History Main / OddlySmallOrganization

25th Dec '17 9:36:34 PM JackG
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* ''A Most Wanted Man'' (2014). Gunther heads a small organisation tasks with recruiting informers inside the Islamic community. It's suggested that his group is so small because the job he's doing is illegal under German law, so it's easier to pretend they don't exist.

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* ''A Most Wanted Man'' (2014). Gunther Bachmann heads a small organisation tasks tasked with recruiting informers inside the Islamic community. It's suggested stated that his group is so small because the job he's doing is illegal under German law, so it's easier to pretend they a small unit don't exist.
25th Dec '17 9:22:18 PM JackG
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* ''A Most Wanted Man'' (2014). Gunther heads a small organisation tasks with recruiting informers inside the Islamic community. It's suggested that his group is so small because the job he's doing is illegal under German law, so it's easier to pretend they don't exist.
-->"Not many people know about us, and even less like it."
12th Dec '17 8:53:23 AM kasperow
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* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'', Celestial Being at first appears to be this, consisting solely of 4 pilots, 6 crew members on their space ship, a supercomputer and ''a man who's been dead for 200 years'', whom the media report as being the group's leader. [[spoiler:We later learn that Celestial Being is actually a surprisingly large, secret organization, with ''at least'' three separate groups working against each other ''within'' the organization!]]
12th Dec '17 8:43:21 AM kasperow
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** To be fair, the only people in the world at this point either work ''for'' NERV, or work on the AAA Wunder and try to ''destroy'' NERV.
3rd Dec '17 1:38:25 PM DaibhidC
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* The Shadow Proclamation from ''Series/DoctorWho'' is supposed to be an intergalactic authority imposing rules and regulations on the whole Universe, yet when they are finally seen in "The Stolen Earth," they consist of a handful of people milling around a lobby plus a few Judoon thugs as security. They don't even get their own planet, just a couple of connected asteroids with buildings on them. (According to WordOfGod, they had originally planned to show the Shadow Proclamation as a huge senate with hundreds of different aliens ala ''Franchise/StarWars'', but the rest of the episode blew the effects budget.)

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* ''Series/DoctorWho''
**
The Shadow Proclamation from ''Series/DoctorWho'' is supposed to be an intergalactic authority imposing rules and regulations on the whole Universe, yet when they are finally seen in "The Stolen Earth," they consist of a handful of people milling around a lobby plus a few Judoon thugs as security. They don't even get their own planet, just a couple of connected asteroids with buildings on them. (According to WordOfGod, they had originally planned to show the Shadow Proclamation as a huge senate with hundreds of different aliens ala ''Franchise/StarWars'', but the rest of the episode blew the effects budget.) )
** In the classic series, alien races were typically limited by how many costumes were available (although clever filming could suggest an army of Daleks or Cybermen, just with no more three of them in shot at the same time). This gets {{Lampshaded}} in "Terror of the Zygons"; the Zygons declare their intent to TakeOverTheWorld, and the Doctor snarks "Isn't it a bit large for about six of you?"
29th Nov '17 4:29:31 AM Jauce
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* The Gang of Four, formally known as the Cultural Revolution Group, was a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin committee of four people]] who were able to manage to hold on to UsefulNotes/MaoZedong's ear for much of the UsefulNotes/CulturalRevolution, allowing them to largely manipulate the events to their advantage. [[note]]Of course, with one of the members being Mao's wife, who had traded acceptance of Mao's philandering for political power, that wasn't a difficult task. The four were arrested just after Mao's death when the Chinese people and CCP were finally fed up with their crap.[[/note]] And nowadays, supreme power in China is wielded by the Standing Committee of the Politburo, which consists of seven people (reduced from nine at the latest party congress). Which isn't all that small when one considers that in most countries it's a single president or at most a president and a prime minister.
11th Nov '17 11:40:31 AM PatPayne
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* The Gang of Four, the small inner circle of the Chinese Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution, that manipulated the events to their advantage. And nowadays, supreme power in China is wielded by the Standing Committee of the Politburo, which consists of seven people (reduced from nine at the latest party congress). Which isn't all that small when one considers that in most countries it's a single president or at most a president and a prime minister.

