Seven Days to the River Rhine: the Third World War - a TL

You are referring to Operation Unthinkable in which Winston Churchill had a crazy plan for the Western Allies to attack the Red Army with 100,000 rearmed Germans POWs to "bring the will of the United States and Great Britain upon the Soviet Union." In 1945, the third bomb wasn't read until November.

There's also the issue of the Berlin Blockade in 1948 going hot.

Both of these scenarios would feature a limited one-sided nuclear conflict.
Thank you! Apologies for any mistakes, I was only half remembering and wasn't sure if I'd dreamt it up.
Rather than being a condemnation of communism or any specific ideology, the prevailing narrative would probably be that European civilization and its offshoots flew too close to the sun, and were burned.
@Kylia could've prevented that.
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Chapter XII: Post-War Conflict, 1986-1994.
And without further ado I present to you a rewritten version of chapter twelve, which takes into account the comments of my readers. So now we will see a radically different take on North Korea's attempt to reunify Korea by force.

Chapter XII: Post-War Conflict, 1986-1994.

Claiming to come to the aid of a popular uprising against Sheikh Jaber III, the Iraqi Army spearheaded by four elite Republican Guard units invaded Kuwait on Saddam Hussein’s orders on Sunday August 17th 1986. An invasion force numbering 120.000 men backed by armour, artillery, helicopter gunships, fighter-bombers, attack aircraft and jetfighter faced a defending force of only 16.000 men complemented by a small air force and navy. Moreover, most Iraqi soldiers were combat veterans from the Iran-Iraq War whereas Kuwaiti forces lacked combat experience. The Iraq-Kuwait War of 1986 lasted for 24 hours and resulted in the annexation of that country, which became the nineteenth governorate of Iraq, the Kuwait Governorate. Directorate of General Security chief Ali Hassan al-Majid became its Governor and he instituted a violent regime under which Kuwait was systematically looted and purged of “disloyal elements”. Saddam Hussein, however, didn’t stop there: his new province was the staging ground for the next invasion, which targeted Saudi Arabia.

Of course shells and rockets that were fired were hard to replace as many weapons Iraq had came from both Western and Eastern Bloc countries which no longer had any armaments industry, but Saddam counted on victory. In addition to that, while China had suffered terribly, its armaments industry still existed and was perfectly willing to sell in order to expand Chinese influence.

Saddam falsely accused Saudi Arabia of “aggression” for allegedly providing weapons to “disloyal elements in Kuwait” and in the same breath refused mediation by third parties like Pakistan willing to conduct an independent investigation to ascertain the truth. Saddam didn’t want an investigation, but an excuse to sell this war to his people. Furthermore, he levelled accusations of human rights violations based on Islamic fundamentalism against the Saudi regime that actually weren’t far from the truth (of Iraq committed its own human rights violations, but that wasn’t his point).

Saddam declared that fundamentalists represented a “shallow false faith” that led to “obscurantist oppression” which was a hindrance to achieving “Arab enlightenment”. He subsequently presented Baathism as a secular, socialist, progressive, anti-Zionist pan-Arab, Arab nationalist alternative to a morally corrupt royal family, which was to be swept away by a revolution. In short, he was portraying himself as a liberator and works of propaganda to that effect appeared: for example women who expressed their gratitude towards the Iraqis for no longer having to wear the hijab, no longer requiring male relatives to accompany them everywhere they went outside the house, the right to obtain a driver’s license and the right to attend universities in Iraq.

The Iraqi-Saudi War commenced with Saddam’s invasion on August 19th 1986. The Saudi Arabian Armed Forces were neither the largest nor the most competent in the world at the time, and prior to Sunday August 17th had been at a low readiness level despite Baghdad’s sabre rattling. In five weeks’ time Iraqi armoured spearheads advanced almost 400 kilometres south, conquering the city of Dammam while only 20 kilometres of water now separated them from Bahrain. King Fahd was in a state of panic as Iraqi forces were in a position to strike at the capital of Riyad, with Scud missiles already striking the city, and on September 25th he requested an armistice.

