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The Congo War (2055-2067) was a controversial military conflict led by the United States against the then-dictator Pierre Muamba, and the subsequent insurgency that resulted from the occupation. The war consisted of two stages: an invasion of the Congo by a coalition of forces, including the US, and a long period of nation-building afterwards. Fears that Muamba, the military leader of the Congo, was developing nuclear weapons, and was supporting the Marxist African Liberation Army terrorist group, led the American president Bob Jones to topple the regime. A subsequent search and investigation turned up no atomic weapons or terrorist connections with the former dictator, and the military occupation phase became extremely chaotic and costly. Ultimately, the war cost American taxpayers 3.6 trillion USD, without accounting for interest on war-related debt or veterans' care.
In 2034, Pierre Muamba took power over the Democratic Republic of the Congo following the Third Congolese Civil War. In 2037, the tyrant invaded and occupied the Republic of the Congo. Heavy taxes placed on the new territory caused widespread economic desperation, and human rights abuses led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands. The US non-interventionist foreign policy prevented interference in these events.
In the 2040s, American physicist Benjamin Eyrie discovered how to produce antimatter from nothing, in what had been described as the "ultimate free lunch". The construction of a large antimatter power plant in 2050 proved the potential practicality of this development to the military. Infitech Mercenary Corp. developed antimatter battlefield technology for world governments, which became a large industry. The US prepared their military with antimatter generators and infrastructure, which increased its formidability. As would become clear later, the role of Infitech was very significant in the Congo War.
On October 25, 2054, the La Guardia Airport was bombed with 1,200 pounds of C-4 plastic explosive, resulting in 320 deaths. A subsequent investigation connected the incident to the African Liberation Army, a Neo-Marxist terrorist group based in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Immediately, the American security forces provided support for the South African crackdown on the insurgency group. US president Bob Jones, in his 2055 State of the Union Address, announced his "War on Chaos": "Africa has been stripped apart by pandemonium. Cowardly terrorist factions, civil war, and thugs in office have destroyed this continent. We must declare War on Chaos. We will bring law, order, and freedom to this divided land".
In December of 2054, Joseph Tansi, an ex-General from the Congo who defected to the United States, claimed to have seen development on nuclear weapons technology occur within Muamba's military. Additionally, Tansi showed US authorities Congolese official documents demonstrating a connection between Muamba's administration and the African Liberation Army. Some officials in the US Congress considered these events extremely odd, as Muamba was nominally anti-socialist, and no other evidence suggested that his regime was working on Weapons of Mass Destruction. Terry Johansson, a US Senator from Michigan, died mysteriously in an automobile accident after criticizing the evidence against Muamba. In a televised speech, Jones declared that "we can not wait for the completion of a lengthy UN weapons inspection, as the Congo regime continues to conceal its weapons and support international terrorism, threatening the American people. We must act now". In January, without any Congressional approval whatsoever, Jones spent 250 billion dollars upgrading the US military and preparing for the invasion of the Congo. Much of this money was spent purchasing military technology, antimatter weapons and infrastructure, and security contractors from Infitech Mercenary Corp.
Invasion of the Congo
On April 18, 2055, the US military initiated the Invasion of the Congo with an aerial bombardment of strategic military targets. Automated drones dropped positron bombs on Muamba's military bases throughout the country. Two days later, on the twentieth, a semblance of US troop carrier vessels and battleships arrived on the Congo west coast at Pointe-Noire. A total of 25 carrier ships and eight large battleships met Muamba's navy at Point-Noire. With mounted positron guns and antimatter weaponry, the American battleships easily won the conflict, allowing the carrier vessels to land at the port city. A total of 550 US casualties compared to over 16,000 Congolese deaths. Following the Naval Battle of Point-Noire, the land battle was also easily won by American forces. Congolese soldiers attempting to recapture the city were no match for US tanks armed with positron weaponry and advanced artillery.
