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Old 09-13-2009, 09:21 AM
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Mohoender Mohoender is offline
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Default A bit of history (1989-1992)

Of course, we all know about past events form the 1990’s but one can easily assume that they could have evolved in a very different and dramatic way.

This is the year of all hopes as it saw the end of the soviet presence in Afghanistan and the decay of the Soviet Union. By mid-February, all soviet troops have left Afghanistan leaving Najibullah’s regime alone to face the Mujahideen. In the meantime, all across the Warsaw Pact, pro-democracy demonstrations, often peaceful, are held and the communist grip over Eastern Europe start to loosen as Warsaw Pact members engaged in a path toward freedom. Hungary slowly removes border restrictions and the Hungarian Republic is officially declared in October. Poland newly appointed prime minister is a member of Solidarnoç. Czechoslovakian velvet revolution results in the fall of communist rule on December 29 while Bulgaria slowly moves away from hard-line communism. At last, Communists are quickly loosing control over East Germany and, on November 9, the Berlin Wall falls. However, Romania is stroke by a full fledge revolution that starts in Timisoara and ends with the execution of Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena on December 25. In addition, almost all over Eastern Europe, a number of German ethnic organizations form in response to West Germany's policy of accepting as a German citizen anyone who can prove themselves of Germanic descent (it is rumoured that membership in ethnic clubs will be good enough).
Inside Soviet Union itself civil unrest and ethnic strife are growing resulting in demonstrations and riots as it is the case in Azerbaïdjan and Georgia. On these occasions, the red army moves in and several people are killed and wounded. At last, the only European communist governments which survive are those outside the Warsaw Pact: Yugoslavia and Albania.
Elsewhere, the situation varies greatly and a number of incidents occur. However, they are not seen as significant. Iran breaks off diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom over Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. Christian General Michel Aoun declares a 'War of Liberation' to rid Lebanon of Syrian forces and their allies. The Chinese political reform movement is brutally crushed by government military forces and Tien An Men becomes a symbol. An attempted coup against President Aquino of the Philippines is foiled (with the help of American air cover). In Venezuela, the Caracazo, a popular uprising, occured in february but is crushed by security forces killing up to 3000. The republic of Panama is invaded by the U.S. to remove the government of Manuel Noriega.

The movement toward democracy in the Eastern Bloc continues but 1990 also brings up a number of surprises to the world.
Slowly, the movement initiated outside of Russia starts to spread to the Soviet Union as soon as January: People demonstrate for independence in Lithuania while the Red Army moves toward Azerbaïdjan under a state of emergency decree. Finally, in March, Lithuania is the first Baltic Republic to declare independence soon followed by Latvia. In June, the Russian Duma declares its sovereignty, followed soon by similar declarations from the other Republics. Ethnic unrest continues to simmer in Azerbaijan, and spreads to most of the Caucasus and Central Asia, taking the form of ethnic demonstrations and occasional riots. Although most of it fails to come to the attention of the rest of the world, who are distracted by events in Germany.
In Eastern Europe, the movement toward freedom accelerates and the year starts with people storming the Stasi HQ in East Germany. Soon after, the Soviet Union agrees to withdraw all its troops from Czechoslovakia. This movement culminates with the reunification of Germany becoming reality in October. A month later, Germany and Poland reach an agreement over their border dispute and the German-Polish Border Treaty is signed and ratified by the Polish Sjem. Officially, the newly united Germany renounces any territorial claims outside of its post-WWII boundaries, but asserts continued interest in the welfare of ethnic Germans living outside of Germany. Membership in German ethnic organizations in western Poland grows, particularly in Silesia. By the end of the year, following that of Czechoslovakia, soviet troop withdrawals are under way from Germany, Poland and Hungary. Elsewhere, in Western Europe, it has to be noted that the IRA has launched an increasing number of attacks toward Britain.
In the Middle-East, the year begins with the Yemen Arab Republic and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen unifying and becoming the Republic of Yemen. Later, Iraq stuns the West by invading Kuwait in August. With the Soviet Union in increasing disarray, the world rallies behind US leadership in resisting Iraqi aggression, and troops from three dozen countries, a few of them still formally members of the Warsaw Pact, pour into Saudi Arabia. Then, while the world is occupied with Iraq, Syria achieves victory over Aoun and takes control of Lebanon.
Elsewhere in the world, a few significant events take place. The Indian withdrawal from Sri Lanka open the gates to a revival of the Civil War and violence increase again. To everyone’s surprise, a coalition of opposition parties headed by Violetta Chamorro is defeated by Daniel Ortega's bid for re-election in Nicaragua. Sandinistas are strongly reinforced by this result and the Contras are forced back into insurgency. Finally, In Africa, F.W. de Klerk legalise the ANC and frees Nelson Mandela, starting a process intended to end the Apartheid.

