New Deal Coalition Retained III: A New World

The Finale of the Indian Front

The situation for Pakistan was worsening. Unlike their allies in the Concordat, the Indians and the Chinese were continuing their advance through to Islamabad. As they huddled in their bunkers, Bhutto and her military leadership were confused and desperate about the situation at hand.


On the one hand, the Pakistani Army had achieved a smashing success against the Chinese, bludgeoning their coastal advance thanks to superior numbers and the correct timing of their reserves. It was a victory of massive proportions. The Chinese lost their cadre of their best and most experienced soldiers to the remains of the Pakistani Army. It was an unexpected defeat which left Nanking reeling. Some predicted that it would be a generational struggle for China to recover their best and brightest died on the shores of the Indian ocean.


However, the Indian Army had broken through, into a large pocket of resistance, and was now racing to Islamabad. To make things worse, intelligence reported that Afghanistan was prepared to enter the war at any moment. At the moment, they had cut off all communication and supplies with the country. While more resources came from Persia (and possibly by sea), her country did not need more logistical challenges.


Pakistan’s reserves were exhausted and its counter-offensive ability had been spent in the south. While the quality of India’s troops was suspect (many reserves were from former East Pakistan, and generally unwilling to die for India), they at least had fresh troops coming in. Moreover, the generals did not believe that there were any natural defensive lines that could be established for the defense of their nation. With Islamabad already near the front, and with Afghanistan to their backs, it did not look like a prolonged guerilla war would be possible. To add on to their problems, whispers were occurring that Balochi leaders were considering the idea of surrendering en-masse or defecting. If so, that would cut off their link to Persia.


Bhutto knew that the table needed to be reset in a way that would give India enough pause for conditions to improve elsewhere on the front. Only one option was left to save their country: Go Nuclear. Bhutto’s Chief of the Air Force, recommended a nuclear strike deep in Indian territory, as a deterrent to any further advances. Contrary to intelligence reports in India, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program was nowhere close to making a working bomb of their own. They had yet to enrich their supplies of uranium enough to create a working bomb. (Theoretically they could have created dirty bombs, but this was definitely less effective than even a small nuclear bomb, both in terms of giving their enemy a blow to morale and in terms of actual damage.) Though there was of course, other means to get a bomb. Pakistan had illicitly obtained two small nuclear missiles, both having yields comparable to the bomb dropped in Hiroshima. They were obtained from the Timurid Empire and the Russian Republic of Siberia a couple of years prior. During the civil war, protection of nuclear silos, normally top-of-the-line, were reduced as troops were transferred for fighting rival factions. The withdrawal of nearly half of America’s peacekeeping force did not help in this regard. As security was tight, many missiles were left unaccounted for, the last estimates placing the number at almost five, although most of the missing bombs were likely not in working condition. Pakistan’s own attempts to build a bomb had reached a roadblock, but they had the infrastructure to launch the long-range missile itself. Bhutto thought that by bluffing with a nuclear strike deep within Indian territory, the nation would sue for peace for fear of nuclear annihilation: Granted, a peace far more advantageous to India than Pakistan, but one where Pakistan still existed. The blood of millions of civilians would be in her hands, but it was better than nothing.


Military strategists reasoned that Bangalore, a city deep in the south of India, would be hit. It was not heavily guarded by any anti-missile defense tech, (although Pakistani intelligence was confident India did not have ‘Star Trek’ technology like the type the United States famously used to stop a Soviet missile from reaching the mainland). In addition, it had among the lowest Muslim populations of any major city in India; gruesome criteria to be fair, but one that was considered essential for those involved in the decision-making.


The Chief of the Navy, Fasih Bokhari, objected to the strike, saying it would only make Pakistan an international pariah and trigger the breaking of the nuclear taboo, the final taboo adhered to in war. However, Bhutto felt that something bold had to be done, as defeat was ensured. She was also paranoid that not only would Muslim Pakistan be falling to India, but that a democratic Pakistan would be collapsing under the weight of an autocratic, undemocratic and dangerous Indian regime that would treat Pakistanis as second-class citizens. She could only hope that exile would be her fate. As such, Bhutto ordered the Navy Chief Fasih Bokhari, to be sacked immediately, and the launch to be scheduled in two hours, at 9 P.M., Indian Standard Time. Meanwhile, she would prepare a speech to the world outlining her demands for an immediate ceasefire and peace talks. There was no going back now.




The die was cast.


