The North Star is Red: a Wallace Presidency, KMT Victory, Alternate Cold War TL

The "Militant" Democracy
West Germany came out of the Three Years War a deeply scarred society in the aftermath of the 1957 Hanover massacre. No nation was as rhetorically dedicated to the cause of "democracy", as West German propaganda regularly contrasted "democratic Germany" with the "totalitarian Communist occupied east." Moreover, unlike Portugal or Spain, where integralist regimes did not permit free elections, West German authorities generally celebrated its free elections. However, West German elections had severe deficiencies., heavily linked to an official state ideology where a "nonideological watchman" was required to snuff out "threats" to democracy.

The West German state explicitly cited Karl Popper's "paradox of tolerance" and Hannah Arendt's "Origin of Totalitarianism" to essentially suppress dissidents. For example, the government banned expression of "totalitarian ideologies", which in theory meant both Communism and Nazism, but was essentially selectively only applied to Marxists and other socialists. Short of outright defending and celebrating the Holocaust, few far-right ideas were condemned under Germany's "democracy protection" regime (for example, in one court case, a scholar downplaying the death toll of the Holocaust was acquitted, while another expressing support for the Tanganyikan Mapinduzi rebels was convicted). Ironically, neither Popper nor Arendt were fans of West Germany's "constitutional protection regime."

The Gehlen Organization, under former head of Nazi military intelligence in the Eastern Front, Richard Gehlen, was transformed into Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution), which was given a broad mandate to "root out anti-democratic elements." Opposition elements quickly referred to them as the neo-Gestapo due to the prominence of many ex-Gestapo members (that being said, a majority of members were Abwehr veterans). The election system was also predictably rigged. Under West German election laws, each state sent MPs to the Bundestag based on proportional representation with the caveat that if any one electoral party alliance cleared 50% of valid votes in a state, they would receive 100% of the seats from that state. The ruling coalition would always get over 50% in enough states to guarantee 100% of the seats in those states - and no opposition alliance would ever manage that feat themselves because threatening candidates were often banned from the ballot (for "sympathy to totalitarianism"). Moreover, the opposition, deeply infiltrated by the BfV, was generally unable to ever unite.

In many ways, West Germany had constructed what many American liberals had desribed as the "perfect democracy." Angered by New Left student radicals during the 1964 elections, luminary American historian Richard Hofstadter penned an article describing West Germany as the "perfect democracy." To many American liberals, finally, "men of high virtue" with a belief in "human progress, technocratic rule, democratic rule, and high culture" (West German elites regularly cited Kant to justify their supposed "constitutional rule by law" state) would rule instead of "Marxist student activists, primitive Christian fanatics, and other deranged populists". The obvious fact that many of the judges in the so-called "rule-by-law" state were hanging judges for Nazi Germany was glossed over because pointing this out was quickly condemned as "Communist propaganda" sponsored by the "butchers of Stockholm." The most famous proponent of "militant German democracy" in America was German-born political scientist Karl Loewenstein, who argued that the West German legal system was actually reliable (most prosecutions of electoral candidates actually failed, though too late for their votes to actually be counted) and the system was unlike the Imperial and Nazi past because the government was 1) parliamentary, 2) restrained by courts, and 3) not run by any one autocrat in particular. All of those points were technically true, but this did not convince anyone skeptical of the system.

The West German secret services were heavily supported by France (as West Germany was a dutiful member of the EU) as well as the United States (as a dutiful member of NATO). Moreover, West German universities and political scientists were typically on the forefront of any analysis justifying Western intervention wherever they went (especially in anticolonial struggles, where most nations were actually quite embarrassed to do so). Moreover, West Germany once again became an intellectual center in Europe, at least for a certain type of European. The West German government gleefully sponsored free education for any anti-Communist Eastern European, where they would impress upon their own narrative of history - chief among the official state narrative in West Germany was that "international Marxists" tricked the West and Nazi Germany into a war together, that Operation Barbarossa was a "defensive war" launched to liberate the ethnicities of Eastern Europe, that the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities were real but their death toll was "overexaggerated" by "Marxist propaganda", and that anticolonial revolts abroad were part of an ancient "Bolshevik war against Western civilization." Their first eager students were Swedes, but they were quickly joined by Hungarians and Yugoslav anti-Communists, as well as Polish refugees. German intellectuals who detested the new regime typically either moved to East Germany - or more popularly, the Saarland, which quickly became a hotbed of anti-regime extremism and academic freedom.