The Treaty of Baghdad signed in October 1987 was an Iraqi diktat which forced Riyad to recognize an Iraqi vassal state. A Saudi Arabian branch of the Baath Party had been proclaimed by a relatively unknown figure named Ali Ghannam within days of the Iraqi invasion. Ghannam had subsequently proclaimed the Baath Arabian Republic with its provisional capital in Dammam, followed by the formation of anti-Saudi militias in support of the Iraqi Army which mostly consisted of dissidents who opposed the Wahhabist royal autocracy. As part of the peace agreement, Saudi Arabia extended formal diplomatic recognition to this banana republic reliant on Iraqi support. Saddam now controlled the bulk of the world’s surviving oil production.

The Baath Arabian Republic was purely a puppet regime and Ghannam acted as Saddam’s enforcer, ensuring his master’s control over the region’s most prized and coveted economic asset (notoriously corrupt, Ghannam himself got rich off kickbacks). Ghawar Field, the largest conventional oil field in the entire world, was firmly under Iraqi control this way. Some hospitals and highways were built were built and a university was established in Dammam, but most of the proceeds of Ghawar flowed into the state coffers of Iraq. Through his control of all this oil, Saddam Hussein had become a global actor. After a year, a bogus referendum was held in which 98% of the population supposedly voted in favour of joining Iraq as its twentieth governorate.

The only country that might have been willing to put a stop to Saddam was Israel, but the Israelis were facing problems of their own. The destruction of Tel Aviv and Haifa presented the country with a crisis situation and this was compounded by the Palestinian Intifada: an uprising characterized by sustained demonstrations, civil disobedience, violent riots, graffiti, barricading and widespread throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails, terrorist bombings, general strikes, boycotts of Israeli Civil Administration institutions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, a refusal to pay taxes, a refusal to drive with an Israeli driver’s license, and an economic boycott consisting of a refusal to work in Israeli settlements. Presumably Israel saved its nuclear weapons to use just in case Arab countries might try to take advantage of its moment of weakness.

Saddam was vocal about his support to this intifada and became the champion of the Arab world in doing so. Israel didn’t want to strengthen that sentiment by taking action against Iraq, certainly not through the use of nuclear weapons which they still neither confirmed nor denied to possess. The Israeli Defence Forces focused their efforts on this intifada, which was essentially a proxy war. Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization Yasser Arafat proclaimed the independence of the Arab Republic of Palestine, which promptly received diplomatic recognition from most of the Arab world. Arafat established a Palestine government-in-exile in Baghdad in 1987 (under different circumstances the United States would certainly have intervened, but after 1983 they couldn’t have even if they had wanted to).

Another tyrant to make a move was North Korea’s “Great Leader” Kim Il-Sung. He took advantage of the fact that there were no longer any great powers willing or able to take action against him. Despite his Juche ideology advocating Korean nationalism, self-reliance and socialism, the North’s economy had stagnated and had become dependent on Soviet aid and subsidies by the early 80s. These subsidies and aid deliveries were abruptly cut off in 1983. The North’s economic situation was dire and they looked to the South as a potential supply of slave labour and resources. Soviet food aid had ended, threatening to result in a gigantic famine by 1986. This situation prompted Kim Il-Sung to consider reunifying Korea by force a second time now that he still could (the first attempt, the 1950-’53 First Korean War, had failed after all).

After all, the Americans wouldn’t be around to stop him this time and his military was intact. North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, had been hit hard by the war indirectly though: radiation and masses of Chinese and Soviet refugees were trying to get into the country. Launching an attack proved to be a mistake as a lack of Chinese and Soviet support meant North Korea only had the resources for a quick war. If South Korean resistance didn’t collapse early on, the Korean People’s Army would run out of ammunitions, fuel and food in a protracted war.

