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  #31  
Old 02-05-2010, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
For v1.0 to remain valid, the USSR must remain solvent and healthy.
I fully agree.

I have the Soviet Union find the Massive gold and oil reserves mentioned in the "Bear and the Dragon" in 1984. After few years for well and pipeline construction the increased revenue stabilized the Soviet economy and even allows them to expand military spending (allows a GM more flexibility on weapons). Throw in half a decade of good grain production and they are sitting pretty.

Then you throw them a curve. They discover that 55% of the oil field is actually just across the Chinese border and the Chinese are just starting their oil exploration tasks. Faced with the possibility of diminished oil sales to Japan if the Chinese tap into their side of the field, the USSR starts considering their military options.

This also might explain how they might allow the Iraq war to happen as they would expect their own oil revenue to go up if gulf supplies were disrupted.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:17 PM
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I fully agree.

I have the Soviet Union find the Massive gold and oil reserves mentioned in the "Bear and the Dragon" in 1984. After few years for well and pipeline construction the increased revenue stabilized the Soviet economy and even allows them to expand military spending (allows a GM more flexibility on weapons). Throw in half a decade of good grain production and they are sitting pretty.

Then you throw them a curve. They discover that 55% of the oil field is actually just across the Chinese border and the Chinese are just starting their oil exploration tasks. Faced with the possibility of diminished oil sales to Japan if the Chinese tap into their side of the field, the USSR starts considering their military options.

This also might explain how they might allow the Iraq war to happen as they would expect their own oil revenue to go up if gulf supplies were disrupted.
Now this is an interesting twist.... and so Soviet... Sell out a client state to increase your profit.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:52 PM
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I have the Soviet Union find the Massive gold and oil reserves
Why stick with just oil and gold? Why not toss in a few other minerals vital to war such as tungsten, aluminium, nickel, iron, etc?
With the added wealth the Soviets then have, they could afford to spend a little on bread and circuses in the less stable regions, thereby reducing the impetus to secede without having to resort to military methods.
This one small change to the Soviet economy allows for the stronger military required to make the T2K timeline(s) viable.

Of course when the game was written, nobody really had any clue how fragile the Soviet economic position really was. Reading books and magazines of the time, you get a real feeling that the Soviets were more than capable of rolling over the west in a matter of just a few weeks and sustaining operations much longer if needed.
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  #34  
Old 02-05-2010, 08:03 PM
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Why stick with just oil and gold? Why not toss in a few other minerals vital to war such as tungsten, aluminium, nickel, iron, etc?
IIRC in the book "The Bear and the Dragon", Clancy has the disputed region between Russia and China contain the "mineral wealth of South Africa", plus Oil. So I could certainly see both industrial and strategic minerals in the area. My expectation would be that they would go after the gold and oil first as they get the most bang for the buck. Until the economy gets rolling they might not be able to start dozens of separate mining operations.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:25 PM
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Good point. When though are the reserves discovered and when does exploitation begin? Leaving it too late wouldn't help the Soviets all that much, but too early could have convinced them to try something agressive a bit earlier.
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  #36  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:28 PM
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Why do I feel the need to defend and preserve the v1.0 timeline? Because that's what I grew up with. When I was a kid, the Russians were the bad guys- Red Storm Rising, Red Dawn, Team Yankee, Spies Like Us, If the Russians Love Their Children Too, Rambo III, Rocky IV, James Bond ad infinitum... I don't want a "reimagined" T2K. That's why I despise the v2.2 timeline and why I probably won't ever pick up T2K13 or whatever. I don't hate Russians but they're the iconic T2K enemy. Call me a dinosaur but that's the way I feel about it. If I want an "updated" T2K, I'll buy myself a copy of Modern Warfare 2.
I can relate strongly to this.
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  #37  
Old 02-06-2010, 02:47 PM
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I think that there's a danger in predicting what would have happened in the Twilight version of WWIII based on what's happened since the publication of the v1.0 timeline. That's why I'm hestitant to incorporate Desert Storm into my T2K alternate history.
Well clearly it's all alt hist, so anything you want is kosher.

