Of all the government systems to emerge in the Periphery, the Outworlds Alliance claims the strangest collection of separatists and anti-social types. Indeed, many political commentators have referred to the Outworlds Alliance as a geographic expression of collective political chaos. Unlike the Taurian Concordat or the Magistracy of Canopus, the Outworlds Alliance was never intended to be a lasting political entity. Indeed, its existence was due to accident as much as to design.
The founding father of the Outworlds Alliance was Admiral Julius Santiago Avellar. As a junior naval officer in the closing years of the 2300s, Avellar was appalled by the ease with which the states of the Inner Sphere sought to settle their differences through increasingly destructive wars. Withdrawing to the world of Alpheratz in 2413, Avellar devoted the rest of his life to literary denunciations of the warmongers of the major Houses.
Though he may have planned to live out his life in obscurity, Avellar became the leader of a virtual cult. His compassionate pleas for an end to war created the Omniss, a new philosophical sect. Advocating the rejection of any technology that did not contribute to the preservation of life, followers of Omniss flocked to Avellar's agrarian haven in the Periphery, much to the chagrin of the hermit-like Avellar.
Before long, people from every social order began to descend on his home on Alpheratz. As the hundreds quickly became thousands and the thousands became tens of thousands, Avellar's homestead was quickly overrun with political and social dissidents. Expanding outward from Alpheratz in all directions, Omniss farmers and their supporters began to colonize neighboring star systems in a frenzy, persuaded by Avellar's writings that galactic doomsday was just around the corner. Faced with the growing problems of managing and caring for the well-meaning but technologically inept multitudes on his doorstep, Avellar was forced to do the one thing that he hated most: to create a government able to provide for the needs of his newfound followers. The result was the Outworlds Alliance, a union born more of necessity than actual desire.
Since the beginning of the 31st century, the situation in the Outworlds Alliance has become particularly grim. With the general loss of technology, Alliance worlds have suffered from declining population and literacy levels. Though protected by a strong military, many of these planets are unable to feed their own people. The people feel that their government has betrayed them, and there have been many riots and demonstrations against the hereditary Avellar regime in recent years. Although no one has yet seriously challenged the right of House Avellar to rule the Outworlds, armed rebellion is likely if the deteriorating situation does not reverse itself.
Sphere of Influence:
The Outworlds Alliance is the second largest Periphery state and the weakest of the major alliances both politically and economically. Lying at the juncture between the Draconis Combine and the Federated Suns, it consists of 38 inhabited worlds in a volume of space approximately 55 parsecs in diameter, which is one-fourth its former size. Its attempts to hold onto these few remaining worlds have created serious economic and political problems.
The threat of rebellion stems not so much from political dissent as from the Alliance's inability to feed and care for its multitudes. In recent years, renegade mercenary bands have staged frequent raids on Alliance worlds, seriously disrupting commerce and trade. With less than 40 serviceable JumpShips, the Merchant Marine cannot hope to protect its outermost worlds. Numerous Planetary Parliaments have criticized the Avellars' commitment to maintain the Alliance military, particularly the AeroSpace Arm, at the expense of the industrial base. Barring a major change in the policies of the Executive Parliament, the military will continue to receive the lion's share of the Alliance's meager resources.
Ratified in 2417, the Alliance Charter is the basis of government within the Outworlds Alliance. Its provisions guarantee all citizens of the Alliance freedom of expression, freedom of religious belief, and the right to pursue any lifestyle or economic pursuit that does not infringe on the rights of other citizens. Alliance citizenship is granted at birth, while an individual may be naturalized after a ten-year residency and demonstrable proof of his productivity in society.
The Alliance Charter created the framework for a streamlined representative government. While acknowledging the right of House Avellar to hold executive power, representatives of the Alliance citizenry must agree unanimously on legislation before it can become law. Likewise, the charter allows for the establishment of planetary representative bodies (known as planetary Parliaments) and judicial courts of appeal, which protect the rights of citizens from governmental abuse. When the Alliance military was established in the mid 2800s, the Alliance Charter was amended to include a fourth government organ, the Alliance Military Review Board.
The government of the Outworlds Alliance can be described as democracy at its best, though few individuals take all the responsibility that they might for conduct of the state. Legislative action is a lengthy process that, though democratic, is highly inefficient compared to many systems found in the Inner Sphere.
As described by the Alliance Charter, the Executive Parliament is the chief governmental organ of the Alliance state. Overseen by the Parliamentary President (an office reserved for the senior member of the Avellar family), the Parliament consists of one representative for every ten inhabited planets of the Alliance. At its largest, the Executive Parliament had 16 members, though this number has shrunk to four (not including the President). This is largely because both the Draconis Combine and the Federated Suns annexed Alliance worlds at the end of the Reunification War. Added to that have been outright planetary secessions in the last two centuries because of poor relations with the Alliance central government.
