An Old Mod Idea - Bilateral Alliances with US

USFK & (yet to be created icon of USFJ)

South Korea and Japan won’t feel the same way with european countries when it comes to diplomatic relationship with the US. This is mainly due to their bilateral military alliances with the US. While they can definitely strengthen their security, the US could use these alliances as leverage if needed. Some argue that the US alliances with East Asian countries have been formed for the US to tether and constraint their aggressive behaviors (related link). In that sense, I believe the US influences on them deserve dedicated variables.

I’m yet to materialize the contents but have some vague ideas. Their military alliances will be implemented as situations with their value representing relation w/ the US. And I’m actually going to set stop trigger so that gravely hurting strategic interests of the US could lead to break-up.

Causes (factors affecting relation with the US):

  • Military Spending (-, only when too low)
  • National Service, and Drone Strike Act (+)
  • Nuclear Weapons (-, substantial)
  • Import Tariff (-, minor)
  • Capital Control (-, minor)
  • Foreign Relation (-/+)
  • Democracy (+)

Effects:

  • suppress negative events under low military budget
  • North Korea Threat (-)
  • Stability (+)
  • Environment (-) or links to dedicated events regarding pollution on military bases
  • some approval effects (socialists, patriots, ethnic minorities maybe. SK & Japan will react differently I guess?)

I’m still largely unsure how to make this mod interesting. Any input or feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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I’d suppose that some countries would have different grudges changing the starting value of the American alliance?

For example Saudi Arabia is an authoritarian monarchy that commits human rights abuses but the United States still allies with them because they need a suitable ally in the Middle East (plus the oil) so they let that slide.

While Saudi Arabia isn’t included in the base game and there are some arguments which play down or deny its alliance relation with the US, I agree that the way alliances work can differ vastly. A few examples of this in the base game would be Microchip Implant and Ban Women Driving I guess? Not sure things like Ban Homosexuality, Curfews, Detention without Trial, or Media Censorship will greatly hurt the alliances between the US and other first world countries. It’s not like the US will just sit back and do nothing when a government of South Korea tries to establish authoritarian regime, but it didn’t abrogate the defense treaty when the military coups broke out in 1960~1980. In my opinion, democracy does strengthen the alliance with the US as more shared values and predictable behaviors do contribute for stable relationship but I don’t think this means some undemocratic or illiberal measures will undermine the alliance.


More thoughts & ideas on other alliances involving the countries in the base game

European Countries - US

  • Can’t deny NATO does play a big role in security of the european countries. But I don’t think it puts tangible pressure on the individual member state.
  • But, to be fair, I don’t think I’m ready to dive into this. It’s more complicated compared to bilateral alliances imo.
  • Also, EU countries already have 3 EU-related situations. I’m not sure adding NATO on top of them is a good idea.

United Kingdom - US

  • Special Relationship is worth mentioning here imo. (more than NATO)
  • Nonetheless, I don’t think it will restrict some actions for the UK in a similar way to SK or Japan. So I can’t imagine how introducing UK-US relationship to the UK mission will affect gameplay experiences.

Canada - US

  • Another relationship that is far more extensive compared to NATO imo. (PJBD, NORAD)
  • I guess Canada, whether intended or not by the US, might have more constraints in foreign & domestic policies compared to UK. But I’m honestly not well informed in this matter.

Australia - US

  • Five Eyes, ANZUS, and AUKUS as the latest addition.
  • I assume that Australia is much more interested in security cooperation with the US compared to western european countries. So I find it a good candidate for later updates to the mod.
  • But it will require further research how the AU-US alliance affects stats & politics of Australia.
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I really feel like a fully-fledged diplomacy system would be really helpful for the game, so that you could have relations with different countries and blocs, but that’s out of the scope of what we’re doing now.

Those are some good ideas you’ve got there. The effects of a US alliance should be very different from country to country.

I agree that diplomacy remains largely untapped in the base game and am aware of some mods trying to simulate it with relation scores with each regions or blocs. But I personally believe that the neural networks of D4 aren’t suitable for simulating dynamic (or even unpredictable) aspects of international politics. They are definitely good at tracking causes & effects but diplomacy has so many factors AND players. Even if it were possible to add most of the factors needed to simulate diplomatic relationship, it would still feel kinda shallow without any reaction or interaction. So, simulating it becomes an extra herculean task.

That’s why I decided to confine this mod idea to alliances. A binding alliance is relatively stable to simulate. I can safely assume that alliances won’t crumble down because of some petty quarrels or minor conflicts, making it easier to implement them into a mod.

This mod has just been published!

It’s not 100% satisfying but seems okay for the first step. I think adding more dilemma choices would be essential to improve player interaction with the mod. I’m still trying to find ways to add more benefits to these alliances, possibly by adding visible foreign threats to counter.

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Looks good!

Sorta related note: I’d really like to see a comprehensive diplomacy update in the future, and this is a first step. I’d like to see some of these ideas in it if it is ever made:

  1. The generic diplomatic relations would be sort of a cause and effect on relations with all blocs, affected as it is now as well as the relations with blocs
  2. Diplomacy would have its own menu with a map and each bloc or major nation (EU, certain African nations, Iran, etc.) having their own scale there, obviously removing certain nations like America if you’re playing as them. Some dilemmas would harm relations with certain blocs (bombing terrorists may increase favourability with US but seriously harm relations with middle eastern countries).
  3. Good relations with different countries would have your own buffs. With America that would keep the benefits of alliances, countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran would (temporarily) secure access to oil, relations with countries in general increases trade, foreign investment and therefore GDP. Hurting relations with certain nations can therefore cut off your supplies to resources which could hurt your GDP.
  4. You can do certain actions from the diplomacy screen to boost relations with individual nations by spending political capital or money (eg government-led investment in a country, diplomatic event, PR campaign in the country, etc.). But doing so could hurt your relations with other countries, like cozying up with Russia would damage relations with the west.
  5. If relations get very bad with a certain country a war should be a threat: almost always bad but the negative effects are mitigated by having a high Technology, military spending, spy agency, fighting a weak enemy and similar. If both sides have nukes a nuclear war could start which would make you lose the game. But an embargo would be much more likely which would seriously damage your economy.

You know, the fun stuff! Making getting nukes harder than just spending some political capital and having some big effects (especially with countries like Japan) would also be nice, though some countries (again, like Japan) would find it easier to make nukes than other. Not sure how this would be implemented.