South Korea was militarily and economically weakened and therefore unready to resist a Northern invasion. President Chun Doo-Hwan had mobilized the army and declared an emergency, but that was meant to preserve Chun’s authoritarian regime, maintain law and order, distribute food and to relocate the millions of refugees coming from the devastated metropolises of Seoul and Busan. What Chun, who’d come to power in a military coup in 1980, didn’t count on was that Kim Il-Sung would dare to attack without backing from the Soviets. That was exactly what Kim did, to Chun’s bewilderment and horror, although the Chinese made no attempt to assist him fortunately.

On June 25th 1986 the anniversary of his first invasion of South Korea, Kim’s army attacked again. Hundreds of thousands of artillery shells were fired across the border, devastating South Korean defences on their side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). This was followed by an invasion force of 1 million men and 3.000 tanks, some of which were relatively modern Chonma-Ho and T-72 tanks while other units fielded older T-55s and even WW II vintage T-34s. Thousands of artillery guns, most of them 122 mm and 152 mm howitzers and self-propelled guns, provided devastating support. The North Korean air force supported the invasion with various fighter craft, attack aircraft, fighter-bombers and multirole aircraft: MiG-21s, MiG-23s, Su-7s and Shenyang F-5s and F-6s (the latter two were Chinese derivatives of the MiG-17 and MiG-19). They soon found out that getting through the heavily mined DMZ was a slow, painstaking process.

Despite the state of crisis South Korea was in and despite the North Korean sheer weight of numbers, the peninsula was not reunified by force under the aegis of the Kim Dynasty as Kim Il-Sung had dreamed. Instead the North’s invasion got bogged down less than 100 km into South Korea because the South still had a large, functioning army with modern Western equipment that was by far superior to the KPA’s, which in many cases was thirty to forty years old and actually was used in the First Korean War (1950-’53). As a result of this stalemate, North Korea’s Stalinist totalitarian regime and pervasive cult of personality of the Kim Dynasty was challenged by an existential crisis. Unable to loot the South for food, the famine in North Korea worsened and would eventually cost up to one million lives, while in the meantime dwindling stocks of munitions fuel shortages limited the ability of the North Korean army to continue fighting.

President Chun Doo-Hwan ordered a counteroffensive and by now troops from Australia and New Zealand had arrived to come to the aid of South Korea. A slow rollback began and now Kim began begging China for help, but three years after losing one fifth of its population China wasn’t in much of a position to help and would not use nuclear weapons over this issue. Basically, China cut Kim Il-Sung loose. Despite fierce resistance, the South pushed further north and established air superiority as North Korean jets had to stay grounded for lack of air fuel. The South used this to begin a propaganda war, dropping pamphlets over cities in the North that told the truth about the tyranny and opulence of the Kim Dynasty to nip Kim Il-Sung’s attempt to incite an insurgency in the bud. Two years into the war, Pyongyang was captured by South Korean forces and the Korean People’s Army started to disintegrate. The Kim family fled the country with whatever portable wealth they could take with them, fearing to be put on trial for their crimes. A handful of KPA pockets would hold out and fight an insurgency in the mountains here and there for another decade though.

After a North Korean minister formally signed the surrender of instrument, North and South began a very long process of re-integration that would take decades and wouldn’t have been so successful had Korea not had so much help from its friends and allies. If one good thing came from all of this, it’s that Korea has become a united and relatively prosperous country with a functioning democracy, despite the still existing developmental differences between the former North and South. As of 2023, Korea is the fourth economy of Asia.
Wouldn't the Chinese even if the cut North Korea loose at least want to attempt to secure a buffer to prevent the possible redeployment of American troops to their border.
Wouldn't the Chinese even if the cut North Korea loose at least want to attempt to secure a buffer to prevent the possible redeployment of American troops to their border.
I don’t think they are too worried about US troops with all major ports being little more than glass and the government barely maintaining control over a good chunk of the country.
Wouldn't the Chinese even if the cut North Korea loose at least want to attempt to secure a buffer to prevent the possible redeployment of American troops to their border.
The radioactive mess that's formerly Northeast China (ex-Manchuria for those outside of PRC) is buffer enough, in more than one sense of the term.

