Defense Act

Here’s a minimalist consolidation of some elements from the current Charter, the current Military Code, and HumanSanity’s previous draft for an appointed Cabinet.

I want to extend thanks to ProfessorHenn, HS, and Hya for their feedback in preparing this draft. With that said, I still consider this a relatively rough draft and welcome input from everyone here.

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I like the draft. I have a couple of minor suggestions/tweaks:

  • I think it is very important that we make the code of conduct and its enforcement mandatory.

  • If the Assembly is needed to confirm generals, then the Assembly should be needed to remove generals. However, I am fine with the general corps being allowed to suspend generals by a majority vote if need be.

  • Make it clear that , if the Assembly orders an action, the general corps must carry out the order, and the Prime Minister must also carry it out (by not contradicting it).

  • I would make the bar for engaging hostile regions less than unanimity but more than a majority. All it takes is one sleeper or sympathetic general to prevent our military objectives from being carried out.

  • Allowing the general corps to allow any other members of the military to sit as non-voting advisory members of the general corps by a majority vote. Former generals and current commanders come to mind.

  • Perhaps a provision directly stating that when not on deployment, the SPSF WA nations should be endorsing the delegate/Coral Guard. I am not too attached to this provision, but I think it would be useful.

Why is that?

Why is that?

Why wouldn’t the General Corps be free to discuss military matters with individuals not on the General Corps?

I understand the intention here but think that it’s (a) more fitting as an order than as a provision of law and (b) not all that useful for the most part.

I would agree that any position subject to confirmation by the Assembly should be similarly subject to recall by the Assembly. If anything, I would codify that basic principle in an hypothetical Appointments Act. It makes sense that the Assembly should have that ability to exercise oversight and, if necessary, remove officials who do not meet the basic competencies of the job.

I have no objections to the Assembly holding recall power — it’s actually explicitly granted in the current draft. I’m not sure why Assembly recall needs to be the only way to remove a General.

Oh, I misread Griffindor’s initial post. That’s my bad.

Well, Codes of Conduct are designed to guide and serve the organization and its members on how to operate. If you are going to go down the path of a code of conduct, then you need to ensure that its provisions and guidelines are binding. Or else it becomes little more than “you should do this, but it’s ok not to”. If the discipline protocols are discretionary, then that could present issues. I am not going to tell the military how things should be done, but generally, you want a code of conduct to be seen as central to an organization.

Well, insofar as no other Assembly-confirmed body has the ability to remove its own members, I don’t see why the general corps should be any different.

They could… my statement shouldn’t suggest anything to the contrary. I am under the impression that the general corps makes military decisions as a group, allowing non-generals to have input into the group, should the generals desire it would help. The general corps do not have to use this provision if they don’t want to.

Discretion is central to the very notion of military command. There’s discretion involved in issuing orders. There’s discretion involved in ensuring those orders are enacted. There’s discretion involved in promoting or demoting personnel. There’s discretion involved in planning operations. There’s discretion involved in creating a Code of Conduct. There’s discretion involved in codifying punishments for violating it.

Others may not always agree with the decisions made by military officers. They may find orders to be ineffective, operations to be poorly planned, or discipline to be poorly enforced. They are free, as always, to voice that criticism, and the highest-ranking military commanders are accountable through the recall process in the exact same way as the highest-ranking elected officials. If anyone believes that the General Corps’ failure to create or enforce a Code of Conduct is damaging to the military, they should voice that criticism! That doesn’t mean it’s something that must be codified as a provision of law.

The position of General is, effectively, just a rank. It’s the highest rank under the Prime Minister, and the provisions of Assembly confirmation and recall represent a form of civilian oversight. But like personnel holding any other rank, Generals should also be held accountable in a military context as well.

I think you addressed all of these concerns in your first sentence. A specific provision is unnecessary. For instance, the General Corps currently routinely includes the Prime Minister and all Commanders in internal discussions, and it doesn’t need a specific provision of law to do so.

Most militaries in my experience have codes of conduct and rules written by their legislative branch. I would think it would be less problematic if the assembly wrote the rules and laws that the force is subject to.

The U.S. Armed Forces Code of Conduct was first issued by executive order and later amended by Presidents Carter and Reagan. The controlling document to train and educate uniformed members is DoD Directive 1300.7.

Should I highlight the parts that say Congress? And before you argue, I’ve enough family in various services to know.

However it’s done in the real world, perhaps a reasonable way to go is simply to require the relevant minister and/or the General Corps to issue a code of conduct that addresses certain issues, with the law simply outlining what those issues should be.

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If I read the article correctly, the legislature passed the laws, then the executive (pm in our case), would write the rules to fit.

The Code of Conduct is intentionally not a law. It’s a set of rules that the General Corps can use to maintain discipline, respect for authority, and operational security. It’s not a list of crimes for which individuals can be court-martialed, but rather just an internal policy that the General Corps may find helpful to enact so that personnel can have greater clarity on what actions their superiors would frown upon.

Unlike many real-life militaries, we don’t have any notion of courts-martial or any legal system at all built within our military, and we don’t need one — our judiciary works just fine. If you really believe that there should be something no member of the military should ever be allowed to do, perhaps the appropriate location to codify it would be the Criminal Code. The role of the General Corps is to enforce policies to promote military success. The role of the High Court is to enforce laws that the legislature felt necessary.

On the other hand, if the issue is a lack of Assembly oversight of the policies of the General Corps, we can add provisions similar to the other forms of oversight already in this draft — things like Assembly confirmation and recall of Generals and Assembly overrides of offensive military operations.

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There are administrative rules also, ones that’ll get you gigged for small things that are just not serious enough for court martial. I’m just thinking how much delegating the assembly should make if it’s the paramount authority. But if you think the original idea works better, I’m open to seeing how it frames up.

I don’t know how much sense it makes for the Assembly to manage to that level the workings of other institutions. Setting aside the issue of authority or jurisdiction, wouldn’t it make more sense to let each institution have the flexibility to govern its own procedures, obviously provided that they don’t contradict regional law?

As an example, the assembly passes a law saying no jaywalking, it would be up to the PM to make the rules for the military to abide by the law. I’m not tied to the idea, but I’ve problems with subletting rule making.

If the Assembly passes a law against jaywalking, why wouldn’t that apply to the military as well?

No military family I take it. Rules for one don’t necessarily transfer over. But if you’re comfortable with the way it’s worked, I’m fine with it.

What does that even mean?