Outer Colonies are teritorially, militarily, and demographically strongest political entity in the known part of Galaxy, surpassing even combined powers of Terran Federation
and nearby alien states - despite each of them having their armies counted in billions and fleets in tens of thousands of ships. With its potential almost endless.
They Colonies are however incapable of using this potential due to permanent internal problems. It's waging the Long War not only against the Terran Federation
(and various xeno races) but also against each other. At any given time there are dozens or hundreds active battlefronts dividing the Colonies between spheres of influences, religions and political differences.
Everything the joint 'government' of Colonies can do is adding some basic rules to the unending war... the rules (namely the Icarus Accord
and the several points of the Founding Charter) themselves reinforcing the eternal stalemate.
Outer Colonies is territorially biggest political entity in the known part of the Galaxy, composed of more than 40 major star sectors and even more subsectors, meaning thousands of populate worlds with population that simply cannot be counted, and more military power than all other sentient species. Probably combined.
It is also heavily decentralized to the point of practically no longer being a state in common sense of the word. It can be better described as a loose union of states, or even loose union of loose unions of states. With it's central "government" possesing next to no real power, devoid of its own military power, it is permanently shaking due to internal wars (sometime dwarfing the wars with Terran Federation
in size), ripped apart by religious and political disagreement and individual ambitions.
The only two organisations of Confederation of Humanity to be known to have any real influence on its own territory, are Supreme Council of Humanity and Supreme Tribunal. The latter is the only real international court of law, capable of at least partially impartial verdicts, with its opinions respect by at least most of the Confederacy member states.
Supreme Council of Humanity is theoretically a legislature organisation. Practically it is divided between 'parties' that are strong enough to block any laws from being created, practically changing the Council into discussion circle. It however has the right to officially banish a member state from Confederation, which is equal to declaration of war (at least theoretically) issued by majority of Humanity. Up to the date the Council used it only seven times in nearly three hundred years, however all seven cases ended with absolute annihilation of the offending group.
Outer Colonies are currently divided between several political organisation known simply as Factions. They are by no means political alliances - many of the member states of the same Factions regularly fight with each other. However, because Factions group countries of similar ideologies, it also means that war between are never even close in terms of size and ammount of war crimes to wars between members of other Factions.
There is a clear distinction between three main blocks. Somehow an old term resurfaced, and because of that said blocks are often summed as 'left-wing', 'right-wing' and 'centre', but the terms meaning is vastly different than in 21st Century. By general definition, the 'right-wing' factions are leaning towards liberty (even democracy), while the 'left-wing' groups states leaning towards totalism and wishing to 'reshape' the society of Humanity (even by force). Centrist (that make for close to 2/3 of the Outer Colonies) tend to bend towards limited authoritarisms, including military dictatorships, oligarchies and other stratocratist societies.
The other division is between factions consider 'radical' and 'moderate'. It's the moderates that make up for majority, with the radicals tending to be a slow but vocal attachments to bigger moderate blocs. There is also a vast difference between major and minor factions.
While disorganised, the faction system is an important element in the on-going stalemate. Even if one country manages to take over several planets of their oponnents in the war, or even conquer them whole, this will inevitably bring a faction-wide response. Joint military campaigns (in few cases named, in few not) will either weaker the agressor making it impossible for it to fully use its victory, or will defeat him completely and retake lost territories. In the first case, they will often be repeated later on.
Such military campaigns tend to be centered around major factions: minors rarely can muster enough military power in any given region to succeed in that.
New North Atlantic Treaty [NNAT]
- A faction serving as a common brand for surviving democracies and liberal forms of republics (plus a few parliamentarian monarchies where monarchs have little to no power). They tend to be mostly secular, and while focusing on self-defense, they can get angry. Sometimes a lot.
From time to time they organize a military response. They are sometimes referred to as Wars of Liberation, Freedom or Democracy. Depending on the circumstances they can receive help (or be helping) pretty much all other right-wing factions.
Equality Front [EF]
- Minor faction close to the NNAT that includes states closst to the Post-Scarcity Economy era of the old Terran Federation. They are almost utopian in themes, often heavily technocratic and meritocratic, and with sterile, white, high technologic aesthethics. They can be described as descendants of less totalitarian groups that used to form various demsoc and socialist movements on Earth.
Mostly supported by NNAT and lacking a military potential to make such an attempts on their own. No special wars on their own, best case scenario they just launch a War of Liberation and have the NNAT jump onboard.
Liberty Conglomerate [LC]
- Radical group composed of libertarians and radical economic liberals. And even some extremely radical corporationists and anarchocapitalists. While on the surface it's just a coalition dedicated to free trade, it in fact facilitates a number of rather 'radical' member-states that seem to be taking ancap memes about child slaves and recreational McNukes a bit too far. Minor faction.
Joint campaigns of Liberty Conglomerate happen rarely - and in most cases are supported by a lot of mercenaries and private military campaigns of a various sizes. They are sometimes called (mostly jokingly) as Wars of Capitalism or Wars of Market Protection, or Wars of Liberty. There is no official term.
Remember Opportunity [RO]
- A radically xenophilic (and minor) group created as a reaction to treatment of the radically inhuman Variants during the Unification Wars. There are many events that can be marked as inspiration to it - from the namesake Opportunity Massacre to the Fourth Reich death camps. They later on included aliens, at least those more human-like. They can be described as self-defense group advocating (often radically) for the 'radical' subspecies of Humanity and aliens to spread.
Their rare joint military campaigns are sometimes called 'Wars of Preservation', but there are so rare (and relatively insignificant) that there is no official term. Once they are in deep troubles, NNAT or RPC will help them with a War of Liberation or Neocrusade.
