Well, I created this military conflict called the Great Pacific War as a scenario to simulate a hypothetical direct confrontation between the States and China, and before I ask my main question, I will add this link:

The Great Pacific War Timeline on AH.com

If that fails, then fine. Brief summary INCOMING!

It is 2025 and a pro-China leadership in the Philippines is hit by a military coup d'etat sponsored by the CIA. The coup fails horribly, triggering a crisis in the region, while a few days later, the US Navy and a joint PLA and Philippines Navy squadron of ships face each other off the Spratly Islands.

On the 18th of May of 2025, the US declares war on the Philippines, only to have China respond by declaring war on the States. The Americans follow with an invasion of the Philippines. Days later, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia join the Americans, followed by North Korea with the Chinese, which in turn, causes South Korea and Japan join in as well.

As the war progresses, Taiwan is forced into the war after missile strikes against Taipei set the stage for the First Battle of Taipei, Taiwan is forced to surrender, while the KPA is stopped short of Seoul. Thailand joins China, while Malaysia fights Thailand in their borders and attempts to push for Bangkok, Vietnam is attacked by PLA forces, the PLA sieges Hanoi and Russia declares neutrality. India and Pakistan fight in Kashmir and Lahore shortly after India joins the Americans, which prompted Pakistan to join the party with China.

North Korea falls apart after Taiwan is liberated, President Xi Jingping threatens to nuke Korea, Japan and North America should the Americans not leave Korea within three days, and on the 27th of June of 2025, India and Pakistan nuke each other into oblivion. Hours after this, the PLA attempts to overthrow Xi Jingping and arrest members of the CPC who supported the nuclear destruction of Korea, Japan and North America.

A new provisional government is set up and the Treaty of Rio de Janeiro is signed. The war is over, but an estimated 23 million are dead in the Indian subcontinent alone, and refugees, along with radiation begin to make things a problem for both neighbouring powers and the globe. 700,000 are dead in the conventional confrontation while the Second Great Depression that began during the conflict is only about to get worse.

So, what am I looking at in the long term from 2025 to 2040?

For reference, I have India and Pakistan detonating 120 strategic nuclear weapons of an estimated 30 to 50 kilotonnes each warhead, while the prior Cold War II resulted in various proxy wars in Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and to an extent, South America. Among them include the Kenyan Civil War, the Third Congo War, the Second Nigaraguan Civil War, and a prolonged Syrian Civil War. Also, Russo-American relations have improved, but after the war, they start falling apart. The American POTUS is Mike Pence during the conflict, and has won two terms in a row, which so happens that Trump got injured in 2019 sans domestic terrorist bombing, thus losing both legs. NATO is just....dead, and the EU is starting to become less of the modern EU and more of a United Europe. Still going to be called the EU, though. I blame Russia's integration of Belarus, and its invasion and subsequent annexation of Ukraine, so to speak. Putin is also an old man at this point, so expect him to die of old age in a year.

NOTE: Russia's neutrality is the only reason I am not calling the Great Pacific War WWIII instead. So............ :P

This is just for reference.

So, back to my question: what would the post-War 2020s and the 2030s look like?

I am starting this as a series until we reach 2100. Alright?

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    $\begingroup$ Let me stop you right there. There is no way in hell that the USA would declare war on the Philippines. That being said, your whole question is full of what if's, not to mention being too broad, as well as opinion based. I'm afraid that this question is not a good fit for WB, or SE in general. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Dec 23 '16 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ @AndreiROM Sorry, then. And you do realise that this is the result of the Philippines switching sides with China, correct? Oh well. :( $\endgroup$ – Future Historian Dec 23 '16 at 18:06
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    $\begingroup$ "A coup fails in the Philippines, so the USA declares war" <- No. That's not how these things work. Short of the Philippines attacking a pro-USA ally, such as South Korea (which they would never do), no open war would be declared. China and the Philippines would issue statements blaming the USA. The USA would issue statements saying "nuh huh!" and unleash a massive propaganda effort claiming that the regime in the Philippines is slaughtering innocent babies in their cribs, and would then proceed to unwisely arm a resistance group which will later turn against them. Been there, done that. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Dec 23 '16 at 18:10
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    $\begingroup$ Why fight over Spratly Islands? Even assuming that the Philippines navy would be stupid enough to engage a force which has literally donated a second hand ship for them to use as their navy's flag ship, the US navy would most likely be instructed to hold their fire, & avoid engagement exactly because the USA wouldn't wish an overt war with China. The whole thing would probably be written off in the media as a misunderstanding. I'm not saying that it wouldn't be a serious incident, but NK has literally shelled SK, and sunk a military ship, and that didn't spark WW3. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Dec 23 '16 at 18:15
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    $\begingroup$ @XandarTheZenon. Ask American dependence on China. :P $\endgroup$ – Future Historian Dec 23 '16 at 20:10

