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Team Yankee Fulda Gap 86 - Bulletin number 3


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In 1985 and 1986, these are some of the Cold War themes that could trigger war, or move nations closer to it:

  • Communist fears that NATO is a cover organization that is being used by the United States to create an alliance for the long-term destruction or subjugation of the Soviet Union and its East European allies. Off-hand comments by President Ronald Regan, and the NATO military buildup in the 1980s only serve to intensify these fears.


  • Pershing IRBM: In the 1970s, the Soviets started deploying SS-20 theater ballistic missiles in Eastern Europe. The missiles threatened European cities and threatened NATO's critical British air bases with short-notice attack. In mid-1983, having collectively concluded negotiations had failed to remove the SS-20 missiles, NATO confirmed it would deploy U.S. cruise missiles to Britain and Italy and Pershing 2 ballistic missiles to West Germany to counter the Soviet SS-20s.  The Soviets sponsored "peace organizations" to create political crises in Europe and the US.


  • Soviet fear of a resurgent West Germany and possible reunification of the two Germany’s.  This is a recurring theme because of the memories of the generation that fought in and lived through the Great Patriotic War. That generation occupies most of the senior leadership positions in the USSR.


  • Dissension, demonstrations and outright uprisings in some of the nations of the Warsaw Pact threaten the USSR's hegemony in eastern Europe. Such actions also raise the fear of Moscow that the loss of Soviet control in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary could remove the geographical buffer between NATO forces and Moscow. Such developments could also economically cripple the Soviet Union, which is not prepared to compete alone on the World Capitalist market. NOTE: For the purposes of this scenario, the timeline on some of the political revolutions in Poland and Czechoslovakia are represented here as event that occurred in 1985 and 1986.


  • Soviet naval and Air incursions in Sweden, Norway, the Baltic Sea, Norwegian and Greenland Seas threaten to overwhelm those nations’ tiny militaries and break out in the Atlantic Ocean to threaten shipping and air travel in time of war.


  • Using both direct military assistance and also operating through their proxies - the Warsaw Pact Nations, the Cubans and others - the Soviet Union has promoted their influence and Marxist revolution in the horn of Africa (Ethiopia), southwest Africa (Angola), and Central America (Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Colombia).


  • Developments in the Horn of Africa threaten the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf.  These trends also provide opportunities for the either the US or Soviet Navy to dominate the Indian Ocean. The USSR established naval, air and land bases in Ethiopia.  These include facilities for naval reconnaissance flights in Asmara and a naval facility on Nocra, one of the islands in the Dahlak Archipelago. This archipelago is a group of about 370 islands about 35 miles off the Red Sea coast. In response, the US begins to use bases in Somalia.


  • A key non-Marxist player is Muammar Gaddafi.  He has been setting himself up to be a champion of the Palestinians, as well as the leader of the non-aligned Arab and Moslem nations against Israel and the West. His support of violence against Israel, terrorism in western European states and schism with the “traditional leaders” of the Arab states (Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia) is destabilizing in the Middle East and Saharan Africa.  His regime has also intensified a program to acquire or develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.

NOTES: For elaboration on these themes

  • Tom Clancy does a fair job in “Red Storm Rising”
  • Sir John Hackett does an excellent job in “The Third World War: August 1985”
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