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  #1  
Old 12-14-2018, 08:53 PM
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Default Twilight 2020

(Yes, I know about Twight 2013. For the purposes of this thread I won't be using it.)

Not to worry about a 'how it could happen' scenario, we've done lots of those.

If a GM wanted to set a twilight game in today's world what changes would you need?

Would you change the starting kit? Night Vision Goggles and radios are pretty much standard in most major national armies now, would you make them standard? Do the battery rules need a change now that so many more things use batteries?

Basic vehicle lists. What needs changing? Would the old lists based on actual vehicles change? I think a list based on vehicle role would be better. Also rules on adapting vehicles for the needs of Twilight soldiers is needed. In Viet Nam you see things like a M551 Sheridan with a twin M2 .50 on the commander's cupola and an M60 on a pintle on the loader's hatch for example.

Currency and trading needs better rules. I have used the '1x 7.62mm cartridge = $1' as a basis for trading and also '1x cigarette = $1' but what other rules do we need. A lot of players practically become 'combat traders' moving slowly westwards!
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Old 12-15-2018, 12:14 AM
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Yes I would definitely change the starting equipment list to reflect the wider use of electronic devices (not just night vision gear but also military notebook & tablet type computers, micro-drones/UAVs and so on).

I don't know if battery rules need to change so much as be updated & supplemented. For example, you can get all manner of portable & lightweight rechargers for mobile phones and tablets plus there's lightweight solar powered chargers you can get. Quite a few military electronics went away from the use of specialized batteries to batteries of the same standard as commonly used civilian batteries. For example, many night vision devices use AA cell batteries - they benefit greatly from using high capacity AA cells but even these are no longer the sole domain of government as such batteries are commonly used by photographers using digital cameras.

I absolutely agree that currency & trading needs to have a good ruleset behind it. A lot of players these days look beyond the straight forward "this is *whatever genre* game" approach and look to see what else they can do within it.
Some are not content with just going out and slaying the monster and rescuing the person in distress. Some of them want to get more deeply involved in other aspects of gameplay. Economics is just one of them but certainly deserves a more comprehensive coverage than it has at the moment.

Vehicles and weapons. There is so much that could be done with vehicles and weapons beyond the Wear Factor rules that are already in place.
We've already seen a lot of discussion about fuel (rather illuminating overall) and while we know many military vehicles use multi-fuel engines, a number of civilian vehicles in Europe run on diesel (and I don't just mean trucks but also private cars). Does this mean that there would be greater stocks of diesel available? I don't know if that's correct but it's something that should be looked into.
As for weapons, there is still the overall concern about ammuntion. There should be more comprehensive rules dealing with manufacturing and reloading of ammo. I think there also needs to be more comprehensive rules regarding additions to weapons to make them more effective or easier to bring into use, e.g. sighting devices, laser target markers, foreward pistol grips, combat slings and so on.
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:25 AM
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I agree that military personal electronic devices would be much more common, batteries too. That said, battery life, even rechargeable types, is finite. Even a new battery doesn't hold its charge forever. Three or four years after a TDM-style event, no new batteries will have been produced for some time. Those still left in their packages would be slowly losing juice. For an updated T2K, comprehensive battery life rules are a must- at least, if you want a realistic setting. It's simple and crude, but here's I've house-ruled battery life in my campaigns:

