|Head of State:||Chancellor of the High Council|
|Head of Government:||Chancellor of the High Council|
|Legislature:||Klingon High Council|
|Military:||Klingon Defense Force|
|Intelligence Service:||Klingon Intelligence|
See main page: Klingon Government
The ruling body of the empire is called the High Council. It is composed of the leaders of the 24 most powerful "houses" in the empire.
The council makes all major decisions and is presided over by the Chancellor or Leader of the Council.
The post of Emperor, though technically still listed as the leader, is mostly a symbolic position in current Klingon society.
The Klingon military is divided into two elements: the Klingon Defense Force (KDF) defending the entire empire, and the House fleets, manned and maintain by the Great Houses to defend their own interests.
The KDF maintains the bulk of Klingon forces, at least on paper. The KDF’s primary duties revolve around policing and keeping order within the Klingon Empire. This includes keeping conquered worlds under control. The KDF patrols the borders, ensuring that other powers do not interfere with Klingon affairs. Nominally, the House fleets can be seconded to the KDF for duties, but in practice this rarely happens outside of wartime; even then, the House fleets maintain a dangerous level of autonomy.
The House fleets are smaller groupings than the KDF, but as they are focused upon the affairs of their House rather than those of the entire Empire, they are able to maintain effective control of the territory claimed by their House. The House of Chang operates the largest independent fleet, but its current size is unknown due to the House withdrawing itself from the Empire proper, along with its allies.
The Klingons relationship with the Federation provides a textbook example of their mistrust of outsiders. Early encounters between the two were ambiguous, but led to long-term hostilities.
For nearly two centuries the two sides fought over key border systems, until a "neutral zone" was forced between them by the Organians. The neutral zone separated the two for several years, but eventually was discontinued and limited hostilities resumed for several years, finally ending with the Khitomer Accords.
Klingons have never trusted the Romulans, but have had limited exchanges of technology; such as the D-7 cruisers to the Romulans; and the Romulan Cloaking Device technology to the Klingons. However due to continued political tensions and what the Klingons interpreted as ‘sneaky and dishonorable attacks’ by the Romulans on Klingon outposts and forces, the Klingons have a nearly blood-hatred of the Romulans—and consequently are very suspicious of Vulcans as well.
For more information, see Klingon History
Founded in the 9th Century AD, the history of the Klingon Empire has traditionally been one of violence and conflict. From their earliest days when the Hur'q invaded and were fought back, or even back to their mythology whereupon the first Klingons, male and female, rose up and slew their own gods, they have been bound by war. The Hur'q war did provide them with the technology to leave their planet, however, and soon the Klingons were forging an Empire among the stars.
This has naturally brought them into conflict with their neighbors. After meeting humans in the 22nd century, the creation of the Federation was a concerning development for the Empire, as the myriad of races in the Alpha and Beta quadrants were no longer such easy prey. Undeterred, however, the Empire fought with the Federation in the first half of the 23rd Century in a four-year war that was resolved inconclusively. Hostilities erupted again in the 2260s, but were swiftly halted by the Organians. While wars with the Romulans have not been frequent, and even a short-lived technology exchange between them occurred around the time of the Organian Peace Treaty, the two have often fought skirmishes over their contested border.
The 24th century had no shortage of conflict, either, with the Klingon Civil War over the succession of the Chancellorship, as well as wars with the Cardassians and the Dominion in the 2370s, the Mirak in the 2380s, and then the RDC Alliance around 2390. The fact that the Klingons have been fairly quiet in the first decades of the 25th century would be understandable in any other species, but for Klingons, likely means they have been biding their time.