Also no point, there's no global superpower left. No one to meddle in affairs halfway around the world.
Wouldn't the Chinese even if the cut North Korea loose at least want to attempt to secure a buffer to prevent the possible redeployment of American troops to their border.
China would not be able to help North Korea because it too is facing its own problems of being nuked by the Soviets many times over.
Don't forget this is the 1980s when Sino-American cooperation to contain the Soviets was the foreign policy of both Washington and Beijing.
Could the U.S. station troops in Korea when their own homeland was just nuked a thousand times?
There are still surviving U.S. forces in Korea because they could not go home back to the United States. They would remain there for the time being, assisting their South Korean allies.

In 1983: Doomsday, surviving U.S. troops were relocated to Jeju Island. In present day, Jeju is the equivalent of Okinawa, with a mix of Korean and American cultures.
I don’t think they are too worried about US troops with all major ports being little more than glass and the government barely maintaining control over a good chunk of the country.
Not t mention, the U.S. and China were essentially partners in trying to contain the spread of Soviet influence. Both countries supplied anti-Soviet resistance in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. China even permitted U.S. aircraft to fly over its airspace in the event of a war with the Soviets. Simultaneously, the Pentagon removed China from the nuclear SIOP list in 1982.
The radioactive mess that's formerly Northeast China (ex-Manchuria for those outside of PRC) is buffer enough, in more than one sense of the term.

Also no point, there's no global superpower left. No one to meddle in affairs halfway around the world.
The irony is that this is what General MacArthur wanted in 1950. The buffer indeed exists now for TTL, but from Soviet nukes instead.
Chapter XIII: New Power Blocs, 1994-2003.
Moving on the the beginning of the new millenium:

Chapter XIII: New Power Blocs, 1994-2003.

By 1994, a decade after the war, the Republic of India had the world’s largest economy and a population of 850 million despite vast food shortages in the early to mid-80s that had led to 25 million deaths. Besides that the country continued to be plagued by poverty, malnutrition, inadequate water supply and sanitation, low literacy levels, corruption and trouble accessing foreign capital. Moreover, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the driving force behind the declaration of a state of emergency a second time, known as “The Second Emergency” (the first one lasting for 21 months between 1975 and 1977). President Giani Zail Singh issued this second state of emergency during Gandhi’s premiership under Article 352 of the Constitution of India because of “prevailing internal disturbance”. Maoist groups known as Naxalites had attempted to turn their insurgence into a revolution during the early 80s, feeding off discontent about food shortages, but by 1994 it was clear that a revolution would not manifest.

Indira Gandhi – born as the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1917 and therefore 76 years old at the time, and widow of Feroze Gandhi who was no relation to Mahatma Gandhi – had been Prime Minister of India from 1966 to 1977 and again from 1980 onward. Just like the First Emergency, the Second Emergency had seen widespread atrocities, censorship of the press and the suspension of civil liberties. The country effectively became a dictatorship. The Second Emergency, which had begun in 1983, was finally lifted in 1994 when Indira Gandhi retired from politics (she passed away in 2010, aged 93).

Critics of her leadership have pointed out how she ordered the Indian Armed Forces to brutally crush Sikh separatism in the Punjab state of India. Her supporters, on the other hand, have cited her anti-poverty and pro-literacy campaigns, her mitigation of food shortages, her leadership during the post-war crisis that most likely prevented the country from breaking apart, and the growth of the Indian economy from the late 1980s onward. The coal, steel, copper, refining, cotton textiles, and insurance industries remained state-owned and so did the entire mining, energy and fuel sectors, public transportation and healthcare. What little privatization had been undertaken was rapidly overturned in an era in which state direction and control were seen as much better than the free market. After the Post-War Depression, India’s economy began growing rapidly in the early 90s in double digit rates. These growth rates between 9% and 14% seemed to confirm that a socialist mixed economy with state control of essential sectors worked just as good, if not better, than any neoliberal small government and free market economy policies. The free market certainly didn’t seem to have the answer to the post-war troubles.

