Fact is most colonies had industries and capacities to build at least light weapons. It's true something like tanks was done mostly by European colonial powers. But that was a political decision.
It's not like Indonesia, India, US colonies, etc didn't have foundries or other industries. They had them. Just political decided not to purchase weapons in the colonies and thus their local industries
never build up production. That's a political decision! NL, UK, France, etc could easily have asked their colonies to start small arms production and equip local small arms troops.
And in fact, several countries did! Colonists in the US, India, Africas, etc fought on behalf of the colonial powers. They did have their own armed troops.
Usually limited to infantry but they did have own troops. This was also necessary to avoid invasion! Imagine colonies in Africa didn't have local troops. Would be easy for the other colonial powers
to seize power. And keeping full scaled occupying forces would cost more than the benefits of the colonies.
So usually they had good equipped troops from the colonial power to "lead" but supported by many more light armed local troops.
I totally miss this concept in SR. Again it's a political decision not available to the supreme ruler in supreme ruler which should be there.
I should have the option to allow my colony by a setting to, let's say I could set for each of my colony the amount of troops I wish and the tech level.
I.e. telling Sudan I want them to maintain 10.000 local troops with light infantry and tell my minister they should be added by 2.000 heavy combat troops from my homeland being stationed there.
I fail the "Numbers setting" there is only NONE, LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH..
But SR should allow me NUMBERS to set for countries, regions, colonies, theaters..
So I could tell my minister:
150.000 troops stationed in France
20.000 troops in Morocco
10.000 troops stationed in Algeria
my allies like Netherlands keep a small force of 5000 troops
Belgium a small force of 5000 troops
And then I can rate the IMPORTANCE
like France 100%
belgium, Netherlands both 50%
Morocco Algeria each 10%
So the first 1000 troops will be distributed: (100/220)*1000 stationed in france, (50/220)*100 go to Netherlands & Belgium and (10/220)*1000 go to the colonies
but ONLY TO THE MAX set in the nr of troops to be stationed..
That way I can get my minister to BIND units to countries, regions, theaters to handle how I assess the risk of my lands to be exposed/invaded..
These settings should be peace time settings.. for initial deployment and BIND units to a specific region so they won't move all around the map..
however few triggers in game should be programmed to override.. i.e. if an enemy is invading too deep into my territories obviously my local troops need support..
this again can be done with priorities.. priorities during wartime could be based on homeland vs colony but also of course
military importance, raw material supply, economical importance..
ie. paris and surrounding would be very important but also rubber plants or oil production in Africa..
but I generally miss the "SUPREME RULER" task for this..
Or still not understanding the game after all these years as I never found out how to make sure the Minister does that job!