Random Thoughts on the 1969 Sino-Soviet War, its Aftermath, and Musings on Where We Would Be had the Conflict Not Gone Nuclear.

The original thread is titled DBWI: What if there was no Sino-Soviet War? https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/dbwi-no-sino-soviet-war.513749/
Some of the post is taken verbatim or almost verbatim from suggestions posted by others in the original thread. Besides acknowledging those contributions I want to thank those who made some excellent suggestions.
In March 1969 a border conflict was started between the USSR and the PRC over Zhenbao (Damansky) Island on the Ussuri (Wusuli) River, near Manchuria. An intermittent conflict continued into the summer with Mao refusing to discuss a settlement despite Soviet entreaties. The Soviets used back channels to ask various governments, including the United States, how they would react to a Soviet nuclear attack on the PRC. The Americans let the Chinese know about the query to try to get them to back off, show good faith, and possibly open a dialogue with the PRC. It worked, the parties negotiated a ceasefire, which led to a return to the status quo.
POD: The Soviets make their inquiries earlier, right after the conflict starts in March of 1969. The Americans react the same way, for the same reasons, but instead of being scared into backing down, the Chinese are convinced a Soviet strike is inevitable, and make their own first strike.
October 16, 2021
To my first grandchild: As you today have reached exactly the same age I was when the first Chinese nuclear missile landed in the former Soviet Union (19 years 5 months and 2 days), and changed our world forever I thought I would give you my Random Thoughts on the 1969 Sino-Soviet War, its Aftermath, and Musings on Where We Would Be had the Conflict Not Gone Nuclear. I have divided this missive into ten parts to go over those areas I believe have been most affected by the conflict. There is no test, or specific lessons or insights (although I hope you will draw some lessons). I plan to pass this on to your younger sister, and each of your cousins as they reach your age. Feel free to share it, or ignore it (but if you do ignore it please have the decency to lie to your old history professor and grandfather).
Notable History since the Conflict - China

The Chinese first strike was limited to military targets (submarine pens, large bases, and silos) plus Moscow. The Soviets had a robust response, but similarly struck military infrastructure and Peking. Surprisingly the PRC casualties after the first exchange were only about 3%. In their second set of launches the Chinese concentrated on large population centers - Minsk, Moscow again, and Kiev. Vladivostok was spared (due to its proximity to China). By happenstance a missile targeting Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) failed to launch. The USSR responded by striking every Chinese city over one million (excepting Hong Kong, Taipei and Macau) with Peking and Shanghai getting multiple strikes. Even with such a massive response the immediate deaths were less than one would expect because so many of the Chinese (almost 85%) were rural peasants, but within a year almost 45% of the PRC population was dead due to fallout, starvation, disease, and survivors fighting each other over what was left. When you include Soviet casualties, and people dead from radiation throughout Asia and Eastern Europe, 1970 started with over 600 million fewer souls then were alive at the beginning of 1969.
After the first response by the Soviets Chairman Mao actually tried to claim the initial nuclear launches by the PRC were unauthorized, and the “traitor who acted on his own” had already been executed. That claim was totally unbelievable, and lost all credibility when Mao ordered a second wave, which was again met with a devastating Soviet response.
Mao himself was literally torn apart when he left his bunker to try to give a speech to survivors that “we shall survive” and was shocked when his bodyguards abandoned him and the crowd literally tore him to bits. Mao actually said they could survive with half their population, and the crowd made sure he would not be in the surviving half. The entire spectacle was filmed from the helicopter meant to evacuate Mao. Most historians now agree that the Communist Government collapsed as quickly as it did, after the Nuclear Strikes because of the loss of faith in the Party which was still reeling from the excesses and clear abuses of the “Cultural Revolution.”
The conflict started over a border dispute, and ironically in going nuclear Mao made the disputed area uninhabitable for years. He risked poisoning an entire continent over what he himself had called a "silly, little island" on the Ussuri. While much of China was still smoldering in May 1969, the United States dispatched nuclear missile submarines which surfaced around Taiwan to warn the Soviets not to take the conflict any further. The British also surfaced a sub outside Hong Kong, and the French surfaced one off Macao. There was never any formal ceasefire, just the USSR statement that it accepted the various Chinese factions’ joint declaration that there would be no further attacks on the Soviet Union.
China entered the 1970s with four competing entities claiming to be the legitimate government of all China. The Communists were no longer a significant faction, Mao had seen to that. The war shattered the country’s faith in Communists as they had caused the biggest disaster in Chinese history. You had the Nationalists based in Taiwan, the Buddhist Theocrats based in Tibet, outside the remnants of a destroyed Peking there were the Monarchists who were trying to figure out who had the best claim to the throne, and the Shining Way who were essentially neo-fascists bandits operating out of the most devastated portions of China. The Manchurian People's Republic formed a fifth faction, but that collapsed almost immediately because people saw it as being Mao-Lite.
The horrors of the War, combined with the chaos of competing interests not making any progress to address the devastation, led to a Chinese diaspora. Before the war the mainland Chinese population was almost 800 million. Within a year of the bombs dropping over 300 million were estimated to be dead from the original attacks, fallout, disease, starvation and survivors fighting over limited resources. That still left approximately a half billion people with little hope for the future. 150 million chose to leave China. They went all over the world, with approximately a third going to South East Asia, and Indonesia; another third to the United States, Canada, the British Isles, New Zealand and Australia; and the remaining third to Europe, Africa and Latin America.
The “Journey of Hope and Tears” took some pressure off the remaining survivors, but the population of the former PRC actually dropped each year until 1978. The population did not reach 500 million until 2002, and today is just over 600 million. In 2018 the Chinese for the first time saw a net increase in population immigrating as opposed to emigrating. The refugees on the Journey of Hope and Tears had mixed experiences. Those going to Asia saw mostly resentment, prejudice, and some violence, especially in Indonesia which took over a generation to subside. Those moving to the English speaking world also experienced prejudice and a backlash, but it was shorter and less intense. It’s ironic that the city with the largest population of full blooded Chinese today is in Australia (this counts second and third generation Chinese-Australians), and a second generation Chinese-American became President of the United States. The Europeans, after initially taking many refugees, in 1978 set up Macao to divert refugees applying to emigrate to the EU. Even today the Chinese are somewhat chagrined that the top three cities cited by most gourmets for Chinese cuisine are Darwin in Australia, Dublin in Ireland and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The Nationalists were initially slow to respond due to the sheer magnitude of the devastation on the mainland. They were also hampered by the death of Chang Kai-Shek in December 1969. Chang’s death was originally blamed on a disgruntled Maoist, but it was revealed in 2003 (after the death of his widow) that the assassination never occurred, as Chang had actually committed suicide in an act of depression after seeing the destruction of his homeland.
The Monarchists essentially just went away by 1975, as they could not agree among themselves who was the proper Emperor. Unfortunately, more of the territory they controlled went to Shining Way than to the Nationalists. Buddhist Theocrats ceded their claims in western China in 1981 to the Nationalists when they agreed to recognize Tibetan independence, and give Buddhism a special status in China.
Macao was transferred from Portugal to the European Union for administration in 1978, which used it as a way station and resettlement center for Chinese refugees. The British actually expanded beyond Hong Kong with the consent of the Nationalists to deal with the refugee problem. Still in 1997 both Macao and Hong Kong again became part of Nationalist China (albeit it with joint sovereignty agreements in place).
With the rest of China again united, the government in Taipei turned in 1998 to eliminating Shining Way by the end of 1999. The Nationalists received support from the major powers plus Siberia and Mongolia in pursuing a relentless and ruthless war on Shining Way. The Shining Way found attempts to retreat to Siberia, or Mongolia were fruitless. On January 1, 2000 the government announced the Republic of China once again controlled all of the Chinese Mainland (in actuality the last of the Shining Way bandits and their enclaves would hold on until May 2003). Due to the long delays in reunification China today is divided into eight “autonomous regions.”
Notable History since the Conflict - USSR
The USSR stayed together longer, but the Soviet Civil War from 1983-1985 resulted in Siberian independence, and the other constituent republics going their own way. The Eastern European satellites had already started moving away from the USSR. The feeble attempts to go after Yugoslavia and Albania for not voicing full throated support for Soviet actions in the Sino-Soviet War backfired. The withdrawal of their forces for lack of logistical support showed the USSR was a paper tiger. Not only did the Warsaw Pact dissolve when the Soviets called for support in the Civil War, but the two Germanys actually started reunification talks that came to fruition even before the Civil War ended.
The prior war with China, plus the loss of influence in Eastern Europe helped precipitate the Soviet Civil War. As opposed to the battle between Reds and Whites earlier in the century, this was a war essentially between Russians and non-Russians. The hardliners wanted to maintain the USSR intact, while the other factions wanted to be free of the Soviet system. The biggest surprise was that the war never went nuclear. The experience of 1969, and the ongoing horrors in China at least served as a deterrent to going nuclear. Still casualties in this war were estimated to be over two million.
The breakup of the USSR was inevitable. The Baltics were the first to declare independence, and one by one the other Republics followed suit, ending when Belarus also said it was going its own way. Still, everyone was surprised when Russia said after the USSR was formally dissolved that it was limiting itself to Europe and Siberia was being granted independence. Siberia actually didn’t want independence since it was the region of the USSR that had suffered most from the Sino-Soviet War, and was far from recovering. Essentially the Russians wrote off the vast resources of Siberia due to the investment that would be needed to rehabilitate the region. The new government judged a few hundred thousand people, most of whom needed serious medical treatment, made it no longer worth the expense of keeping.* That was a decision the Russians later came to regret when Siberia worked with Mongolia and the West to rehabilitate the region, and exploit its resources beginning in the 1990s. It was later revealed by the Siberian Government that the USSR, between the Sino–Soviet War and the Soviet Civil War, had used forced labor to make prisoners mine and otherwise extract resources from Siberia despite the fact that the radiation levels killed virtually all of them within a few years. They then left the Siberians to essentially pay the bill.
Before cutting off Siberia the Soviets sold Sakhalin Island and the Kuril Islands to Japan for 100 billion dollars over 5 years (payment to be made only in US dollars from Japanese deposits in the US Federal Reserve). Once Siberia was independent they objected to the new Russian rump state taking the payments, and per arbitration the last $20 billion dollar payment went to the Siberians.
After the Soviet Civil War the Poles took Kalingrad, and Romania took Moldova. St. Petersburg (old Leningrad) officially became the capital of European Russia in 1986 (Moscow was officially the capital until then, but had not been used as such since the 1969 nuclear strikes).
Hostilities involving various parts of the old USSR (Georgia, Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Ukraine) continued until late1988 when the various states agreed at the Brussels Convention to permanent ceasefires under the supervision of United Nations Forces with the promise of eventual integration into the European Union.
The problem of “Free Nukes” coming out of the USSR were a major issue identified even before the Soviet Union ceased to exist. The Russian successor state and other former republics were sufficiently cowed after the conflict with China to allow the IAEA free access to nuclear facilities during the Soviet Civil War. Immediately after hostilities they cooperated with supervised dismantling of their atomic weapons (albeit with massive transfers of hard currency and other assistance from the West). After its dissolution the USSR did achieve its goal to end NATO, but that was due to the primary potential adversary (the USSR itself) no longer existing. The new security arrangements imposed on Russia and the other republics were onerous. There were significant impositions on sovereignty to secure the nukes and decommission dangerous nuclear plants, and Russia was not really accepted as a trusted equal until it finally gained EU membership in 2004.
* In 1994 the Russians actually sent out feelers to see if Siberia was interested in reunification. The Siberian response was essentially - not no, but hell no.
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Notable History since the Conflict - The Middle East and Subsequent Nuclear Exchanges

