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When FedCom began, it was ruled by a military government. That changed to democracy in 2008, and the new system remains in place.
To the present day, FedCom maintains a strong focus on its national defense, believing deterring conflict by maintaining a powerful self-defense capability is the best means of maintaining the peace. To that end, FedCom is determined to be a survivor, instead of a victim.
The Federated Commonwealth Defense Force (FCDF) is what FedCom's military is formally called. It consists of four active branches, plus one reserved branch: Army, Navy, Air Force, Cyber Force, and Space Force (reserved for the future).
The FCDF is an all-volunteer professional army. Paramilitary training is the norm for all able-bodied citizens: this is done to establish valuable work skills, ethics, coordination, and comradeship, as well as to maintain a strong foundation for the spontaneous formation of a nation-wide militia and resistance force, if/when needed, composed of virtually the entire population.
The FCDF is split into five distinct branches, each specializing in a specific field of conflict. Branches often work together and coordinate their efforts to achieve mutual goals, and they do not have the bitter rivalries and competition often found in the militaries of other nations.
The Army is primarily concerned with control over the land, and the airspace immediately above it. They tend to use light vehicles and infantry, focusing heavily on stealthy special-forces teams, to accomplish their goals. Armored vehicles and most helicopters would also fall into their arsenal, once these are acquired.
The Navy is focused on the ocean, and is mostly only concerned about the area surrounding Malatora Island. It is ultimately intended to become a green-water navy, concerned with regional projection, rather than a global reach. The FCDF Navy plans to employ various submarines as the warships in its fleet, with surface ships being few and limited to coastal defense.
The Air Force is focused on securing the skies, observation, and air-strikes. FedCom already has access to basic drone technology, and can fly observation RPAs (remotely-piloted aircraft). As FedCom industrializes, much more will become available.
The Cyber Force is one of the smallest branches, but doesn't need to be large to make a big impact. This branch focuses on cyberwarfare: hacking hostile computer networks for espionage and sabotage purposes, as well as defending FedCom's own networks from intrusion.
It is anticipated that (assuming FedCom is successful at establishing sovereign control over its territory, and the economy flourishes) FedCom will eventually reach out with its own ambitious space program, and begin to develop and colonize the solar system (and perhaps beyond). Space Force would be officially established at the beginning of FedCom's space program, and would be tasked with defending all assets in orbit and beyond. Space Force may also be able to provide support to terrestrial forces, in the more distant future.
FedCom is not a signatory of the UN's Outer Space Treaty, and never will be. The nation as a whole rejects all current concepts of so-called "space law", and regards anything short of physical possession and control of any extraterrestrial resource or territory as empty and baseless. Whatever our space program yields from our own hard work, we shall use as we see fit. Space is not the "common heritage of mankind" (and certainly not "mankind" exclusively): it belongs to whoever goes out there and actually makes use of it.
FCDF military doctrine is heavily focused around the goal of keeping FedCom's territory safe from hostile threats, and supporting that goal. Tactics are engineered to suit the environment of Malatora, and target the weakest points of hostile forces, while avoiding their strengths. FCDF forces make heavy use of asymmetric warfare and guerrilla warfare as the most common methods of combat, and specializes in the use of combined arms and swarming tactics. FCDF units typically operate in small decentralized teams, and they enjoy high degrees of autonomy to take their own initiative and freely maneuver, simple objective-based missions, and extensive communications for coordinating their efforts. Enemy supplies and weapons are captured wherever possible, and recycled back into service for augmenting FedCom's forces.
Defensive strategy is similar to Switzerland's effective "porcupine principle". If attacked, the immediate response is to curl up and present a wall of defense on all sides. Where possible, defense in depth is used as FCDF forces withdraw from unholdable terrain and move to better prepared positions, chewing up hostiles along the way. Scorched earth is used to delay and hinder advancing forces, compelling them to stretch their supply lines; meanwhile, FedCom's shrinking perimeter causes its own supply lines to contract, as the density of available defense increases.
Because FedCom is a small nation, and has limited resources, it will typically switch to complete mobilization of every resource at its disposal at the first sign of impending hostilities. In effect, a total war economic status is adopted, and virtually all non-essential services and functions are suspended until peace is restored. Once committed to battle, all of FedCom is dedicated to securing victory and peace, and doing so as rapidly and efficiently as possible.
FedCom is not an aggressive nation, and has no aspirations of conquest: its people only wish to live in peace. The FCDF is intended to be used only for the purpose of self-defense or assisting our closest allies, and its equipment is not designed to wage any significant campaign far from home.
The deployment of military force is FedCom's last resort, to be used when all attempts to negotiate have failed, and/or FedCom faces an imminent and unavoidable attack.
Cease-fires, truces, and similar offers of peace will, of course, be gratefully accepted and respected... once. Perfidy is seen by FedCom as a particularly grievous offense, and any enemy that commits it will be regarded as dishonorable and untrustworthy for the duration of the conflict; any future offers of peace will be ignored, and a neutral mediator will need to be employed to cease hostilities.
Retreating enemy forces will be permitted to flee safely, if that is the terms of a truce, or the enemy force is routed and fleeing to avoid annihilation. If the retreat is organized, to regroup and strike again, they will be pursued and attacked for as long as is practical, or until they are routed.
There is one exception, for special circumstances related to defense of the Malatoran homeland.
"Laws of War"
FedCom is not a signatory to any arms-control treaty, nor is it a signatory to any convention limiting its behavior in a conflict. This includes documents such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions, the UN Law of the Sea Convention, and especially the Outer Space Treaty... as well as all similar international agreements that form the foundation of modern customary international law.
That said, FedCom does accede to the modern internationally-accepted concept of the "rules of war", when it involves combat beyond its national borders. If fighting on foreign soil (a very rare event, usually only initiated in defense of an ally), FCDF forces obey all the accepted rules and expectations of modern "civilized" combat. FedCom will fully respect surrendering forces, and give them full protection as prisoner of war (POW) status.
Malatorans always conduct themselves with respect and dignity: they never rape or torture anyone.
Superweapons and WMDs
A weapon that is never used is no weapon at all... and if the time comes when the use of such a weapon can save FedCom from annihilation and/or quickly end the conflict and restore peace, then such a weapon should be deployed quickly and decisively, for maximum effect.
Chemical and/or biological weapons might be deployed as a defensive act, if faced with overwhelming invasion of the homeland. See the Homeland Defense Exception Policy for details about when and why this is justified.
Nuclear weapons are perceived as primarily a deterrent against their use by other nations, and would only be used in retaliation ("No First Use")... or as a last act of desperation, when there is nothing left to lose ("Option Zero").