1. CGB
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    CGB Active Member

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    Big Picture issues...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by CGB, Feb 10, 2015.

    My story is a grand-scale space opera that spans several different planets in the galaxy. It's 400 years after humanity has left Earth ("Terra" because I don't want to readers to think the Earth in my story shares the same history as the real life one) permanently because it was destroyed by an advanced alien race. Humans reside on eleven different planets in 8 different star system (with 9 of those 11 planets under the political jurisdiction of a single interplanetary governing body that is essentially a massive bureaucracy with hundreds of departments/offices all extending from 5 or 6 Ministerial divisions of the Executive on the capital world).

    Anyway my specific issue is coming up with a plausible reason why the (relatively) newly elected Chancellor of the 9 planet system would want to permanently shut down their version of the Central Intelligence Agency. Why would this be a good idea for him or his cronies politically?

    Also, how might their plan to shut down said intelligence/spy agency be negatively impacted by the death of its high-profile leader (who also happens to be one of the most beloved war heroes in the galaxy)? This particular individual is believed by many to be responsible for single-handedly ending a long war humanity was engaged in (and losing) for half a century against a certain alien species. This war has been over for close to 35 years now, however, but many in the older generation still remember.

    In my outlining and planning stages, I think I took for granted two things that in retrospect seem like very weak points in the plausibility department:

    1. That humanity would elect someone who campaigns in part on the promise of eliminating their intelligence/clandestine services agency just 35 years after a major war for their survival barely ended in their favor.

    2. That the death of the Intelligence Minister would somehow be a major roadblock for achieving their goal of shutting the agency down. Maybe because it is highly publicized and he is given a grand burial on "galactic" television with billions watching that people suddenly are reminded what he and said agency did to protect humanity a few short decades ago?

    I don't know, the last part seems somewhat weak to me right now but I've hinged my entire plot on the particulars of those two events being plausible. Just want some opinions. Thank you...
     
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  2. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    How did the war against the aliens end? Were the aliens wiped out (genocide anyone?) or was a negotiated settlement (Cold War anyone?) reached?

    What is the position of the 2 non-federated planets?

    Bearing in mind the current divided position we have on our one planet, I'm having trouble buying a united 9-planet federation. Once you factor in how divisive we (humans) can be, it's unlikely that the CIA would be eliminated by anybody in authority.
     
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  3. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Overreach/mission creep is the usual reason intelligence agencies get shut down or reorganised. In fact the exigencies of war tend to make governments and societies overlook actions by intelligence agencies that would normally not be tolerated in peacetime - assassination of non-violent opponents of the government/military, use of torture, atrocities, excessive intrusion into civilian affairs, false information submitted as "intelligence".

    The death of the existing leader may derail the reorganisation because of dirty secrets previously kept hidden by the chief. Or the new/successor chief takes covert actions to protect the agency up to blackmailing the new Chancellor. Or it is discovered that the news of the proposed reorganisation has reached an enemy star nation who prepare to take advantage of the momentary weakness by mounting a massive covert attack.
     
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  4. CGB
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    CGB Active Member

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    Thanks for the responses...

    The background of the story is that the war has been over officially for close to 30 years. As such, the generation that is coming of age when the story begins was just being born when great war was coming to a close. Their parents on the other hand knew nothing but war for close to 80 straight years (in terms of losses, it was similar to WWII but multiplied by the number of extra decades this particular conflict lasted).

    Well you know how wartime government can go, even in so-called democratic societies. There is first a restriction placed on various individual civil liberties, then possibly military conscription, the turning over of various industries specifically for wartime production, etc. And even after the war has ended, perhaps some of these restrictions still carry over. The younger generation has had to live with the rulebook of the "great war" but clearly it's been over for as long as they've been alive. So basically they are fed up with it, and want it done away with.

    The elimination of their version of the CIA is really not the big agenda, its just one small part of a larger overall agenda for the new peace-nik administration.
     

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