Besides being the largest economy by the end of the century, India was also militarily the strongest. It was one of three surviving nuclear powers next to China and Israel and had an army of over 1 million men in active service and a similar number of reservists and another 2.5 million serving in paramilitary forces. China had more professional soldiers, but purely quantitatively India was superior and added to that was the fact that part of the People’s Liberation Army was devoted to internal order after the war. Indian troops became the most prominent ones taking on peacekeeping missions worldwide.

Part of her navy was the former Soviet Navy Typhoon-class submarine TK2-208, which had surfaced at Mumbai in 1984 after her 120 days’ worth of supplies had run out. She had no more nuclear missiles left, but her design influenced future Indian submarine designs and Indian SLBMs. The crew had decided to allow their ship to be interned in India because that country had had friendly relations with the Soviet Union prior to the war. And it wasn’t like there was anything left to go home to, as evidenced by repeated failed attempts to raise Moscow after the war. The ship remains in service as INS Arihant.

Another major player that had emerged was Brazil, the largest economy in the Western Hemisphere and the world’s second largest. This had a lot to do with the fact that Brazil was one of the largest producers of various agricultural commodities in the world, if not the absolute largest after 1983, and had a large cooperative sector that provided 50% of the country’s food. The military dictatorship had stayed in power, reining in chaos and taking control of food distribution in the first post-war years. Luckily little fallout hit Brazilian agricultural regions, enabling them to stave off famine though there was criticism that the leadership helped itself to the best food first. After that Brazil became the world’s most important exporter of bananas, beef, beans, coffee, cotton, dairy products, maize, lemons, oranges, pineapples, pork, poultry, soy, sugar, tobacco and watermelons. In the mining sector, Brazil was among the largest producers of iron ore, copper, gold, bauxite, manganese, tin, niobium, and nickel. Besides that, with Boeing and Airbus gone, Brazil’s very own Embraer became the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer. Military control to mitigate economic chaos legitimized the military junta, allowing it to stay in power over a decade longer, temporarily silencing voices demanding democracy and reform. Most Latin American countries reverted to levels of authoritarianism in the 1980s to prevent civil war, only lifting restrictions in the early to mid-90s.

Brazil also had the largest military in the Americas, including the only surviving supercarrier in the world: the former USS Kitty Hawk. Lacking the resources and facilities to keep her serviceable, the Hart Administration decided to trade this Cold War titan in 1985 for her weight worth in food, fuel, farming equipment, medicine and construction materials. She entered service in the Brazilian Navy, rechristened Minas Geraes. Some surviving Oliver Perry Hazard-class frigates, a Kidd-class destroyer and two Spruance-class destroyers were transferred in similar deals. So was HMS Oberon, a diesel-electric hunter-killer submarine, and the main motivation was Argentina’s annexation of the Falkland Islands (President General Bignone had decided not to press ahead with democratization, citing the crisis caused by global thermonuclear war). While India had the largest army, Brazil had the second strongest navy after Japan’s (India’s carriers Vikrant and Viraat were decidedly inferior to the Minas Geraes).

And then there was China: the leadership had prioritized the military, knowing that if the People’s Liberation Army stayed loyal it would protect the regime and prevent another Balkanization of the country among warlords as had happened after the end of the Qing Dynasty. The impact of the post-war famines had probably hit China the hardest of all, killing 200 million people, or about one in every five Chinese alive in the country in the early 80s. The country’s heavy militarization had prevented it from falling apart under the immense impact of the post-war crisis. Despite all of this China had some assets setting it up for a good future, such as having the world’s largest labour force and a functional industrial base. Like India, the country has a mixed socialist market economy, though with a considerably larger sector of state-owned enterprises.

