Wargames: Joshua’s Nuclear War Scenarios 100-140

Final installment of the Wargames scenarios!

100. Libyan Action– Think Gulf of Sidra in the 1980s. In 1981, US Navy F-14s shot down two Libyan fighters during a period of heightened tension. In 1986, US and Libyan air and naval forces mixed it up and then USAF and US Navy aircraft bombed targets in Tripoli and Benghazi. Three years later in 1989, Navy Tomcats again shot down a pair of Libyan fighters. Any of these incidents could’ve spilled over into a larger conflict with severe implications.

101. Palestinian Tactical– What if the First Intifada went beyond protests and riots? What if Syria had contributed equipment, weapons and advisors to the PLO and the uprising took the form of a more organized and deadly insurgency against Israel?

102. NATO Alternate– Confusing title. A Soviet move against NATO using an alternative to its war plans perhaps?

103. Cyprus Maneuver– Cyprus was a bastion of instability from the 1974 coup and subsequent Turkish invasion onward into the 1980s. If either Greece or Turkey had moved unilaterally to take over the island, rapid escalation was assured. Events could’ve gone in a direction that nobody had thought possible.

104. Egypt Misdirection– A diversion in North Africa to take attention away from another area of the world goes awry and leads to Superpower intervention.

105. Bangladesh Thrust– In the late 1970s, when this list was originally put together (years before the movie) Bangladesh was in a period of political disarray. Ziaur Rahman came to power in 1979 and was a popular president. It’s not inconceivable to imagine that Rahman, had he not been assassinated in 1981, could have prepared and executed an offensive against one of the nation’s South Asian neighbors.

106. Kenya Defense– Kenya finds itself under attack from an external or internal enemy.

107. Bangladesh Containment– Unlike the Bangladesh scenario previous, this one revolves around containing an aggressive and outward-looking Bangladesh.

108. Vietnamese Strike– Vietnam moves against one of its neighbors. Perhaps Thailand, or even a move to recapture the Paracel Islands from China.

109. Albanian Containment– This one is a bit hard to swallow; Hoxa and Albania’s expansionist aspirations needing to be checked.

110. Gabon Surprise– Omar Bongo was unpredictable and deadly. He could have taken Gabon and much of Africa over the edge at any time.

111. Iraq Sovereignty– An internal uprising (Iranian backed?) against the Ba’ath party and Saddam Hussein.

112. Vietnamese Sudden– Similar to STRIKE, only taking the world by surprise

113. Lebanon Interdiction– This one actually became reality. Think Lebanon 1982-83

114. Taiwan Domestic- Chinese-backed opposition groups and paramilitary forces create political chaos in Taiwan

115. Algerian Sovereignty– Social unrest was common in Algeria from the late 70s through the 80s. Libya or another external player might’ve tried to turn the situation to its favor and chip away at Algeria’s status as a sovereign nation.

116. Arabian Strike– A Soviet move into the Arabian Peninsula to seize the Saudi oil fields.

117. Atlantic Sudden– The Soviets begin a war against NATO with an out-of-the-blue effort to close the Atlantic.

118. Mongolian Thrust– Either Mongolia moving against China or the Soviet Union, or perhaps a Sino-Soviet encounter within the borders of Mongolia.

119. Polish Decoy– A Soviet gambit to divert attention away from another region where it will be making moves in the near future.

120. Alaskan Discretionary– A low profile operation by the Soviets to disrupt the Alaskan pipeline or disable US early warning radars in preparation for a first strike. As Alaska is US territory, this would be a direct attack upon the United States and the possibility of escalation is very high.

121. Canadian Thrust– A Soviet military move into Canadian territory. With East Bloc forces on North American soil the situation would become volatile very fast.

122. Arabian Light– A regional conflict spills over and provides the spark for a global war. The Iran-Iraq War certainly had the potential to serve as a catalyst.

123. African Domestic– Apartheid was ugly. The South African government was a pariah and the ANC was backed indirectly by the Soviet Union. If Apartheid ever exploded, the superpowers would have been drawn in. While the US had no love for the South African government, it could not allow the Soviets to gain complete control of resource-rich South Africa.

124. Tunisian Incident– Libya and Tunisia clash in an isolated action on land or at sea and it escalates.

125. Malaysian Maneuver– China begins making political and military moves to gain control of Malaysia.

126. Jamaica Decoy- Cuba instigates an action in Jamaica to divert attention away from Soviet action elsewhere. The US responds with a Grenada-like operation, and it goes downhill from there.

127. Malaysian Minimal– Communist insurgency rekindles in Malaysia

128. Russian Sovereignty- This could refer to an invasion of Russia by the PRC. Possible during the time-period. It’s the only realistic possibility.

129. Chad Option– In the late 70s and early 80s, the Libyan-Chad conflict raged. French involvement raised the potential of a wider clash between the US and Soviet Union.

130. Bangladesh War– Bangladesh’s leader moved away from his country’s strong ties with India and the Soviet Union in the early 80s in favor of a strong relationship with the West. It could have sparked war with India.

131. Burmese Containment– Again, Burma’s inclusion on this list mystifies me.

132. Asian Theaterwide– Asia explodes. Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, North Pacific….choose your flashpoint.

133. Bulgarian Clandestine-NATO or independent Turkish covert actions against Bulgaria, a Warsaw Pact member at the time.

 134. Greenland Incursion– Soviet assault to seize and destroy US military assets in Greenland. Considering that Thule AB and the BMEWS radar site were located there, escalation would’ve been assured in this scenario.

135. Egypt Surgical– Libyan surgical strike against an Egyptian target. Political or economic.

136. Czech Heavy– Confrontation between NATO and the Warsaw Pact in Southern Germany and Czechoslovakia. NATO incursion perhaps.

137. Taiwan Confrontation– The PRC launches an offensive to reclaim the ‘lost province.’

138. Greenland Maximum– Greenland Incursion x10.

139. Uganda Offensive– The Ugandans go on the attack and occupy Congo.

140. Caspian Defense– An Iranian offensive into the southern Soviet Union.

6 Replies to “Wargames: Joshua’s Nuclear War Scenarios 100-140”

  1. “NATO Alternate” could mean a World War III where like Twilight 2000 and Dr. Strangelove, and unlike 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the rest of said scenarios, NATO unambiguously starts it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. …” In the late 1970s, when this list was originally put together (years before the movie)…” Can you repost the story of how this list was written and how it came to be used in the film? Apologies if it was in one of the earlier blogs (just remind me if that’s the case). I remember being disappointed with the casting of Barry Corbin as SAC Commander (just because they made the SAC Cdr look like an uneducated hick) but now I can’t imagine the film without him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never did get the story behind the list, although I think it’s worth some research.
      I loved Barry Corbin as CINC-NORAD. Seems like a prototypical old school fighter pilot. Always loved him. Although, I’m not very big on Red Man, myself

      Liked by 1 person

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