Threat Assessments: Preface

This series of anonymous reports was intercepted in transit to an unknown force outside the Echo Cluster. After emergency review by the Senate Committee on Military Classification, these redacted versions were approved for immediate publication. They should be read by commanders of each respective race so they can review their own vulnerabilities in the face of this new and unknown external threat.

There are known knowns — there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know…

And yet almost always, when we make our threat assessments, when we look at the world, we end up basing it on the first two pieces of that puzzle rather than all three.

– Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, speaking before NATO on 06 June 2002

The following assessments are designed to bring the unfamiliar up to speed on each of the Eleven Races of the Echo Cluster. Each will be divided into segments, ranging from the general to the specific. The opening portions will consist of a basic overview, identification, and a fleet description.

…Further sections will address the unique strengths and weaknesses of each faction, including proven methods to exploit these weaknesses in an attack…

…Additional information will be appended to each Threat Assessment dealing with the synergistic impact of trading and alliance potentiality. These will each contain a variety of detailed subdocuments, including a complete and up-to-date list of each vessel capable of being constructed by each faction, the relative strengths and weaknesses of which are cross-referenced in the accompanying document composed at the behest of the Senate Defense Council. Copies of War Department doctrine on fleet composition and design will be found in the appendices…

…Finally, summary information will condense the content of these appendices into digest form…

The reader is advised to remember that, no matter how current the documentation, new developments will always render it obsolete within, at best, a few months of publication. Nevertheless, these represent the cutting edge of intelligence on each of the Eleven Races.

The preceding was excerpted from the informational packet, with certain extraneous information excised for editorial purposes to improve comprehension. At the behest of the War Office, no pertinent information which may have been made available to our unknown adversary will be withheld from the public.

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