Indonesia CommonwealthSource: Ground Zero Games Published Works
The IC is an Oligarchy, whose Government is dominated by "The One Hundred Families" (though the actual number has varied from less than 90 to over 130). No more than 40% of these powerful Clans are of Javanese stock: a majority are direct successors to the ruling families of Malaysia, the Phillipines, Indochina and Thailand. All operate something along the lines of Feudal Overlords within their own territory, paying only lip service to any centralised authority. Thus the IC is more of a close federation of despotisms rather than a Nation State. There is a Central Government, with an elected President. The latter is whoever can command the support of the majority of the 100, and his power is proportional to the size and stability of that majority, rather than any legal stature.
Competition within the IC between the various factions is fierce, yet remarkably peaceful. A great body of unwritten rules and conventions has been formed over the years, and these are far more important than any written laws. Intermarriage between the various families has led to a series of semi-permanent alliances, or at least, non-aggression pacts, and overt bloodshed is rare. Each Family has a well-defined "Home Ground", usually geographical, but in some cases a commercial monopoly or place in a cartel, such as those that exist in shipping, weapons manufacture or electronics. Each Family has as its basis of power its own "Private Army", with units funded by the Families rotated into the IC Central Forces under Presidential Command on a regular basis. Within its Home Ground, the Family's word is law, and by convention, no other Family is allowed to interfere in that ground on pain of being attacked by the victim's allies (and others who see an excuse to expand their own sphere of influence).
The last time the IC fought a war was in 2112. The Private Armies also hardly ever engage in combat with each other. Yet IC regular troops have a great deal of Combat experience, mainly due to being hired out on a regular basis as Mercenary forces. This appears to be deliberate policy: a Family that hires out a proportion of its forces keeps them "up to scratch" without the need for costly training, and they even make a (sometimes substantial) profit. The Senior Officers of such units often add significantly to their own personal wealth, either via direct looting or creative accountancy. Despite this, the IC is a "net importer" of mercenaries. There are strictly set limits on how many retainers (ie Soldiers) a Family can emply. Therefore, mercenaries are hired from outside the IC, often ones that have performed particularly well against IC forces in the past. This is usually accomplished by agents of the Family in the Defence Ministry hiring through official channels for "internal security". There is no love lost between the "retainers" and these "Outsiders" though, and some ugly incidents have occurred. Rival families within the Defence ministry have been known to hire mutually antipathetic groups, notably in 2128 and 2131.
The IC was originally confined to the core islands of the Indonesian archipelago. After a period of instability at the beginning of the 21st century, "Gotong Rojong" Sukarto united a people sick of ethnic and religious factionalism by the simple tactic of finding a scapegoat. Evidence was found - or manufactured - that interests in Singapore had funded much of the lawlessness.
A surprise attack on that City State in 2038 was incredibly successful: no-one could believe that even such a small-scale amphibious assault could be mounted without warning. Most of the troops actually flew straight in to Changi, and had the City under control in a matter of hours. With suspicious haste (the same day in fact), a coterie of Singaporean families was put in charge, and the rich flow of Profits from Banking and Industry continued uninterrupted (just diverted into other pockets). What worked well once was tried again, with equal success: from numerous jumping-off points, Malaysia was subdued in little more than a month, again with the same old families remaining in control.
The sudden doubling and re-doubling of GNP brought economic revival to the newly-named "Indonesian Commonwealth ". Indonesia had always had a flourishing hi-tech electronics and aviation industry. Soon these expanded even further, and IC-ICs became the standard by which others were judged. Much of the world's Cargo was flown in IC Garuda transport aircraft, and standards of living for even the poorest peasant increased (though not as fast as that of the Ruling Families, whose wealth grew from merely Obscene to Beyond Belief)
As the IC grew in power, the IC's neighbours - or rather, their ruling families - soon saw the advantages of joining up rather than waiting to be swallowed. In almost all cases, the same families ended up controlling the same little area they always had, and there was little change except to the stationery and outwards appearance of Government. The "Thirty Families" soon became the "Forty Families" and eventually "The One Hundred Families" or simply "The 100" with the mass joining of the Burmese SLORC faction's Ruling Families and consequent annexation of Burma in 2053.
At the tail end of this "Great Co-Prosperity Expansion" period from 2039 to 2053 (viewed within the IC as something of a "Golden Age" ) the IC's further ambitions were continually thwarted when it ran up against the Australian (and from 2050 OU) forces to its South. For a long period, a Cold War was fought, involving various small-unit and "plausibly deniable" forces on both sides.
During this period, Interstellar travel became possible, with the first IC interstellar vessels in service by 2075. But when BioWar disarmament became universal in 2109, the IC had the opportunity for yet another "Short Victorious War". Initial successes came from Surprise: West Papua and East Timor, lost for over 100 years, were swiftly regained in 2110. OU forces were annhihilated in northern New Guinea. The further successes that came were mainly due to the widespread use of revolutionary new Grav technology in military vehicles. But such successes were brief, as although the IC had more Grav vehicles in service, the OU had superior technology in the labs. The OU first caught up with, and then surpassed the IC in this area (and has kept its lead thereafter). Soon the war became a stalemate, and was ended by mutual agreement (though with mutual disatisfaction) in 2112.
For the last 75 years, the IC has been content to expand its colonial holdings in Space, rather than attempt further expansion on Earth. It has remained neutral in all of the major conflicts, being quite willing to sell anything to anyone for the right price. Various of the Families have close commercial contacts with other Nations, and Quasi-National groups such as the bigger Megacorps.
Editorial NotesMilitary Note
Traditionally he IC's navy does not attract its greatest men or minds and it is considered their poorest wing with the majority of its crews made up of short-term conscripts. However, there is a rumor that they do have a few elite crews which man 'ghost' ships reverse engineered from alien technology found on some of their rim-world holdings. As yet this has not been verified and if these ships do exist their technology has not been more widely applied to the conventional IC fleet.
For More InformationNothing yet.
AuthorsAlan Brain (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Changed: Saturday, 30-Jul-2011 11:55:36 EDT