However, there was one problem: the Pakistanis had been swindled. Their warhead's detonator was nothing more than a cheaply made fake. They had nuclear material, but no way to detonate. The missile landed in the Bangalore Hilton, destroying the structure because of the impact of its landing, but failing to do much more. Despite that, hundreds died from the impact alone. Unfortunately for the Pakistanis, a prerecorded speech had been broadcast at the time that the detonation was supposed to have happened, so the world now knew of Bhutto’s scheme. She simultaneously revealed her willingness to break the nuclear taboo and her ineffectual. It was time for the Indians to respond.


Sanjay Gandhi was livid.


He came to the realization that the Pakistani front had to be finished before Pakistan had the ability to respond with an actual bomb. His intelligence still pointed to the conclusion that the Pakistanis weren’t actually that far off from making a bomb of their own. First, he asked his generals to come up with a list of Pakistani cities worth nuking in return. His generals were surprised by the notion of a retaliatory strike, given that they did not know how many nuclear devices Pakistan had, even though they knew it evidently did have at least one more. Some were rumored to be held in Karachi, but they were not sure. However, it was decided, in case Pakistan had any more WMD’s, that India would have to reply tit-for-tat. A small warhead, if a nuclear warhead can really be described as small, would be dropped on Islamabad. Much of the Cabinet protested, believing that a nuclear strike would swindle India’s opportunity to be the bigger man in the international field. However, Gandhi was too furious at the escalation by the Pakistanis, and also felt that he needed to assert authority over his cabinet. Moreover, he believed a nuclear strike could get France to the negotiating table, and bring an end to the war without the Indians having to slog through Africa. A strong and sudden move would provide a strong hand when it came to negotiating. The bomb of choice for this mission, no larger than that dropped on Hiroshima, would devastate the Pakistani capital, without destroying the Pakistani ability to surrender. After making an impassioned speech to his cabinet, Gandhi telephoned Afghanistan immediately, asking them to agree to begin their offensive and enter the war formally the next day, bringing the date two weeks in advance. No bombing was mentioned.

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The next morning, an upgraded MiG-23 bomber, under heavy fighter escort, lit the city with the fire of a thousand suns lit up over Islamabad, destroying the Pakistani political, industrial, air, and communications base. While Bhutto and the highest echelons of the cabinet survived, most of the mid-level army and air force officials died in the blast. Pakistan’s entire intelligence network was also destroyed. Moreover, the strike was a complete shock to the system. Despite the fact that air raid drills were common in the city, it would be no use when it came to a nuclear blast. Most shelters within a close radius were not able to withstand the blast. Thousands would die from radiation poisoning in the following weeks to come. A level of destruction never seen before in over 50 years came back for a final encore.




What became clear was that under the chafe of the war, secessionist sentiment was high, especially to the far west. After the end of the Third World War, Pakistan had annexed ethnic Baloch areas of Iran, making it larger, and thus, more over-extended than before. As had happened with Gujarat, the Pakistanis were not effective at quelling rebellion in the region, and this became even more true now that much of the nation’s central hub was devastated. Balochi leaders, in the wake of the chaos, realized this was the perfect opportunity to achieve independence from Islamabad. For Balochs, their nation was finally united, if under the yoke of another country. But with the increasing instability caused by the unspeakable events in Islamabad, the time was right for rebellion. They started out by seizing key government buildings and TV and radio stations, declaring the creation of a sovereign State of Balochistan. These Balochi leaders, led by the local politician-turned-rebel Akhtar Mengal were “allowed” to take control by local Pakistani officials. Many of them felt that a new independent Balochistan would be the only way to achieve self-governance for their territory, even if it was likely as a puppet to the Dual Pact of the Chinese and Indians. This was supported by the swelling of the Balochi population by refugees fleeing Indian forces. They also declared their temporary allegiance to the Dual Pact while announcing long term goals of neutrality after the war was over.

The New Flag of Balochistan

At this point, Afghanistan finally entered the war, using the lack of communication between the Pakistani army units scattered around the country and easily take over the border city of Peshawar. After consolidating their reign on the city, the Afghan army was left with virtually no obstacles. They reached the still-smoking ruins of what was once Islamabad barely a week later. They joined the armies of the Dual Alliance, surrounding the former capital city from three sides.


Benazir Bhutto fled to neutral Persia in a self-imposed exile the following day. The same day, the Chief of the Pakistan Air Force was found dead from a self-inflicted bullet to the head. Pakistani General Ashfaq P. Kayani, though not one of the highest ranking members of the Pakistani army, took control after an informal coup.