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For example, I think there's a danger in assuming that the U.S. would have cleaned house in Europe based on its quick and relatively painless defeat of the Iraqi army in '91 and '03. Or assuming that the Soviet Union would have been easily defeated in Europe based on the piss-poor performance of the Russian Federation military during its first go-round in Chechnya.
Sure, the Iraqis of '91 and '03 aren't the Red Army of 1984. And neither the Red Army of 1992. The Red Army of ver 1 canon is more like a snapshot of what we thought, at the time, the Red Army was. I just happen to think that we over-valued the red army of 1984. And I think that the US Army of 1984 wasn't likely to run as smoothly as it did in '91 without those "shakedown cruises" in Grenada and Panama. Both those actions exposed serious weaknesses in the manner the US military conducted it's business. Weaknesses that were removed by 1991.

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If we've learned anything since 2001, it's that the U.S. is not invincible. We've been in Afghanistan since '01 and Iraq since '03 and there's really no end in sight.
But the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan are low intensity conflicts. The casualty rates are small compared to Viet Nam, tiny compared to Korea, and nearly unreadable compared to WWII. Sure, they drag on forever, but the enemy isn't looking to drive us out like the Brits in Afghnanistan in the 1840s. They are waiting for public opinion in the US to so turn against the conflict that our elected representatives will be more worried about protecting their jobs than they are worried about whether fighting the wars is good national policy or not.

But Iraq in '91 and the USSR of ver 1 canon give the US military exactly the kind of war it was designed to fight: a stand up, combined arms confrontation on land, sea and air. The Iraqis and Afghans are giving the US the war that the insurgents want. Using suicide bombers to blow up people going to worship or to market. How do you defend against that with your armored platoon of M1A1 tanks?

And no, I am not suggesting that US Army officers sit around impotently in their armored vehicles while Iraqis are blown up around them. It's a metaphor for the problem of bringing the wrong weapon to the wrong fight.

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With our current all-volunteer force stretched dangerously thin as it is, I'm not sure how one could argue that we could spank the "old"Soviet Union/WTO in Europe, let alone hold our own in a two-theatre war with the Russian Federation/USSR and China. The correlation of forces for the latter is just insanely one sided. But I digress
The ver 1 canon US Military is a draft army, not a volunteer one, and would not have undergone the force reductions that happened IRL after the dissolution of the USSR. As for how I can argue that... it depends on the kind of war you expect to US to fight against he USSR/PRC. I see the US war in East Asia as a defensive one. Nobody in the Pentagon wants to wade into the tarpit of mainland China. So they confine themselves to defending the Japanese Islands, Taiwan, and South Korea. It falls to the US Navy and the USAF to defend Japan and Taiwan, and the US Army and Marine Corps to keep south Korea from going under.

But the thing is, the US has fought and won a two-front war: WII. The USSR never has. No one ever has. The Germans tried it twice and lost twice. I think that the US can fight a war in Europe, the Persian Gulf and East Asia against the USSR and the PRC and create a stalemate. I do not think we could win because "How would you win?" We could contain the Communist conventional forces but we would never be about to drive into the enemy heartland and destroy their means of waging the war. We just don't have the men and material to do it. The last guys to win a conventional war against Russia AND China were the Monghols! If the US wants to end such a war, it'll be at the negotiating table or through the use of nuclear weapons to destroy the enemy's 3C and industrial capacity. The USSR is in the same position.

Which, in the second case, is what leads to the armageddon of the Twilight War.

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I think most people here are of the school of thought that the v1.0 timeline can be reconciled with the real-world events of the early '90s. In my mind, that's a justification of the v2.2 timeline. I know that I am in the minority but I think that the divergence needs to occur well before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
You won't hear me disagree with you on that. There's just no way that Eastern Europe can break away from Moscow control, the USSR dissolves in 1991 and yet manages to get itself back together just in time for the kick off of a Sino-Soviet War in 1995.

