Eagle of the Andes V2.0

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1.0
AN:
Welcome all to the Rebooted Eagle of the Andes that said while I am going to be updating this it’s going to be slow going. I’m not the fastest writer in the world, and things in RL are looming. That said, there have been some changes in the formatting. I’m going to try and stick with the history text book like format for the most part with occasional vignettes thrown in for flavor just to keep my own sanity intact. Trying to write out what amounts to ten years’ worth of political and diplomatic wrangling before I get to the main body of the story is not something I want to do. I may go back and write a more in depth version of these early years if I finish this off (Stop laughing it could happen!) but for the moment in the interest of keeping the story moving despite the long gaps between updates this is going to be the format.

That said, readers of the original TL will note that there have been some pretty substantial changes just within this first update. Frankly I didn’t do enough research when I started writing the original version and it showed. Hopefully this will be a massive improvement in both the believability and plausibility, but feel free to point out areas where you think I made a mistake or missed a trick. With all the prefaces out of the way, on with the show.

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The South American War, as it is known in the United States or Europe, or the Beagle War, as it is known in South America, redefined a continent. The fighting not only change the world’s perception of South America, but it also caused a massive shift in Geopolitics. In many ways it redefined the battle ground of the cold war, and the actors who were involved with said conflict. The fighting rewrote the diplomatic and political geography of a continent, and beyond, leaving the world a much more complicated place. The actions of Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruaguy, Paraguy, and Ecaudor played as visible a role in the conflict as the tens of millions of dollars the USSR, United States, and China poured into the southern cone after the war was over did. Not only that but the diplomatic fall out of the war re wrote the consensus that had been established in the wake of the Second World War concerning wars and territorial expansion. Not to mention the effect that the war had on the UN and the idea of an international judiciary. The conflict reflected a rather sharp, previously unknown, limit on the power of the super powers to control their proxies. In many ways the nature of the conflict required the redefinition of the cold war as much as the super powers influence did. Whilst its first shots were fired in December of 1978 the local tensions that created the flash point stretch back eleven years earlier, and the root causes of the war even further.

Many commentators will point out that the Beagle dispute between Chile and Argentina, the flash point that launched the war, began in the 1904 when the Argentine government attempted to redefine the 1881 border in their favor. It is unclear why this was done, as Francisco Pascasio Moreno, the chief of the Argentine exploring commission of the southern territories, put it; “I can't understand why the Argentine Government claims sovereignty over the islands Picton, Nueva, Lennox, etc., basing its arguments on the 1881 Treaty and the 1893 Protocol, when the first one invalidates its claim and the second one has nothing to do with the demarcation of the Beagle channel.” This redefinition of the border caused a long running but low level diplomatic tiff, one that was ignorable to the outside world along with the majority of the population of both Chile and Argentina. As the dispute was over little more than ego it was ignored by the rest of the world, even during the border arbitration carried out by King Edward VII in 1902 over the disputed border between the two countries. The Argentine claim was considered completely spurious, and was seen as being settled in the 1881 treaty. Speculation is that this claim could have been made in retaliation for the 1888 annexing of Easter Island by Chile, as Chiles successful colonial adventure gave it some measure of greater respect then the larger and more populace Argentina. Despite this the claim continued to be made in Argentina, much to the annoyance of the authorities in Santiago, although it had little to no real effect on international relations.

This dispute continued with a low level war of words between Argentine and Chilean diplomats until the Snipe incident of 1958. The incident was triggered when the Chilean navy erected an automated light house on the Islet of Snipe. The Argentine Navy responded by destroying the Chilean light house and erecting one of their own. The Chilean navy, unable to let this stand, responded in kind. The situation was tense and escalating towards a shooting incident. As no one wanted to get into a shooting war Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, president of Chile, and Pedro Eugenio Aramburu Silveti, the Argentine military dictator, worked out a compromise before either countries military did something irreversible. This compromise was aided by Aramburu’s failure to use of the Snipe incident to halt a return to civilian government in Argentina, and his subsequent distraction. Unfortunately while he was the first Argentinian politician to use the Beagle dispute in such a manner he would hardly be the last.

From 1958 onwards the Argentine political elite, especially those in the military, embraced the idea of a short victorious war, or more accurately a foreign crisis which might lead to a short victorious war at worst. Chile was the usual target for this attitude aided by the Chilean government’s continued focus on dealing with its social and economic ills rather than its military position. Every time there was a political problem in Argentina that the government wanted the population distracted from the Beagle islands were brought up. Although there is some speculation that in light of the strong Chilean military response in 78, coupled with the drawdown of the Royal Navy in the region, that the Argentine target for such warmongering was being shifted to the Malvinas.

Unfortunately for the world before such a shift could occur the war broke out. These incidents and provocations were characterized by the Argentine military being used to try and push the smaller, less well equipped, but better trained Chilean military around. Of course following the 1970 presidential election the material situation of both armed forces changed, although the numbers did not, leaving the impression that the Chileans were less well equipped then they actually were in 1978. The Chileans historically responded to the increasing number of incidents by matching the Argentinians blow for blow, often worsening the situation despite their relative weakness. This was another factor that many talk about when they consider the war, that the Chileans had made no attempt to changed the Argentine perception of them, as the Chilean military thought in terms of wars not in terms of international politics. They sought to preserve strategic surprise and intentionally invited the Argentine military to error by being too aggressive. The Chilean’s, especially the navy, were content to push the level of dispute beyond what the Argentinians wanted. This was true even when the Chileans were well aware they had no hope of winning the subsiqent armed conflict. This aggressive attitude continued, and became more prevalent, as the Chilean military increased in strength. The Revolución Argentina Junta continued and exacerbated this misconception of the situation in 1967 when it provoked two incidents in rapid succession.

The Ballenita incident was the first, caused by the Argentine maritime authorities posting an Argentine pilot on the Panamanian ship Ballenita for its voyage to Ushuaia through Chilean claimed waters. The Chilean government responded by heavily fining the ship master, an act which was responded to by the Argentine authorities refusing Chilean pilots the right to board south bound ships at Buenos Aires, forcing them to board at Montevideo in Uruguay. It was a diplomatic incident, one which stung the Argentine government as they were viewed as being in the wrong. The Argentine response was the Cruz del Sur incidents. Instead of backing down an Argentine vessel, the fishing schooner Cruz del Sur was found fishing in Chilean waters. The Chilean navy escorted it out of their waters, only for the ship to return a few days later escorted by an Argentine naval patrol vessel. Even as the Chilean navy moved to reinforce high level diplomatic contacts worked tirelessly to deescalate the situation. The Argentine establishment felt they had made their point, and backed down diplomatically before the Chileans could retaliate. They felt they had established the needed facts on the ground and were satisfied. The Chileans on the other hand, while ostentatiously successful diplomatically, felt that the Argentines had succeeded in their aim without a visible answer. It was felt by the Chilean navy that a continued passive approach to the situation would invite Argentine military authorities to feel that they could act with impunity. Diplomatic rebukes were seen as little more than slaps on the wrist to a set of bullies who didn’t care about international opinion, and so force was needed to demonstrate that should the Argentine military act in such a manner again Chile could respond effectively on its own, with its armed forces.

