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Countdown to Looking Glass 2008 [COMMISSION]

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Another commission, this time from briwd. If you're interested in your own commission, see this post and send me a message.

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I. BACKGROUND

The United States and the United Kingdom joined forces with the Soviet Union to end World War II with the knowledge that they potentially may have to prepare for a post-war confrontation with the USSR.

Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's post-war ambitions were no secret: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan, along with the countries they had conquered, would be liberated by Communism, and Stalin himself would lead the way. The West wasn't about to tolerate Stalin's vision, especially since bringing revolution to their borders was part of his long-term plan.

The Soviet Union could have eastern Europe and its portion of Nazi Germany and no more, in the view of the West. Stalin disagreed and nearly went to war with the West in 1948 over Berlin. In 1951 he threatened a full invasion of western Europe and use of his nation's nuclear weapons. Tensions were eased after a coup led by two of Stalin's closest associates, Laverntiy Beria and Georgy Malenkov, deposed Stalin.

Beria's moves to liberalize the Soviet economy and open relations with the West backfired. In 1953 he was deposed himself, charged with treason; terrorism (during World War II); counter-revolutionary activities; and dozens of sexual assaults on women. Beria's replacement, former KGB head Ivan Serov, reversed Beria's policies and turned the USSR into a police state while increasing both its military and its nuclear arsenal. Under Serov, the USSR supported Communist insurgencies in Cuba, Angola and Vietnam and ensured cooperative governments among the nations in its sphere of influence (including Yugoslavia, which joined the Pact in 1958 after Marshal Tito died in a mysterious train accident).

The West would not allow Serov's aggressiveness to go unchallenged, especially after the death of American pilot Gary Powers, shot down during a U.S. Air Force spy mission in 1960. A year later, the Cuban Missile Crisis put East and West on the brink of war. When Serov became convinced the Soviets would handily lose in a nuclear exchange with the West -- the Allies still had a 4-1 advantage in nukes -- the crisis de-escalated.

America and her British and French allies had quietly built up their own nuclear arsenal since the Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Kyoto bombs drove Japan to surrender in 1945. American, British and French foreign policy mandated they oppose Soviet aggression anywhere in the world and beyond; that led not just to the race to establish a presence in orbit and the moon, but also to covert and overt funding of anti-Soviet forces in countries the USSR had targeted for "liberation". U.S. domestic policy led to the banning of the American Communist Party and of extreme crackdowns on anti-government and anti-military movements on university campuses in the '60s and '70s (President Carter and a Democrat-controlled Congress undid many of the laws allowing for such drastic measures in 1978; the Patriot Act of 2002 restored them in the event of war).

The 1970s, however, saw a series of diplomatic and military defeats by the West that set the stage for future regional and global conflicts.

1970 saw the establishment of the African Confederation of Nations, obstensibly neutral, with some members eagerly participating and others "recently liberated from aggressive Western powers"; by the mid-1980s, the Confederation considered itself a "dear friend of the workers and peasants of the world". Centered in Angola, the 19-nation confederation was complicit in the series of assassinations that led to Israel's diplomatic split from the U.S. in 1979. With American withdrawal from Vietnam in 1976 and British/South African withdrawal from Rhodesia in 1978, the Soviets stepped in and entrenched themselves, doing the same in Cambodia (1977) and Nicaragua (1979). In 1982, Israel and Soviet ally Egypt signed a 50-year peace treaty in Moscow, and a year later coups in Yemen and Oman led to the establishment of the Arabian People's Republic. The establishment of the World Pact in 1984 between the USSR and its various allies put the West on edge; the Soviets' actions in 1986 put the world teetering on the edge of Armageddon.

In late September, pro-Moscow governments were installed in 15 nations including Venezuela; Iran; Thailand; Guatemala; and Nepal. On October 4, India declared itself neutral, while sending aid to pro-Moscow governments across the world. Soviet military buildups began that day worldwide from the Persian Gulf to the Caribbean to the border between East and West Germany. Soviet leader Grigory Romanov decried "American aggression" in an October 22 radio address, which was followed by the detonation of a 100-megaton nuclear bomb in Siberia. The USSR's first naval supercarrier, the Leningrad, made port at the P.A.R. naval base outside Aden hours later.