The destabilization of the USSR had ramifications far beyond its own borders. Even before the Soviet Civil War there were “loose nukes.” In 1973 intelligence showed the IRA was close to obtaining such a device, and later that year a US Navy SEAL Team intercepted a ship from Havana (falsely flagged as Panamanian) trying to smuggle a nuclear device into New York Harbor. This led to closer cooperation among all the remaining declared nuclear powers (the US, UK and France) to eradicate the weapons. In 1975 the French intercepted a loose nuke that followers of Ayatollah Khomeini were trying to get in an apparent attempt to blackmail the Shah into abdication. Instead, besides alerting the Iranians, the French extradited Khomeini who died while under House arrest less than six months later (whether Khomeini really had a heart attack has always been questioned). 1978 saw Pakistan actually launching a nuclear device smuggled out of the USSR, but thankfully it failed to detonate. This led to direct Commonwealth action against Pakistan. The Commonwealth’s interventions there and in Southern Africa likely prevented nuclear attacks, but of course the genie was out of the bottle.

Had it not been for the Arab states losing their Soviet sponsors there almost certainly would have been another war between Israel and her neighbors. Instead Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Israel signed the Copenhagen Accords in 1978, wherein Israel evacuated the territories taken in 1967, and agreed to exercise joint sovereignty with Jordan over Jerusalem. Other Arab nations followed suit in the following decade, but not Saddam Hussein who had come to power in Iraq. In 1979, instead of attacking Israel (as they shared no border) Hussein attacked Iran. When it appeared his fellow Arabs were not siding with him, Hussein successfully struck Teheran with a low yield nuclear weapon, and announced he had additional bombs he would use on Tel Aviv and any Arab nation that refused to abrogate the Copenhagen Accords and recognize his claims against Iran. Less than 36 hours later a nuclear bomb was dropped on Baghdad by Iran. Hussein was killed in the attack (although it took over three months for the Iranians to be confident enough to announce his death). It turned out Hussein was not bluffing about having more nukes, three more devices were found, and all were of Soviet manufacture. The Iranians claimed their nuke was their own prototype, but the joke went that the only Iranian work on the weapon was when the Shah painted over the Star of David. Today no one admits (but no one strenuously disputes) that the Israelis provided the Iranians with the bomb. Northern Iraq (over Syrian and Turkish objections) became Kurdistan, and the Iranians took a small amount of territory from eastern Iraq, but the entreaties to divide Iraq among its neighbors or strip it of its only port at Umm Qasr were rebuffed by the UN and the Arab League.

The 1979 nuclear exchanges led in 1980 to the US, France and the UK formally issuing what has become known as the Quebec City Declaration. The substance of the Declaration is that any attack anywhere, anytime using nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction will be considered an attack on each of the parties to the Declaration, and result in total war to destroy the perpetrator or perpetrators of any such attack. The European Union and Federated Commonwealth have made clear that they adhere to Declaration as agreed to by France and the UK. There has not been another nuclear attack since 1979. The 1992 sarin gas attack by VEHEMENT (formally Visualize the End of Humanity's Existence by Mass Extermination with Nuclear and other Technologies) at the Olympic Games was arguably a failure in that an attack meant to kill many thousands resulted in only eight deaths, but as it involved a weapon of mass destruction the parties to the Quebec City Declaration reacted. It is interesting that VEHEMENT always used English in its name and communiques even though it was never based in an English speaking country. VEHEMENT was never as effective as the media made out. They were really a front group and convenient bogeyman for any criminal or terrorist act that took place over a quarter century beginning around 1992. There was a declassified CIA report released by the President this year indicating that of the 12 separate acts of terror allegedly perpetrated by VEHEMENT, five were actually done by other groups or individuals, three never actually occurred or were accidents (i.e. the train derailment and chemical leak in China in 2015 was an accident), and only four were done by what can loosely be called VEHEMENT. The last documented action by the organization was in 2018. They’ve likely remained inactive because of the effectiveness of the efforts to defund them and in identifying and going after the leadership. The leaders laughed and gave interviews mocking the US when indictments were issued in 2014, but they weren’t ever seen in public again, and it was confirmed drone strikes took out the remaining leadership in 2015. The signers of the Quebec Declaration showed they were serious in that no expense was spared to insure every member of VEHEMENT was killed or incarcerated for life (though it took almost two decades).

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was greatly enhanced and empowered beginning in 1978. The agency was given authority to visit any nuclear facility worldwide, and continues to have the ability to shut down any facility with no notice. They gained much respect when they stayed on station in every facility of the former Soviet Union throughout their Civil War. They ordered multiple shutdowns of plants throughout the old Soviet Union until design flaws were corrected (several plants never reopened). When there were objections to the closure of a plant outside St. Petersburg the then new Russian Premier famously said “we can be in the dark today, or glow in the dark tomorrow.” The IAEA has said they actually got more flak from the Americans when they ordered their first partial shutdown of a Pennsylvania plant in 1979 than they ever got from the Russians. Shutdowns are rare, outside of the aforementioned cases there has been one other shutdown in the US, with two in Japan,* and one in France. Likely, without the faith built up in nuclear power, the world would be much more reticent to use anything nuclear after the atomic exchanges. Nuclear energy would certainly be less than 65% of our energy production.

* The first Japanese shutdown was after an earthquake where the IAEA feared a tsunami. That turned out to be a false alarm, but there were design flaws identified in the aftermath. Upgrades to the designs and procedures likely prevented disaster in 2011 when there was an actual tsunami that swamped a nuclear plant.

Notable History since the Conflict - European Union

In the aftermath of the Sino-Soviet War the European Economic Community put the then pending applications of Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom on hold. In 1984 they began accepting applications again, and immediately admitted Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark (to include Greenland). This became known as the Scandinavian Accession. In the interim Ireland and the United Kingdom had withdrawn their applications (see later section on the Commonwealth).

In 1985 Spain (post Franco), Portugal, Austria and Switzerland became full members. Greece and Turkey signed a joint sovereignty agreement for control of Cyrus and were admitted with Cyprus in 1986. In 1988 the organization was renamed the European Union with the admission of the former Warsaw Pact states along with Albania, and Yugoslavia (Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were later broken into smaller component parts, but all remain in the EU).

The Baltics became full members in 1989, and were followed by the other former Soviet Republics of Ukraine, and Belarus in 1995. The first non-European members came in when last multi-state admissions occurred in 1999 with the accepting the applications of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, and Malta. Russia was finally accepted for membership in 2004.

Since 2004 the EU has covered all of continental Europe (actually all of Europe save the British Isles and Gibraltar), plus member state overseas territories (mostly French, some Dutch and Greenland, the Canaries, Azores, etc.) and the aforementioned members in what the EU calls “Near Europe.” The EU did not become a real federated nation state until the Treaty of Strasbourg in 2005. The Treaty provided that by December 31, 2006:

  • The national banks of all member states would fall under the European Central Bank.
  • The official currency throughout the EU would be the Euro.
  • All military forces within the EU will comply with the directives of the European Defense Directorate for uniforms, rank structure, pay and equipment.
  • The European Parliament would have members elected every four years by member states. The Parliament shall also choose from among their members a President of the EU.
  • The EU President acts as Head of State and Head of Government, and is elected after each new Parliament. The President can be removed at any time if two-thirds of Parliament votes no confidence.
  • Each member state shall send one representative to serve on a Council of Ministers. Any law passed by the Parliament shall require agreement of the President plus two thirds of the Council of Ministers.
  • The President shall choose a cabinet, but all members of the cabinet must be members of the Parliament or Council of Ministers.
  • The European Court shall consist of ten judges, no two of whom shall be from the same member state. Judges shall be chosen by the President to sit for ten year terms with the terms staggered so one new member comes on each year. An odd number of judges will sit on each case. Rulings shall bind all member states, but where a member state is a party they may request a Judge from their state hear the case, and if necessary the President shall make a temporary appointment for that case only.
  • All member states cede to the EU any power they have in regards foreign affairs.
  • All member states must have democratically elected legislative bodies where the power to make law in the state shall reside.
Since 2006 the EU has found some difficulty getting member states (in Scandinavia especially) to accept the supremacy of Brussels, but it has held together and generally prospered. The European Space agency rivals the NASA, and the Commonwealth Space Agency. It has managed to do what even its biggest members (France, & Germany) couldn’t do alone – keep Europe relevant. The French have remained first among equals, and their holdings outside Europe, known to them as Overseas Departments, have all the benefits of European Union membership. This applies to a lesser extent with the Dutch, Danes and Portuguese.