In the following week, the Indian army made massive advances. Only four days after the counter-strike on Islamabad, Lahore was seized after naval landings from (mostly Indian) and Chinese forces. The Chinese efforts in the south were still stalled thanks to dogged resistance from tribal areas near its borders. However, coordination among the Pakistani forces was breaking down quickly, and with the main transport hub of the country knocked out, they couldn’t get supplies to the front. What roads were available were clogged with refugees fleeing Islamabad and mass surrenders. The Dual Pact finally broke through to Karachi a week after the bombing of Islamabad. 3 hours later, the new provisional junta of Pakistan surrendered. While there was still fighting going on in Southern Africa and on the Libyan front, the brunt of the fighting was now over.
 
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Battle of Tripoli and the end of the Great Southern War

[A/N: There’s a bit of foreshadowing of the events of the last update in the newspaper graphic if anyone noticed. Also for those of you wondering, no, this event will not particularly lead this TL on the path to dystopia. A big theme in NDCR is that despite a lot of tropes used in many dystopian TL’s happening here (like the current president, for one), shit never really hits the fan. That doesn’t mean the event won’t have consequences, as this update will show. And I definitely have to say that I have a newfound respect for The Congressman’s handling of writing for war, which is harder than it seems.]

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The use of weapons of mass destruction on Islamabad marked the climax of the Great Southern War.

A streak lasting 50 years, almost broken after several close calls, had now definitively ended. This streak had lasted for the entirety of the Cold War, and even though the ruinous Third World War, (though at its end there had been a close call which was later avoided). In the end, it was ended neither by the United States nor the USSR, but India. Through the fires of war, America became a superpower, and by the same token, India would as well.
Tens of thousands of people died instantly, with a similar amount of people severely injured from secondary effects, such as fallout, radiation poisoning, etc. Interestingly, the profile of the strike (detonating close to the ground), was done so that it could maximize damage to local infrastructure, and limit civilian casualties somewhat. Communications were fried by the resulting EMP strike, further limiting the ability of what was left of Pakistani command from making orders. Immediate casualties were, however, nearly ⅔ of what a 12kt weapon could have inflicted.
The strike made worldwide headlines and prompted some to call for the White House to make a decision on whether or not to intervene in the conflict. This was met with vague statements stating the need for reconciliation between the two sides, and Washington’s support for peace in the region.

One thing, it seemed, was clear. India was desperate not to look like an international pariah for its actions. It adhered to its policy of what it called “no-strike-first”, but many believed that this may have just broken the nuclear taboo. To assuage the fears of international audiences, Sanjay Gandhi made a broadcast for international audiences, stating his intent not to authorize any further strikes on Pakistani soil, lest the death tolls on both sides raise any further.
His sincere attempts to be seen as the better man of the conflict gained back some of the credibility he had lost abroad. Later observers would note two things about the repercussions this final blow to Pakistan had on the world:

India had made it known that it was a great power en par with the United States. The United States became a global superpower in the wake of the Second World War, which ended after it dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan. Its actions in the war geared it up for a larger presence in the Pacific and Europe. Commentators noted their paths were similar in this regard. India now had a puppet state in power in Zanzibar, Seychelles, and Comoros, with the former two now having permanent military bases owned by the Indian Army. To a lesser extent, during the war, India attempted to rally its diaspora to support pro-Indian policies, especially in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, though to varying levels of success. Even in the United States, direct confrontation versus India was not on the table in Republican circles thanks to the influence of diaspora groups, notably including House Speaker Nick Modi. Though, with a few exceptions, the vast majority of the Indian community in America, and abroad were now loyal to their new home countries. (As an example, Fiji would eventually fall to a pro-Indian coup from its local Hindi population. By the end of the war it was petitioning the government for annexation.)

The bombing also had secondary effects on the course of the war itself. It undoubtedly played a key factor in shortening the war in Africa by some months, as the shock of the strike forced decision-makers in both Entebbe and Brussels to take a more conciliatory approach to the other side. Despite African dictators had a reputation in the west for being rather...unconventional in their interests, the shock of the events in Islamabad made both the Entebbe Pact and their European counterparts to seek a quicker peace. (This would not stop Idi Amin from proposing a Ugandan nuclear program, though this would go the path of his other plans, including a Ugandan Space Program, and Zebra Calvary for use on the Rhodesian front. Most of his inane proposals were stopped by his protege, Paul Kagame, before being attempted.) Many armchair historians would debate whether or not the loss of life caused by the attack on Islamabad had saved an equal number of lives in North and Southern Africa. Some argue that the war was already slowing down after Pretoria, and of course, the invasion of Tripoli was slated to occur months before being put into action. Though it cannot be understated that it brought the remaining combatants in the war closer to peace.