After tensions along the Korean demilitarized zone and the Austrian-Chechoslovakian border nearly led to armed conflict, United Nations Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar called for an emergency meeting October 22. China seconded Cuellar's call for a peaceful resolution of the conflict and offered its capital Beijing as a site for a summit between Romanov and U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Instead -- at Moscow's insistence -- every Soviet-allied nation withdrew from the U.N. that afternoon. 

However, five Yugoslavian delegates remained, and declared themselves as representative of the "free peoples of Bosnia, Croatia, Herzegovina, Macedonia and Slovenia". Within the hour armed uprisings had began in those Yugoslavian socialist republics, and also in Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. Moscow's response was intensive conventional bombing of the entire country plus an ultimatum to Reagan and U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that was immediately rejected. 

The list of demands signed by Romanov included Allied withdrawal from Germany, South Korea and complete U.S. withdrawal from Guatanamo Bay in Cuba, Subic Bay in the Philippines, Okinawa in Japan and the Panama Canal Zone. The Allies were also to allow for "complete African and Middle Eastern neutrality...shared usage of Saudi Arabian oil fields...and a 25 percent reduction in strategic nuclear weapons within 12 months". The Soviets, in turn, offered to not build bombs of 25 megatons and more and joint jurisdiction of a future moon base with the U.S.

The offer was said to have been turned down by Reagan on Air Force One as it landed at Joint Base Knox in Kentucky. He then took a phone call from Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, offering his nation's assistance to the West "against Soviet aggression". 

Washington, London and the rest of the world prepared for war.

On October 26, the U.S. detonated a 100-megaton bomb ("Fat Albert") two-and-a-half miles above the Arctic Ocean. Simultaneously the British detonated a 100-megaton device over the Pitcairn Islands, its last Pacific Ocean-based territory. And China detonated its own 100 MT weapon over sparsely-populated Xinjiang Province. The triple explosions were followed by the unveiling of America's sub-orbital missile defense system, the product of 35 years of research. 

That got Moscow's attention, but Romanov and much of the core group around him were not deterred; to them, conflict with the West was not only inevitable but winnable. 

Mikhail Gorbachev, one of Romanov's core advisors, had a very different point of view.

With the help of sympathizers in the Kremlin, the military and the KGB, Gorbachev saw for himself Romanov dragged out of his office. Gorbachev walked inside and, upon getting confirmation from co-conspirators that all important military, government and intelligence centers were secured, ordered an emergency meeting of the Politburo. With himself and two other members in the room and the others under arrest, Gorbachev was selected General Secretary. He then contacted Reagan, informed him of the coup, and offered to pull his forces "back into sanity". Reagan and Gorbachev agreed on terms; Gorbachev explained November 1 in a TV and radio address that "because the Soviet Union brought us all to the edge of annihilation, it is incumbent upon the Soviet Union to show the rest of the world it is serious about seeking peace". All World Pact members followed Gorbachev's lead, despite their own misgivings. 

Yugoslavia's eight nations were allowed to begin a five-year transition to independence upon confirmation by popular vote: Kosovo, Serbia and Macedonia governments, riding on the coattails of Gorbachev's immense popularity, chose to remain in the Soviet bloc. The other five republics chose complete independence. Gorbachev also denounced "the forces of evil" that, along with bringing the world to the brink of extinction, "had overthrown the peaceful, lawfully-established governments of Venezuela, Israel, Egypt and Yemen". The leaders of the governments-in-exile -- all hosted within the U.S. -- returned to their homelands to rebuild their Western-friendly countries. 

Gorbachev also encouraged the "evolution" of the African Confederation into the African Community of Nations, and assented to the dismantling of the hegemony's limited nuclear arsenal. Oman, the remaining nation of the Arabian People's Republic, also had its nuclear weapons removed. In return, Israel and South Africa were to officially be free of nuclear weapons

By 1988 Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and glasnost had been implemented within the USSR and many of its allied nations. He talked openly of joint, peaceful interactions between Communist and capitalist nations and became the first Soviet leader to visit New York, Washington, London, Paris, Bonn, Beijing and Tokyo. His visit to West Berlin gave hope to those who wanted the Berlin Wall torn down and free movement allowed once more between both halves of the city. He spoke of joint exploration of the solar system with the Americans and Chinese.

