Council Edict of 2650
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The Council Edict of 2650 (also referred to as the Cameron Act of 2650, Council Edict 2650 or Star League High Council Directive 30), was an edict by the First Lord Michael Cameron II of the Star League limiting the size of military forces that governments and private families could muster.
The act came in response to the arms build-up occurring within the Rim Worlds Republic under the regency of Tadeo Amaris, which in the course of three months had increased from 8 light BattleMech regiments to 15 of various sizes, received in secret from the Draconis Combine. An arms race and hostilities were avoided when the Star League Council voted to change the law and restrict the size of military forces, rather than demand that Amaris disband or send in the SLDF.
In the Periphery, the limits on military forces were much harsher than on the Inner Sphere. The Council Edict of 2650 dictates that the total armed forces of the Rim Worlds Republic Military to 12 BattleMech regiments and 8 conventional regiments in 2650. Gradually, these limits were loosened over time; in 2760, the Rim Worlds Republic fielded 30 BattleMech regiments and 10 conventional regiments, but the Rim Royal Guard Act allowed the Republic to expand its military secretly in the midst of a crisis, more than tripling this figure by the start of the Amaris Civil War.
Ultimately, each of the Great Houses would end up finding ways to circumvent the limits of the Council Edict of 2650 by one means or another. Examples of this behavior included the decision by Captain-General Ward Marik of the Free Worlds League to endorse the recommendations of the Dormuth Council and thereby declare all of the forces supplied to the federal government by the various provinces to be provincial forces, separating them from the Free Worlds League Military chain of command and placing them under the direct control of the provincial leaders, allowing them to continue to exist under the exception for private armies and reducing the number of Federal regiments required to be disbanded to meet the letter of the Edict to just three. Those three regiments were then discretely integrated into the provincial armies of three different provinces while officially being disbanded. Another example was the issue of the Preparedness Act of 2735 by First Prince Richard Davion after the destructive War of Davion Succession - the act allowed Richard to build up war material and to create a large body of extensively-trained reserve forces for the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns, while also allowing units of "Independent Defense Contractors" - mercenary units staffed with retired AFFS officers - to hire personnel from that trained reserve, under contract to the AFFS.
- The Star League, p.56 "History - Economic and Scientific Advances - Council Edict 2650"
- Field Report 2765: FWLM, p. 4, "Circumventing Directive 30"
- Field Report 2765: Federated Suns, p. 3, "Strategic Update"
- Field Report 2765: Federated Suns, p. 4, "A Long History of "Independent" Forces"