International Oversight Advisory (IOA)

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International Oversight Advisory (IOA)

Summary & Agency History

The International Oversight Advisory (IOA) is a multi-national bureaucratic institution created to monitor the intergalactic projects created by exploration via the Stargate Program. The IOA (formerly called the IOC for International Oversight Committee) was established sometime after the Battle of Antarctica (7.21 "Lost City"), when several countries for the first time became aware of the existence of aliens and the Stargate program (8.02 "New Order Part 1").

It currently has a limited involvement in Stargate Command (SGC) and runs the Atlantis program as well as the offbase Icarus Base (and thus the refugees on Destiny). The IOA tends to work very closely with the Washington based Office of Homeland Security, now run by Gen. Jack O'Neill, and originally run by Gen. George Hammond (8.02 "New Order Part 2", 9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2", SGU 1.06 "Earth").

Creation of IOA

Before the IOA, there was the "Gate Alliance Treaty". Its original signatories were China, France, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States (6.17 "Disclosure", see 9.17 "The Scourge" and 10.02 "Morpheus" for references to name). These countries were already made aware of the Stargate program and had agreed, after the intercession of Asgard Supreme Commander Thor, to allow the SGC under Hammond to continue the program. They were partners in the SGC program with no authority (10.02 "Morpheus").

The Antarctic treaty forbids a nation from using Antarctica for any military purposes, so when Jack O'Neill used the Ancient chair weapon to destroy an invading alien armada, it was technically a violation of said treaty, albeit to save the planet (7.22 "Lost City Part 2"). Several countries were very upset to learn the Stargate program even existed, not to mention this weapon being used in a designated peaceful zone (8.01 "New Order Part 1"). Thus they were preventing the SGC from returning there, even though Jack O'Neill was still trapped in stasis, possibly dying in the Ancient outpost.

Eventually, there was agreement to have an international group study this new outpost. With the agreement of the international community, President Hayes tapped Elizabeth Weir to supervise the project, given the delicate international situation and her diplomatic expertise (8.02 "New Order Part 2"). This international group developed into the IOA. Apparently, these new nations read into the Stargate exploration program also became signatories to the Gate Alliance Treaty (10.02 "Morpheus").

Nations Affiliated With IOA

Countries involved in the IOA, listed alphabetically. There are 46 nations signed to the real Antarctic Treaty, 28 of which currently have decision making authority (see source below). It's not known how many of those are part of the IOA. Elizabeth Weir mentioned 11 nations involved in the Antarctic treaty (8.01 "New Order Part 1"). That number increased over time. The main representatives of the IOA are the original members of the Gate Alliance Treaty: Russia, China, Great Britain, France, and the United States. But the full list is as follows, as based upon Atlantis/304 crew members with flag patch visible (Stargate Atlantis).

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Central African Republic
  • China
  • Czech Republic
  • Egypt
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • India
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Phillippines
  • Portugal
  • Russian Federation
  • Serbia
  • Spain
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Zimbabwe

IOA Control

Antarctica Expedition/Atlantis Expedition

While the IOA ostensibly oversaw Dr. Weir's international expedition exploring the Antarctic Ancient base and later the Atlantis expedition, Weir's group was cut off from Earth entirely for approximately a year (SGA 1.01 "The Rising, Part 1"). After the SGC regained communication with Atlantis, 304 class vessels, such as Daedalus would often make the three week voyage to the Ancient city and the US military presence, if not the IOA's, was more noticeable (SGA 1.17 "Letters from Pegasus", SGA 2.01 "The Siege Part 3"). The 304s were still run by the US military, not by the IOA, although the commanders, such as Caldwell were ordered to help out the IOA expedition as much as possible (SGA 3.02 "Misbegotten").

When the Wraith threat became imminent to Earth, Weir herself returned to Earth and an IOA delegation made up of Shen Xioyi and Russel Chapman as well as Richard Woolsey came to the SGC to debrief Dr. Weir in person (SGA 3.01 "No Man's Land Part 2"). The meeting was more of a dressing down of Weir by the IOA representatives for the decisions which led to Wraith heading to the Milky Way Galaxy. The IOA sent Woolsey back with Weir to Atlantis evaluate whether she should remain in command of the expedition (SGA 3.02 "Misbegotten"). The underlying thought behind the IOA's evaluation appeared to be that while the IOA did not want more military influence in the expedition, the threat by the Wraith might leave them no choice. After witnessing Weir's decisions in the "heat of battle" so to speak, and aware of the IOA political climate, Woolsey recommended Weir stay in command.

