But that's making a lot of assumptions about who is choosing which countries. Especially in the WWI map there are a lot of country choices that, in any other world, would have been questionable, but instead have been highly lucrative.
I don't personally see how "connected by jets" would be any more realistic. Since when does a single jet contain an infinite number of soldiers?
I think the ability to give bases adds a lot to the diplomatic aspect of the game. I'd also love to see a system where you could give sectors in general, maybe as some kind of treaty deal system, like trading certain sectors for other sectors, or sectors for a treaty, etc.