The Executive Parliament is charged with the conduct of all foreign and internal affairs, subject to a unanimous vote of all members present. This last, rather awkward requirement reflects the desires of Alliance citizens to prevent any individual from imposing a dictatorship on the majority. Such a provision makes it dificult to pass any but the most conservative policy directives.
The Executive Parliament is also responsible for military affairs within the Outworlds. Traditionally, a four-person executive subcommittee handles such matters. With the rise of a standing army, however, the Executive Parliament created the Alliance Military Review Board, which can veto this sub-committee's operational directives whenever the Board judges such directives to be contrary to the best interests of the Alliance. The President can override the Board's decision, but such action is considered politically dangerous.
Bodies of chosen representatives, known as Planetary Parliaments, govern every inhabited world within the Outworlds Alliance. Each Planetary Parliament consists of one representative for every ten thousand inhabitants, elected by annual popular vote. In addition, Planetary Parliaments select one representative to the Executive Parliament for a three-year term. With full authority to pass any legislation needed to govern their worlds, Planetary Parliaments are subject to the will of the Executive Parliament only in the broadest sense of the term.
Courts Of Appeal:
For every five thousand people, there is a five-member Court of Appeals. The purpose of the Court of Appeal is twofold: first, to enforce local laws with powers of prosecution; and second, to review the directives handed down by the Executive Parliament. It is entirely possible that one or more Courts of Appeal may decide that an executive directive is unconstitutional, and may subsequently rule that the directive is null and void within its jurisdiction. Once every three years, representatives from each Court of Appeal meet on Alpheratz to confirm or reject nominations to the Executive Parliament and the Military Review Board for the next session.
Military Review Board:
The latest addition to the Alliance political structure is the Military Review Board. This board consists of four individuals, one selected from each Alliance provincial capital and subject to approval by the Courts of Appeals' confirmation committee. Responsible for reviewing the organization and deployment of Alliance military forces, the Review Board has the power to veto (except in a state of Alliance-wide emergency) Executive Council decisions regarding any use of the military. Thus can it safeguard citizens from the threat of a military dictatorship or the misuse of funds earmarked for military appropriations.
The primary political objective of the Outworlds Alliance is survival. More than two centuries of isolationism have left it with little economic and scientific vitality. Faced with an industrial decline to pre-Star League levels, the Alliance has recently opened its borders to immigration from the Draconis Combine and the Federated Suns. Within the last decade, it has also begun to offer trade agreements permitting outside interests to mine Alliance worlds in exchange for technological contributions. President Neil Avellar hopes that the influx of new people and technologies may improve the economy, though many have argued that the influx of foreign concerns may threaten the Alliance's independence.
Following is a summary of the Outworlds Alliance's relations with its interstellar neighbors.
The Federated Suns:
Relations between the Federated Suns and the Alliance have improved over the last decade, largely because Neil Avellar has granted House Davion the right to exploit lucrative mining sites within the Alliance. Begun in 3020, an Educational Exchange program, bringing in numerous Davion teachers and educational specialists, has increased overall literacy among the Alliance population. Although the Federated Suns enjoys afavored-nation status with it, the Alliance has flatly refused offers of military assistance, either offensive or defensive, and forbids the presence of Davion warships or "military advisors" within its confines.
There can be no question that the culture and political ideals of the Outworlds Alliance are more compatible with those of the Federated Suns than with the Draconis Combine. At any point during the Succession Wars (including the present time), it would have been infinitely preferable to them for the Davions to emerge triumphant in their battles with the Kuritans. However, at no point during the Succession Wars have the Outworlders had the option of joining the Davions in any form of formal alliance, nor even of helping them covertly, as Kuritan intelligence is far too efficient for it to be worth the risk. The Coordinator's agents have made every effort to uncover even the slightest hint that the Avellar family has violated Outworlds neutrality, which evidence they could use as an excuse for an invasion. It is for this reason that ComStar believes that the Kuritans may have more agents on Alpharetz than on either Tharkad or New Avalon.
Relations between the Draconis Combine and the Alliance are cautious and reserved. Though Draconian merchants have lately been allowed limited trade with the Alliance, many Outworlders still look upon the Combine as a greedy empire that would like to snatch up the Outworlds at the first opportunity. Yet, many Alliance politicians look to the Combine as a source of revenue. They have recently concluded a treaty with the Combine, which allows the Kuritans to build several AeroSpace Fighter production facilities in Alliance space, where production costs are extremely low, while the Alliance gains a hefty bounty and a percentage of all craft produced.
