We see Poul Anderson's Terran Empire annexing planets and suppressing rebellions but not on the scale of Larry Niven's and Jerry Pournelle's Second Empire of Man:
"...the Navy and Parliament officially approved of Kutozov's action in oredering the destruction of a rebel planet - the Imperial Council had determined that the drastic measure had prevented the revolt of an entire sector -..."
-Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Mote In God's Eye (London, 1979), p. 92.
Personally, if I knew that a sector, i.e., a number of inhabited planetary systems, wanted to rebel, then I would grant them independence, not destroy a planet. There seems to be a circular argument here:
"Humanity must be reunited into one government, by persuasion or force, so that the hundreds of years of Secession Wars could never happen again." (pp. 4-5)
But surely, if the Secession Wars resume, then they will have been caused by forcible reunification? Why are so many planets keen to rebel?
"A holdout rebel planet might be reduced to glittering lava fields..." (p. 4)
In Anderson's Technic History, the benefits of Imperial rule and protection are such that no planets are shown as rebelling even under the threat of reduction to lava.
From these serious issues, we proceed to some humor concerning Admiral Kutuzov:
"Rod and Sally were at the moment in conference with the Admiral. They met on the bridge: to the best of Rod's knowledge, no one but the Admiral and his steward had ever seen the inside of Kutuzov's cabin. Possibly not even the Admiral, as he seemed always to be on the bridge..." (p. 425)
"As Rod and Sally left the bridge, Commander Borman looked curiously at his Admiral. He wondered if he saw a grin. No, of course not. It simply wasn't possible." (p. 427)
Kutuzov always behaves correctly:
"If there had been an officer of higher rank than [Rod] present at the time, Kutuzov might have explained, but he would not discuss a captain - and future marquis - with Borman." (ibid.)
Of course not! Next, the omniscient narrator tells us what the Admiral "...might have said..." Rather than seeming like an awkward change of pov, this interruption kind of adds to the humor.