90% of the population of China, Russia and the USA were killed by their own nuclear and biological weapons. The organization behind this attacks is currently unknown and international authorities have no clue of what happenned. The federal government, millitary and most of state government facilities and personal were destroyed during the disaster remaining just a few states and local governments.

  • Without a government structure what would happen to the countries without a government ?
  • Would the embassies and consulates keep their autonomy and authority since their countries were destroyed ?
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Do you ponder the question what does happen to the remaining world after such a cataclysm? Especially your nuclear option would have a nasty impact at the health of all other countries. Or are these two questions all that we need to care about? $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2016 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ My interest is how would other contries react after the event in China, USA and Russia in a political view. If they would still be considered a country and what would the international community do after it, help reconstruct the governments, evacuate survivors, reclaim the lands. $\endgroup$
    – Gabriel
    Jan 5, 2016 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean federal, state, or local governments? Because it's impossible for all of that to be wiped out, some would be left. $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2016 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ federal government and most of the state governments remaining just a few states and local governments. $\endgroup$
    – Gabriel
    Jan 5, 2016 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with the close votes. @GabrielMoutinho may i suggest you narrow your question down a bit, so it can be answered with reasonable effort, and maybe add a hint on what you would consider a good / valid answer? $\endgroup$
    – Burki
    Jan 5, 2016 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


Without a government structure what would happen to the countries without a government ?

Whatever organization still has something resembling a working nation-wide hierarchy and communication network would likely try to maintain order. That could be a low-level government organization (postal service, DMV, FEMA...) or a civilian organization (church, red cross, boyscouts...). When there are multiple organizations which qualify, they might either cooperate or compete for power, likely an unstable mix of both.

When no such organization exists anymore, anarchy would reign. But anarchy is the least stable form of government. It wouldn't take long until local governments form on the communal level. These could have their roots in remnants of the local administration (the local police would be the most likely candidate). With the absence of a local police, local criminal gangs or militias could seize power. Some muncipialities might mange to implement some kind of democracy.

These local governments would then form alliances with or wage wars against their neighbors. In the long term they might merge and turn into small states. But this might take several generations.

Another plausible scenario could be that the Europen Union, as the last remaining first-world political block, might take over. They would send soldiers to US, Russia and China as disaster relief. The disaster relief corps would implement temporary governments to maintain orders, which would after a while become permanent governments and US, Russia and China would become de-facto parts of the EU. Due to geographic proximity, this would be most likely to happen in Russia. In America the same scenario could also happen with Canada and/or Brazil taking over, in China with India, Korea and/or Japan.

Would the embassies and consulates keep their autonomy and authority since their countries were destroyed ?

Embassies or consulates represent their governments. With no government existing anymore, they have nothing to represent, so they become superfluous. The most likely reaction of the diplomatic personnel would be to try to assimilate into their host country, if they let them.

  • $\begingroup$ Another country would never take of the US, just saying. And this isn't national pride (it kind of is) but people in the US wouldn't allow another country to rule over them. Although, China might get the eastern seaboard, the eastern seaboard might be anarchy, and we might see the return of the state of Deseret. Which would be from the Sierra Nevada's to the the Rocky Mountains to the Colorado river. And some ways north. $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2016 at 14:22

Most nations have succession plans, but if 90% of the population has been destroyed along with much of the infrastructure (inferred by the use of WMD), then these nations have effectively ceased to exist.

The chaos in the rest of the world will have to be set aside for a moment (as the answer would become the size of an encyclopedia), but in the remnants of the various nations you will have pockets of survivors. The most likely pockets would be in military installations which were not affected, including deep command bunkers, nuclear and conventional submarines and deployed overseas forces. In this regard, the Americans are the in the best position since America has the most capability of any nation to project forces, and American units are deployed globally. Russia has a more limited ability to project forces and China, despite heroic efforts at modernization has a very limited ability.

Local commanders of these deployed forces have many options, since they have a supply of disciplined manpower and a lot of resources at their disposal. Depending on their personal inclinations, they could set themselves up as local warlords (directly conquering wherever they are), but the Americans, I suspect, will be more inclined to "buy" their way in using the broad range of technical skills combined with their military power to become "military contractors" for their hosts (mostly due to historical and cultural factors).

The Embassy personnel will be in a bit of a bind. Unlike their military counterparts, they have very little way to enforce their will, and many of the services they do offer are kind of pointless at this time (a visa to a nation which no longer exists? No thanks). Embassy personnel might choose to disband, or could hook up with their "national" military to gain protection but also provide the deployed units with intelligence and diplomatic support. Intelligence personnel "in country" will have to carefully establish linkages with their Embassy and military counterparts, or chose to throw in the towel and go native. National citizens who are stranded have a similar choice, and going to the Embassy to join their countrymen will broaden and deepen the pool of knowledge and resources available. Once again, the global reach of the Americans will put them in a much better position, since their people (tourists, businesspeople, NGO employees, etc.) are literally everywhere.

So what will they do? In analogous situations, exiles tend to form pockets in their host countries and live out their lives preserving their language, cultures and customs as best they can. "Little America's" throughout the globe backed by the remnants of US military power will most likely maintain a global community of American expats who will become global traders, "fixers" and middlemen, leveraging the huge commercial and cultural footprint that America has left across the globe. This may be something like the gradual decay of the Roman Empire, local Ducs change from being war leaders to administrators of the territories they can control, utilizing Roman roads and markets to maintain a tenuous Roman civilization. The Russians and Chinese will probably also have their own enclaves. Since there is a large Chinese diaspora, the Chinese will do better than the Russians, but the Diaspora will have distinctly different cultural behaviours from mainland Chinese, so any reconstituted China will be different than the current culture. Russian enclaves will not be so fortunate, being smaller and more isolated.

The end result may be a sort of ghostly pan global "American" presence, maintained by expat Americans with a cultural attachment to the symbols of America (the Constitution) and leveraging the American footprint, with a more tenuous Chinese presence built around Chinese culture. Russia has historically been built around a much more authoritarian culture and "personal" rule, fem the Tsars to Stalin to Putin, so I would expect Russian strongholds to be literally ruled with iron fists by Russian strongmen. Given the global chaos unleashed by the sudden demise of these nations, most "host" nations will have limited ability to eject the expats, and many will welcome them as extra resources to help ride out the storm.


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