China remained a significant military power, though seemed to have little interest in using that military. It had the largest number of professional soldiers of any country, while India had a larger ground force overall due to the size of its paramilitary forces (and China remained a nuclear power of course). After the war, China’s leaders had turned very inward and didn’t their its forces abroad much for years, though China remained adamant Taiwan was a Chinese province run by separatists. After its struggles in the 80s, China became the world’s third economy towards the end of the twentieth century by virtue of having the second largest population despite being hit by about one hundred Soviet nuclear warheads.

The G10 that both India and Brazil were founding members of developed from an emergency body intended to manage the economic chaos in the aftermath of World War III into an intergovernmental forum. It replaced the UN Security Council as that body had essentially become defunct with four of its five members in ashes and no longer political, military or economic actors to speak of. With that, the entire UN lost its relevance and one member after another abrogated its membership until by the mid-90s it had been de facto dissolved. Not all of the G10’s members were democracies so representative government and pluralism were clearly not part of this forum’s shared values (otherwise Apartheid South Africa and China, among others, would never have joined). Besides representing more than half of global wealth, these ten countries aspired to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and serve as a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

A formal G10 charter was drafted: its members would vote on issues at hand and a majority was sufficient. The reasoning behind this mechanism was that the requirement of unanimity or granting some countries a veto would render this body just as ineffectual as the UN Security Council had often been. If there was a tie vote, then that would formally constitute a nay on that particular topic. New members would be admitted through a vote with the main criteria being political stability, economic development and the ability to contribute militarily to peace missions.

Despite much controversy, Iraq was formally elevated to a member of this forum in 1995, which subsequently evolved from the G10 to G11. Israel was particularly opposed to this, but seven other members supported the decision to grant Iraq admittance (only Australia and New Zealand sided with Israel on the matter). The reason why Iraq was invited was the inescapable reality that it could hold the entire world economy hostage with an oil embargo (economies worldwide still pretty much ran on fossil fuels). This also made it the leading member state of OPEC. Besides that, Brazil, China, India, South Africa and Yugoslavia voted in favour because they thought giving Saddam Hussein a seat at the table would make him less of a loose cannon and more of a constructive player in the post-war order.

The proverbial hot potato between Israel and the Arab world was Palestine. By way of a compromise Iraq promised to no longer provide weapons, ammunitions and training to Palestinian forces loyal to Arafat. In return Israel would respect the autonomy of the Palestine Authority (though still refusing to diplomatically recognize Arafat’s government of the “Arab Republic of Palestine”) and promised not to build further settlements infringing on the West Bank or the Gaza Strip.

The first major joint intervention by the G11 took place in 1997 in Zaire. The Zairean regime headed by Mobutu had been weakened as Western aid based on the struggle against communism had been cut off: the West as well as its Soviet rival had been annihilated. Mobutu’s regime had managed to limp on into the 90s thanks to the importance of its mining sector, but the Rwandan Civil War and subsequent genocide spilled over into Zaire (the Hutu-led regime and the pro-Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front fought, culminating in a massacre in which hundreds of thousands of Tutsis were murdered). The issue that worsened the situation was that Mobutu Sese Seko was terminally ill with prostate cancer. He couldn’t keep the factions in his regime under control anymore as he regularly flew to India for treatment by Concorde supersonic airliner (he’d seized one during WW III, figuring France wasn’t exactly in a position to do anything to stop him).

