Sunday, July 18, 2010

Scenario 2028

IT'S STILL NOT SAFE TO DRINK THE MILK, but that's about the only caution these days. Of course, it all started with the collapse of the Chinese economy in 2024. Who'd a thunk it? The Asian powerhouse imploded, and it was a horror show. The signs had been there, and some had forecast such problems, but they were ignored. Blame the weather: Drought came to roost in the Middle Kingdom, and agriculture collapsed, with three successive crop failures starting in 2022. The big coastal cities were the first to collapse, and the Party and the Red Army found themselves helpless in trying to contain the rising chaos.

The Politbureau of the CPC was scared, and scared people do rash things. The first was an invasion by the Chinese Red Army of the south-east: Viet Nam, Burma, Laos, to seize farms and food, and Taiwan, while they were about it.

While the Chinese wound up trashing Taiwan, the Taiwanese, supported by two Nimitz-class American carrier groups, decimated the Chinese invasion force, and, most important, the surface units of the Chinese Navy, which made it impossible to seize Haiphong and other ports to the south.

The battle in the Taiwan Straits was the first use, by the US Navy of the McDonnel-Douglas F-47, the first RPV with built-in AI, or artificial intelligence, for faster-than-human reaction, specifically designed for air superiority. The craft, capable of close to Mach 3 and almost 20-g turns, made short work of anything that didn't squawk the right IFF code. The Chinese versions of the MiG 29 never stood a chance.

But the real stupidity was the invasion by the Chinese Red Army of "the Stans", the Russian-controlled republics, in a desperate drive for oil. Unfortunately, Putin's Russia had never been able to get the Russian economy to turn from its decades-long slide into alcoholism and corruption.

This meant that the army that Zhukov had flattened Berlin with, had turned into a bumbling, stumbling cohort with obsolescent equipment and indifferent logistics — and unable to stop the Chinese advance into the oil fields of central Asia.

The Russian Airforce, whose Sturmoviks had gutted the German panzers in 1943, was a shadow of its Cold War self, with just a handful of SU-35 strike fighters that looked marvellous on paper, but just didn't have the range (and the Russian airforce had woefully neglected its aerial refuelling capability) or the ordnance capability, so the brunt of the defence had to be handled by the few Blackjack and Backfire medium bombers in the inventory, as well as the venerable old turboprop Tupolev "Bear". It wasn't pretty, but American stealth surveillance RPV's gave a clear picture of the desperate struggle in the summer of 2025.

With the Rodina in peril, the orders were given, and missiles were launched, somewhere around two dozen. As near as American satellites could resolve, half of them irradiated the Chinese army units invading, and half of them took out Beijing plus select Chinese military targets with multiple MIRV's. The Chinese never got much happening in the way of a counter-strike, for a number of reasons, and the missiles that did get launched were all targeted on Moscow, which was annihilated.

The end result was that strontium levels has meant a boom in export of South American dairy products and beef, while we wait for things to cool down.

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