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* The Gang of Four, the small inner circle of the Chinese Communist Party during formally known as the Cultural Revolution, that manipulated Revolution Group, was a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin committee of four people]] who were able to manage to hold on to UsefulNotes/MaoZedong's ear for much of the UsefulNotes/CulturalRevolution, allowing them to largely manipulate the events to their advantage. [[note]]Of course, with one of the members being Mao's wife, who had traded acceptance of Mao's philandering for political power, that wasn't a difficult task. The four were arrested just after Mao's death when the Chinese people and CCP were finally fed up with their crap.[[/note]] And nowadays, supreme power in China is wielded by the Standing Committee of the Politburo, which consists of seven people (reduced from nine at the latest party congress). Which isn't all that small when one considers that in most countries it's a single president or at most a president and a prime minister.
3rd Nov '17 11:40:28 AM WillBGood
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* The Nsburg Volunteer Coast Guard in ''WebOriginal/{{Qwerpline}}'' consists of one person, Gordon. However since Nsburg is landlocked the volunteer coast guard is primarily responsible for inspecting sewers and culverts so more people probably aren't needed.

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* The Nsburg Volunteer Coast Guard in ''WebOriginal/{{Qwerpline}}'' ''Podcast/{{Qwerpline}}'' consists of one person, Gordon. However since Nsburg is landlocked the volunteer coast guard is primarily responsible for inspecting sewers and culverts so more people probably aren't needed.
10th Oct '17 8:45:48 AM merotoker
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** The Barians, the villains of the second season of ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL'', are supposedly the representatives of an entire extradimensional race that are the enemies of the Astral World. However, thus far only seven of them (called the Seven Barian Emperors) have been seen, and there were only five at first: Durbe, Alit, Misael, Gilag, and Vector. [[spoiler:The remaining two, Nasch and Merag, were actually Shark and his sister Rio in their past lives; they were recruited into the group later.]] They did have a few allies like Mr. Heartland and the Fearsome Four, Black Mist (who double-crossed them) and [[spoiler:were ultimately revealed to be under the sway of the true ruler of the Barian World, [[GodOfEvil Don Thousand.]]]]

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** The Barians, the villains of the second season of ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL'', are supposedly the representatives of an entire extradimensional race that are the enemies of the Astral World. However, thus far only seven of them (called the Seven Barian Emperors) have been seen, and there were only five at first: Durbe, Alit, Misael, Gilag, and Vector. [[spoiler:The remaining two, Nasch and Merag, were actually Shark and his sister Rio in their past lives; they were recruited into the group later.]] They did have a few allies like Mr. Heartland and the Fearsome Four, Black Mist (who double-crossed them) and [[spoiler:were ultimately revealed to be under the sway of the true ruler of the Barian World, [[GodOfEvil Don Thousand.]]]]Thousand]]]].



* Following Comicbook/SecretInvasion Comicbook/{{SHIELD}} was decommissioned and replaced by HAMMER. Following Comicbook/{{Siege}}, HAMMER was decommissioned and Steve Rogers, former Comicbook/CaptainAmerica, was appointed as the new Director of National Security. He seems to have no actual agency to direct. He seems to rely on the services of Sharon Carter, Maria Hill and Victoria Hand to liaise with the various Avengers teams. Given that he's [[TheLeader Steve Rogers]], does he really need an organization?

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* Following Comicbook/SecretInvasion Comicbook/{{SHIELD}} was decommissioned and replaced by HAMMER. Following Comicbook/{{Siege}}, HAMMER was decommissioned and Steve Rogers, former Comicbook/CaptainAmerica, was appointed as the new Director of National Security. He seems to have no actual agency to direct. He seems to rely on the services of [[Comicbook/Agent13 Sharon Carter, Maria Hill Carter]], Comicbook/MariaHill and Victoria Hand to liaise with the various Avengers teams. Given that he's [[TheLeader Steve Rogers]], does he really need an organization?



* Even though there are many (well, up to 26 going by the naming scheme, thought the animated series also uses non-English letters as well) Film/MenInBlack, it seems it falls to two agents to take care of most serious potential Apocalypses.
** Or serious incidents are so common that the Men in Black must rotate.

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* Even though there are many (well, up to 26 going by the naming scheme, thought though the animated series also uses non-English letters as well) Film/MenInBlack, it seems it falls to two agents to take care of most serious potential Apocalypses.
**
Apocalypses. Or serious incidents are so common that the Men in Black must rotate.