Woolsey & O'Neill represent Earth to Lantians

When Ancients (Lantians) returned to Atlantis, they requested the expedition leave the city (SGA 3.10 "The Return Part 1"), but allowed a delegate to remain. The IOA sent Richard Woolsey, and later, O'Neill of Homeland Security. (Apparently, the Ancients found Woolsey "a bit trying"). Both O'Neill and Woolsey were present when a Replicator ship attacked and invaded the city, killing all the Ancients. Woolsey and O'Neill hid from the Replicators before being captured (SGA 3.11 "The Return Part 2"). A group from the Atlantis expedition, including Weir and Lt. Col. John Sheppard went to Atlantis against orders and retook the city. In gratitude, Woolsey supported O'Neill's recommendation that Weir and her expedition be reinstalled at Atlantis.

The fear of the IOA and the Pentagon was that the Asuran replicators were about to attack Earth, and thus sent Col. Abraham Ellis and the newest 304 ship, the Apollo on a mission to destroy the replicators' shipyards (SGA 3.20 "First Strike Part 1"). After Elizabeth Weir went MIA on a mission to Asuras, the IOA decided it needed a military presence in charge of the expedition, and Colonel Samantha Carter was established as the new leader of Atlantis (SGA 4.03 "Reunion")

Carter butts heads with Woolsey

Eventually, Woolsey was once again sent by the IOA to conduct an evaluation of Colonel Samantha Carter after she was in charge of the facility for three months (SGA 4.08 "The Seer"). He revealed he had recently undergone his own evaluation, where he was told he tended to get too involved when he should observe. His intention was to merely observe Carter, but he could not resist giving his opinion, at one point even trying to countermand Carter's own orders. Her actions were proven to be the correct course, and an abashed Woolsey returned to the IOA.

Destruction of Midway

The IOA was also in charge of the newly created Intergalactic Gate Bridge, built to facilitate travel between the Milky Way and Pegasus galaxies. They established their own protocols, including a day's worth of quarantine at Midway when traveling between the two galaxies (SGA 4.17 "Midway"). This bridge was often used, including when alien members of the expedition were evaluated by a committee of the IOA. The newest member, Mr. Coolidge, was very suspicious of aliens involved in the program. He changed his mind about aliens when Ronon Dex and Teal'c almost single-handedly saved the SGC base from a Wraith invasion. The Midway station was destroyed during the same incursion.

After the threat from the Wraith and the replicators appeared to have diminished, the IOA decided they didn't need the military skillset and summarily replaced Colonel Carter with Richard Woolsey (SGA 5.01 "Search and Rescue"). They hoped the reluctant Woolsey would pay more attention to the IOA protocol than his predecessors had. However soon Woolsey realized the bureaucratic rules sometimes were not effective when faced with the practical realities of running the distant and dangerous Atlantis outpost (SGA 5.02 "The Seed").

Woolsey defends Atlantis at trial

Col. Sheppard's team received an invitation to represent Atlantis at a loose coalition of planets in the Pegasus galaxy (SGA 5.13 "The Inquisition"). The IOA encouraged this representation, believing it could lead to a "federation" of the planets. Unfortunately, the coalition was more a trial about the havoc the Atlantis expedition team had wrought on Pegasus since its arrival. Woolsey had to intervene himself, and ended up committing Atlantis to a more day-to-day participation in Pegasus Galaxy politics. Woolsey was particularly concerned with how the IOA would react to his latest report.

Woolsey's lack of conformity to protocol concerned the IOA, and for his nine month evaluation, they sent Shen Xiaoyi to evaluate him and offer him the opportunity to return to Earth as head of the new "environmental initiative" (5.15 "Remnants"). Shen had an ulterior motive during her evaluation, since she was promised the job of Atlantis commander pending the outcome of Woolsey's evaluation. However, tricked by an alien into believing she would not get the job, she ended up giving Woolsey a fantastic write-up.

When the Wraith again threatened Earth with an imminent attack, the IOA dignitaries were more concerned about evacuating to the Alpha Site rather than helping with the threat (SGA 5.20 "Enemy at the Gate"). The crux of Earth's defense was left in the hands of the SGC, and Col. Carter, who was temporarily in command of the facility. This led to Major Davis caustically remarking "Good old IOA. Courageous to the end..."