Behind the scenes, however, political opposition slowly built and, in 1991, Radio Moscow announced the death of Gorbachev and the ascension of his replacement, hard-liner Gennady Yanayev. Almost overnight, the Berlin Wall -- which had come down four months earlier -- arose again, initially as a line of barbed-wire and trigger-happy East German guards, by year's end as a literal wall with East German guards patrolling on top, separated every four meters. 

Yanayev's first actions were to send Soviet military into the former Yugoslavia, which had been split into eight separate republics with Gorbachev's approval. While the Soviets were able to hold Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia, the presence of NATO troops in the other five Balkan republics prevented Moscow from reunifying the Balkan nations. While the other five republics strengthened ties with the West, the three Communist republics joined the Warsaw Pact. In 1997, the USSR announced it had willingly accepted invitations from the member countries of the recently-established Hanoi, Havana and Luanda Pacts. The West responded with the expansion of the NATO and ANZUS treaties plus the establishment of Western-friendly alliances in the Americas, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia.

By 2002, Syria and Iran were in the Warsaw Pact. The Havana Pact established a foothold in central America, threatening Belize, Costa Rica and Panama. The Hanoi Pact ruled over much of southeast Asia. The Luanda Pact -- which professed itself to be the ideological successor to the African Confederation -- threatened not just the Western-friendly governments of South Africa and the Boer Republic but the neutrally-aligned regional powers, including Kenya and Nigeria. 

Largely to dispel international tensions and stave off potential Soviet incursions, a sizeable group of countries make up the Non-Aligned Movement. Each associated nation is neutral in the dispute between East and West, and their neutrality is backed by the military and economic power of China. Since the Sino-Soviet split in the 1960s and China's last-minute support of the U.S. in 1986, the Chinese had thrown its support behind the neutral countries, strengthening India's position in Asia (and replacing the USSR as its primary trading partner), "Free Africa"'s economic standing and Saudi Arabia's ability to freely sell oil to all comers.

As a result, China is seen almost as another Western power by those in charge in Moscow. Vladimir Putin was the last Soviet leader to advocate closer ties with China, and was likely deposed for it. The current General Secretary, Red Army Marshal Mikhail Khalinin, sees the Chinese to be as much of a threat as the Americans. Under Putin and his predecessors, Khalinin oversaw the rebuilding of the Soviet military into a force that could fight, and win, a global, multi-front conventional war. 

In 2008, the Soviet Union has built up its forces in several key areas -- Cuba, Nicaragua and Honduras and off the coasts of Columbia and Venezuela; within and offshore of Omani territory, as well as within Syria and Iran; within easy striking distance of northern, western and southern Africa; along the Hanoi Pact nations' borders with China; in the north Pacific near Japan and Alaska; and near the West German, Austrian, Croatian and Turkish borders in Europe. Khalinin would not have signed off on this unless he and his compatriots were confident that the Soviet military and those of her allies together were now the better of the Western nations and of the Chinese. The Red Rain orbital missile system, hiding in plain sight as oversized telecommunications satellites, went online in 2007 and, say its designers, negates the West's Star Wars system.

The West, in turn, has continued to build up its military since Gorbachev's death. There's at least one Western ship, troop, tank and plane for every Communist ship, troop, tank and plane near Western territory. If the Communists can fight and win a global war, so can the Allies (even without China's help). And both sides have an equal number of nuclear weapons, including the 100-megaton "province killers". Then there's China's smaller, but significant arsenal, as well as the nukes unofficially kept by the Israelis, Boers, South Africans, North and South Koreans, Saudis, Cubans, Croats, and 23 other countries. 

The USSR is confident it can win the war should it go nuclear, but many within the Kremlin and military privately acknowledge an all-out exchange would spell the end of civilization. While there is said to be a city-sized complex somewhere in Siberia as a safe zone for Soviet officials, Britain and France are resigned to complete destruction. China is said to have a retreat complex somewhere in its mountains. The U.S. is rumored to have "doomsday vaults" in the Rocky Mountains, upstate New York, the caves of Kentucky and even under the New America theme park/entertainment complex in southern Illinois. 

While conventional forces prepare for conflict, the Soviets and the Allies are meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, in one last attempt to resolve their differences. The Allies, particularly the British, are all but convinced Khalinin wants war, not to be destroyed but to, at the least, force a ceasefire with terms very agreeable to his side.