My timeline diverges before the 1989 Revolutions in Eastern Europe and the old line Bolsheviks head them off just in the nick of time. But it results from a secret alliance between hardliners in Moscow and Peking who recognize that Glasnost, Peristroika and democracy are the real enemies... not Maoism vrs. Leninism.

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There's just too much historical gymnastics going on to try to align everything so that v1.0 canon works with historical events that took place after its establishment. Many have tried but, IMO, all of the results are unsatisfactory. A U.S. military with Cold War era funding and Gulf War experience taking on the weak, decrepit, last-legs Soviet military is not a fair fight, at least in the opening stages, and it makes the v1.0 canon seem silly. For v1.0 to remain valid, the USSR must remain solvent and healthy.
Which is why I feel justified in allying the People's Republic of China to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. I can come up with some reasons why the two countries could support each other, and perhaps justify some economic and military recovery. But, with the PRC on the same side of the USSR, or at least not hostile, now you've got a fair fight again.

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Someday, when I have the free time to do it right, I am going to do my homework and come up with a plausible scenario that explains/justifies the continued existence of a fairly robust Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact through the nineties. Right now, I don't have the knowledge to do so and do so realistically.
Well, one presumes that the USSR population ends up going through a kind of economic depression (like the rest of the world did) in the early 1990s. But the USSR would not have to go through the period of Kleptocracy that plagued the post USSR states. As the former USSR privatized, billions and billions of dollars were lost as corrupt officials sold off state enterprises for pennies on the dollar in exchange for hefty bribes.

A decent suggestion might be that the USSR manages to stave off the economic collapse of the 1990s and gets a boost in oil revenue by allying with the PRC during the same period... even though oil prices are depressed in this era. In fact, prices could be driven lower if the USSR is dumping cheap oil on the international market.

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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Why do I feel the need to defend and preserve the v1.0 timeline? Because that's what I grew up with. When I was a kid, the Russians were the bad guys- Red Storm Rising, Red Dawn, Team Yankee, Spies Like Us, If the Russians Love Their Children Too, Rambo III, Rocky IV, James Bond ad infinitum... I don't want a "reimagined" T2K. That's why I despise the v2.2 timeline and why I probably won't ever pick up T2K13 or whatever. I don't hate Russians but they're the iconic T2K enemy. Call me a dinosaur but that's the way I feel about it. If I want an "updated" T2K, I'll buy myself a copy of Modern Warfare 2.
I'm certainly not suggesting that the USSR has any other role in TW2K than being the opposition (some "bad guys" being badder than others). Certainly the old men in the Kremlin are the problem even if individual Soviet citizens aren't. I don't want to re-imagine the time line for any other reason than giving the USSR a believable fighting chance against the USA and NATO. So if you think I've got some plan that involves evoking historical or moral relativism, you would be wrong.

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  #38  
Old 02-06-2010, 03:14 PM
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The ver 1 canon US Military is a draft army, not a volunteer one
No the v1 US military was volunteer Army by the time T2K started, it was only after the conflict had start that a draft was put back into place.
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  #39  
Old 02-06-2010, 04:23 PM
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Scott, it's not my intention to bash your alternate history. Although I disagree with some of your assessments- I think that you're right on the money, in some cases- I don't think your ideas are outlandish or completely implausible. I just beg to differ on several key points.

I would like to point out that the PRC fought the U.S.-led U.N. force in Korea to a stalemate. Yes, the U.S. military was in a pretty sorry state in 1950 (my Dad is a veteran of the Korean War) but the Chinese army was, by comparison, even more poorly equipped. Both forces had recent combat experience, so I'm not sure how to rate that. The PRC, clearly, had a manpower advantage. Anyway, that was, by and large, a conventional war and one that the U.S. could not win outright. I imagine the results may have been different if the U.S. was also simultaneously fighting the Soviets in Europe.

I think it's a tad unreasonable to place so much stock in the U.S.' historical success in fighting a two-front war. Plain and simple, the U.S. won the two-front war (in WWII) because of its own barely tapped industrial capacity and the blood, sweat, and tears of the USSR. If the Soviets hadn't been kicking the crap out of the Germans on the Ostfront, the Western Allies could never have landed in Europe (Italy maybe, but they would have been bottled up there easily). Yes, the USSR probably could not have had the success it did if it weren't for Lend Lease or the disruption to Germany's war industries of the Western Allies' strategic bombing campaign, but without the massive casualties it inflicted in the east, the Germans would have been able to repel any attempt at liberating western Europe.

