Somewhere in an alternate universe the world began to slip and slide off the rails.
It was not a gradual thing like most flare ups in the Middle East. For sure the warning signs were there, abductions, harassment of indigenes, and an escalation of search and seizure activity by occupying forces. Even the occasional shooting of local officials and subsequent retaliation by rebels or insurgents. A mortaring here, an execution there.
The problem was it had become so ‘normal’, the shattered bodies, broken buildings, burning cars and rifle butts in faces that no one saw the real thing the “it” coming that was the catalyst for disaster until it was too late.
Sometimes it’s the little things that truly cascade out of control and become other worldly. The summer had been hot all across the Mid East. Rather than languish in the heat as one is want to do, idle minds grew industrious. Young Palestinians snook into a reservoir of drinking water for the Jews. They are caught, beaten and imprisoned. One dies. Nothing to note here. Another rebellious act over policed.
Except that Mukmad was the son of a local militia unit’s chief. Grief stricken, deranged and hot he poisoned the drinking water by catapulting rotten pig carcasses into the water supply.
Israel responded by turning off the drinking water for 3 days to the entire Gaza Strip. Soon the trouble spread.
International outcry was swift and strong led by the Soviet Union’s new Premier.
Of course the US saw this as nothing but more of the same. Business as usual, par for the course.
Tempers soared along with the heat. The US did not condemn Israel, rather through back channels they sent money and funds to Iranian Army Leaders, in an attempt to limit arms trading to terror cells in the Jordan Valley and Gaza Strip. Encouraging the Army to crack down on financial and military support of Palestinian grass roots militia, was a standard policy of the US who had strong ties to the Army, but tenuous ones with the ruling Communists. Israel noted the gesture and doubled down on its vengeful tactics in the arid heat of the Gaza Strip. The Soviet Foreign Minister denounced the actions of Israel.
Within a week the words “Mid East Crisis” was on each news and spy agencies lips.
Diplomats sat up, cranked the AC and ordered coffee, something was different…was it not?
Regional powers took note. Some seesaw but many began to drift quickly to either supporting the US or supporting the Soviet Union and EU.
As a means to gain quick favor in the region the US hamhandedly engaged in heavy diplomacy with the Saudi Family, seeking first to ensure that Oil stayed exactly at its current price point and then to broker actionable support from the Mujaheddin, Iraq and the Islamic Republic.
Sensing being out played the Soviets pressed the Kurds on the Iraqi border into their arms with a bear hug and 20 million rubles.
It was not enough. The Soviets could see they were being outplayed. The Iranian Army, The Centrists and even Jordan were leaning toward US money and diplomatic pressure.
Something should be done! The Kremlin officials bickered and argued over the course of action.
Cornered they sought first to mitigate the damage in their relations with Iraq and 2nd to turn the tables on the USA, Iran must stay firmly Communist leaning and the oil from there must flow to Russia.
In a desperate move the Soviet propaganda machine kicked into high gear and spies went to work at the Iraqi Embassy.
Planted information was leaked to the news.
Soviets were shipping weapons to Iraq!
[Note turn #’s are wrong here mobilize is week 4]
The US was outraged.
In the fourth week of the crisis the USA and the Soviet Union took bold steps. The Reaction Defense Force was put on Alert and the Soviets responded in kind going to the huge expense of placing the Southern Military districts under mobilization orders.
The Mobilization orders had the desired effect upon Iraq, bringing it closer to supporting the Soviets. They however knew that their support of the puppet Communist Government in Iran would not hold out much longer. In a surprise turn of events the USA placed its full support behind Jordan!
Week Five and Six
Hoping to stave off war the Soviets threw money and time at the Iranian Government while its leadership moved as much of that offshore as fast as bank transfers could happen. The Iranian Army began arresting both Mullahs and Government officials on real and often trumped up charges.
Finally the Communists realized that without the Soviet Union their power was gone. The Soviets seeking to avoid war, toned down its rhetoric realizing that Iran was a lost cause and Iraq could not be won over.
Would the USA really topple Iran?
Would they send in the RDF?
Emboldened by the quiescent Soviets the various factions and the US saw an opportunity to limit the Soviet sphere of influence in the Gulf permanently!
Just as the Soviets were regaining some momentum with Syria the USA declared war and invades….well the News lines report,
“US Forces land in Iran to support the overthrow of the brutal and decadent Iranian Communist Party at the behest of the Iranian Army and Iranian Centrists.”
With International monitors unsure just who was helping whom, the internal power struggle kicks into high gear, Iranians fight each other in the streets. Much of the armed forces side with the US. Soviet spheres of influence are limited.
In the Kremlin the Politburo meets and the Premier addresses them. “Today the US invade a strategic partner. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? Our Oil supply and Southern flank is now exposed. Activate Operation Swift Hammer.”
In Northern Iran and the Gulf, US and Soviet aircraft square off as the first missiles are fired in this regional conflict.
US RDF forces land and penetrate deep into Iran territory. Linking up with forces controlling Tehran and Esfahan. Shoving aside all resistance the US clear out Communist supporters.
Both Marine and Infantry Divisions pound on the smaller and less well equipped Communists. A call for help is sent to the Kremlin.
Israeli Commandos prepare to deploy into Iran also along with Saudis as a proto-multinational force.
The Soviets race to Tehran from the North and directly out of Afghanistan. US supported Iranian armies forces are no match for the mechanized Soviet divisions, armed with powerful T-72’s, BMPs and air support.
Escalation. Both sides elect to escalate and the US and NATO begin moving forces in Europe in preparation for war. [Next War Turn 0 ]