Though far removed from the Alliance, the Taurian Concordat is on excellent terms with House Avellar, and citizens have complete freedom of movement between the two states. Taurian naval elements also have the right to conduct secret maneuvers within Alliance space, and Taurian military advisors are known to be present aboard several Alliance naval craft. For their part, the Taurians receive good training from Alliance AeroSpace Fighter Pilots, several of whom serve as advisors within the Taurian military.
Though normally suspicious of any non-Periphery peoples, the Alliance has eagerly welcomed ComStar within its borders since the late 2790s. Of all the Periphery states, the Alliance is the least resistant to the presence of ComStar facilities within its domain. In recent years, many Outworlders have joined ComStar as prospective acolytes. The Executive Parliament hopes that assistance from ComStar may help stabilize its government and economy.
The average Alliance citizen, however, seems to view ComStar as a brotherhood of magicians at best, or a grand coven of witches and warlocks at worst. Because the average Alliance farmer or shepherd lacks even rudimentary education, he often views with sincere alarm anything that smacks of ComStar.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
Of all the Periphery states, the Outworlds Alliance has the freest and openest society. This strength is also its greatest weakness, making the people of the Alliance highly resistant to change. Representative democracy is rather inefficient, especially when unanimous approval of the Parliament is necessary to enact legislation.
Religion and Phllosophy:
Within the Outworlds Alliance, all religious and philosophical disciplines are tolerated. Unlike many worlds in the Inner Sphere, where different religious communities coexist in the same area, Outworlders of various religious persuasions have settled on different planets. For example, on the capital world of Alpheratz, the predominant religious faith is Islam, while on the provincial capital of Ramora, the dominant faith is Taoism.
Of the many philosophical doctrines in the Alliance, the Omniss creed predominates. Omniss is similar to the cultures of the Mennonite and Amish religious groups of Terra during the 19th and 20th centuries. Foreswearing the evils of technology in even its simplest forms, the Omniss advocate an agrarian, close-knit, and decidedly anti-militaristic lifestyle. This last facet of the Omniss culture has had a major impact on Alliance society. At the height of the Outworlds Alliance, over two-thirds of its citizenry were members of the Omniss creed, and thus in a position to prevent the creation of standing Alliance military. The lack of a military almost proved the Alliance's undoing in the Reunification War. Though the Omniss are less influential today, their continued opposition to military appropriations still has an effect on both government and society.
One of the newest religious groups to emerge are the Gregorians. Named after the founder of the Order of Dominant Selection, Mathias Gregory, the Gregorians advocate a lifestyle in which multiple marriages are not only the rule but a fundamental necessity. As a general decline in population threatens this state's existence, the creed has gained substantial acceptance in all levels of society. An estimated 30 percent of all Outworlders belong to, or support, the Gregorian creed.
Despite the wide diversity of philosophical and religious creeds in the Alliance, there has been a surprising lack of conflict between these groups. Due in part to planetary segregation, this tolerance is also due to the basic philosophy of Outworlders, who feel that religious bigotry is a mental disease of the Inner Sphere that must never be permitted to infect the Alliance.
The Alliance military is in some ways a contradiction in terms. For most of its history, there was no standing army except for the local retainers of House Avellar. With the outbreak of the Reunification War, the Alliance militia began to evolve as the state's sole defense. These ill-equipped citizen-soldiers did little to slow the hordes of the Star League. Although the Alliance government had to accept the military restrictions that the Star League imposed on them after the war, the Alliance leaders also recognized that the day would come again when they would have to fight for their freedom. Gradually, the concept of maintaining a professional military arm became accepted in the Alliance.
In the years since the beginning of the Succession Wars, the Alliance Military Corps (AMC) has been based on a citizen militia force, albeit one well-trained and well-equipped. The Alliance has made AeroSpace Fighters its primary offensive and defensive arm, because Outworlders disdain BattleMechs as a symbol of Inner Sphere destructiveness and a tool of petty tyrants. Though the Alliance maintains BattleMech troops, these Warriors have neither the high status nor the high wages they command in most other armies.
The Alliance military is unique in its total lack of mercenary units. The Alliance Charter specifically forbids the use of such troops within the Outworlds.
Because the military is unimportant in the Alliance, uniforms are generally drab and nondistinct. Alliance militia, MechWarriors, and support forces wear the same uniform: dark brown fatigues with green piping. Only a red scarf distinguishes the the dress uniform from the standard uniform. Provision for uniforms and equipment is the responsibility of planetary parliaments, few of which care to invest large sums of money for special dress when a functional design will do. As a result, units from different planets have varying equipment, often relying on what is available. MechWarriors, in particular, use a wide variety of equipment, much of it salvaged from Kurita and Davion units of centuries past.