Device
Current Charge/Battery Capacity
7/9

The first number is the current charge. A battery loses one Current Charge point for every hour of use, under normal conditions (double this for cold conditions). The Current Charge number can be raised one point per hour by recharging the battery using a compatible recharger. The second number is the Battery Capacity. Every other time that the battery is recharged, it loses one Battery Capacity point. Eventually, the battery will no longer hold a charge, resulting in a totally dead battery. This will show as a Battery Capacity of 0. The device that relies upon said battery will no longer function until a fresher battery replaces the dead one.
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Old 12-15-2018, 06:58 PM
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A couple of useful links re batteries.
http://www.batteryeducation.com/2006...y_degrada.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batter...g_battery_life
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Old 12-16-2018, 11:22 PM
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I would love to know the effects of and EMP on equipment now. Would the computers in things like tablets survive? Would the circuits in night vision devices be fried? Just curious.
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:40 AM
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More civil careers, including "prepper". The emergency personnel can be formed using existing ones. Civilian load outs, like 72 hour kits. Updated electronics.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:21 AM
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Without trying to turn this into The Morrow Project or invoke the negative perception of preppers, I think it can be argued that Bug Out Bags would be part of the available starting equipment for various civilian careers.
Many people now are more aware of the usefulness of having some sort of gear bag to help them if they get caught in bad weather, run out of fuel, there's a major power outage or at worst some sort of attack against civilians.
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
Without trying to turn this into The Morrow Project or invoke the negative perception of preppers, I think it can be argued that Bug Out Bags would be part of the available starting equipment for various civilian careers.
Many people now are more aware of the usefulness of having some sort of gear bag to help them if they get caught in bad weather, run out of fuel, there's a major power outage or at worst some sort of attack against civilians.
Yeah, I mainly brought it up because I'm toying with a later date two part campaign. My original character's kid(s) active duty and a "Homefront" campaign with the retired character and civilian family.
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ChalkLine View Post
Would you change the starting kit? Night Vision Goggles and radios are pretty much standard in most major national armies now, would you make them standard?
While night vision goggles and radios are standard not every solider is going to have a set and not every military vehicle is going to radio or means to mount one. Some unit might Motorola Sabers or the AN/PRC-343 Integrated Intra-Squad Radio (IISR). Not everyone going to issue with one. As the war goes on both night vision goggles and radio are going to give out based on need and same with batteries.
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:27 PM
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While night vision goggles and radios are standard not every solider is going to have a set and not every military vehicle is going to radio or means to mount one. Some unit might Motorola Sabers or the AN/PRC-343 Integrated Intra-Squad Radio (IISR). Not everyone going to issue with one. As the war goes on both night vision goggles and radio are going to give out based on need and same with batteries.
This and the death of smartphones and internet should affect Western societies pretty quickly, especially among younger folk.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:29 PM
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This and the death of smartphones and internet should affect Western societies pretty quickly, especially among younger folk.
You might find that much of the world would be affected by the collapse of the cellular systems.
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Old 12-18-2018, 03:33 AM
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You might find that much of the world would be affected by the collapse of the cellular systems.
No doubt about that but I wonder if the culture shock will be bigger for Western societies than some others simply because so much of our social and work life is conducted through computers/smart phones.
Not simply Western societies but also the younger generations in tech savvy societies who have found digital tech a portal into the outside world where otherwise their traditions/culture would limit their exposure/interaction to the wider world.
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Old 12-18-2018, 03:46 AM
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The Prepper community is like everyone, made up of unique individuals. Some are going to help, some are going to hinder and as long as we don't have blanket statements I think it's okay. I have Prepper friends both here and overseas and I think highly of them but you also hear of individuals who seem to think a disaster is an excuse for a free-fire zone.

As I said in The Morrow Project forum they're going to come up against the military, police and disaster control and federal organisations such as the USA's FEMA. What the situation is and how it works out is a game situation
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Old 12-18-2018, 06:42 AM
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You might find that much of the world would be affected by the collapse of the cellular systems.
I bet you're correct, but I only see the smart phone addicts here since I can't travel abroad.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:04 PM
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Rules for...

Computer systems and computer networks.
Computer and Network security.
Jamming (wifi)

Civvy & military both, where they are different.

Rules for determining wide area networks. For example, some Polish (or Czech or American) electronics wiz may cobble up a set of three towers covering downtown Krakow with cell or wi-fi, or a hardwired cameras.

Or someone rewires Sussex & Kent (but nowhere else and not out of England). Or all of Australia is fine if no one nukes it. Or Japan has enough power to rebuild its internet by building new equipment.

My point (and this is the problem with any post-apolcalyptic RPG), that you need to include rules for still-working tech, partially working tech, repairing tech. (Computers and commo systems are not the only holes).

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Old 12-19-2018, 03:26 AM
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And here I thought this thread was going to be about merging T2K with Cyberpunk 2020 ...
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:27 AM
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And here I thought this thread was going to be about merging T2K with Cyberpunk 2020 ...
Already been done. Twilightcycle:2000.
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Old 12-19-2018, 06:14 AM
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And here I thought this thread was going to be about merging T2K with Cyberpunk 2020 ...
That's all my games. The systems bolt together perfectly, although it becomes far, far more lethal
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:08 AM
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This forum has offered up so many useful things, food and water are two examples. I have the DC1 gear book with electronics, there might be some rules to form a basic guide.
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:58 PM
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Hmm, Twilight: 2020 as a background for "500 Miles..." something to do a post on in the near future.
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Old 12-19-2018, 06:45 PM
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This forum has offered up so many useful things, food and water are two examples. I have the DC1 gear book with electronics, there might be some rules to form a basic guide.
Along the lines of food and water, there's so many other gear items that could be included these days. But that raises (again) the need for guidelines or rules dealing with equipment in general and more specifically wear and tear.

