Images from Bush vs. The Axis of Evil


Soldiers from the Philippine Army arrive in Busan, South Korea. They were transported using the PAF's only pair of C-130 aircraft while the rest followed suit using chartered Philippine Airlines passenger planes, airlift provided by the U.S. military, or sealift coming from the U.S. Navy and the Merchant Marine. Despite being the weakest military force in Southeast Asia and opposition of sending Filipino troops into a foreign war not seen since the Vietnam War, the Philippines honored its commitment to defend South Korea as it had done during the 1950-53 war. The Filipino troops were attached under the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force based from Okinawa and elements of the Australian Army.

Over 320 Filipino military personnel died in the Second Korean War while 500 more were wounded. It was the costliest foreign venture of the AFP to date.

French president Jacques Chirac announces that French troops in Lebanon have found and killed leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah who was actually hiding in countryside of Lebanon instead in Iran where from Americans tried to find him. This ws bit humiliating for Americans and it is believed that this helped Wellstone win '04 election. This action too boosted French image when they were able to show that French are not just cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

Iranian soldiers pose in a group portrait during America's War against Iran, circa 2002 or 2003. The brutality of the Iranian conflict and Iraq was overshadowed by the North Korean invasion of South Korea.


North Korean soldiers with their tank in 2002, shortly after the invasion of Paju. Their numerical superiority did not hide the fact that the majority of their tanks are obsolete against South Korean and United States tanks.


Vietnam People's Army's Hồ Bão main battle tank, developed from designs from North Korean refugee designers in Vietnam. Vietnam criticized the Second Korean War in general, in private Vietnam's relationship with North Korea was strained over its support of the Khmer Rouge, and took a neutral stand. In addition, Vietnam criticized North Korea for failure to do some economic reforms, therefore leading to a situation where "the capitalist part won like in Germany, but the method of reunification was like in our country (Vietnam)". Nevertheless, Vietnam allowed North Korean exiles and scientists to emigrate to Vietnam as long as they can provide them with technical expertise, something needed in the growing tensions against China. It is suspected that Vietnam is the next country trying to build a nuclear weapon after Korea (which already seized most of the North Korean nuclear program and continued it) and Japan.
American Reporter Jake Adelstein before an attempt on his life by members of the Goto-gumi in Japan before reporters. Adelstein reveal the underbelly of Japanese organized crime. Adelstein has remained a thorn in the side of the Japanese yakuza and government due to the LDP's close ties to the yakzua and willingness to use them. Adelstein's life is being made a show on HBO in 2024.

The October 2021 fire in a psychiatric clinic in Osaka's, Kita Ward was caused by a mentally disturbed ultra-nationalist member and it killed 34 people. The suspect also had informal ties to the yakuza and it created international strain between the US and Japan when two of the dead were American citizens, a mother and her young son. It gained the attention of the American press as both mother and son were beloved by friends and family. This case would lead to the discovery of a massive espionage ring being run out of the METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry).

in September 2022 President Gavin Newsom with Ambassador Tomita of Japan publicly signing a friendship pact at the Western White House. While the Ambassador and President were all smiles it was well known the Newsom Administration was not happy with the Japan after the discovery of the METI spy ring being found in many American businesses, government offices, and universities. The METI spy ring was a large scale intelligence operation to bring American technologies and other know how back to Japan by hook or by crook. Also complicating matter was the recent arrest of a Yamaguchi-gumi boss for murder in Las Vegas and Japan refused to share any information on him.
Oh just an aside, The Japanese government refuses to share information on the databases with foreign law enforcement on gangsters from the National Police Agency Servers for it would reveal ties between the LDP and the yakuza.

Flag of the Central Tibetal Administration, often considered to be a Tibetan government-in-exile. In the aftermath of the Olympics Crisis of 2008 and the subsequent withdrawal of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea, the South Korean government would controversially/notably give de facto recognition for the Central Tibetan Administration by recognizing Tibet as "temporarily occupied by the People's Republic of China" with Korea and Japan notable for their strong advocacy for the causes of an independent Tibet and East Turkestan in recent years, even if neither officially recognize the CTA or the government-in-exile of East Turkestan.
For a good OTL equivalent for Korea’s unofficial recognition of Tibet, I am thinking of it as akin to how Ukraine has recognized Chechnya/Ichkeria as “temporarily occupied by Russia”.

Ruins of Pyongyang Exclusion Zone, circa 2024. Due to the effects of the dirty bomb, it is expected that the city would be inhabited at least by 20 to 40,000 years. Old Pyongyang as it is called was declared abandoned, though a New Pyongyang was built nearby, mostly safe from the radiation as it is walled like the new DMZ.


"New" Pyongyang, built by Korean and foreign labor, mostly located on the southern side of the Taedong River, circa 2024. The Korean government chose to "rebuild" Pyongyang albeit in a new site. Allegedly the population was about 100,000 to 400,000 in 2024, formed from the remnants of the population of Pyongyang, people from other North Korean cities, "South" Korean government, chaebol, and military forces, and labor from the poorer southeast Asian countries. The government is aggressive in the constructing new apartments, but there are reports that the foreign construction workers have poor working conditions.


Hyung Jin Moon, President of Korea, 2022-present. (From Gettyimages/Chung Sung-jun) Known as "Assault Rifle Moon" due to him occasionally brandishing a Daewoo or AR-15 rifle in public and being the youngest son of the Unification Church founder Sung Myung Moon, he was derided for being a hardline, nuclear-weapon toting conservative, though this is disputed as he is officially prefers the Unification Church and the Korean government to be separate. The sincerity of his claim are repeatedly put into question, with him being in the United States and an American citizen at the time of the Second Korean War. (In contrast, Lee Hoi-chang's sons, who were previously exempted from military service amid great controversy, eventually joined the Republic of Korea Armed Forces during the war, all them joining the frontlines briefly).

