This Is The Way The World Ends (Scenario Planning)

Mr. FoRK
Mon, 17 Mar 2003 22:41:19 -0800

Shut up man, you're ruining my whole day.
This whole thing sucks, and I don't even know how to pray.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jeff Bone" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, March 17, 2003 11:20 AM
Subject: This Is The Way The World Ends (Scenario Planning)

> 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.
> ---
> - 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.
> - 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.
> - 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.  This 
> coup attempt is not immediately successful, but the country is thrown 
> into chaos.  The U.S. is too occupied by the Iraqi war to give more 
> than token assistance;  U.N. forces are deployed to restore order.  
> Before deployment is fully complete, and facing massive international 
> backlash and defeat, Islamist forces attempt to capture part of 
> Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.  India immediately launches a pre-emptive 
> nuclear strike against Pakistan to eliminate their arsenal;  part of 
> remaining Pakistani missile forces operating outside the normal chain 
> of command launch retaliatory strike before arsenal can be secured, 
> destroying New Delhi.  Full-scale conventional war ensues.  U.S. 
> deploys remaining forces to Indian ocean as U.N. attempts to broker 
> cease-fire.
> 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.
> FLASHPOINT #5:  China, unnerved by events in the peninsula and 
> elsewhere, moves forces into Taiwan to "help ensure regional security." 
>   Days later, Chinese ground forces move into Siberia to capture Russian 
> oil fields.  Chinese threaten nuclear retaliation if U.S. becomes 
> involved in either theater.  Russian army deployed en masse - such as 
> it is - to Siberia.  Nuclear brinksmanship begins.
> FLASHPOINT #6:  Malaysian and Indonesian Islamist forces revolt.  
> Entire region thrown into conflict.
> 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.
> ---
>   If even a few of these things happen, we've got wholesale global 
> conflict.  Shouldn't take long for the alliances to solidify and the 
> players to make their moves, then we've got a totally chaotic and 
> difficult to re-stabilize geopolitical nightmare.  I have no idea how 
> it plays out from there, but I'm willing to bet we see at least 2 of 
> these flashpoints ignite in more or less the way described, once #1 
> happens.
> I hope the "Prussians" (i.e., GOP unilateralist hawks) enjoy their 
> little WWIII.
> jb