Many people around the world, expect that conventional fighting will not spill over into all-out atomic war because the effects of such a war itself serves as a deterrent to the rational person. What they don't know is the confidence among leaders on both sides of surviving such a war -- and why.

In 1999, farmers in Soviet Georgia, and a hunter in U.S. Wyoming, came across what can best be described as a local wormhole. Government and military investigators soon discovered one could step through the circular phenomenon into a parallel universe. Similar wormholes appeared in China, and scientists in all three countries discovered how to safely replicate the phenomena and control it. In a top-secret, high-level summit in Beijing, Chinese Premier Li convinced President Powell and General Secretary Putin to use the technology for peaceful purposes -- or, at least, to allow for the survival of some people in the event of a total atomic exchange. The existence of the wormholes, the technology that opens them, and the parallel realities on the other side of them are known only to top government and military officials and certain economic and business leaders in all major countries. Disclosure to the general public is punishable by anywhere from life imprisonment to the death penalty, although word is beginning to leak out. 

No one hopes things will get to the point where an all-out nuclear exchange is necessary (as are the use of the wormholes). Everyone is preparing as if it will. 

II. FACTIONS

"The so-called Allied Powers have never been formalized as such. Rather, they are recognized as the member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); the North, Central and South American and Free Caribbean Treaty Organization (ACTO); the Southeast Asian Trade Organization (SEATO); the Middle Eastern and African Trade Alliance (MEATA); and the Australian-New Zealand-United States Treaty Organization (ANZUS). 

The chief countries of the Allied Powers -- and by extension the free world -- are clearly defined.

On 19 August 1995 after the Balkan War, the leaders of Australia; France; Great Britain; Italy; Japan; the United States; and West Germany met in Brussels, Belgium to plan a quick, organized and decisive political response to increased geopolitical and military actions by the Soviet Union. Despite attempts by Moscow to have United Nations sanctions imposed on the seven nations, the roadmap to the establishment of the five multi-national alliances was set in stone.

All seven nations are members of each of the five alliances (mirroring the USSR's membership within the Hanoi, Havana, Luanda and Warsaw Pacts). The alliances nominally are regionally-based associations providing for mutual free trade and military defense by their members. It should be noted, however, that the "Free Seven" nations have the ultimate say, particularly in regards to military actions and economic sanctions...

--Jame's Political Almanac 2008, Herefordshire Press, London, U.K."

THE WORLD PACT (aka the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Mutual Assistance among Socialist Nations; known as the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance from 1949 to 1991)

MEMBER OF ALL
Soviet Union

WARSAW PACT
Albania (withdrew 1968, rejoined 2001) 
Bulgaria
Czechoslovakia
East Germany 
Hungary
Iran (joined 2002)
Kosovo (joined 1995)
Macedonia (joined 1995)
Mongolia
Poland
Romania
Serbia (joined 1995)
Syria (joined 2002)
Soviet Union

HANOI PACT
Brunei
East Malaysia
Cambodia
Laos
Mindanao
North Korea 
Soviet Union
Thailand
Vietnam

LUANDA PACT
Angola
Benin
Brunudi
Cameroon
Central African People's Republic
Democratic Republic Congo
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Gabon
Ghana
Libya
Mozambique
Oman
Rwanda
Soviet Union
Swaziland
Togo
Uganda 
Zambia
Zimbabwe

HAVANA PACT
Cuba
Dominican People's Republic
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
Nicaragua
Soviet Union

ALLIED POWERS include:
(all are members of all five alliances, although the U.S. and U.K. are most active in each)
United States
United Kingdom
France
West Germany
Japan
Australia
Italy

NATO
Canada
Mexico
Spain
Turkey
Belgium
Netherlands
Austria
Portugal
Greece
Croatia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Denmark
Norway
Sweden
Iceland
Nigeria
Luxembourg
Slovenia
Ireland
Israel

MEATA
South Africa
Boer Republic
Namibia
Israel
Iraq
Pakistan
Morocco
Liberia
Nigeria
Algeria
Tunisia
Ivory Coast
Sierra Leone
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
The Gambia
Senegal
Mauritania
Western Sahara
Mali
Bahrain
Qatar 
U.A.E.