OOC: I have to find a pic of him not wearing some crown and assault rifle.
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HTMS Chakri Naruebet, the Royal Thai Navy's to date only aircraft carrier, c. 2016. Originally seen as somewhat of a white elephant, the Royal Thai Navy would receive Japanese assistance in restoring the vessel to a properly seaworthy condition (as part of wider Japanese technical/military assistance for Thailand), in exchange for use in joint Thai-Japanese naval exercises where Japan's trainee carrier pilots could practice taking off and landing on a small deck. In recent years, the Royal Thai Navy has purchased a number of new ships from Japan, including diesel-electric submarines, and for the past few years has operated license-built Mitsubishi F-35EJ fighters for their carrier (something many decry as an unnecessary expense, along with the carrier itself, which despite being more active than had been its wont is still somewhat of a yard queen).

Thailand, together with Japan, Korea , the Philippines and Vietnam (and de facto Taiwan, though not de jure) is a signatory of the Bangkok Regional Security Treaty, a joint understanding between those nations most concerned about growing Chinese influence to pool resources, undertake joint military exercises, coordinate against terrorist and criminal threats and - should it become necessary - act in mutual defence against external aggression. While this treaty will, it is hoped, serve as a deterrent to China, some note that it has added various flashpoints in the South China Sea and along the Thai-Malaysian border.


ROKS Dokdo, one of the Republic of Korea Navy's two Dokdo-class amphibious assault ships, being overflown by four of its F-35s. While designed in the amphibious assault role, the Dokdos can carry up to ten F-35s, and in peace time generally operate with a wing of five.

Plans to build a larger, dedicated carrier have been floated in Korea, and President Moon is leaning towards approving it. China remains the main threat to Korea, which necessitates a large Army and Air Force, but should a war break out, the Navy will be needed to work with regional allies and the US Navy to keep the sea lanes open...and, of course, keeping up with their 'frenerival' Japan.


Vietnam People's Navy submarine Hà Nội, c. 2015. Formerly the Oyashio-class submarine Uzushio, she was sold - together with five other Oyashio-class boats - to Vietnam in 2014, following a number of refits and retoolings. The Vietnam People's Navy has also invested in a number of older Japanese and Korean surface vessels, which have been seeing increasing deployment in the South China Sea.


Kurdish Army, or the Peshmerga, in a military parade in 2015.

Since 2015, Iraqi Kurdistan ended any pretense of being autonomous to Iraq any longer, and is known simply as the Republic of Kurdistan, joining the United Nations in 2017. While there are expectations that Turkey or Iraq will retaliate, none is willing to attack Kurdistan at this point, and they are resigned to the reality of the Kurdish state.


Troopers of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in 2022. While there are incremental reforms (such as allowing TV as long as it is censored), cricket, and ending discrimination against non-Pashtun groups, Afghanistan under Taliban rule remains a repressive regime, albeit trying to modernize and to view itself as a "sane" authoritarian state.


A Philippine Army light tank from Israel, circa 2021.
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Post for Helldivers II, a first-person shooter game set in an authoritarian galaxy-spanning Empire centered around the seemingly "democratic" "Freedom Earth". The game satirizes many aspects of the first George W. Bush Administration and its' War on Terror.

(Yeah I had to do that :p)
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Iraqi Army soldiers fighting against the JTJ remnants in the west of the country, circa 2012.


Iranian team at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Despite advancing only in through the knockout stages, and eliminated by eventual winners of the Lionel Messi-led Argentina team, the team was praised for tenacity and giving their very best, and a needed boost of morale for Iran.


James Rolfe, a former Iraq War veteran, and Youtuber. Turning to videogames as a way to "cure" his war-time experiences. He later started the Angry Veteran Gaming Nerd site, in which he reviewed video games; he had a special dislike of War of Terror-themed videogames, claiming they trivialized the war or depicted them inaccurately.

Together with Doug Walker/Nostalgia Critic, (also a veteran but in Iran), Andrew Dobson/TomPreston6
(a Second Korean War veteran), Mike Stoklasa, and Rich Evans, they defined the late 2000s early 2010s YouTube generations of content creators.
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Type 90 MBT sold by Japan to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Philippines would receive both Type 74 and Type 90 MBTs when Japan recalled Article 9 which also covered the export of weapons to allies. Most ASEAN countries and some countries in South America became the major clients for the Japanese defense industry.

Pre-Second Korean War photo of the captured USS Pueblo (AGER-2) in Pyongyang, North Korea. The Pueblo was captured by the North Koreans in 1968 and remained a war trophy until 2003. During the Battle for Pyongyang, the North Koreans scuttled the ship to prevent the Americans from recapturing it. The attempt was half successful, as the Pueblo remained half afloat. Following the war, she was towed back to Pearl Harbor to be formally decommissioned. Sailors still alive from the 1968 incident were present. Following the decommissioning ceremony, the USS Pueblo became a memorial in honor of the U.S. Navy sailors that were captured and a testament that no ship in the U.S. Navy will never get left behind.

Sinuiju, the "capital" of the so-called Yalu Special Administrative Region, also known as Chinese-held Korea. While as always, is claimed by the Seoul government, the frozen conflict ensured that the status of the area would stay that way: not really Korean but not really Chinese either. And while China promised not to settle the zone with Chinese, this was ignored by Beijing to begin with.

OOC:Basically a take on the OTL Sinuiju Special Administrative Region, the Kaesong Industrial Region, and this in Laos:

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