American forces pushed easily through the nation, capturing a major commercial city in the Battle for Dolisie. On April 24, US troops reached Brazzaville, resulting in a major battle between American and Congolese militaries. On the 25th, the Battle for Kinshasa resulted in a key US victory, causing 450 US casualties and 54,000 Congolese casualties. That day, the Statue of Muamba was toppled, signifying the defeat of the capital. Regime forces were left largely scattered and without a standard command structure, leaving different generals in command of different factions.
A contingent of US forces pushed north, capturing Owando on April 27. Meanwhile, forces pushing east were victorious in the battles of Kananga on April 30 and Mbuji-Mayi on May 1. A major battle at Lubumbashi resulted in 223 US casualties and 23,000 Congolese deaths, essentially spelling out an American victory by May 3. Many of the remaining Congolese soldiers retreated or surrendered at the Battle of Kisangani on May 7. After a small number of conflicts with the leftover contingent of Regime forces, the US occupied the entire country on May 10. On May 13, US president Bob Jones declared "the War is over; we have won. The patriots have prevailed".
Early Occupation and Growing Insurgency
The American occupation of the Congo met immediate difficulties. Electrical infrastructure in Kinshasa started to become unreliable following the US takeover. The US soldiers running the city had little experience in operating public services, and road traffic, water supply, and power became a nightmare. The native population became increasingly frustrated at the inability of the occupying authority to run ever basic public functions. Furthermore, Muamba Loyalist Groups, consisting of former Congolese soldiers, military officials, and police, as well as some civilians, led Anti-American insurgency throughout the country. A truck bombing on May 23 killed over two hundred civilians and several dozen US soldiers. Roadside bombs and improvised equipment proved useful to the Loyalist factions, killing over a hundred American soldiers in June. The US military was armed with advanced weaponry designed for use against another large force in organized battles, but not against unexpected terrorist sabotage. Few American soldiers had training in combating insurgency or guerrilla warfare. In June, three truck bombings killed 1,300 civilians and 67 US soldiers, while smaller insurgent attacks killed an additional 500 civilians. The Battle for Muamba Street between 350 US soldiers, 1,000 loyalists, and 1-3,000 rioting civilians caused 17 American casualties on June 12.
The steady montage of roadside bombs, truck bombings, small-scale guerrilla conflicts and lack of public services continued through July and August, causing about 100 American deaths and 1,000 civilian deaths per month. Additionally, the African Liberation Army started to make a significant presence in the midst of the chaos, with over ten thousand members in the country by the end of August. A comprehensive search found no evidence of any nuclear weapons built by the Muamba regime, while an investigation found no link between the former government and the African Liberation Army.
On September 3, a Congo government was established, nominally ending the American occupying authority. Significant criticism developed concerning the American war policy. Only 108,000 US troops were sent to the nation, an extremely small number for maintaining order over 150 million people. While well-trained soldiers and antimatter weaponry was enough to defeat the 600,000 Congolese soldiers, fighting the uniform insurgency and keeping public order was incredibly difficult. Officials criticized the initial moves in the invasion, particularly the naval opening. Assembling the troops in Angola and moving across land would have been cheaper then moving battleships to the coast.
2056 and Increasing Violence
Despite the claims of officials in the Department of Defense, the situation did not improve in the Congo. Semi-organized loyalist militia groups continued to attack civilians and US soldiers in major cities. Muamba himself was never found or brought to justice, suspected to be hiding in a compound and possibly plotting the overthrow of the newly installed government. Terrorist factions like the African Liberation Army expanded their presence in the country. Neither the Congolese security forces nor the US military could maintain order, and random acts of violence increased. Lootings rampaged major cities, while the murder rate skyrocketed to nearly 12,000 deaths per month. Every month, there were roughly ten major truck bombings in large cities, often in crowded markets or public places, killing about three hundred people each.