SEATO
Chinese Taipei
Philippines
South Korea
Singapore
(West) Malaysia

ACTO
Canada
Mexico
Brazil
Argentina
Colombia
Panama
Costa Rica
Belize
Guyana
Suriname
French Guiana
Jamaica
Trinidad and Tobago

ANZUS
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
Western Samoa
Tonga
Tahiti
Fiji


NON-ALIGNED NATIONS include:
People's Republic of China (incl. Hong Kong)
India
Switzerland
Indonesia
Saudi Arabia
Egypt
Venezuela
Finland
Zaire
Zambia
Tanzania
Kenya
Ethiopia
Somalia
Sudan
South Sudan
Madagascar
Myanmar
Nepal
Lebanon
Chile
Peru
Bolivia
Paraguay
Uruguay
Ecuador
Yemen
Bolivia
Haiti
Botswana
Bangladesh
Sri Lanka
Bhutan
Nepal
Afghanistan
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rds98's avatar
So how does the USSR have more success despite its sclerotic economy? Has it managed to reform itself akin to the New Economic Policy?
Note: the current year in this timeline should be 2007, not 2008. That mistake is mine.

The following is an updated version of my previous post, as of May 27, 2007, the day before Memorial Day in the United States:

12:18 p.m. EDT: a 30-kiloton nuclear explosion occurs just outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana, less than an hour before the scheduled start of the Indianapolis 500 motor race.

BC-AP NEWS ALERT,1226

INDIANAPOLIS -- A massive explosion has occurred in Indianapolis.

BC-AP NEWS ALERT,1228

INDIANAPOLIS -- A massive explosion has occurred in Indianapolis, possibly in the area of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

....

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN

INDIANAPOLIS -- A massive explosion occurred at 12:18 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time in the area of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where at least two hundred thousand people were in attendance for the Indianapolis 500 motor race.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-EXPLOSION-BULLETIN, TAKE 2

Staffers at the Associated Press bureau in Indianapolis saw a very large mushroom cloud in the area of the Speedway. W-F-I-U, a radio station in nearby Bloomington, Indiana, is reporting that numerous callers told of a "flash" from the direction of Indianapolis, followed shortly afterwards by a rising mushroom cloud.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 3

The flash and mushroom cloud from the explosion was spotted by observers in Anderson, northeast of Indianapolis, according to Anderson radio station W-G-N-R. 

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 4

AP staffers have seen numerous ambulances, police vehicles and fire trucks speeding through downtown in the direction of the explosion. AP staffers also heard some police vehicles using bullhorns to tell onlookers and others outside to "go inside a secured building for your own safety".

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 5

Officer Francis DeLuca of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department told an AP reporter that the police and Indianapolis Fire Departments have cordoned off a two-mile area in all directions around the Speedway, and that "I can't tell you anything beyond that".  

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 6

Power is said to be out in many parts of Indianapolis and Marion County. The Indianapolis Star building, where the AP bureau is located, is operating on back-up power, as are scattered buildings throughout downtown Indianapolis.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 7

Many television and radio stations in the city went off the air at the time or after the explosion. Television station W-R-T-V, located downtown, is operating on back-up power and broadcasting along with updating its web site.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 8

W-R-T-V television is reporting that the Speedway and an area estimated by fire department officials to be as much as "seventeen blocks" surrounding the facility are "flattened". W-R-T-V is also reporting that Indianapolis firefighters are attempting to contain fires as far as three miles from the facility.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 9

An estimated number of two hundred thousand people, including Indiana Governor Mitchell Kelsey, numerous members of his cabinet and that of the state's General Assembly, were said to be in attendance for the Indianapolis 500 race. An additional forty- to fifty thousand, including residents, workers and vendors, are estimated to have been in the area at the time of the explosion.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 10

The explosion did not reach the downtown area. However, windows from skyscrapers and other buildings facing west, towards the Speedway, were broken by the explosion.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 11

In a release, the White House said President Moore has been informed of the explosion and will remain in Geneva for the time being to continue talks with Soviet General Secretary Khalinin.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 12

The White House also said Moore has authorized the Indiana National Guard to move into the city, and all of Marion County, to help maintain order.

....

BC-AP NEWS ALERT

INDIANAPOLIS -- A successor to Indiana Governor Mitchell Kelsey has been identified and is being taken to a secure location to be sworn into office, according to ZNN.