Notable History since the Conflict - The United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth

The United Kingdom acted quickly after the War to assist Hong Kong and Commonwealth Members suffering from fallout, and a massive refugee crisis. This brought the Commonwealth closer. Since the UK did not integrate with Europe given the hold on its EEC application, it devoted full attention to creating an ever closer relationship with the United States, and making the Commonwealth more than a club.

The UK and Ireland entered a joint sovereignty agreement over Northern Ireland in 1974. In exchange for this agreement Ireland agreed to join the Commonwealth. In fairness this likely would not have occurred were the British not concerned with intelligence that the IRA was close to obtaining a nuclear device from the already unstable USSR. The joint sovereignty agreement served as a model for various others around the world, including the agreement between Israel and Jordan over Jerusalem, and the aforementioned Cyprus Accords. Her Majesty’s Government is less than enamored with the joint sovereignty agreement for the Falklands with Argentina in 1986, but that did not stop them from entering an agreement with Nationalist China when Hong Kong was returned in 1997. The Falklands experience has kept the UK from entering any similar agreement with Spain over Gibraltar.

The UK was at the forefront in making sure there were no more nuclear exchanges. Its biggest success in preventing new nuclear exchanges was on the Indian sub-Continent in 1978 by imposing a settlement on Pakistan when the Pakistanis made a failed attempt to attack India with a Soviet nuke. Commonwealth troops enforced the borders between Pakistan and India, and suspended Commonwealth membership for Pakistan until it recognized the independence of Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) in 1980.

In 1980 Angola and Mozambique were actually granted Commonwealth membership despite having been Portuguese colonies with no prior British connections. This, and the success on the Indian sub-Continent, allowed the Commonwealth to flex real muscle to impose settlements in South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).In 1982 apartheid was ended, and South Africa’s nuclear stockpile was destroyed.

Chinese refugees were settled throughout the Commonwealth, with especially large concentrations in Papua New Guinea, and Northern Australia. The immigration was such in those two areas that they actually became the 7th and 8th Australian States.

In 1969 English was already one of the dominant languages. English, Spanish and Mandarin were roughly equal with total number of speakers (with English leading in those who spoke it as a second language). Now with the dominance of the USA, and the Commonwealth (i.e. India mandating English studies), and the diaspora of much of the surviving Chinese population, English is the first language for almost 50% of the 4.5 billion people on earth. Another 15 - 20% are considered fluent, and who knows how many speak some form of Pidgin English.

There were subtle, but perceptible changes in the Commonwealth starting in the late 1980s. Since then, although all members were independent, the relationship between the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand grew ever closer to each other and to the United States. This was due to bilateral and multilateral agreements between the nations and the United States that excluded members of the Commonwealth not part of the “Special Five.” It became especially noticeable with refugee resettlement, and immigration policies. Little things like US citizens and Special Five members getting a special queue at airports that was not even available to other Commonwealth citizens fostered resentments.

As the Special Five grew ever closer, other Commonwealth members started turning to regional multi-national organizations. Scotland followed by Northern Ireland, Wales and England each formed their own legislative bodies for internal issues. The Commonwealth remained, but by 2000 it was clearly a two tier system. That was formalized on July 1, 2017 when Ireland recognized Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State and the Queen opened the first formal session of the Federated Commonwealth (FC) Parliament. Even before Westminster became the Parliament for the Commonwealth, the Special Five had significant integration with each other and the US. The Special Five used the Commonwealth Pound, had identical immigration policies, allowed freedom of travel within the Special Five, and had a combined Armed Forces.

The first Act of the New Parliament, per prior agreement to mollify Ireland, was to remove the prohibition on a Roman Catholic Monarch or consort.* When Prince Charles ascends the throne he will not take an oath as “Defender of the Faith,” instead swearing to be the “defender of the right of all to practice their faith.”

After 2017 the organization outside the Federated Commonwealth became known as The Greater Commonwealth, but those who are outside the FC find it more like the pre-1969 club. The House of Lords has been abolished, and the space is now occupied by the Chamber of Commonwealth Commissioners. The CCC is essentially a meeting place for Ambassadors from each member of the Commonwealth. It has standing committees, issues reports and coordinates activities among Commonwealth members, but the hope that the CCC would act as an upper house for the entire membership was not to be as the Charter clearly indicates that the Commissioners individually and as a body are strictly there for advice and consultation.

Queen Elizabeth II is highly popular with both the Federated and Greater Commonwealth. Her successor Prince Charles is more popular in the Greater Commonwealth due to his having voiced opposition to the two tier system that developed. This was not the first time Charles has been in conflict what he calls the old guard, as a biographer indicates he was discouraged from marrying Princess Camilla, and it was only the horrors he witnessed touring devastated areas of China and Siberia that convinced him that life was too short to not marry who you love. Many think that was an awkward attempt to get positive attention, as no one can seem to recall anyone actually opposing Camilla. The Princess is as devoted to Charles as Prince Philip was to the Queen. The Windsor line seems secure with the marriage of Charles and Camila’s oldest child George in 2019, and the birth of George’s son, Prince Albert earlier this year.

* Made possible in large part due to Roman Catholic ecumenical efforts with the Orthodox and Anglican rites under the first non-Italian Pope in centuries (btw no way there would be a Polish Pope absent the War, but that is another category).

Notable History since the Conflict - The United States of America

The United States was the most powerful nation on earth before the Sino-Soviet War, and that remains the case today. Before the War it was essentially a bi-polar world. After the War some would argue we have a multi-polar world, but no one would argue the US is not first. America quickly responded with the UK, and to a lesser extent the other European powers to address the devastation in China. Since the Soviet Union initially closed itself off, the US made clear it was extending its nuclear umbrella and massive defense capabilities over any nation the USSR would threaten.

America responded quickly with resources no other nation on earth possessed, but the problems brought on by the War were almost insurmountable. One immediate effect of the crippling of the world’s two largest communist nations was the collapse of their various client states:

  • Vietnam - The North Vietnamese Army quickly collapsed. The North Vietnamese had launched the Tet offensive just weeks before the Sino-Soviet War, and many in the American media declared the Vietnam Conflict was unwinnable for the US. It turned out the Offensive was a last gasp for the NVA and Viet Cong, and documentation found later confirmed General Giap and other leaders in the North viewed the Offensive as a disaster for their cause (they were amazed the western press saw it differently). The conflict was ended officially on March 3, 1970 (just over a year after Tet and not even a year after the Sino-Soviet War). No one was surprised when the North peacefully became a part of The Republic of Vietnam in 1975.
  • Cambodia and Laos - North Vietnam stood by while South Vietnam and Thailand (with US support) intervened to put down the Communist factions who were fighting for control of Laos and Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia proved especially vicious, but were wiped out by 1974.
  • Cuba - The US actually invaded Cuba in 1973 after it was revealed that Castro had ordered a Soviet nuclear device be sent into New York harbor on a Panamanian flagged vessel (the vessel was intercepted en route by a US Navy SEAL Team). When confronted with irrefutable evidence of their actions the Cuban Ambassador to the UN actually tried to blame Jamaica. Without Soviet support the Cubans were only able to hold out for 72 days (numerous Cuban soldiers surrendered without a fight). The US was helped by already having Guantanamo Bay as a base on Cuba itself. Fidel Castro was defiant, but after his defeat he, his brother and other communist leaders were held by the Americans until 1975, when they were turned over to the new Cuban government. All were convicted of crimes against the Cuban people and were executed.
  • Other Nascent Communist Movements – Without Soviet, Chinese or Cuban sponsorship various communist insurgencies and movements throughout the Americas, Africa and Asia died in the womb (likely with some help from the CIA and MI6). Various parties who were previously avowed Marxist (i.e. Allende in Chile) vociferously condemned communism.
  • Korea – North Korea actually tried to take land from China after the War, but quickly retreated back across the Yalu when they were warned off by the Nationalist Chinese and Americans. It quickly became obvious that the North Koreans, without support, could not even feed their own people. In 1970 Kim Il-Sung and his immediate family disappeared, and to this day it is unknown if they used hidden wealth to flee or if they were killed to allow reunification with the South. In any event reunification occurred in 1971.
  • The Middle East – The end of support from the USSR cut off the lifeline for the Arab states opposing Israel. As a result US sponsored “shuttle diplomacy” started by Henry Kissinger in 1971 led to the adoption of the Copenhagen Accords in 1978 (see the prior section on the Iraq-Iran nuclear exchanges).
  • The Maoist Rebellion in India - After the death of Mao the end of this rebellion was hastened by aid from the US and FC (there were similar ends to Maoist movements throughout Asia).
There were immediate consequences to America as well. Apollo 11 landed on the moon in July 1969, but President Nixon announced even before the launch that manned missions after that date were being suspended. It was almost nine years before a human returned to space. The massive outlays for aid to the affected areas, and unbelievably large refugee problem led to some backlash. The Philippines, Okinawa, Southeast Asia, and Korea were all suffering literal and figurative fallout from the War and were looking to the US for help. The President proposed and the Congress approved his implementation of a system wherein countries could apply to be “a Nation in Free Association with the United States.” Outside of Asia the Marshall Islands, Cuba, Panama, Israel and Liberia sought and were granted status as Nations in Free Association. Just as with the Commonwealth Nations can be in Free Association with the US and still join other entities such as the EU.

The legislation allowed the President wide latitude in assisting any area recognized as a Nation in Free Association. The participating countries offered basing for US forces, coordinated policy (especially as regards refugee resettlement), and received preferences on immigration, scientific aid in radiological recovery, and sharing technology. Soon some of these areas were openly advocating actual annexation by the United States.

The massive increase in immigration from Chinese refugees, the creation of Nations in Free Association, and illegal immigration across the southern US border led to a backlash. There was rioting on the US west coast, and Congress was deadlocked on solutions (in fairness there were similar experiences throughout the West, and much more violent reactions in Asia). This led to calls for Constitutional reform.

