The Reagan administration had lead to several problems within the United States, be they internal or international.
On internal politics, the following Glenn Administration used its first year to revoke most of the legislation put into place by Reagan. The tax cuts for the big companies were reduced, even though several Republican Congressmen painted a dark image of those companies leaving the nation to produce elsewhere and lose more jobs. The Glenn Administration countered that those tax cuts had not been successful in creating new jobs either.
While Glenn was a Democrat, he knew the effects of Nixon era federal projects on the economy and similar projects were started by 1986. The Interstate and Rail networks would get the renovation and upgrades that had been cancelled by Reagan, allowing to increase the cargo traffic between the states and stimulating the economy more than a taxcut. At the same time those projects would once again bring money into circulation were it was needed, creating jobs on a more local level.
Increased funding of various social security projects however lead to large controversis between ‘Reaganomics’ Republicans, ‘Nixonomics’ Republicans and Democrats.
The first stated that Social Security would reduce the ability of people to purchase their own freedom and success by becoming parasites to the success and freedom of others.
The other side saw Social Security as a way to preserve personal freedom and success by providing people with the ability to take a breather and find their own way again. There was the responsibility of the American individual, but also responsibility of the American government. That was something that should never be lost sight of. They also pointed towards a risen amount of people who had to put themselves into deep financial problems by having to pay massive medical bills following cancer diagnosis or bad accidents. Social Security would have helped these people to recover again and go back to their jobs and earn money for their families, not for their banks.
Some things of the Reagan Administration however were left as they were, or at least not completely taken back. The governmental regulations for large economy projects were largely left untouched, save for several ecologic regulations to satisfy a growing part of the population that believed reducing pollution would increase self reliance of the United States.
The budget of the Pentagon didn’t get touched, but other than Reagan, Glenn did not increase the budget either to allow for big fancy projects. As a former fighter and test pilot, Glenn did approve the Advanced Tactical Fighter Program and was present when the first prototypes, the YF-22 and the YF-23 were first launched by the Air Force in 1990. It was said that Glenn liked the YF-23 better, leading to the selection of the Northrop F-23 ‘Black Widow’ as the new fighter of the Air Force.
Generally the Glenn administration was responsible for a slow economic recovery in its first term, also leading to a reduction of the unemployment rate to 6.5 percent. Coupled with the successful landing on Mars, Glenns approval ratings were consistently high, resulting in his reelection in 1988, against the Texan senator George H. W. Bush.
Glenn’s second term saw the slow reopening of the United States to the rest of the world. The Mars landing was generally seen as a very important step and the decision to return the Soviet cosmonaut was well received with the rest of the world, even though the Soviet Union was less than pleased with having to thank NASA.
The economy recovered a little faster thanks to reinstated ‘Nixonomics’ and increasing exports, getting the President a raise in his approval ratings.
The Veneran Crisis on the other hand put a big dent into his ratings. Glenn’s dealing with the Soviets over the Veneran derelict was seen as bad and several news companies wondered if Vesper couldn’t have used its engines to push the derelict into a decaying orbit that would have sent it into a fiery destruction in Venus atmosphere. Some even suggested that Vesper should have rammed the Soviet spacecraft, noting that the astronauts would have been hailed as heroes.
The election of 1992 happened during the Veneran Crisis and this time George H.W. Bush was the victor, most people believing that they needed some military involvement to deal with the Soviets at the time.
CNN was the first to draw the connection between the apparent damage on Mars and on the Veneran derelict and the public opinion slowly turned and with it politics. People knew that someone was out there and had killed everyone in Honore City. Fear of an alien invasion crept into the public mind, aided by several Science Fiction movies, like Roland Emmerich’s ‘Independence Day’.
The United States were the first to upgrade old civil defense systems and bunkers to meet the changed standards and harden them against attacks from space. Massive new bunkers were driven into the bedrock of the Rocky Mountains to create bunkers where people could survive for several years and then return to the surface to rebuild. It was an example several nations across the globe followed.
