United Nations Space Command
|United Nations Space Command|
Defense of Earth and her colonies
The United Nations Space Command (UNSC) is the military, exploratory, and scientific agency of the Unified Earth Government. The UNSC was formed in the 22nd century, a time when remnants of old cultural ideologies clashed for supremacy in the Sol System. The UNSC served mainly as overseer of United Nations military operations in space. After initiating massive militarization propaganda throughout its off-world colonies, through the UNSC, the UN defeated communist and fascist forces in a conflict generally known as the Interplanetary War, which consisted of several side-battles that took place on Mars, the Jovian Moons and the South American rainforests. Although the Interplanetary War brought a great deal of suffering to both the colonial population and the residents of Earth, it also united most of humanity's military forces by the end of the 22nd century.
Prior to the Covenant attack on Harvest in 2525, the UNSC was stretched across human space. The most urgent concern was to contain the spread of the Insurrectionists, colonists who wanted independence from the Unified Earth Government. The UNSC, more specifically, the UNSCDF, fought constant battles in a loosely-defined civil war known as the Insurrection. In an attempt to help end the long running war, the UEG commissioned the ORION Project (also known as SPARTAN-I project) and later the SPARTAN-II Program, which created elite super-soldiers to combat the separatists. When the Human-Covenant War began and the alien invaders began decimating the Outer Colonies, these Spartans became humanity's best hope against the technological superiority of the Empire. When the war began the UNSC, which had been mired in controversy, became humanity's greatest protector. This allowed the UNSC to override civilian rule and establish itself as humanity's primary government. Although the Unified Earth Government was more open to step down, the Colonial Administration Authority, the arm of the UEG ruling over the colonies, resisted the UNSC's rise to power, and was stripped of its influence.
By 2552 A.D., Earth was the last remaining major human bastion; and fell under attack by the Covenant forces. The Human-Covenant War finally came to an end after a UNSC and Covenant separatists force eliminated the Covenant leadership and destroyed the Flood threat.
By the time the war began, humanity, and thus the UNSC, had reached Tier 3 of the Forerunner civilization rank system. Humanity's rank continued to rise due to the capture of Covenant technology and equipment, which was studied and adapted for human needs. The very best and cutting edge of UNSC equipment was supplied to the SPARTAN-II project. Human technology was innovative, rather than reverse-engineered from Forerunner technology. This meant humanity remained flexible in their technical expertise, despite being hundreds of years behind the Covenant. One such example of ingenuity was the energy shielding technology adapted and improved for use on the MJOLNIR armor.
- Main article: History of the United Nations Space Command
 Interplanetary War
The UNSC has its roots in World War I, a conflict which led to the creation of the League of Nations. The League of Nations led to the formation of the United Nations after World War II. The UNSC itself was formed as the result of the brutal conflicts across the Solar System between 2160 and 2164, most prominently the Jovian Moons Campaign, the Rain Forest Wars, and a series of battles on Mars.
The United Nations Space Command, is actually an emergency military government formed as a result of these chaotic events. The war was fought primarily between the UN and dissident political movements, the most important of which were the "Koslovics" and the "Frieden". The Frieden movement was a fascist organization based on the Jovian Moons, though they received backing from some corporations operating in the United German Republic on Earth. Their ideological opponents, the Koslovics, formed a Marxist-Leninist group centered around the leadership of Vladimir Koslov.
The war began with an attack on United Nations colonial advisers on the moon of Io, one of the moons of Jupiter, but would spread to Mars and parts of South America in the Rain Forest Wars. These events culminated in a UN build-up in the mid to late 2160's, which would result in the UN establishing a unified military and a permanent Unified Earth Government as an ultimate power to lead the human race by 2170.
The four-year long war put the spotlight on problems facing the overpopulated planet, and the Rain Forest Wars also exacerbated issues relating to food distribution. The ensuing famine and societal problems related to the post-war population boom provided the spark to change the political nature of governance on Earth and elsewhere, leading to widespread political reform.