In 1971 the three fourths of the states petitioned to have a Constitutional Convention to propose amendments to deal with the immigration issues. The first meeting was on July 4th in Philadelphia, but that was only ceremonial. The delegates had agreed in advance that the Convention would meet for only 60 days (excepting only Sundays with a half-day session on Saturdays) in the Nebraska Legislative Chamber beginning August 2nd and ending September 30th. The delegates voted to keep their proceedings secret, with no published record for 50 years, but there were numerous leaks (most of which were actually false).

On October 1st the Convention adjourned and submitted seven proposed amendments for ratification. Three of the proposed amendments had nothing to do with the crisis, but were evidently submitted because their backers saw a chance to get action without going through Congress. Despite leaks to the contrary there were no proposed amendments on school prayer, busing or protection of the American flag.

Of the three amendments not dealing with immigration the amendment giving the vote to 18 year olds was the first to be ratified becoming the 26th Amendment before the end of the year (many states whose legislatures had adjourned held special sessions to consider ratifications). Surprisingly, the proposed Equal Rights and Balanced Budget amendments both failed, as did the most controversial of the proposed immigration amendments, which would have taken away the right to citizenship by birth. An amendment regarding Congressional pay, originally submitted as part of the Bill of Rights, actually picked up the handful of ratifications required and after almost two centuries became the 27th Amendment. The remaining three amendments out of the Convention passed in early 1972.

The 28th Amendment was designed to prevent foreign territories, especially the new Nations in Free Association from being permanently annexed or obtaining statehood. It provides:

  • No territory, nation, or other land area that was not a part of the United States of America on January 1, 1970 shall be annexed, purchased or otherwise come to be a part of the United States. To the extent that areas known as “Nations in Free Association with the United States” (or similar areas that may have another label) may come under the jurisdiction of the United States that fact will not serve as a basis to make the residents of such an area citizens of the United States.
  • Nothing in this article shall be construed as prohibiting the United States from leasing, purchasing, or otherwise occupying property overseas for the maintenance of military bases, embassies and consulates, or for other purposes deemed to be in the national interests of the United States.
  • No new State shall be admitted to this Union unless it has a population of at least 500,000 citizens, and a land area exceeding 900 miles square. Nothing in this Article shall be construed as affecting the rights of any State already admitted to this Union.
  • This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States.
The 29th Amendment was the most controversial to pass, as it was obviously meant to discourage immigration and provides:

  • Any adult who shall be found to have entered or remained in the United States without legal authority shall be barred from ever becoming a citizen or legal resident of the United States. Determination of illegal entry or residence does not require criminal conviction, and a pardon for said action shall not serve to lift the prohibition on future citizenship or entry.
  • Nothing in this article shall be construed as prohibiting entry for emergency medical treatment, or to act as a prohibition on citizenship or residency for an individual who under 18 years of age when said entry or overstay occurred. Likewise, nothing in this article shall be construed as serving as a basis to revoke citizenship or legal residency granted before the effective date of this article.
  • Any state may seek, and the Government of the United States shall pay, remuneration for the costs the state may incur for immigration, or resettlement of foreign nationals who are residing in said state due to the action or inaction of the United States Government.
  • States shall have an independent power to enforce this article, and both Congress and the States shall have the power to pass legislation to implement its provisions, although if State and Federal legislation shall conflict the federal legislation shall prevail.
  • This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States.
The 30th Amendment was provided a sop to immigrants as it removed the requirement for the President to be a citizen at birth, it provides:

  • United States citizenship at birth is not a requirement for assuming the office of President or Vice-President of the United States, but no person may assume either office unless he or she has been a citizen for at least 35 years.
  • This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States.
As a result of the passage of the above Amendments unincorporated portions of the United States moved to get statehood as quickly as possible to prevent the Federal Government from using them as a dumping ground for refugees that states would try to reject, and they also saw it as a now or never proposition.

Puerto Rico applied several times, and was finally accepted for statehood in 1984, and then only with the Virgin Islands. By 1987 the demographics of both areas had changed significantly. The original populations were still a majority Hispanic in PR and black in VI, but the influx of Asian immigrants to had made differences to both areas. In Puerto Rico the culture remained Latin, but none of the newcomers wanted to speak Spanish - all wanted English. As a result the younger Hispanic population also essentially abandoned Spanish. In the Virgin Islands it was joked that someone who was in a coma in 1968 awaking in 1978 and visiting the shores of St. John or St. Thomas Islands would swear they were in a Chinese fishing village were it not for the cruise ships in the harbors.

Likewise in the Pacific, the US possessions of Guam and American Samoa, as well as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands were incorporated into Greater Hawaii (still known simply as Hawaii) in 1987. Resistance of Hawaiians was only overcome by the Federal Government granting numerous sweeteners.

Washington D.C. also sought statehood, but the 28th Amendment made that impossible. Again thanks to sweeteners provided to Maryland there was an agreement to retrocede all but the actual Federal Buildings to the state. The 31st amendment recognized that any citizen still living in the small Federal enclave could vote in Maryland elections, and repealed the 23rd Amendment. It also provided a formula for increasing the size of the House of Representatives after each census. Finally given what had happened with the 27th Amendment, the 31st Amendment also provided that all past amendments proposed, but not ratified were null and void, and that and future amendments had only seven years from submission to the states to be ratified. The amendment passed in time for the 1988 elections.

Congress had created a Department of the Homeland as part of the implementing legislation for the new amendments. It looked briefly to militarizing the Border Patrol and either combining it with the Coast Guard (which was also in the new Department), or making it an independent sixth Armed Force, but instead they kept it as a police type agency and provided for augmentation by Army and Air National Guard personnel and equipment at the agreement of the Secretaries of Homeland and Defense.

In politics Nixon served two successful terms. Both terms were preoccupied with the crisis coming out of Asia. Nixon actually visited mainland China in 1973, but other things also got done. Nixon signed the Medicaid Reform Act in 1974. The Act essentially provided block grants to all states to provide for minimal health care coverage for all citizens. This created approximately a dozen different models for Universal health care. The Act was purposely meant to sunset after ten years, and in 1987 (after two temporary extensions of the Law) Congress Passed the Universal Healthcare Act, which took what were deemed to be the best aspects of the various state plans. Highlights included Tort reform, insurance portability, creation of subsidized high risk pools for those having pre-existing conditions, and a mandate that businesses employing over 100 people to buy into the plan for Federal workers, or provide their own plan with coverage equal to at least 95% of the least expensive Federal Plan. Other businesses and individuals were provided incentives and subsidies to buy into coverage.

Nixon suspended all manned space flight, but left NASA with a robust unmanned space program. Rather than reduce the budget with those savings the Federal Government created the Agency for Scientific Research and Development (ASRD). The ASRD was designed to be another Manhattan Project or moon shot, and many of the resources previously devoted to the manned space program were shifted to this new agency.

The purpose of ASRD was to harness the resources of the United States and its partners to try to address the devastation caused by the Sino-Soviet War. Partnering with ASRD were nations around the world, as well as large manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, other international businesses and nongovernmental organizations. The ASRD charter called on the agency to “use any and all resources available to find scientific means to reverse, correct or otherwise ameliorate the many ill effects caused by the 1969 nuclear exchanges on the air, water, land and most importantly the survivors and their progeny worldwide.” The British and many other nations worldwide created sister agencies. The United States eventually launched new manned space missions, and both NASA and ASRD were made part of a new Department of Energy and Science in 1981.

Presidential politics has seen a number of firsts since the War. Nixon was followed by Reagan who served from 1977-1985. Connelly almost took the Republican nomination in 1976, but Nixon’s help wasn’t enough to get the delegates to get over the fact that the former Governor had been a Democrat until 1974. Neither Scoop Jackson in 1976, nor Walter Mondale in 1980 represented any real threat to the GOP. Gary Hart 1985 - 1993 squeaked out a win over Bob Dole in 1984 - now that could have gone either way, but their 1988 rematch was a blowout. George Bush was the last of the WW II vets elected when he defeated Dick Gephardt in 1992, and shocked everyone by not running for re-election. In 1996 Colin Powell 1997 - 2005 became our first African American President defeating Bill Clinton in 1996 and Howard Dean in 2000. It’s fair to say no way the US would have President Lin elected in 2004 without the War. Jeb Bush (the elder Bush’s son) continued the Republican winning roll although both of his elections and the election of Vice President Haley, as the first woman President, last year were very close (in fact Jeb Bush lost the popular vote in 2012 and 2016, and Haley only had a plurality).

Despite previously referenced amendments refugees and other immigrants came in large numbers. They settled throughout the country, but assimilated relatively quickly. One has to look no further than President William Lin, whose parents came to California as refugees. Lin once remarked:

When my folks heard I wanted to marry a girl who was half Japanese and half German they objected citing what the Japanese did in World War II, not even mentioning the Germans – I guess because they didn’t attack the Chinese. Bear in mind my wife Catherine and her parents were born in San Diego, and both of my folks were born in China well after World War II. Now they came around, and in point of fact after our son was born mom started pestering my sister when she said she wasn’t interested in dating Catherine’s cousin who was a full blooded Japanese-American.

Race relations improved slowly after the Sino-Soviet War. The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the previous year was still an open wound. The influx of refugees and other immigrants also proved to be a sore spot at first, with many African-Americans asking why these new comers were being given so much assistance. Many believe the suspension of the manned space program was at least partly done on the political calculation that the cost could not be justified given so many in the US were still below the poverty line. The proposed amendment to deny citizenship to children born in the US of foreigners failed, but actually polled at about 65% among African-Americans. Relations improved with the election of people of all races to every office in the country, to include the Presidency. The US Supreme Court today has five men and four woman, three Hispanic-Americans, two African Americans, an Asian- American, and three whites. Ironically on the recent decisions regarding immigration restrictions the two of the Hispanic members, joined with the Asian Justice, and both black Justices to uphold the restrictions.