Relations with the Soviet Union became slightly better, as politicians and the public thought about a possible invasion from outer space. Soviet help to save their own lives was preferable and the talks between Gorbachev and Bush were suddenly seen as a positive thing.
The creation of the Space Force was another positive impulse that got Bush reelected.
Economy wise Bush was not a follower of ‘Reaganomics’, even though he was Texan. But he valued personal safety and freedom on a personal level level higher and stated that ‘Nixonomics’ had given more stability and safety to the nation, as well as personal freedoms, than the politics of Reagan.
The West-German decision not to call for US or NATO support during the East German civil war, was something of a turning point for Bush’s second term. Although some wanted a US intervention to ‘show dem commies’, others knew that World War Three might leave Earth unprotected against an outside invasion and considered Europe’s actions to be prudent.
Bush stated in an interview that sometimes not helping has a better result than helping. The followers of ‘Reaganomics’ would haunt him with this quote for the rest of his terms.
Germany and Europe were respected for not bringing US soldiers into danger during the East German Civil War and diplomatic ties got better.
Mexico became an issue for American politics during 1995, with the discovery of the Quetzalcoatl and his space craft. The United States had to that date failed to locate any alien craft on Mars and now one had materialized barely thousand kilometers away.
With the joint American-Mexican border patrols against illegal immigrants and drug trafficking, the United States and Mexico already achieved good relations with each other and so President Bush offered additional trade arrangements and training of Mexican astronauts for travel to Hephaestos or the moon. In return, Mexico got the help of American specialists to help with the alien artifacts and uncovering their secrets.
For the Soviet Union, the late 1980s and 1990s were a period of economic growth. With the death of Yuri Andropov in 1984 and the short reign of Konstantin Chernenko, it fell to Mikhail Gorbachev to take over the power in the Soviet Union.
Gorbachev was a man who was more of a pragmatist when it came to the economic reforms and the Prirost System. He felt that both were an essential part for the continued success of the Soviet Union.
Under him the economic reforms continued and the Prirost system was expanded into additional industrial sectors. The operators of the Prirost system had by now gained enough experience and information that it was possible to automate several smaller systems. The number of private businesses were also increased as it had shown that they were a good way to increase the effectivity in some areas of the economy.
Eugene Kaspersky, an upcoming computer specialist and graduate of the KGB sponsored IKSI, noted that the Prirost system could also be used to connect the various universities and research institutes of the Academy of Sciences. There was even the possibility of electronic mail between people owning a computer that could be connected to the Prirost system. It would in essence be a Soviet equivalent to the Usenet system of the Western world, which could drastically improve productivity and efficiency as well as research.
To Gorbachev the idea was appealing because it could be used to connect people from different parts of the Union much faster and perhaps see the creation of public forums for people to connect to each other, creating more unity. To the KGB this idea was also of special interest. With the right tools it was possible to intercept this electronic mail and read it, finding dissidents and perhaps even spies.
Gorbachev approved the the idea after seeing the entire picture. Kasperski was awarded with a title as ‘Honoured Inventor of the USSR’ and given oversight over the development of the new computer network.
In 1991 the first computers were connected to the new the Soobshcha Computer Network. Using backup communication lines of the Prirost System, the Soobshcha Network first connected computers in schools, universities, public libraries and some select families. By 1995 it was opened to any family that was allowed to own a computer with a ‘Soobshcha Box’.
For the sole purpose of supervising the Soobshcha Network, the KGB built a computer center to connect and sift through the data of the Soobshcha Message Service and the various forums. While it proved to be possible to do it by hand in the first years, the amount of data going through the system grew exponentially, including entire computer programs, images and eventually music and video files, though everything was heavily censored.
Eventually the KGB had to admit to themselves that they might have bitten of more than they could chew and began to work towards systems to automatically search through the available data. Eventually Glasnost emerged as the prime program to filter all data and soon potential troublemakers all over the Soviet Union found themselves in the focus of larger problems.
Like Prirost and the limited private economy, the Soviet Union exported the Soobshcha Network to its satellite nations.
Gorbachevs diplomatic policy was to play nice, yet remind the other nations that the Soviet Union was not a pushover.
Deng Xiaoping was in power in Beijing after he had ousted Hua Guofeng. During the early 1980s he opened up China to the rest of the world, inviting investors into several free economic zones to build up the Chinese economy that had suffered greatly during the Mao years.
Other than the Soviet Union, Deng accepted the capitalistic point of view and noted that it was needed to build up a viable economy that could later be transferred back into a communist model.
While the United States as investors were out of the question, Europe and South America were willing to invest into China to secure places with low wages. That the Chinese workers proved themselves to be adaptive and quick learners was another bonus point for China. The exchange of students with other nations, and in some cases outright espionage, helped the Chinese to learn even faster.
The good relations with Europe and South America turned sour in 1989, when China experienced severe civil unrest, culminating in the Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4. Following the Massacre the political and economic reforms were stopped and some in the upper parts of the Communist Party stated that it was the reforms that made the students raise up.
In the end, the real problem of the reforms was that it allowed rampant corruption, forcing the Communist Party to rethink the reforms. The revision of the reforms was the final and most important thing Deng did during his political career.
The 1990s saw the continuation of the reforms, but also a growing militarization as China began to remind itself of its history as great power in Asia and once even the world. That they found the remains of an alien and revealed him to be one of the main political advisors of an old king only reinforced the self image of global importance.
With the growth in economy and military China set its eyes to project their power to the outside.
The other nations of Asia saw the Chinese aspirations in the area with growing concerns from the late 1980s on.
India was the only other nuclear power in Asia besides China and continued building up its native industries. Of course India had its own regional ambitions, political and military wise, that were at odds with the Chinese aspirations.
But other than the Chinese, India already had good relations and in some cases close ties with many of its neighbours, except Pakistan and China. And India used these good relations in February 1990, inviting to the first Asian-Pacific Meeting in New Delhi. During the meeting the issue of China was brought up and the general distrust directed at the communist nations.
Sri Lanka, Burma, Laos, Bangladesh, Thailand and Cambodia already saw India as potential protector against any Chinese aggression and were willing to work with India. Vietnam, while a communist nation, felt that China was getting too overt about their tries to manipulate their nations and showed interest in the Indian proposals. Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Korea were the other regional powers and interested in pooling their resources with the others for increased protection.
Another event lead to a second Asian-Pacific Meeting in August 1990 in Jakarta, the Invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, which threatened to bring the Gulf War from Iraq and Iran to Saudi-Arabia as well. Saudi-Arabia however was Asia’s main source of oil and especially India and Japan feared that a war in Saudi-Arabia might lead to a shortening of the valuable resource especially since the tensions with Pakistan didn’t allow Afghan oil to enter india directly. During the Jakarta meeting the Asian nations decided to press the issue in the United Nations.
Following an UN ultimatum to Iraq to withdraw its troops, the UN Security Council eventually greenlighted an intervention in Saudi-Arabia. This lead to the formation of an Asian coalition force, lead by India’s General Ved Prakash Malik, and supported by Australian and European forces.
In March 1991, Iraq invaded Saudi-Arabia, with the aim to take control over the Islamic religious places as well as the main oil wells of the country. This forced the Coalition to be act while still in the situation of assembling their forces. The first forces to arrive in Saudi-Arabia were units of the Indian Army and the Indonesian Army, among them the 1 Gurkha Rifles.
General Malik knew exactly how to get around future problems and ordered the Indonesian Army, with was largely made up of Muslims, to help the Saudis with the defense of Mekka and Medina, while he lead the Indian Army against the Iraqis.
The Second Gulf War lasted until September 1991, when a flight of F-111 of the Royal Australian Air Force hit a bunker where Saddam Hussein controlled his army, killing him and his commanding offircers in the process. The Coalition supported democratic forces in the following seven months of the Iraq Civil War.