For example, personal water filterings. They used to be something only found in the military, search & rescue or expeditionary/exploration groups. Nowdays they are in common use with hikers, climbers, people who travel frequently and people who just want something extra in their emergency kit (and they come in so many different types and capacities, far more than the military used to have access to).
However they can only filter a certain amount before becoming useless. It's a simple enough task to keep check of how many litres a filter has cleaned but it's another book-keeping task that some players don't like doing.

This is not quite the same as recording Wear Value but it does amount to the same thing There should be some suggested alternatives to the traditional method of book-keeping say maybe giving the item, in this case the water filter, a lifespan of "general" use - for argument sake say 6 months of "general" use. The Referee is probably going to need to keep a check on any of the book-keeping if the players don't like doing such levels of accounting (but that's a problem encountered in every rpg since the hobby began) so simplifying the task would be the overall aim here.
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:42 AM
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One thing that would be common before and during the opening phases of a Twilight War 2020 is cyberwafare. Electrical grids, water supply grids, the internet, would all be targeted with an aim to cause disruption in the enemy nation. I would be much harder, but friendly hackers would target enemy command and control, communications and switching systems for nuclear missiles, air defense networks, supply systems, and even communications systems and computers down to the tactical level would be targeted, possibly by white hat hackers operating in extreme-rear areas in hardened shelters or even large trucks.

There would be essentially the cyber equivalent of MIJI (Meaconing, Intrusion, Jamming, and Interference -- anyone who's been a radio operator knows that acronym and its implications in detail). Enemy units would be given orders that make them show up in the wrong place, supplies may never get to the troops, ammunition supplies would stopped for short periods of time, nuclear strikes may not be fully implemented. White hat hackers would be issuing orders to enemy troops that make them ineffective or less effective. Everything from individual command posts to NCA would be affected.
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:34 PM
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Great point, Paul. In my 2030 campaign, most U.S. consumer electronics and computer-controlled infrastructure, like the power grid, were fried by Chinese and Russian viruses. My T2030U also includes nuclear strikes, but the damage caused by cyber attacks was greater than that caused by EMP, which tends to be fairly local when it is the effect of standard ground strikes and airbursts.
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:34 PM
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Excellent point Paul. I think we have to consider cyberwarfare in it's "total war" potential because with the push now for the "internet of things" it won't be just your infrastructure being attacked to cause disruptions.
Hacking the internet of things means the attackers could disrupt common household appliances. It sounds laughable and while I'm not suggesting it will be like The X-Files episode where ATMs and mobile phones began displaying messages to kill people, disruptive behaviour by your fridge or washing machine is a real possibility.

For example: the fridge indicates that all your food is bad and automatically reorders more. One fridge isn't a problem but if the city has forty thousand internet connected refrigerators all ordering food at the same time from the same suppliers, you are then suffering a variation of the Denial of Service attack.
Your washing machine determines that you are using the wrong brand of clothes washing powder. No biggie really but if it refuses to work until you use the "correct" powder, you're going to be a little annoyed because not only do we generally not want to reuse dirty clothes but we definitely are not going to like being told by the washing machine what powder we can use. And also because nobody these days is going to want to handwash their clothes.

When other internet connected devices start to play up like this and people lose all those "convenience" devices from their lives, the level of frustration in the public is going to rise and fear/paranoia of technology is a potential result - in a world where we are using high-tech nearly every day, all of a sudden you have a group of people who probably cannot function because their tech is screwing with them.
That's not even taking into account those people who will let their frustrations boil over into public disobedience or rioting.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:45 AM
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Attacks on consumer electronics in a coordinated fashion could actually be a useful weapon if used correctly. If you could cause a bunch of IoT appliances to turn on full blast (huge power draw) at the same time you cause some key power plants to shut down (or redirect their generation to unloaded circuits) you might be able to selectively black out cities. Couple blackouts with false flag terror attacks and you can multiply the damage and panic and throw a whole metro area into a dangerous panic.

At the same time there's a lot of cyber warfare doomsday scenarios that are too fanciful to actually be effective. Lots of systems work just fine air-gapped from the Internet proper. It's also trivial to simply shut down or throttle traffic from networks or groups of networks. Anymore network operators are well aware of DDoS techniques and patterns as are CDNs and a lot of cloud providers.

The sort of attacks that might have crippled networks and services twenty years ago are just Internet background noise today. Dedicated attacks by APTs still can and will cause damage to systems. Attackers only need to succeed once to be successful after all. However "unplug the router" is a fairly effective defense against a great deal of attacks.
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Old 12-27-2018, 12:13 PM
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Ok, I've started work on three civilian careers: Guide/Hunter/Poacher/Trapper, Prepper, Survival Instructor. The Instructor one can be used as an MOS with a Basic Training package. Ri-enactor is a possible one too.