At least between 1957 and 1963, the regime saw skyrocketing incomes, which quieted domestic discontent. However, the oil crash of 1963 and political chaos in neighboring France would also spark remarkable disorder in West Germany, which would only be compounded by the chaos in the Soviet Union. The "Spirit of 64" would soon be on its way to West Germany...
Why does it remind me so strongly of today's liberal democracies?
The Autocrat

Increasingly buoyed by seeming success in international affairs as well as an economic surge based on some sort of trade rapprochement with the United States and the European Union, Prime Minister Mattei was not happy to rule like his center-left precedessors, who largely governed by consensus within Christian Democracy, largely only breaking such concord only to chart a more independent foreign policy. Mattei was determined to impose his will on Italian politics, focusing on Christian Democracy. Quickly drumming out free-market opponents and socialist-left opponents, Mattei thought to build the party in his own image - technocratic, interventionist, and centralist. Unlike many cold warriors, Mattei truly cared very little for international ideological politics. Although his predecessors adopted nonalignment based on moral and pacifistic and Christian principles, Mattei believed primarily in economic realpolitik. When European nations were setting themselves on fire playing influence wars in the Middle East, Italy sat at the side, happy to make deals with anyone that would turn them a profit. When the British fled for their lives from Jordan, the Italian government was the first to reach out to Social Nationalist Syria, offering engineers, investments, and oil technicians. Italy had never played along with the sanctions on Iran. Italy was also the first Western government to reach out to the new regime in Egypt. Even in Kenya, the Italians were happy to do business with Idi Amin, and were also happy to throw him away once he had outlived his purpose.

Their close ties to the Muslim world, based on simply not caring about what kind of government they had, almost perfectly shielded Italy from the 1963 oil crisis. If anything, Italy's monopolization of oil resources from the rest of Europe saw Italian industry surge at an era where Franco-German industry stagnated. This was seen and appreciated by Italy's labor unions, whom he quickly bent to his will. The grand bargain would survive. The Socialists and Reform Communists would continue supporting his administration in exchange for regular wage increases and tolerating mass unionization. In exchange, Italian unions refrained from directly striking, but rather went over the heads of management, discussing directly with an increasingly authoritarian Italian state, who would simply command industries. The significant state-owned enterprise sector of the Italian economy gave Mattei the ability to set de facto wages and benefits, which he used to secure union support.

Ironically, Italian hostility to Yugoslavia (due to the Trieste dispute) meant that Italy also had a unique role in reaching out to the Communist bloc. Soviet-Italian relations were cordial and Italy stood as an unusual example. In many ways, Italy remained an economic lifeline for much of the Eastern Bloc, especially Eastern Bloc members that exported raw materials. All of this regularly meant that Western liberals condemned Italy as an "authoritarian cancer" in the "democratic" world. Despite the fact that Mattei was actually more reliant on the left, he was regularly condemned by Western analysts as a "far-right" leader, even though many of those analysts lauded Portugal and Spain as good EU members. That being said, some of the Italian far-right did defect to support Mattei, seeing at least that he had established a surprisingly corporatist system at home that reminded them of the non-militarist, non-racist elements of the old regime. However, it was difficult to make that label stick, especially because he did not seem to be a militarist in the slightest, even if he obsessively concentrated political power in his own office. In a lot of ways, he had tamed both the far-left and the far-right under one umbrella, with his strongest opponents generally being centrist liberals.

Although maintaining cordial relations with the United States, there was always the sense that a large and powerful foreign policy lobby in Washington disliked Mattei's Italy. Similarly, Italy soon became the odd man out in Europe, being the only major Western European country to not dutifully join the European Union. Charitable foundations and intelligence agencies in the United States and the rest of Western Europe quickly found a group in society that chafed against the seeming conformism and "managed democracy" of Italy - namely increasingly radical youth at Italian universities who either challenged the regime from the left, right, or even center. Italian students quickly received sponsored lectures from radical academics who raged against the system. However, they were never able to expand their ranks to include workers in their demonstrations - and it was increasingly obvious that the workers of Northern Italy were too closely welded to the regime.