The exception to this rule is the AeroSpace Arm. Because Aerospace Fighter Pilots enjoy a presfige that the ground forces lack, their uniforms are of better quality. The traditional uniform consists of a white blouse with bright green piping and sky-blue trousers. In flight operations, pilots wear an all-white flight suit with a green collar and cuffs, and such personal equipment as may be available.
The Alliance navy does not exist as a separate combat arm. The few merchant DropShips in the Outworlds have been refitted to carry weapons, in keeping with their role as privateers in time of conflicts. Therefore, naval dress is generally the same as that of the Alliance merchant marine, which is at the discretion of individual ship captains.
To downplay the importance of a standing armed force, the Alliance's rank structure is extremely sparse. Only four enlisted and officer ranks are permitted within the AMC, as described below.
Enlisted ranks reflect the soldiers' role as servants of the state, while officer ranks denote administrative rather than combat duties. Enlisted personnel typically serve for a period of four years.
All recruits in the Alliance military enter service as the result of lotteries, with the respective Planetary Parliaments establishing annual quotas. Each inductee is presented with the title "Defender of the State," a rank that reflects a variety of occupations. The term typically denotes enlisted personnel roughly equivalent through the rank of Corporal in Inner Sphere military systems, and the soldiers wear a bright-green circle on each collar lapel to denote this rank.
Enlisted personnel who have served a minimum of one year of active duty are granted the rank and responsibilities of Protector of the Homeland. The obligations of the rank correspond to those of Junior Sergeants in Inner Sphere systems. Two green circles on each lapel signify this rank.
The term "Guardian of the Homeland" denotes enlisted personnel who have completed a minimum of two years of active service in the AMC. Responsibilities correspond to those of Staff Sergeants within the Inner Sphere. Soldiers of this rank wear a brown circle within a larger green circle on their lapels.
The rank of "Preceptor" is awarded to individuals who have served at least three years in the AMC. A Preceptor is roughly equivalent to a Senior Sergeant or Sergeant-Major in Inner Sphere armies, though the Preceptor's responsibilities are typically less because of the smaller size of the Alliance military. Their insignia is the same as that of the Guardian, except that two green circles are worn instead of just one.
To become an officer in the AMC, an individual must be nominated by their Parliamentary representative and approved by the Military Review Board. An officer serves a minimum of five years.
A Supervisor in the Alliance military is equivalent to an Ensign or Second Lieutenant in the Inner Sphere. Most are employed as platoon or lance commanders in BattleMech or AeroSpace Fighter detachments. These officers wear a single green horizontal bar on their lapels.
The equivalent of a First Lieutenant or Brevet Captain within the Inner Sphere, a Section Leader typically commands two or more platoons of infantry, or two or more lances of BattleMechs or AeroSpace Fighters. They wear two horizontal green bars side by side on their lapels.
A Director is a staff planner or senior commander in the field, typically commanding a company of infantry, BattleMechs, or AeroSpace fighters. Directors wear solid brown lapels and one brown stripe on both cuffs.
Alliance Chairmen serve a dual function in the AMC. At a tactical level, they can command upwards of a battalion of infantry, 'Mechs, Fighters, or a mixture of several different types of companies. In addition, they serve as senior staff planners and specialists. Solid green lapels and green stripes on both cuffs denote these officers.
Structure of the AMC:
The structure of the Alliance Military Corps allocates many of the normal functions of military divisions to Planetary Parliaments or the Alliance Military Review Board. Thus, there are only three distinct branches of the military.
Alliance AeroSpace Arm:
Receiving the lion's share of annual fiscal appropriations, the AeroSpace Arm is charged with first-line defense of all Alliance homeworlds. It consists of four Fighter regiments, which in turn are composed of three wings each. A wing is composed of three combat flotillas of three air lances, which consist of two Fighters. A separate command wing brings the total number of Fighters in each regiment to 60, for a total of 240 AeroSpace Fighters of various types. Though many of these craft are the salvaged remnants of previous conflicts, some 40 percent are less than two generations old.
The Aerospace Arm also commands twelve JumpShips and two dozen DropsShips, which deploy the AMC's Mechanized Corps forces when not engaged in aerospace support.