In January, the Gulf Coalition begins a stunning aerial offensive against Iraq and follows it up with a blitzkrieg ground war in February which liberates Kuwait and crushes the flower of the Iraqi Army. Although Saddam remains in power, his authority is reduced to the central third of his nation and his military is no longer capable of aggression against neighbouring states. In the meantime, Soviet forces storm Vilnius to stop Lithuanian independence. Soviet rule continues to weaken up until summer with Estonia and Latvia voting for independence while Gerogia declares it as soon as April.
Ethnic and religious violence in the Caucasus and in Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union escalates while the Soviet Union increases its troop withdrawal schedule in order to use the forces inside its own borders. Tensions are particularly heavy between Armenians and Azeris in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Gorbachev continued to vacillate between an all-out drive for reform and an all-out commitment to a strong central government in the old style and the result is an accelerating slide toward chaos with the signing, in May, of Sino-Russian Border Agreement appearing as the only bright point. On July 1 the old Warsaw Pact is formally abolished, the last straw for many Moscow hardliners. In August the hardliners seize power in a bloody coup.
On August 19, elements of the Taman Guards and Kantemir Motor Rifle Divisions move into the center of Moscow and seize important public buildings and radio stations. An eight-member Emergency Committee deposes Gorbachev (for "reasons of health") and bans strikes, protests, or public assemblies. Defiant protesters gather at the Soviet Parliament building, along with a few dissident military units and a cadre of armed Afghan War veterans, to defend Yeltsin and the Parliament. On August 20, elements of the Kantemir Division, spearheaded by the elite KGB "Alpha Team," storm the Parliament building and scatter the protesters. Russian President Yeltsin, along with an estimated 800 others, die in the assault.
With Yeltsin dead and Gorbachev imprisoned in the Crimea, acting Soviet President Yanayev declares the establishment of a "renewal government." The governments of Armenia, Georgia, Moldavia, Ukraine and the Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia) denounce the new government as illegal and declare the Soviet Union to be dissolved. However, Azerbaijan, Belarus and the republics of Central Asia grant their support while everyone in the West, expressing concern, formally condemns the Coup. The situation improves slightly when Russia recognizes the independence of the Baltic States, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldavia.
While this is taking place in the Soviet Union, a similar process takes place in Yugoslavia when both Croatia and Slovenia secede in June, followed in short order by Macedonia. Violence soon broke out between the Serbian dominated federal government and militias of the breakaway states. Peace is quickly restored in Slovenia but fighting continue over Croatia.
The consequences of the coup do not only affect Eastern Europe but soon result in rising tensions over Western Europe when, in late December, the Bundestag refuses to ratify the border treaty between Germany and Poland and states that the treaty will not be examined before next fall. In addition, the German chancellor declares that because of the new situation in Russia, Germany will increase its military efforts. Consequently, plans are drawn to incorporate various units from East Germany and an arm refit program is designed.

With the change of policy in Germany, worries rise again among most countries in Eastern Europe and history takes a different path. Elections in Albania bring a pro-western government to power but these held in Bulgaria confirms the communist to office. In May, Russia meet with the Central Asian Republics at Tashkent establishing the “Russian Union of Sovereign States”. Deceived by Germany’s attitude, Poland finally denounces the border treaty it agreed upon and turns again toward Russia. In late summer, a conference attended by all R.U.S.S. members, Poland and Bulgaria is held at Warsaw. Poland and Bulgaria join the collective security treaty and the Tashkent Treaty evolves into Warsaw Pact 2. Russian forces are to be garrisoned again in Poland and various news network starts to talk openly of a neo-Cold War. Tensions rose also in May when Crimea, declaring independence from Ukraine, get support from Moscow. On the next day, Russian units move across the Kerch Strait. Ukraine is outraged but, left with little troops when many former soviet officers offered their loyalty to Russia in January; the country is unable to take any real action. A similar event takes place a month later when Abkhazia joins South Ossetia and declares independence from Georgia. Moscow recognizes these two regions and troops are sent in again. This time, the western world reacts and Russian assets are frozen. The Kremlin answer is almost immediate and President Yanayev declares publicly that all western assets in Russia are to be taken over while his government refuses to assume any longer the Soviet debt, stating that it grew as a result of the insane policy conducted by Gorbatchev.
In the Balkan region, Bosnia demands that Yugoslavian federal troops withdraw from the province, a request which the Serbian-dominated central government refuses. In addition, minor, non violent, incidents take place in southern Albania between the Greek population, Albanians and Albanian authorities. Toward mid-year, the Serbs are besieging Sarajevo and what is known as the Yugoslavian Wars enters a new stage.
By mid-year, Slovakian separatists have gained enough seats in the Czech parliamentary elections to force the division of the country into two sovereign states: Slovakia and the Czech Republic. As soon as this is achieved, Slovakia turns toward Russia and becomes the next country to join Warsaw Pact 2.
In Western Europe, the Maastricht treaty is signed, founding the European Union. Soon after, the UN gets involved in Bosnia-Herzegovina when the Security Council approves Resolution 743 to send a UNPROFOR peacekeeping force to Yugoslavia. However, later in the year, Russia will refuse extensions of this force mandate. In the meantime, both major terrorists organization of Europe, the ETA in Spain and the IRA in Northern Ireland, adopt more radical path and the number of attacks increase. In Italy, investigations are carried out on Democrazia Cristiana and uncover endemic corruption practices at the highest level. This is starting a series of scandals that quickly undermine the Italian leading party.
Since the August Coup, the Kremlin has increased aid to foreign power and this continues to grow, tipping the balance in various regions. Najibullah’s regime of Afghanistan, supplied with large quantities of oil and weapons, inflicts a number of defeats to the Mujahideen. Sandinistas of Nicaragua, reinforced by their victory in the elections, are now pushing their advantage toward badly weakened Contras that has lost most of US support. Cuba recovers and Castro is able to maintain and modernize its forces. Mongolia experiences a fast recovery under the rule of the old communist party. There, the path to democracy comes to a quick end and, before year’s end, the country is a member of Warsaw Pact 2.

In March, with the signing of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, China brings back hope to the world. This, however, is short lived as confirmation of the 1991 border treaty by Russia brings fear that the two countries could build new ties. Hopefully, this fear doesn’t last as it is obvious that China, intending to pursue its path toward socialist market economy, doesn’t have any true desire to hamper its relation with the Western World.
In the Middle-East the situation remains tense as Iraq continues to refuse access to UN inspection teams to several of its military complexes. In addition, Kurds become increasingly active in both Iraq and Turkey; their guerrillas seeking sanctuary in the UN protected northern third of Iraq when needed.
In the United States, discontent toward Bush’s economical policy, growing critics on the ending of the Gulf War lead to George Bush defeat in november 1992. Despite his stand against Russia and despite the fact that he put an hold on military budget reduction, the Election are won by Bill Clinton with Al Gore as vice-president. Then, before the end of his mandate, he gets the UN security council, including Russia, to approve resolution 794 concerning Somalia. As a result, a coalition of UN peacekeapers led by the US form the UNITAF and, on december 4, US military forces land in Somalia.
In Venezuela, the February 1992 coup, led by Hugo Chávez, overthrows the government of President Carlos Andrés Pérez. Supported by a majority of the population, several military units seize a number of large cities (Valencia, Maracaibo and Maracay). In the meantime, a number of military units take position in Caracas and intercept Pérez while the president is returning from an overseas trip. Pérez is taken into custody and Chavez broadcast a tape calling for general uprising. As a result, everywhere in the country, crowds demonstrate in favour of the coup and, in a matter of 24 hours, most of the army rally behind the Putchists. In March, Hugo Chavez is elected president with a large majority. Implementing a policy inspired by socialism, he is soon pointed out as a threat to democracy by the US administration. The new Venezuelan regime builds strong political ties with Cuba and turns to Russia for political and military support.

Last edited by Mohoender; 09-13-2009 at 09:28 AM.
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