....

BC-AP NEWS ALERT

INDIANAPOLIS -- Charles Todd, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, has been sworn in as the new Governor of Indiana, sources tell the Associated Press.

....

BC-AP NEWS ALERT,

GENEVA -- Talks between the Allied Eight nations and the World Pact have broken off, says United Nations Secretary-General Singh.

....

BC-AP NEWS ALERT,2000

WASHINGTON -- President Roy Moore has landed in Washington to address the breakdown of the Geneva talks and the Indianapolis explosion at 9 o'clock p.m. Eastern time.

....

BC-AP NEWS ALERT,2101

WASHINGTON -- President Roy Moore opened his address to the nation by saying that the explosion in Indianapolis was caused by the detonation of a nuclear device with a yield of "around thirty kilotons".
5/25/2008 

BC-AP NEWS ALERT,0018

INDIANAPOLIS -- A massive explosion has occurred at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been destroyed in a massive explosion prior to the scheduled running of the Indianapolis 500 motor race.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 2

It remains unclear as to whether the bomb was conventional or nuclear. The mushroom cloud from the explosion was seen as far away as Carmel, north of the city, and Bloomington, south-southwest of the city. 

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 3

Indianapolis television station WRTV is reporting that the Speedway and an area estimated to be as much as "seventeen blocks" surrounding the facility are "flattened". W-R-T-V is also reporting that Indianapolis firefighters are attempting to contain fires as far as three miles from the facility.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 4

An estimated number of 220,000 people, including Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Congressman Andre Carson, were said to be in attendance for the Indianapolis 500 race. An additional 40- to 50,000, including residents, workers and vendors, are estimated to have been in the area at the time of the explosion.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 5

The explosion did not reach the downtown area. However, windows from skyscrapers and other buildings facing west, towards the Speedway, were broken by the explosion.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 6

In a release, the White House said President Moore has been informed of the explosion and will remain in Geneva for the time being to continue talks with Soviet General Secretary Khalinin.

AP-EXPLOSION-INDIANAPOLIS-BULLETIN, TAKE 7

The White House also said Moore has authorized the Indiana National Guard to move into Marion County to help maintain order.

BC-AP NEWS ALERT,0021

INDIANAPOLIS -- A successor to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has been identified and is being taken to a secure location to be sworn into office, according to ZNN.

BC-AP NEWS ALERT,0029

GENEVA -- Talks between the Allied Eight nations and the World Pact have broken off, says United Nations Secretary-General Singh.
EdgarAllenYOLO's avatar
The Cold War appears to be even tenser than OTL. 
It is indeed. One incident could spark a war, and once that fuse is lit it'll be damn near impossible to keep it from escalating. 

It doesn't have to come from the Allies or the Pact: a dirty bomb could do the trick. 
At the current point in the TL, it's Friday, May 23.

The biggest news event is the summit in Geneva, where the Allied Seven leaders are meeting with Soviet General Secretary Khalinin. Officially it is to "discuss resumption of peaceful relations between the World Pact and the Western nations". Unofficially the Western leaders are trying to bargain with Khalinin to get him to back down. World Pact forces are amassing in the Arabian Sea; on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal (from Nicaragua); and along the German DMZ.  There's also Pact activity in Angola; south Thailand; East Malaysia; Nicaragua; Guatemala; Uganda; Libya; and the Democratic Republic of Congo (OTL Republic of Congo; OTL Dem. Republic of Congo, capital Kinshasa, is ITTL the Republic of the Congo).

China continues to recover from the March 12 earthquake in the western part of the country that killed nearly 70,000 and injured thousands more.  

EDIT #1: The first few paragraphs of the mainbar (top story) in the March 24 editions of the South China Morning Post:

The recent airings of snippets of "Protect and Survive" over the British Broadcasting System's domestic and world services hint at a power struggle in London between U.K. Prime Minister Harrison Powers and members of his cabinet, Parliament and the military.