At the time of the Battle of Tripoli frontlines in Southern Africa had largely returned to pre-war borders. South Africa had stopped near the pre-war borders with both Angola and Mozambique but did not attempt a counterattack into the home territory of either nation. The Rhodesian army began moving into former Zambia, aiming to bring the mineral-rich areas of the region under its control. Despite this, fighting was definitely winding down. Pitched battles were less common than before, and negotiations for an armistice were already underway. The European members of the Concordat were tired of war. France received similar strain, with populist protests calling for the end of the Front National’s government under Michel Roquejoffre. Belgium was wracked by separatist protests funded by African powers, and their emergency unity government was showing cracks now that the war was winding down. Italy, the only member of the Freyist Pact heavily involved in operations outside of Serbia, was dealing with popular discontent as well. The South Tyrolese BAS, a German separatist group, was becoming more audacious in their attacks on what they saw as symbols of Rome’s power. Despite this, they were notable for taking precautions not to harm civilians. Neither of these problems was liable to end with the end of the war.

Overall, it seemed clear that Europe was tired of brushfire wars. Compared to most African nations, where popular support for the war stayed strong, one would think that countries like Uganda, Zaire, Libya, and their allies were on the winning side of the war. Their soldiers could level toe-to-toe with seasoned European troops in conventional battle and oftentimes win. (Though this was, to be fair because none of the European powers fighting in Africa had any stake in the conflict. Protecting their far-away allies, South Africa and Rhodesia, hardly seemed worth it, even if it was in the name of “securing democracy in Africa,” as some pundits put it.) Moreover, in many ways, the Great Southern War was an amalgamation of many smaller conflicts without a uniting larger struggle. This meant that most members wanted to win on “their” front and then get home.

In the north, however, the Libyan army was still barreling through Algeria, and it would be this front that would end up the site of some of the final shots of the war. It was the only truly active front left.
It would be here, where the final battle of the war would occur. Tripoli would be invaded in an attack months in the making. It was the hope of the European powers that the current rogue regime would be overthrown in favor of one more pliable to European interests. South Africa and Rhodesia were finally rolling back their hard-fought gains in the south of the continent, and with every other front closed, (including at the time of the battle, the Indo-Pakistani front), this fight would be all the more important. For most of the Mediterranean, Libya was a menace to regional peace. Despite the withdrawal of Italy, Greece, and even Belgium from most other fronts, they agreed that Libya was an immediate threat to European peace. Members of both the Concordat and the Freyist Pact would supply troops to help in the planned invasion force, to remove what they universally agreed was a threat to European peace. The mercurial despot of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, needed to go.

Most of the invasion force took off from Marseille and Palermo. Fortunately for the Europeans, it was not detected by Libya’s army until it had passed Malta. This was, however, enough time for the Entebbe Pact to prepare for the attack.



The Concordat’s joint navy around Malta, one week before their landing at the Libyan coast

For the main brunt of their armed forces trodding on the path to Algiers, this was a supreme shock. Their options for retreating back to their home soil were limited. They would have to pass through 400 miles of territory to relieve their capital. Many local roads were destroyed during the conflict. Worse, they were liable to be sabotaged by French soldiers still operating independently in the area, under French commander Jean-Pierre Bosser. Bosser, leader of the Algerian military sector, had evaded military capture and was undertaking a scorched earth policy similar to that of Lettow-Vorbeck. Tunis, Sfax, and of course, and Tripoli itself, were under blockade.

While it was obvious from the onset that the target of the attack was the capital of Tripoli itself, early landings in Sfax and Tunis were tasked to retake the French protectorate and tie up the main force of the Libyan army. In this regard, they were successful. Gaddafi himself, along with the majority of his army, were stuck in Tunisia, away from the main fight. Planning for the invasion counted on a quick victory against a lightly defended city. Despite this, Libya’s allies were still able to come to their aid. Uganda, Sudan, and Ethiopia each were able to quickly send troops along intact highways to mount its defenses, ruining their enemy’s chances for a quick victory. Adding on to that, King Bokassa of the Central African Empire and even Siad Barre’s Somalia were able to send in their own token contingents in defense of their ally. Though the fact that few Libyans were fighting in Tripoli itself meant that morale was low for both sides. Between the various mercenary groups (especially American groups like Blackwater), Portuguese “volunteers”, some Argentine exiles, and even Belgian paratroopers, nobody really had a stake in this battle. Moreover, the French had not invested their latest and best of their aircraft, logistics network, or even their naval fleet. The country’s Mediterranean fleet was stationed near the Suez Canal, looking to head off intervention by either India or China. (Chinese spies often attempted to bribe British and Israeli officials to allow passage, offering ludicrous sums of money.)

