Saturday, November 7, 2015

Superpowers: Swarm (Part V)

Not ten years prior to the beginning of Governor Stockton and Federama’s plans to disarm the entire world, Usonia began to interfere in the business of other nations. Even though they were against Federama’s tactics, they were also glad to no longer be the focus of international outcry. The nation that felt the most slighted by Usonia’s persistent military presence was Korea. The great irony during Federama’s grand mission was that the nation with the lowest number of nuclear arms simultaneously had the highest number of military personnel overall. The more nuclear weapons that Federama took from the world, the more powerful Korea became.
To make matters worse, China’s feelings regarding Federama’s mission had not wavered, and they were traditionally close allies with Korea. In fact, China was often noted by scholars as playing a pivotal role in the reunification of Korea into a nation run by a single government. This was a major blow to the original allies of South Korea; Usonia and the United Kingdom in particular. World War IV was on everyone’s minds. If Korea began an aggressive campaign against just about anyone, this war was inevitable, and Federama’s nuclear stockpile would not be enough to stop it. Assuming Stockton’s new peace allies somehow agreed to provide military aid to Usonia and the U.K., Korea’s and China’s forces still outnumbered them two to one.
“Did you not see this coming?” asked Yorick Elder, the prime minister of the United Kingdom. He had traveled to Federama to personally discuss the looming threat.
“You mean, did I predict that Korea would threaten the world with total annihilation? No. Not to this degree, I didn’t.”
“I still presume you have a plan.”
“Because you apparently have thus far.”
“This is different. We’re talking guerilla warfare. I know very little about that. I’ve spent my entire life researching nuclear weapons.”
“What did you think was going to happen?” Elder asked. “You would destroy all nuclear weapons and we would all throw up our hands and agree that peace was the only option? Did you think war was no longer a concept we were capable of fathoming.”
“Well,—” Stockton stammered.
“Because people were doing a fine job killing each other before the Amadesins sent that bomb that killed your family.”
“Now, listen here—”
“No, you listen! You thought you had something here. And I’m sure your final plan for this mission was going to be spectacular, and paradigm-shifting! But you clearly bit off more than you could chew, and had no idea what the world was going to look like for decades to come. You’ve been relying on your painstakingly detailed sneakery, and the global public forum, but now we’re in the nitty gritty. Now someone has made a choice you did not foresee, and you called me in to clean up your mess. You called me instead of President Cross because you figured I would be more likely to help you, and know how to do so.”
Governor Stockton waited with passive-aggressive patience, but then spoke again, “well? Do you know what to do?”
“I do, but you’re not going to like it.”
“What is it?”
“Like bees, or ants?”
“Like soldiers. The only way to overtake the Korean military, and prevent China from coming to their rescue is to swarm the peninsula quickly, efficiently, and chaotically. All borders need to be completely surrounded while strategic strike teams invade central locations—specifically nuclear facilities. Before China has time to react, the swarm is already dispersing. Also, a group of ants is called an army.”
“Even better. Unfortunately, our army is barely larger than Iceland’s Coast Guard. We would never be able to accomplish such a great feat.”
“You’re right. Federama alone would not. Fortunately, you have a hefty list of allies to supplement.”
“That’s a peace alliance. I would never be able to convince them to do this.”
“You could convince India, and they have the third largest military contingency in the world. Of course, we will assist as well, along with Usonia.”
“Don’t look at me like a child who's been given an extra cookie after dinner. Yes, we will be a part of this. Korea is a threat to everyone. In fact, it will be your job to attack the central points. The rest of us will comprise of the swarm.
“The Korean perimeter must be at least 3,000 naykos long!”
“More like 4,000. Your point?”
“My point is that...will this work?”
“It will probably take about five months of secret planning and refinement, but it can work. Our biggest concerns are China and World War IV, yeah?”
“Then swarm tactics is our only hope. We have to hit ‘em, and we have to hit ‘em hard before they have a chance to recover.”
“You sound like a Usonian.”
“You take that back!” Elder replied, only half-jokingly.
“Why would this prevent war?” Stockton asked, moving along. “China and Korea still have nearly half of the world’s military personnel, as you’ve pointed out. Combined with Russia, and maybe even Pakistan, they would be unstoppable.”
“Since the three of us will be the only ones with nuclear arms after it happens, we should be able to stave off war,” Elder explained.
Stockton had no answer.
“Ooooooh,” Elder began. “Oh, you still thought that Cross and I were still going to give up our weapons. Yes,” he said sarcastically, “I can see where you would think that. But no, we’re not going to surrender to you. You want our help, you’ll get it. You want our bombs, you get nothing.”
Stockton still had nothing to say.
“I can see the gears turning in your head. You’re trying to figure out how to get our help with disarming Korea, and then disarm us later. But you see, you did that with Pakistan, and it worked beautifully. But fool me once, as they say.”
“I’ll do it.”
“That either means you concede to the dynamic, or you think you can get the upperhand on us later.”
“Yes,” was all that Governor Stockton said.
Prime Minister Yorick Elder’s estimate of five months was much lower than the truth. Negotiating, compromising, and coordinating with the war alliance took twice that much time. One of the members of the peace alliance, Mongolia was asked to mediate peace negotiations with Korea. This not only continued to curry public favor, but also gave the war alliance time to set about their plans. A year after the idea was first conceived, Usonian and British air forces descended on the Sino-Korean border. The Indian Navy was already on their way to the Eastern and Southern coastlines of Korea, under the guise of disaster relief for the Philippines. Somewhat unlikely ally, Japan agreed to swarm Korea’s western coastline.
World War IV did not begin as a result of this assault, but there were a number of casualties on all sides. Federama did their part and sent in strike forces to steal the nuclear weapons from within Korea. They agreed, however, to not kidnap any scientific experts, as they had with Pakistan, China, and Russia. The deaths of Stage Six would go down in history as the biggest argument against the entire mission, but on the whole, it was another successful one. Governor Stockton also agreed to let the United Kingdom and Usonia keep their own nuclear weapons. But he had proverbial crossed his fingers behind his back. There was no way he wasn’t going back on his word on the matter, even if it meant Federama would lose acknowledgement from the Confederacy. There was too much at stake. He knew he had to formulate new plans to remove these weapons; he just didn’t know how. He was ultimately forced to ask for help from someone he had hoped to never see again.

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