The Chilean navy decided that rather than wait for the Argentine navy to escalate, and to take advantage of their new diplomatic and political position, they would push back and preempt any Argentine moves. As such the Guacolda and Fresia, Barceló-class fast attack craft, proceeded to violate Argentine territorial waters in mouth of the Straits of Magellan aggressively menacing Argentine shipping. The Cochrane, a Fletcher class destroyer, patrolled the Argentine side of the disputed Beagle Channel backed up by the Quidora, another Barceló-class fast attack craft, effectively daring the Argentine navy to try and enforce their claim. Pressure built on the Argentine navy to do something, as the Chileans appeared to be completely dominant in the region, and had reversed any gains made during the Cruz del Sur series of incidents. On the 29th of November 1967 the Argentine navy struck back, shelling the Quidora as the fast attack craft entered the Bay of Ushuaia.

Just why the Quidora was engaged in such a blatant violation of Argentine territory is a controversy that rages in Chile to this day. The Christian Democrat party asserts that the provocation was ordered by the Navy. The Navy on the other hand has repeatedly claimed that the orders for the provocation came out of La Moneda. The consensus among the historical community is that in light of Freis 1966 Brasilia speech, and general disinterest in military affairs, it is unlikely that he would order such a provocation. Those who hold that he did point to his falling popularity, major legislative setbacks such as the chamber of deputies refusal to allow him to leave the country for a state visit to the United States in January, and state that he was looking for an outside crisis to reaffirm his rule. This controversy has been further exasperated by the disappearance of the critical documentation sometime in 1970, an act that both sides of the dispute blame the other for as both sides continue to claim that the missing documents would vindicate them.

Whatever the truth of the mater after the shelling of the Quidora the Chilean Navy felt embattled, especially after President Frei failed to back them up diplomatically. That he ordered the cashiering of Lieutenant Prieto, the commander of the Quidora at the time of the incident, seemingly as a sop to the Argentine military was widely seen as a slap in the face of the Chilean military. Admiral Ramon Barros, the Commander in Chief of the Chilean Navy, decided to use his last year at his post to raise hell. His program was a rebuke to the president and to the Argentines, and despite its inflammatory nature widely popular. The Chilean public had not been pleased with the way that the Quidora incident had been handled, believing that Frei had been too soft. Avoiding war was one thing, but he and the Christian Democrats were viewed as having bent over backwards to appease a bunch of jack booted thugs. The Battle of Laguna del Desierto where 90 Argentinian security personal had ambushed 4 Chilean Cabineros in 1965, just two years before, was brought up prominently in the media. Frei was widely accused of backing down, betraying the Chilean fighting men, and appeasing the untrustworthy military thugs across the Andes. Interestingly enough both the right and the left agreed on this, and in an unusual situation both El Mercucio, Chiles paper of record widely regarded as being on the political right, and Clarin, a leading left wing populist newspaper, savaged the administration over its Argentina policy.

Taking advantage of this general dissatisfaction and anger of the general public, in order to promote his own service, Admiral Ramon Barros ordered all four Barceló-class torpedo boats into the straits of Magellan, where they harassed Argentinian vessels for all of 1968. This included the incident where the ARA Buenos Aires (D-6) was chased out of the straits and forced to retreat to Rio Grande. Unlike the usual practice of the navy all of these provocations and incidents were well reported as Admiral Barros allowed reporters from Chilean news media unprecedented access. His media campaign was relatively successful in selling the message that the navy was ready and willing to take on the task of throwing back the Argentinians but the politicians were holding them back. This intense, public, and prolonged retaliation forced General Ongania, the military ruler of Argentina who was just barely hanging on to his power, to respond, which he did in 1969.

From December 1969 until July of 1970 both the ARA Veinticino de Mayo and the ARA Independicia were deployed in positions where they could strike at the Chilean navy should the Chileans challenge the Argentinian dominance of the Cape Horn and the waterways surrounding Terra del Fuego. They were only withdrawn after General Ongania was overthrown and replaced by General Levingston, and even then General Levingston kept them on station from the time he took power until the middle of July when he began to come under pressure of being deposed in turn. Despite the obsolete nature of the Independicia’s air group (She was still launching F4U Corsairs as her primary strike arm) and her Buenos Aires class escorts (The Buenos Aires class were a modification of the world war one era Royal Navy G class torpedo boat destroyers) the imbalance of power was keenly felt in Chilean military circles. While the Independicia might have been old, bordering on obsolete, along with her escorts they still represented a major qualitative advantage over the Chilean military, an advantage that was made even more obvious by the 25 de Mayo and her modern escorts.

Much like the Brazilian acquisition of the Minas Gerais class dreadnoughts touched off the South American Dreadnought race the two carriers of Argentina caused a military arms race. Especially when the Argentine military announced that it was seeking to procure A- 1 Skyraiders to modernize the Indepencia’s air group with an eye towards retaining her for future use. Chile, with a navy half the size of Argentina in terms of hulls, naturally sought to correct this imbalance. That Caused the Peruvians to attempt to keep up with their primary pacific rival, spurring on the Ecuadorian’s to try and keep up with the Peruvians. This domino effect spread out around the continent, causing an arms build up. While an international phenomenon this arms race was driven firmly from la Moneda, as the Chilean government set the pace, and standard for the continent. This reclamation of their status of a major regional power caused the Chileans to continue this arms race and exacerbate it. Especially as the arms race firmly pushed Peru back from menacing Chiles position as the third military power in the region.

For the first time the rising tensions between Argentina and Chile had a direct effect on Chilean politics, something especially obvious in light of the contentious presidential election that was ongoing. Outgoing president Eduardo Frei had misjudged badly during his time in office, not only in that his economic reforms had not been as successful as he had hoped, but that the Chilean electorate would ignore his response to the international crisis as they had traditionally. His attempts to throttle Chilean Jingoistic tendancys backfired on his party allowing the Nationalist to dominate the electoral debate over international a security issues. This was thought of as a safe choice, as economic issues had been driving Chilean politics since the reign of Videla and the Radical party, but proved to be a mistake in hindsight. As a result of Frei’s errors his Christian Democratic party had lost the alliance with the right which had catapulted them into power and throw the elections wide open.

The Christian Democrats put up Radomiro Tomic, a candidate who was firmly in the left wing of the party he had been widely considered Freis heir apparent but his published policy stances and his campaign statements made the center and right wing of the party nervous. Those two wings of the party had hoped for a nomination challenge to force the party’s platform back to the center, which was not forthcoming due to the massacre of Puerto Montt discrediting their preferred candidate Edmundo Perez Zujovic leaving the left wing of the party to write the parties platform as they pleased. This firm shift on the part of the party as a whole to the left was not greeted with universal accolades. Those on the right and in the center of the party were understandably less enthused, feeling that the party was disregarding their voices.

They felt that the party’s decision to abandon the political center was a mistake, especially since all of the parties efforts were focused on the left leaning voters taking the centrist voters who had pushed the party into power for granted. Scrambling for the same left leaning votes, with significantly more success, was Salvador Allende the Socialist candidate, and his UP alliance. In an interesting bit of historical irony the UP alliance was running against the very person who had given them their name, as Tomic had been the one to initiate the idea and name it. Both of the left leaning candidates chose to keep their campaigns about economic issues alone, which proved to be a mistake. While the traditional problems of Chile persisted the new fears of the electorate created by the Argentine saber rattling and military confrontations in the south of the country were not addressed by the left leaning campaigns. This let the Alessandri campaign control the narrative on the emerging definitive issue on the campaign. A mistake on the part of the left leaning candidates as they inadvertently gave Alessandri greater legitimacy by ceding the foreign policy and defense discussion to him.