Fifth International [FI]
- A group formed from (rare) anarchists and (a bit more often) anarchosyndycalists. With some hyperfringe anarchoprimitives (that are pretty much used exclusively as footsoldiers. They fight for ultimate freedom, but are heavily left-leaning (in old terms of the word) and then to use a lot of revolutionary rhetorics. And really hate capitalism.
They occasionally launch joint military campaigns (they tend to be seen as too agressive for the NNAT to support). There are rare enough to not have any official names.
Ancien Régime [AR]
- Numerically biggest of all factions, composed of a variety of a secular dictatorships, militant societies, oligarchies and absolute monarchies. They are a powerful force for the status quo. On one hand they tend to sabotage all attempts for reinstatement of democracy anywhere, but they also (often violently) oppose the radical groups.
They periodically launch their own joint military campaigns, known commonly as Restorations of the Order. They are almost exclusively defensive, as the appetites of the Ancien Regime for conquest are heavily limited. In fact, almost non-existent.
Res Publica Christiana [RPC]
- Major faction composed of theocracies, authoritarian republics, monarchies, timocracies and rare moral democracies, all aligned to the moral teachings of the Neocatholic Church
. And quite militant.
Res Publica Christiana almost constantly has at least a single 'special' war - namely the Neocrusades - going. They are both defensive and 'offensively defensive' - if you have a neocatholic minority, treating them fair is a good idea, or you will receive a rather mean visitation.
Conservative Bloc [CB]
- Minor faction, and a schismatic group related to RPC. Created after the schism ripped apart the Neocatholic Church following the doctrinal problems over the existence of souls in aliens. Plus a lot of strife about relation between secular and religious powers. Today, CB is essentially a weaker, paleo-catholic aligned equivalent of RPC, with a bit meanier approach to aliens, and being slightly deeper in authoritarism. Their special wars are Holy Wars.
Conservative Bloc sometimes launches it's own joint campaigns, but in most of the cases it's backed by (depending by the circumstances) Res Publica Christiana (when the enemy is staunchly anti-theistic, or from either Pact of Steel or nity in Diversity) or by Ancien Regime (in other cases).
Islamic League [IL]
- Islamic League generally tries very hard to be an islamic equivalent of RPC, but it has one big problem. It isn't. Many islamic states have long ago began their drift backwards, deeper and deeper into radicalism, including de facto reintroduction of slavery and other mean things. Today it's a darker in theme RPC-equivalent, but still considered one of the least worrisome of radicals.
They repeatedly launch jihads, both as a defence and as offensive (but it's rarer). It supports no other faction, but also never receives any support.
Vanguard of Progress [VoP]
- Transhumanism suffered crushing blow during the first half of the 22nd Century, when a number of disasters and wars (Ragnarok Rebellion, Genetic War, Icarus Massacre, etc.). With Icarus Accord
banning a lot of its content, today transhumanists would be considered hopeless conservative and human supremacists by the transhumanists of old. Their genetic tinkering, cyborganization and attempts at redefining the word 'Humanity' had them earn the ire of many and relocated them to the radical area of the centrism. A minor faction, obviously.
Their joint military campaigns happen, but rarely and doesn't have an official name, unofficially being referred to as Wars of Progress. Sometimes (when the enemy is sufficiently evil) they become the target of Restorations of the Orders. When the enemy is even more evil, RPC might be persuaded to help them (nobody wants Pact growing stronger).
Unity in Diversity [UiD]
- The minor faction created by an assortment of theocracies (or generally heavily religious states) of religions other than Christianity and Islam. This includes neomazdakist pleasure cults, neognosticism (including its nihilistic murder cult variant), militant pagan societies etc. etc. It's hard to count just how much it's members hate or oppose each other, but alliance (at least to a point) makes it easier for them to resist neocrusades and jihads.
They, from to time, call their own joint wars called Wars of Faith. The target tends to be supported mostly by the members of the Unity that are somehow similar in beliefs, but other groups will provide (reluctant) support.
New Comintern [NC]
- Reorganized hardline communist states following either directly stalinist (or either leninist or trotskist) ways. Their 'moderation' is mostly an effect of a good propaganda and skillful diplomacy, while using a smoke & mirror approach by hiding behind PoS attrocities. It's exactly as totalitarian and merciless as Pact of Steel, it just prefers to work by proxies.
Their joint campaigns tend to be called Wars of Workers' Liberation or, in short, Worker's War/War of Workers. They are, quite often, rather agressive - outside of defense they tend to target areas beset by Pact of Steel or aliens and present themselves as 'liberators'.
Clockwork Alignment [CA]
- A minor faction composed of technocracies similar in aesthethics and political views to the Equality Front, just of a much more radically left-wing in approach. Many of them use machine governance and AI overseer to ensure perfect functionality of the State... even against them. Many of them are close to Vanguard in themes as well, but go much farther than them.
Their rarely launch their own joint campaigns. They used to be jokingly referred to (by people outside of Alignment) as 'Wars of Optimization', until the Alignment adopted the term. They are also called 'Machine Optimization'. The new joke term for the often under-funded and pathethically weak Alignment's offensive is Cog Lubrication.
Pact of Steel [PoS]
- Radicals in true sense of the word. Outcasts, states universally hated even among the leadership of various centrist dictatorships - in most cases for purely moral reasons. Totalitarian, often genocidal regimes - and in best case scenario oligarchies that openly reinstated slavery or just keep millions in work camps... perpetually.
Their joint military campaigns are often referred (after the Fourth Reich
, that kinda serves as the first thing that cames to mind when someone mentions the Pact of Steel) as Blitzkriegs.