Gadgets, Gear and Gizmos is also a chapter in my "Home Front" notes.
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Old 01-01-2019, 05:58 AM
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<snip>
At the same time there's a lot of cyber warfare doomsday scenarios that are too fanciful to actually be effective. Lots of systems work just fine air-gapped from the Internet proper. It's also trivial to simply shut down or throttle traffic from networks or groups of networks. Anymore network operators are well aware of DDoS techniques and patterns as are CDNs and a lot of cloud providers.

The sort of attacks that might have crippled networks and services twenty years ago are just Internet background noise today. Dedicated attacks by APTs still can and will cause damage to systems. Attackers only need to succeed once to be successful after all. However "unplug the router" is a fairly effective defense against a great deal of attacks.
Thanks for the info, those of us outside the industry don't often hear about the newest protective measures.
Which leads me to another aspect of a Twilight: 2020 setting - nuclear power plants.

Newer NPPs use vastly different tech than their predecessors so the risk of a plant going critical and melting down like Three Mile Island or exploding like Chernobyl are very unlikely. I don't know the specifics so I hesitate to say that it could not happen at all, but again, the chance is very low.
So in regards to a T:2020 setting, the scenario of NPPs being left unmanned and melting down etc. etc. is confined to the older plants. Plants with newer reactor technology and containment principles are designed to slow the reactor process or remove the reactor fuel. If it all goes to hell, the reactor shuts down using the same principle as the dead man switch on locomotives. No nuclear devastation, no wrecked infrastructure, no radioactive contamination for miles around and there's the bonus possibility that the plant can be recovered and restarted.

Makes for some extra scenario possibilities.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:58 AM
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It looks like Russia is planning on deploying its new Ratnik Future Soldier System this year. Although this system has been 'deployed' since 2016 I know for certain that many of its components are still in train to be deployed but evidently it's getting to the troops in 2109.

It features:

- GPS individual positioning
- IR signature reducing camo
- Lightweight thermal individual weapon sight
- Exo-skeleton (I'll be very interested to see if they get this right)
- AK-12
- Lightweight 1kg helmet

all about 30 components.

This will make the Russians a bit more of a problem for modern campaigns
(crossposted in both forums)

Last edited by ChalkLine; 01-02-2019 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:45 PM
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I think it is important to say that the USSR and Maoist China are gone, gone the way of the Aztecs. A Twilight 2020 should look at the modern world and base its models on what actually exists today rather than taking an easy way out and resurrecting old Cold War stereotypes. Yes, Russia may be an adversary of the USA but lets leave the kommissars in their graves.

In fact, Russia has to be an adversary. Every moderate power is going to have to fight the USA to make the scenario plausible, and this should probably include India, China and anyone else with a decent army. This is because in every aspect of military measurement the USA can annihilate any other coalition in a stand up fight. The USA easily outmatches Russia and China combined in the air and especially at sea and is only outmatched by the Chinese ability to muster more infantry, something easily offset by the USA planning and creating an army designed to obliterate any large mass of troops that confront it.

It will probably be easier to say who will fight with the USA rather than who will fight against it as the opposing coalition has to be huge to be a threat. The UK will definitely fight alongside the USA as will Australia. Both have armies inextricably linked to the USA fighting force and their foreign policies are usually exactly the same. Many allied nations might sit out a war until the nukes fly, as this is probably the greatest violation of international customs there is.

Once again, avoiding a 'this is how it happens' scenario we have to think where will the bulk of the war be fought. It really can't be fought in the USA as no one else can get close to it. To the south you have Central America and Mexico and those counties, while possible enemies of the USA, wouldn't invade even if they could and they can't. To the north is Canada which isn't about to, or even be capable of, invading the USA. It will have to be offshore.

Europe would be the best bet. Here the USA has a powerful presence and is creating a new centre of power in Poland. Most of the old NATO countries know Russia isn't an existential threat as Russia can hardly project power into Ukraine let alone Germany, but Ukraine, Poland and some of the Baltic States might be persuaded to go to war with Russia.

The question though is how to stop the USA beating Russia in an afternoon?
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLine View Post
I think it is important to say that the USSR and Maoist China are gone, gone the way of the Aztecs. A Twilight 2020 should look at the modern world and base its models on what actually exists today rather than taking an easy way out and resurrecting old Cold War stereotypes. Yes, Russia may be an adversary of the USA but lets leave the kommissars in their graves.