The South China Morning Post has learned that four men tendered their resignations Friday effective immediately, all whom advocated immediate military action against Oman after the air incident this week over the Arabian Sea. They are Gilbert Kaine, Secretary of State for Defence; General Francis Conners, Chief of the Defence Staff; Lord Barrett Kingsley, Leader of the House of Commons and Leader of the Opposition Conservative Party; and Sir David Manning, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

All four headed a faction advocating proactive measures against the militaries of the Soviet Union and its allies, rejecting Powers' doctrine of measured military response to Soviet aggression:

* Kaine and Conners worked to affect military doctrine to the point of ordering air attacks on Omani Air Force fighters.
* Kingsley rallied opposition in both the House of Commons and House of Lords among sympathetic MPs in his Conservative Party as well as those in the Labour and other centre and right-wing parties.
* Manning ordered BBC presenters and commentators to criticize Powers' defence policies and to advocate 'aggressively for proactive action' against Soviet and World Pact forces. Manning also ordered several times the airing of 'Protect and Survive', a civil defence programme intended to air only if and when nuclear attacks on the British homeland are expected.
RvBOMally's avatar
I was wondering: what's on the other end of those portals?
A multiverse. Universe One is where you want to go since the governments have deals with their counterparts there. Avoid Three at all costs. 
MrTumulus's avatar
I honestly feel that the 2 South African republics should be flipped. The Boer state would make more sense in Cape Colony, since most of its native black population had been more properly Dutch-ified & the fact that the modern Volksaat movement is based around founding a new Boer state in the Northern Cape. Mandela's South Africa should be in the East since that part has a much larger & densely populated, and stubbornly un-dutch black population. There's a reason why there were more bantustans in the east than the west.
I thought about the republics as well and, I admit, I may have been wrong. 

One way to reconcile things is that the war that led to the Treaty of Paris changed things in every realm, drastically in some ways. For example, IOTL the coalition that formed the ANC included the South African Communist Party. ITTL, the Communists split from the ANC with every expectation of overthrowing the Afrikaner regime and defeating the ANC with help from Luanda.

Luanda's idea was to split post-Afrikaner South Africa into three socialist republics by race and to encourage revolution by splitting local supporters and secret police/intelligence from Communist nations by race and having them go after the Afrikaner government/military, the ANC and civilians. For example, pro-Communist white locals were led by Romanian, Serbian and/or Soviet "advisors" in carrying out attacks against black civilians, plus power plants, factories, farms in black territory. Conversely, pro-Communist black locals worked with advisors from Luanda Pact countries in carrying out attacks against white and mixed civilians, and  power plants, farms, bridges, petrol stations and other installations of importance in white/mixed territory. It was a strategy the South African Communist party fell in line with (after a few purges among its leadership). 

Part of Luanda's strategy was to mislead civilians into thinking they were being attacked by the ANC (if white/mixed) or the Union government (black). This strategy was more successful in the west, particularly Cape Town, which saw some of the worst fighting of the South African War.

President de Klerk's assassination on December 9 1992 and the Houses of Parliament bombing on December 11 that all but decimated Parliament (and led to the military takeover of the Afrikaner government on the 12th) were committed by the Communists disguised as ANC fighters. The ANC immediately denied any involvement in either case; nevertheless fighting continued. Allied forces stepped up their covert support of the ANC and the Afrikaners, who had finally agreed that they were being manipulated by outsiders from Luanda and Moscow and on working together to expel them from the country. Conversely, more covert aid from the USSR, East Germany, Cuba and Vietnam came in to support the Communist insurgents.

But the Luanda faction manipulating the Communist rebels made a series of errors that gave the ANC and Afrikaners the advantage. The Cape Town bombings on March 2 1993 that killed over 11,000 and completely destabilized the city was the Commies' last hurrah. As Namibian forces came in from the north and the ANC/Afrikaners from the east to drive the Commies into the Atlantic, British and Indian journalists discovered hard evidence linking the de Klerk assassination and Parliament bombings directly to Luanda and indirectly to Moscow.

That led to Soviet General Secretary Yanayev calling an emergency meeting of the Politburo, where it was decided with the Communist forces fading fast and threatening to be overcome by the 10th, Luanda was to be told to pull out; South Africa wasn't worth risking a global war over. That was followed by a phone call to U.S. President Dole requesting a meeting in Geneva, where Moscow would agree to stay away from the country while the Allies helped structure a new post-war government.

