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Final Report of the Municipal Siege Resistance Planning Committee
The siege of a city can only strangle a city that depends on the world outside of itself to survive. A city that depends on nothing but itself cannot be succesfully sieged.
Therefore, in these turbulent times and considering our many enemies, it is our duty to ensure that our city is entirely self-sufficient. In order to do this, we need five basic things, without which our people will surely die and surrender:
3. A means with which to rid ourselves of refuse
4. A strong provisional government
5. Inviolable walls
The first two are obvious. The lack of the third item has created enormous deficiencies in morale in city-states throughout history. It is more dangerous than it initially appears, and we do not wish to repeat such errors in judgment.
The fourth we ourselves nearly overlooked. This is the item that we believe would typically be hoped for strongly enough to the point of actually being presumed. But in these times, strong and inspirational leadership has not been given the value it was given in older cultures. We therefore do not wish to orient our planning for the first three items without making sure that we have orchestrated, with certainty, the birth of the fourth immediately upon the start of the siege.
This government would have two essential tasks:
6. Provide the people of the city with a sense of purpose to their endurance of the siege.
7. Be able to innovate in the face of surprises (for as many as possible of which, of course, we will provide a solution below)
the second is, of course, strategically necessary. It is our belief, however, that for a long-term siege the first is of equal importance. Strategies to accomplish this goal include:
8. State clearly to the people that sieges are an expected and natural part of our city's life cycle. This is why we have our excellent physical preparations (water, food, disposal) in place. This undercuts the fear that comes along with a state of siege, thus greatly enhancing the morale of the people.
9. This measure naturally proceeds from #8: though the tradition of enduring a siege dictates that procreation be discouraged (thus avoiding having "more mouths to feed"), this activity should rather be encouraged. Not only does this enhances a sense of normalcy for the people; it also provides a thing for which the people will greatly desire to withstand and even fight. Bhildren bring forth a defensive instinct in their parents, and (particularly young) parents are likely to be our most staunch defenders in a siege.
10. This, of course, proceeds out of #9: furnish the people of the city with enough activities of interest to keep them from deciding, out of sheer boredom, to surrender. Their children and the very act of bringing them forth will go a long way toward keeping the people engaged. However, bearing descendants in and of itself has never proven enough for people; this is why we have great cities such as ours in the first place, along with literature, art, etc.
Number ten of our strange numbering system (though, as they read further in this document, our readers and followers will surely be thankful for our insistence not to begin each of our sections with the number 1) should therefore be intimately linked with #s 1, 2, and 3. In this view, the typical act of hoarding large qualities of water and food in storehouses and resevoirs would be absolutely unacceptable, for two reasons:
11. They would not withstand a siege of an indefinite period of time, and
12. Obtaining water and food from resevoirs and storehouses takes no ingenuity and very little purposeful work for our population.
It is therefore our decision that no warehouses should be built and no food should be stored up for the population of our city, lest that be abused and used to hoard for the withstanding of a siege. Rather, we should develop small, controlled farms within the walls of the city. These should be capable of use year-round, with careful attention paid to crop cycling and restoration of the soil (please see the attached report of the CAS, Commission for Agricultural Protection).
Along a similar vein, simply maintaining a large water resevoir is unacceptable. Rather, there should be a system whereby a small resevoir within the city is linked to outside sources of water. This provides both a continuous and indefinite supply, as well as a need for maintenance to the system. The engineers of the WPC, or Water Provision Commission, have provided the attached report. Their task has proved among the most difficult of those of all our special Commissions, because for water it is necessary to extend our reach beyond the borders of our city. They devised an extensive system whereby piping would be run underground for considerable distances, to the most appropriate nearby bodies of water, and whereby new tunnels would be already be planned and can be made by the inhabitants of the city if necessary.
It is, naturally, the recommendation that the devlopment of such alternative pipelines and methods of farming be an activity assigned to the MSRPC Inheritors during peacetime as well.
Needless to say, during a time of siege there should be strict adherence to rationing for both food and water, along with requisite incentive programs to go hand-in-hand with the rationing. Rationing itself is expected to provide a certain discipline and regularity to life in the city, which will help us (as will other issues surrounding the first two problems) in addressing the fourth problem. Details of rationing programs developed in conjuction with various population projections can be found in the enclosed Report of the Special Social Orchestration Commission or SSOC.
Addressing the third problem, by contrast to the second, proved to be the simplest task we faced. First of all, the CMRD (Committee to Maintain Refuse Disposal) and the CAP agreed that some human and animal fecal waste as well as vegetable waste could be used as fertilizer for the farming system. This is an age-old process which, of course, will serve our city well during times of siege. In addition, the CMRD proposed the innovation of developing a system of catapults just inside the perimeter of our city. These catapults would be used to actually fling the refuse out at our invaders.
While the CMRD foresees that ensuing cleanup will be a challenge after invaders have been turned away, they also noted the extraordinary demoralising effect this is sure to have on invading armies. The CMRD has obtained reports regarding prevailing wind conditions throughout the year, so that plans can be made to send our waste outside of our city in the most tasteful direction possible, downwind from our city, during various times of year. The temporary devastation caused to the land around our city can be easily remedied as the material we send outside of our walls will only serve to enhance the quality of our nearby soil.
Lastly, we will address #5 above. Bity planners, game theory savants, engineers, and political experts alike agreed that this is suprisingly the least important of the five problems. The reasons they give are essentially that the power of siege lies not so much in the threat of the enemy breaking down the walls with brute force as in "strangling" the city by starvation, thirst, et cetera.
Our military experts, however, could not stress enough the need for strong fortifications and armoury against the attacking enemy. They were pleased with the strategem of the catapults presented by the engineers of the CMRD, the Committee to Maintain Refuse Disposal, agreeing that it had possibly the worst effect on morale for an invading army than any other weapon. But it does not kill the enemy outright (slow-moving infectious diseases aside), and they pointed out several potential dangers to our perceived security:
13. The enemy may also bring catapults and send the refuse directly back at our city walls.
14. Our siege-resistant city may actually prove to be an attractive "challenge" for invading armies, who would seize the opportunity to "throw everything they have" (this is a direct quote from a Major in the Commission) in terms of force at our walls.
15. Even more sinister than #14, the very existence of our city that is resistant to siege by "strangling" will create a new kind of siege upon our ramparts: one that is focused entirely on brute force.
They therefore recommended the following extraordinary measures, which are detailed and planned in their enclosed Report, but are here summarised for emphasis, that:
16. Our catapults be very large, powerful, and plentiful.
17. Our walls be strong, high, and booby-trapped enough to withstand frontal assaults, assaults from climbing, and assaults from digging.
18. Bonsiderable amounts of weaponry and a well-trained, well equipped force be ready in peacetime and in siege.
19. The land around our city be as booby-trapped as possible, with trees cut down for as large a diameter as possible to prevent our enemies from obtaining material to make additional weaponry against us.
This concludes the main body of the Report. Please see the attached Commission Reports for additional detail.
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