Story ArcA narcotic plant discovered in the independent system of Kappa Fornacis has led to the blockade of the system by Federation forces, with President Jasmina Halsey citing concern over the effects of this new drug called "Onionhead" on the young and impressionable.
The fleet action led by Federal Admiral Vincent is engaged in the prevention of ships entering and leaving the system, while the farmer's leader Georgio Algeria has called on support from the free thinking against the oppressors "If the Federation doesn't like it then it MUST be cool".
The Federal bombing of the drug crops has had a sharp negative impact on the social media, directly affecting the President's perceived popularity. The act of distancing herself from the actions of Admiral Vincent, and denying that the bombing was a presidential order, has drawn sharp criticism from Shadow President Zachary Hudson who has pointedly separated the execution of law enforcement from the drafting of laws and policy making.
Going even further the Shadow President has used his congressional speech to call for the return of conscription, with his own military career as an example of how it would benefit the lazy youth of today.
AnalysisIt must be the doldrums between election years.
The Federation President has triggered the blockade of an independent system in order to tackle the problems of the youth of today, and no doubt to show action is being taken to the concerned middle class. In doing so she has tripped over the oldest degree of separation: politicians set the objectives and exit criteria, while the military plan and execute the operations needed to achieve those objectives.
The intervention by a politician in the operational decisions of the military, and then withdrawing that support in what, on the face of it, appears to be based on falling popularity, will be seen as faltering and indecisive leadership in some quarters.
It doesn't help that the Onionhead farmer's leader sounds like he is sampling his own wares, though the drugs themselves must be making quite the profit for someone. The battles raging about Kappa Fornacis are being led by top of the line Anaconda and Python warships, and CMDRs of the Federation of Pilots drawn to the fight are finding this unexpected resistance disquieting.
The recent incursions by the Empire into independent systems must have struck a nerve among the hawks in the Federation, with the Shadow President openly calling for a return to conscription. Expect voices to be raised more shrill over what is happening just across the border, and calls for an increased militarisation of the Federation.
So far the battles between the Federation and Empire are in proximity only, but could escalate into "by faction proxy", before falling into open warfare. Has the touchpaper been lit?