There was a growing concern that the loyalist guerrilla groups were organizing themselves into a single military structure. Documents uncovered in May showed that there was an increasing amount of communication among the different insurgent factions. In July, loyalist terrorists took hold of a small village south of the Congo river, and expanded their presence from there. With such a thinly distributed security force that was largely concentrated in the major cities, the US military could not really combat the rising insurgency. By December, a significant amount of the Congo interior was controlled by loyalist factions. There was also a significant amount of conflict between the local Mongo population and the Kongo guerrilla groups. Major US battles at the small town of Ikundu slowed the loyalist expansion South, but officials grappled with the looming potential of a colossal civil war.
Riots and public dissatisfaction increased during this year. Many citizens in Kinshasa were angry at the mismanagement of public functions and the inability of the United States to maintain order. Furthermore, the American military provided the local Congolese security forces with advanced weaponry, which often fell into the hands of enemy guerrilla groups due to widespread corruption within the security forces. The majority Luba ethnic group in the south-east was extremely angry at the largely Kongo government, and for the most part desired independence. A Luba terrorist faction gained power in Lubumbashi and Kananga, deploying roadside bombs and other equipment to kill US soldiers, as well as encouraging violence against Kongo people. By the end of the year, ethnic tension was at an extreme.
2057 and Civil War
In February of 2057, two incidents changed the face of the war. Three Kongo security officers killed four innocent Luba civilians in Kinshasa, upon thinking they were terrorists. Additionally, one US soldier killed three civilians in Lubumbashi. Immediately, riots against the attacks spread across Katanga province. In Lubumbashi, 3-7,000 rioting civilians lynched and killed two dozen Kongo people. In response, there was a surge of violence against Luba in the capital city. A Luba nationalist terrorist group organized and gained hold in the South-East, taking control of many small villages and rural areas. Meanwhile, loyalist groups continued to control a large area south of the Congo river, but violence between the loyalist insurgents and the Mongo natives increased. By April, the Secretary of Defense Robert Greenswood called the situation "a full-on civil war".
On April 8, a battle between US soldiers and loyalist insurgents at the village of Mongubashi pushed the guerrilla fighters north. Soldiers were deployed throughout the month to stop the looming terrorist expansion. Meanwhile, the lack of troops in major cities caused a large spike in violence. US president Bob Jones authorized a troop spike, deploying 200,000 extra soldiers by May. At August, essentially all of Katanga province was controlled by Luba extremist factions except for the major cities. Loyalist guerrilla groups controlled much of Equateur and Bandundu province. It was commonly thought that Muamba might still be commanding the guerrilla movement.
The September 8 battle outside Mbandaka was a large confrontation between Kongo security forces, US soldiers, and guerrilla members who were trying to expand their presence north-west. With antimatter-armed tanks and superior technology, the US ultimately won the battle, but not without a significant number of deaths. Loyalists had deployed mines throughout the battle-field in anticipation of the confrontation, and often surprise-attacked unsuspecting American troops with machine guns. Ultimately, 350 US soldiers, 600 Kongo security officers and 1,500 insurgents were killed.
On December 18, a large battle outside Kindu had a very similar effect, slowing the Luba nationalist expansion north. Violence increased during this month, with the murder rate causing nearly 16,000 deaths per month, as military units were busy fighting rural insurgency and could not maintain order in large cities. A bombing campaign by the Africa Liberation Army killed nearly five thousand civilians.
2058, Draft, and Humanitarian Crisis
In January of 2058 president Bob Jones ordered a draft to supply troops for the Congo war. Becoming effective in February, the act brought in over 500,000 extra soldiers by April. Nearly 800 troops were killed every month by roadside bombs and other forms of terrorist sabotage. Insurgent groups sprouted up in major cities across the nation. The Loyalist Army expanded its presence outside of rural areas by ordering regular bombing campaigns in Kinshasa. By drafting members from local villages, the loyalist group had nearly 700,000 nominal members. Major confrontations and violence between Mongo and loyalists killed thousands every month. A Mongo nationalist group rose up to combat the loyalist occupation, and had significant power by July.