These pressures made space colonization seem more attractive in later centuries, as the Unified Earth Government would sign off on a colony ship program that was revealed in 2310 to ease the burden of an overpopulated Earth. This would not have been possible without the invention of the Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine in the late 2200s, which allowed the ships to travel vast distances by opening a portal to Slipstream space.
It took 52 years before the first colony ship, the Odyssey, was launched. A core ring of Inner Colonies were not fully developed until the end of the 24th century. The apex of this colonization movement would come in 2492 when more then 800 habitable worlds were inside UNSC territory, many of them targeted for human habitation. By this time, a chain of Outer Colonies was providing the UEG with valuable raw materials; the political power, however, remained with the aforementioned Inner Colonies. These differences in wealth distribution and political power, led to new threats of secession from the outer territories. Fearing the consequences of the possible breakup of their fledgling interstellar empire, while wishing to preserve as much infrastructure as possible, the Earth government would embark on the SPARTAN-I project. These soldiers were the predecessors to the SPARTAN-II program in 2491, beginning with the ORION Project.
 The Human-Covenant War
|History of the UNSC|
|- World War II (1939 - 1945)|
|- Creation of the United Nations (1945)|
|- Jovian Moons Campaign (2160)|
|- Rain Forest Wars (2162)|
|- Mars Campaign (2163)|
|Interplanetary War (2164-2170)|
|Inner Colony Wars (2400s)|
|Insurrection (2494 - 2537)|
|- Operation: TREBUCHET (2513 - 2524)|
|- Insurrection of Mamore (2537)|
|Human-Covenant War (2525 - 2553)|
|- Covenant Civil War (2552 - 2553)|
|Human-Promethean War (2557 -)|
|- Requiem campaign (2557 - 2558)|
- Main article: Human-Covenant War
2525 marked the most important turning point in human history. It would mark the beginning of the great technological advancement, the unification of a divided and fractured human race, and the first contact between humanity and an extra-terrestrial intelligence, the Covenant. It would also see a majority of the UNSC's colony worlds destroyed, with billions killed by orbital plasma bombardment, a technique latter known as glassing. The most important war in the history of the human race began with the First Battle of Harvest.
Stemming from the chance encounter of human and Covenant forces at Harvest, the first contact made between humanity and the Covenant involved the ship Minor Transgression, and was less peaceful than the second contact made between the two factions. A meeting between representatives of the two factions took place on the fields of Harvest, but the attempt at diplomacy soon turned into a bloodbath. The Covenant claimed the planet for the numerous "Forerunner relics" their luminaries had detected, and slaughtered most of the colony's population. The vast majority of the Covenant remained unaware that the humans they were sworn to annihilate, were in fact the very Reclaimers (mistranslated as Reclamation) their ancient texts spoke of.
On April 20, a scout ship, the CMA sent in a scout ship, the Argo, to investigate the cessation of communications between Harvest and the rest of the UEG's colonies. Before being destroyed by Covenant forces, it discovered that the planet had been incinerated, and its surface covered by fields of magma. Soon after, Battlegroup 4, consisting of the frigates CMA Arabia and Vostok and the destroyer CMA Heracles, were sent to investigate. On October 7, the battle group dropped out of Slipspace and to Harvest. In orbit around the remains of the colony world was a single alien ship which proceeded to attack the battle group, destroying them all except one. Intercepted communications identified the enemy as the Covenant, a caste-driven, theological organization made up of several alien species. The message "Your destruction is the will of the gods...and we are their instrument" was broadcast in perfect English. The war for mankind's very survival had begun.
Since the later Second Battle of Harvest in 2526, where a huge human fleet led by Vice Admiral Preston Cole barely won against a smaller Covenant force in a symbolic "victory", the UNSC' grip on their territories declined significantly. The Covenant had managed to capture the majority, if not all of the Outer Colonies, and a portion of the Inner Colonies.
