The Galactic Campaign was the natural progression of a very rapid increase in exploration, combined with a sudden shift in Earth law. Although it would seem logical for a war to grab claim on new planets to last decades or even centuries, the Campaign lasted only a little over a year.
When the colonization of various new planets began over two-hundred years prior, it was done with the proviso that the colonies themselves would be strictly Earth colonies and not designated by country. Isely Corporation was refusing to allow the governments to divvy up the galaxy, and would end ship contracts with any country that tried to claim a portion of space as theirs and no-one else’s. This lasted for a good while, as no-one wanted to lose the benefit of new ships. However, ten years prior to the present day, the United States decided land was more important than technology and, since they had a decent fleet already, broke with Isely Corporation and began claiming several dozen colonies as U.S. colonies, rather than Earth colonies. Isely Corporation cancelled the United States’ contracts but couldn’t repossess the fleet that they had already sold to the country.
Within weeks, almost every other major power on Earth followed suit. Because some colonies were comprised of colonists from many different countries, they began to fight their own battles – known simply as colonial skirmishes. Because the Isely ships were designed for exploration, not war, the battles in space were devastating to the ships themselves – though some captains learned ways to inflict some clever blows even without the use of firepower.
Within a year, Earth’s countries realized their mistake – the ships were being destroyed and there wouldn’t be any more. Their colonies had stopped terraforming. Earth had had a hard enough time getting volunteers brave and daring enough to become space colonists, and now they were all killing one another. The Galactic Campaign was a fool’s errand. So, a radical shift in world government was enacted, and the people of Earth became one nation, Terra. The countries stayed countries, but now there was a higher government, the Global Administration, comprised of a small, elected council.
Isely began manufacturing ships again, but this time solely for the Global Administration. Those who fought in the Galactic Campaign were commended and immediately reassigned from their local military into the Global Armed Forces. The integration took almost five years and, during that time, there was a slightly chaotic shifting of rules and regulations as each country tried to merge its military forces into the GAF. Only recently has the GAF become more orderly and stable.