Auto-Transcript for S&P and NFSC Submission
EP:61:76 : “Interview with Imperator Costigan”
ERIA QUINT: Thank you for joining me for a special edition of Showdown. I’m your host, Eria Quint.
Today, we’re breaking from our normal format because we have a very special guest joining us. Here to discuss a range of issues currently affecting the UEE is Imperator Kelos Costigan. It’s an honor to have you on Showdown.
IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: Thank you, Eria. I’ve been a longtime fan.
ERIA QUINT: Let’s not waste any time and get to the question on everybody’s mind. How about that Jumpers’ match last night?
IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: (laughter) You did your research. Not many know they’re my team, seeing as I’m not even from Croshaw. Have you had the chance to see Sath Ben-el play?
ERIA QUINT: Only the highlights, but what I’ve seen has been extremely impressive.
IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: Absolutely. I don’t think anyone expected the first professional Banu player to have such an immediate impact. I would love to see more teams taking chances on Banu players. Not only is it good for the sport, but it also brings our two species closer together. I welcome any initiative, whether from the public or private sector, that strengthens the UEE’s ties to our neighbors.
That’s why the Human-Xi’an Trade Initiative is such an important step for Humanity, one which I truly believe will go a long way to ensuring strong and peaceful relations for centuries to come.
ERIA QUINT: Let’s discuss HuXa for a bit. The bill is currently being debated by the Senate’s Subcommittee for Commerce & Trade and has faced some spirited opposition. Insiders claim that your administration has been blindsided by the stiff resistance.
IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: That’s a bit of a mischaracterization. Do I wish the process would move faster? Of course, but that’s only because I understand all of the ways this trade pact will benefit the Empire. Not just economically, but also socially and politically.
ERIA QUINT: Paul LeSalle, leader of the Centralist Party, has come out on record saying that HuXa is a danger to the Empire’s independence and that he will block the initiative at all costs. Some analysts are predicting that the bill might stall out in committee. How do you read the current political situation?
IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: I’m confident they’ll make the right decision. Look, this is a big, complex piece of legislation that requires time, effort and an understanding of the underlying issues to fully grasp. That’s the process the Senate subcommittee is going through at the moment. It’s slow, a bit unwieldy, but absolutely necessary to the democratic process.
I’ve reached out to Senators on the committee and told each and every one of them that I am willing to make myself available to answer any and all questions they may have. I’ve already had a number of extremely productive conversations.
ERIA QUINT: What do you see as the biggest misconception about HuXa?
IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: People seem concerned that granting Xi’an businesses and goods more access to the UEE economy will result in catastrophic job losses. Let me be clear, that is simply not true. While certain sectors will experience some rebalancing once the deal goes into effect, if you look at the numbers, the net result of continuing to open our borders to further trade will be positive economic growth.
ERIA QUINT: Can you guarantee that people won’t lose their jobs due to HuXa?
IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: Well, Eria, making such a promise would be just as misleading as the opposition’s claim that entire industries will simply be outsourced to the Xi’an Empire.
There’s an old Earth aphorism that I keep going to, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” If someone faces turbulence on a microeconomic level, the improvements to the greater economy should provide increased opportunities for them to take advantage of. And, Eria, that’s really what this is all about. More opportunities for more people.
ERIA QUINT: Let’s change gears slightly. Some oppose HuXa not for economic reasons but because they believe it’ll make the UEE less safe. Retired Vice Admiral Caroline Nichols said, and this is a direct quote, that “HuXa commands the UEE to expose its soft underbelly to a patient and calculating enemy that’s waited centuries for the perfect time to strike.”
How do you respond to that?
IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: Well, the imagery is quite vivid but the perspective sorely outdated. The Akari-Kr.ē Treaty was signed close to two centuries ago, but there’s still a small but vocal contingent who believe we need to maintain the cautious hostility of that regrettable era to stay safe. That same group also seems to forget that we never actually fought a war with the Xi’an. So, I’ll simply remind them that the UEE has been at peace with the Xi’an Empire for a long time. We should start acting like it.
This treaty continues down a path intended to bring lasting peace between the UEE and Xi’an Empire. Not only through increased trade, but also through improved diplomatic relations. One of the direct benefits of the latter has been a transparency clause included in the initiative to promote de-escalation.
ERIA QUINT: I haven’t heard anything about this. How would it work?
IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: It’s quite simple. Each side has agreed to provide increased transparency about their military capabilities. The philosophy being that the closer we are as neighbors, the more trust can be built up, and the safer both sides will be.
In practice, it means the Xi’an have agreed to eliminate a Messer-era program that monitored comm and transmission metadata in Perry Line Systems. At the time, they deemed it an essential tool to protecting their Empire against a sneak attack. Now that such a UEE strike is no longer a threat, the Xi’an have agreed to dismantle the program.
ERIA QUINT: What has the UEE promised to give up in exchange?
IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: There will be more specifics about this soon. What I can say is that a number of long classified military projects, including the rumored Project Eclipse and Operation Deadbolt, will be retired and details released through the Historical Truth Act.
ERIA QUINT: That’s big news. There have been whispers surrounding Project Eclipse’s use in black ops for years. Will the information also include details on all operations that it has been involved in?
IMPERATOR COSTIGAN: I’ve said all I can for right now. You’ll have to wait until the release to find out the rest.
ERIA QUINT: Hate to pause here, but we need to take a quick break. More with Imperator Kelos Costigan when Showdown returns.