Finally, the declining economic fortunes of France/Germany and the rising fortunes of Italy quickly shut off the spigot of Southern Italian emigration to France and Germany - instead, they generally piled into Northern Italy, where they tended to actually moderate the labour unions by adding more labour to the local market. In fact, the government saw this as a positive, but the widespread migration from the South to the North also created social and economic problems in the South - problems that the government sought to rectify by loosening immigration and migrant worker laws. In a return to history, Italy quickly became one of the most generous takers of Greek refugees, either fleeing the aftermath of the Greek Civil War(s) or the ethnic cleansing of Thrace and Cyprus. Besides Greeks, a not-insignificant number of Latin Americans arrived, largely because the Italian government widely overestimated Italian cultural influence in Latin America (and often mixed up nations). Although this led to more economic growth, it further alienated elements of the far-right. Even liberals found something to complain about it - often arguing that Italy was "de-europeanizing" under Mattei, who clearly prioritized Italian national interests (especially economic) over "European solidarity."
What is West Germany position about Italy? Are Italians attacked by German propaganda for their affairs with the Soviets (especially the deal for Trieste during the Three Yers War) or is Rome considered too important for NATO's interests in Europe?
What is West Germany position about Italy? Are Italians attacked by German propaganda for their affairs with the Soviets (especially the deal for Trieste during the Three Yers War) or is Rome considered too important for NATO's interests in Europe?
Probably both.

Also, as a heads up, I do actually appreciate "hey, what about XXX" posts coming from people because often I sit here wondering "uh, I'm pretty sure I neglected or forgot about some place..." - and that actually does solve this dilemma for me!
If you're taking requests for updates: I know we looked at the US and Canada not that long ago, but is anything of note happening in Mexico? Don't think they've been mentioned much. Same question for Australia/NZ, are their politics in as much disarray as the rest of the Anglsophere seems to be?
Honestly I am curious about the current status of Yugoslavia and Albania. Considering the unplesant relationship Albanians and Serbs had for most of history (and still have), I wonder how Tito is dealing with the annexation of Albania
Honestly I am curious about the current status of Yugoslavia and Albania. Considering the unplesant relationship Albanians and Serbs had for most of history (and still have), I wonder how Tito is dealing with the annexation of Albania
Tito died during the pseudo-WW3 which was the Three Years War, so there's that.
Chapter 221 - The Hangover
The Hangover
A wave of patriotic fervor had seized Yugoslavia in the 1950's. By the 1960's, it was looking much less clear. For one, it wasn't actually clear if the Three Years War was actually a good idea. During the actual Warsaw Pact invasion, the narrative was of an unprovoked Soviet invasion. However ironically, the more liberal, less authoritarian post-war Yugoslav government amnestied a significant number of imprisoned Communists who had a different story to tell.

During the Tito-Stalin split, Stalin had purged suspected "Titoists" across the Warsaw Pact, but Tito himself had also purged a significant share of his own party - almost a fourth of whom had sided with Stalin and the rest of the Warsaw Pact. The Titoist purges ripped through the Yugoslav Communist Party, including many well-known partisans such as Arso Jovanovic, Vlado Dapcevic, and others. This actually significantly harmed the military preparedness of the Yugoslav Army, helping to explain the incredibly disproportionate share of deaths suffered by Yugoslavia in the Three Years War. Where the Soviets used steel, the Yugoslavs used blood. One in eight Yugoslavs died in the war, compared to one in every one thousand Soviets.

Although the Titoist government had attempted to execute most arrested Yugoslav Communist members, most had escaped in the chaos of the war, and the postwar Dilas "thaw" saw a general amnesty for all kinds of ideological crimes. As a result, many orthodox Communists openly questioned the decisions that went into the war. The biggest criticism was that the Soviet Union ultimately actually adopted ideological provisions not so different from Yugoslavia, so the entire ideological struggle was pointless. Moreover, a genuine error in judgment had been made - Tito had believed strikes against Soviet intelligence operations across the Bulgarian border wouldn't lead to a bigger war, but it simply gave the Soviets the casus belli they had been hunting for.

Amusingly, the other group to be amnestied out had been in hiding in the mountains and abroad - and gleefully returned to fight for the Yugoslav Army - the Chetniks. Although they were furiously kept out of government, they were at least given the right to return to Yugoslavia and live in peace. After all, Yugoslavia needed assistance from anyone it could in order to rebuild. Ironically, the resurgence of both royalists and Stalinists gave the reformist government the ability to paint both sides as dangerous extremists.

