A fledgling world government has been in existence on Sytol for fifty seven years, driven forward by the Union of Active Participants (UAP), a group of nation states, corporate bodies, religious groups, and other governments who came together firstly to draw up the laws and statutes that formed the Sytol supreme court, to be followed by a single currency, and then the dissolution of their own governments and tools of power in favour of the democratic collective of the UAP.
This was driven by a desire to end the incessant and chaotic warfare that had racked Sytol since it's alleged freedom from the Union. The UAP saw that, far from liberating Sytol from the myth of Union slavery; the withdrawal of Union control had led to centuries of bitter and deliberating warfare.
A powerful smaller group within the UAP, calling itself the Enlightened Collective of Mutuality, were the driving force behind the concept of the war of unification. It realised that the UAP ultimate goal of membership back into the Union would be centuries away given the pace of negotiation and persuasion in the fifty seven years in which the process had been rolled out. UAP members feared that the relative close proximity of the A’Krian Empire threatened Sytol’s existence and certainly its freedom. No one wanted to become a client planet of the A’Krian empire with its cruel battle religion and strict caste system. Whilst it looked increasingly likely that a second A’Krian war would break out between it and the Union, and that the Union would win, in the meantime nothing could prevent an A’Krian wide path impi from rolling up and taking Sytol for the empire, or at best, depopulating the planet to send them all into slavery and worse.
The collective argued that, in order to progress the process at a faster pace, military action against some states was necessary. Their absorption into the growing UAP would encourage less militant states to join of their own free will. The collective successfully campaigned for this concept of a just war through the instigation of citizenship on Sytol - a process that would reward individuals with freedoms and financial security that many could not dream of. This concept of membership was enhanced by a process of participation and diplomacy with the world government with all states and bodies who ruled. These multi layered conversations where called Tiers and each nation, state, royal household, religious group, free state, corporate holding, syndicate etc was allocated to one of the many tiers depending on how far along the path of accepting the broad concepts of relinquishing control of it’s people, lands, laws, currency and industries it had travelled.
A voice in the world government was an increasingly useful and valuable political tool - and having an enhanced negotiation level in which to enter the world government and so have increased influence within it was for many states very important. The UAP had realised this early on and encouraged the process. As a state progressed through the Tiers, it gained influence within the UAP and more importantly, restrictions on the UAP itself allowed these states to avoid invasion and forceable absorption.
The war of unification became increasingly necessary after it was realised that there was a core of strongly independently minded governments who wanted nothing to do with a unified world, law, currency and freedoms, and who certainly wanted nothing to do with membership of the Union - the ultimate goal of the UAP. After all, Sytol had been one of the worlds in many systems which had rebelled against the old Union to seek its freedom during the first A’Krian war. In order to be able to join the Union the whole planet had to be unanimous in the urge to join. At the current pace of negotiation the UAP came to realise that the Collective’s assertion was correct - that referendum was centuries away unless the pace of unification could be increased drastically. Some states would need to be forced into absorption.
The UAP began to discuss this process with the Union, who had established an embassy on Sytol some seventeen years ago as recognition of the progress being made by the UAP. Both parties agreed that whilst some sort of military coersion was required to provide a catalyst to the process, it was vital that loss of life of civilian populations, damage to property and infrastructure, and industries would need to be minimal.
UAP rules of engagement mandate ZT4709-B was thrashed out, which allowed defeated entities to join the UAP without a smashed infrastructure and the need to pay huge compensation for wholesale destruction and loss of life.
Of course, for the boots on the ground, it made no real difference. Death still came, as did terror and maiming.
The first target for the UAP was the syndicate lands of Orbom: a useful industrial addition to the UAP and one of the vociferous opponents of the concept of world unity. Six of the UAP donated forces and material to the effort which accomplished it’s mission in eight weeks with minimal damage to the industrial complexes which produced 30% of the weapons used on the central continent. The corporate militia had been no match for the combined arms of the UAP. The board of the syndicate was dissolved and scattered, the share holders compensated, the syndicate workers given citizenship into the new world, the business' that supported the syndicate lands allowed to continue trading. The news channels across Sytol exploded, but the general opinion was positive - Orbom had been considered a particularly parasitical organisation.
UAP learned many lessons from the short war which had cost it nearly two thousand casualties. The main lesson was that war by committee was highly inefficient and that the disparate armed forces did not gel well during the campaign.
The collective came up with the answer - the UAP needed it’s own army. The Sytol Guard was born. The first ranks of the Guard were taken from the displaced and disregarded by product of wars and conflicts from across Sytol. Controversially, the Collective suggested the orphaned children of wars from around the world. These children were taken in, given a home, indoctrinated into the dream of world unity, trained by the best forces from the UAP. The collective wanted to buy the best equipment the Union had to offer to arm this fledgling army, but the Union would not allow the trade of arms to non-Union members. Others in the UAP argued that in order to prove itself, the Guard would have to demonstrate its skill in battle with equipment no better and no worse than it’s enemies.
The Guard started life as a Brigade of three small regiments. It’s members were made full citizens of the UAP with the prospect of a very generous retirement (should they make the 30 year ticket), plus other benefits which made joining the guard attractive to other people across Sytol, and young people began to sign up. But it would take time to build up a force that could take on all comers.
In the meantime, the bulk of the campaigns were undertaken by UAP member forces and by making extensive use of mercenary forces. The first targets were easy - individual city states, principalities and religious groups who fell in isolation. But those who were against the whole concept of a unified world came together and formed a loose confederation under the old banner of the Free Fighting Army - the historic confederation which had freed Sytol from the Union centuries before. This changed everything.
The FFA had no restrictions on the method of waging war, although it suffered the same problems that had first afflicted the UAP forces - a rag tag, hotch-pot of forces armed in a multitude of ways with varying levels of training and professionalism made waging coherent war difficult. If anything, the FFA faced larger problems with each member state vehemently independently minded. Still, they had momentum on their side and when they launched their spring offensive during the traditional raiding season, they struck hard against the UAP forces and forced them back onto the Gaop ridge - the HQ of UAP central command and seat of the World Government at war. Only the deployment of the fledgling and untried Sytol Guard saved the experiment in unification from total disaster. The now divisional size Guard stemmed the assault and hurled it back across the dessert, back to it’s camps in the Black Hills. The subsequent UAP counter attack was in turn halted in this wild hill land and a stalemate ensued as both sides licked it’s wounds and re-armed and refitted.
The stalemate has so far lasted three years.