The US actually has doubled its population since 1969 from just over 200 million to just over 400 million, avoiding the “ghost generation” seen in many other nations. Besides increased immigration the US did not suffer the large drop in births that the rest of the world experienced. This was due in large part to the Dole-McGovern Child Tax Credit Act passed in 1974. The Act provided for up to $1,000 tax credits for every child under 14, provided both parents were American citizens and married to each at the time of the child’s birth. Unlike the later Earned Income Tax Credit the Child Credit could only offset actual tax due. The law survived challenges based on it being limited to citizens and requiring marriage in the 1978 case Roe v. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue. It was allowed to sunset in 1999, but had served its unstated purpose of slowing the demographic changes being brought on by massive immigration.

What did improve race relations in the longer term was the realization that before long whites would only be a plurality of the US population. After the 2010 census whites were found to be at about 48%, with the African-American, Hispanic and Asian populations being roughly equal at about 15% each. Inter-marriage, and Court decisions strictly forbidding government considering race in any way led to questions on race and ethnicity not even being on the 2020 census. Shortly after being re- elected President Powell was asked how much of he felt being black had been a handicap to him; Powell responded: “I’m from New York City, the melting pot of the melting pot, I got more flak for being a Republican in the last five years than I ever did from being Black.”

Given the drain of much of the civilian talent from NASA into ASRD, on the revival of manned space missions in 1978, President Reagan pushed Congress to authorize the creation of the Space Corps as the sixth armed force under the Department of the Air Force. The USSC uses naval ranks (which until they obtained their own uniforms was the only thing that distinguished them from the Air Force), and was to take the lead in Reagan’s proposed Satellite Defense System (SDS) to detect and intercept ICBM launches around the globe. The results of the efforts by ASRD, NASA and the Space Corps will be discussed in later sections.

The United States has grown increasingly integrated with the “special five” nations of the Commonwealth that eventually became the Federated Commonwealth (FC). Trade, Intelligence sharing, Customs, and Foreign policy are coordinated at every level. The militaries are now integrated to the point that an FC officer seeking a junior officer billet in a US unit is at no disadvantage to his American counterpart and vice versa. The US and each of the hold-outs among the Special Five even adopted the metric system at the same time (October1, 1990). Coordination is such between the US and FC that they are now much closer to each other than America is to Nations Free Association with the US, or the FC with the Greater Commonwealth.

The United States Armed Forces have seen significant changes since 1969. As previously stated the US was victorious in Vietnam. The last Medal of Honor winner from that conflict was then Lieutenant Commander John S. McCain III, who was recognized for his heroism in saving his fellow prisoners of war in taking over the “Hanoi Hilton” camp. John “Wayne” McCain* pulled himself in front of the senior prisoners who were going to be executed for refusing to order cooperation, and indicated to the camp commandant that they would have to execute him as well and then explain why they killed a four star Admiral’s son. McCain went on to become a four star Admiral (as had his father and grandfather), and actually became the Ambassador to Vietnam in 1986. He unsuccessfully ran for Vice President as Bob Dole’s running mate in 1988, but went on to head the McCain Commission in 2003 which made recommendations for totally reinventing the United States Armed Forces.

The US military performed admirably in the invasion of Cuba in 1973, and that was where Lieutenant Colonel Colin Powell first came to the notice of Richard Nixon and other prominent Republicans. Powell was then a staffer on the National Security Council (NSC). Nixon often asked for Powell to give him briefings on the progress in Cuba saying “Powell was succinct, and offered insightful analysis” that he just couldn’t get from the written page or other briefers. Brigadier General Powell led the military team going into Iraq after the 1979 nuclear exchanges, and his report served as part of the impetus for the Quebec City Declaration. As a Lieutenant General and General Powell served both Republican and Democratic Presidents as National Security Advisor and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. It was Powell who as President ordered the McCain Commission in 2003. Some objected to President Powell appointing six retired officers and one active duty officer with no civilians to the Commission, but Powell said keeping out of politics was ingrained in every military officer, and he wanted it free from politics at least until Congress became involved.

The active duty representative on the McCain Commission was Lieutenant General David H. Petraeus. Petraeus literally wrote the book on counter insurgency and nation building. When the United Nations Forces intervened in Rwanda in 1994 Petraeus commanded a battalion. After serving as an observer in 1997 Commonwealth led intervention in Afghanistan it was Petraeus who developed the plan to have Afghanistan essentially adopt a government similar to the Swiss canton system. He was embedded for over a year (1999-2000) with Nationalist forces battling Shining Way, and was actually offered command of their entire ground force, but of course declined. In each instance Petraeus found ways to accomplish missions with significantly less military force than was originally contemplated. Petraeus joked that he was a three star and the only active duty member of a Commission with six retired officers who all out ranked him – so he originally thought he was “meant to be the note taker and party planner.”

The McCain Commission delivered its report in 2006. It called for closer integration of the armed forces. For instance if you had the same job in multiple services – only one branch would be in charge of the schooling. There would be common evaluation systems throughout the services and unified procurement. The number of flag officers was dramatically cut. There was to be a large cut in manned aircraft, ships, subs and tanks, with a corresponding increase in unmanned systems. There was also to be even greater integration with Commonwealth forces. There were a total of 107 recommendations, which were presented to Congress as a take it or leave it package. There were more controversial recommendations in a minority report advocated by three members (including McCain). One was to eliminate the Space Corps, Coast Guard and Marine Corps – folding their functions into other branches, or in the case of the Space Corps and Coast Guard civilianizing other functions.

The Commission did not indicate which recommendations were unanimous and which had only four members in favor, likewise all we know about the minority report recommendations were that they had three members supporting them. We do know that the recommendation to allow gay service members to serve openly was not unanimous, as a minority report called for a policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Likewise the majority recommended all military occupational specialties, including combat billets, be opened to women on a phase in basis to make “appropriate accommodations.” The minority report recommended against opening infantry, submarine, and Special Forces billets to females.

The Congress voted yeah on the recommendations, and took separate votes on the minority recommendations voting nay on each. Per the recommendations service members discharged solely because of reinstatement were invited to apply for reinstatement, and discharges for homosexuality were reviewed and in almost all case upgraded to Honorable. Likewise all billets were opened to women, but as by law the standards could not be lowered it took almost three years before you had the first woman SEAL, five years before a Ranger Class graduated two woman officers, and the first woman to qualify for Marine Corps’ Recon was Staff Sergeant Katie McGill in 2019.

The McCain Commission recognized that the world had changed since 1969. Just before the Sino-Soviet War (at the height of the Vietnam conflict) the US had over 3,000,000 people in their armed forces, by 2006 that was down to under 1,000,000 plus Reserve and Guard Forces. Today, with drones (ground, air, sea, and undersea), satellites, other automation, and the reduction in potential enemies the United States remains the preeminent military power, but they have a force of under 900,000 with fully one third of that force being Reserve and Guard Forces.

When it came time to implement the recommendations President Lin again called on Petraeus who had been named Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. It took almost four years to fully implement the recommendations. General Petraeus had reportedly turned down President Lin’s offer take the Vice-Presidential nomination in Lin’s re-election bid, and instead became President of Princeton University after retirement from the Army.

The US had far less direct damage from the Sino-Soviet War than much of the rest of the planet, but it stepped up quickly and stayed for the long haul in assisting with recovery. There was the aforementioned creation of the ASRD, and (despite some push back from its own citizens) resettlement of refugees, and implementation of the Free Nations in Association with the United States network. More specific effects and actions will be discussed in other sections.

* McCain actually said no one ever called him John “Wayne” McCain while he was in the Navy. That moniker was an invention of the movie starring Tom Cruise. McCain liked to joke that he loved the film and Cruise’s portrayal, but was disappointed they got the only top star shorter than him to play the role.

Notable History since the Conflict - Science, Technology and Space Exploration

There were advances in almost every field that likely would have not occurred, or taken much longer were it not for the Sino-Soviet War. This is not to say the War was in any way good, or beneficial, but to point out when mankind was faced with what many thought were insurmountable challenges they faced up to them and in many was persevered.