In contrast to Sweden, the political leadership in Belgrade was...not as committed to a hardline description of its history. Tito's inner circle had more or less actually been annihilated, leaving fringe elements of the Yugoslav Communist Party in charge. And more than anything, they were pragmatists. Ironically, despite the fact that it had snatched an entire Republic from Yugoslavia, the Bulgarians were generally viewed as the least hardline Warsaw Pact members, and moves were quickly made to quietly reopen the borders with Bulgaria-Macedonia (eased by the fact that there was historically no border between Serbia and Macedonia). Beria cleverly understood Yugoslavia was better as a friendly neighbor than an implacable hostile one - even though he was the one who had masterminded the total annihilation of Sarajevo. As a result, Beria ordered the Bulgarians to adjust the borders between Macedonia/Yugoslavia in Yugoslavia's favor, meeting Yugoslav demands. That being said, the nation with the best relations with Yugoslavia ended up being Hungary, which like Yugoslavia, was a perceived buffer between East and West. Ironically however, Hungary had worse relations with the Warsaw Pact than the nation that had actually fought a total war against it - so Yugoslav diplomats were ironically often used as a go-between between the Warsaw Pact and National Hungary.

In the constraints of Yugoslav politics, the Royalists were generally seen as an American proxy and the Stalinists seen as a Soviet proxy, which allowed Yugoslavia to quietly open up links to both blocs. While Yugoslav society unanimously celebrated and commemorated the tremendous sacrifice and acts of heroism in the Three Years War, there was never a consensus on whether it was good idea. Moreover, many embittered veterans resented being essentially thrown against Soviet steel as cannon fodder by the Titoist regime, so while supportive of the war effort, the nation avoided total consensus groupthink. As the war was now over, it became acceptable to question the conduct of the war.

In general, the Bosnians were generally the most anti-Soviet, while the Albanians the most pro-Soviet. Many Albanians still resented forcible inclusion into the new Yugoslavia, but the Dilas Thaw actually expanded the territory under Albanian control (Albania was largely governed by Yugoslav Kosovars), so Albania's local ruling class was pro-Yugoslav. The Croats and Slovenes were willing to put anti-Serbian sentiment in favor of a different external enemy. Even though Italy posed as the non-aligned, neutral power siding against colonialism abroad, the Italians were quite willing to completely flaunt international law in one area - revising the status quo in Trieste (officially annexing former Trieste). Moreover, Italian troops had entered Dalmatia and Fiume...and simply never left. Yugoslavs welcomed Italian soldiers, sent to fight with them, to these regions. But when Italy left the war...their troops didn't actually leave. The Western Allies had no real interest in evicting them - and the Yugoslavs no capability, and so there they stayed. The Yugoslavs were pretty sure they wouldn't ever get Trieste back - but there was a strong hope of evicting Italian troops from Dalmatia and Fiume. Realizing there was no meaningful way to remove the Italians through military force, Yugoslav insurgents became active in these region, happily supported by the Yugoslav government.

As chaos swept through Europe (especially the Soviet Union), the Yugoslavs decided on ramping up their support for insurgents in these regions,. Moreover, the death of Beria was generally celebrated, especially in Sarajevo.
So, in the end Italy for all his backs...ehm political work and diplomatic maneuvers had obtained much more than simply the Trieste Free Territory but the rest of the occupied territory in Jugoslaviak will probably have the official internationall status akin to the Occupied Territory in Israel...with his own terrorist/rebels problem (and frankly I expect that the Italian forces routinely 'accidentally' attack objective in Jugoslavian territory near the border or follow escaping terrorist force some kms beyond the border).
my two cents:
1 - Italy general position will be probably a return of Dalmatia (except Zara/Zadar) in exchange of the recognition of the pre-war border as it was, with the deal sweeten by economic concession regarding the use of the port of Trieste and Fiume (like OTL) and a deal similar to the one obtained by the German speaking in South Tyrol. Still the continuing terrorist attack will have hardened such position and a massive increase of such attacks can start a larger conflict between the two nations and Rome go for a mass eviction of the slavic population towards Jugoslavia.
2- Jugoslavia is not in a good military position, already in OTL at the time Jugoslavia was much poorer of Italy and ITTL she lack her best ports or access to the port of Trieste that was vastly used by her for her import-export, non considering the further expense for the war and the reconstruction and this Italy look more invested in military matters and reasonably well armed (hell it's probable that the nuclear weapon program of OTL here is going at full speed).
3- Regarding the population, well while the slavic will be the biggest group, I expect that the Italian population that had left the place in the years after the war due to...pressure, will be back plus some emigrants from the south if the place had seen investment and reconstruction and many of the locals will have probably left the place once it was clear that the Italians will never left on her own for fear of being at the receiving end of what happened to the Italians in 45 (not that the Italians authorities were innocent Far from it, we had our fair share of war crime and other niceties), still I expect that the crime like the Foibe will be heavily advertised ITTL instead of being quietly ignored for diplomatic reason as a mean to justify the ongoing occupation.
Chapter 222 - The Estado Novo: The Last Days of Pluricontinentalism
The Estado Novo: The Last Days of Pluricontinentalism