With the victory in the east behind their backs, the Entebbe Pact morale was high, they knew that even if they lost, it was likely that Indian support would come to their help, or at least force the European powers to the negotiating table.

The first landings of the battle would come on the outskirts of Tripoli, in the towns of Tajoura and Janzur, (13 and 14 miles away from the city proper, respectively). The date was April 3rd, 1999. They would spearhead the invasion itself and be used as part of a two-pronged pincer maneuver surrounding the city. Tajoura would quickly fall to the Concordat, as anti-Gaddafi sentiment had already been simmering in the district for years before. It was the most successful landing of the operation, with a combination of Italian, Greek, Spanish, and even German troops filling in to consolidate and expand the beachhead behind them. The town of Janzur was not as liable to be taken by the invasion force, however. With much of the town-owned by Gadaffi’s Qadhadhfa tribe, and with most residents having a vested interest in the continuation of his regime, troops and civilians would fight hand over fist for every inch of ground given. They also received support from the civilian population in the form of in-person intelligence, access to houses, and even community kitchens. Meanwhile, members of the Foreign Legion would successfully reach their objectives in obtaining strategic high ground positions, which would be put to use raining down fire and brimstone on the city.
To soften the defenses of the city, Belgian paratroopers were sent behind frontlines of both spearheads towards the city, especially Janzur. Many were shot at by anti-aircraft guns, leading to heavy casualties before their mission started. A majority of these paratroopers happened to be Flemish, to the ire of many protestors at home, who hoped for a quick end to what they increasingly saw as a war being fought for the sake of the French. Those that were able to get into position completed their task admirably, causing havoc from behind Libyan positions. Bombing runs would render most highways unusable, wreaking havoc with supply trains for the city. However, Gaddafi had accounted for supply issues in his battleplans, with extra stores.



A ravaged military base in Tajoura after the Concordat bombing campaign

Having made two landings on the coast of Libya, the Concordat would have to consolidate its holdings and expand. For this, they would turn to volunteer battalions for much of the attack. Although the majority of those fighting in the conflict were nationals of Concordat nations, there were plenty of private volunteers fighting the war, most common among them: Americans and Britons.

American and British volunteers fought throughout the conflict, mostly in the Southern African front of the war, seeing Rhodesia and South Africa as “compatriots” in a struggle against their war-mongering and expansionist neighbors. A large percentage of them were war veterans who longed for the military life yet again and needed a cause to fight for. Many of them, however, were simply young men with no direction in life. Some studies identified a correlation between violent tendencies/mental illness and participation. With the military being less of an obvious option thanks to the isolationist policy of the Bundy administration, they joined the fight in the continental wars overseas. After the French vanguard on the coast was established, battalions of these men would be sent to bear the main onslaught of the defenders to expand their holdings in all directions. While they were not numbered high in numbers among the other combatants on the side of the Concordat, they proved to be capable fighters and were disproportionately present in many important operations in the battle.

Despite this, hit-and-run attacks on Concordat forces by irregulars and regular soldiers would harry the two-pronged attack, however, mostly as a stalling maneuver while the incomplete defenses of the city could be fortified quickly. The battle could only be won if the bulk of Gaddafi's Algerian army, the only friendly army large enough to relieve the siege, could make it in time.



A ruined neighborhood in Tripoli after a Concordat bombing. The picture was taken by a Libyan citizen who hides in an adjacent building that was also hurt during the bombing campaign.




The operating squad of an impromptu self-propelled gun waiting in their position in the outskirts of Tripoli for Concordat fighter jets. These kind of vehicles, usually made from Toyota pickup due to their durability, were common during the battle of Tripoli as the defenders of the city had to find alternative solutions to the lack of military vehicles.