  • Medical Treatment – The sky rocketing worldwide cancer rates, thermal burns and other radiation related conditions led to breakthrough treatments in areas not even contemplated in 1969. Specifically, gene therapy, DNA resequencing, skin grafting, artificial epidermis, artificial blood, and surgery using Nano-technology are just the most conspicuous advances.
  • Agriculture and Radiological Recovery – An entire new science was created. Radiological Recovery is the name given to the technologies and hardware that treat the soil, water and atmosphere contaminated from radiation. The discovery and later manipulation of Extremophile bacteria and Geobacter microbes opened the possibility of actually cleaning radioactive soil and water. The first Reclaimaters fielded by International Harvester in 1980 could clean an acre of soil per week, and retreatment would be needed each season (because of continued contamination from the water table and atmosphere), by 1995 the third generation machines could treat over 1,000 acres per week, and retreatment could wait for two years. Today the tenth generation movers in conjunction with a small aerial drone can treat over 500 acres per day, while fertilizing, and leaving pest protections in the soil making the land safe for raising crops for at least a decade. Ukraine’s grain production today again rivals what it was before the War. Before Radiological Recovery started paying dividends advances in desalinization technology also made previously arid areas arable. This made Northern Australia the bread basket of the Southern Hemisphere. Prior to the development of Radiological Recovery abandoned structures throughout the globe were turned into enormous green houses to make up for some of the lost crops (see the later section on cultural impacts).
  • Robotics and Drones – Even before it was deemed safe for short term human return to the most severely affected areas aerial drones were making almost daily visits. Scientists were amazed at how quickly abandoned areas returned to a state of wilderness and how animal and plant life, despite severe radiation levels, continued to reproduce. The drones became more efficient, and using rechargeable solar batteries were able to stay on station for weeks at a time. Although it was not safe for human habitation in the highest radiation areas of Mongolia, Siberia and Manchuria the advancements in robotics allowed those nations a viable means of mining valuable minerals in the affected areas (Manchuria did not see the full benefits from this technology until the final defeat of Shining Path). Much of this tech has been spun off to the military, farming and space exploration.
  • Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Computer Advancements– With outdoor activity becoming so restricted in the years after the War people yearned for new forms of entertainment. The first VR interfaces in the late 1970s were merely large headsets with animated 3D projections. With the development of memory chips to replace transistors computer speeds got ever faster. As the computers were able to handle more and more the VR got more and more realistic. By the early 1990s the headset was significantly smaller, the VR projections were much more realistic and tactile gloves plus suit sensors added a layer to the experience. By the end of the 20th century you no longer needed a suit, but experienced VR in a Holographic theater. By 2010 VR tech had gotten to the point where if you wanted to book the Taj Mahal for your wedding you told the caterer and the experience was programed into the space of their hall complete with the sights, sounds and smells of the real thing, of course you still have to order real food and put up the “base” (tables, chairs, railings, etc.) in the catering hall that would be under the program “overlay.” Plays on Broadway, or in London or anywhere can now have audiences in any locale with a VR feed watching the exact same performance in real time. This put some actors at a disadvantage because instead of replacing a star who leaves the producers started simply leaving the star in as an avatar or playing the original recording. It took significant litigation, and two actors’ strikes before there were agreements in place to protect their visages. Today small VR theaters are in almost every home, and there are more than a few who spend more time in VR than the real world. VR has also proved to be an invaluable training and planning tool for the military and in the space programs. The Commander of the first mission to return to the moon said she actually half believed that Mission Control was going to tell her that it was just a final simulation, because she was unable to find any difference between the actual mission and their last fully VR rehearsal. Studies show upwards of 30 % of users recreate past experiences and lost loved ones. That number shoots up to almost 80% for survivors of the War. You’ve all heard the story of retired billionaire Billy Han, who was 10 years old when he left China as the only survivor of his family. Han purchased a commercial grade VR Center, and for the last two years he has played only one program – a recreation of the village where he was born as he remembered it before the War. Billy only comes out of the VR center to see his children, and then only because they won’t go in anymore out of fear he’ll never come out. There was a dark side to VR - Shining Path used it to keep their slave labor under control and working long after they were suffering from radiation and other ailments. The creation of deep fakes for pornography, advertising and various illicit purposes has created a whole new area of law. There were even a criminal convictions reversed based on findings that the recorded crimes were actually deep fakes. The increase in computing capability led to other innovations we now take for granted. This includes the internet, portable assistants which started off as just cell phones, 3D Fabricators, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). There is a dispute over whether the Deep Thought Five Experimental (DT5X) computer unveiled at MIT late last year is truly an example of Artificial Intelligence, or just a computer that from its speed, programing and ability to learn is just the fastest tool man has created. Either way it would seem like magic to the programmers of the first computers developed in the mid- 20th Century. The world has been assured that the DT5x is true AI, but also is not a danger to humankind; of course science fiction writers disagree.
  • Construction – There have been numerous innovations in construction since the War. Increased trade has led to the building of tunnels and crossings since the beginning of the 21st century. The first advancements came from work by the ASRD in the area of radiation shielding and structures. The aforementioned 3D Fabricators were scaled up and are now used at virtually any large scale construction project. These technologies have proved especially useful in space exploration. This led eventually to the “Build Down” initiative wherein buildings were constructed as many as nine stories underground. The VR advancements allows for the illusion of windows, balconies, and even facilitates actual small gardens creating an experience that leaves behind the old bunker mentality. Unfortunately, the disaster in Siberia and Manchuria when the power grid went out in 1998 killed over 3,000 people when they were stuck in elevators or otherwise suffocated when the ventilation systems stopped working. Thousands more were homeless for over a year while new safety measures were put into place. You have major road and rail development coinciding with the construction of major tunnels and crossings around the world. Starting with the Chunnel across the English Channel linking the UK and France in 2003, you then had the 2009 Baltic tunnel crossing between Denmark and Sweden, the 2013 Morocco - Gibraltar - Spain tunnel linking Africa and Europe, last year’s Bering Sea Link providing rail service between Alaska and Siberia, and this year’s crossing being opened between Papua New Guinea and Queensland. You also have the soon to be completed railway tunnels and bridges from Siberia to Sakhalin through the Japanese islands to Korea across the Korean straight, and the Bone Key Tunnel from the end of US I-95 in the Florida Keys to Cuba set to open in 2023. Even longer tunnels and crossings are already on the drawing board. The construction of the Nicaragua sea level canal, done in conjunction with the expansion of the Panama Canal’s locks led to an exponential increase in trade with crossings from the Pacific to Atlantic going through Nicaragua and Atlantic to Pacific crossings going by way of Panama.*
  • Nuclear Power - In 1969 nuclear plants accounted for just over 2% of electricity generation. Now it accounts for almost 60% in the US and is over 65% in the rest of the world. Ironically we would be much more dependent on fossil fuels today were it not for the nuclear exchanges making cleaning the atmosphere so urgent. The regulation by the IAEA has quite likely prevented more than one meltdown by requiring total redesign as of nuclear plants in the former USSR. The IAEA has also shut down plants in the US, France and Japan for days with no notice. If the latest fusion experiments can reach the breakeven point in energy generation there will be no further issues with radioactive waste. The EU (actually the French and Germans) have taken the lead in creating technology to recycle the nuclear waste currently generated to dramatically reduce the actual amount needing storage. Ironically much of the fuel for today’s nuclear reactors comes from weapons disassembled in the wake of the Sino-Soviet War. Oil would still likely be the number one energy source had OPEC not embargoed the West in 1971 to increase the price. This led to the US switching back to coal in the short term and nuclear in the long term, and increasing production of oil and gas through creation of a technology known as fracking. The FC recently announced they have finally achieved the breakeven point wherein they can garner more energy from a nuclear fusion reaction then is put in to create the reaction. It is believed the EU and US are not far behind. If true this will result in zero emission energy without the waste we now deal with from fission reactors.
  • Space Exploration – Not all technology benefited in the short run. Had there not been a war the space race would have continued. We would surely be on Mars. After the lunar landing in July 1969 Nixon suspended manned space flights citing the conflict aftermath. It took almost a decade to restart. Thanks to the aforementioned advances in robotics unmanned missions were landing on the moon again in the late 1970s and have been making return trips since 1991. They could have landed people on the moon again by 2017, but the US, FC and EU joint mission waited until the 50th anniversary to return (the nations claim they were just updating safety protocols, but the 50th anniversary landing was hard to resist). Instead unmanned missions delivered the modules for a permanent base, which has been continuously manned since September 2020. With the radiation shelter and shielding technology developed after the nuclear exchanges they were able to develop and permanently man Armstrong Station less than 14 months after landing. The base will serve as the launch point for the first manned Mars in 5 years (the first modules are already en route). Even before the return to the moon humans were in orbit. By 2011 there were four permanent space stations orbiting the earth.
*The US of course built both canals, but sovereignty of the Panama Canal reverted to Panama in 1999, and Nicaragua retains jurisdiction over their canal. Even so the US retains bases in both countries, and an American Company (Haliburton) operates both canals for the Trade Association of the Americas.

Notable History since the Conflict – Religion, Entertainment, and Cultural Changes

There were enormous impacts on culture throughout the world as a result of the Sino-Soviet War. Some of these changes obviously resulted from the War and its aftermath, but many others are not as obvious a result. For instance the aforementioned spread of Chinese cuisine is generally agreed to be a result of the War, but many would argue religion would have changed little from what we have today were there no War. There were indeed changes in religion (not talking to doctrine), and almost every other aspect of the culture. These changes may be more subtle, but they are real and some are profound.

Religion – All the major religions cooperated with each other to provide comfort to the suffering in the aftermath of the War, but the actions of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) based in the US stood out.