The Battle of the Montewara Perimeter was seen as a catastrophe in Europe. The collapse of their temporary ally in Kenya, Idi Amin, led to the creation of a huge socialist revolution on the doorstep of Mozambique, led by leaders who promised to liberate Mozambique. Indeed, the victory of the Mapinduzi supercharged militants of the newly founded FRELIMO (Liberation Front of Mozambique). Moreover, despite generous American support, the bombing campaign in Angola had killed tens of thousands, perhaps even over a hundred thousands, with essentially nothing to show with it. Most worryingly, the war in Mozambique quickly began to resemble a conventional war. In Angola, sporadic guerilla groups tried to seize rural regions, fighting with small contingents of Portuguese troops. In many ways, Angola was a less costly war for the Portuguese, largely consisting of special forces operations and bombing. In contrast, the Mapinduzi, essentially having exhausted their supply lines up north (they had more troops they could throw at Amin's remaining forces, because they actually weren't able to supply their army if they sent them north due to Amin's brutal scorched earth policy), had surplus troops to throw against the Portuguese. And throw them against the Portuguese they did. Portuguese forces had to both simultaneously fight a counter-insurgency at home while repelling repeated Mapinduzi offensives and border incursions.

The involvement of Madagascaran and North Chinese forces also made these offensives far more threatening. Both nations provided heavy equipment, the most damaging which was anti-air weaponry, which limited the mobility of Portuguese troops, who trained in the French method of counterinsurgency, used helicopters for rapid and extreme mobility. Moreover, the North Chinese carefully trained Mapinduzi in North Chinese-style infiltration assault tactics. North Chinese infantry warfare involved the large use of infantry troops, deliberately exaggerating their numbers with the use of drums, light artillery (especially knee mortars), liberal usage of handheld explosives, and attempts to rapidly ram men through any breaks in defensive lines. These tactics generally caused Portuguese forces to widely overestimate the numbers of attacking Mapinduzi, Madagascaran, and North Chinese troops, leading to significant low-level tactical failures (such as a reluctance to issue what would have been actually effective counterattacks). Moreover, knowing the limited manpower reserves of European Portugal, Portuguese commanders were politically loathe to aggressively counter-attack.

Ironically, the gambit of Rhodesian hardliners to allow transit of Communist forces into Tanganyika had largely succeeded. The creation of a large socialist movement nearby caused the Central African Federation, Portugal, and South Africa to allow develop a close working relation. The moderate Welensky government actually got along better with the South Africans than hardline Rhodesians ironically, simply because they had fewer Anglo/Afrikaner grievances against the other. Fearing that newly enfranchised Africans would simply vote in anti-imperialist, socialist-leaning parties, the Welensky government slowed down (but did not suspend or end) their goals of bringing in more Africans into the government (at least a partial victory for the hardliners). Close cooperation was important to Portugal, because the wars had turned all their African "provinces" into huge financial losses, but significant funds did come in to Portugal as a result of shipping out Mozambique migrant laborers to work in South African mines.

All of this also took place in an era where European Portugal was in significant demographic decline. A significant number of young Portuguese simply packed up and moved to work in factories in France and Italy, despite fertility rates tumbling as Portugal went through the same demographic transition that most industrializing countries go through. This simply meant a dearth of actual recruits for the Portuguese Army, even when widely unpopular conscription orders were implemented. This amusingly also led Portugal to ban emigration to Italy, driven both by demographic concerns and fury at the Italians for abandoning the fight against the Mapinduzi, which many international observers humorously noted was something now like an Italian Modus Operandi (having earlier abandoned the Axis Powers and the anti-Soviet coalition in the Three Years War.)

