General Strategic Review
Staff Meeting of Lieutenant General Hans Jaeger
~ Classified ~
Map of South America - Intelligence Placement of Divisions Accurate as of 03/05/10.
"Again, we have to look at South America. The President has pushed our obligations in Guyana and he has just recently worked out a defence agreement with Suriname, bringing them into our protective fold - as he so loving described to the press. In all reality General, it's an empty promise. We have a small force of Special Operations Infantry that is mostly there to make cross-border strikes against Brazilian targets in the event of a military buildup and to help local law enforcement in the event of civil unrest." Colonel Emilio Vasquez said to Jaeger, pointing out spots on the wall periodically. He paused briefly as he finished, either looking for approval or waiting for a reaction Hans wasn't sure.
"What are the capabilities of local law enforcement?" he asked, looking to and fro at the Brazilian divisions surrounding Suriname and European Guyana.
"In terms of keeping the peace, they do well enough considering that the Senate doesn't like to review their spending requests. In the face of the Brazilian or Venezuelan armies however, they might as well be civilians." The Colonel said, growing more grave as he finished.
Hans thought about it for a moment but decided against speaking up. "Continue, Colonel." he said.
"Yes Sir. From our own territories, we have to look at the immediate threats. The biggest that anyone can find, is Brazil and its Amazonian League. What originally started out as a counter to the Southern Alliance of Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia has instead become the dominant power in the region, arguably in the Southern Hemisphere. With massive investment and support from countries like China and Russia, Brazil has managed to build up its industrial base and is currently home to one of the largest naval forces in the world."
"After it's success in the War of the Amazon(1), and the annexation of Bolivia and Paraguay, Brazil has found new allies in Cuba and Venezuela, becoming an even bigger thorn in the side of the United States. They have so far limited their involvement to holding the peace talks and pushing for the Treaty of Miami(2) but no one expects that to last if another war breaks out. Six months ago, Ecuador signed a treaty of 'mutual defence, trust and friendship' -" the Colonel emphasized with a finger quote. "joining the Amazonian League."
"And for the South American Defence Coalition, that is nothing but bad news. From what we know, their whole plan revolved around throwing their entire force at the Brazilian lines. Columbia was already recognized as being hard pressed by the other states, less so by Argentina, for having to contend with Venezuela as well, and now, it appears that Columbian and Peruvian troops will be divided between the Brazilian Army and the Armies of Ecuador."
The Colonel paused to let the situation sink in. Another general war like the War of the Amazon would be disastrous for both sides as they scrambled to solidify the front lines. Jaeger paused for a moment as he lifted an analysis of the nations industries he had procured from the European Intelligence Bureau. From what he could tell, Brazil had a larger industrial capability than any other state in South America - it actually had a larger industrial capability than all the states in the SADC together.
"From what we can tell then, if there is another war - it is very likely that Brazil would come out on top? Is that what you're saying?" he pressed.
"It's hard to tell. In terms of Naval Power, Brazil has more than ships than any of her enemies. She has more divisions, though not against the whole of the SADC, and we suspect that her air force is the only area in which she may be vulnerable. Even that however, we can't confirm."
The Colonel stopped again, which by now was testing Jaeger's patience. If the Colonel insisted on a start and stop routine, then Jaeger would push him to the touch and go that he preferred.
"What about Mexico? Rumour says that Mexico has been getting more involved lately."
"From what I have been able to find out General, Mexico has established a series of underlying treaties with the separate members of the SADC. Whether they have done this at the urging of the United States, like the referendum held in Belize(3) or if Guatemala and El Salvador(4) have pushed them to make their own headway in International Politics is unclear. According to our analysts however, a large portion of their Army is marshaling in the North. EIB isn't sure what to make of that."
"What about our current plan of action if things get hot?"
The Colonel looked at him and winced, like Jaeger had suddenly grown a second head. As the start of a smirk appeared on his face, Jaeger interrupted.