For Tomic it was a choice forced on him by circumstances. The rise of the MIR terrorists, General Viaux’s abortive coup attempt, and tepid responses to Argentine provocations by President Frei, along with the specter of Presidents Frei’s 1966 Brasilia speech meant that any attempt Tomic made to speak on security issues was a disaster waiting to happen for his campaign. The public having seen the Christian Democrats fumble security issues and foreign affairs more than once leaving behind a profound distrust of the Christian Democrat’s competence on the international stage. To add to Tomic’s woes he moved to the left on economic issues despite the Frei administration’s failure provided the more modest reforms it had promised when elected. This shift to the left also eroded the Christian Democrats support in the critical middle class while failing to bring in enough new voters to counter balance the loss. The leftist proposals coming out of Tomic’s campaign sounded divorced from reality and increasingly fantastical, in effect he was trying to outdo Allende as a leftist without that worthy’s credibility. Tomic, and by extension the Christian Democrats, sounded as if they would do anything to keep themselves in power and that hurt them badly with the electorate. Especially as they were viewed as not being able to follow through on their electoral promises. Those on the left of the party drifted towards the UP collation while those on the right and center quietly supported Alessandri’s candidacy. Despite the fragmentation of the Christians Democrats electoral support a hard core remained, convincing Tomic that he still had a shot at the presidency. He also felt that even if he did not have a shot his candidacy was a chance to move the nation political discourse leftwards, which was a goal that he did achieve. This core of support was based on the rural areas which had benefited from the Christian democrats land reform.

Although strong in some of the rural regions of Chile, and with a political platform tailored to appeal to residents of said regions, the Christian Democrats failed to gain traction. Many of the lower class who did not benefit from the governmental expropriation campaign felt that the government had failed to do enough for them. The great drought of 68-69 and the government’s response was another hot button issue during the rural campaign, to the detriment of the Christian Democrats. The Norte Chico development region was especially hard for the Christian Democratic campaign as some farmers and communities had found themselves without enough water for human consumption during the drought. Given the heavy concentration of socialists in the regions mining unions Tomic ended up almost abandoning the region to concentrate his campaign on the center of Chile. It was a logical decision despite the criticism he took for making it, after all the demographics of Chile were weighted disproportionately towards the center of the country. The problem with the decision was one of appearance, Tomic and his campaign confirmed the regional and lackluster nature of his campaign when they abandoned more than a third of the country. A view that was reinforced when commentators realized that Tomic had already ceded the south with its strong nationalist voting record to Alessandri without a fight. Voters were given the impression that there was no way Tomic could win, and now he was campaigning simply to not lose his credibility.

For Allende this was a dream run, his opposition was fragmented and the political landscape of Chile was undergoing a radical upheaval. He felt, not without some justification, that this benefited him to a greater degree than any other candidate. The centrist Christian Democrats were discrediting themselves and heavily involved in internecine bloodletting over their shift to the left. The Radical party had already attempted the same shift and failed, leading it to be regarded as a spent force in Chilean politics. The Radicals had in fact shifted so far to the left that they were founding members of the UP coalition and had thrown their support behind Allende in this presidential election. Given their abysmal showing in the 1964 election it was no surprise that he discounted the Nationalists and their right wing coalition, regarding them as a spent force politically. That they had needed to virtually draft Alessandri into running helped to reinforce this misconception among Allende and his advisors. The race appeared to be his to lose, not that he took his inevitable victory for granted. He had a very strong organization in the city’s, and especially in the early months among the unions, and with the communist, socialist, and Radical party apparatus behind him was set to win. His radical reform platform was well know, having been published with money acquired from the Soviet Union, and played well with the electorate. Not to mention that the United States was not funding his opponents in this election cycle, instead putting money towards an ineffective attack campaign managed from Washington. Without Chilean input said campaign wasn’t nearly as effective as it had been in the 58 or 64 election.

Allende played to his strengths throughout the campaign. He was known as an inspiring speaker and was well aware that while the rural wing of the Socialist party was in ascendance politically the electoral strength of the party was still based in the cities and their unions. As such he used a combined strategy of mass rallies in the cities, with a well-publicized an organized ground game in the poorer neighborhoods, and targeted radio outreach to the rural population. It was a wise division of his time a resources, one that had his policies not completely alienated the middle class would have won him the presidency.

Despite a strong showing in the polls, even before the election the UP collation was showing cracks. The hard left Socialists and their Communist allies led by Luis Alberto Corvalán Lepe, the general secretary of the Chilean communist party, and Carlos Altamirano Orrego, a socialist senator and the heir apparent to Allende as the leader of the parliamentary socialist party, worked hard to evict the remaining Radicals from the UP, along with those they felt were doctrinally unsound like socialist deputy Mario Palestro. Despite the covert nature of these attempts they were becoming obvious by the end of the campaign and at several critical junctures Allende was forced to stop campaigning to mediate between the competing wings of his party. The political infighting behind the scenes had in fact gotten so bad that both the Radical Party and the Independent Popular Action parties were in talks to leave the UP collation and create their own left leaning movement before the first ballet had been cast. This inter collation bloodletting was to be publicized after the election was concluded and had a chilling effect on the electoral chances of the political left, a force that had looked to become dominant in Chilean politics.

As Allende and Tomic competed with increasing vigor for the political left while ignoring the rest of the political spectrum the third Candidate in the presidential race staked out a position that appealed to the forgotten center and right of the political spectrum. Jorge Alessandri was a dynamic former president who was still highly respected by the public. While the hard left dismissed him, along with the Christian Democrats, due to his failure to address the economic woes of Chile during his first presidency, and the fact he had needed to be drafted into running, they missed that his calming influence and commanding demeanor had a major effect on the populace. More so after the first televised debate, as Alessandri’s calm and knowledgeable rebuttals played very well with those who were undecided as opposed to the other two candidate’s bombastic Marxist rhetorical style. This was aided in that Alessandri was the only candidate prepared for a televised campaign. Alessandri had been president during the Nixon/Kennedy debates, and had paid very close attention to the American campaign. He was acutely aware that television was a medium with its own requirements, having seen the difference in response between those who heard the debates on radio and those who saw them on television. To compensate for his lack of knowledge, and personal distaste for the medium, Alessandri hired several American image consultants, aided by the CIA and the American state department. Because of the effort he put into his televised image he appeared to the television viewing audiences as the most put together candidate. His embrace of the televised campaign also helped to stifle rumors that he was suffering from dementia in his advanced age. Not to mention he appeared the most forward thinking of the candidates, certainly he ran the most technologically adept campaign. The Alessandri name alone was enough to calm fears of additional coupe attempts, and given the nervousness of the country his run was seen as a call back to his father’s two presidencies. With the additional worry’s brought on by the increasingly belligerent Argentina his promises of safety and stability resonated well with the middle class, and especially with women voters.

