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Mass Effect/AEC: Asari Military Doctrine


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Excerpt from Modern Galactic War by Paul Malthus, 3rd Edition , Made available for Extranet Scholastic Use by  The Institute of War and Diplomacy, Vancouver Metroplex, North American Union, Earth, 2190 (1st Edition published by Banabar Books in 2184).

Asari Ground Forces

The Asari lack a formal army as befitting a highly decentralize culture that relies on cooperation, social pressure, tradition and strong local institutions to guide their daily affairs. Planetary militias are organized into small groups of elite Huntress units. These Huntress (or Commandos) are highly trained biotic combat experts that excel at guerrilla tactics. Young asari  join the local training facility in their maiden stage. Due to their strong training and longevity, the average commando may have a century or more of experience under their belt.  There are as many distinct “Path(s) of the Huntress” as they are martial arts style in human society but all focus on using unconventional tactics boosted by the asari’s natural biotic abilities.  Whichever path a regional school focuses on, the end result are small elite units capable of conducting deadly guerrilla campaigns on the ground of their choosing.

The central tenet of asari military doctrine is firmly entrench in what human tacticians call “Fourth Generation Warfare”, specifically the idea that while they can not (nor should they attempt to) stop an enemy from seizing their territory they can deny said enemy the fruits of their aggression. The size of any given unit is capped at the company size (80 – 100 commandos) although the preferred unit size is the squad. These  units are all trained in aeromobile (fighters, gunships and shuttles) warfare using shuttles and gunships to move quickly to and from the battlefield. Once on the battlefield the commando move on foot hence a heavy reliance on stealth to protect the unit from exposure to heavy enemy fire. When the need arises for heavy fire power the commandos call upon heavy infantry weapons, biotics, air support and, if available, orbital strikes to cripple/pin enemy units.

Asari Commando units have a variety of tactics at their disposal to harass, disrupt, demoralize, and wear down an occupier. Anyone attempting to keep asari territory quickly finds that the cost of conducting an occupation far outweighs any gains from holding said territory. Among their bag of tricks the asari can count on assassination, demolitions, ambush, and psychological warfare. A common tactic is the Sting.  A squad will engage a larger enemy unit over a period of days first with snippers targeting enemy combat leaders then ambushes or biotic strikes all the while observing the enemy’s reaction. Based on these observations the commandos may increase the tempo of attacks, retreat or move in for the kill. Another tactic is the Swarm. Here multiple squads attack an isolated enemy units sequentially from different directions forcing said unit into an hours long running fight. Squads attack with maximum force then retreat  and repeat an hour later. The goal of these tactics is not to destroy the body of the enemy but to impress upon them that it is the Huntresses that dictate the tempo of battle. In other words, the enemy lives or dies at the Huntress choosing. Due to their long lifetimes an asari, commandos are more than willing to wait years, if not decades, for the right opportunity to strike. Such strikes, when they occur, not only devastate an enemies military infrastructure but also seek to collapse the enemy socioeconomic standing in the region. Few enemies have the stomach to wait out the asari’s long game strategy.

The closest the asari have to standing armies are a vast array of mercenary companies. These companies are, in theory, organized under a corporate structure and serve all manner of clients, from local guilds to interstellar corporations.  The internal structure of these corporations are akin to organized crime families with groups of mercenaries attaching their loyalty to their captain who is free to carry out their operations as long as those higher up the chain get their cut. The makeup of these squads varies greatly. Some units specialize in using biotics, others in heavy weapons, aerospace craft  and still others serve as basic infantry/corporate security/street level muscle. Many (but not all) are led by asari commandos. The irony is that many of the asari recruited to said companies do not have the wealth of training or experience that their leaders do. These maidens are seen as expendable as their alien counterparts. Cohesiveness depends on the leadership capabilities of each captain. Violence is often the tool used to climb up the corporate ladder or resolve disputes between captains. The more common form of removal for a captain (outside of enemy action) is to isolate the individual by enticing the personnel under their command to switch loyalties to a new captain.  The discredited leader then is open to attack. Captains must therefore ensure the loyalty of their troops (and the support of those above them) by providing a mixture of safe and lucrative ventures. A captain’s place in the structure is (relatively) safe as long as the money flows through the system in a timely fashion.

There are other forces within asari society. These belong to the ranks of those loyal to a matriarch. Matriarchs are not only the most powerful individuals of their species with centuries of experience but also command the loyalties of significant numbers of followers. The exact ratio of huntress to average follower within a given Matriarch retinue is unknown although the current civil war that grips asari space has shown that those numbers are significant. However few know how they are structure or equipped or if they posses any capabilities beyond their already considerable Huntress training.

Although some include the group known as Justicars among the asari order of battle, their primary mission is to enforce their Code through the use of force if necessary. While individually formidable they are not a military organization in any sense of the word. Scattered reports from asari space seem to indicate that Reaper forces decimated the once proud organization.


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