This Is The Way The World Ends (Scenario Planning)
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" <email@example.com>
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
> 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
> 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
> I hope the "Prussians" (i.e., GOP unilateralist hawks) enjoy their
> little WWIII.