Prelude To War:
Historians will always argue over what starts wars. Some say oil. Some think it’s sex. Others believe it’s hard cash that lubricates the war machines of so many nations and swings their leaderships into competitive positions. It’s hard to debate what started this one, though. It can be put, with relative sureness, on one man.
His name was inconsequential, and still hasn’t been found. He was famous before this, of course, with prestige along the lines of the late John Wilkes Booth, though his skill set was not in acting or dancing, merely advancing the political footings of those with the most money. His methods were deduced only hours after the operation was complete, and everything anyone needed to avert the catastrophe was in place. The phone lines were open. Diplomacy didn’t cause the war, bureaucracy did.
When the .408 Wildcat round finished it’s transit through the head of Jonathon Wells, the world was forever changed. The 58th President of the United States, was dead. In the long run, Wells wasn’t particularly important. In almost every way, he was an average president, having done little bad nor good for his nation, one which was prospering from it’s success in the first Taiwan Conflict. His vice president, however, was a very important person, primarily in that she was just that: a woman. Sarah Feldman, moderate republican, slightly radical views on dealing with the Bering Straits troubles, nobody expected her to do anything but bask in the glory of being the first female president. She did everything but.
In her first hundred days in office, she cut back government corruption, finally erased the nations national debt, and brought about a level of national pride unknown since the second world war. At the same time, she began creating incentives for manufacturing to move back into the country. Unknowingly, she was preparing her country for the storm to come. A political wildcard, she also financed the coup that lead to the installment of the friendly [insert Spanish name here] government in Argentina, and pushed heavily for the expansion of American territories.
This might not have meant anything, except that at the same time, a man known as Al Fulani was taking power in Iran. The nation, fast running out of oil and money to fuel the expansion it had taken in the last twenty years, was looking for something to do, and flexing military muscle was Fulani’s specialty. In a series of buyouts and hostile takeovers, the nationally owned IranOil took over most of Iraqs dwindling oil resources, and, with mercenaries and disguised soldiers to protect the infrastructure, Irans aging military quickly engulfed Iraq, and looked poised to springboard into nearby Israel and Saudi Arabia, both western friendly nations.
What happened next, however, was the absolute last thing anyone expected: India went berserk. A terrorist attack on their nuclear control center by well funded and extremely well armed forces managed to launch their entire arsenal, eradicating most of the Iran’s army and irradiating most of the region. The return fire from Iran’s strategic bombers managed to waste most of India’s population, ironically paving the way for massive social reforms among the survivors. Apparently funded by the same syndicate that financed Wells assassination, this conflict began to lay the final puzzle pieces into position.
An indignant Israel, pulling on all the political clout it had left after the long-term resource drain it had been for Western military forces, called for the complete elimination of Nuclear Arms. And, to the surprise of every armchair Patton and skeptic, it worked. The Phoenix treaty passed, and a small defense contractor known as Armistice Corporation took the contract to ensure destruction of all of the warheads, reporting to the UN secretary only a year after ratification that the deed was done.
No one, however, believed that the nukes were really gone, and if they were, that just made conventional weapons that much more dangerous. Various countries began developing new ways to kill each other from extreme range with minimal effort, building chilling new weapons far more frightening than what was produced by a single split atom.
With this new development, nations began to eye each other more suspiciously. Notably, a brushfire war broke out between Russia and China, ending suddenly, with minimal loss of life, when the two ex-socialist nations suddenly realized how many issues they saw eye to eye on, and, incorporating what was left of India and most of the ex-soviet satellites, formed the UAN (United Asian Nations): technically a number of unique nations organized into a treaty organization, practically a superpower that dwarfed the EU and America, or even NATO at it’s cold war height.
Recognizing the threat on their borders, the EU, minus the satellites that had defected into Asia’s sphere of influence, solidified into a single political (and more importantly military) entity, the WEA or Western European Alliance. They standardized training, ammunition, and weapons, and began stockpiling, fearing the horde.
Feldman, needless to say, felt left out. As she ran for re-election, her campaign slogan was something to the effect of “An America without allies isn’t an America at all”. And apparently, the public agreed. But with most of the world locked into alliances, the US did something it had never done before: instead of looking east, it looked north and south, allying with the nations of South America and Canada to form the American Mutual Protection Pact, later the American Confederacy after Feldman’s successor, Anthony Brown, consolidated all of the pacts nations into a single governmental body (an act that was met with resistance, resistance Brown was happy to crush).
By this point, the world was clearly teetering on the brink of war. All that was needed was an excuse. That came in the form of mysterious ships firing on UAN naval assets. These ships sank the Flagship of the first UAN carrier group, before disappearing like nothing had happened. Assuming that it was an American ploy to prevent their development of a true blue-water navy, they began their plans at once, attacking American airbases in Africa, with hopes to ground the aircraft their before further damage could be done to their navy. Unfortunately, the Americans were expecting an attack. Even more unfortunately, they were expecting a European attack, assuming it would be over resources.
So despite the UAN being behind the destruction of the US airbase, the reaction was against the WEA. This started the wars in Africa, quickly escalating to full scale conflict between the WEA and AC, with the UAN scrambling to bring “peacekeepers” to West Africa, by sea. Nobody realized that only a handful of UAN troops came ashore as their ships refueled. No one important noticed them leave. And no one noticed them until they had crossed the Atlantic, and were deploying troops onto American beaches, simultaneously with a ground invasion of Europe. That, was when the war started in full.