Alliance Ground Defense Arm:
The Ground Defense Arm is divided into two separate forces: the Planetary Militia and the Mechanized Corps. The Planetary Militia consists of those citizen militias and Freicorp battalions designated strictly for home defense. Its function is not to contest an invasion of the world, but to tie up their resources and pin the attackers in place until reinforcements arrive. The Alliance Mechanized Corps consists of two BattleMech regiments, and a regiment of armor and motorized infantry. Two-thirds of the Alliance BattleMechs are light, Wasps and Stingers mostly, and the rest is an assortment of medium and heavy 'Mechs produced on Alpheratz.
Alliance Service Arm:
The Alliance Service Arm is a polyglot corps containing all noncombatant services found in the military. Most of these services are meager, however, due to a shortage of equipment and of dedicated, long-term service personnel. The AMC Medical Corps is generally ineffective and relies on local support from civilian institutions.
Although the Outworlds Alliance is nearly devoid of major industry compared with the production potential of the Successor States, it does maintain a few minor industrial concerns devoted to weapons production.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
The Outworlds Alliance military is a mixed bag. Its officers emphasize defensive operations involving AeroSpace Fighters to deter enemy attacks or to inflict heavy damage once an aggressor has penetrated the Alliance defense perimeter. The lack of BattleMechs and support craft in any real numbers make offensive operations outside the Alliance impractical. The Alliance militia can offer only marginal resistance, though several units, especially those from planets in the interior, may be of stronger mettle. The Alliance Ground Defense Arm is capable of putting up a good battle, but its years of isolation from the Inner Sphere may leave unit commanders at a serious tactical disadvantage.
Culture and Arts:
Much of the Outworlds' social structure revolves around its agrarian lifestyle, which is due mainly to the influence of the Omniss philosophy. In recent years, however, the Alliance has experienced a shift in social norms, as technicians and scientists, once regarded as second-class citizens, have begun to win new respectability as their talents have become more in demand. This notwithstanding, the average Alliance citizen is only marginally literate and prone to a number of superstitions. A lack of educational systems beyond the secondary school level aggravates this condition. Much of the Alliance educational structure was destroyed during the Reunification War, and the subsequent isolation of the Alliance has done little to improve the situation. Only one university exists within the Outworlds, the University of Alpherak, and this institution has few disciplines devoted to the hard sciences.
Unlike many other Periphery states, the Alliance bestows few titles of nobility. With the exception of minor appellations (largely hereditary titles reserved for members of the Avellar family), most people regard the presumption of nobility as proof of an individual's desire to gain power at the expense of his neighbors.
The average Alliance citizen is a hard-working, if superstitious, individual who values personal loyalty and has a strong work ethic. Less than 10 percent of the Alliance's population can be classified as well-to-do, and even these have very little in comparison with their Inner Sphere counterparts.
The Outworlds Alliance has the weakest economy of all the Periphery states. During the Reunification War, Star League forces leveled 90 percent of this state's industrial concerns, and what remained intact was heavily damaged. The Star League's levying of heavy tax burdens on the Alliance hampered government efforts to rebuild its broken industries. Such industry as remains in the Outworlds suffers from a lack of modern technology. Assembly lines are manual, for example, and little automation exists (even in government-sponsored concerns such as weaponry production).
Despite recent efforts to encourage foreign industry, the economy of the Alliance continues to stagnate. The situation is so bad that many worlds have reverted to the barter system to meet the needs of their populations. The establishment of a central reserve bank and a planetary stock exchange have failed, largely because such institutions are regarded as tyrannical inventions of Star League dictators. Even the introduction of ComStar C-Bills as a means of exchange has done little to reverse this process. Unless drastic reform takes place in the next decade, the Alliance could easily suffer total economic collapse.
[Prepared by Major C.G. Toho, Periphery expert for Wolfnet Military Intelligence Division. Seventh Kommando]
The Outworlds Alliance, like many of the Periphery independents, has been seeking greater trade with the Inner Sphere. President Avellar has lately granted favorable trade terms in return for help against increased pirate activity.
President Avellar has also been trying to broaden his realm's relations with other Periphery states and ComStar. ComStar has eagerly responded to the President's overtures by building five new HPG stations in the Alliance, as well as sending ten diplomatic and education teams to spread the Word of Blake and Com Guard units to help combat pirates. However, diplomatic efforts to the Periphery realms have been disappointing. The paranoia of the Taurian Concordat's leader, Thomas Calderon, has made dialogue very difficult, while trade with the single-world governments near the Alliance are not much worth the effort.
In 3034, President Avellar married Rebecca DeSanders, a Baroness from the Federated Suns who was serving as a diplomat to the Alliance. Their son, Mitchell Avellar, was born in 3035. Public reaction to the marriage was mixed and soon became the focus of what little political opposition there is in the Outworlds Alliance.
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