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Brewnian
02.28.2013 , 02:56 PM | #4
I thought about this, and the explanation I have is this. It's a bit convoluted if you haven't read many of the books, but here goes.

At some point after the Republic defeats the Sith Empire, the Republic completely demilitarizes (this is true). Flash forward a few thousand years, and the Republic is "tricked" into a war with the Trade Federation, and they use the Clone Troopers as an emergency army.

It sort of makes sense that they modeled it after their last standing army.