  • Religion - The major Catholic figures in the Catholic Church leading efforts to address the spiritual and physical needs of the survivors were Pope Paul VI, Mother Teresa of India and Cardinal Wojtyła of Poland. In 1978 Wojtyła became Pope Paul VII, the first non-Italian Pope in centuries. As Pope he continued the relief efforts, and when the USSR imploded Paul reached out to his Orthodox counterparts. The dialogue he began with the Patriarchs led to a return to full Communion in 2000. When the schism developed between the liberal and conservative branches of the Anglican Church in the 1990s the Pope managed to welcome whole conservative parishes including their married priests into the Roman Catholic fold with relatively minimal friction. Pope Paul VII died in 2001 (many say he would have lived longer were it not for the many trips to irradiated areas). Pope Paul VII also worked to heal rifts with other Christians, Jews and Islam. His legacy was somewhat diminished by the failure of the Church to forcefully address clergy child abuse scandals that went back decades. The successors to Pope Paul VII, did finally address the abuse issues, and otherwise continued the relief efforts. Mother Teresa died in 1997. In 2008 both she and Pope Paul VII were canonized.
  • The Church of Latter Day Saints or Mormons were well situated to provide aid to the devastated areas. For decades they had used their members as missionaries to travel the world, and their adherents were connected by business and family relationships. They were able to harness enormous resources. Like the Catholic Church (who they often worked with) the Mormons saw their numbers grow in the years following the War.
  • Christianity in general has seen changes. There are new practices that span different denominations. A large number of adherents (including Roman Catholics and Orthodox) now refer to themselves as Pentecostals or Evangelicals, or both. Although some Churches claim to be “Pure Pentecostal,” not affiliated with any other sect. When you count those claiming to be Pentecostal or Evangelical across sects they would be the fourth and sixth largest Christian denominations.
  • Islam, for a time after the War looked as if it could again become a political force, but the splits between Sunnis and Shiites prevented a new Caliphate, Pan-Islamic or even a Pan-Arab entity from gaining traction. Various disparate groups claiming they were trying to restore true Islam became collectively known as Islamo-terrorists (a term Muslim believers then and now object to based on their contention that the groups were the antithesis of true Islam). The largest of these groups practiced a strain of Islam known as Wahhabism. These groups were especially strong in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Muslim portions of sub-Sahara Africa. When entities such as the Arab League became more secular after the USSR’s abandonment of their client states led to the Copenhagen Accords and a permanent peace with Israel there was a concentrated effort to wipe out the terrorists by military means as well as going after their funding. Wahhabism has adapted and still exists (having shed the calls for violent jihad), but the other groups were defeated or driven completely underground to the point of irrelevance by1995.
  • Once Israel was at peace Jews around the world had a safe haven where they would be welcome. Many immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union. Some of these immigrants had little Jewish blood, and most were secular, but they assimilated into the Jewish State. There was even a wave of immigrants from Ethiopia who claimed to be a lost tribe of Israel, who (unlike their Russian counterparts) were quite religious. One effect of Israel being safe was the secularization of Jews in other nations. Reform Judaism today has far higher numbers outside Israel than either the Conservative or Orthodox traditions. Jewish religious leaders are concerned that between secularism and intermarriage outside Judaism it is possible the faith won’t exist outside Israel in one or two generations.
  • Buddhism, Taoism and other Eastern religions saw increases in the West with the diaspora. Independent Tibet became the Center for Buddhists, but also guaranteed freedom of worship for other faiths. Uyghurs likewise flourished in Xinjiang.
  • Some new religions arose from the ashes of the Sino-Soviet War. The two largest groups both ended in mass suicides. Jim Jones, an American Huckster started a religion naming himself the Savior of Mankind. He controlled all of his aspects of his followers’ lives, but when the government of Guyana (at the urging of the US government) tried to move into the large reservation he had in their territory they found over 4,000 bodies of men, woman and children. Most had been poisoned, but some were shot when they refused, a handful of survivors were found hiding in the jungle. Jones himself was among the dead. The other group were the Bridgers who believed the suffering after the War was a prelude to crossing a bridge into a new reality which would occur at midnight Greenwich meantime on January 1, 2000. When this didn’t occur hundreds of adherents around the world committed suicide. The Bridgers still exist but now preach that you can cross the bridge anytime.
  • There was also a marked increase in atheism and hedonism, but this occurred in the areas least impacted by the War. Although the percentage of those professing no belief in a higher power is higher than before the War, the numbers have been decreasing since the turn of the century. Likewise the sects that preached hedonism have largely disappeared.
  • Food and Entertainment – Board games made a comeback in the dark times when much of the world were in bunkers. They remained popular through the 1980s, and of course are still played today in the original and on-line versions. The only popular game referencing nuclear war was an adult game entitled Don't Blow This Sh*t Up.
  • There was the previously mentioned fact that the best Chinese cuisine today is found in the English speaking world. Likewise Asian fusion cuisine was largely popularized by the Dragon Express chain (now the second largest fast food franchise in the world).
  • Immediately after the War much of the Hong Kong cinema was devoting to demonizing the USSR for its attacking Large Chinese cities. This created no small amount of sympathy for the many Chinese refugees. American animation and its cutesy tameness was buried in the nuclear sands. Animation went from being a children’s thing to a more adult medium. Ralph Bakshi's Trench Fever in 1972, with blood, gore, and cynical political statements being shown in a medium where they were previously nonexistent. The movie even led to the infamous Bakshi v. North Carolina decision, which opened the door for other such cartoons. Simply put, no nuclear war means there is no Don Bluth, no Matt Groening and his adorably profane rabbit, and no Charlie Adler cussing like crazy in a Warner Bros. cartoon, and the childhoods of our parents would probably not exist.
  • In 1973 Infertile Soil came out. Despite it being a historical drama, it is considered one of greatest horror films ever made. The film was obviously an allegory for the mass death that occurred as a result of the 1969 war: the massive death toll in both Russia and China, the nuclear winter, and the horrific famines that struck places like Ethiopia, but it also made the argument that communism can only come about through mass death. Despite the film being anti-leftist propaganda, the various horrors of the film were real. People like Malcolm Muggeridge didn't ditch socialism for no good reason, but because the horrors of the genocide-famine were that bad. The final shot of the film is perhaps one of the most enraging things in cinema: Stalin and his cronies toasting themselves at a large banquet, in between various shots of dying peasants, the murder of Ukrainian artists, and one man cooking his child into stew. The last is Stalin looking out a window, Gareth being killed by KGB thugs, and Duranty at a sex party. The point is obvious: communists are monsters who live like kings while they force others to starve and die for their utopian fantasies.
  • Great Leap Backward in 1976 detailing Mao’s pedophilia, the abuses of the Cultural Revolution and the abject failures of the Great Leap Forward don’t play as horrific, but still serve as an indictment of Mao in particular and communism in general, and 1979’s Year Zero detailing the horrors unleashed on the rest of the world after the Sino-Soviet War and Pol Pot’s warped attempt to continue his rape and destruction of Cambodia as if nothing had changed to be the most powerful. They aren’t officially a trilogy, but they’ve been packaged and marketed as such since the 1990s.
  • The War certainly influenced the 1972 film And so it Begins. . . And so it Ends, an alternate history drama positing what would have happened if the USSR in its humiliation over the failure in its show force in Yugoslavia and Albania went nuclear on them, in the film the action leads to a much wider war ensues when the other nuclear powers respond. The War ends with what appear to be scenes from the Sino-Soviet devastation, but then you slowly see they are depicting New York, Paris and London. And so it Begins. . . And so it Ends was much better received than Whoops the following year. Whoops was a black comedy wherein it’s posited the War was started accidently by two imbeciles trying to rein in Mao’s pet cat. The film was savaged by the critics, and it was just too soon to try any kind of comedy. The producers said they were trying for something along the lines of Dr. Strangelove, but the problem is that film did not follow a real nuclear holocaust. Even so Whoops has developed a cult following,
  • Oliver Stone’s Collateral Damage in 1985 also tried to give a fictional explanation for the Sino-Soviet War by portraying the cause as machinations from Nixon and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger. Kissinger sued and lost based on NY Times v. Sullivan, but he appealed and in Kissinger v. Stone in 1987 the Supreme Court carved out an exception to the actual malice showing for public figures, finding they could instead show actual and substantial harm to third parties. In Kissinger’s case he alleged (and subsequently proved) harm to the United States by the number of people worldwide that took Stone’s version as true and sought reparations from America.
  • In music the most immediate effect of the War was the breakup of the Beatles. They stayed together as a band, but immediately stopped touring saying it just didn’t feel right. The group actually continued recording through the end of 1970, but then went their separate ways. Some blamed the breakup on John Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono. Interestingly they were married in Gibraltar at almost the very second of the first Chinese launches. The rumor that Ono was at least in part a cause of the group’s breakup gained some credence when in 1983, shortly after his divorce, the group reunited for an 18 month world tour to raise money for refugee relief. There had been a running gag on an American Variety show Friday Night Live, where the producer went on air each week to offer the Beatles $100 cash to perform. The group appeared as a surprise and announced their tour after singing A Hard Day’s Night. Lorne Michaels, the producer then went out to say he was surprised and only had $95, so they gave Ringo just $20*
  • Just three months following the nuclear exchanges a musical festival was held in upstate New York, with proceeds going toward Asia Relief. The festival raised relatively little money that year, but had such an impact that it became an annual event, which to date has raised more than $3,000,000,000.00 when you factor in sales of T-shirts, and other collectibles. The 50th Anniversary event in 2019 saw sister concerts in eight other cities around the globe.
  • The Beatles short lived reunion served to halt the rise of what has been variously called dire, grunge or punk rock. The groups that followed were more in the tradition of classic or what they called real rock. Proponents of the dire trend compared it to jazz in its flouting of structure, but this offended jazz adherents wherein jazz never lost popularity.
  • Athletics - After the Sino-Soviet War outside of Asia and Eastern Europe most nations continued with their domestic sporting events. The major change to stadium events was a move toward domed well ventilated facilities. International events were another story; the Summer Olympics didn’t return until 1988, and the Winter Olympics started again in 1994 (when they were held in Munich and Sapporo which were meant to be the hosts in 1972), thereafter the Winter Games have been held in even numbered years when the Summer Games were not held.
  • Ted Turner, the founder of ANN tried to start an alternate set of competitions. They were called the Goodwill Games and were held in Los Angeles in 1973, Montreal in 1977, and Atlanta in 1981. At their height the games had athletes from 88 nations, and Turner tried to continue the contests, but there was little interest after the return of Olympic Competition. The Commonwealth Games also provided an alternative for some nations, and they continued even after the Olympics returned. The World Cup had a shorter hiatus and returned in 1978.
  • Culture - It's really shocking how rapidly culture shifted in the year 1969. Most of television programs were westerns, or sitcoms like the Beverly Hillbillies. If you wanted animation, your choices were either Disney or Looney Tunes. But then the nuclear war happened, and many of the cultural values that existed before 1969 slowly but surely collapsed and lost all relevance. The nuclear war, the destruction of China, the winter, the horrific famines that struck Nigeria and Ethiopia, the Iran-Iraq War, the violent Soviet collapse, and refugees changed the outlook of an entire generation. The people who grew up during this horrible time are still around, and the collective trauma still lingers in the works they produce.
    It is unlikely that anime and manga would be as prominent in America had it not been for the nuclear war. It was because of the conflict that Godzilla gained the international acceptance it did. Godzilla movies were churned out almost every year between 1972 and 1981. And with that came Godzilla comics, Godzilla novels, the yet to be surpassed 1990s Godzilla cartoon, and other bits of Japanese culture followed and Godzilla became as prominent in the culture as Mickey Mouse. American animation and its cutesy tameness was buried in the nuclear sands too. Animation went from being a kids' thing to something everybody enjoyed. Ralph Bakshi's Trench Fever in 1972, with blood, gore, and cynical political statements being shown in a medium where they were practically nonexistent. The movie even led to the infamous Bakshi v. North Carolina decision, which opened the door for other such cartoons. Simply put, no nuclear war means there is no Don Bluth, no Matt Groening and his adorably profane rabbit, and no Charlie Adler cussing like crazy in a Warner Bros. cartoon. And the childhoods of our parents would probably not exist.
  • In literature Hu Jintao's memoir Only I Remained spoke of the trauma of being the only survivor of his immediate family, and how everything he knew fell apart in a few days. To this day, it is the seminal novel of the Chinese emigrants.
  • Soon after the War abandoned buildings were converted to growing houses. The years of nuclear winter devastated crops all over the world for years. The use of artificial lighting actually made the yields from urban farming reliable enough that it has continued long after rural agriculture recovered. One unfortunate side effect of the rush to get more arable land was Brazil’s turning toward the Amazon rain forest jumped on the opportunity. By the time they realized the tradeoff wasn’t worth it was almost too late. By 1979, when new protections for the rain forest were enacted it was only one third of its original size. It was only in the 1990s when land was again allowed to go back to its original state that the rain forest began to grow again. Even today it’s only a little over half of what it was in 1970.
  • Those born between 1960 and 1980 became known as the "Bunker" generation, because this was a generation that spent much of its time in a bunker. As opposed to the prior Boomer Generation. If you were a Boomer, you grew in an age of optimism and prosperity. That's not to say that there weren't serious issues at the time but if you were a "Bunker", you grew up knowing your life could end in under an hour. "Boomers" lived in the suburban home, while many "Bunkers" lived in what was essentially a more secure and well-stocked basement. "Boomers" enjoyed their TV Dinners, while "Bunkers" watched "Gardening With Hattie" to learn the joy of making our Armageddon gardens. "Boomers" watched Looney Tunes and chortled, while "Bunkers" watched Trench Fever and despaired. The "Boomers" played Sandlot baseball, while the Bunkers did weight training and learned to use a CB to prepare for a harsh world scrapping by in the wilderness. The “Bunker” children were the Stoic Generation. The “Stoics” worked tremendously hard and the rewards for a long time were slow in coming. Those entering adulthood now are calling themselves the Reform Generation. Many of their ideas (i.e. fraternal care) smack of socialism- it’s a case of a rose by any other name. Joke making the rounds - A Boomer fifteen years after the war buys his Bunker daughter a pony, and the daughter says “How am I supposed to eat that?” He then, fifteen years later buys another pony for his Stoic grandson, who says “Thanks for the fertilizer factory.” Finally, fifteen years later he gives a third pony to his Reformer great-granddaughter who says “Why didn’t you get all my friends ponies?”
* One interesting side note is the guest host on the show that night was sportscaster Howard Cosell who was also affected by the Sin-Soviet War. Cosell was set to host Monday Night Football starting in 1970, but was fired when in doing an interview to promote the gig he was asked about the “Armageddon” the previous year, and he responded “Yeah, you mean the Mets winning the World Series?” NBC later picked up Cosell and he was on Friday Night Live to promote its foray into Thursday Night Football.

