This Is The Way The World Ends (Scenario Planning)

Bill Humphries
Mon, 17 Mar 2003 12:29:48 -0800

On Monday, March 17, 2003, at 11:20 AM, Jeff Bone wrote:

> This is all highly speculative, but...  far from the limited-scope war 
> the hawks are hawking, I think that this thing has the potential to 
> blossom into a full-blown WWIII.  Not the global thermonuclear 
> holocaust we all feared in the 70s and 80s, but a multi-year global 
> multi-lateral war nonetheless.  Here's a scenario (really several 
> "scenario-lets") for how this all goes down...  please feel free to 
> add to this, critique, reorganize, etc.

"AIN'T IT COOL!" (after Travolta's whacked Air Force officer in "Broken 
Arrow") : In this version of the game alQuida already has nukes 
pre-positioned throughout the US (a tip of the hat to James Rogers for 
the concept). On Day One of 'ShockAndAwe2003' alQuida announces they 
will blow up J. Random Flyover City.

"THE WILD SHORE" alQuida doesn't bother with a threat, they just light 
off 50+ nukes in various downtowns. Mad rush ensues to get US nuclear 
forces to stand down. US economy implodes as F500 firms transfer flag 
to EU. Bidding starts for loyalty of US forces abroad. EU and China 
start posturing.

"LOCK AND LOAD" OPEC announces they only take Euros. Dollar crashes. 
Bush threatens Saudis. Saudis grin and cite scenarios above. Bush, 
given choice between Iraq and blame for destruction of US Economy, 
backs down. Xenophobic sentiment overruns flyover states. Far-right 
elements of GOP seize the party. Pat Buchanan elected president in 
2004. Non-whites murdered wholesale as lynchings return. Sane people 
start migrating out of US. Captial starts fleeing US. Officers lead 
coup to prevent Buchanan from commiting megadeaths. Uncertain if US can 
remain a player.

"MIDDLE KINGDOM" After economic collapse, and mass murder via nuclear 
weapons and reprisals, the West is no more. China settles back and runs 
the world. Every thing's quiet until a deep space telescope on the far 
side of the moon detects blue-shifted objects moving into the Solar 
System on an Earth-crossing vector. Chinese throughout the System 
prepare to absorb another batch of Foreign Devils.

> - FLASHPOINT #1:  We move on Baghdad this week.  Saddam Hussein leaves 
> the country for parts unknown, leaving multiple regional 
> chains-of-command in place with redundant command and logistical 
> systems.  The US is drawn into an urban warfare scenario that will 
> take much longer than expected and have much higher casualties.  All 
> the while, Hussein continues to direct the action from off-stage.

Saddam and bin Laden broadcast a show on public access cable from 
Aurora, Il.

> - FLASHPOINT #2:  At some point Iraq launches a missile attack, 
> perhaps with chemical or biological weapons, on Israel.  Israel and 
> U.S. independently retaliate with tactical nuclear strikes on 
> suspected weapons sites in Iraq.  This enrages the Syrians, who have 
> been looking for an(other) excuse to attack Israel for decades.  
> Syrian tank forces roll into Israel;  conflict escalates.  The US is 
> too engaged in Iraq to provide more than cursory assistance to Israel. 
>  As the conflict drags on, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will join Syrian 
> forces;  this conflict potentially goes nuclear.  Conflict escalates 
> into Pan-Arab vs. U.S. / Israel conflict.

Would Israel be able to survive, as a functional nation state, after 
such an attack? Wouldn't the Israeli people (with the exception of 
their millennial fringe who listen to fish [1]) be more than a little 
upset at the US?

Israel is probably a test case for terminal-stage defense against 
ballistic weapons and not just hacked Patriots.

If Israel is hit, look for a behind the scenes fight between US and 
Israeli elite forces to prevent Israel from launching reprisals.

If there's a launch against Israel, and it's not intercepted, Israel is 
removed from play altogether.

> - FLASHPOINT #3:  Enraged by Musharraf's complicity in the "infidel's" 
> war against Iraq, Islamic fundamentalist elements in Pakistan - some 
> within the government mainstream - organize and launch a coup.

My guess is that Pakistan's crowd pleasers have been quietly taken out 
of play by US forces.

> FLASHPOINT #4:  North Korea's Kim Jong Il, feeling left out, decides 
> to take advantage of the chaos and distraction elsewhere and invades 
> South Korea, then rattles nuclear saber at Japan.  U.S. cannot provide 
> more than token assistance.

Discussed in earlier forked bits. China grins, and offers to settle 
this matter in exchange for regional hegemony. US removed from play in 

> FLASHPOINT #6:  Malaysian and Indonesian Islamist forces revolt.  
> Entire region thrown into conflict.

East Timor, round two. Australia and NZ forced to intervene to prevent 
wholesale slaughter of non-Muslim populations. Islamicists start #7 in 
Australia and NZ. Liberal Gov't in Australia folds. Don't forget the 

> FLASHPOINT #7:  Violence inside the U.S. escalates, eventually 
> reaching the level of conflict previously seen in Israel.  We see 
> suicide bombings, etc.  Within 12 months of initiation of conflict in 
> Iraq a western U.S. city will be hit with one or more nuclear or 
> sub-nuclear "dirty" bombs - provenance unknown - killing tens of 
> thousands of Americans.

See "THE WILD SHORE". Game changes from War on Iraq/Terror to 
preventing Bush from engaging in reprisals.

-- whump