Outies Novel by J.R. Pournelle?.

Since first contact with the alien Mote civilization, expansion of the Second Empire of Man has slowed. The Fleet’s attention has become consumed with blocking Motie access to human space—and holding that thin line now depends upon a shaky alliance with the horrifically prolific, technologically brilliant, three-armed Moties themselves.

Human and Motie shareholders have assumed joint control of industrial giant Imperial Autonetics?, but the Empire decides the fate of worlds. Those already in possession of space-worthy craft may join as Classified systems, and enjoy the benefits of access to new technology, trading rights, and Fleet protection. Those less advanced may be parceled out as colonial concessions. Outworlds that refuse to join risk conquest by zealous commanders intent on preserving the hard-won peace at any cost. Worlds boasting great riches are targeted for quick accession. Those presenting any danger are targeted for quick destruction.

Related: The Mote in God's Eye (Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle, 1974), The Gripping Hand (Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle, 1993)

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