Following years of internal strife, dictatorship and economic decline, Zaire was a dying state by 1997. The eastern parts of the country had been destabilized due to the Rwandan Civil War which had perforated its borders, as well as long-lasting regional conflicts and resentments left unresolved since the 1960-’65 Congo Crisis. In many areas state authority had in all but name collapsed, with infighting militias, warlords, and rebel groups (some sympathetic to the government, others openly hostile) wielding effective power. The population of Zaire had become restless and resentful of the inept and corrupt regime; the Zairean Armed Forces were in a terrible state. With his dying breath Mobutu Sese Seko appointed his son Nzanga to the position of President of Zaire and President of the Popular Movement of the Revolution, the country’s only legally permitted party.

In 1997, the G11 intervened in Zaire and de facto turned the country into a de facto trusteeship. India, China, Brazil and South Africa proved to be willing to provide troops, primarily to secure its reserves of raw metals and minerals whilst securing the totalitarian Mobutist dictatorship in the process. Nzanga Mobutu had no choice but to accept this “assistance” which allowed him to stay in charge and prevented the country from de facto fracturing due to rebel groups seizing large swathes of it.

One of the major partners of the G11 was the Maghreb Pact, an organization that promoted cooperation and economic integration into a common market whilst paying lip service to the notion of Arab unity. It was an initiative from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, resulting in the organization’s foundation in 1989 in Tripoli. Its members were Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. Its importance was based on the fact that it was on the forefront of the refugee crisis that had begun after WW III. Millions of Europeans crossed the Mediterranean Sea in rickety boats in the years that followed, with most of these boat refugees arriving in Morocco and Tunisia where the distance across the Mediterranean was the shortest. Human traffickers even went to Europe to pick people up, after first forcing them into agreements that they had to work off their debt in virtual slavery or, in the case of women, as prostitutes. The authorities of the Maghreb Pact worked together to house and feed these refugees, benefiting in particular from well-educated Europeans like engineers and doctors that paid for their debts with their expertise. They required G11 assistance though. Libya, a country numbering barely 4 million inhabitants, was not equipped to deal with almost 1 million predominantly Italian and Balkan refugees on its own.

The African Union, which replaced the Organization of African Unity, was formed in 1993 and for similar reasons. The goals of the organization included acceleration of political and economic development and integration, defending the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its member states, the promotion of peace, security and stability, promotion and protection of human rights, promoting and defending African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples, promoting African living standards and health, scientific development, to promote democracy and good governance etcetera. Many of the millions of European refugees that the Maghreb Pact couldn’t shield Africa from, came under the protection of African Union controlled refugee camps. It was due to these circumstances that the former head of the French central bank wound up sorting out the dire financial affairs of the Zairean government while an East German engineer wound up participating in the construction of the Inga Dams.

But perhaps the most successful and prominent bloc to emerge towards the end of the century was the Latin American Union, a supranational political and economic union. It was an unprecedented entity, which combined characteristics of both a federation and a confederation. After Brazil returned to democracy in 1995, the new democratic government immediately launched this initiative and invited the leaders of democratic Latin American countries to the Rio de Janeiro Conference. The basic idea was strength in numbers to face future crises.

The Lima Charter, with which the Latin American Union was formally established, was ratified by its founding signatories in 2003 after eight years of hard work. Its cornerstone, the customs union, was the basis for the internal single market based on a standardized legal framework and legislation that applies in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where the states have agreed to act as one. LAU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, resulting in the abolition of passport controls in the Lima Area; enact legislation in justice and home affairs; and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. To that end a biannual meeting of heads of state and heads of government – alternating between the capitals of its members, known as the Latin American Assembly – agreed to guidelines. A quadrennially elected Latin American Parliament in Rio de Janeiro would base legislation on these agreed to guidelines. The Commission, with one representative per member state, acted as a cabinet government, i.e. as the executive power.

