Friday, February 18, 2011

1984: Red Stars and Rockets : Q&A

I thought I'd take a moment to clarify a key question.

Kobold said...

Oh wow, you've headed off in a different direction from where I thought you were going in your earlier post.
An atomic war that humanity could survive makes sense if you're limited to aircraft-dropped A-Bombs - even off honking great B-36s.
How did the UN remain viable and then become independent, if the traditional major donar, the US, was so locked in a Cold War? I would have thought that at the first sign of activism, the US would have walked, as was the fate of the League of Nations.
No trying to pick holes, except in a helpful way to strengthen the narrative.

Not a problem at all, it’s a great question, and one that I’m delighted to pontificate on, and greatly appreciate the input. Just note that I reserve the right to alter any of the dates as needed, and that this is just a first pass at a solution.

The practical gaming reason for the UNPD was because I wanted some more factions in addition to the the West and The East. Essentially, I'm postulating that a UN that was seen as more pliable by the west was less hamstrung but also allowed it to drift to neutrality while they were distracted; and that the main developing states suffered less than the two superpowers, allowing them more leverage in shaping the post-stalemate world. Essentially, no one had funding for the UN after 1951, but everyone had an interest in funding the Pacification Directorate as a way to grab breathing space (USA and USSR) or to keep the big boys from wrecking what was left of the world.

The more detailed discussion involving history and stuff.
I’d say that the cause is rooted in three different sources. First, I’d suggest that the more belligerent Stalinist USSR generated more pushback, and generated much less of the “fair play for Russia” support that was included in lots of the foundation of our UN. For instance, no extra seats in the assembly for soviet republics, and security council seating, etc. Specifically, one fundamental change involved restructuring in the Veto process; allowing a mechanism for overriding a great power veto. The short-term effect was to remove much of the later soviet influence on the structure of the UN, a process which was to be magnified by later events in point two, making it less of a pawn in superpower politics; conversely, it also allowed much more of a neutral attitude to pervade the administration due to a more complacent US policy which saw the UN as a benign alloy in the fight against world communism.

Second, in this timeline, the Korean war started abruptly about 18 months earlier , and while the USSR hadn’t walked out (as in this TL), their veto of the intervention resolution was blocked, at which point they did walk out. For a variety of reasons, mainly involving the production timetable of soviet nukes, north Korea was deprived of the support it had from the USSR, and the PRC – which was still on the ropes fighting the Nationalists. The Korean intervention effectively stopped the Northern offensive, and then occupied the North by late 1949. Occupation and moves towards reintegration of the two Koreas was a major factor in the eventual Soviet decision to attack western Europe. The reintegration of the Koreas was handled by a newly founded United Nations Pacification Directorate, which was largely handled by US commerce and Non-aligned nation UN administrators. Pay attention to this, it’s crucial. The UNPAD was created before the big war, and was seen by the US Government and populace as a wholly approved and safe pro democratic institution.

Finally, the UN was paralyzed by the onset of WW3, first in Europe, then in Asia. Initially, the NATO/SEATO block (also formed a bit earlier) passed an intervention resolution, specifically aimed at holding the fort in Asia while the “real war” in Europe was decided. While this was somewhat successful, the UN forces used in china lacked significant Strategic assets, and were resisted by the nationalists, and took horrendous casualties fighting the Red Chinese and Soviet support , rather souring the contributor nations (India, South America, Thailand) on fighting as proxies for either side. By ~1953, Both sides in the war were fought to exhaustion, and the UN was refusing to support either side with military forces. As the stalemate solidified, both sides needed some way to enforce the ceasefire without losing the war by further fighting – both sides desperately needed a respite, and with the main battlefields destroyed, any attempt to actively attack either homeland would likely win, but also ruin the victor. Plus, Stalin was dead (more on this later) A neutral and independent UN was the best and quickest answer, and was pushed for by the non-aligned nations who had gained in clout relative to the exhausted major powers. The UNPAD was brought in almost unilaterally by India and Brazil, and given freestanding funding and national status in the form of administering the wrecked and refugee choked Benelux area and given the mandate to police the European and Asian Exclusion zones. In reality, the UN as a whole largely collapsed by 1952; all that emerged from the war was what in many ways was a private corporation run by the remnants of the UN administration, and initially funded by the major non-aligned states plus the revenues of Benelux & eventually, much of Asia. This was what evolved into an independent supranational body with a remit to stop major conflicts on the earth, wherever possible. 

How does that work ?

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