Last night Against ALL Authorities returned D-GTMI system and station to Paxton Federation. The publically stated reason is because they respect Paxton and they know Paxton was against the land grab war that CVA started with many of the other holders.
But it seems odd on the surface. In null sec station systems are some of the most desired territory because they offer protection for assets and pilots that a POS can't, as well as the added bonus of station corp hangers, repair services, markets, factories and labs... Quite simply they are the most valuable assets in null sec space. So why did AAA give D-G back without any conditions?
Here are my guesses:
1) Not Needed. Three jumps from D-G into Catch space is the station system HED-GP which is owned by AAA and is part of their jump bridge network as well as a entry back into high sec. From they perspective, D-G is only an entry point into more Providence.
2) Deep In Hostile Territory.
D-GTMI is at the most northern point for AAA space and close to Paxton stations that like to attack anything moving in D-G when it was in hostile hands. We kept the station services disabled as much as possible and frequently roamed through there. In order for it to be useful to AAA, they would have needed to put in a serious presence to keep it clear. Giving it to another friendly alliance and they faced the same problem, in fact the reds in AY-24I are facing this exact scenario constantly, being harassed by Paxton gangs and station services damaged to make the station a bunker and nothing more. Unless Paxton is removed, living in D-G is a tough sell.
3) Good Will. Even though AAA asked for nothing and received nothing for giving D-G back to Paxton, you can't help but wonder if the act coupled with not being kicked out of Providence altogether will influence future decision making by Paxton's leadership. It can't hurt either because...
4) D-G Costs Money. Holding sovereignty over a system with a station costs ISK, lots of it in Dominion. If you can't make use of the system and the station is functionally useless, then its an ISK sink of the worst kind. Abandoning it leaves it open to possibly a more powerful hostile alliance taking root. Giving it to Paxton returns their northern border to a known state (roaming gangs of hostile but no sov threats) while not costing them further ISK.
All around, its a win-win scenario for Against ALL Authorities. That's the style of smart alliance leadership.