** For the Sith: "[[RuleOfTwo Always two, there are. No more, no less. A master, and an apprentice."]]. The second one is justified. The Sith was originally a very ''big'' organization, but infighting and internal strife between their leaders led to their downfall at their enemies' hands. The only survivor was Darth Bane (not the founder of the order, which some sources claim, but still an important figure). He implemented the Rule of Two, realizing that the only way to avoid the mistakes that had nearly wiped the order out was to limit it to only a master and an apprentice from that point on. However, this doesn't mean that they can't train other Force-sensitives to padawan-like levels, especially if the Sith apprentice is trying to supplant his or her master and is training his or her own secret apprentice. LoopholeAbuse is common. Some sources have the Sith more like communist cells: there are only two (or one, or three, depending on whether the apprentice kills the master before or after starting to train his own apprentice) Sith in each group at any given time, but Bane set up several independent parallel groups, each of which believed itself to be the only one.

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** For the Sith: "[[RuleOfTwo Always two, there are. No more, no less. A master, and an apprentice."]]. The second one is justified. The Sith was originally a very ''big'' organization, but [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder infighting and internal strife between their leaders leaders]] led to their downfall at their enemies' hands. The only survivor was Darth Bane (not the founder of the order, which some sources claim, but still an important figure). He implemented the Rule of Two, realizing that the only way to avoid the mistakes that had nearly wiped the order out was to limit it to only a master and an apprentice from that point on. However, this doesn't mean that they can't train other Force-sensitives to padawan-like levels, especially if the Sith apprentice is trying to supplant his or her master and is training his or her own secret apprentice. LoopholeAbuse is common. Some sources have the Sith more like communist cells: there are only two (or one, or three, depending on whether the apprentice kills the master before or after starting to train his own apprentice) Sith in each group at any given time, but Bane set up several independent parallel groups, each of which believed itself to be the only one.



* Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants in the ''Film/XMen'' franchise. In [[Film/XMen1 the first movie]], it's just him, Mystique, Toad, and Sabretooth. In [[Film/X2XMenUnited the sequel]], it's reduced to just him and Mystique. Averted in ''[[Film/XMenTheLastStand The Last Stand]]'', where it expands to several dozen (or perhaps even hundred) members.

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* Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants in the ''Film/XMen'' franchise.''Film/XMenFilmSeries''. In [[Film/XMen1 the first movie]], it's just him, Mystique, Toad, and Sabretooth. In [[Film/X2XMenUnited the sequel]], it's reduced to just him and Mystique. Averted in ''[[Film/XMenTheLastStand The Last Stand]]'', where it expands to several dozen (or perhaps even hundred) members.



* The ''[[Literature/LandOfOz Oz]]'' series from Creator/LFrankBaum uses this multiple times in regard to armies. In ''Literature/TheMarvelousLandOfOz'', it's revealed that the entire Royal Army of Oz is ''one person'', The Man With the Green Whiskers who first appeared in the original book. By ''Ozma of Oz'', the Tin Woodman has expanded it to… 30 people, 3 of which are only mentioned. Another example in the Oz books was the army formed by Queen Ann Soforth of Oogaboo in ''Tick-Toc of Oz'', which had only 17 members (16 or which were officers) which made sense, seeing as Oogaboo itself had a population of only 50.

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* The ''[[Literature/LandOfOz Oz]]'' series from Creator/LFrankBaum uses this multiple times in regard to armies. In ''Literature/TheMarvelousLandOfOz'', it's revealed that the entire Royal Army of Oz is ''one person'', The Man With the Green Whiskers who first appeared in the original book. By ''Ozma of Oz'', ''Literature/OzmaOfOz'', the Tin Woodman has expanded it to… 30 people, 3 of which are only mentioned. Another example in the Oz books was the army formed by Queen Ann Soforth of Oogaboo in ''Tick-Toc of Oz'', which had only 17 members (16 or which were officers) which made sense, seeing as Oogaboo itself had a population of only 50.



* The Shadow Proclamation from ''Series/{{DoctorWho}}'' is supposed to be a intergalactic authority imposing rules and regulations on the whole Universe, yet when they are finally seen in "The Stolen Earth," they consist of a handful of people milling around a lobby plus a few Judoon thugs as security. They don't even get their own planet, just a couple of connected asteroids with buildings on them. (According to WordOfGod, they had originally planned to show the Shadow Proclamation as a huge senate with hundreds of different aliens ala StarWars, but the rest of the episode blew the effects budget.)

to:

* The Shadow Proclamation from ''Series/{{DoctorWho}}'' ''Series/DoctorWho'' is supposed to be a an intergalactic authority imposing rules and regulations on the whole Universe, yet when they are finally seen in "The Stolen Earth," they consist of a handful of people milling around a lobby plus a few Judoon thugs as security. They don't even get their own planet, just a couple of connected asteroids with buildings on them. (According to WordOfGod, they had originally planned to show the Shadow Proclamation as a huge senate with hundreds of different aliens ala StarWars, ''Franchise/StarWars'', but the rest of the episode blew the effects budget.)



* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' has a recurring plot point of the USS Enterprise being the only ship in Star Fleet available for even the most important missions. The worst case was the [[Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture first movie]] where it was the only ship available when an unknown object of great size approached Earth. Repeat, Star Fleet only had ONE ship to defend their ''base of operations.'' Occasionally this is subverted and we do see large groups of ships appear, but outside of Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine, in which there was a full scale war going so it would ludicrous to keep using the "we're the only ship available" plot thread, it's extremely rare.

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* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' has a recurring plot point of the USS Enterprise being the only ship in Star Fleet available for even the most important missions. The worst case was the [[Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture first movie]] where it was the only ship available when an unknown object of great size approached Earth. Repeat, Star Fleet only had ONE ship to defend their ''base of operations.'' Occasionally this is subverted and we do see large groups of ships appear, but outside of Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine, ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', in which there was a full scale war going so it would ludicrous to keep using the "we're the only ship available" plot thread, it's extremely rare.



* In ''Series/TheFlash2014'', S.T.A.R. Labs, who assists Barry Allen, only consists of Harrisson Wells (the director), Cisco Ramon and Caitlyn Snow. We later meet former employees Ronnie Raymond and Hartley Rathaway but it's still incredibly small for a research facility with a particle accelerator.

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* In ''Series/TheFlash2014'', S.T.A.R. Labs, who assists Barry Allen, only consists of Harrisson Harrison Wells (the director), Cisco Ramon and Caitlyn Snow. We later meet former employees Ronnie Raymond and Hartley Rathaway but it's still incredibly small for a research facility with a particle accelerator.



* [[spoiler:The Patriots]] of the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' 'verse were originally Six {{Fallen Hero}}es plus a few hundred to several thousands of clueless mooks, who have not the slightest idea who they are really working for. Then they have [[spoiler:a collection of artificial intelligences]] set up by those fallen heroes and left to run the country. The 4th game reveals the identities of those ex-heroes, and knowing who they are you see, even by the start of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' (and bear in mind we don't even learn about them until ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty''), [[spoiler: two of the members were already dead (including the first hostage you fail to rescue), the leader was basically retired all along (and is a vegetable by the time Solid Snake meets him) and the other three had went their own way and turned against the group. Of the two that were dead, one of the latter actually murdered him.]] The "new" [[spoiler: Patriots]] avert this trope since, thanks to their enormous influence, [[IAmTheTrope they equate themselves with the entire country, and are even compared to the prevailing global system]].

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* [[spoiler:The Patriots]] of the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' 'verse were originally Six {{Fallen Hero}}es plus a few hundred to several thousands of clueless mooks, who have not the slightest idea who they are really working for. Then they have [[spoiler:a collection of artificial intelligences]] set up by those fallen heroes and left to run the country. The 4th game reveals the identities of those ex-heroes, and knowing who they are you see, even by the start of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' (and bear in mind we don't even learn about them until ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty''), [[spoiler: two of the members were already dead (including the first hostage you fail to rescue), the leader was basically retired all along (and is a vegetable by the time Solid Snake meets him) and the other three had went their own way and turned against the group. Of the two that were dead, one of the latter actually murdered him.]] The "new" [[spoiler: Patriots]] avert this trope since, thanks to their enormous influence, [[IAmTheTrope [[IAmTheNoun they equate themselves with the entire country, and are even compared to the prevailing global system]].



* ''VideoGame/GrimFandango'' has the LSA, which at first literally has 2 members, and later on, has only two more that you are able to talk to, one of whom joined after you met her. But in the last part of the game, the LSA has many more members.
** And there's no sign of anyone working for the Department of Death other than Manny, Domino, Manny's boss Don, and [[RunningGag Manny's boss's secretary Eva]]. Even counting the demons summoned specifically to serve the [=DoD=] only increases the count by two, justified since the first part of the game, set on the [=DoD=], takes place during the Dia de Los Muertos, where going to work is optional, and Manny points that the office seems empty that day.

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* ''VideoGame/GrimFandango'' has the LSA, which at first literally has 2 members, and later on, has only two more that you are able to talk to, one of whom joined after you met her. But in the last part of the game, the LSA has many more members.
**
members. And there's no sign of anyone working for the Department of Death other than Manny, Domino, Manny's boss Don, and [[RunningGag Manny's boss's secretary Eva]]. Even counting the demons summoned specifically to serve the [=DoD=] only increases the count by two, justified since the first part of the game, set on the [=DoD=], takes place during the Dia de Los Muertos, where going to work is optional, and Manny points that the office seems empty that day.