In fact, Russia has to be an adversary. Every moderate power is going to have to fight the USA to make the scenario plausible, and this should probably include India, China and anyone else with a decent army. This is because in every aspect of military measurement the USA can annihilate any other coalition in a stand up fight. The USA easily outmatches Russia and China combined in the air and especially at sea and is only outmatched by the Chinese ability to muster more infantry, something easily offset by the USA planning and creating an army designed to obliterate any large mass of troops that confront it.

It will probably be easier to say who will fight with the USA rather than who will fight against it as the opposing coalition has to be huge to be a threat. The UK will definitely fight alongside the USA as will Australia. Both have armies inextricably linked to the USA fighting force and their foreign policies are usually exactly the same. Many allied nations might sit out a war until the nukes fly, as this is probably the greatest violation of international customs there is.

Once again, avoiding a 'this is how it happens' scenario we have to think where will the bulk of the war be fought. It really can't be fought in the USA as no one else can get close to it. To the south you have Central America and Mexico and those counties, while possible enemies of the USA, wouldn't invade even if they could and they can't. To the north is Canada which isn't about to, or even be capable of, invading the USA. It will have to be offshore.

Europe would be the best bet. Here the USA has a powerful presence and is creating a new centre of power in Poland. Most of the old NATO countries know Russia isn't an existential threat as Russia can hardly project power into Ukraine let alone Germany, but Ukraine, Poland and some of the Baltic States might be persuaded to go to war with Russia.

The question though is how to stop the USA beating Russia in an afternoon?
As an American, I'm flattered by your assessment, but I think you are overestimating current U.S. military power, and underestimating Russian, and especially Chinese, capabilities.

First off, let's look at Russian and Chinese capabilities.

Just a few years ago, Russia annexed the Crimea, and they recently blockaded the port of Mairupol, impounded Ukrainian naval vessels, and shut Ukrainian traffic out of the Sea of Azov. NATO didn't/won't do anything about it. If Ukraine can't extinguish a long-running ethnic Russian separatist insurgency (which benefits from thinly-veiled Russian military support), how could it stop a full-scale Russian invasion without direct NATO intervention?

Russia could retake the Baltic States in a matter of a few weeks and there's not much NATO could do to stop it. Estonia has no air force. The U.S. simply doesn't have enough pre-positioned heavy combat units in Europe to respond quickly enough and with adequate force, to turn back a Russian invasion. This isn't just some amateur military-buff's assessment- US military think-tanks have concluded as much.

So that's where T2020 could start. The Baltic. Russian retakes Estonia and Latvia and NATO takes a belated stand on the Lithuania side of the Poland-Lithuanian border. Boom! WWIII. With the U.S. embroiled in a large-scale conventional war in the Baltics, China makes its play for Taiwan (and/or North Korea launches a second war of reunification) or, if that's too bold for your tastes, the Spratly Islands, attacking Vietnamese and Filipino navy vessels that arrive to assert their respective territorial claims.

The Chinese navy is growing faster than the USN. The USN is aging and it's newest [littoral combat] vessels have been beset by all sorts of mechanical and systems and structural problems. The Chinese have a large and formidable coastal defense force and are rapidly developing a capable blue water navy. Any naval war fought in either/both of the China Seas will mean that the Chinese have interior lines of supply and access to numerous land-based aircraft. Their new anti-carrier ballistic missile could be a game-changer. In a similar vein, the Russians are rolling out hypersonic SSM/ASMs. Meanwhile, the USN still relies on the 40-year old Harpoon ASM.

I've already touched on some US weaknesses above. Here are some more.

The US still has the largest military budget in the world, but instead of investing in new and improved major systems like replacements for its aging Ticonderoga class guided missile cruisers, or M1 MBTs, or F-16s, most of that money is spent to pay for its long-running "War on Terror"- and most of that is for upkeep and maintenance on old, hard-working systems.

The USAF is currently facing a pilot shortage. The F-35 is a highly problematic airframe/avionics platform and there's not enough money in the budget to restart F-22 production. Instead, the USAF is looking at a program to replace it's 40-year old F-15 fleet with a new, upgraded model, the F-15X. The workhorse of the USAF, the F-16 is also getting old (airframes are approaching the end of their serviceable career). Meanwhile, the Chinese air force is steadily growing and modernizing. It's catching up qualitatively too- they're starting production of their own stealth fighter.

Lots of U.S. tanks and IFVs have a lot of hard miles on them, from deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, with replacements nowhere in sight. Thousands of new-ish MRAPs aren't going to help much in a conventional war against a modern foe like China or Russia.

These threads include links to various articles, mostly about Russian capabilities vis--vis the Baltics and NATO, some of which are referenced above:

https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread....2030#post61416
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