Independent Alliance of Systems
The Independent Alliance of Systems arose out of a need for cooperation. Centuries of warfare and both Imperial and Federal meddling in a great many otherwise peaceful independent systems caused various small alliances to form and then get broken up over the centuries.
The Alliance formed from a number of culturally different systems with a unified goal: to provide a stronger voice in the galaxy for its member systems, and ultimately to defend them against unwelcome attention from the larger powers. The Independent Alliance is culturally varied and leadership of the Alliance (the presidency moves between member systems annually) has been described as ‘challenging’. Seeking agreement between the member systems is generally a tortuous process, usually ending up with a great deal of compromise.
Militarily, cooperation has been more successful. Each member system contributes a portion of its navy to the Alliance Defence Force, proportional to its GDP. It is led by the six-strong Council of Admirals (one from each of the largest member navies), but they can act swiftly without government approval, which has proven effective, and over the years there has been little disagreement between the admirals.
Contributed vessels generally bear the decals of their own navy, but have an additional Alliance Defence Force decal applied while they are with the group. The culture of identity, independence and rivalry applies here too.