The promise of the initial April 29 meeting in Pretoria (where the interim Afrikaner mililtary-led government was reestablished) fell apart when one of the groups within the coalition opposed to a multi-racial South Africa ordered an attack on a friendly rugby match between the country's national team and New Zealand. That was followed up by attacks on whites and coloureds throughout the west, where the Front for a New South Africa (FANSA) was strongest. Terrorist attacks in the East were not as successful, especially after a Johannesburg Star report broke linking the FANSA leadership directly to leaders of the previous pro-Communist forces who didn't return to Luanda in March. 

Allied Peacekeepers moved into the fledgling Republic of South Africa and elections were scheduled: ANC candidate Mandela easily beat the candidates from the National Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party in the July elections. Mandela's call for a united, peaceful South Africa unfortunately was met with more unrest, including the beginnings of white/colored flight into the east. Western black politicians, increasingly at odds with their eastern black, coloured and mixed counterparts in the east, called for a split of the fledgling nation. A referendum sponsored by the Swiss revealed overwhelming support for a Mandela-led black nation in the province of Cape Hope and for separate republics in Transvaal, Orange Free State and Natal.

That led to the Treaty of Paris on November 9, 1993. The French and U.S.-supported Mandela government ended up with the former Province of Cape Hope, while the Dutch, Australian and British-supported Alliance for a Free and United South Africa ended up with the other three governments. Mandela's government kept the Republic of South Africa name; the Boer Republic beat out 11 other potential names for the newly independent eastern republic. 

The Western powers made a universal ban on apartheid mandatory in both nations as part of the Treaty of Paris, along with Western democracy-style governments. While the Allies could and did influence laws, they couldn't influence hearts and minds. Many whites and coloureds fled from the RSA to the Boer Republic, while a smaller number of blacks opposed to the minorities' presence in the east fled westward.

Even so, a small minority of whites and coloureds remains in the new Mandelaburg (the former Cape Town) and Port Elizabeth, which have the strongest support for a reunified, multicultural South Africa incorporating the Boer Republic. Unfortunately, dozens of groups claiming to respect Mandela while rejecting his advocacy of multiculturalism have come to oppose the ANC; separately dwarfed by the ANC in Parliament, together they make up a majority over the ANC. Mandela has stayed in power because the majority of the people in his nation highly respect him as the father of their nation and their leader, and has not left office because of his fear of the radical minority groups that could sweep into power upon his death. 

The Boer Republic is more symbolic of Mandela's dream, where people of all races live and work together in a peaceful nation. The BR has benefited from immigration from numerous African countries, and President Aaron Motsoaledi, a mentee and friend of Mandela, is committed to his mentor's ideas. A third plebiscite aimed at renaming the Boer Republic is scheduled for 2009 and likely will result in the renaming of the nation -- if the world makes it to that date.
Eternal Cold War scenarios are always interesting. I like how this one is particularly polarized.
Thanks for your kind words.
destructive-taco's avatar
Does France keep the Saarland or some other parts of Germany?
The borders for France and West Germany are as they were OTL 1987, before the German reunification.
mr-nugg's avatar
How's Liechtenstein doing?
Liechtenstein is most closely tied to Switzerland and Austria, both of which are responsible for the country's defence, and lesser so culturally with West Germany. The national Police Force has, since 1989, had special forces units that work closely with Austria's Jagrkommando unit. That technically makes Liechtenstein allied with the Allies, but the Communists have a lot more to worry about than Liechtenstein's affiliation. Officially neutral, if and when a major war involving Austria and Switzerland commences the Principality will side with the Allies. 
bruiser128's avatar
Fascinating world
Thank you for your kind words. 
bruiser128's avatar
Your welcome. 

You have an interesting ideas in that head of yours
So why 3 Bombs on Japan? Just butterflies?
Yes, and as a small hint at how more warlike this world is compared to our own: not too much, but enough that where we'd stop or pull back, they'd move ahead.

Here, it took a third bomb with the threat of more against Tokyo and other major population centers and military bases to force a surrender. 
kyuzoaoi's avatar
EDIT: Now read the scenario.

So the POD is Stimson is overruled in the bombing of Kyoto. 
That's one of the PODs.

Here, Truman judged Stimson's arguments to be mainly personal (the Secretary of War visited the city numerous times in the '20s), and instead accepted the military explanation of Kyoto's strategic importance. Only when the third atomic mushroom cloud rose over Kyoto -- hours after Nagasaki was bombed -- did the Japanese surrender. 
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