Despite the fact that the Concordat held air superiority, and blockaded it by sea, the city was able to be continually resupplied by covert means. Blockade-breakers, fast civilian-owned boats containing surplus ammunition and food, regularly made it past enemy vessels, making it even harder to force surrender.
Five days into the battle, frontlines had begun to stall to the point that neither side would be able to make major offensives. The European coalition had yet to reach the city and found themselves stuck in the city. To break the stalemate, French commanders came to understand that the fortifications on the southern fortifications of the city were not as robust as those to the west, to the east, and towards the coast. This made sense, as neither the soldiers in the Janzur landing nor the one in Tanjura would be able to break out of their positions and attack from the south. The one that could be Bosser’s regiment of roughly 5,000 Algerians and Frenchmen, still raiding inland Libyan positions. This would be enough to shift the balance. Unfortunately, the same bombing campaign which made it impossible for the Entebbe Pact to supply more troops for the defense of Tripoli also slowed down Bosser’s forces as well. Marching north, they would stop at the inland city of Garyan, 45 miles from the outskirts of Tripoli, and then stopped after meeting local resistance. An unhappy civilian populace chafed from the sudden arrival of so many people, leading to tensions with the local populace. Feuds between Algerian soldiers and the Libyan populace often led to fights, which would hamper the French efforts. Worse still, miscommunication with command in Paris led the French stationed in the city to get lost on their way to Tripoli. Their supposedly safe road would also suffer from bombing raids. They would be delayed by nearly four days.

The original battle plan of the French had involved Bosser’s French regulars to advance on Tripoli from behind in a flanking maneuver. This would have caught the defenders off guard and allowed the Concordat to secure or further consolidate a beachhead on the shores of Libya. This delay decided the battle.

With Bosser’s relieving force nowhere to be seen, French and Spanish commanders would call for an all-out push past their lines and towards Tripoli. This proved to be a mistake. Leaving their advantageous defensive position around what was now a rather well-defended city may have given them the initiative, but it left them without a solid position to retreat to when falling back. After a rebellion in the town of Janzur, the (mostly Italian, French, and Portuguese) force was forced to fall back to quash the uprising. The defenders of Tripoli now had momentum behind themselves, forcing the Concordat back to only Janzur itself and its immediate surroundings. Over the course of three days, they went from making gains to being beaten back to their original positions. By then, reports came that the bulk of Gaddafi's army had crossed the Tunisian border, and the order was made to abandon the pocket and evacuate the town. Some straggling units made it to the battle before others and participated in driving the Concordat force back into the sea.

Once Bosser’s army had arrived at the battle, the Janzur pocket was in the course of being evacuated, and with one threat gone, there were now soldiers re-orienting to attack their position.

The battle would continue for four more days until the bulk of the Libyan army returned to the capital to relieve the beleaguered defenders, starting their own counter-offensive. They would be led by both Gaddafi and his trusted general, Khalifa Haftar. (Haftar had been captured for a short period of time by the then communist Sudanese regime during the Third World War. Wavering in his dedication for some time, his loyalty for his sovereign became absolute after the dictator negotiated for his release.) He proved to be a capable commander in the field. The battle would end the following week after the Tanjura pocket was forced out by the Libyan army.



Gaddafi and Haftar’s army on their way from the Algerian desert to relieve the defenders of Tripoli

The crushing victory of the Entebbe Pact, while largely based on luck and good timing, was a blow to morale. For their role in the defeat of the Concordat in Tripoli, Bosser and other French generals involved in the battle would be sacked. Despite the fact that the goal of the battle itself was to halt the advance of the Libyan army and end its threat to Algeria, the fact of the matter still was that France and its allies had lost this battle. With the news of India’s attack on Pakistan still fresh in the minds of most combatants, the public was even more disapproving of war than ever. Despite the fact that they were winning, to them, it was yet another defeat in a string of many.

However, the nations fighting the conflict were tired of war. A truce on May 1st was declared after the Battle of Tripoli, made official after both the Emir of the Timurid Empire and the PM of Australia made attempts to mediate official peace negotiations. The latter offer was accepted mostly as Australia was seen as the more neutral of the powers and further removed from the interests of either side. Others threw around Britain or the U.S. as sites for negotiations, though both were rejected by the Concordat, (still sour that their supposed allies refused to support them) in their times of need.

For the first time in two years, the guns of war had fallen silent. The world was finally at peace again.
 
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And soon the conclusion to the 20th Century, the "Century of Blood and Tears" will be at hand.
WWI, Great Depression, WWII, Cold War, decolonization wars, WWIII, Great Southern War. Man, so much blood and tears
 
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