I strongly advice to make some more research at start and then seriously rewrite the whole story.

For example:

In 2025 [...] President Xi Jingping

Even basic check at wikipedia shows that the Party allows its leaders to serve only two terms in the Standing Comitee (yes, they have trauma from Mao times) and from simple math, assuming that Chinese don't change their political system dramatically he would end his job in 2022.


pro-China leadership in the Philippines

Honestly? China is convinced that its territorial waters in South China Sea ends at beaches of nearby countries. I really doubt they would change such policy any time soon, so the whole region would be quite hostile to China.

The Americans follow with an invasion of the Philippines.

Invasion??? Let's say that indeed there was a serious incident. Usually powers managed to keep it low. (like after bombing Chinese embassy in Belgrad). Let's say that US has some hawk that want to teach those foreigners a lesson. A standard mode of operation of the US involve mixture of invisible bombers and cruise missile. A real invasion is simply too costly in terms of life and money. Needless to say, real invasion needs time to prepare, while in short time the US can realistically provide some medium sized air campaign.

President Xi Jingping threatens to nuke Korea, Japan and North America

USA has 20 times more nuclear warheads than China. Unless China has nothing to lose, it would not go this way. It has huge manpower potential, not bad industrial base, more expendable population - the simplest way would be repeating idea from Korean War and send one more time one milion of "volunteers". Then see how well American public opinion accepts heavy losses.


  • $\begingroup$ Alright, I can start. $\endgroup$ – Future Historian Dec 23 '16 at 21:24

Like others said, its a very broad question. Nonetheless, here is my attempt to weave one possibility -

China would have dumped US dollar sometime during the war. Dollar would lose its value. New global currency would rise - possibly backed by natural assets (oil, natural gas etc.), issuers would include OPEC group and Russia. These countries (followed by EU) would then own the global stage. World's best and brightest would aspire to move to them. They would start rationing the commodities to prolong their dominance. This and massive borrowings to fund the war would cause hyperinflation in lot of war participants, including USA and China. China might ironically start selling some of the South China sea islands to raise money. USA would start selling gold stored at Fort knox and its military technology in exchange for the new currency and to repay the debt. OPEC and Russia would thus become even more dominant.

Large parts of south Asia will remain wasteland atleast until 2100 (that is till the end of your timeline). Possible return of manufacturing and outsourcing jobs to west due to labour shortage. Accelerated global warning leading to reduced agricultural yield, low lying islands completely submerged and opening of new sea routes. Nuclear waste would reach seas and decimate fishing. Leading to severe famines and more deaths.

Some comments -

  1. Nuclear armed countries tend to avoid direct conflict with each other, they instead fight through proxies. Case in point would be current Syrian war. USA and Russia avoided direct conflict in Ukraine as well, after the coup (just like your scenario). It is possible but highly unlikely. WW1 began like that but that was in pre-nuclear era.
  2. India and Pakistan nuke each other to oblivion but death toll is only 23mn. That sounds too low, city of New Delhi alone has population of 16mn. Lot more will have to die before we can call it oblivion.
  • $\begingroup$ Well, then. You have a better casualty estimate? Because those were 120 30 to 50 kt warheads. And those account the initial losses. $\endgroup$ – Future Historian Dec 23 '16 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ @FutureHistorian The losses actually seem quite reasonable (assuming realistically that some population fled from main cities and not every warhead perfectly hit its target), while loosing less than 1,5% population does not seem like an "oblivion" $\endgroup$ – Shadow1024 Dec 24 '16 at 7:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Shadow1024 NOTE: These are initial losses. The losses get higher from radiation poisoning, mass migrations and the like. $\endgroup$ – Future Historian Dec 24 '16 at 12:28

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