A Latin American Central Bank was established, seated in Montevideo, as part of the Latin American Monetary Union. The monetary union was intended to lead to the replacement of national currencies by one common currency known as the Latino by 2007. The judicial branch, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Latin American Union, was seated in Buenos Aires. It was intended to oversee the uniform application and interpretation of Latin American Union law, in cooperation with the national judiciary of the member states. The SCJLAU also resolves legal disputes between national governments and LAU institutions, and may take action against LAU institutions on behalf of individuals, companies or organizations whose rights have been infringed. Spanish, Portuguese and English were the official languages of the LAU (though protection of the Creole and Amerindian languages was one of the explicit goals of the LAU).

Besides being a political union and trade bloc, this bloc was also a military alliance: one of the founding articles stated that an attack on one member states constituted an attack against all. Another provision was that members could request or, in the gravest of circumstances, be obliged to accept military peacekeeping and crime control missions. A joint Colombian-Panamanian military mission remains in the mountainous and forested Darién Gap to this day in an effort to slowly strangle the region’s cocaine smuggle to death. A Colombian-Mexican-Peruvian-Brazilian coalition of forces fought to neutralize FARC and Pablo Escobar’s cartel. Another example of such cooperation was a seven nation intervention force invited by the Haitian government to help it suppress gang rule and establish a halfway functional democracy.

At the dawn of the 21st century the members of the Latin American Union were Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republican, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. Non-democratic countries were explicitly forbidden from joining and members who infringed on democratic principles could be suspended by a two thirds majority vote in the Latin American Parliament. Cuba and Venezuela could not join due to these rules, but became “observant members” instead, theoretically working towards the criteria of membership whilst not having voting rights and being precluded from bringing cases to the Supreme Court. This trade bloc, political union and military alliance composed of 22 countries represented a population of more than half a billion people and rivalled the Indian economy.

India of course responded by forming the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) composed of twelve countries: Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam (this is not to be confused with the organization of the same name that existed prior to 1983 and had largely been forgotten about). ASEAN was not as integrated as the LAU, but nonetheless was a significant political, economic and military bloc. It was a bloc promoting intergovernmental cooperation and facilitating economic, political, security, military, educational and socio-cultural integration in the Asia-Pacific.

The Australasian Confederation (AC) was formed in 2001, mirroring the Latin American Union. It was composed of Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Nauru and the Republic of Palau. This integrated political bloc, trade bloc and mutual defence alliance covered much of the Pacific Ocean. The Republic of the Northern Marianas, previously a US Commonwealth, joined the AU after formally proclaiming its independence from the United States in 2003.

A consequence of China’s resurgence and, was that Japan had already scratched the provisions of its constitution limiting the Japanese Self-Defence Forces by the late 1980s. The Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Forces became the world’s largest navy by the early 2000s. It’s also no coincidence that Japan launched an initiative to establish multilateral mutual defence pact, first approaching their pre-existing allies Australia and New Zealand. In 2001, the Pan-Pacific Defence Pact was formed with Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and the Philippines as its founding members states after they had signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol (the others members of the Australian Confederation eventually joined too). Besides that, Japan also seriously began to consider a nuclear weapons program of its own.

Given their differing interests, the Brazilian-Indian Rivalry fortunately was a friendly one rather than a new Cold War (several Pacific powers on the other hands were worried about China’s ascendance). Moreover, Brazil and India were just the two biggest players within a wider club of large players. China, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and South Africa were powers to be reckoned with. The bipolar dynamic of the Cold War had been replaced by a multipolar world, with several power blocs competing for dominance: this resembled late 19th century geopolitics.
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I would question that population for India. That’s close to OTL. It may not have taken direct hits but economic turmoil and famine would surely shave off millions of births.


Well, they’re doing quite well for a country with a very small population base, as Onkel noted.
Thats a two way thing. Yes fewer people to work however also fewer people to feed. Hunger would not be an issue, plenty of resources so its very well set up by global standards.
Thats a two way thing. Yes fewer people to work however also fewer people to feed. Hunger would not be an issue, plenty of resources so its very well set up by global standards.
On that note, I fully expect Brazil to be clearing more and more of the Amazon compared to OTL for food and all that.