The birth of the term “Mandatory Arbitration” occurred as a result of a sweeping change in social-government relationships. Before the revolutionary legislation was signed into legality in the mid-22nd Century, one of the government’s most accepted roles in society was to create, maintain, and mobilize the military forces responsible for the protection of society. This status quo steered the course of humanity through countless technological ages, world wars, and revolutions.
Such was life. Societies without power wanted to obtain power. Societies with power wanted to obtain more of it. These societies formed governments tasked with, among other things, the operation of militaries to ensure the societies safety and future.
It was an imperfect system. Governments are elected by the people. People are impressionable. Whole administrations could be bent to fit the form of one insane man’s whim – if he was good enough with words. The Hundred Years’ War, World Wars I and II, Vietnam, Iraq. When you take a look at every major global confrontation, there is always someone (or several, sometimes on both sides) who use their governments against the very people who they were meant to protect. Nothing follows such ambition but suffering and strife.
The world’s first organized attempt at global order, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, did little more than to polarize opposing sides in a conflict. It gave the world a very clear distinction between good and evil, but at the same time it painted a target on the backs of hundreds of civilized nations. Now, instead of starting a war with one nation, a lunatic would pick a fight with half the world.
By the early 21st Century, evolving battle tactics, shifting hot zones, and ever-changing governments had completely altered the look of modern combat. More and more corporations and other private entities doing business in less-than-savory regions were already taking matters into their own hands and manufacturing privatized security forces. In other words, wars were now for sale.
In 2088, an organized and lethal insurgent force based in New Somalia began an all-out attack on capitalism itself. What would become called as “The Revenge of Terror” saw countless genocides, terrorist attacks, and other atrocities break out across the civilized world, and sparked World War III. This time, the soft and decidedly tolerant NATO responded with the largest and most comprehensive counter-offensive ever witnessed. In all, sixty-four sanctioned governments participated in the fight under the NATO banner. The war brought entire countries to the brink of destruction. Death tolls are still unconfirmed, but most estimates hit the one-billion mark. By the end of the war in 2101, the world had lost a higher percentage of its standing population than it had during the bubonic plague. The aftermath of WWIII is referred to by many scholars as the “apocolite” – a reference to the long storied apocalypse, or the end of the world.
Not noticed by millions, though, during those thirteen horrifying years was a change in domestic military ownership. NATO had committed its entire bank of resources to fending off the conglomerated terrorist threat. But this left an ominous void in the NATO nations’ homelands—public panic ensued on almost every street corner. Martial law had to be established in thirty-seven nations to ensure that famine would not follow the chaos. And, the people of those nations needed a military presence just to feel safe enough to go to work and to school each day.
A radical move was necessary, and in 2091 the face of modern warfare changed forever. Led by NATO initiative, four international private-sector corporations were giving access to what was called the “Intervention Manifesto” - a six-volume document detailing the explicit application of these corporations’ privately-held security forces in a public defense deployment. In essence, the combined government of the world had “rented” its own army to use to secure civilized nations. The band of corporations, labeled “The Oligarchy” (likely by the programs’ opponents) was set to be broken up within a respectable time frame after the terrorist problem had been sufficiently dealt with. Understandably, NATO organized a robust legal force (nicknamed “Sentinel”) to ensure compliance with federal regulations and to provide oversight/transparency throughout the duration of the Intervention program.
After the last of the terrorist forces surrendered to NATO command in 2101, the Sentinel team prepared for what they were certain was going to be a global public battle cry that The Oligarchy follow the intervention manifesto and break up, relinquishing all military power back to the world ordered government. However, in one of the most bizarre instances of the millennium, public polls from almost every single NATO nation showed that the public wished that The Oligarchy be kept in-tact to aid NATO forces in protecting humanity. National citizens felt that the superbly-trained (and superbly-paid) corporate combat teams provided a level of security they hadn’t felt before from standard government-operated troops. Surprised by this unusual public reaction, but equally wary of a capitalist juggernaut runaway, NATO placed The Oligarchy on a stand-by status—neither fully disbanding the program nor signing it into full-time duty.
And so it remained for a decade, while the world recovered from the Apocolite, and the government soon turned its attention to a new challenge: the environment. In 2115 NATO’s descendant, the Global Initiative for Civilized Governments (GICG) published an environmental report that garnered so much attention, the world population soon found itself worrying about a new threat: dehabilitation of Earth. It was no secret that human population and energy practices had been destroying the necessary infrastructure of Earth’s inner atmosphere for life to exist. But, the issue hadn’t received its due attention since the Great Recession of the early 21st Century. From 2008 forward, the primary concern of most of the world population was the economy, and then war. Now, the GICG found itself scrambling to come up with a feasible solution.
Such a solution did not take long to be decided upon, fortunately. The only good thing about war is that once it’s over, what you’re left with is a lot of technology and even more industry. In the peace that followed WWIII, the world’s brightest minds had given birth to the Faster-Than-Light reactor, or FTL, making trans-system space travel possible. While human energy issues had long been dealt with (via hydrogen and nitrogen fuel cells), human population growth still necessitated habilitation of outer worlds. Its resources and its experience made the GICG the perfect entity to head up such an ambitious project. By 2125, forty-four ship-based colony missions had already been planned down to exacting detail, and GICG probes had already detected over a dozen PLSW (Plausible Life-Sustaining Worlds).
The GICG soon found itself facing a familiar challenge: what to do to protect the people. With the world government focused on expanding the human race across the galaxy, how would colonists be protected from possible harmful species encountered on colonizing missions? With every government minute being spent on colonizing missions, how will a military be formed to ensure that humanity remains safe, both from unknown threats across the galaxy, and from third-world insurgent remnants left over from the third World War on Earth?
In 2135, the forty-four-year-old Intervention Manifesto was brought forth. It was scrutinized, altered, enhanced, re-worked, and, in the end, quadrupled in size. The new legislation was called “Mandatory Arbitration.” It reactivated The Oligarchy and gave the original four participating corporations complete command of all Earth military forces and operations. It charged those four corporations solely and determinedly with the protection of humanity as it faces the challenge of finding new homes elsewhere in the galaxy, both from known domestic terrorist threats, and from unforeseen threats throughout space. It altered the entire comprehension of government versus private sector roles—and it passed a world-wide vote in less than three hours.