"Do we sit back, do we join the SADC, do we join the League, what is the plan with our islands in the Caribbean, who has overarching jurisdiction?" he continued, his voice now seething with poison. "Basically, Colonel, what the fuck happens when the shit hits the fan?"
The Colonel looked strangely calm given the situation. The man stood still momentarily, locking eyes with Jaeger before continuing. "Sir, policy dictates neutrality. Decisions by men on the ground to intervene contrary to superior orders could be covered up or forgotten during debrief. Such a policy would be dangerous, but the embarrassment that would be received from backing down would likely force policy makers to go ahead with the war, much like the Incident in the Gulf of Tonkin."
Jaeger paused momentarily, not something to which he was accustomed to doing, as he sized up the Colonel. A smile flickered across his lips.
"That Colonel, is why you were reassigned to me. Strategic review will continue tomorrow at 1000 Hours. Dismissed."
_________________~ Further Reading ~ ___________________
1 - The War of the Amazon occurred during the late 1980s and continued until early 1993. Each side blames the other for causing the war, however it is a generally held consensus among the International Community that the war began during the Carapintadas Revolt beginning in 1987 in Argentina. What had originally begun as a mutiny among members of the Armed Forces, spiraled into full scale guerrilla warfare.
Eventually, the Carapintadas movement had found hide outs in Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia, striking military and civilian targets as it expanded to become a general right wing paramilitary organization. While avoiding taking direct action against the movement became a common stance in the countries where the Carapintadas had rooted themselves, Brazil became an increasingly open target as a home of leftist agitators by the Carapintadas, their supporters, and politicians seeking to cash in on the atmosphere of the Cold War as it trickled into South America.
American supplied Southern Alliance troops would soon be at war with Brazil.
After a string of bombings in Rio de Janiero and Brasilia, the Brazilian government mobilized the Armed Forces and, with financial and logistical support from China and the USSR, attacked Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina. Although a part of the Southern Alliance, Chile tried to limit its involvement in the war. The United States began funding the Southern Alliance and the war dragged on for several years before a Brazilian military breakthrough lead to the fall of Bolivia and Paraguay, and the humiliation of Argentina. The two nations remain under Brazilian occupation, and Insurgent movements in the occupation zones has increased over the last few years.
Although it has lost prominence, the Carapintadas Movement has evolved into a powerful political party within Argentina - namely arguing in favour of justice, increased state economic responsibility, a greater role in World Affairs, and the military buildup of forces to regain Argentina's rightful place.
2 - The Treaty of Miami was a Peace meeting held by the United States in 1994, after a year of unsuccessful Argentinean counterattacks on Brazilian positions and continued humiliation. The meeting eventually lead to the Treaty of Miami, the end of hostilities and the occupation of Bolivia and Paraguay.
This has lead to an interesting paradox in South American, and specifically Argentine, politics as they desire increased ties and military support from the United States, but the public still resents the US for not doing more to affect the outcome of the war.
3 - A 1996 referendum held in Belize, partially due to an economic collapse, and partially to further American interests, was held on the independence of Belize, ultimately asking if it should accept economic and political integration with Mexico, who at the time was experiencing a long period of growth.
Many outside commentators believe that the United States pressured the government of Belize into holding the referendum - with some others directly accusing the US of manufacturing the results.
4 - Mexico used its economic growth and relative military strength to intervene in an Armed conflict between El Salvador and Guatemala in 1993, 1996, and finally in 1998. The conflict was a lingering dispute that arose from the War of the Amazon, with right winged and leftist supporters on both sides embroiled in support of one side or the other. Eventually, a right winged government in Guatemala accused a leftist government in El Salvador of initiating border skirmishes and launched a full scale military assault.
Mexican forces fighting in El Salvador.
Although in 1993 and again in 1996, they were present as peace keepers, they came in 1998 to end the fighting once and for all. Within four months, both states had surrendered to the Mexican army. Five years later, violence is at an all time low, and both former states have developed under Mexican economic development. Whether the recent economic downturn in Mexico will change this, is yet to be seen.
Special Thanks to Mr.Santiago for Inspiration and Advice Used During this Update