I assume two Empires, A and B. A direct conflict between them would be tantamount to total annihilation, as both sides possess nuclear weapons and noone will be the first side to use them.

They also have both acquired the ability to wipe out the entire biosphere, as would have been previously possible with the nuclear weapons.

Provided one of the sides discovered technology to cause drought and flooding by climate control and earthquakes and subsidence by methods of vibration applied to the ground of their planet.

That would provide them with a crypto-military macro alternative, namely bringing down pseudo-natural elemental disasters upon the other empire through climate or seismic tempering.

However that would not be pseudo-natural for long, as anyone who is himself able to act cryptomilitarily will recognize similar actions taken against his empire.

If either Empire was now attacked cryptomilitarily, would the revelation of the attack to the own public (and as much possible to the public of the other Empire) make such attacks unpractical?

Would the revelation of the possibility of cryptomilitary attacks, which inevitably would have to entail some information about the method of attack, make the employment of such methods less feasible, as the awareness of the mechanisms and necessary precursors for such an attack to succeed would now be recognized by the public and hence, cause the public to look out for signs of such methods of attack being launched at them (with the invariably occuring accusation that such attack was launched by one's own empire against one's own public)?

So if I am Empire A and I put a drought on Empire B and Empire B finds out about it, it would not tell about it to all because then it couldnt use that method itself anymore, right?

  • $\begingroup$ in a military setting, sure, however in an agricultural setting, hell no $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ You mean Empires could still drought the fields in the other Empire, like for example happening now in California, with the public knowing about it, without losing control of their Public? $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 13:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ stop thinking like a war hawk, there is nothing stopping an empire from providing some rain to their own fields for increased yields. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ So informing the public about such technology would be ok, as long as the good side (rain for ones own fields) is emphasized and the other if possibly shut out? This is not a question to stop thinking like a war hawk. This is a Cold-war scenario build where the question is a result, but not influencing the overall sinister setup. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ How close are these empires? Climate control proves it's a small globe and you can't simply cause one effect on one part of the globe without causing others. $\endgroup$
    – Twelfth
    Nov 19, 2014 at 0:49

2 Answers 2



  • Both Empires want the other to become their empire.
  • Both Empires cannot use direct conflict due to Mutually Assured Destruction.
  • The PR people of each empire don't want to admit ethical mistakes or inhumane actions, despite their willingness to do shady crypto-military things.
  • There are no Edward Snowdens.

Should these governments disclose their ability to manipulate weather?

The Case For No

If one empire crumbles because of drought, floods, etc., it can be sold to people as an (legal) "act of God," and the relief effort for that can be used as a method of takeover. We actually saw a glimpse of "using human rights to take over" with the Russian Annexation of Crimea.

The history books would simply blame an empire's collapse on nature, not on the other empire. The conquering relieving empire would be seen as taking the moral high road. Besides, weather manipulation could be a weapon neither side expected to see from the other, and in this situation, each empire would leverage even small advantages.

The Case for Yes

If a population found out they switched their empire for the other empire because of shady crypto-military operations, that could cause a former peaceful group into a revolutionist entity. Revolutions are generally bad things, as you can see in Syria.

Besides, an empire can use the other empire as a scapegoat for all the bad weather they experience, which could lead up to war or other reparations. However, both empires can play this game, and it may devolve into either each country officially controlling their own weather or playing the blame game.

The Verdict

The Case for No seems more compelling. I would see these empires not disclosing their ability to manipulate the weather. It's too good as a secret to tell anyone.

  • $\begingroup$ Revolution is neither inherently good or bad. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Nov 20, 2014 at 20:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @James As seen by the number of investors flocking to places with unstable political climates, the progress made by warlords cooperating with each other and not exploiting individuals and communities... Yes, I'd say revolutions are generally bad for business, and bad for people. $\endgroup$
    – PipperChip
    Nov 21, 2014 at 0:05
  • $\begingroup$ Revolution is nothing more than change. Change is unstable yes. But also necessary for the evolution of mankind. Revolution and evolution are two parts of one process. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Nov 21, 2014 at 3:16
  • $\begingroup$ I love how you summarized the assumptions (indeed I didnt take into account whistleblower, which you now added to my consideration). The case for a Yes (telling everybody what I use as Empire A) is rather weak, since even unhappy groups becoming rebels might not stop or prevent the usage of the cryptomilitarics. However, the tremendous confusion of ones populace caused by the information, as lined out in the answer below, would be the biggest detriment to actually diverging such information. $\endgroup$ Nov 24, 2014 at 14:20

Your question is confusing, so I'll just focus on the one part that actually is a question -

"If either Empire was now attacked cryptomilitarily, would the revelation of the attack to the own public (and as much possible to the public of the other Empire) make such attacks unpractical?"

Answer: No.

First of all, the attacks may or may not actually be attacks. After all, natural disasters do occur all by themselves, and really makes for some pretty good plausible deniability. Secondly, I think you're ignoring the political motivation a group could have for taking credit for a natural disaster. Take terrorist groups for instance. They could claim they have the technology to cause, or have caused, an earthquake, and threaten governments at will. The government being threatened may know whether the claims are credible, but the general public may be more fearful, uneducated, or just generally conspiracy-minded. Weather control, especially if the technology is known to the general public, could be a very effective social, political, and military tool, even if it is never really used.

  • $\begingroup$ I see your point and it gives some relining to the Answer that revelation of such technology would make their use impractical. I like the how you brought out that the public would be quite confused by all this. The ruse due to insecurity in the public might indeed be the main motivation to keep the lid on information regarding such technology. Thank you for your time. $\endgroup$ Nov 24, 2014 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ Oh and the political motivation of technology is something that is tended to be discarded, for the simple reason that politics is mostly a follow-up of dealing with the consequences of bad choices. Bad tongues might say our whole history consists of this. But its interesting to look at a bunch of rebels claiming they cause earthquakes. Thats a new perspective, which I'm grateful for. $\endgroup$ Nov 24, 2014 at 14:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .