Five Years Less - Brezhnev dies in 1977

That is not happening, they would rather talk to the US, even the Israelis before the Iranians.
Strangely, in the 1930s the Soviet Union had an envoy, of Muslim Central Asian background (I forget if he abjured the Islamic faith or not) to the Saudi kingdom in the 1930s who got along quite well with the monarchy; I've seen and posted in TLs recently asking WI this guy were not purged by Stalin as OTL.

The point being, the Saudi royals have an interestingly pragmatic take on things sometimes, and I don't think we can rule much of anything out 100 percent. Certainly if Saddam Hussein goes on another rampage southward and the USA can't or won't get him to stop somehow, the rulers will have little choice but to seek what allies they can.

The geography of Saudi oil, I believe, is that Saudi fields too are on Persian Gulf shores or near them, and in terms of sectarianism, the local majority of common Arabs in the oil regions is in fact Shi'ite.

So--Hussein just becomes more threatening if he were to astutely, or under American urging, try to improve relations with and status of Iraqi Shi'ites, it could give the dictator another pretext for expanding his egotistical schemes. In fact, if he can carry off the coup of positioning himself as protector of regional Shi'ites he could actually get forgiveness from the Iranians opposed to Soviet dominated rule--in this TL, the conflict between Iran and Iraq was much shorter, and it is the Soviet backed Tudeh regime that inherits any chips on their shoulders over it, though I daresay even conservative Iranians are somewhat outraged, not to mention the sufferings of former Iranian citizens under Saddam's thumb.

I have overlooked any possible mention of Hussein maneuvering to position himself as Shi'ite champion, and I am not sure he had the right combination of intelligence and character to try to pull it off, but if he can, it is an opportunity for him.

Especially if we take a fairly conventional portrayal of him as simply a monster of ego who seriously was bidding to dominate the region as its autonomous supreme power. Calculating that he can afford to alienate both the Soviets and Uncle Sam might be objectively stupid, but I think maybe he was that kind of stupid, and on paper he could well cherish such ambitions; OTL he clearly did when in a much weaker position. To judge whether he could do such a thing we also need to factor in that "military aid" such as he was so generously given by the Reagan Administration (and that was true, not so much of hardware, but in various other ways, OTL) comes with certain strings attached; accepting such "aid" tends to involve cross-national training at the very least, we'd have Iraqi air force officers at Maxwell AFB Air University and the like, possibly police training at the Academy of the Americas or some such equivalent, and in that process, of Iraqi officers going to America and American officers being detached to Iraq, our security organs had And I suppose still have a way of worming their way into the recipient's chain of command and political circles, feeling out various actors, and this is how a great many coups have happened around the world. When relations get tense with this or that hitherto serviceable strongman, CIA and other agencies tend to know which officers might be amenable to taking bold action, in the service of their national interest of course, for the greater good and expecting gratitude in very concrete and perhaps quite explicitly dickered for (or offered, with yet more strings not so much attached as built in). This does not always work, but it does quite a lot of the time.

So that casts some doubt on whether Hussein could actually get away with attacking Kuwait in the first place; OTL the relationship of the Bush administration with him was much less entwined (sufficiently so I hold the Reagan/Bush gang morally accountable for much of the long bitter Gulf war prior to our more open wars there, but not the degree of Egypt or pre-revolutionary Iranian level of entanglement described here). Certainly with the relationship that close, there is no way the Yankees come off looking good if they try to pretend they were dead against it; perhaps a preemptive coup might have backfired, setting up a major confrontation as Hussein angrily presses on.

Events as described make the Americans look entirely complicit, and so the Saudi rulers must be quite anxious and uncertain. The US can allay their fears perhaps by setting up major bases in Saudi Arabia such that an Iraqi attack would commit us to oppose him, tripwire style, but obviously such a move would be irritating at the least to Hussein.

In fact we have seen that the US response is instead to give the Iraqi dictator yet more arms, I presume all those naval vessels were supplied after he incorporated Kuwait as new provinces. Or anyway they weren't stopped. Prior to the conquest, Iraq could have sort of based them in existing Iraqi ports, now that their expanded access to the Shat-al-Arab is a done deal, but they make the most sense in the context of accepting that Kuwait's former shores and ports are now where Iraq bases them.

The resistance of Saudi leadership to Soviet alliance is not so clear cut to me in these dire circumstances. It is problematic, but so is their situation!

Iran is of course entirely a Soviet asset now, and while pretending to deal with Teheran and not directly with Moscow might have some plausible deniability, it will be a pretty empty charade. The question of how the Saudis view Iran, which I think you are inappropriately carrying over from their relationship with Khomeini and his successors OTL, is completely overshadowed by the deeper question of how committed they are to oppose the USSR. As I noted, religion and Communist atheism was no barrier to at least personal courtesy to an ambassador from the empire of godlessness i the 1930's OTL. Saudi anticommunism is sensible given the nature of their regime, but the royals are quite pragmatic and if the Yankees have turned so hard against them as to leave them naked to Iraqi invasion, the major reasons not to seek a deal with Moscow might lean mainly on the bleak observation that the kingdom is not well protected against general global thermonuclear war--indeed moralistic Wahabis might reason it would do the survivors good to return to the frugal and virtuously poor ways of the old days before oil wealth corrupted the youth, but it is these "corrupted" youth now grown up to be the ruling establishment who are calling the shots here. Just a few bombs from either side, and with the collapse of the global oil market in the wake of such an exchange, the few survivors will find life astringently punitive indeed trying eke out a living where the few oases and so forth are no doubt fallout contaminated and the entire developed industrial/consumer infrastructure built up with oil wealth is glowing ruins.

They are kind of screwed actually. They don't have any better card to play really than trying to get decent assurance from Uncle Sam and cutting an acceptable deal with His Saddamness.

Perhaps the Yankees can divert Saddam into turning to incorporating Syria on his terms? But that puts Iraq right up against the border of Israel!

Really, I would think that the story would have included a preemptive coup, or at least an attempt at one, in Baghdad before the tanks rolled into Kuwait.
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The question above about whether Israel bombed the Tikkrit nuclear works or not is well taken actually. At first blush it seems that the Soviet-centered cascade of divergent events would leave this conflict unbutterflied and so yes, the raid happened, but a lot would hinge on collating the date of the raid OTL (and time windows it could jitter around in in ATLs) with the events to the east in Iran and Gulf. If we have both US and Soviet troops nearly eye to eye in a chaotic shooting mess, Israel might have though twice about that, and if the US special relationship with Iraq starts early enough, the Israelis might resort instead to back-channel lobbying for US influence to shut down the Iraqi nuke works in exchange for various quid pro quos mollifying Hussein.

Say, something as convoluted as this:

1) Israelis lobby US to get Saddam to shut down his nuclear researches;
2) Saddam says in effect to his off the record American envoy,"I will shut it down and let you Yankees inspect it to set the Israelis at ease, if you will sign off on me rectifying the act of British imperialism that was the Kuwait protectorate."
3) Yankees burning up the code lines in sidebar--"OK, we can't actually sign anything but pinky promise, if you move on Kuwait we won't stop you. But see to it you stop right there, no scaring the Saudis or Jordan or, you know, Israel."
4) Saddam says "you know, if Iraq shall not have nukes, we need a bigger conventional force, I mean, the Soviets and their puppet Iranians and Kurd reds are right there! Keep my accounts with the Western arms dealers open and we have a deal, if you'll subsidize me a bit."
5) Yank back channel envoy--"OK."
 
The thing is, I can't really see public opinion in the West accepting the annexation of Kuwait. Though I am from the 80-ties, so maybe with some good PR...
 
Chapter VIII: President Hart, Failed Détente and the East German Protests, 1988-1989.
Update time!

@Shevek23, I edited the chapter based on your critiques and those of others. Among others, I have the popular vote to the Dems along with the electorate vote, since that'd be more likely. I also scrapped Dukakis as Hart's running mate and replaced him with Clinton after reading mention of him as the more likely candidate. That changes the result further, as it gives the Dems Arkansas.


Chapter VIII: President Hart, Failed Détente and the East German Protests, 1988-1989.

November 1988 saw Presidential elections in the United States. The primaries saw several candidates seeking nomination, but ultimately two frontrunners emerged while the rest quit or got marginalized. Either US Senator from Colorado Gary Hart or Governor of Massachusetts Michael Dukakis would be the Democratic nominee. At the Democratic Party Convention in July 1988 in Atlanta, Hart won and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton placed his name in nomination. Though both Michael Dukakis and Jesse Jackson had many votes at the Democratic Convention as the first and second runners up, Hart selected someone who hadn’t even participated to be his running mate: the young, charismatic and popular Clinton. Meanwhile, in the Republican Party it proved impossible for anyone to match the organizational strength and fund raising lead of Vice President George H.W. Bush, so the nomination was his. His campaign, however, received a serious early blow when his best campaigner, Lee Atwater, was killed in a car crash.

During the campaign and in several televised debates Hart fiercely and repeatedly criticized the deficit spending of the Reagan administration. This had more than tripled the national debt of the US and Hart stated that “if this trend continues it will make America seem unreliable to creditors somewhere down the road.” National debt had to remain “manageable” and Hart illuminated what he meant by that by saying national debt ought to stay below 40% of GDP. He denounced the Reagan tax cuts for the richest ten percent of Americans as not only unfair to the middle and working classes but also “based on the belief in a trickle-down effect that any right-thinking person can see doesn’t exist.” He not only planned to reverse them but impose more taxes on the “top ten percent” while reducing taxes on the middle and working classes and raising the minimum wage by 5% to boost purchasing power. As far as spending went, because a lot of Reagan’s spending had gone into defence, Hart said he’d scrap “Star Wars” (as the Strategic Defence Initiative was popularly known) as it was a waste of money since the technologies needed to realize it were decades away. Similarly, he stated the US Armed Forces would rely less on “big shiny toys” and more on smaller, more mobile weapons and equipment. He intended to “normalize” relations with the Soviets by ratifying SALT II over a decade after it’d been signed. His final and frequently repeated criticism was that the previous administration had failed to impress upon its new Middle Eastern partner Iraq that military aggression was totally unacceptable with “the passive statement that the US had no position on inter-Arab conflicts.” Hart said this threw the world back fifty years in geopolitical terms.

Bush riposted by stating America always paid what it owned, referring to the debt, and defended the military spending as necessary to catch up with the Soviet Union in the arms race. He pointed out the growing economy to justify Reaganomics and cautioned against reversing the tax cuts on the rich as it’d make them more reticent to invest in the economy and even make them transfer their wealth abroad. In regards to the attacks on Reagan’s handling of Iraq and Kuwait, Bush said: “Comparing Saddam to Hitler is an exaggeration. Yes, he’s a bastard, but he’s our bastard and he’s keeping the communists from running roughshod through the Middle East, like they already have in Iran.”

Hart responded that the preceding administration had gone way beyond matching Soviet capabilities and that it was justified to moderate defence spending. For as far as there was an arms race to begin with, it existed because the US had started it. He attributed the growing economy to natural economic cycles rather than Reagan’s policies. Hart also disbelieved wealthy Americans and major companies would be unpatriotic by avoiding taxes, but stated he’d close tax loopholes and seek international cooperation on the matter if they did. He maintained his position that the US should have extremely discouraged Iraqi military aggression.

On election day, November 8th 1988, the Democratic Hart/Clinton ticket carried 23 states plus DC, got 285 electoral votes and got 50.1% of the popular vote. The Republican Bush/Quayle ticket carried 27 states, obtained 253 electoral votes and received 47% of the popular vote. Hart appointed an “all-star team Democratic cabinet” that, among others, included Warren Christopher as Secretary of State, Sam Nunn as Secretary of Defence, Miami-Dade State’s Attorney Janet Reno as Attorney General, Jesse Jackson as Secretary of Labour, Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy as Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Tennessee Senator Al Gore as Secretary of Energy. After Hart’s inauguration on January 20th 1989, the new administration began using the majorities won in the House of Representatives and Senate elections to push through its plans: the Reagan tax cuts were reversed, extra taxes were imposed on the ten percent richest Americans, tax loopholes for major companies were closed, taxes on the middle and working class were reduced, the minimum wage was raised by 5%, SDI was scratched and defence spending was reduced from 5.8% of GDP in 1988 to 5.3% in 1992, compared to 4.9% in 1980 (among other things, this meant only USS Iowa was maintained as naval gunfire support on the request of the marines, while her three sister ships were all mothballed again). A first step toward the free universal healthcare Ted Kennedy dreamed of was a health insurance reform – a private health insurance employer mandate and replacement of Medicaid by state-run health insurance plans available to all, with income-based premiums and cost sharing. Officially called the Affordable Healthcare Act, it’s more commonly known as “Hartcare”, after President Gary Hart. The Republicans protested this was an overreach by the federal government and denounced it as “socialist”, but for lack of a majority in both houses of Congress they were impotent (the irony was that Nixon had once proposed the same exact plan).

Part of the reduction of defence spending came from the ratification of SALT II, which took place as a sign of good faith before a meeting in Switzerland between President Hart and Soviet leader Grishin. After Kirilenko had not ratified the treaty because of the failure of the US to do the same in 1979, Grishin now finally ratified it a decade later as well. During the Geneva summit that followed in February 1989 Hart and Grishin discussed the proxy wars that were still ongoing, particularly those in Nicaragua and Afghanistan. Hart said he’d cut off aid to the Contras, which Grishin didn’t know wasn’t a real concession since the new US administration had already intended to do so: faith that the Contras could overthrow the Sandinistas was fast eroding and crack cocaine linked to the CIA-Contra alliance was showing up in US cities. Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega allowed the CIA to use his country as a conduit for aid to the Contras and in return they turned a blind eye to his drug smuggling, a situation the new administration found unacceptable. Grishin, unaware of all of this, was pleasantly surprised.

To resolve the Afghan situation he proposed joint Soviet-US mediation to end the deadly stalemate. Babrak Karmal’s communist regime had taken the advice of the Soviets to reverse or moderate the reforms that offended more traditional elements the most, soaking some moderate elements off the opposition. The north was largely under government control, but the south wasn’t. After a decade of fighting there was no end in sight. Hart agreed to the proposal and moved onto the topic of nuclear disarmament beyond SALT II, to which Grishin responded that that would require a separate summit. They tentatively planned for such a summit to take place in October or November 1989 with no agreement on a location yet. With that the two-day summit ended.

In the following months, however, events unfolded that posed such a threat to Soviet dominance that they had no time to pay attention to the Americans. In May 1989, public outrage erupted in the German Democratic Republic over the faking of local election results and many applied for exit visas or left the country in contravention of GDR law. The impetus for this was that Hungary had gained a strongly reform minded Prime Minister in the form of Miklos Nemeth. Though formally the Austrian-Hungarian border was still closed, the electrified border fence had been removed on the instructions of Nemeth and East Germans arriving in his country could simply walk into Austria. Others who didn’t dare to make the crossing applied for asylum in the West German embassies in Prague and Budapest. Many more stayed and protested, particularly in Leipzig, in what became known as the weekly Monday Demonstrations. The protestors made demands for rights like freedom to travel and later also free elections. About 10.000 people showed up to the first demonstration on October 2nd 1989 and that number had swollen to 300.000 by the end of the month in Leipzig alone and half a million in East Berlin. Moscow could not tolerate this.
 
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Before I even read further I felt I had to ask these questions.

November 1988 saw Presidential elections in the United States. The primaries saw several candidates seeking nomination, but ultimately two frontrunners emerged while the rest quit or got marginalized. Either US Senator from Colorado Gary Hart or Governor of Massachusetts Michael Dukakis would be the Democratic nominee.
So, what happened to Jesse Jackson? OTL he campaigned in '84 and '88, the second time performing quite well, getting more delegates and popular vote than Sanders did in 2016. Why would he sit it out in this ATL?

If anything I think the contrasts with OTL would increase the salience of the issues he pushed. So where's Jesse?

Obviously you've butterflied away Hart's 1984 implosion, but I think the scandal is still there lurking.

On election day, November 8th 1988, the Democratic Hart/Dukakis ticket carried 22 states plus DC, got 279 electoral votes and got 47.8% of the popular vote. The Republican Bush/Quayle ticket carried 28 states, obtained 259 electoral votes and received 48.5% of the popular vote. Despite not getting a majority of the popular vote, Gary Hart was the winner. That made this Presidential election the fourth one in US history in which the winner of the popular vote didn’t get the presidency, which hadn’t happened in one hundred years (this had previously occurred in 1824, 1876 and 1888).
Any specific reason you think this form of flip is likely in ATL-88? This version is weird and exists only in made up far fetched scenarios; more reasonably speaking the way to get more EV in the face of a PV shortfall is to win more states, leveraging the small state edge in voting power.

I think as a general rule, one will find, in counting the EV or counting the ranking of the states, that candidates who get any substantial number of states at all tend to get the same averages, win or lose; it will generally be false one party or the other is leaning primarily on large states or small states in the outcomes.

Before when I've found things highly improbable you've been able to show the data that explain your choices as not so implausible, and I suppose these strange electoral outcomes are the outcome of someone's plausible what iffing a mix of states, I guess. But they are in fact based on giving one candidate an edge in large states and the other being stuck with especially small ones, I expect the mix will be far fetched politically speaking.

Two other points about flipped EV elections in US history:

1) as you note, there were three, all before 1900. Two are significant in that the modern practice of popular votes in states determining each state's EV held in 1876 and in 1888 for all but a handful of states, and therefore the flip was meaningful, and in both of those cases, it was known to be the outcome of fraud--specifically the state of Oregon saw results blatantly falsified in 1876, and in 1888 very blatant manipulations of the counting process in Indiana and New York states plainly stole the outcome. That these were stolen elections, not just accidental flips, is beyond dispute; it was notorious at the time.

2) In 1824 on the other hand, not all states had adopted assignment of electors to party slates pledged to support this or that candidate as their method of allocating EV and the popular vote was a far less meaningful concept. It is not clear to me how much Andrew Jackson personally drove the movement for nearly all states to adopt assigning the electors as total slates pledged to a particular candidate by statewide popular vote plurality, and to what degree that was happening anyway due to a widespread developing consensus that that was the best way for the people of a state to weigh in on the question of who would become President; either way it became the norm in the 1830s and has remained so, with some exceptions, since.

Quite significantly, while as of 1988 OTL two flipped outcomes had happened, in no case did any race wind up being decided in the House of Representatives as in the 1824 election; this more than an outcome debatably deviating from an extrapolated popular vote is the most notable thing about 1824.

So you avoided that, but do you have a map of Hart's PV flipping EV victory, that apparently depended on the Democrats winning fewer but larger states?

It does happen that the EV winner carries fewer states, but only with the benefit of more popular vote overall, and it seems to be very rare.
 
Before I even read further I felt I had to ask these questions.



So, what happened to Jesse Jackson? OTL he campaigned in '84 and '88, the second time performing quite well, getting more delegates and popular vote than Sanders did in 2016. Why would he sit it out in this ATL?

If anything I think the contrasts with OTL would increase the salience of the issues he pushed. So where's Jesse? Which of his issues do you think would have been more pressing ITTL compared to OTL?

Obviously you've butterflied away Hart's 1984 implosion, but I think the scandal is still there lurking.
Perhaps I should've mentioned him as the second runner up, or do you think he'd solidly beat Dukakis and end up on the ticket as Hart's running mate?

Any specific reason you think this form of flip is likely in ATL-88? This version is weird and exists only in made up far fetched scenarios; more reasonably speaking the way to get more EV in the face of a PV shortfall is to win more states, leveraging the small state edge in voting power.
What I did was to flip the 'close states' that only went Republican by a small margin IOTL in 1988, adding them to the states the Democrats historically won. That seemed more logical than flipping solidly Republican states. Oh, and the Democrats didn't win fewer states like you say: they won 22 plus DC compared to 10+DC IOTL.
 
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Perhaps I should've mentioned him as the second runner up, or do you think he'd solidly beat Dukakis and end up on the ticket as Hart's running mate?
That's what a Jackson campaigner in the TL will want, but that's not what I expect the party or Hart to do.
What I did was to flip the 'close states' that only went Republican by a small margin IOTL in 1988, adding them to the states the Democrats historically won. That seemed more logical than flipping solidly Republican states.
That makes excellent sense as far as it goes--I think though that if you were to flip the PV in all states, including those Dukakis won solidly OTL and those Bush wins ITTL, by comparable percentages to what it takes to flip just those necessary states, then as usual when no plainly illegal or outrageously immoral (and questionably legal) shenanigans are involved, we'd find the popular vote on Hart's side.
Oh, and the Democrats didn't win fewer states like you say: they won 22 plus DC compared to 10+DC IOTL.
I must have been unclear then--of course not fewer states than OTL, rather, I'm saying whoever gets more PV always (not because a rule requires it but because this is the way it sensibly works in likely cases) gets more EV than the other guy, unless the other guy is backed by lots of crooks, and typically this involves the PV & EV winner also winning more states.

I did observe some instances where the PV & EV winner won fewer states, but as noted--only when they had a larger popular vote nationwide did we get "fewer big states beating more numerous smaller ones." Whereas Bush Jr's and Trump's victories, along with Hayes in 1876 and Harrison in 1888, all involved a greater number of states officially recorded as casting EV for the official victor, despite the smaller PV.

You reported Hart winning with 22 states and DC versus 28 states for Bush, which is not without precedent, but also with fewer PV. That is technically possible, but in view of your explanation of a shift, how would it happen only in those states that are key to Hart's victory, without also happening across the nation in other states too? Such a shift would probably amount to more than enough to tip the PV as well as EV balance to Hart.
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Looking at Wikipedia's page on the election, at the chart of votes state by state, ranking it by 2-party margin of victory, the 12 states went for Bush OTL by margins ranging from 2.08 percent to 7.9. If we apply an 8 percent shift uniformly across the entire nation, these states will flip and give Hart 289 EV. But such a flip involves 8 percent of the combined Republican and Democratic votes cast; the national margin is 7.73--so, a uniform flip which can flip Michigan, the last state Hart needs, is slightly more than enough to flip the national PV plurality as well. Hart still only would have 22 states--but more EV would be justified by the greater population voting for him.

Now you can of course argue that the vital 12 states alone underwent a shift. But I think any factors which could do that there would be at work in all states.
 
OK. I enjoyed reading through the timleine, but I'm puzzled by some things here.

1) I'm not quite clear on just what it is that causes Khomeini and the RG's to switch to an attack on the Soviets instead of the Americans - especially in light of the fact that the Soviets have a more modest military profile in Afghanistan (thus, killing fewer Muslims, be they apostates or not) in this timeline.
2) Surprised to see the Soviet Fourth Army take a full month to take Tabriz. The Iranians would have put up a good fight, but its hard to see them holding them off for anything like this long.
3) Given Carter's antipathy to Pahlavi, it's strange to see him allowing him to return to the country in the baggage train of the U.S. Army.
4) I can see a mutual climbdown over Iran to prevent everything going nuclear, but it's hard to see Carter agreeing to a withdrawal that puts a Soviet-backed communist regime in control of all the southern ports the U.S. just steamrolled. It's too big a concession from the man behind the Carter Doctrine; and there's an election coming. I think, more to the point, that whole development needs to be expanded on a good deal. I think the odds favor a much messier long-term resolution of an Iran Crisis like this, almost certainly involving a longer-term presence of U.S. troops.
5) How exactly does Mondale do a full seven points better in this ATL? Is the U.S. economy that much worse? If so, why? I think you need something like recession-conditions to make that kind of dent in the Gipper's vote totals, given just how big the charisma deficit there was between the two and the horrible advertising and ground campaign Fritz had OTL.
6) Try as I might, electoral map calculators I can't replicate the 1988 election results you have. I can't come up with a plausible 279 electoral vote total using likely "winnable" states for a Democratic ticket in 1988, let alone one that loses the popular vote. (I do grant that a Hart-Clinton ticket is more electable than Dukakis, at least so long as neither man's sexual piccadilloes come to light.)

I also strongly tend to think that Kirilenko would lose little time in putting Andropov out to pasture.
 
First I aside that it's a very interesting TL I think that seems a bit underestimate the intensity of religious and nationalist resistance, even after the Khomeini execution and the fall of Tehran to the new regime Soviet aligned, that would be put in the Iran's d rural countryside against all the foreigners.
Resistance that, IMO, given the particular orography of Iran and as it's new government intended to progressively socialized the country, would be to expect that could arisen constantly many local rebellions that would be needed to be put down only, I guess, to resurface later in another region.
Also, aside of the foreseeable harsh repression and for the new regime necessary political and economic reforms enforced not only against the 'Mullas' class political power but if are nationalized/collectivized all or near the lands, then would be against all the traditional rural economic structure, that would be needed to be done and keep through the Army...

I would expect that once the Iran Communist Regime would be enough consolidated, to probably would take a more proactive stance in foreign affairs e. g. to has bigger interest, both ideological and strategic, in show socialist solidarity 'helping' the, until now only Soviet backed, Afghanistan's Socialist government to recover control over all the country... Of course this could lead to conflict with Pakistan but specially to cause the possible Chinese worries o increase given the permanent presence from Soviet backed Socialists republics in her far western border plus (at least in OTL) the border tensions and disputes with the India...

About the Middle East I think that given that OTL, conflicts and that the big powers' power game was altered with, far-reaching consequences, and especially with Saddam's Iraq becoming in the Regional dominant Power would have for Syria, Israel, and especially for the Lebanon... Because I'm assuming that even if the first Israeli invasion to the Lebanon still could have happened though given the, mentioned, American intervention there, I would think that the second in the '82 would be butterflied away...

Now that in this scenario besides of the Saudi kingdom the Syrian would be the more dangerous and for more worryingly for Assad that, from his perspective, Syria, would be surrounded by enemies and should probably to feel obliged to follow a very careful foreign politics while trying to not lost the Soviet support while attempting to not antagonizing and/or fought with the Americans or even with the main american allies in the region Turkey and Israel.
 
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What I did was to flip the 'close states' that only went Republican by a small margin IOTL in 1988, adding them to the states the Democrats historically won. That seemed more logical than flipping solidly Republican states. Oh, and the Democrats didn't win fewer states like you say: they won 22 plus DC compared to 10+DC IOTL.
Sorry, I didn't see this. Now I see how you got 279 votes.

But this still seems like a strange and unlikely result to me, partly for reasons Shevek is getting at. You're hacking down Bush's popular vote total by 4.9%; but you're swinging states with anywhere from 5.11% to 7.9% to Hart. Now, political tides do not hit all shores equally; but there needs to be some reason(s) why a candidate so dramatically overperforms in given ones like this, especially given how we know Bush historically did in them.

At any rate, it also doesn't take into account the specific geographic appeal of a Hart-Clinton ticket over a Dukakis one. Hart certainly had a good chance of taking Colorado, but Clinton probably puts Arkanas into play. On the other hand, Hart in OTL 1984 struggled badly in the Rustbelt state primaries, overwhelmed not only by Mondale's superior fundraising and organizational prowess, but also by Hart's struggle to appeal to blue collar demographics. For somewhat different reasons, it's also hard to see him overperforming in New England states that even Dukakis lost, like Connecticut and Vermont. (He would certainly do better in Mountain and Far West states, though.)

That said, I've always thought that Hart was going to struggle to avoid the spotlight on his problematic personal life the farther he advanced into the campaign. Once you're a primary frontrunner, you're in a petrie dish. A messy personal life doesn't matter nearly so much now, but in 1988, it definitely did, and this would be especially true in more socially conservative Midwestern states (to say nothing of the South, not that Hart had any real chance to make inroads there anyway).

This is not to say you can't yank the presidency away from Bush Senior. But I think it takes a different scenario to get you there. Hit with the oil shock in 1988, perhaps, and then get Lee Atwater killed in a car accident that winter. But then, what you would get would be a popular vote win for Hart, assuming he hasn't imploded from personal land mines by that point.
 
OK. I enjoyed reading through the timleine, but I'm puzzled by some things here.

1) I'm not quite clear on just what it is that causes Khomeini and the RG's to switch to an attack on the Soviets instead of the Americans - especially in light of the fact that the Soviets have a more modest military profile in Afghanistan (thus, killing fewer Muslims, be they apostates or not) in this timeline.
It's was a choice that could have gone either way IIRC. There were hostage takers who wanted to go after the Soviets. You could argue they'd have less reason ITTL, but there's butterflies to take into account.

Wikipedia said:
Asgharzadeh later said there were five students at the first meeting, two of whom wanted to target the Soviet Embassy because the USSR was "a Marxist and anti-God regime". Two others, Mohsen Mirdamadi and Habibolah Bitaraf, supported Asgharzadeh's chosen target: the United States.
Flip one vote and you're there. Link

2) Surprised to see the Soviet Fourth Army take a full month to take Tabriz. The Iranians would have put up a good fight, but its hard to see them holding them off for anything like this long.
Well, it's tough terrain with not so great infrastructure.

3) Given Carter's antipathy to Pahlavi, it's strange to see him allowing him to return to the country in the baggage train of the U.S. Army.
Did that antipathy extend to the man's son? It's him who goes there.

4) I can see a mutual climbdown over Iran to prevent everything going nuclear, but it's hard to see Carter agreeing to a withdrawal that puts a Soviet-backed communist regime in control of all the southern ports the U.S. just steamrolled. It's too big a concession from the man behind the Carter Doctrine; and there's an election coming. I think, more to the point, that whole development needs to be expanded on a good deal. I think the odds favor a much messier long-term resolution of an Iran Crisis like this, almost certainly involving a longer-term presence of U.S. troops.
So soon after 'Nam?

5) How exactly does Mondale do a full seven points better in this ATL? Is the U.S. economy that much worse? If so, why? I think you need something like recession-conditions to make that kind of dent in the Gipper's vote totals, given just how big the charisma deficit there was between the two and the horrible advertising and ground campaign Fritz had OTL.
I believe I pointed out how the economy was shakier during Reagan's first term compared to OTL.

I also strongly tend to think that Kirilenko would lose little time in putting Andropov out to pasture.
Won't be seeing him in power, indeed.

First I aside that it's a very interesting TL I think that seems a bit underestimate the intensity of religious and nationalist resistance, even after the Khomeini execution and the fall of Tehran to the new regime Soviet aligned, that would be put in the Iran's d rural countryside against all the foreigners.
Resistance that, IMO, given the particular orography of Iran and as it's new government intended to progressively socialized the country, would be to expect that could arisen constantly many local rebellions that would be needed to be put down only, I guess, to resurface later in another region.
Also, aside of the foreseeable harsh repression and for the new regime necessary political and economic reforms enforced not only against the 'Mullas' class political power but if are nationalized/collectivized all or near the lands, then would be against all the traditional rural economic structure, that would be needed to be done and keep through the Army...

I would expect that once the Iran Communist Regime would be enough consolidated, to probably would take a more proactive stance in foreign affairs e. g. to has bigger interest, both ideological and strategic, in show socialist solidarity 'helping' the, until now only Soviet backed, Afghanistan's Socialist government to recover control over all the country... Of course this could lead to conflict with Pakistan but specially to cause the possible Chinese worries o increase given the permanent presence from Soviet backed Socialists republics in her far western border plus (at least in OTL) the border tensions and disputes with the India...

About the Middle East I think that given that OTL, conflicts and that the big powers' power game was altered with, far-reaching consequences, and especially with Saddam's Iraq becoming in the Regional dominant Power would have for Syria, Israel, and especially for the Lebanon... Because I'm assuming that even if the first Israeli invasion to the Lebanon still could have happened though given the, mentioned, American intervention there, I would think that the second in the '82 would be butterflied away...

Now that in this scenario besides of the Saudi kingdom the Syrian would be the more dangerous and for more worryingly for Assad that, from his perspective, Syria, would be surrounded by enemies and should probably to feel obliged to follow a very careful foreign politics while trying to not lost the Soviet support while attempting to not antagonizing and/or fought with the Americans or even with the main american allies in the region Turkey and Israel.
Suffice to say, the Middle East will receive plenty of attention once we arrive in the 21st century and a certain Iraqi dictator starts getting a bit demented ;). I'll try to provide plenty of information on the events since the 80s.
 
Flip one vote and you're there. Link
Interesting. OK, I'm game.

Well, it's tough terrain with not so great infrastructure.
To some degree, sure. But it's just 115km on the all weather road (Hwy 32) from the Armenian SSR border to the outskirts of Tabriz, which is not all *that* far. And from what I have seen of Soviet plans for Iranian intervention, they were also considering liberal use of airdrops and insertions to speed the penetrations - the passes around Marand, for example. And the Soviets were not too shabby at mountain warfare.

I really think they'd be in Tabriz within a week. That said, I would not envy their logistics officers.

Did that antipathy extend to the man's son? It's him who goes there.
Carter's policy really emphasized human rights, and it seemed pretty clear that the objections he had were to the entire regime, not just the incumbent.

Based on his interactions with domestic political elements in 1977-79, I really do think his favors would be bestowed on Mehdi Bazargan, the closest thing there was to a popular frontman for constitutional democracy in Iran. He ferociously oppposed Khomeini and the embassy takeover, and survived at least one assassination attempt. Carter and Brzezinski both seem to have taken a shine to Bazargan. The real question then would be how cooperative Bazargan would be - how much independencehe would insist upon from any U.S. force.

So soon after 'Nam?
Hard to see how they have any alternative - and hard to reconcile surrendering that big foothold to a Soviet backed communist regime in light of the Carter Doctrine, something he really seems to havefelt strongly about. I mean, he might as well just gift the presidency to Reagan right then and there.

Personally I loathe Carter, one of our least effective presidents. But I think even he has a red line he can't really cross here.

I believe I pointed out how the economy was shakier during Reagan's first term compared to OTL.
Ah, maybe I missed that.

Well, it would have to be pretty bad to get Mondale those numbers, but - I'll play.
 
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A few questions:
  • The PoD is in the middle of the Ogaden War. Did the Ogaden War go as OTL?
  • What's the situation in Southeast Asia? Has Vietnam deposed the Pol Pot regime, and did China try to invade Vietnam in retaliation?
  • How does Hafez al-Assad feel about the recent developments in the Middle East, particularly the expansion of his hated rival Saddam Hussein's domain and his alignment with the United States? Is he moving even closer to the USSR in response? With the new Iranian regime granting more rights to Kurds, has he done the same, ignored it, or cracked down on the Kurds?
 
A few questions:
  • The PoD is in the middle of the Ogaden War. Did the Ogaden War go as OTL?
  • What's the situation in Southeast Asia? Has Vietnam deposed the Pol Pot regime, and did China try to invade Vietnam in retaliation?
  • How does Hafez al-Assad feel about the recent developments in the Middle East, particularly the expansion of his hated rival Saddam Hussein's domain and his alignment with the United States? Is he moving even closer to the USSR in response? With the new Iranian regime granting more rights to Kurds, has he done the same, ignored it, or cracked down on the Kurds?
The first two are affirmative. The Middle East will be covered in future updates ;).
 
I edited chapters 4, 5 and 6 to reflect your comments. Hope it's enough. I really don't want to do major rewrites.
Eagerly looking forward to reading through them this weekend.

I wasn't really expecting anything major, and obviously you're not under any obligation to rewrite anything. You're one of the very best timeline writers around here, Willie.
 
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Chapter IX: The Eastern Bloc Crisis and the Red Army Faction Offensive, 1989-1990.
One more before New Year's ;).


Chapter IX: The Eastern Bloc Crisis and the Red Army Faction Offensive, 1989-1990.

Grishin heatedly argued with Nemeth over the phone, arguing that Hungary should close ranks with the rest of the Warsaw Pact. In order to do that they had to close the border and send back the East German refugees, but Nemeth argued it wasn’t Hungary’s business if East German citizens wanted to leave their country. Meanwhile, Czechoslovakia had been told to close its border with West Germany and Prague obeyed for fear of a repeat of 1968. Nemeth, on the other hand, foolishly put his foot down and threatened an invasion like the one in 1956 would be met by military resistance. In a move that annoyed Moscow Nemeth began a procedure to politically rehabilitate Imre Nagy (he’d been elevated to Prime Minister during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and carried out sweeping reforms that included withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact unilaterally, but was executed in 1958).

The Soviet Southern Group of Forces stationed in Hungary consisted of the 13th Guards Tank ‘Poltava’ Division, the 19th Guards Tank ‘Nikolayevsk-Budapest’ Division, the 93rd Guards Motor Rifle ‘Kharkov’ Division, the 254th ‘Cherkassy’ Motor Rifle Division and finally the 36th Air Army. With many more smaller, supporting units the Southern Group of Forces numbered 200.000 men. Hungary had neglected its own army since 1956 to finance “feel-good” socialist measures to make the country “the happiest barrack in the socialist camp.” The Ground Forces of the Hungarian People’s Army were composed of the 5th Hungarian Army with three motor rifle divisions and one tank division and the 3rd Army Corps with another two motor rifle divisions; the air force consisted of one air-defence artillery brigade and two air defence divisions with three fighter regiments and two air-defence artillery regiments between them. Training for Hungarian conscripts was poor and most draftees were used as a free labour force after a few weeks of basic training (mostly for railway track construction and agricultural work) and many men tried to dodge the draft with bogus medical reasons. The mount of modern equipment was also limited. Most units used old equipment. While on paper the Hungarian People’s Army may have been numerically equal to the Southern Group of Forces, reality was another matter.

On Monday October 30th 1989 Soviet commander Colonel General Matvei Burlakov was instructed by Moscow to seize control of key infrastructural, economic, military and political targets in the north of the country: road and railway bridges crossing rivers, railway shunting yards, river ports, airfields, TV stations, telephone switch boards, radar stations, military bases and of course the capital of Budapest. After this opening phase, an additional 150.000 troops invaded from the north, composed of 75.000 Soviet troops and another 75.000 from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria.

Nemeth managed to get out a radio broadcast ordering the army to resist. The 11th Tank Division at Tata held up opposing Soviet units for 48 hours and the 4th Hungarian Motor Rifle Division held its ground for slightly more than 24 hours. Many other military units were confused because General Secretary Károly Grósz countermanded Nemeth’s orders. As a result, some units resisted Warsaw Pact forces as they entered the country, and there were dozens of skirmishes. Many more Hungarian units, however, remained in their barracks and stood by idly. Countless conscripts discarded their weapons and uniforms and hoped they could disappear into anonymity. Some of the deserters joined the revolutionaries.

In the meantime, there was some significant civilian resistance as well in Budapest with people throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks or firing their privately owned hunting rifles and pellet guns at Soviet columns from the taller apartment buildings, joined by some police officers with their service weapons. Busses were used to create blockades against the Soviet tanks and soldiers; these positions were manned by armed civilians and whatever policemen and soldiers sided with them. In the rest of the country people did not follow Budapest’s example and mostly just watched as foreign troops marched in, facilitating them with their passivity.

Warsaw Pact forces subsequently advanced south along the Tisza River and split the country in two effortlessly, after which the invading forces fanned out and occupied the remainder of the country. Losses to the invaders amounted to three hundred fatalities. The revolutionaries, composed of defected soldiers and defiant civilians, suffered 1.000 dead and 4.500 wounded according to official reports. Some unofficial reports say it may have been ten times that. Anyway, the crushing of the Second Hungarian Revolution was a fait accompli.

On Wednesday November 2nd, 72 hours into the operation, Grósz announced martial law and a nationwide curfew in a twenty minute television and radio broadcast that took place at 06:00 AM and was repeated over and over the next 24 hours instead of the regular broadcasts. During the same announcement Grósz explained that he would return as Prime Minister because Nemeth had resigned for “health reasons.” Briefly Nemeth was thought to have been killed, but he appeared on TV a week later. He looked pale and he’d lost at least a couple of pounds, probably as a result of being tortured during interrogation. There were rumours of polonium poisoning by the KGB, but these have never been substantiated. He was subsequently appointed Ambassador to the Netherlands in the hope he’d defect to the West, which he did. Less than a month into his ambassadorship he requested political asylum from the Dutch government out of fear the KGB intended to assassinate him (which allowed the Soviets and Hungary to denounce him as a traitor). With that, the last loose end in Hungary had been tied up.

Contrary to expectations that the East German protests would dwindle once the escape route through Hungary was cut off, they didn’t and instead swelled further. After vacillating for lack of a response from Moscow, distracted as it was with its Hungarian intervention, East German leader Erich Honecker had done nothing. When Grishin saw that the protests in the German Democratic Republic continued, he issued a statement on November 7th that said “the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany will support the legitimate government of the German Democratic Republic against the fascist uprising caused by agents-provocateurs, if asked to do so.” Honecker understood he’d gotten the greenlight for a crackdown: the National People’s Army deployed soldiers with assault rifles and tanks who opened fire when the protestors refused to disperse, leading to 2.500 dead and tens of thousands wounded according to unofficial sources. The official figures are one tenth of that. The Stasi carried out tens of thousands of arrests. Most broke during interrogation and told their interrogators what they knew and were released on the condition that they joined the vast network of Stasi informants. Over one thousand people were given prison sentences and a few dozen received the death penalty, being executed by firing squad. In only one week order had been restored and life in East Germany continued almost as if nothing had happened.

The ’89 Eastern Bloc Crisis wasn’t over yet. It hit one more country: Romania. Its leader Nicolae Ceausescu had seen a brief surge in popularity because of his condemnation of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. In the following years, however, Romania became totalitarian with the Securitate seeing to mass surveillance, suppression and control of the media and the press, and repression through severe human rights violations; the methods implemented were among the world’s harshest, most restrictive and brutal.

Nonetheless dissatisfaction mounted over the economy as a result of poor decisions made in the 1970s. As an oil producer Romania benefited from high oil prices in the 70s and 80s and the profit of the windfall was spent on aid to the Third World in an attempt to buy international influence. Ceausescu borrowed heavily from Western banks to build oil-refining plants for not just its own oil, but that from Middle Eastern countries as well, to sell the oil at a profit on the Rotterdam spot market in the Netherlands. Ceausescu assumed that by the time the loans came due, the profits from the sales of the refined oil would be more than sufficient to pay off the loans. The low productivity of Romanian workers and the 1977 earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale made sure the oil-refining plants weren’t finished until the early 80s.

The oil-refining plants turned a profit for a year or two, but by 1982-’83 oil prices had normalized and they started to cost more money to operate than the money they made from refined oil. Skyrocketing debts resulted and Ceausescu began exporting much of the country’s industrial and agricultural production to repay said debt. Shortages resulted that led to a drastic lowering in living standards and heavy rationing of food, water, oil, heat, electricity and medicine. Power cuts were unannounced, hot water was restricted to one day per week, street lighting was reduced to the bare minimum, gasoline rations were limited to 30 litres a month for private car owners, regional radio stations were shut down, TV broadcasting was limited to 2-3 hours a day, and babies died in neonatal intensive care units as a result of power cuts to incubators. By 1989, bread, milk, sugar, meat and cooking oil were all rationed.

In November 1989, the 14th Congress of the Romanian Communist Party re-elected the 71 year-old Ceausescu. Protests erupted in Timisoara over government-sponsored attempts to evict an ethnic Hungarian pastor and Ceausescu left his subordinates to deal with it, departing for a state visit to Iran on December 18th. Romanian students joined the protests, which evolved to more general anti-government demonstrations. Ceausescu was back by December 20th and gave a televised speech in the Central Committee Building in which he called the events “interference of foreign forces in Romania’s internal affairs” and “external aggression on Romania’s sovereignty.”

Ceausescu staged a mass meeting to emulate his 1968 speech the next day and addressed the crowd on Revolution Square, extolling the achievements of the “Socialist revolution” and Romania’s “multilaterally developed Socialist society” and then proceeding to denounce the protestors in Timisoara as “fascist agitators who want to destroy Socialism.” He’d misjudged the crowd’s mood and the people began booing and jeering eight minutes into his speech. This was unprecedented and the look on Ceausescu’s face was telling. Failing to control the crowd, Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu withdrew into the building that housed the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party. Rioters confronted the police and the military at the barricades, but they were no match for them and the streets had been cleared by midnight. The open revolt against the regime, however, spread to all the other major cities the next day.

Soviet leader Grishin ordered the partial mobilization of forces in the Carpathian Military District and the Odessa Military District, which bordered Romania to the north and east respectively. Meanwhile, the Black Sea Fleet carried out major military exercises. Bulgaria mobilized two armoured divisions in support. Other Warsaw Pact forces also readied themselves for the event that Moscow would call upon them. The plan was to intervene if necessary, but this also served to send a signal to the West that the Kremlin wouldn’t allow them to “flip” Romania and threaten the cohesion of the Eastern Bloc. The KGB was aware of attempts by Western intelligence agencies, the CIA in particular, to smuggle aid to the rebels into Romania through Yugoslavia and Turkey.

Ceausescu witnessed this and it was clear to him but also the rest of the regime that they had to get the situation under control quickly to avoid Soviet intervention. The regime would lose whatever little legitimacy it still had if it had to be rescued up by its Soviet ally. Martial law was declared and Minister of National Defence General Colonel Vasile Milea ordered the military to use lethal force against the protestors, resulting in battles in several major cities as the rebels resisted with privately owned old hunting rifles, rocks and other projectiles, sidearms and vehicles captured from the military and the police, improvised weapons like Molotov cocktails, and barricades made from rubble and abandoned vehicles. Lightly armed and disorganized protestors stood little chance against men with tanks, helicopter gunships and assault rifles and thousands were killed in fairly one-sided battles. In Timisoara, Sibiu and Brasov, however, rebel forces seized control because some military units defected to their side. Romanian air force jets bombed these cities into submission with heavy duty ordinance. The Romanian Revolution that begun on December 16th was over by January 10th 1990. By then five thousand people had died, tens of thousands had been injured and 100.000 people had been arrested by the Securitate, many of whom were tortured, executed or sentenced to lengthy prison sentences or forced labour. That was the end of the Eastern Bloc Crisis.

These events forced President Gary Hart to put his plans for détente on hold indefinitely. He strongly condemned the brutality of the East German and Romanian regimes towards their own people and the Soviet failure to do anything about it, or even supporting it. During a special visit to West Berlin for the occasion he made a speech that was witnessed by 50.000 West Berliners protesting near the Berlin Wall against the East German regime: “Behind this wall people are suffering and dying for simple liberties like the right to travel freely to wherever they want to go, to demand that the government learns of their wants and needs, to be allowed to speak their mind when they disagree with government policies and to determine their own future instead of the state choosing it for them. […] Mr. Grishin, let these people choose their own future and bring down this wall!” This speech was broadcast on TV across the Western world. Grishin replied by stating “the German Democratic Republic has the right to defend itself against an insurgency clearly caused by agents-provocateurs.” Who had sent these agents was left implied.

Hart also pointed out and castigated serious incidents of Soviet cruelty in their massive intervention in Hungary as well as labelling it an infringement of Hungary’s sovereignty and the right of its people to self-determination. Moscow retorted that they were supporting a legitimate government rather than annexing a sovereign country, as Washington DC had allowed Iraq to do. That kind of “whataboutism” was to be expected. Nonetheless, the US government and its Western European allies imposed travel restrictions on high-ranking officers of the Stasi, KGB and Securitate as well as several key military figures and politicians from Warsaw Pact states whilst freezing their bank accounts and other assets in the West.

West Germany went further by no longer extending credit to East Germany and the USSR, withdrawing its diplomatic representation from the GDR and declaring the diplomatic representation of the latter in Bonn persona non grata. They had good reason: the Red Army Faction’s activities had increased. The Red Army Faction was a far-left militant organization identifying as Marxist-Leninist that traced its origins to the student protests of the late sixties and issues like youth identity, anti-racism, feminism, anti-imperialism, anti-Zionism and anti-authoritarianism, pointing out how (actual and supposed) ex-Nazis were in positions of power, whilst the communist KPD had been banned, and rejecting the conservative media as biased. The Red Army Faction, also known as the Baader-Meinhof Group, had been most active in the 70s and early 80s with two to three attacks a year, but none had taken place since October 1986.

On Thursday November 30th 1989, the chairman of the Deutsche Bank Alfred Herrhausen was killed in a bombing of the car carrying him. As a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group, the far-left saw him as a stooge of Western capitalism. The attack was claimed by the Red Army Faction and they had had the support of the Stasi, which had developed the rather sophisticated bombing method used in the attack. On Tuesday December 5th 1989, a sniper attack targeting the US embassy in Bonn took place that damaged several windowpanes and parked cars, wounded three staff members and severed the spine of Ambassador Vernon A. Walters (the shots were fired from a distance of 500 metres). He survived, but was left paralyzed from the waist down and remained wheelchair bound until his death in 2002 aged 85. The discovery of shell casings of 7.62x54 mmR (R for rimmed) cartridges told investigators a Soviet-made Dragunov sniper rifle had most likely been used, but this evidence for Soviet involvement was only circumstantial.

On Monday January 15th 1990, a third Faction attack in short time targeted Rhein-Main Air Base with an improvised mortar similar to the ones used by the IRA. Seven people were injured and there was some property damage. No one was killed. Contrary to previous attacks, the culprits were caught: Birgit Hogefeld (1956) and Eva Haule (1954) were sentenced to twelve years in prison in 1991. A more low-key style of attacks followed with the RAF kidnapping businessmen and bankers or their wives and/or children to extort “capitalists” into “funding the revolution” (none were killed as the ransom was always paid). A secondary tactic was the use of robbing banks and security vans, in one case using an RPG. A penultimate attack took place in May 1990 consisting of the bombing of a prison in a failed attempt to liberate Hogefeld and Haule. The final attack of the 1989-’90 “campaign” was one of the earliest examples of bioterrorism: a letter containing anthrax spores was sent to the office of the German Chancellor, leading to two deaths.

The targeting of a US air force base in Germany, connections with the IRA and the Abu Nidal Organization, and the RAF’s activities in Germany prompted the formation of an international task force involving the CIA, MI6, MI5, Mossad and the BND (West German intelligence). This forced the Red Army Faction to cease its attacks altogether and lay low. For two years after June 1990 no more attacks took place. They became all the more active on the emerging internet, spreading their Marxist-Leninist, anti-establishment, anti-Zionist revolutionary message through a relatively new type of medium known as an internet forum.
 
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sodan

Donor
The targeting of a US air force base in Germany, connections with the IRA and the Abu Nidal Organization, and the RAF’s activities in Germany prompted the formation of an international task force involving the CIA, MI6, MI5, Mossad and the BND (West German intelligence).

is there a reason why France does not participate ?
 
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