short-term.

These are my only two options, though.  I'm not going to dismiss issues, because that's not interesting, and I'm not going to meta-game, because that's lame.  I suppose I'm more satisfied with the option of disarming as opposed to increasing the same.  A nation that begins developing and testing new weapons is a nation that expects to use them, and that's not the impression I want the world to have of Bodetesence.  Gradual disarmament won't put the nation in immediate danger from rogue powers, and good-faith communications with other nations may prompt others to do the same.

I, the unelected skipper of the good ship Bodetesence, do hereby make the following proclamation:

In the interest of promoting global peace and not antagonizing other nations in our sphere, The Free Land of Bodetesence will pursue a policy of disarmament.

This is my word, and as such is beyond contestation.

The Talking Point: Military funding has been stripped back.

Recent Headlines: "Comedy, Drama Rule Box Office As Action Flicks Fail", "Military Base Converted To Well-Defended Retirement Village", "I’m No Hero, Says Heroic Bodetesencean", and "Kittens Becoming Softer, Scientists Say"

Recent Trends (of greater than single-digit changes):

  • Industry: Arms Manufacturing (as measured by the Charon Conveyancy Index) is down 17.9%.
  • Defense Forces (as measured by the Total War Preparedness Rating) is down 33.1%.