I like Kato's explanation for the survival and resurgence of the Soviet Union: the U.S.S.R. finds sizeable oil and natural gas deposits near the border with China in the late eighties. Maybe, because of detante, it began to sell some of this to western countries for hard currency, preventing the collapse of its command economy AND allowing it to modernize its military. At the same time, tension over the newly lucrative border regions with China began to rise. This explanation would both explain the Soviet Union's survival into the nineties and set the stage for the show down with the PRC central to the v1.0 canon.

Anyway, we both prefer our own backstories and that's fine. We can agree to disagree. I enjoy a good, honest, civil, intellectual debate, though.

I think that if we are going to continue this part of the debate, we should probably start a new thread (or revive an old, pertinent one).
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  #40  
Old 02-06-2010, 05:01 PM
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No the v1 US military was volunteer Army by the time T2K started, it was only after the conflict had start that a draft was put back into place.
That is what I meant. During the Twilight War the US Army becomes a draft army.

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  #41  
Old 02-06-2010, 07:00 PM
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On behalf of all the non-Americans out there, I'd like to remind everyone that the US has not (as far as I can recall) fought any significant conflict alone.

WWI - the US entered late. Although inexperienced and using (on the whole) outdated tactics, their additional numbers helped tip the balance.

WWII - The US entered late. It was essentially left up to the British Commonwealth to hold off in Europe, Africa, the middle east AND Asia. In this time the only real help from the US was with equipment (Lend-Lease).

Korea - This was a UN operation with troops from all over the world

Vietnam - more of a US show than most, but still involved units from other countries

Gulf war - UN operation, or as good as. Units came from just about everywhere

Iraq 2003 - included troops from the US, UK and Australia

T2K - on the nato side includes Germany, Norway, Denmark, USA, UK, Holand, and Canada (just to name a few).
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  #42  
Old 02-06-2010, 07:19 PM
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Well that not saying much since most Armies during a time of war are largely conscripted in nature after military action starts. How effective any of these Armies depends on the training the leadership. There have been times in history when Armies who for all practical purposes should of lost the war, but due to excellent leadership and some luck they pull off.

Granted taking a look at the conscripted Army of WWII and compare it to Korea is comparing Apple to Oranges. They were two complete different Armies. The WWII had several years of training before they were sent into battle to train together and the so called "dead wood" could be left at home before they deployed. The Korean War was come as you are war, where the troops had very little training over what they got in garrison to help in the fighting.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:45 PM
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On behalf of all the non-Americans out there, I'd like to remind everyone that the US has not (as far as I can recall) fought any significant conflict alone.

WWI - the US entered late. Although inexperienced and using (on the whole) outdated tactics, their additional numbers helped tip the balance.

WWII - The US entered late. It was essentially left up to the British Commonwealth to hold off in Europe, Africa, the middle east AND Asia. In this time the only real help from the US was with equipment (Lend-Lease).
Yes entered late, but they US Army had plenty of time to trained in both wars before they entered combat.


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Korea - This was a UN operation with troops from all over the world
Come as you are war. Units were rushed into battle due to need to support the South Korean military that was almost overran before the it started.

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Vietnam - more of a US show than most, but still involved units from other countries
Troops received extra intense training before they deployed, but with the units that were there for the duration and with the individual replacement program, very little unit cohesiveness.

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Gulf war - UN operation, or as good as. Units came from just about everywhere
Spent several months for build up and intensive training while they defensive line. Seen limited ground action during this time and repelled Iraqi push south and various probes during this time too. Exposed the flaw of thinking of Round-out Brigades could be deployed combat in rapid fashion, not one of the so called Round-out Brigade made it to the theater.

