The Ikurro are so badly, buddy buddy, too. It does not help that the AI put an ambassador there.
Which probably makes sense, compared to most other AI priorities with characters (at least fleet admirals).
I general don't automate this little, but this is my style of fleet management. I am not exactly based on setting up the AI to run stuff for me (with defense sectors, etc).
The main problem with this game at this time is twofold.
1: Probably no challenge. I have a strong fleet, and I am a major player by all measures. The Ikurro was easy to control, with enough troops to cover lapses in fleet defense. If I brain fart and manage to get invaded from the south with all my troop transports in the far north, I have healthy troop levels all around, and 6 million to buy transports for, using my horde of large spaceports.
2: Saving and loading takes far too long. I got the feeling that I can go to the bathroom, make a cup tea, read a newspaper, and still return to a computer that is saving. And I can usually not be quite sure that the game is paused when I return (unless it saves with a sub-screen open).