By this time, the UNSC overrode the UEG, and thus the central civilian authority throughout its territory and Earth itself. Although the central government was more willing to step down given the magnitude of the crisis, the Colonial Administration Authority was far more reluctant. As a result, the UNSC stripped it of most of its power. By the middle to late stages of the war, the government of humanity could be accurately described as an "emergency military" force.
By 2552 the UNSC, outnumbered and outgunned, had nonetheless managed to slow the Covenant's inexorable progress through human space. However, the situation remained dire. In desperation, HIGHCOM ordered a high-risk op, sending the SPARTAN-II super soldiers, quite possibly the greatest soldiers ever fielded by humanity, to insert into Covenant space, capture one or more high-ranking Prophet, and return to UNSC space. With such valuable hostages, the UNSC would then attempt to ransom these leaders for a truce. Before the operation began, the Covenant found and destroyed the fortress world of Reach, killing most of the Spartans and a large portion of the UNSCDF, inadvertently stopping the operation and rendering most of the Spartans missing in action.
A single ship, the UNSC Pillar of Autumn managed to escape the planet, with two Spartans on board, Linda-058, who was presumably dead in the Fall of Reach and John-117. The ship followed coordinates derived by the AI Cortana to a ringworld known as Halo Installation 04. There John-117 destroyed a large Covenant fleet and the ringworld itself. He also encountered a parasitic lifeform known as the Flood, the species that the ring, Halo, had been built to starve. The activation of the ring would lead to the extinction of all life within three radii of the galactic center, as the Forerunners planned. John-117 destroyed the ring before it could be fired by detonating the reactors of the Pillar of Autumn. After hijacking a Covenant super-carrier known as the Ascendant Justice, the SPARTAN reunited with the survivors from Installation 04 and the destruction of Reach. This small band of soldiers attacked a force of Covenant ships in Operation: FIRST STRIKE, one of the most successful UNSC operations against the Covenant in the entire war.
By October of 2552, the Covenant had haphazardly discovered the position of the human home world, Earth, and sent a preliminary task force there, believing it to be the location of the Ark, an ancient Forerunner relic. They encountered staunch resistance, and were initially fended off. Further complications arose from the political and religious crisis that emerged in the wake of a UNSC operation to assassinate the Prophet of Regret, and the secession of the Sangheili from the hegemony, leading to the Great Schism. Overnight, the Covenant was thrown into chaos. Nevertheless, by November, the forces loyal to the Prophet of Truth had subjugated large parts of Africa and devastated much of the planet. Only the offensive lead by Commander Miranda Keyes through portal in Africa, and the arrival of the Sangheili fleet prevented the eventual destruction of the UNSC and Earth itself.
The UNSC and Covenant separatist launched a joint operation to destroy the Covenant loyalists once and for all at the Ark. Fight against 3:1 numerical superiority in space, and even greater forces garrisoned on the Ark, the allies were able to stop the installation from firing the Halo array. In addition, the Sangheili known as the Arbiter killed the Covenant's last remaining leader the Prophet of Truth, while SPARTAN John-117 lead the ground effort to destroy the Covenant's remaining forces. On March 3, 2553, the Human-Covenant War officially ended in a victory for the UNSC and the Covenant Separatists, but at a high price. Most major military outposts, along with countless colonies had been destroyed. Earth, despite the loss of billions to orbital bombardment, remained battered but standing. An estimated twenty-three billion civilians were killed between 2525 and 2553.
- "For too many years, humanity was on the backfoot. Reacting to threats, rather than preventing them. Rest of the galaxy was bigger than us. Stronger than us. We were mice, hiding in the shadows, hoping the giants would not see us. No more. Humanity is no longer on the defense. We are the giants now."
