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Old 06-26-2009, 02:38 PM
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Default T2K as Alternate History

Although, when it was written in the mid-'80s, version 1.o Twilight 2000 was a speculative, potential future war scenario, it has since effectively become an alternative history. I've been thinking about other ways that that alternate history could have diverged from actual world history.

The most obvious ways the two timelines differ are the survival of the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain/Warsaw Pact and the continuation of the Cold War. What would the repurcussions of this continuation of the status quo be?

I've noticed that a lot of folks who use the v1.0 timeline keep the '91 Gulf War and the Balkans Wars of the '90s as part of the build up to the Twilight War. That's fine. Saddam was an unpredictable fellow and who knows whether he would or wouldn't have invaded Kuwait in the face of strong Soviet Bloc opposition. Perhaps he would have invaded anyway, but pulled out under strong Soviet diplomatic and economic pressure.

If the Gulf War didn't happen, one could argue that one of the major causes of today's "War on Terror" (U.S. bases and troops in the Muslim holy land of Saudi Arabia) would be removed.

As for the Balkans War, Yugoslavia, though technically non-aligned, was heavily infuenced by the Soviet Union, Serbian interests especially. Perhaps the Soviets could have prevented the breakup of the Balkans. It was in the USSR's best interest to maintain a strong, communist country in southern Europe.

Somalia. The Soviet Union had significant economic, political, and military influence in various parts of Africa. Somalia, I believe, fell under its sway, at least to a degree. Perhaps the Soviets could have prevented Somalia's collapse into anarchy.

Would the Soviets have pulled out of Afghanistan under a more hard-line government? This is a tough call. I would say yes. It was a bleeding ulcer and pulling out would have saved the Soviets money, men, and war material better used elsewhere. On the other hand, pulling out would resulted in regional destabilization that the Soviets likely would have perceived as given the potential to spill over into the ethically related, laregely Muslim southern Soviet republics. Still, if they were willing to take that risk in '89, they'd probably still take the chance in the Twilight Timeline.

What are your assessments? Anything to add?
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Old 06-26-2009, 03:02 PM
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I concur... Osama bin-Laden stated the reason he turned against the US was all of the bases we had established during Operation: Desert Sheild and Desert Storm... And the fact we had to stay in theater to enforce the UN resolutions that had been made against Iraq.

The biggest reason why Yugoslavia broke apart was that they didn't have a 'strongman' to keep the socalist system with the strong arm government keeping demogogaues from popping up to play on the old ethnic hatreds to cause the different ethnic and religious groups to hate each other again.

The Soviets might be willing to help keep Yugoslavia as a socialist nation, but they'd have strings that would have kept Yugoslavia from helping their neighbors fight off the Warsaw Pact nations wanting them to send more of their best troops to the Far Eastern Front.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:01 PM
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I think this all depends on how the status quot is maintained. Is the Soviet Union a nation that survives by lurching from one economic disaster to the next with half-hearted reform acting as the duct-tape that holds the nation together? Or has the Soviet Union found a way to "pull a China" by embracing capitalism while retaining an authoritarian government and yet still calling its self a socialist republic out of some bizarre attachment to Moa, oops I mean Lenin?

If it is the former than there is a good chance that the Gulf War still occurs, Soviet leadership would see the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait as a way to increase their influence in the Persian Gulf and distract the United States. Yugoslavia would probably still collapse as the USSR would lack the influence to bring the Yugoslav states in line. Nor would they be able to help Somalia or any number of ailing clients. A Soviet Union viewed as an increasingly ramshackle failing state would help to shape international relations in the years leading up to the Twilight War. If the Soviet Union is seen less as threat than perhaps this is why West Germany was willing to risk reunification and why Italy and Greece were willing to bail on NATO.

A stronger Soviet Union would be able to rein in its satellites. NATO would continue to be the front line of defense against the Red Horde. The events occurring right before the war would catch the world by surprise and while better prepared materially (due to a continued Cold War) both sides would be unprepared for war in Europe.

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Old 06-27-2009, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin
Or has the Soviet Union found a way to "pull a China" by embracing capitalism while retaining an authoritarian government and yet still calling its self a socialist republic out of some bizarre attachment to Moa, oops I mean Lenin?
Not much to be gained through an attachment to an extinct giant flightless bird.
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:09 PM
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Well just call me an extinct small flightless bird...dodo.

Benjamin
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