THE RIGHT WAY: THE MANPOWER PROBLEM: SOLUTION 2
There is another way around the manpower problem. As I mentioned, Earth has over six billion people. Why didn’t you recruit some or, better yet, a lot of them?
I’m shocked no one tried reaching out to the Earthlings themselves except for the Magelian Horde. That was a smart move on their part, but they made their own fatal mistakes that we’ll get into later.
However, this was one instance after a number of tries, and that’s a little baffling. This is pretty standard for other military operations. You have to court at least some assistance from the indigenous population, if for no other reason there are just too many jobs that you’ll have to fill with your own soldiers. Local support is a vital component of any military occupation. Normal strategy is that you don’t want to be seen as “occupiers” for too long; otherwise you risk an insurgency. And insurgent campaigns are the worst thing in the known galaxy. They’re long. They’re nasty. Worst of all, there’s no way to tell who’s really winning. Insurgencies have a way of taking all the metrics that usually determine victory or defeat and throwing them right into the crapper.
The only way to avoid an “occupation” is to turn it into a “liberation.” Okay, it takes a hell of a sales job to convince people that you’re tromping over their homeland with armed soldiers in order to “liberate” them, but you at least have to make the effort.
But the humans gave you one advantage, they were stubbornly individualistic. Ask a question of any ten humans, and you will likely get ten different answers. Ask any ten humans what’s wrong with their world, you’ll get over a thousand answers. In that never ending grousing, there was an opportunity to turn potential enemies into new allies. See, humans are never one hundred percent happy with their situations. Some are willing to do a lot to change things up.
To whom could you have turned to for support? A tricky question. During the Gorgonian invasion, the world was dominated by something called the British Empire. Quite a few of these “imperial subjects” probably would have welcomed liberation. During the Sondrak Imperial invasion, Earth was divided between two camps in what they called the Cold War. That would have made it real simple; choose one side and help them win.
Speaking in general terms, with any planet you’ll find that plenty of people are getting the worst end of the stick under the current order. They would probably be happy to overturn it. These are the poor and the backwards. Often, through no fault of their own, they were left behind by the other nations of the planet. Believe me, they resent it. The problem is, these conditions produce lower levels of education, high mortality rates, poor healthcare. Thus, the quality of assistance they can render is limited, probably little more than a safe base to land and stage further attacks. In these countries, the political systems tend to be a little less sophisticated. Sure, plenty of poor nations have representative governments with strong laws. But many more are in the grips of a despot or an oligarchy. They probably remind you – of you. But that’s not a good thing. Dictators may kiss your ass, but they can’t be trusted. Either they’re secretly planning to stab you in the back, or they’re a knife’s edge away from being overthrown themselves.
Conversely, maybe some of the better off powers would jump at the chance to ensure their survival and status. The haves can bitch just as much as the have-nots. Hell, most of the time they bitch even louder and more vehemently. A hungry man hates being hungry, but a glutton will go into a rage at the thought of going hungry for a little while. And the wealthy nations got their riches mostly through technology. They’ll quickly see that the only way to maintain their place is to ensure their technological advantage. The drawback is these countries tend to have more sophisticated governments and legal systems. They have ideals; how does siding with a world conquering alien race fit in with those ideals? On the plus side, these countries are open to marketing, and thus persuasion. In addition, many of the developed countries have a history of warfare with their underdeveloped neighbors. These are low level conflicts that nonetheless can be very vicious. Earth itself has a long history of these kinds of wars. It a perfect scenario it would not too hard to insert yourselves into one of these conflicts, either as a “liberator” of the oppressed or as a “guardian” of civilization. A really deft salesman can pass himself off as both at the same time.
This approach has its own dilemmas. How far do you trust your allies? How much assistance do you give them? How much tech? When they gain enough, are they going to turn on you?
Eventually, you’re going to need more than just a base for your own forces. You want to use their manpower to lessen the demands on your own. Do you give them advanced weaponry? Maybe equip a few battalions with pulse rifles. Do you share industrial technology with them, enabling them to manufacture advanced combat vehicles? They’re going to want to be equals in this partnership if that happens. Sounds complicated?
Guess what? War is complicated.
But this is a perfect scenario and the time for perfect scenarios is long past. Having been invaded so many times, there aren’t a lot of humans left who are going to side with you. The Magelian Horde relied on a handful of powerful, but morally suspect, individuals, and that was about all they could muster. After their failure, you can expect even less help than that.