- — Captain Thomas Lasky
Since 2553, the UNSC has engaged in an extensive period of reconstruction in order to restore stability to the shattered remnants of its territory. The UNSC has moved to reclaim those worlds that were not completely destroyed during the Human-Covenant War. The UNSC also maintains its earlier truce with the members of the Covenant separatists loyal to Arbiter Thel 'Vadam. However, tensions remain as insurrectionist movement have grown in strength, with worlds like Venezia actively seeking to secede from the UNSC as recently as 2553. In early 2553, the Office of Naval Intelligence began authorizing operations to sow dissent among the Sangheili, disregarding the alliance in the hopes of rendering them unable to fight should they become a threat again. These actions culminated in a civil war between the Arbiter's forces and those who opposed the alliance with humanity.[verification needed]
By 2557, the UNSC continued its rebuilding efforts, spearheaded by the symbolic commissioning of the UNSC's most powerful warship, the UNSC Infinity that February. Around this time the UNSC adopted a revised version of its original emblem to symbolize humanity's newly regained strength and ascendancy. Due to an encounter with the Didact and his Promethean constructs on the shield world Requiem, the UNSC became involved in a new conflict against an alliance between the Didact's forces and the resurgent Covenant.
The United Nations Space Command is subordinate to the Unified Earth Government. The professional, controlling body of the UNSC is the UNSC High Command (HIGHCOM), headed by the UNSC Security Council. Within HIGHCOM are a number of administrative commands, including PERSCOM, the Medical Corps, the Engineering Corps, Human Resources, and Astrophysics. Legal matters such as the issuing and enforcement of protocols are handled by the UNSC Judge Advocate General's Corps. Research designed to improve the UNSC's operations is carried out by the Internal Audit office.
Also under HIGHCOM's command is the UNSC Defense Force, which handles the defense of UEG colonies. Control is exercised through regional CENTCOMs, which have responsibility over certain areas of space. The Defense Force incorporates the UNSC Army, the UNSC Navy, the UNSC Air Force, and the UNSC Marine Corps. The Navy houses the Marine Corps (including the special forces branch of the UNSC Marines known as Orbital Drop Shock Troopers), the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and the Fleet. The Army and Air Force maintain garrisons on colony worlds. When certain rebellious factions began to rise in the late 2510s, the UNSC was forced to police its protected colonies tirelessly to keep privateers and pirates from raiding the colonies and any UNSC ships. After 2553, the Spartans became the fifth and newest branch of the UNSCDF, responsible for command of special operations undertaken by the Third and Fourth generations of augmented soldiers.  The Spartans are the smallest operational component in the entire Defense Force.
The UNSC is also responsible for the overseeing and regulation of commerce throughout UEG space through the Department of Commercial Shipping. The UNSC also maintains the UNSC Symphony Orchestra and the UNSC Jazz Band as ceremonial musical units.
 Public perception
The UNSC's pre-Covenant War and wartime policies were viewed with hostility by the civilian populace, especially within rebel movements. Starting with the implementation of the Cole Protocol and martial law, the UNSC's political takeover of the UEG and CMA branches and its generally authoritarian military policies championed over the course of the Human-Covenant War, the UNSC's public image has been stained by rebel and civilian allegations of fascism, totalitarianism and oppression.
These allegations are not completely baseless, considering most of this perceived UNSC-directed oppression lies with poor administration in the Outer Colonies, which has led to violent food riots perpetrated by proto-rebellious groups of dissatisfied colonial workers suffering from hunger and poverty at the hands of corporate planetary control.
- ^ a b Halo: Contact Harvest
- ^ Halo.bungie.org: Interview with Frank O'Connor and Robert McLees
- ^ Xbox.com/Halo
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach
- ^ Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "Palace Hotel", page 358
- ^ Halo 4, Infinity introductory cinematic
- ^ Halo: Glasslands
- ^ Halo: The Thursday War
- ^ The Halo Bulletin - 7.25.12
- ^ Halo 4
- ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level Lone Wolf
- ^ Halo: First Strike
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 138
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 123
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 254
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 34
- ^ Halo Waypoint: Story
- ^ Believe, Advertisement
- ^ Halo 3: ODST, Mombasa Streets
- ^ Halo: The Cole Protocol, page ??
- ^ Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 106-107
- ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYIDjyVneqU