The Game of the South (also very commonly called "The Little Cold War") was a political and military, and, to a certain level, economic, struggle in southern North America that involved the Empire of America, Jaharo and its successor states, and the Second American Republic and its breakaway states. It is generally agreed to have started in 2156, when Emperor Xenimus III took power in the Empire, and true military and political shifts starting in 2162 with the start of the First Mexican Gulf War between Jaharo and the Empire.
This era saw two large scale wars, countless smaller wars and military movements, two coup d'etats, a trans-continental revolution and an aftershock, the collapse of one government and faulter of another, the replacement of an old dynasty with a new one, grand expansion, and the rise of a true Superpower. Up until this point, the World was very Multipolar, and this conflict is considered a major turning point in the history of the World, and is generally considered its own era in the Western Hemisphere due to its domination of political affairs in the region.
Phase 1 Begins
The Beginning of the Energy Scramble
In 2156, Emperor Michael Xenimus took power in the American Empire after his mother died. The late Empress would be the last ruler of a permanent peacetime Empire for a century. Michael proved to be a bit of a racist toward the Jaharans and occasionally showed it, but this wasn't the main reason for the extremely peaceful situation to deteriorate. For the past few decades, an energy crisis was just barely sprouting, but effects were beginning to be felt, especially in North America. While they were in posession of resources, they needed each others. Especially in the south, the Empire needed the farmlands of Jaharo, and Jaharo needed the oil in Imperial Texas. Tensions grew more when talks between the two nations were halted by riots in the former Jaharan areas and failed negotiations to try and quell the growing energy problem between the two nations. The main reason the stability was shaken, however was due to poor policies and the 'bumbling' politicians that ruled their territories. Emperor Michael fell out of public favor, as he seemed too hotheaded, proved in heated debates with Jaharan politicians, and overall unfit to rule an Empire. This went on for 7 years until the two countries were practically enemies.
Decline of NAAP
Even though the two nations were founding members of NAAP, the policies began to fail and the people more restless. The Emperor and President increasingly ignored NAAP policies and inserted their own, which conflicted with one another increasingly. The situation got so bad that Canada eventually pulled out of the NAAP completely. only a year later, Jaharo and the Empire of America pulled out, as luck would have it, on the same day, on April 22, 2161. Each remained as an Observer State, but not as actual members. NAAP would nearly collaps in a few years thanks to the up and coming Mexican Gulf War.
The New American Emperor
The final straw was the new leadership of each squabling nation. As the tensions increased, Emperor Michael fell increasingly out of favor, and, half-forced and half-willingly, he abdicated on June 7th, 2162 and the title of Emperor was passed to the Imperial Army General Alex H. Wrenstin, who was chosen by the counsil. Obstensively, he was a good politician, being the governer of his state for 8 years, but he was able to rise to power due to the fact that he had many "friends" on the counsil. This would prove to be a terrible decision on the Counsil's part. Wrestin proved to be a warmonger and could only hold back for a few months
The New Jaharan President
In the same year Wrestin took power (2162) the Jaharan Presidential Elections were held, and senator by the name of Carlos Santiago Maziano won on the bid of "keeping the peace." He also had personal intensions for power and a thirst for war. He was an extreme nationalist and extremely pro-democratic government, of which the Empire clearly wasn't. He authorized that anyone on the border could use a gun if they believed the Empire was sending spies or troops, that way the Jaharan Military could mobilize more quickly and a buffer of people would slow the encroaching Imperials. This never took hold, however, as only a few very nationalistic people took advantage of the new Presidential decree. This decree also helped to start the Mexican Gulf War.
The Big Three Incidents
The 2162 Border Skirmish
The final three factors in starting the war were two small, but significant, incidents between the two powers and one final murder of a leader. The first incident was the 2161 Border Skirmish. On August 13th, an Imperial Military vehicle containing 7 soldiers was attacked by a group of 8 gun-wielding Jaharan nationalists. They attacked when the Imperial Soldiers got out to inspect the border on a highway, when they were attacked by the nationalists. The initial attack killed one soldier and wounded 2, with one of the wounded dying of blood loss and another bullet to the chest roughly five minutes later. After the initial surprise attack, a 13 minute standoff ensued, which ended in 2 Imperial Soldiers dead, five Jaharan Nationalists dead, and the rest of the belligerents wounded to some extent. Emperor Wrestin immediately mobilized the military and moved a small army to the border, but was persuaded to cease what would have been an invasion by Foreign Minister Jeff Nalist.
The Atlantic Sub Incident
Then, two months later, on September 2nd, the Atlantic Sub Incident occurred. One of the few submarines the Empire had active had experienced an explosion and killed 13 seamen. The Emperor blamed Jaharo for the attack, but President Maziano relented. There was even solid, but not 100% concrete, evidence that a gas leak caused the explosion and that the hole in the sub didn't resemble a torpedo blast too much. Maziano even pointed this out to the Jaharan public with information to back it up.
The Presidential Assassination
Three days later, Emperor Wrestin was preparing to declare war, when President Maziano was assassinated by a sniper while he was exiting his car. Again, it was unknown if it was an Imperial agent or a rogue assassin, but it looked bleak for both nations. The new President, Geraldo Calienta Peradiez, labeled it as an act of war, and declared war, only to find out hours later that the Empire had already planned to declare war. This case became known as a Mutual Declaration of War, wherein two nations mutually acknowledge each other's desire to go to war and simultaneously declare war. Thus, the First Mexican Gulf War commenced on September 5th, 2162
The Mexican Gulf War
On LandActual fighting began three days after the declaration, and fighting soon ground to a stalemate. Each Army invaded the other's nation and wer pushed back for 3 months. Wrestin, who's plan was to wait for a break in the Jaharan defence, had completely underestimated the Jaharan Military. Statistics proved that the Empire would have eventually won anyway, having more resources and personnel than Jaharo. The reason the Empire took so long to break the defences was due to a good amount of incompetence by the generals and some miscommunication. The first major attack (and success) of the war was the invasion of Reichardia on the west coast of southern North America. A month and a half in, the Jaharans broke through the defence and occupied the territory. The next move was to invade Baja California, but the large local militia of the Peninsula was able to repulse the invasion and a stalemate ensued in the west as well. Both nations abandoned any further military action on the western front to focus on the main problem in the east. Even so, the Baja Militia still fought off multiple attempted blockades around the peninsula. Finally, four months into the fighting, a hole was created in the Jaharan line and the Empire invaded Jaharo and split the Jaharan Army and the country itself into two. The generals were split between two solutions: Either liberate Reichardia and Baja California from Jaharan influence and risk a longer war, or head straight for the Jaharan Capital of Jahariano. Eventually, they agreed to unevenly split the Army, sending a smaller liberation force to retake Reichardia and ease the stress on Baja California. Another two months of fighting continued in both the north and the south until Jahariano was besieged. After a week of beseigement, the President called for a ceasefire. the next day, the generals and President drafted a ceasefire. Within 5 months of the war, fighting stopped. The war officially ended the next month with the signing of the Treaty of Baja California on February 9th, 2163.
The naval war differed greatly from the land war in terms of movement from the start. Fighting was very fluid by contrast. Most of the fighting occurred near and around Cuba, with parts of the island swinging back and forth between Imperial and Jaharan control. Other smaller Imperial islands were attacked as well, with only a few remaining occupied by the Jaharan Navy throughout the course of the war. Other notable naval events were the failed Invasion of Baja California, where two invasion forces were simultaneously defeated by the Baja Militia Maritime Defence forces, and other attempted blockades around the peninsula.
Brazil was still "occupied" (under heavy influence) by the Allies from 70 years ago and small skirmishes were prevalent in former Brazilian territories. While new nations were forming, the Allies were still there to ensure a stable beginning for the new countries, and to make sure that Brazil remained toothless. This was tougher to do with the war, however, as Jaharo and the Empire pulled most of their troops out to help with what they thought was going to be a gruesome war. Canada and America ended up having to insert more of their troops to fill the void. While they sent in troops, there weren't nearly as many as their were before the war. This war ultimatly lead to the eventual freedom of South America from heavy foreign influence.
The Treaty of Baja California=The Treaty war very harsh on Jaharo. It called for the cession of a strip of land below the southernmost part of the Empire, which became known as "The Jaharan Slice," a large piece of farmland and oil fields to the north, and a further piece of the west coast, all of which were a huge blow to Jaharan prestige and a bit of an overly excessive, but Wrestin promised continued fighting until complete conquest was achieved. President Peradiez had no choice but to accept the harsh conditions to ensure further sovereignty and self rule. The Treaty also put a large limitation on the use of the Jaharan Military, shrinking it's size down to 200,000 men total. Wrestin took a nod from history and didn't put large reparations on Jaharo and only gave it a moderate price in actual money to pay. With these three basic limitations, it was enough to create a rebellious feeling amongst the Jaharan masses.
The North American Coups
The Jaharan Coup
Rebellion is in the Air
While economic issues weren't severe, the fighting devastated the border of each nation and those caught in the fighting were left homeless. Even though the Empire took a large amount of the former border, there was still a lot of destruction on the edges. Even this wasn't a major reason why rebellion began to arise in Jaharo. The main reason wasn't even within Jaharo. Emperor Wrestin inserted Imperial agents to stir up a rebellion and act as the leaders. This began in May of 2163, but was only partially successful. The main goal of this Imperial funded coup was to insert a puppet government sympathetic, if not completely loyal, to the Empire purely for expansion. They were very successful in quickly stirring up a revolt and overthrowing Peradiez, but failed to insert a "Jaharan Politician" friendly to the Empire. The day after the rebellion, a true Jaharan high up in the rebel ranks was made President by his pears and, taking the words of the Imperial Agents seriously, wanted revenge on the Empire. A few months in, President Carnita, now clearly a dictator, discarded the Treaty and built up his army. The Empire kept "shaking their stick" at Jaharo but nothing happened. Wrestin, a man who had an unusually strong foresight, predicted that "[President] Carnita's incompetence and arrogance will cause the collaps of Jaharo. However, we must act fast, or else other powerful and aggressive men will try to fill the void left there." Nobody knew how true the Emperor was.
The Collapse of Jaharo=
Only a few months later, Jaharo attacked the Empire without an official declaration of war. Wrestin declared war, only to revoke it after what came next. Only weeks in, Jaharo collapsed after the Empire invaded the midsection. The troops then swung north and south for weeks fighting resistance to capture territory for the Empire. After some time fighting, the troops were halted by heavy resistence in multiple places. The Emperor and Counsil then enacted the Proper Stabilization Act, which gave the Empire the right to invade the warlord territories and annex them to restore order. This was met with worldwide criticism, but was carried out nonetheless. Wrestin spent a large amount of time suppressing warlords who claimed different lands as their own. After a while, America and other stable warlord states, called Realms of Jaharo, adopted this policy and many places fell into more stable rule by the beginning of 2164. Both America and the Empire were slowly gaining large amounts of territory until it finally ended in mid-2164. The new Realms, many still unstable, were resisting foreign rule to a great amount, but reunification was failing due to the despotic rule of the people in charge of the regions.
The Imperial Coup
The Return of an Emperor
While the American Imperial Coup wasn't as Government changing, it still attempted to overthrow the Emperor, but continue with an imperial rule. While the madness of the war with Jaharo was occuring, Michael Xenimus laid low, trying to not be seen by the public. Not being an extremely charismatic figure, he was able to blend into the public with much ease. When the war started, he enlisted, through the encouragement of his close friends, most of which were already in the military. Not many of the ordinary people recognized him, but quite a few of the officers did, and though many still disliked him, the tried to persuade him from entering. He quickly rose to a moderate rank and commanded his own group of soldiers. His company didn't see much action until the Army was split up, where he took his men to Reichardia and helped to liberate it. Once the wars were over, he was dismissed from further duties, mainly because of a few close calls on the field. The army didn't want the death of a former Emperor on their hands. He complied, but he still freelanced across the border. In that time, Wrestin, proving to be a very poor ruler.
Emperor Wrestin was beginning to throw the Empire into a stink. He was putting the vast majority of government spending into the military, mainly (and possibly only obstensibly) to fight the Realms surrounding the Empire and putting down revolts in the new Imperial areas. Not only that, but he was sinking a large amount of money into the "Southern Stabilization Plan," in which he payed off powerful men and other militant groups in South America to prevent state-building plans. European Emperor Jacques Gallioner said that Emperor Wrestin was "monopolizing the territory. The most frightening thing was that Wrestin was beginning to sever relations with the U.S.
More to come...