Major Powers in 2246
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Though mankind has spread throughout the stars, ancient tribalism still rules the cradle of humanity. Here are some of the major powers - on Earth and abroad.

UNITED NATIONS OF EARTH
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The United Nations is the closest thing to a united Earth government in the planet's history. A superconglomerate of nations, its member states cover over half of the world's land area. This organization wields little direct planetside authority, but is wholly responsible for Earth's spacefaring military forces and oversees all orbital freight stations. On the ground, its member states adhere to a roughly uniform set of laws and trade regulations, which are set by a congress of representatives from each member state.

The member states are too numerous to list here. Here are the principal members: 
  • Swiss Confederation. Due to Switzerland's famous policy of neutrality, most organs of the United Nations are based in Geneva, centralized there following a brief war which began in 2044 (known retrospectively as World War III) that threatened to destroy the organization. Swiss diplomats (and bankers) successfully held the Assembly together, ending what may have been a cataclysmic war. The current UN Secretary-General, Levian Rösli, is the former Swiss Chancellor.
  • Commonwealth of Britannia. Although it has left and rejoined the United Nations three times, the Commonwealth of Britannia remains an international powerhouse due to its early adoption of the "mega-city" concept, thus becoming an important industrial center. It abolished its historic monarchy following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in 2032.
  • United States of America. Another fair-weather friend of the United Nations, the United States has withdrawn from the Assembly twice in its history, each time in advance of a brewing conflict with erstwhile fellows in the Assembly. However, it has been a member state for the past 122 years, and in that time, has become the primary benefactor of the United Nations Security Council, providing a little over two thirds of its war materiel. As such, it holds much sway in the Assembly.
  • Republic of China. Formerly the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China officially renounced Communism in the 2040s as part of its "Dawn" initiative, though not before conquering the other Republic of China - Taiwan. Though outwardly utopian, China remains an autocratic, dystopian hellhole behind the curtain. It is an important producer of consumer goods and frequent human rights reprimands from the United Nations go ignored.
  • Japan. A major player in high-tech industry despite an extremely conservative government. Its constantly shrinking population and staunch sense of traditionalism makes it one of the least populous of the major UN nations. Only Tokyo has really attained "mega-city" status, and even it is small compared to many other major urban centers.
All of Western Europe, North America, most of South America, most of Asia, Australia, and large parts of Africa hold a seat in the United Nations General Assembly. No major wars have been fought on Earth in nearly a century, but trouble is brewing with the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a cluster of nations which refuses to yield to the United Nations and seems to be readying for a space war over UN control of Earth's orbital lanes.

COLLECTIVE SECURITY TREATY ORGANIZATION
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The CSTO consists primarily of nations that have withdrawn from the United Nations - chiefly the Russian Federation. In 2044, the Russian Federation and its military allies withdrew from the United Nations and began a military campaign against Western Europe and western interests in North Africa, a conflict which very nearly went nuclear. Belligerents were subsequently barred from the United Nations for a period of not less than fifty years, and most of them never rejoined, choosing instead to strengthen the 1990s-era Collective Security Treaty Organization. Several minor conflicts have erupted since. An active blockade has prevented CSTO from launching its own spacefaring military and CSTO-flagged merchant vessels are subject to extreme scrutiny at orbital freight stations.

Principal members of CSTO include:
  • Russian Federation. The chief nation in CSTO around which the entire organization revolves. It has formally annexed several of CSTO's "unwilling" members and now directly borders Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland - the most militarized border in world history. It frequently lodges formal complaints with the United Nations about the military activities of its neighbors with the apparent intent of bogging down the Assembly.
  • Republic of Turkey. Turkey withdrew from the United Nations in 2044 along with Russia and became an important staging ground for the war in the Middle East. It controls a significant portion of former Syria.
  • Islamic Republic of Iran. Another 2044 UN resignee, Iran abstained from military action in the war, only joining CSTO after the dust had settled. It now frequently imposes on its Middle Eastern neighbors such as Israel and Iraq.
LUNAR REPUBLIC
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The first independent extraplanetary government recognized by the United Nations, the Lunar Republic formed peacefully in 2110 during a major Earth recession and maintains a warm trade relationship with Earth. Its economy is based on Helium-III mining and tourism. Its citizens, descended from a population of multinational Earth colonists, live in great bubble cities and in subterranean colonies. High-tech as they come, its citizens enjoy a great quality of life and very safe working conditions despite the hostile environment outside. The Lunar Republic maintains its own small space navy, but it has never been tested in combat.

MARTIAN UNIFIED TERRITORIES
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Terraforming efforts have been ongoing on Mars since the middle of the twenty-first century, spearheaded by high-tech corporations. In 2139, a major rebellion in a corporate colony formed the first independent power on a foreign planet. The spirit of independence spread to other corporate colonies and in 2150 the united Martian colonies signed a treaty officially declaring independence from Earth. The United Nations was slow to formally recognize Martian independence and tensions remain high. Mars has been raising a fleet of spacefaring warships since before its official declaration of independence, using partially scrapped hulls and refitted merchant vessels. Trade and cultural exchange continue despite whispers of a coming war and slowly the two planets are warming to one another.

Its people lead hard, short lives. While the atmosphere is breathable thanks to terraforming, Martian dust causes lung damage over time similar to asbestos exposure. The young Martian government is struggling to maintain control over its vast territories and receives no guidance from Earth. The average life expectancy for a Martian is a mere 55 years, with many lives cut short long before that on its brutal frontier.

OTHER FORCES IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND
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A smattering of other micronations have popped up around the Solar System. The United Nations uses military force to maintain control of critical mining operations in the asteroid belt and merchant vessels are frequently raided by pirates while traveling between colonies beyond Mars. A primitive and dangerous form of FTL travel has enabled travel to and from other star systems since the mid 2100s; colonies in other systems quickly declare independence and and many have gone isolationist. They are too numerous to list here and few people on Earth have been outside of Earth's orbit, let alone to other star systems and back.
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