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Iraq 2003 - included troops from the US, UK and Australia
Back to come as you are war again, undertaking of major war with limited resources that were already committed. Instead of individual replacement after every 12 month like there was in Vietnam, after the fall of the Iraqi government. Entire units at Divisional HQ with individual Brigade were rotated in and out after tours ranging from 12 month and upward to 15 months (many of the times these tours were extended on upwards of three months). Marine units usually rotated in and out at higher turn over rate. Troop drain for another theater of operations.

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T2K - on the nato side includes Germany, Norway, Denmark, USA, UK, Holand, and Canada (just to name a few).
Again a come as you are war. There was limited time to train after the Germans started the war and when they ask for help, but still the units had to go to war as they were with limited stand up training.

Funny thing is I don't recall anyone saying the US went to all these wars on there own....Did I miss something...
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:47 PM
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The point is that most posts appear to be written as if the US were the central, if not only participants.

Clearly this is not the case.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:48 PM
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On behalf of all the non-Americans out there, I'd like to remind everyone that the US has not (as far as I can recall) fought any significant conflict alone.
The last time the US fought a war without allies was the Spanish-American War...

... but for the life of me I cannot understand why you brought this fact up. Are any of us gringos saying that we did?

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Old 02-06-2010, 07:52 PM
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Funny thing is I don't recall anyone saying the US went to all these wars on there own....Did I miss something...
I don't think there is an overt mention but there was a casual ignoring of it. Such as saying Desert Storm provides an additional option for combat experience for US troops, when it would provide it for many nations.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:55 PM
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The point is that most posts appear to be written as if the US were the central, if not only participants.
Sorry sir, no such implication has been given. I think you are punching at phantoms.


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Old 02-06-2010, 08:03 PM
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The point is that most posts appear to be written as if the US were the central, if not only participants.

Clearly this is not the case.
Well you have to admit post WWII, US forces were the central participants (from a command perspective) in all of the conflicts you mentioned. Actually if you look at the command structure of Allied forces at they end of WWII they would probably be considered the central participant as well.

I am "guilty" of US-centriic thinking in the game, but the game kinda starts out that way so I can see how people get into that mindset.

If someone wants to chime in on how a V1 Desert Storm would have effected other nations I can't imagine there would be any objections. I would actually be very interested in hearing how the conflict effected British forces.
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Old 02-07-2010, 01:50 AM
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If someone wants to chime in on how a V1 Desert Storm would have effected other nations I can't imagine there would be any objections. I would actually be very interested in hearing how the conflict effected British forces.
...or anyone's forces, for that matter. I'm sure we'd all derive good value from seeing some work on how a v1 Desert Storm would affect the preparedness of the Australian military for the Twilight War. Leg, is that a mission you'd be willing to take on?

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Old 02-07-2010, 02:15 AM
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Going on near 20 year old memory, I think we only had two frigates and a supply ship involved - no ground forces beyond the odd individual on exchange.
It's hard to say how that would impact on land forces...
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Old 02-07-2010, 02:41 AM
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Scott, it's not my intention to bash your alternate history. Although I disagree with some of your assessments-

I think that if we are going to continue this part of the debate, we should probably start a new thread (or revive an old, pertinent one).
Okay, where do you want to take this? Over to the "In Defense of the Red Army" thread?

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Old 02-07-2010, 03:37 AM
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Due to NATO Forces being tied Europe in V1 I suspect the V1 and V2 Desert Storm would use a vastly different force base.
In all this arguing back and forth, this may be the most perceptive comment I've read.

If we go with a canon v1 USSR and WTO, then there is no upheaval in Eastern Europe and the WTO alliance is firmly in place and firmly under the control of the USSR. So NATO member states might be unwilling to send conventional forces to the Persian Gulf and therefore give the WTO a window of opportunity to attack during a period of rising East-West tensions.

So, if the US cannot create a wide enough coalition of forces with sufficient conventional conventional strength to force Saddam out of Kuwait, then how does the West proceed? You can't threaten Iraq with nuclear forces because they don't have any of their own and there seems to be an unwritten law of international brinksmanship that somehow states with nuclear arsenals are not allowed to use such weapons against states that don't have them. So no nuking Iraq. Diplomatic pressure on Iraq clearly has no effect. Forcing the Soviets to fix it by using nuclear brinksmanship and diplomatic and economic pressure presumes that the Soviets can even get Iraq to budge. Which I don't believe they could accomplish.