Alessandri might have represented the economic and political right, and been more comfortable there politically and personally, but the way that the other two candidates had lunged to the left forced him to move to the left as well. While he did not abandon his own center right ideals the platform he put together and campaigned on was a departure from his first campaign and showed a distinct drift to the left. In order to move leftward without losing his credibility he had several potent weapons in his pocket. The first, which he deployed with great skill in the north of the country, was the renowned labor relations author and former minister of labor William Thayer, who had been ousted from the Christian Democratic government in 1968 for his support of a comprehensive reform in labor laws. He had been brought on by Alessandri to fix labor relations in the country amidst great fanfare and publicity. A political move that reassured Christian Democratic voters that despite the bad blood between Frei and Alessandri he would be willing to work with the Christian Democrats for the betterment of the country.

William Thayer was very much the right man for the job and having fallen victim to internal Christian Democratic politics had an axe to grind with Tomic he campaigned mightily for the chance to show that his answer had been correct and the Christian Democrats wrong to have fired him. The rural unions, all based off the legal work that Thayer had done while he was in office, were the reason why the Christian Democrats had such strength in rural areas. He pointed to them loudly and publically, asking why they had been established but the industrial unions were not allowed the privileges that they had. Importantly, to sell the idea to the right, he pointed out that a key portion of his proposed reforms would allow the Unions as a group to become spokesmen for the working man rather than the socialist-communist mouthpiece’s that they had become.

Allowing the Unions to collect and maintain their own strike funds was a major step forward in labor relations as well as a very well thought out political strike against the Communist and Socialist parties, both of which enjoyed the support they did from Unions due to their history of using party funds to fund strikes and other labor actions. It was said that giving the unions the abilitie to raise their own funds would change little, other then decoupling them from their need to appeal to the socialist and communist parties in order to do their jobs. Thayer put forth a program based on the 1951 codetermination law of Germany, and all that had lead up to that point in German labor relations, a program that was acceptable to both the upper class and surprisingly enough found widespread support from industrial workers.

The second, and perhaps the most potent, weapon that Alessandri deployed was his support among the women of Chile. It was a support that he cultivated religiously, one which cut across class divides and widened his base of support to an appreciable degree. This was accomplished by a dual pronged approach by the Alessandri media office. On one hand they ran a vicious campaign of fear mongering, placards and advertisements featuring children taken from their homes and brainwashed by the socialists. One of the more successful series of ads alleged that should Allende win he would send the youth of Chile to be indoctrinated in Cuba, a rerun of an earlier CIA sponsored campaign from the 1964 campaign. These scare tactics, coupled with an appeal to the apolitical traditional role of Chilean women in politics and expressly linking said role with Alessandri, was a success. By the end of the campaign Alessandri was polling as having twice the support of his nearest competitor with the female vote. It also heavily informed the Alessandri administrations choice of cabinet ministers and how the administration was run.

Alessandri ran his campaign as an independent, presenting himself as a unifying almost apolitical figure. It was a strategy that had worked for him before, and he easily picked up back up. By including members of the Christian Democrat party, disaffected Radicals, and Nationalists in his campaign he emphasized an inclusivity and stability that had been missing in the increasingly bitterly divided political discourse of the country. With right wing generals marching, and radical left wing terrorists committing bombings seemingly right and left, this promise of apolitical stability was appealing. Alessandri emphasized his commitment to this apolitical stance by publically promising to appoint the largest number of women to his cabinet, taking advantage of the traditional view of women in Chile.

An additional advantage that wasn’t counted at the time, and is still in dispute, were the actions taken by the CIA. Alessandri had been a beneficiary of their manipulations during the last election cycle he participated in, but during this election cycle he was rather pointedly not given any aid. The CIA spent its money, and influence, solely on keeping Allende out of La Moneda. While this appeared to be a disadvantage at first glance, it subtly reinforced Alessandri’s status as an independent in the minds of the more educated electorate, giving him several endorsements he would not have received otherwise.

Alessandri’s main issue on the campaign trail was that he was the CEO of the largest nongovernmental monopoly in Chile, the paper company and his age. Much criticism was leveled at him for being more of the same, a gentleman don of the upper class telling the peasants how to live. While this rhetoric played well to the established communist and socialist voters the remaining radical voters found it uncomfortable and many of the Christian Democrat voters agreed. Alessandri was also able to turn this criticism into a strength as he talked about his economic program, and shifting the economy away from import substitution into export driven, as he had done for the paper company. His emphasis on attracting non US foreign investment went over well as it was mildly anti United States, but was not a call for radical changes. While many didn’t listen to his economic message, enough did. On the issue of his age he ignored it, at least superficially, while running the most technologically advanced campaign yet seen in Chile. He used his comfort with technological progress to silently emphasize that he was more comfortable with the new technologies then either of his younger opponents, as well as being more mentally flexible.

When the votes were counted in the early morning of September the 5th Alessandri had 1,076,279 vote or 36.6 percent of the popular vote and was in first place, Salvador Allende came in second with 1,055,603 votes or 35.9 percent of the popular vote, and Radomiro Tomic was firmly in third with 804,861 votes or 27.4 percent of the popular vote. The election was close fought and, because no one candidate had achieved an absolute majority, was thrown to the National Congress. There tradition held and Alessandri was elected to the Presidency of the Republic, despite rumors of soviet money making its way into the pockets of suggestable senators and deputies urging them to vote for Allende. Despite his election the razor thin plurality that he had won meant Alessandri needed to build a governing coalition with a wide base of support if he intended to rule without resorting to decrees. After all he had won based on less than a percent of the popular vote.
 
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Awesome, good to see Eagles of the Andes being rebooted. A few things, it's President Eduardo Frei, not Frie. Also, Alessandri did not care for TV. He thought it was useless and when consulted about it, he said that he would prefer it if it stayed isolated to universities, such as the Universidad Católica.
 
Awesome, good to see Eagles of the Andes being rebooted. A few things, it's President Eduardo Frei, not Frie. Also, Alessandri did not care for TV. He thought it was useless and when consulted about it, he said that he would prefer it if it stayed isolated to universities, such as the Universidad Católica.
Edited in the corrections for the Frie/Frei mix up. Further proof that one should not trust spell check when dealing with names. I'm sure over the next couple of days i'm going to be going over this and seeing errors i missed in editing and fixing them. I also edited in a comment about Alessandri having personal distaste for television as a medium... that said with the differences in the campaign between this one and OTL, I can see Alessandri thinking its useless and still using it better then his opponents.
 
So it's Alessandri becoming president of Chile and not Allende? IIRC, the Argentine Junta in 1978 didn't care if Chile was ruled by a dictatorial strongman or not, for as long as they needed to settle the Beagle Channel dispute by force (though them fighting a pro-Soviet Chile under Allende or some other leftist would provide massive PR aid to their regime).
 
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AN: So i lied, i am going to be putting in at least a couple prose vignettes... mostly because I found some time and I find that writing short form in this way relaxing... somthing i dearly need as i search for a new apartment.


“Will you reconsider? I need your expertise now more than ever,” Jorge Alessandri spoke softly but firmly.

“My time is past, much as I would like to deny that. Besides it was under my stewardship that the preconditions for the Viaux affair came to be. You cannot afford to have someone the generals view as weak as minister of defense. Perhaps if things were different I would be willing to, but not as it stands.” Carlos Vidal answered with firm conviction. “I know you said your administration would be a return to normalcy, but you surely realize that normal is not working?”

