During the current season of the Expanse, Earth (the UN) debates attacking space stations in the Belt with populations around 10,000 in retaliation for an attack that kills millions on earth. Given the vast difference in population and a desire to not kill innocent Belters, why doesn’t the UN solve the problem of refugees on Earth by, um, colonizing the Belt? A garrison of ten thousand, or twenty thousand earthers on every station would take all of the ports away from the Free Navy.

Sure, Earth didn’t know that the season of TV would end as it did, but even so - park a few cruisers at the gate to where Marco went and treat them as “gone”, with orders to fire if anyone comes through the gate from the other side.

The attack on earth was meant to get Earth to focus inward, but with billions more people than the Belt, I don’t get why the UN doesn’t just declare that “the experiment of Belt self-government is over” and flood the Belt with earthers.

Marco Inaros wanted to set it off like the American revolution. Why shouldn’t Earth should treat him like the Belt is Roanoke Colony - a first attempt that goes away, unremembered, unsuccessful, on land thoroughly overrun by a later migration to the new world.

I guess this is a question about tactics - I get why “shoot back” is a bad idea, but Secretary Avalsara hasn’t yet proposed any solutions that would be definitive.

Thank you.

  • Refugees are not the same as garrison troops.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 8:16
  • Quantity has a quality of its own.
    – sikorsky
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 13:28
  • Untrained people are not a good occupation force. Especially when they have to become paid and fed with no local support and are somewhere they don't want to be.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 14:08

1 Answer 1


The crisis is immediate, and they are discussing steps to take right now. With Earth in chaos, they can't just ship out a bunch of people to belter stations. Even if they could, those habitats are probably already at or near their sustainable population limit. So you need to send a bunch of resources as well, and again, Earth is the middle of a massive crisis and can't even distribute food properly around Earth. Further, the Free Navy is still at large. Sending out a bunch of transports full of Earther occupying forces is just asking to have them blown up. So there's simply no way that plan would actionable in the near future.

Also, keep in mind that all belters are descended from Earthers. Your proposal just creates more belters in the long run. And if you're just chucking poor people into a ship and telling them to go live in a crappy station that was probably already overcrowded, it may not take very long for them to rebel.

  • Not to mention that if you do manage to safely send a bunch of people - even trained soldiers - along with enough resources for them, unless they understand the stations they land on as well as the normal Belter inhabitants, you've just shipped the Belters a few tens of thousands of hostages.
    – DavidW
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 16:21

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