Maybe to your ver 1 canon answer is that Saddam invaded and got to KEEP Kuwait! Or at least until Saddam starts looking to start a war with Syria (dreams of a pan-Arabic State from the Persian Gulf to the Med?) and the KGB pulls off a coup that topples his regime in 1991! As a gesture of good faith to their Arab neighbors the new (more pro-Soviet) Iraq disgorges Kuwait as an independent state, maybe even allowing the Emir to return.

There. Problem solved. Iraq invades in 1990, USSR fixes problem in 1991. The Sovs expect kudos from the Arab world as peacemakers and liberators, but instead (according to ver 1 canon) they are seen by the Arab world as Imperialistic meddlers.

The only problem with this idea is the we have to accept that the US and Western Europe would need sit around for a year and take no decisive military action against Iraq. Is that really likely? Could the US and Western Europe really be so completely impotent. Particularly the US, which is still stinging from the humiliation of the Iran Hostage Crisis and the bombings and kidnappings in Lebanon.

At the bare minimum... the absolute minimum we should expect a division sized or greater US military force permanently stationed in Saudi Arabia in order to prevent Saddam from going after that country next. Or at least until the post-Saddam government withdraws from Kuwait.

Of course having US troops stationed in Iraq, even for a year, might still mean that Osama Bin Laden gets to create Al Queda for the purpose of "freeing" Saudi Arabia from US "occupation." With the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan still ongoing, Islamic fundamentalism will probably still emerge as the enemy of the West and Soviet Communism. Or maybe, the Saudi government takes Bin Laden up on his offer to create an army of Mujahideen (like in Afghanistan) to fight the Iraqi occupation. Of course, I always thought Bin Ladin's idea was pretty bone-headed... what with Kuwait having no history of insurgency (unlike Afghanistan), no terrain appropriate to hide guerilla forces in (unlike Afghanistan), and no border conducive to smuggling in weapons and foreign fighters (unlike Afghanistan). Add to that the brutal efficiency of Saddam's secret police in an urban environment, and Osama's plan to push Saddam out of Kuwait looks doomed to failure.

A. Scott Glancy, President TCCorp, dba Pagan Publishing

Last edited by sglancy12; 02-07-2010 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 02-07-2010, 04:08 AM
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In all this arguing back and forth, this may be the most perceptive comment I've read.

If we go with a canon v1 USSR and WTO, then there is no upheaval in Eastern Europe and the WTO alliance is firmly in place and firmly under the control of the USSR. So NATO member states might be unwilling to send conventional forces to the Persian Gulf and therefore give the WTO a window of opportunity to attack during a period of rising East-West tensions.

So, if the US create a wide enough coalition of forces with sufficient conventional conventional strength to force Saddam out of Kuwait, then how does the West proceed?.
IMO The Turks would need to apply serious pressure. If Nato could get them to commit to crossing the northern Iraqi border (perhaps with a promise look the other way on how they handle Kurdish Rebels), the rest of the Coalition could get away with having the US 18th Corps and the 5th and 8th Mechanized (Rounded with the 192nd and the 197th) plus marine assets as the core of the force. National Guard and Reserve Units would need to be mobilized as Europe's reserve.

I don't know much about what other coalition members would be able to provide, I expect Nato's commitment would be generally lower, but the forces from the Middle East would probably be the same or larger.
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Old 02-07-2010, 04:14 AM
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What we need to do is work out which units from which countries were available for a middle eastern operation.
Perhaps there were enough units from other nations to kick Iraq out.
Perhaps China led the coalition...
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:11 AM
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If someone wants to chime in on how a V1 Desert Storm would have effected other nations I can't imagine there would be any objections. I would actually be very interested in hearing how the conflict effected British forces.
I'd be happy to take a look at that, although due to work / family commitments it'll probably take me a while.
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