Stargate Command (SGC)

Stargate Command was essentially controlled by the U.S. military up through the defeat of the Goa'uld. However, after that, the base command's budget was drastically cut by the head of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Fisher (9.03 "The Ties That Bind"). Because of the new danger the Ori presented, Gen. O'Neill and Gen. Landry reluctantly agreed to get funding from the IOA, knowing it would come with a price–oversight by the IOA, to see where their money was being spent.

The "watchdog" selected to oversee the SGC ended up being Richard Woolsey. According to what Gen. Landry later told Elizabeth Weir, Woolsey would come to the SGC bi-weekly (SGA 3.01 "No Man's Land"). When Khalek, an artificially engineered creation of Anubis arrived at the SGC, Woolsey arrived in person (9.09 "Prototype"). He wanted to have Khalek studied and kept prisoner, despite Dr. Jackson's recommendation to kill Khalek because of the danger he posed. Daniel Jackson proved correct and Woolsey personally gave assurances that the families of the men killed by Khalek would be taken care of.

When the SGC, and later the general Earth population became exposed to a plague created by the Priors, the IOA representatives came directly to the SGC to discuss the crisis (9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2"). Usually they would coordinate with the now retired Gen. Hammond who still worked in a civilian capacity. While IOA representatives expressed their concern, they ultimately agreed with Woolsey's assessment to let Stargate Command handle this matter–which they did successfully.

The IOA requested an offworld tour through the Stargate, and Woolsey led a delegation made up the French delegate, LaPierre, the Chinese Representative Shen Xiaoyi, and the British Representative, Chapman (9.17 "The Scourge"). SG-1 acted as their escort to the Gamma Base. While the delegation was there, the base became overrun with insects genetically manipulated by the Priors of the Ori. The base personnel all were killed, and SG-1 and the delegation barely escaped with their lives by being beamed out by Odyssey. Woolsey attended the post-mission debrief with Landry and SG-1, explaining that there would be minimal repercussions regarding the incident and that, off the record, the IOA praised the hard work the SGC did under extraordinary conditions.

Woolsey continued in his role as "go-between" of the SGC and IOA (10.01 "Flesh and Blood Part 3"). Richard Woolsey and the IOA intervened when SG-1 kidnapped Daniel Jackson, who had been captured by the Ori, and was now working as a Prior (10.14 "The Shroud"). Remembering Khalek, Woolsey as IOA representative, recommended to the President that Daniel be killed, but eventually agreed to SG-1's plan based on Dr. Jackson's intel, since only the team would be at risk. He also insisted Daniel be put into stasis. However Daniel broke free of the Anti-Prior device before the stasis plan could be enacted, and went on with his plan to destroy the Ori.

One powerful Jaffa named Arkad approached the SGC to trade intelligence and work with the SGC to quash the "violent Jaffa", even though they may not agree in matters of faith (10.17 "Talion"). Several of these "violent Jaffa", that Bra'tac warned likely were led by Arkad, had attacked helpless women and children at a Jaffa base, Dar Eshkalon–including almost killing Bra'tac and Teal'c. Despite these warnings, the IOA ordered the SGC to work with Arkad to gain intelligence, and to specifically prevent Teal'c, who had vowed revenge for Dar Eshkalon, from taking action against Arkad. Later sources proved Bra'tac was correct.

Woolsey worried about "Prior" Daniel

With Woolsey becoming more involved in keeping track of the Atlantis expedition, the IOA tapped a former CIA agent, James Marrick, to be their new watchdog for the SGC (Stargate: The Ark of Truth). Marrick had a very hawkish approach to dealing with the Ori. He also insisted on joining SG-1 on Odyssey for a trip to the Ori galaxy to find the "Ark of Truth". The IOA had a reserve plan. They provided Marrick with a computer program to be used with the ship's Asgard core that would create a replicator. The replicators would hopefully infiltrate the Ori ships and stop the fleet. When Marrick realized Mitchell was leaving him out of key decisions, he took it upon himself to enact the reserve plan. The replicators soon got out of control and almost destroyed the ship before the IOA-programmed shutdown code could be sent. Marrick himself was a casualty.