The success of the Second Gulf War and the Iraq Civil War marked the beginnings of greater military and economic cooperation between the various nations of Asia and the Pacific.
Two more Asian-Pacific Meetings were held in Sydney and Tokyo in 1993 and 1994, leading to the formation of the Asian-Pacific Cooperation Pact, which was signed 1995 in Singapore.
The Middle East did not fully come to rest after the Second Gulf War and the Iraq Civil War.
A stalemate sort of situation had developed between Israel and some of its neighbours, since the Sinai war of 1981. With the end of the Gulf War between Iran and Iraq, Iran was looking for another, a new enemy to build themselves up against. Israel was an obvious choice, considering their history in the region.
The Gulf War had made Iran secure in its own abilities and those of its military. They were confident enough to begin with a program to develop their own nuclear weapons, considering that Egypt had its own nuclear program and was said to be close to developing their first nuclear bomb.
The rumors about the Egyptian nuclear weapons became a reality in 1997, as Egypt did its first underground test of a nuclear device in the desert two hundred kilometers southwest of Abu Minqar.
Originally intended to be used to force Israel into returning the Sinai, the Egyptian nuke only made Israel admit that they were already in possession of several nuclear devices and willing to use it to defend their nation, should the need arise.
With nuclear weapons out on both sides, the situation more closely resembled the Cold War in miniature, as everyone was afraid to use them and spark a nuclear war.
In the center of Africa, Rwanda became a spot of international interest not long after the Second Gulf War.
Following the Arusha accords and the official end to the Rwandan Civil War, the United Nations sent the United Nations Assistance Mission For Rwanda into the area, lead by General Millard Warnsworth of Euroforce. At first the mission was a relative success of keeping the Hutu and Tutsi apart, but the death of President Habyarimana initiated a new chapter of violence as the Hutu began to kill Tutsi.
UNAMIR suffered from a lack in their rules of engagement and at first it looked like Warnsworth was unable to stop the killings. Two weeks after the killings began, Warnsworth ordered all Euroforce units of UNAMIR to defend the Tutsi against the Hutu, even if that meant the use of weapons.
While Warnsworth was criticized for the use of weapons and disobeying orders of the UN. He responded that the UN could keep debating, while he was busy to stop a genocide. The European Union decided that they could use the situation for political and diplomatic gain by supporting Warnsworth and sent additional Euroforce units to Rwanda as well as expanding the mandate of the Euroforce units on their own to include the active defense of anyone in danger from being killed.
The gambit of the EU payed off, gaining them positive publicity in many parts of the world. At the same time Euroforce gained something of their own definition, that of being peacekeepers. This self-image however got a few cracks during the East German Civil war, when Euroforce was unable to do something.
In South America Brazil had finally turned itself into a democratic nation, even though the foundations were shaky at first. The decision of the old military government to build up a high tech industry, even if it was years behind the United States or Europe, had been the right one.
Economically stable and growing with a national demand, Brazil expanded its position as the local power, annoying its rival Argentina, who profited as well, just like most other South American nations.
Venezuela was another nation that profited, even though in a different way. Ever since the Oil Crisis, Venezuela had become the main oil exporter for the United States and as a result received a number of good deals with US companies, especially arms companies following the Grenada Invasion and its aftermath.
To foster closer economic and diplomatic ties between the South American nations, Brazil and Argentina suggested the formation of a common market to promote free trade. The Mercosul Treaty was signed in 1991 in Asunción between Brasil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Mercosul received a number of additional treaties and new nations during the 1990s as Brazil and Argentina, later in concert with Venezuela, tried to turn Mercosul into a South American version of the EU.
Mercosul was largely successful on both the economic and the diplomatic side, as they helped to avoid a conflict over a disputed region between Ecuador and Peru and supported the growth of the economy on the entire continent of South America. Only the tries to negotiate between Colombia’s government and the FARC rebels were less than successful.