“Oh I am well aware of that,” Alessandri bared his teeth almost snarling in anger. He had read the internal reports that the army had compiled over the Viaux and Valenzuela groups with growing horror. It seemed that he would be following in his father’s footsteps after all, at least in terms of dealing with the military. As far as he was concerned the days of the army being the senior service were well and truly finished. He would break those arrogant fools, re accustoming them to being in the harness as servants of the state if it was the last thing he did. “The army is going to receive a rather harsh reminder of where they sit in relation to the state if I have anything to say about it.”

“Ah… I presume that the air force is also going to be reminded that this is Chile not the United States?” Carlos asked with a raised eyebrow.

“The air force… I know they are followers of the United States party line too closely for my liking but they have not gone over the edge the way that the army has. They are toeing the line, not over it.” Jorge shook his head in exasperation. “I can understand their frustration, we are after all not equipping or paying them as they deserve. Of course the army pay raises did not help matters.”

“You will need the support of the navy, not just their compliance,” Carlos thought for a moment. “If you can convince him to resign as an admiral I would recommend Jacobo Neuman Etienne, he served well as the CNO of the navy so he has the administrative knowledge needed, is well regarded, and will be viewed by the armed forces as putting one of their own into the discussion over hardware.”

“Do I want to cater to them though?” Jorge asked, turning towards his office window and looking out over the city of Santiago. “You know that giving the military ideas about how they deserve political power is a recipe for disaster…”

“That is true. In a perfect world this would not be my suggestion but the politicians, you and I not excepted, have ignored the armed forces for too long. We were content with what we had and ignored the way that our equipment was outdated. When there was no international tension this was forgivable, to an extent, but it has gone too far. The army, navy, and air force all need a complete equipment overhaul and that is going to be expensive.” Carlos paused and collected his thoughts. “In order to afford it, and to keep the social programs you know as well as I do are necessary going, we are going to have to spread out the expense. That means the pace of modernization is not going to be fast enough for anyone, by having one of their own in the position of minister of defense it reassures the generals and admirals that you are dealing with the issue.”

“I understand all too well just how expensive this is going to be,” Jorge said with a deep sigh. “I wish I could coopt the army or air force though, they would be less expensive.”

“We dropped the ball, were lured in by the cheap American cast offs, and now we have to pay the price.” Carlos shrugged resignedly. “Since I was one of the people who lead the charge into those cheap American cast offs I am not the man who should preside over our getting out of that hole. I know deep in my heart that it was the right decision but, to see how that decision turned out is heartbreaking. Besides, ask the navy for a plan, you might be surprised by just how cost conscientious they can be. Ever since ASMAR was formed they’ve had a finger on the pulse of the international economy, and their ability to budget reflects that.”

“The navy will ask for a carrier,” Jorge said with a sigh, running one hand through what remained of his hair. “That will undoubtedly offend the air force…”

“Fuck the air force,” Carlos replied with a snarl of his own. “While others can bray about how the Chilean armed forces are apolitical till the end of time, you know better! The reason why they have not dared to stick their nose into the business of running the country is because your father took them out behind the shed and forcibly reminded them that they were subordinate to him. The air force hasn’t crossed any lines, but as you said they are toeing them often enough, perhaps the navy having some jets will remind them that they answer to you not Washington.”

“Considering that the navy already has a ground force, it would make my threat to replace both other services with the navy have a touch more teeth,” Jorge said with a slight smile. “Still this Jacobo Neuman is unknown to me, you know how I retreated from the public eye after my last service to the republic. Tell me about him, convince me that he is will be my man, that he is worth supporting.”

“He is plain spoken, and will tell you the truth no matter what you want to hear,” Carlos replied with a slight grin. He knew that Jorge had made up his mind to follow the advice he had been given, and that was a good thing. “There will be problems with the more conservative senators and deputies, but the man knows his job and can argue for days just on the facts without losing his temper. You will need that quality if you are to succeed in arming our nation.”

“I know,” Jorge said softly. “I just hope we haven’t left it too late, or let the rot spread too far… while I admire my father as a man and as a president I have no desire to see my own honor marred by a Seguro Obrero …”

“Then pray that things are not as bad as you believe,” Carlos said with an intensity that had been missing from the conversation before. “If things are half as bad as you believe them to be a Seguro Obrero will be the least of your concerns, El Salvador and Peurto Montt have seen to that, worry that you will have to order a Ranquil or worse.”

“It will not come to that,” Jorge replied in a voice of iron. “The left and the right will be reminded to play the game by the rules laid down in the constitution. The right I already have a plan for, the left I am waiting for them to make a mistake and go over that line…. When they do they will discover that I have no interest in pandering to them and will reap the full rewards of their folly.”

“If you want to avoid it, then you will have to move fast, and spend money. The Cabinero’s need an equipment update just as badly as the armed forces, and they need more training. I know they lost the last round of budgetary compromises, especially on the issue of artillery, but they need to have a visible threat potential in order to talk down a riot rather then shooting. My advice off hand? Get them helicopters, they are loud visible, and threatening but can be procured in small numbers and in such a way so that the expense is not as great as replacing all of their vehicles, which does need to be done.”

“That is a very good suggestion,” Jorge frowned as he tried to work out in his head how it would work. “I will keep it in mind.”
 
Interesting. Moreover, this will play in a interesting way. Nixon and Kissinger focused in Chile due to the US interests and strategic position in the Copper mining market. However with a Right/Center Wing Government. . .their attention, AND worry will come from Peru. In OTL, from 1970, to 1975, the Left-based Military Dictatorship of Juan Velasco Alvarado bought close to 2 BILLION Dollars worth of USSR War Material for a planned war with Chile to RECONQUER the Tarapaca and Antofagasta Regions, same regions where the US Copper and other Mineral interests are, in addition to expropiate extensive US and European interests in Peru, INCLUDED Petroleum.

Add also, that with Allende failing to become President, and potentially dying or such, the USSR would certainly be FAR more helpful in arming the new Peruvian Dictatorship, in order to counter the influence of the US in Chile.

So expect Nixon and the US to make a near FULL 180º Turn in the selling of military assets to Chile in a few months to 2 years as they start to near panic with the mass buying of Soviet war material by Peru, SPECIALLY, likely redirecting War material what was going to be deployed to Vietnam once the Paris Accords are signed in March 1973.

Until Watergate i can imagine Nixon and Kissinger doing the stunt of declaring as "obsolete" several Millions if not BILLIONS of dollars worth of near fresh from the factories or barely used ,US Army, Navy and Air Force material pulled out from Vietnam, and selling it for a mint to the Chilean Government to ensure that they CAN stand a Peruvian Invasion in Tarapaca and Antofagasta.

As you can imagine, this would have a potential effect in Argentina AND Bolivia's military buying, and Argentina potentially making deals with other nations in order to get the extra war material. . .
 
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In OTL, from 1970, to 1975, the Left-based Military Dictatorship of Juan Velasco Alvarado bought close to 2 BILLION Dollars worth of USSR War Material
Although, part of that war material was actually going to be bought by Chile. Missiles and aircraft, according to Fernando Matthei. Because of the coup, they had to settle with watching Peru buy the material they wanted.

If the defense plans of those days that we got are accurate, Chile considered Peru 'a strong fist with a weak arm' due to their superior logistics. Arica would be a bloody battlefield and the Chilean Army would start to retreat(to force the Peruvians to get further away from their base and supplies) before counterattacking near Iquique.

The SOBs that made the choices always considered Arica to be lost in the first strike and hopefully recovered in a counterattack.

Like in the War of the Pacific, controlling the sea is key. Marching through Tarapacá is complicated. Unless they start with air supply, the Peruvians need Arica and Pisagua taken, in order to be a threat. Pisagua is abandoned, yes, but it's also the middle point between Arica and Iquique and it could open the way for supplies, as well as being a good spot from which to prepare the attack on Iquique.

All this while the Chilean Army needs to rely on the usual tactic of wait for the enemy, make him bleed and then strike at him as hard as possible, push them back, recover the losses, win some more and done!

I'm almost convinced the Army has a little handbook for this, to instruct everyone. Like:

  1. Prepare defenses
  2. Fight(but carefully)
  3. Make them bleed. Use the advantage of defending.
  4. Slowly, slowly start retreating, but keep firing.
  5. The enemy has suffered enough losses. Time to counterattack.
  6. Return to the initial position.
  7. Keep winning some more land.
  8. WIN!
Chilean Army tactics in a nutshell.
 
The problem with Nixon and Kissinger in south America is that unless their pride was tweaked... they really didn't care. Nixon had a soft spot for Brazil, but Kissinger considered the entire continent a side show. That's not to say that there aren't going to be some repercussions, but they are going to be less then you would think. There is also the issue of just where the politicians are going to want to get their military equipment. Alessandri is going to be pushing for an internal supplier, and when he can't get it to shop European. He is in the delicate position of needing the US's money to some extent but not wanting them to have too much influence on his armed forces.

Are you reading my story notes Paradox-less? Because thats how i had them fighting the argentines and then the peruvians during the south american war.
 
Although, part of that war material was actually going to be bought by Chile. Missiles and aircraft, according to Fernando Matthei. Because of the coup, they had to settle with watching Peru buy the material they wanted.

If the defense plans of those days that we got are accurate, Chile considered Peru 'a strong fist with a weak arm' due to their superior logistics. Arica would be a bloody battlefield and the Chilean Army would start to retreat(to force the Peruvians to get further away from their base and supplies) before counterattacking near Iquique.

The SOBs that made the choices always considered Arica to be lost in the first strike and hopefully recovered in a counterattack.

Like in the War of the Pacific, controlling the sea is key. Marching through Tarapacá is complicated. Unless they start with air supply, the Peruvians need Arica and Pisagua taken, in order to be a threat. Pisagua is abandoned, yes, but it's also the middle point between Arica and Iquique and it could open the way for supplies, as well as being a good spot from which to prepare the attack on Iquique.

All this while the Chilean Army needs to rely on the usual tactic of wait for the enemy, make him bleed and then strike at him as hard as possible, push them back, recover the losses, win some more and done!

I'm almost convinced the Army has a little handbook for this, to instruct everyone. Like:

  1. Prepare defenses
  2. Fight(but carefully)
  3. Make them bleed. Use the advantage of defending.
  4. Slowly, slowly start retreating, but keep firing.
  5. The enemy has suffered enough losses. Time to counterattack.
  6. Return to the initial position.
  7. Keep winning some more land.
  8. WIN!
Chilean Army tactics in a nutshell.
I know. The point here its that the effect of Peru becoming an ally to the Soviets from 1970, and starting a mass buying of War Material for a conflict with Chile, will make the Nixon Government RELAX noticeably their limitations to selling. Moreover, while not exactly selling Top of the line stuff, they would be certainly more and more agreeable to boost the Development of a Native Aerial Industry and also improve the Naval and Ground Weaponry Industry.

Otherwise things will go in your line of thinking. However there its a HIGH chance that from late 1972, to the date of Watergate, Nixon, may use the tactic of declare "Obsolete" an appreciable amount of War Material removed from Vietnam, and sell it to Chile by ridiculously low prices in order to boost their capacity to stand to the newest pawn of the USSR. While war wouldn't happen in 1975, that same material would ironically boost the capacity of Chile to counter with smaller numbers the Argentinian attack.

Finally. . .the changes in the country lines more than likely will come from the ancient Chilean Jurisprudence Principle, the same one applied in 1879 when Bolivia pushed things past the breaking point

. . ..Namely that in the instant that Argentina attacks, Chile considers ALL Limit treaties from 1881 as Null and Void and considers all land once conceded to Argentina as Chilean once again. Given how several Chilean Maps considered pretty much the ENTIRE Patagonia as Chilean until 1881.. . nuff said
 
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Oooh. A Beagle Islands War TL. I've been waiting to see one of these for a while. Can't wait to see where you go with it.
 
1.2
Servant to the Fatherland
A Memoir of service
by René Rojas Galdames




When I was asked to serve, it came as a surprise. Whilst I was well known, and respected, in the Chilean diplomatic community I was hardly the first person whose name came to mind when one considered who Don Jorge would choose as his foreign minister. I was a professional, not a politician, as such I expected to execute policy not to be in charge of formulating it. I had of course heard his election promises, but what serious man of substance takes those to be true? They are driven by perception and not by reality. Everyone in government is aware of just how pie in the sky most of even the simplest schemes promised during an election are. An Apolitical cabinet? That sounded more like rhetoric then a serious ambition to me.



Still when I was summoned to Don Jorge’s apartment on the outskirts of Santiago, and asked to serve, I concealed my shock as best I could and then did as I had been asked. It was without a doubt the honor of a lifetime to be recognized like this, as the best in my field. Naturally such an honor came attached with more than a few issues which needed to be resolved. The first challenge facing me was to figure out what our diplomatic position actually was. I knew from my own experience running embassy’s what our local position was like, but I needed an overview desperately. Fortunately Gabriel Valdes was inclined to aid me in my quest and promptly set up a meeting. Or at least that was the way it seemed.



In the end the bad feelings of the election had poisoned most avenues of cooperation between the incoming administration and the Christian Democrats. It was a reverse of when they had come into office, scorning Don Jorge and all of his good works. The lower party members, those without strategic vision and understanding of why they had lost so badly, felt slighted by the return of Don Jorge. They conspired to such a degree that the amicable meeting I had set up with Don Gabriel was put off by his undersecretary, re scheduled, and then canceled without notice.



Fortunately for the country Don Gabriel realized what was occurring and contacted me at my home. Much to my surprise he invited me into his own home and we held our meeting and strategy session there rather than in the ministry of foreign affairs. A major concession on his part, and I must give him accolades for doing so. He demonstrated clearly with this act that he is and was a true servant of the fatherland, putting its needs above his own desires in such a manner. It was a choice forced on us by politics but one I feel has benefited the country as a whole. At his home we were less constrained by the norms and mores of the foreign affairs department and had a full and frank exchange of ideas. Whilst it is not a practice that I implemented during my time as the minister, an informal setting and relaxation of the standard rules and protocols were helpful to our discussion.



The first item on the agenda, as is always the case in our world, was a frank discussion of our position in regard to the two super powers. Even in Latin America, an area that they arduously ignored for the most part, we have to be cognizant of such titans. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was the first to be discussed as it was the easiest. They had firm footholds across our borders to the north in Peru the military dictator Velasco, that benighted lower class thug, was fully involved with the soviet beast. Our own intelligence sources said that he was expected to begin announcing major military purchases from the Soviet Union. Not only that but there were persistent rumors, ones which worried our own security services, that Peruvian intelligence officers were being offered places at the KGB academy in Moscow. A renewed Peruvian diplomatic and military push to regain their lost territory was to be expected, although there was a distinct possibility that we could use the linked nature of the Peruvian thugs and the KGB to make our case to Washington.



Another worry in the north was the ever unstable Bolivia. With her constant coupes and ever shifting regimes the country was a security and diplomatic nightmare, one that we avoided through the simple expedient of not recognizing whatever government of the week came up. Still General Alfredo Ovando Candia did draw our attention in the context of speaking about the Soviet Union. He was reported to have been quite the fan of Che, and was moving his country to a soviet line. Although we did not expect him to last long there was some worry that with soviet military assistance he might launch a foolishly doomed war to retake Bolivia’s access to the sea. Although the possibility of engaging with him was raise, I shot it down, as I did not believe he would last long as president.



Still the Soviets had a rather worrying amount of influence and cooperation on our border. Given the diplomatic maneuvers that I would be called on to execute, especially out pivot to Israel and the Asia’s, I needed to be aware of the foreign pressure that would be brought to bear. After all it would cost the Soviets nothing to try and disrupt our maneuvers through the clever use of their Peruvian and Bolivian puppets, and those states would not need prompting as they already held a deep seated hatred for us Chileans in their hearts. Talks of Latin unity not withstanding it is a sad truth that the success and sustainability of our great state has engendered feelings of inadequacy and jealousy across the southern cone.



Closer to home Don Gabriel gave me the security services estimates of soviet operations on our soil, and that was not a pleasant picture. I had been made aware that Allende’s ties to the left were less then legal, it was a well-known fact in the circles in which we both traveled, but the extent and closeness of his connections to foreign powers was disturbing to read. That one of his daughters were married to known DGI agents and he was responsible for Allendes personal security was an affront to me as a patriotic man of the fatherland. The depth and breadth of the soviet attempts to bring down our democracy through legitimate and illegitimate means staggered me.



Whilst I am well aware that what the soviets were spending in Chile was small beer on the scale that the super powers operate it was enough that they were capable of making major waves for any government. In fact they had consistently outspent the United States in terms of buying direct influence, and were a threat to the Fatherland directly. These factors were to heavily inform my foreign policy decisions, and resulted in my dedicated stance that communism was a disease that was best fought on other people’s land, as if they appeared to be triumphant then we would have to fight them here at home.



On the topic of fights at home Don Gabriel made me aware of the coming storm with ITT. A corporation which believed because they were American they would be protected despite their many and severe violations of election law. I was going to have to smooth over the ruffled feathers in Washington and that would not be an easy task. Despite their vehemently anticommunist stance the Nixon white house, and Kissinger in particular, had no interest in Latin America. He had actually had the temerity to say, directly to Don Gabriel face; “Nothing important can come from the south. The axis of history starts in Moscow, goes to Bonn, crosses over to Washington, and then goes to Tokyo. What happens in the south is of no importance.” A bigoted and foolish comment from an otherwise great statesman.



Despite my fears it turned out we did have a slight in with the administration and at least one Latin friend who could get us an audience. We would not have to tap our British connections in order to be heard, an act that I was loath to use as we would be relying on them so heavily for our naval expansion. For some reason the Brazilian Junta was listened too and respected in Washington. While relations between us were not completely cordial a quid pro que was in existent, and they would be willing to help us out. We would undoubtedly be giving them concessions and political cover in both Paraguay and Uruguay, probably Ecuador as well, but it would be worth it for their voice in the white house.



Even with our ability to coopt the Brazilian voice we would need to develop one of our own if we intended to maintain and grow our relevance on the world stage. Many have questioned Don Jorge’s decision to do just that, pointing to our severe problems at home as a reason to focus on that first and ignore the world, but Don Jorge was convinced that any solutions to our domestic troubles were to be found by looking outward and not inward. As such I was directed to find a way to make us relevant globally.



Vietnam was an obvious choice, the United States was heavily engaged their and she had invited in several smaller pacific nations. I knew we would not be able to make a major contribution, but we could at the very least send some doctors much like what the Philippines had done. There were calls for true military engagement but that was not something we could afford even after we wrangled a small subsidy for our participation in that debacle. Had our borders been clear then we might have been able to send more, but with the restive powers we were faced with it was better to keep our military at home. Still we did end up sending more than I was truly comfortable with in order to achieve our goals, although it did work out in the end. A less obvious but more attractive option for us was the southern horn of Africa.



The Portuguese were engaged in a life or death struggle with the communists in their colonial possessions, and the Cubans had deployed there to disrupt that effort. I felt that we had an opportunity there, and that with the support of the South Africans we could make a real difference, demonstrating to the United States that we were an ally well worth having. Not only that but disrupting the copper production of Zambia was a goal in its own right as that would increase the price of our own copper exports. Rhodesia was a thornier issue, and one that both Don Gabriel and I avoided talking about rather pointedly. I did not know his mind there and after my rather frank comments on Zambia felt that it was best not to offend him.



Fortunately I could turn the conversation to Don Jorge’s aspirations, and how he felt they would be seen on the world stage. That was a rather awkward conversation as Don Gabriel was a traditionalist in the diplomatic sense. He was also a realist and as such saw the nonaligned movement as little more than a tool of the Soviet Union, if we succeeded he warned then we would have just built a competing tool for the United States. Still he did have several useful suggestions for dealing with the Japanese.
 
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Exciting read. It'll be interesting to see how it all turns out.

Small nitpick. The 'Don' is used with first names, not last names. Instead of 'Don Alessandri' and 'Don Valdés', it would be 'Don Jorge' and 'Don Gabriel'.
 
Exciting read. It'll be interesting to see how it all turns out.

Small nitpick. The 'Don' is used with first names, not last names. Instead of 'Don Alessandri' and 'Don Valdés', it would be 'Don Jorge' and 'Don Gabriel'.
Thank you for the correction, I've edited it in, hopefully it reads better now. Glad to hear you're enjoying it.

Well, at least Pinochet won't come to power here, it would seem...
:D I will admit that i've been wrestling with his fate for this tl, part of me wants to let him fade into obscurity as a second rate general, the other part of me wants to have him show his incompetence off to the world. Needless to say thats all pretty far down the road, so i have time.
 
. . .Intially the Nixon Administration will not take as much interest in the Southern Hemisphere Situation.

However, this will last only until they see the Soviets turning full throttle in an unseen scale to the Military support to the Peruvians from an earlier date, and reaching the Billion Dollars mark, and starting to go down the second Billion.

Add, that there is the Cuban Factor. . .Fidel may get for once decided to send people to Bolivia, and ask Peru to join the effort to "stabilize" Bolivia. . .Because in his eyes, to FINISH the job of his friend Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Bolivia would be the "Revolutionary Duty"

At that point, expect Nixon having a part of his OWN Party calling him anything but a Communist, along with pressure of the Mining Corporations who would have been shifting their inversions into Chile, having lost stuff by "Popular Reclamations" and such stuff in Peru and Bolivia.

Nixon, having come out of finally dealing with the Vietnam situation, will likely use, in his "tricky Nicky" style, the route of declaring a generous, if not "Humongous" amount of war material taken from Vietnam as "Obsolete" and sell it to Chile for a mint, in order to quickly reinforce the Chilean Military Strength. It also makes easier to pull this beyond the Senate and the Commissions what authorize War Material selling to other nations. .

About the Carrier idea. . .This page that i found would be IMMENSELY useful, as it describes the fates of ALL American Carriers since WWII, and would give a guideline of WHAT Carrier may be suddenly offered as "surplus" price instead of Decommissioning..https://news.usni.org/2014/08/18/sunk-sold-scraped-saved-fate-americas-aircraft-carriers


Well, at least Pinochet won't come to power here, it would seem...
:D I will admit that i've been wrestling with his fate for this tl, part of me wants to let him fade into obscurity as a second rate general, the other part of me wants to have him show his incompetence off to the world. Needless to say thats all pretty far down the road, so i have time.
Why not have him ironically being killed for the MIR or another Radical Revolutionary Group? With Alessandri having won, and Allende STILL espousing the Civil Route, there are big odds that the defeat in the last election would have made some think that the peaceful route was impossible as there was an "Oligarchy Conspiration to keep the People away from the Rightful Rule of their Nation" or such drivel. They likely aimed for one of the big military shots or some Reunion of the heads of the Armed Forces, failing to hit their wanted targets because of a delay or something, instead hitting middle figures and. . Pinochet. . .
 
I will admit that i've been wrestling with his fate for this tl, part of me wants to let him fade into obscurity as a second rate general, the other part of me wants to have him show his incompetence off to the world. Needless to say thats all pretty far down the road, so i have time.
I like the Synco route. Pinochet helps defeat the coup(although the Esmeralda is destroyed by a Hawker Hunter), becomes a hero, but sort of fades away from prominence, at least until the book starts, then it all goes to shit.
 
The problem with getting an American carrier from the Chilean perspective is that they are more carrier then the Chileans can afford even with me hand waving a bit of the cost. Even an Essex has a larger air group then the Chileans could afford to buy. That's on top of the crewing requirements, the Eagle with her air group included almost requires less manpower then an Essex without the air group (2330 if you include the flag personal which i do as any aircraft carrier is going to be the flagship for the Chilean fleet for the Essex compared to 2500 for the Eagle). On top of the financial and personal issues there is the political problem presented by the southern cone, Peru while hostile was willing to work with the US and the Argentine's were still a force in Washington not to mention that the Brazilians were Nixon's favorite South American country and they would be hesitant about the Chileans getting a full sized carrier for prestige reasons. Given the constraints faced by the Chileans getting the Eagle is a stretch but reasonable, especially without their economy being wrecked by mismanagement and Washington. An Essex not so much...

I also took into account the Chileans procurement preferences. The Chileans have tended to go for European arms whenever possible, especially the navy. Just look at the Admiralte class destroyers, which were bought new from the British at a time when just about everyone and their brother in the southern cone was buying American WWII ships. There is also the Condell class frigates and the Oberon's to consider, they were also bought new from British yards. All of which were procured before the coupe.

That said Nixon and the post Vietnam draw down is going to have an effect on the military build up which leads up to the war but that aid is going to be concentrated on the army. Surplus UH-1's, M60's, and various artillery pieces are going to be coming through that conduit. I had thought about some additional forces for the air force, but i couldn't find a believable reason for that to happen, despite the Air force being the most pro United States service at that time. That said once the Peru-USSR complicity begins to be obvious its going to help the Chileans with their dealings with Washington. Even with that help the Americans are going to need to balance the aid that they give Chile with the aid that they give Brazil and Argentina so as not to completely destabilize the region.
 
The problem with getting an American carrier from the Chilean perspective is that they are more carrier then the Chileans can afford even with me hand waving a bit of the cost. Even an Essex has a larger air group then the Chileans could afford to buy. That's on top of the crewing requirements, the Eagle with her air group included almost requires less manpower then an Essex without the air group (2330 if you include the flag personal which i do as any aircraft carrier is going to be the flagship for the Chilean fleet for the Essex compared to 2500 for the Eagle). On top of the financial and personal issues there is the political problem presented by the southern cone, Peru while hostile was willing to work with the US and the Argentine's were still a force in Washington not to mention that the Brazilians were Nixon's favorite South American country and they would be hesitant about the Chileans getting a full sized carrier for prestige reasons. Given the constraints faced by the Chileans getting the Eagle is a stretch but reasonable, especially without their economy being wrecked by mismanagement and Washington. An Essex not so much...

I also took into account the Chileans procurement preferences. The Chileans have tended to go for European arms whenever possible, especially the navy. Just look at the Admiralte class destroyers, which were bought new from the British at a time when just about everyone and their brother in the southern cone was buying American WWII ships. There is also the Condell class frigates and the Oberon's to consider, they were also bought new from British yards. All of which were procured before the coupe.

That said Nixon and the post Vietnam draw down is going to have an effect on the military build up which leads up to the war but that aid is going to be concentrated on the army. Surplus UH-1's, M60's, and various artillery pieces are going to be coming through that conduit. I had thought about some additional forces for the air force, but i couldn't find a believable reason for that to happen, despite the Air force being the most pro United States service at that time. That said once the Peru-USSR complicity begins to be obvious its going to help the Chileans with their dealings with Washington. Even with that help the Americans are going to need to balance the aid that they give Chile with the aid that they give Brazil and Argentina so as not to completely destabilize the region.
Reasonable points. Nixon may employ then a multiple approach. The Eagle from the Wiki Page, needed an extra refit in order to work with the F-4 Phantom, a more modern Fighter. As the US its going to decommission several Carriers post Vietnam, Nixon may employ the last gasps of life of one these units in order to provide a hand in the form of cheap but high quality Material to the Royal Navy, and enable the British to upgrade the Eagle to operate Phantoms at a lower cost. Nicky more than likely will "Sell" then "used" F-4 to Great Britain, at a cheap price, in order to provide the refitted Eagle with an actualized Wing of Fighters, while the Brits get extra Fighters what they may use to train or reserve.

In this way, you ALSO may have the FACH getting F-4, as with Nixon shifting a healthy proportion of surplus F-4 to British hands, the British, being friends of Chile may "suggest" that they have some "old(read old as you can't smell the new paint)" F-4 what would be sold to the FACH, in order for them to START the training of the new Naval Fighter Wing of the Chilean Navy.

Its BS. Its epically overwhelming BS .. .and its the kind of BS that Nixon would manage to pull with an arm behind his back and Kissinger would approve.

At the same time, for the sake of balance, he may offer to Brasil and Argentina one of the Essex soon to be Decommissioned that won't be used as scrap to pull the upgrade of the Eagle, thus Balance its kept.

About the Army. . .HOO Boy. . .there was a LOT of War material pulled from Vietnam. . .Read this page, and you can guess that the Chilean Army its going to be like a Kid in a Candy Factory with a special sell AFTER Xmas. . . meaning that they will be saying "I want THIS. . THIS. . .and THIS: . . " quite a few times. The Army may get priority, as the Refit for the Eagle would take a bit more of time, and the F-4 would arrive sooner for the Fach, to start training of the new Carrier Wing Pilots. . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weapons_of_the_Vietnam_War
 
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