Icarus Base/Destiny

The Icarus base was founded in approximately 2007 with the intention of figuring out the secret to the Stargate's ninth chevron (SGU 1.01 "Air Part 1"). It is unclear how much involvement the IOA had in the base, but its human resources department was managed by an IOA bureaucrat, Camile Wray; however, the base security personnel appeared to be solely US military from the various branches of service. When some of the expedition disappeared during an evacuation, the IOA worked closely with O'Neill's Office of Homeland Security inasmuch as their representative, Dale Strom, was present at many of the major discussions (SGU 1.06 "Earth").

After the Icarus evacuees contacted the Pentagon using Ancient Communication Stones and informed them of their situation aboard the intergalactic Ancient Destiny, some Stargate scientists came up with a plan to draw enough power in Destiny's 'gate to allow the stranded personnel to dial home. The IOA supported this plan, despite the risks. As Strom privately confided to Wray, they hoped to be able to send one of their own ships out and dial Destiny back, with the the team originally scheduled to explore the ninth chevron. Strom also appeared to be behind the decision to order the scientists aboard Destiny via the stones to withdraw if the plan looked like it would fail. The scientists and Telford did as ordered–including bugging out when the projected looked doomed, but their actions diminished the trust the refugees had in the rescue efforts. Strom tried to object when Young requested the stones be used for family visits only, but O'Neill overrode him.

Wray handled human resources on the base (SGU 1.05 "Light"). She was passed up for promotion four times within the IOA; when she pressed her supervisor, Strom, after she was stranded on Destiny, he brushed off her concern with platitudes about her abilities (1.07 "Earth"). He also wanted her to play ball with the IOA's plans concerning Destiny. On another trip, he even tried to her push her to make a powerplay of her own to take control of the ship (1.09 "Life").

Associates of IOA

  • Russel Chapman was the British representative for the IOA. He along with other representatives took a tour of the SGC gamma base at a time it was being attacked by killer insects.
  • Col. Chekov was the Russian representative with the IOA. Chekov alternated between being an ally of the SGC at the IOA table, but usually to negotiate Russia's best interests, like getting a Russian 304 ship. Chekov's status is unknown since the destruction of the Korolev.
  • Coolidge IOA bureaucrat doing evaluations of Atlantis personnel, including the Pegasus natives attached to the expedition. After surviving a Wraith attack of the SGC due to the intercessions of Ronon Dex and Teal'c, he had no problems with aliens attached to the program.
  • Luther Dovelock IOA member of standing during Woolsey's tenure as head of Atlantis.
  • James Marrick was formerly of the CIA and hired by the IOA to be SGC watchdog close to the end of the war with Ori. He was killed on Odyssey by replicators he released on the ship when it was on a mission in the Ori's home galaxy.
  • Jean LaPierre was the French representative for the IOA. He was involved in the IOA's concern when Earth was biologically attacked by a plague. He along with other representatives took a tour of the SGC gamma base at a time it was being attacked by killer insects.
  • Dale Strom is an IOA high-ranking bureaucrat or representative stationed at or near the Pentagon. He is Wray's supervisor and IOA point of contact for the Icarus Project, and thus is trying to figure out what to do about the refugees on Destiny.
  • Shen Xiaoyi was the Chinese representative for the IOA. She was very skeptical of the benefits of having the SGC control the Stargate and when time came to renew the lease from Russia, actively lobbied to get China to control it. She also had personal ambition; she hoped to take away Woolsey's command of Atlantis for herself, but instead confirmed his station.
  • Elizabeth Weir diplomatic negotiator and commander of the SGC for a short time, Weir was chosen by President Hayes to run the international Antarctic expedition that became the Atlantis expedition. She came under fire for her decisions several times by the IOA but stayed in charge until sacrificing herself to save her team and city from replicators.
  • Richard Woolsey was a lawyer who formerly worked for the NID on overseeing the Stargate program. He later became a watchdog of Stargate operations for the IOA–of both the SGC and Atlantis. Eventually keeping track of Atlantis became a full-time job. When the IOA decided there was less of a military threat to the base, they installed Woolsey as commander. Once there, he became more independent of IOA bureaucracy.
  • Camile Wray was an IOA human resources bureaucrat stationed on Icarus Base. She was one of the evacuees who became stranded on the distant Destiny and is now the IOA eyes and ears of the marooned crew.

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Antarctic Treaty Wikipedia Entry

Thanks to archersangel, bytheseaside, crazedturkey, colls, izhilza, madaboutdanny, purpledolphin_9, shaddadukal, and the sharp-eyed forum members at syfy forums for assistance in spotting country flags.

--Aurora 17:42, 25 March 2010 (UTC)