In a series of public speeches, Lord Tigris Ninx set forth the argument for adopting a new foreign policy and openly opposing the Galactic Empire. At some point, parts of the lectures were woven together into a concise document that became known as the Tigris Doctrine – the primary impetus for Federation membership in the Galactic Alliance.
The Imperial Menace
For all the progress we have made since our day of independence, an awful truth remains: We can establish the conditions for maximizing freedom in our local sectors, and yet still become slaves. We can do this by losing our liberty again to the Galactic Empire.
Our freedom has always depended, to an extent, on what is happening beyond our borders. Even in the days of Clan Huruk-Rah, the Falleen had to reckon with foreign threats. They knew that a people cannot live and work freely, and develop, except in peace and with independence. It was only because wise and courageous leaders understood that defense of freedom required risks and sacrifice, as well as their belief in it, that we survived the crisis of national infancy. As we grew stronger, the danger gradually receded. Though we always had to keep a eye on would-be conquerors, our independence was acknowledged and peace was established.
Now we have come full circle and our existence is once again threatened as it was in the early days. Though we continue to grow stronger, we are in clear and imminent danger of being overwhelmed by Imperial forces yet again. We are confronted by a dark movement that possesses the will to dominate absolutely. This threat, moreover, is growing day by day. And it has now reached the point where Falleen leaders need to adopt a new foreign policy that can be measured against a new test: Does it help defeat the enemy?
It is never easy to stake out the right road. But from our own estimate of the situation, we know the direction we must take; and our standard – Is it helpful in defeating Imperialism? – will provide guideposts all along the way. There are some that can be observed even now:
Our Goal Must Be Victory
1. The key guidepost is the Objective, and we must never lose sight of it. It is not to wage a struggle against Imperialism, but to win it.
2. Our strategy must be primarily offensive in nature. Given the dynamic character of the enemy’s challenge, we cannot win merely by trying to hold our own. In addition to paring his blows, we must strike our own. In addition to guarding our frontiers, we must try to puncture his. In addition to keeping the free worlds free, we must try to make the Imperial worlds free. To these ends, we must always try to engage the enemy at times and places, and with weapons, of our own choosing.
3. We must strive to achieve and maintain military superiority. Mere parity will not do. Since we can never match the Imperials in manpower, our equipment and weapons must more than offset his advantage in numbers. We must also make every effort to develop methods and tactics that best put those weapons to use in achieving decisive battlefield superiority.
4. We must make the Federation economically strong. Economic emancipation is imperative if the Falleen nation is to survive. The Federation’s maximum economic power will be forged, not under Imperial direction, but in freedom.
5. In all of our dealings with foreign governments, we must behave like a great power. Our national posture must reflect strength and confidence and purpose, as well as good will. We need not be bellicose, but neither should we encourage others to believe that Federation rights can be violated with impunity. We must protect Federation nationals and Federation property and Federation honor – everywhere. We may not make foreign people love us – no nation has ever succeeded in that – but we can make them respect us. And respect is the stuff of which enduring friendships and firm alliances are made.
6. We should adopt a discriminating foreign aid policy. Federation aid should be furnished only to friendly, anti-Imperial nations that are willing to join with us in the struggle for freedom. Moreover, our aid should take the form of loans or technical assistance, not gifts. And we should insist, moreover, that such nations contribute their fair share to the common cause.
7. We should declare the galactic Imperialist movement an outlaw in the community of civilized worlds. Accordingly, we should withdraw diplomatic recognition from all Imperialist governments, thereby serving notice on the galaxy that we regard such governments as neither legitimate nor permanent.
8. We should encourage the captive peoples to revolt against their Imperial rulers. This policy must be pursued with caution and prudence, as well as courage. For while our enslaved friends must be told that we are anxious to help them, we should discourage premature uprisings that have no chance of success. The freedom fighters must understand that the time and place and method of such uprisings will be dictated by the needs of an overall galactic strategy. To this end we should establish close liaison with underground leaders in the Galactic Empire, furnishing them with the means and support for a full-fledged Resistance.
This is hard counsel. But it is hard, I think, not for what it says, but for saying it openly. Such a policy involves the risk of war? Of course; but any policy, short of surrender, does that. Any policy that successfully frustrates the Emperor’s aim of galactic domination runs such risks. It is hard counsel because it frankly acknowledges that war may be the price of continued independence.
The risks I speak of are risks on our terms, instead of on Imperial terms. We, not they, would select a time and place for a test of wills. We, not they would have the opportunity to bring maximum strength to bear on that test. They, not we, would have to decide between fighting for limited objectives under unfavorable circumstances, or backing down. And these are immense advantages.
The future, as I see it, will unfold along one of two paths. Either the Imperials will retain the offensive; will lay down one challenge after another; will invite us in local crisis after local crisis to choose between all-out war and limited retreat; and will force us, ultimately, to surrender or accept war under the most disadvantageous circumstances. Or we will summon the will and the means for taking the initiative, and wage a war of attrition against them – and hope, therefore, to bring about the internal disintegration of the Empire. One course runs the risk of war, and leads, in any case, to probable defeat. The other runs the risk of war, and holds forth the promise of victory. For Falleen who cherish their lives, but their freedom more, the choice cannot be difficult.