Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
Well, war between a few planets are not considered to be "full scale"
And usually it is pretty hard to gether an army big enough to threaten the republic, even if the republic is decentralized as it had been.
Nonsense, considering apparently one planet (or system) was able to create a secret army (though it took them 10 years because clones take so long to grow to maturity and train) that was capable of defending against the Seperatists.
Geonosis alone seems capable of producing a droid army (which seems common technology for any Star Wars level industrialized system) that can threaten another system.
I imagine if they really had no army to defend the Republic, they would have volunteered troops like the United Nations or at least had a space navy (hinted at in the EU at least). The thing is, we have clear evidence that systems had their own defenses pre-Clone Wars, we just happened to be focusing on Naboo, a supposedly pacifist nation (of course the isolationist Gungans were "warriors" but the planet seemed represented by the "peaceful" Naboo humans, who had only a small police force and some token aircraft).
So I imagine each habited planet at least having a token defense force, whether or not the Republic itself had its own official army under its direct control (which seems to be what the Grand Army was).
The Sith may not have been around, but all sorts of "local troubles" would inevitably have happened in a thousand years with hundreds of thousands of systems and hundreds or thousands of alien races. That was supposedly the job of the Jedi Knights, to keep order. It's just that with only 10,000 of them (even if that ONLY includes battle ready Knights, not Younglings, Padawans, and people who just sit in the temple all day meditating or shelving library books) you'd be hard pressed to maintain order in the Galaxy. Either things had really gotten bad by this point (maybe there were far more Jedi at one time), or they have some really good law enforcement in the rest of the galaxy (Anakin explicitly mentions local authorities in Coruscant, so I imagine other planets are similar).
The Republic is also supposedly smaller than the Empire (if even only slightly), so they don't control the whole galaxy (even if a big portion of the habited parts). Plus you've got the neighboring galaxies with their own powers there.