Merry Christmas, everyone!  I’m traveling up and down the Eastern Seaboard of the United States for the next two weeks, and although I tried very hard to get out in front of the comic for you, I couldn’t find a way to get pages done that were up to the proper standard.  Instead, I present a little special presentation for you: a revised, revamped, and more intensive tour of the 6-Commando Universe, which many people have been asking for.  This is something I’ve been doing on the side for some time, now, as part of a separate 6-Commando related project called The 6-Commando Tactical Handbook.  You’ve seen a number of vehicle designs and camouflage patterns already, but here’s a portion that offers some insight into the 6-Commando world’s politics and structure.  Hopefully, it will help make up for the fact that the comic is on hold until I get back from the holiday, but I think everyone will understand.  It’s been a hell of a year, and a little time off is going to do me some good.

This week, we take on the pleasant and lighthearted subject of atomic weapons proliferation, and the text runs as follows (for those who can’t see the piece at this resolution):

DIPLOMATIC APPELLATION: Confederated Provinces and Territories of Canada
AREA: 2,354,085 sq. mi.
POPULATION: 104.7 Million (1996 est.)
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Nominal Constitutional Monarchy operating as De Facto Parliamentary Democratic Republic
HEAD OF STATE: Monarch (de jure); Prime Minister (de facto, since 1981)
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: Prime Minister (Note: since 1981, the Prime Minister has been de facto Head of State and Head of Government)
INDEPENDENCE: 1867 (Canadian Constitution Act)
ESTABLISHMENT: 1928 (Act of Confederation)

Wide exploitation of Canadian industrial and natural resources has made it the main power in the United Nations Alliance, although the United States and Mexico are more populous. At the end of the 1970’s, as the Scarlet Revolution entered its final stages in Europe, many governments went into exile in Canada, bringing with them large numbers of refugees and a great deal of intellectual capital that the Canadians have used to consolidate their position as a world superpower. Canada is the world’s third-largest producer of Uranium ore (after Australia and the Kazakh DSR), and possesses the single largest Uranium enrichment industry in the world. Rapid industrial expansion in the 1960s put Canada several steps ahead in atomic research, and although they were “beaten” by Germany in the race to build practical atomic reactors, the Canadian military aggressively expanded their atomic deterrent in the early 1980s. Canadian weapon stockpiles are the largest outside the Federated Socialist Republics, and are the primary nuclear force in the United Nations Alliance. Canada has been pursuing commercial atomic power as well, though it is unlikely to be available before 2015.

DIPLOMATIC APPELLATION: United States of America
CAPITAL: Washington, D.C.
AREA: 3,759,974 sq. mi.
POPULATION: 285.3 Million (1996 est.)
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Confederacy
HEAD OF STATE: President
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: Speaker of the House of Representatives
INDEPENDENCE: 1776 (from Great Britain)
ESTABLISHMENT: 1794 (Articles of Federation)

The political structure of the United States is a very complex network of interconnections and arrangements for sharing sovereignty that can often be confusing. At its simplest level, the USA is a confederation of 46 States, 5 Commonwealths, 19 Autonomous Indigenous Republics, 7 Insular Republics and (uniquely) one Constitutional Monarchy in Free Association with the Union. All these poltical units operate under their own laws and customs, but with deference to a single Confederal constitution called the Articles of Federation. Because of this radically decentralized government structure, the United States have been reluctant to take on international roles in the United Nations, and overseas deployments by U.S. troops have been relatively few in number. Paradoxically, the United States were early advocates of atomic deterrence by the UNA, and have aggressively pursued the expansion of their atomic forces since 1980. The U.S. has large resources of Uranium ore in the Southwestern states of Arizona, Gadsden and New Mexico, and the U.S. Continental Air Force has been particularly aggressive in exploiting them for enrichment as weapons material.

DIPLOMATIC APPELLATION: Estados Unidos Mexicanos
CAPITAL: Mexico City, D.F.
LARGEST CITY: Mexico City, D.F.
AREA: 2,073,124 sq. mi.
POPULATION: 110.5 Million (1996 est.)
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Federal Constitutional Democratic Republic
HEAD OF STATE: President (note: President is both Head of State and Head of Government)
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: President (note: President is both Head of State and Head of Government)
INDEPENDNECE: 1810 (from Spain)
ESTABLISHMENT: 1857 (current Constitution)

Mexico is a federal republic with a diverse electorate, and policy regarding the nation’s attitude towards atomic weapons has been ambivalent. On the one hand, the strong influence of the military in public affairs has ensured a strong atomic deterrent is maintained, primarily by the country’s large two-ocean navy. However, public sentiment has swung against atomic weapons and research several times in the past two decades, the most significant occurrence being an attempted assassination of pro-atomic President Vincente Cenicacelaya during the Independence Day celebrations in 1989. Though Mexico presently holds the third-largest atomic arsenal in the UNA, the government has declared a unilateral moratorium on the expansion of their atomic forces, and plans have been proposed to reduce the arsenal to 1000 active weapons by 2010. Mexico is under heavy pressure from Canada, Cuba and the United States not to pursue this course of action, as Mexican missile submarines form a major component of the UNA atomic deterrent, and many fear that weakening this force is likely to degrade the credibility of the UNA collective security apparatus.

More to come later in the week!  Have a good holiday, everyone!