All of these developments came as a genuine shock to the Portuguese government, which did not expect these challenges when they tacitly supported France in its infamous "compromise" with Beria. Indeed, the Soviet Union was not significantly involved in sending military aid to anti-Portuguese rebels (though the Soviets did send humanitarian aid). This significantly discredited reformist government officials who argued for a rapprochement with the Soviet Union, but it also discredited hardliners who argued the USSR was against all socialist rebellions. The rebellion was clearly homegrown and drew support from a broad support of socialist-aligned nations (including Korea, North Japan, and Pakistan). The ultimate result was neither a victory for the reformists nor the hardliners, but just angrier division between the two groups. However, the two groups clearly agreed on what the enemy was - what a growing set of thinkers quickly referred to as the "Communist Third World". This was quickly a theory that picked up credence around the world, especially in pessimistic Portugal.

The Portuguese had closely paid attention to the British defeat in Egypt, noting that the British had lost control once they ceded the countryside. The Portuguese attempt to prevent this saw the "Secret War" in Angola (mass American bombing of the countryside), which failed to actually restore order. To an extent, Angola was not in total collapse, but Mozambique quickly seemed as it was going down the same path as Egypt. Portuguese forces, even with Central African and South African support, simply weren't numerous enough to simultaneously hold back Mapinduzi offensives and smack down FRELIMO forces in the countryside. The security situation continued to deteriorate, causing desperate Portuguese rulers to throw their hat into the ring as yet another Western power that believed something drastic had to be done to "chasten third world Communism."
Chapter 223 - Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
Ironically, with the NKVD focused on running their own country, one secret service agency became the most feared in the Western world - Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence. As many of the most politically contested regions in the world were found in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, Pakistan's ISI became one of the most crucial supporter for left-wing movements across these nations. Although the People's Republic of China marshalled many of the most dramatic interventions, it was often Pakistan's ISI that had the deepest long-term impact.

For example, North China's intervention in Israel, Syria, and Iraq was profoundly important to the creation of socialist regimes in these regions, but the North Chinese quickly saw these interventions as costly and largely ineffective (having carved out only small slices of these nations). It was ultimately the ISI that quickly came in with funding and resources, strengthened by the general cultural literacy of Pakistani operatives in the Muslim world. Pakistan simply had a far larger pool of Islamic-educated operatives than North China, which had a relatively small population base in the Xinjiang region.

Moreover, widespread English literacy among Pakistan's British-educated socialist elite also meant that Pakistan could make dramatic interventions in the West. The most dramatic was Pakistan ISI's support for the British National Front, the radical political party widely seen as white supremacist (who had ironically organized primarily in fierce opposition to Pakistani refugees). Finally, Pakistan's ISI was the most effective agency in the Eastern bloc at acquiring clandestine nuclear materials. Pakistani cooperation with the Warsaw Pact and North China supercharged progress. Western intelligence was increasingly beginning to understand that their window of opportunity to stop the emergence of a third, more radical nuclear bloc was rapidly closing.

That being said, there was pushback. Pakistani ISI continued penetrating Afghanistan, launching assassinations of Pakistani intellectuals (especially Pashtuns) who had fled Communism to Afghanistan. ISI saw Afghanistan's Communist movement as divided between the more moderate, pro-Soviet Parcham faction as well as a more radical, pro-Pakistani faction widely called the Khalq faction, filled with younger cadres who wanted to emulate the Pakistani Sifar Revolution. ISI support for Khalqists quickly alienated social democrats in Iran, with the ISI turning against Iran after its normalization of relationships with the Western powers. At the end of the day, Mossadegh was neither a Communist nor a Socialist, and having achieved his moderate nationalist aims, he had turned against his once-Communist allies.

