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Everyone wants one. But how do you organise a naval blockade? An overview of the strategic thought of Alfred Thayer Mahan, a late-19th Century American naval strategist most famous for his advocacy of a big fleet and the idea of 'decisive battle'. This video shows that these 2 elements form only a part of Mahan's thinking, with the key element being the use of 'sea control' to strangle an enemy's economic power. This allows us to assess the value of 'Mahanian thinking' beyond WWI and WWII-era battleship obsessions.
The following diplomatic communique is intended solely for His Majesty Aidan Redmond, King of Seylos, and is to be considered confidential. Your Majesty, It is the understanding of the Worker's Republic of Fulgistan that your realm is currently under tangible military threat from certain neighboring actors, and that in the event of these certain actors desiring to affect an armed attack upon your nation or another sovereign state in the area of the Western Adlantic, that clearly threatened Seylosian sovereignty, and which the Seylosian Crown accordingly considered it vital to resist with their national forces, the Worker's Republic would feel itself bound at once to lend the Seylosian Crown all support in its power. We hereby give the Seylosian Crown an assurance to this effect. I may add that the designated representative of the Sayfi Foreign Ministry, Mr. Fahri Barkat Ali, has authorised me to make it plain that they stand in the same position in this matter as does the Worker's Republic. Should you or your designated defense officials believe that such an attack as described above is imminent or has come to pass, it is our request that you inform both myself and Mr. Ali, such that our nations may endeavor to render you whatever aid possible. Best wishes, Ismail Tian-Han, Secretary, Bureau for Foreign Diplomacy, Worker's Republic of Fulgistan
Prologue Paradise City, Isla, Capitol of the Isla Coalition, 0928 6 July 11 Presidente Abidugan sipped his iced whiskey as the warm ocean breeze wafted up from the white, sandy beaches below. The tropical beaches and beautiful jungles of this island made it a beautiful tourist spot, Isla's main income. A large mountain behind his villa was the source of a cool river running through the jungle, providing the town below with both a clean water source and good recreation year-round. It was about 9 in the morning, but his responsibilities were few of late. The various ministers and generals handled most affairs, he was mostly a figurehead these days. An untouchable figurehead, but a figurehead nonetheless. Two guards dressed in comfortable hawaiian shirts and board shorts talked quietly, loosely holding their AKSU-74s. As he lazily swished the ice cubes around in his drink, he heard a faint knock from downstairs. He stood slowly as the melodic voice of one of his maids rang through the house. "Senhor presidente, um dos generais está aqui para vê-lo." Occasionally, though, this figurehead was consulted for advice. "Estarei em um momento." He wandered down the tastefully decorated halls of his home, the faint clapping of the guard's flip-flops audible behind him as he went down the stairs, barefoot. The house was not overly large, but very spacious in its design. Generalissimo Debare was waiting for him, his red beret tucked under his right epaulette band. "Bom dia, Senhor Presidente. Tenho algumas propostas que eu gostaria de dar uma olhada." The much younger man said. Behind him, the door stood open, revealing the car that brought him to the villa. Not an ostentatious car, very moderate and practical. "É sempre direto ao negócio com você, meu protegido." The President chuckled. He liked this general, always coming to him for advice and expertise. "Com o que posso ajudar?" As they sat and talked, various guards meandered through the house, servants brought them tea, and visitors came and went. Hours passed as the two poured over proposals for the expansion of infrastructure and the military. One by one, generals began arriving, and the president briefly greeted them and asked them to make themselves at home. "Minha casa é sua casa, senhores." He said to them, "É bom ver todos vocês." 1445, 6 July 11 After some time had passed, his conversation with the young general ended, and he turned his attention to his guests as Debare took his documents back to his car. "O que traz boas senhoras para a minha casa esta noite?" The president said, causing the generals to look back and forth at each-other. Outside, a car door slammed. One of them spoke, finally. "Você nos enviou uma convocação urgente, senh--" He was cut off by the front door being battered open, as well as glass breaking upstairs and doors slamming. Four well-armed men in black combat gear burst through the front door, suppressed 416ACs clacking rapidly. Invisible bees buzzed through the air, burrowing gruesomely deep into the guards, several hitting the president. As he crumpled to the floor, several of the generals drew their sidearms, and attempted to return fire as they were cut down. Some managed to get off a few shots, and of those only two found their mark. One of the attackers reeled backwards, clutching his ribs with one hand, while his other clung to his weapon as he fell backwards onto the floor. The two downstairs guards were completely caught by surprise, and their blood framed them, their colorful hawaiian shirts painting bright streaks of red as they slid to the floor, lifeless. Upstairs, the guards were isolated from each other, and two groups of four assaulters quickly swept the house, executing guards, servants, and guests alike. After they had backswept the house, they policed their brass, and dragged their wounded man away from the villa. The casualty made it for 4 hours through the hot, sticky jungle, before he succumbed to the shock of a collapsed lung. They took his dog tags, weapons, ammo, and gear, and buried his naked body in an unmarked grave. They continued, carrying all evidence of his identity with them. 0153, 7 July 11 The group of men arrived near the mouth of the river, where two inflatable boats were buried in the sand at a pre-arranged location. They dug them up, inflated them, and paddled to the rendezvous point 2 miles off the coast, where they were picked up by a trawler. The ship took them into a storm approximately 34 miles off the coast of Isla, where everyone aboard was transferred to the ANS Concordia. The trawler was wired to send out a recorded distress signal 45 minutes after the Concordia departed, before small det cords were rigged to explode, causing fractures in the hull which would seem to be the cause of sinking. Not enough evidence of Operation Goliath was ever discovered to accuse Asgeirria of war crimes. The special forces involved in the operation were charged with going AWOL, commandeering a government vehicle, and manslaughter 2 months later. However, the government did not confiscate a purported sunken treasure they discovered during their joyride. The men served 8 months in a rehabilitation facility, before being released on parole indefinitely. However, there was one survivor of the raid: Generalissimo Debare.