* From ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'', the New Squidbeak Splatoon is an militia dedicated to taking down the unscrupulous attacks of the Inkling's sworn enemies, the Octarians. It consists of one old guy, his two granddaughters, one weapon shop owner and, by the second game, two blokes who stumbled upon them out of curiosity. It's a toss-up if the low numbers are due to Cap'n Cuttlefish intentionally keeping it on the down low to avoid raising a panic or if the Inkling's hedonistic lifestyle means they're simply clueless as to what the Octarians have been up to since the GreatOffscreenWar.

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* From ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'', the New Squidbeak Splatoon is an a militia dedicated to taking down the unscrupulous attacks of the Inkling's sworn enemies, the Octarians. It consists of one old guy, his two granddaughters, one weapon shop owner and, by the second game, two blokes who stumbled upon them out of curiosity. It's a toss-up if the low numbers are due to Cap'n Cuttlefish intentionally keeping it on the down low to avoid raising a panic or if the Inkling's hedonistic lifestyle means they're simply clueless as to what the Octarians have been up to since the GreatOffscreenWar.



* In an episode of the AnimatedAdaptation of ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlack'', [=MIB=] become this when an unknown {{Time Travel}}ing assassin starts picking off the founders in the past. When only Kay is left, the entire operation consists of a dozen or so people (all human) at the back of a nail salon with an antique computer taking up another room. Jay (who has RippleEffectProofMemory in this episode) points out the ridiculousness of it all, but they have a hard time seeing the problem.

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* In an episode of the AnimatedAdaptation of ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlack'', [=MIB=] become this when an unknown {{Time Travel}}ing assassin starts picking off the founders in the past. When only Kay is left, the entire operation consists of a dozen or so people (all human) at the back of a nail salon with an antique computer taking up another room. Jay (who has RippleEffectProofMemory in this episode) points out the ridiculousness of it all, but they have a hard time seeing the problem.



* ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' has the [[BurgerFool Krusty Krab]]. This would be fine, all and all, given that Mr. Krabs is a cheapskate that uses as less people as possible for a single restaurant. But the only other people besides him are SpongeBob and Squidward, so the staff is even smaller when either of the three are gone elsewhere and the place keeps going well somehow.

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* ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' has the [[BurgerFool Krusty Krab]]. This would be fine, fine, all and all, given that Mr. Krabs is a cheapskate that uses as less few people as possible for a single restaurant. But the only other people besides him are SpongeBob [=SpongeBob=] and Squidward, so the staff is even smaller when either of the three are gone elsewhere not there and the place keeps going well somehow.



* The United States federal government has three branches. The executive branch includes literally millions of people, counting the armed forces, and even without them would number well into the tens of thousands. (Homeland Security, OSHA, USDA...) The legislative branch is made up of 535 congresspeople plus staffers (in the year 2000, there were approximately 11,692 personal staff, 2,492 committee staff, 274 leadership staff, 5,034 institutional staff, and 3,500 GAO employees, 747 CRS employees, and 232 CBO employees.), and the judicial branch is made up of 876 judges, their staffers, and a few more independent agencies. The legislative branch is not only small compared to the executive branch, but it's also small per capita compared to representative bodies in other countries.\\

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* [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem The United States federal government government]] has three branches. The executive branch includes literally millions of people, counting the armed forces, and even without them would number well into the tens of thousands. (Homeland Security, OSHA, USDA...) The legislative branch is made up of 535 congresspeople plus staffers (in the year 2000, there were approximately 11,692 personal staff, 2,492 committee staff, 274 leadership staff, 5,034 institutional staff, and 3,500 GAO employees, 747 CRS employees, and 232 CBO employees.), and the judicial branch is made up of 876 judges, their staffers, and a few more independent agencies. The legislative branch is not only small compared to the executive branch, but it's also small per capita compared to representative bodies in other countries.\\
22nd Sep '17 6:52:55 AM Sinister_Sandwich
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* ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'' gave this impression, as despite being a global organisation funded by every country in the world, they only had enough resources to send 4 to 6 soldiers to a mission at any one time. If two or more events happened simultaneously, they could only respond to one, and the other regions affected were left with no defence at all, making them very angry and liable to cut off funding.
** [[VideoGame/XCOM2 The sequel]] justifies this a little better by making XCOM an underground resistance cell fighting against an alien-controlled earth. They only have limited options because their resources really are that low compared to their enemies.
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