ISI was also essentially the strongest major supporter of Socialist East Indonesia, after the devastating Soviet withdrawal. NILF, increasingly radical and powerful, became seizing more and more territory. Socialist Indonesia quickly became only able to rely on minority groups, who feared the national-Islamist takeover. In many countries, Islamism and ethnic pluralism actually correlated, because of both influence from Western thinkers (who often saw Islamism as a method of establishing stable allies) as well as the natural fact that establishing an identity based on shared religion deemphasizes ethnic divisions. However, it was not so in Indonesia, where Eastern Indonesia was generally more "traditionalist" in its practice of Islam, which actually meant more syncretic, less fundamentalist, and more "indigenous." Moreover, Eastern Indonesia was disproportionately populated by ethnic minorities, especially Madurese. As a result, NILF became quickly filled with radical ethnonationalist extremists who saw Eastern Indonesia swarmed by "perfidious minorities" and "fake Muslims." This development was generally ignored by authorities n West Indonesia and Western states, which were simply more concerned about defeating socialism. ISI often became intricately involved in coordinating a surprisingly wide coalition of society against NILF, confounding predictions by many that East Indonesia would immediately collapse upon Soviet withdrawal (even if the government did increasingly lose ground).

However, the biggest move for the ISI was its key role in instigating the Oman Civil War. The collapse of the British Empire in the Middle East horrified the Trucial States and Kuwait, who fearing a power vacuum, had actually offered to the British that they would pay all expenses of the British Army if they simply stayed. The radical Liberal government rejected the offer, forcing the Trucial States and Kuwait to turn to basically any international power willing to protect them. Indeed, a power vacuum had to be filled.

The Italians, known for doing good work aiding the Iranians during the Western embargo period, were overwhelmingly seen as the most popular option. The Trucial States immediately began negotiating the creation of a Federation of Arab Emirates, who would enjoy generous Italian protection and supply Italian industry as the first priority customer. Fearing being locked out of this oil market during an era of high energy prices, the Western powers, working with Qatifi operatives, helped promote widespread protests by the Shia majority against the Sunni monarchy in Bahrain. In exchange for a variety of Iranian promises, one of which would dramatically alter world history for millions, Western navies cleared the way for Iranian troops to land in Bahrain to "restore order." In outrage over this move, Qatar, once wavering from the concept of a federation, quickly signed on instead. Due to the participation of Qatifi clerics, this was generally seen as an American plot and pan-Arab anti-Americanism spiked after the invasion.

British forces, fighting a furious insurgency of Marxist-Leninist rebels, had finally been chased out of South Yemen. ISI was crucial in preventing the West from peeling off North Yemen, even as their shared enemy in the United Kingdom was gone. Western intelligence agencies had reached out to North Yemen hoping to play up the Saudi-Egyptian threat. However, ISI agents, generally trusted by all sides in Yemen, helped brokered an agreement between Marxist-Leninist South Yemen and monarchist North Yemen, playing on anti-American sentiments after the invasion of Bahrain. The Imam of North Yemen would continue ruling in North Yemen, the successful Communists would govern newly liberated South Yemen, and Dhofari Socialists would also receive an autonomous zone in South Yemen. In the end, Saudi and Egyptian diplomats would work to increase integration between North and South Yemen. The motivation of ISI was to preserve a common enemy in American-backed Oman, where well-funded Dhofari rebels had first demanded autonomy and then independence from Oman. The creation of the Dhofari autonomous region in South Yemen led these rebels to call for unification instead with the new Federation of Yemen. Immediately after this, Saudi, Egyptian, Pakistani, unified Yemeni, and North Chinese weapons began flooding in immediately. In contrast, the Italians and Arab Emirates simply ignored Oman when desperate calls for aid were made. This all was widely seen as essentially a declaration of cold war from the ISI to the CIA, which was initially not taken seriously by the Americans (they generally saw Pakistan as simply kicking the British when they were down).

In reality, this wasn't actually about an anti-American goal for ISI. America had accidentally fired the first shot. President Kennedy had preserved peace in Oman by rushing troops and military aid to protect Oman, but that also ensured American protection of their enclave on the Pakistani coast, Gwadar. The Pakistanis saw this as an attempt to encircle Pakistan despite the fact that archives seem to indicate that Americans actually did not know they were doing this. This seemingly innocuous decision years ago had tipped a fateful domino.
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Whoops, looks like America just accidentally tipped a domino.
I used to only ironically love a lot of those domino memes, but reading the historical backgrounds about a lot of modern day current event conflicts, I'm starting to go "damn, it really do kinda be like that sometimes." That being said, those are actually a lot less defensible than this because it was often obvious to a lot of people that xx decision might lead to something very bad down the line.
The failure of the Dhofar Revolution is one of the most heartbreaking parts of a region with an already deeply depressing history, hopefully those ISI weirdos manage to kick history in the right direction here.