Hundreds of thousands of Congolese civilians fled violent areas, living in crowded and poorly-run refugee camps. Disease and starvation greatly increased throughout the country. Ethnic conflict caused the migration of many individuals across long distances. Lubumbashi became a constant war-zone between US soldiers and Luba nationalists. Two colossal battles outside the city on September 17 and 24, called the Autumn Confrontations, caused the deaths of two thousand American troops and 10-12 thousand insurgents. Most casualties, though, happened in many small, scattered battles in border regions and large towns.
2059 and Troop Surge
Draft requirements were significantly expanded in January, bringing over many more US troops. Levels increased to nearly 1,000,000 by March. This controversial troop surge initially caused much civilian backlash against the occupiers, but ultimately helped to quell insurgency. Deaths by improvised explosives and surprise attacks caused nearly 1,600 American casualties every month, but this number decreased throughout the year as order became maintained. Throughout 2059, insurgents were expelled from Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, and loyalist-controlled land was decreased. Major battles in July shrunk loyalist borders, decreasing their power within the provinces. Similar confrontations shrunk Luba-nationalist controlled territory. The national murder rate decreased.
The number of sabotages and truck bombings also went down throughout the year. However, refugee camps continued to be overflowed and poorly maintained. American-occupied camps were exposed as being disease-ridden and understaffed, contributing to the conflict's casualties. Shipments of food and medicine continued to be disrupted by the violence. Many commentators criticized the "War on Chaos".
2060-2067 and Fade-Out
Violence continued to decrease throughout 2060, as guerrilla territory was removed. Security forces and government operations were able to take much control over from the US military. Troop levels decreased to 500,000 by the end of the year, and were at 300,000 by the end of 2061. By 2062, only a smattering of villages were controlled entirely by guerrilla groups. Terrorist sabotage caused only a few hundred civilian deaths per month, and the murder rate had decreased to 5,000 per month. By 2063, the draft was abolished. Under the new president Ronald Pierson, the war continued to calm down.
The conflict nominally ended on January 18, 2067. After the US left, violence continued to tear apart the Congo. Many had called the war "America's Great Fiasco".
In October of 2063, American congressman Sherman Hope discovered key government documents which exposed a large conspiracy. In 2053, the new Vice President Vittore Turchi, Secretary of Defense Eckhard Gerver, several key officials in the Department of Defense, and a handful of important Senators were essentially bribed by Infitech Mercenary Corp. to start a war. At that time, after the economic troubles of the Great Fall, American public officials were notoriously corrupt. Over two dozen accepted bribes ranging from one to over three hundred million dollars, often in support of political election campaigns, to take part in a conspiracy to start a large conflict. Infitech, a manufacturer of military technology, benefited massively from the war. Many bribed officials went on to use the money to fund large election campaigns.
Furthermore, the La Guardia bombings were revealed to be a staged government plot to necessitate a war. Only about thirty individuals were involved in setting up the attacks. After revealing this information, Hope perished in a mysterious car accident, causing a tremendous public outcry. Ultimately, it was seen that Bob Jones had not actually been aware of the Infitech conspiracy, but was merely a "useful idiot" to his advisors.
Effects of the War and Summary
Cost-250 billion USD
Congo Royal Army-104,000
Cost- 2-8 trillion USD (depending on whether one counts interest on war-related debt or veterans care)
Loyalist Guerrilla Factions-110,000
Luba Nationalist Groups-80,000
Mongo Nationalist Groups-30,000
Africa Liberation Army-1,500
Congo Security Officers-25,000
200-500,000 (increased murder rate and random acts of violence)
30-150,000 (terrorist attacks and Guerrilla warfare)
3-8,000,000 (disease, starvation, and conditions for refugees)