0
$\begingroup$

Scenario:

A small nation has recently discovered an old, powerful Airship. The world knows this Airship only in legend and the possibilities that it can offer to any nation are endless.

Although the Airship has no weapons, it has the ability to be undetectable by the other nations. It contains a completely autonomous crew to operate it. While other airship technologies can move armies in months, this one can do it in weeks.

Although this nation has promised to not use it for evil, the character of those who control it is known to be extremist, and they are known for pushing their ideals on those who don't share them. They are the very idea of children with super weapons essentially.

World Setting

This is a fantasy setting with Steampunk elements their tech level is that World War II Tech, although instead of electricity, they have a magical equivalent and is powered by a non-renewable magical resource we will call it shards.

These shards are the ultimate capacitors; being able to take in almost any form of energy and store it for use later is a feat unseen in any other materials in this world.

Additional Notes:

It should be know in this world airships are restricted by a height limit and are powered by a non-renewable magical resource essential a shard that contains the magical energy. This Ancient/Super Airship is not restricted by those height limits and is powered by some other means. The load capacity of this would be the equivalent of the population of United States. This is essentially a giant floating city.

This Airship doesn't abide by the rules essentially it can hide in plain sight up in the sky and not be seen by anyone. basically think the difference between something being between Troposphere where all other airships file and the Stratosphere where the Ancient Airship files.

The Threat

This Ancient Airship is able to transport millions of people at the drop of a hat. It has the ability to go right above a city and drop down to deploy forces in an instance. Think of it this way, there is no need to have a siege on a city since you can deploy your forces right on top of it. Since the storage of the thing is so large you can store it with bombs that you can drop onto a nations capital or city without them even realizing they are under attack, you can even go more simplistic and just fill the thing with large rocks and create an artificial meteor storm right on top of your enemies.

Question:

In a UN like alliance, what restrictions could other nations in the world set on such a weapon to protect themselves and hold this nation accountable, what can reasonably asked of them to ensure they don't decide to turn on any member of this alliance and restrict them on this major advantage the have over all the other nations? How do you regulate such a weapon? What topics would be discussed about this weapon how could we make sure its used in the right way and not the wrong way? I'm looking for all and any solutions that can be done about this.

Note: Although all the nations in the group are allied and are working to protect the world from evil, they do all fear this weapon and those who control it.

$\endgroup$

closed as unclear what you're asking by Renan, Culyx, RonJohn, Bellerophon, Vincent Mar 9 '18 at 16:45

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ why Magic tag? Is this what makes airship undetectable? Airships are large, slow and kind easy to detect and target (apparently, it takes a while to bring them down, due to sheer size) Anyway, I do not see how this is a superweapon. Moving armies faster can be done with more conventional airships. And any troops transported will be very detectible once they are off the airship, and vulnerable until entire army is transported. A better use of this stealthy airship is for spying, or sabotage. But countries can do it anyways on smaller scale, and your airship just makes it obvious who did it. $\endgroup$ – Bald Bear Mar 9 '18 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ Good question. The point is that the nation has a weapon that is a gamebreaker. How did the world react when the A-bomb was introduced? $\endgroup$ – Renan Mar 9 '18 at 14:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Are we talking about modern times? What do you mean by "undetectable"? What is the load capacity of this aircraft? Or "other airship technologies", for that matter? In short, why is this thing such a big deal? $\endgroup$ – nzaman Mar 9 '18 at 14:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Can you specify what kind of restrictions you are referring to? Are you looking for political/legal restrictions or something else? $\endgroup$ – James Mar 9 '18 at 14:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So, WWII tech..., does that mean they have radar? And this ancient ship has stealth? Also, the current population of the US is ~300 million. Your airship can handle that many people? That's not a city, that's the Death Star $\endgroup$ – nzaman Mar 9 '18 at 15:47
3
$\begingroup$

Given the specs (132 million people) on that thing, I would expect a dozen trading nations to band together to hire the airship to haul cargo. That way you always know where it is.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

If you want to know how a fictional UN-like alliance would regulate a superweapon, you can just look at the real world's attempts to regulate superweapons:

During the 1950's and 60's, efforts were made to limit the buildup, spread, and advancement of nuclear weapons. After about 15 years of relatively futile discussions due to mutual distrust among the relevant parties(US and USSR), progress was finally made through the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which sought to limit the advancement of nuclear weapons technology by banning most tests. 5 years later, another treaty sought to limit the spread of nuclear weapons by instead encouraging the spread of peaceful nuclear technology.

In short, current efforts to limit superweapons focus on the technology used to make them: by imposing limits on weapons-focused advancement of the technology, and by encouraging peace-focused advancement of the technology. Unfortunately, the results of such restrictions have been mixed: South Africa voluntarily dismantled their nuclear weapons in the 1990's, whereas North Korea has been focused on getting nuclear weapons for decades. For your example, this would mean encouraging all nations to study the airship to find peaceful applications of the technology behind it, while monitoring for any attempts to weaponize the technology.


Addition, based on a comment:

A good point was brought up in a comment regarding why the nation that controls this airship would be willing to negotiate limits on its use. The fact that it is the only one who controls such an airship is the only reason it needs to limit its use: it wants to maintain its advantage. By limiting the spread of the weaponizeable technology, it maintains a monopoly on such technology.

It would be similar to if the US managed to negotiate the cessation of weapons tests in the 5 years between the first successful US test and the first successful USSR test. Although it would be very limited, the US would still have a powerful arsenal and a head start on any attempts to break the treaty, giving them a large advantage.

As for the non-superwepon nations incentive to limit the advancement of such weapons: 180+ real nations have agreed to not pursue nuclear weapons. Clearly, most nations seem to agree that limited superweapons is safer for them than prevalent superweapons.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Both sides had superweapons in the Cold War, so there was incintive to negotiate. The (one of many) problem here is that only one Ancient Airship exists. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Mar 9 '18 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ @RonJohn: Good point, though in a way that means that the 180+ countries that didn't have nuclear weapons at the time would have no incentive to not try to build them. I'll add something on this extra problem to my answer. $\endgroup$ – Giter Mar 9 '18 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ Of course, nukes were/are hard to build (specifically, making the materials needed is hard). It was a mark of technological prowess if you could build a bomb. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Mar 9 '18 at 16:52

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.