Notable History since the Conflict - The United Nations and Regional Cooperation

The United Nations (UN) was totally ineffectual in the immediate aftermath of the Sino-Soviet War. They were unable to intervene because the USSR as a permanent member of the Security Council vetoed every attempt at action. Even the attempt to condemn the PRC was watered down by the Nationalist Chinese, who also served as a permanent member, as they saw to it that only Mao Tse Tung was blamed. The US, and its western allies acted independent of the UN. It was clear the UN as an organization needed reform if it was to continue.

Some believed the European powers would pause, stop, or even reverse the divestiture of their colonial holdings because of the Sino-Soviet War. Just the opposite occurred. The Europeans were in fact worried that besides being called upon to take in refugees and provide aid to the devastated regions of Asia and Eastern Europe they would need to provide ever increasing assistance to their current and former colonies. The colonies themselves had some second thoughts about independence, but were also afraid if they did not accept the offer that the Europeans would make them a dumping ground for refugees they couldn’t handle.

A hybrid was developed following the models of the Commonwealth, and the Nations in Free Association with the US. The former colonies continued to receive aid, they also left their defense to the Europe, and had minimal obligations for accepting refugees (as already noted Macao was an exception to the refugee limits).In exchange the newly independent nations had to maintain a democratic form of government that recognized minority rights. The former colonies were also encouraged to enter regional trade zones.

There were significant difficulties in the newly independent nations. Europeans were criticized for essentially ignoring the famines in Ethiopia and Nigeria for almost a year. The UN gained some much needed credibility by shaming the EU into action in late 1984. All agree that the finest hour for the UN was when they deployed their quick reaction force to intervene in Rwandan Civil War in May 1994. There is no doubt that but for the UN intervention the Hutus would have completed a genocide on the Tutsi. The subsequent, almost ruthless, dealing with the Hutu leadership on the ground (and the life sentences imposed by The Hague on the few leaders who escaped), served as a deterrent against tribal warfare throughout Africa.

By the end of the 1970s virtually all of the former colonies had gained independence, and what holdings remained generally had greater autonomy. France retained French Guiana, and its island holdings in the Caribbean, Atlantic and Pacific as Overseas Departments (and retained its own Trade Zone with former colonies). The Dutch retained Surinam, and its Caribbean islands. The Danes kept Greenland, and the Portuguese actually incorporated Cape Verdi.

The UN made some progress on refugee resettlement in the 1970s, but otherwise limped along until 1986 when given the breakup of the USSR and the competing claims in China, both Russia and the Nationalist Chinese were forced to give up their permanent seats on the Council. The remaining permanent members – the US, UK and France agreed that any future veto in the Council would require at least two permanent members agreeing to the veto. They also agreed to have summits every ten years to determine if new permanent members should be added (or presumably failed powers removed). It was the first mention of international organizations having seats on the council, and the European Union was awarded a seat (though not a permanent one at that time). In subsequent summits the European Union took over the French seat, the Federated Commonwealth took the UK seat, and new permanent seats were added for the Trade Association of the Americas, the Asia-Pacific Trade Federation, and the African Asian Community.

The UN reforms also provided for the organization maintaining a standing military force. The force is only a logistically supported reinforced regiment with one quarter of the troops rotating in and out of their home nation, so every two years it has complete turnover. The Blue Helmets are able to deploy on order of the Secretary General (unless the Security Council objects). Absent the Blue Helmets Rwanda would have been much worse. The Force was also used to fight pirates off the east coast of Africa, and South China Sea (with a temporary augments from the US Coast Guard and Indonesian Navy). It’s believed now that the mere existence of the UN Quick Reaction Force, and the showing that it could be deployed quickly and effectively, has deterred numerous coups and international conflicts.

After the US was forbidden by its Constitution to add territory, it started encouraging the Nations in Free Association with it to look to regional alliances and trading blocs, while promising to let them keep their status with America. The Special Five did likewise with the other members of the Commonwealth. The US, in concert with the Special Five and Europe, further worked toward getting nations around the world to form organizations with goals and structures that could evolve into something like the EU.

The first moves in Asia toward regional unification came from former enemies. Once bitter enemies Japan and South Korea worked together on cancer research that developed several viable treatment for the cancers caused by the elevated radiation levels. This led to the East Asia Cooperative. After the unification of much of Southeast Asia, and the settlements of disputes between the new China with its neighbors (including India, Mongolia and Siberia) the Asia-Pacific Trade Federation (APTF) was born. What surprised almost everyone at the time was how through all the turmoil with its neighbors in the Sino-Soviet War, Mongolia remained basically intact and despite its own issues with fallout, took in refugees from both sides, and embraced democracy making this land locked territory an unexpected leader in Asian integration. Today APTF encompasses Siberia and all of Asia east of Pakistan plus some former Soviet Republics. A similar process followed with the Arab League, East African Union, and other regional organizations joining to form the African Asian Community (AAC). Tribalism finally being eliminated as a divisive factor after the aforementioned intervention in Rwanda.
Even though they had fewer language and tribal divisions it took longer for the Organization of America States (OAS) to evolve into the Trade Association of the Americas (TAA). This stemmed in part from the fact that most of the continent had not been under colonial rule since the 19th century. Given the absence of a communist threat after the War, the big three from North America (Canada, the US and Mexico) actually cooperated on free trade and brought the rest of the Americas along by demanding they adopt democratic institutions to join into the pact. The TAA shed the US and Canada when they shifted from being the OAS in 2001, but they are now quickly consolidating and integrating. The native peoples (formerly known as Indians) of the TAA feel they have substantially enhanced status as compared to their counterparts in the US and Canada.
One area that was lacking in regional cooperation was the drug trade. Potent drugs from heroin to cocaine to Blue-Sky were flooding the developed nations from Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. The countries where the supplies came from were slow to cooperate in eradicating the flow, logically pointing out that were it not for the demand there would not be an issue. Also, even eradicating the source in the supplying nations would do nothing about synth drugs that could be made anywhere (to say nothing of prescription drug abuse). It was only the concerted efforts beginning in 2004 of the US, EU and FC using their military resources overseas (with permission of the host nations), combined with domestic criminal crackdowns that a dent was made in drug abuse. It still took over a decade to be sure the results were permanent and requires constant vigilance, and flexibility (i.e. the decriminalization of some drugs, combined with a concentration on treatment since 2008).

Notable History since the Conflict - Current Political Map


The map above shows the current political makeup of the planet. The only fully integrated Federalized Nations are the US, EU, and FC. Nations in Free Association with the US, or which are part of the French Free Trade Zone, or Greater Commonwealth, are not specifically identified and may also be part of the AAC, APTF, or TAA. EU countries are outlined individually above as some still retain their own overseas territories (i.e. Surinam, French Guinea, Greenland, and Cape Verdi).
Conclusion: Despite the fact that the world has recovered to a degree not thought possible in the immediate aftermath of the Sino-Soviet War, no argument that can be made that the earth is in any way better off than it would have been had there been no nuclear escalation. When you count those who died in the years after the war from radiation and other disease the estimates are nearly a billion dead, and likely twice that number never born. Before the Sino-Soviet War the earth’s population was about 3.5 billion, we did not reach that mark again until 2002, and were it not for the War we would likely be at 7 or 8 billion today instead of just under 4.5 billion. Life expectancy is also estimated to be almost two years less than it would have been without the lingering effects of the War. Almost 10% of the population still suffer from fertility issues, and birth defects are still higher than they were before the War, and although many are correctable people are still hesitant to start families.
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