With the EU on the brink of total collapse, military cadres and popular revolutionaries seize the opportunity to disempower the scattered central government in an effort to restore the sovereignty of their nations. French protesters assault the Elysée Palace and proclaim the Sixth Republic, the Dutch royal family takes over interim positions after the resignation of the government and the German four-party Europakoalition is arrested by the military.
China and the new European coup leaders form the Eurasian Unity League (EUL), in essence a Chinese Marshall Plan for the broken economy of Europe. China lends cheap credits in exchange for military bases on EU territory while providing guidance in the reconstruction of infrastructure, armed forces and domestic security agencies.
Captain Willem van der Meer is deployed to Germany for disaster relief, pioneer works and explosives disposal.
After years of political turmoil and economic decay, Nikolai Suvorov of the Novorossiya Party becomes the new President of the Russian Federation. He openly declares his goals to be the elimination of all infighting and corruption and 'to create a new Eurasian hegemony with Mother Russia at its helm'. Western analysts dismiss the popular leader as an ineffectual, chest-thumping mouthpiece of post-Soviet oligarchy placed in charge of what is essentially a borderline failed state.
During the inspection of a military research facility, President Suvorov is impressed by the revolutionary directed energy weapons of Nikita Ivanovich Aleksandr, a military engineer stationed at Mt. Yamantau, who is subsequently put in charge of the Advanced Weapons R&D Corps.
The EU uses the Chinese funds to buy large amounts of fossil fuels and raw materials from Russia which invests the newfound wealth to overhaul its own infrastructure, educational system and military, triggering a period of great economic growth in Russia and establishing Suvorov as a smart statesman with the appeal of a film star.
After the withdrawal of the US forces, North Korea invades South Korea. Thanks to political and material support from China, the North manages to push the South all the way down to the 35th parallel where the battle degenerates into a vicious tug-of-war that would continue for several years.
The first components of the Chinese East Star Space Station are brought into orbit aboard a Long March 3B rocket.
Despite evidence of the contrary, US intelligence agencies and media pundits decry President Suvorov is an ineffectual mouthpiece of the old elites and erroneously predict the Chinese as America's main future adversaries.
After an outrageous scandal, the Chinese General Leang is discharged from command of a Special Weapons division in the Himalayas. The young, recently commissioned General Hu Tan Mau takes over thanks to the political connections of his father, the industrialist Xudong Mau, and proceeds to restore the unit to proper standard.
With the EU central institutions rapidly disintegrating, the government of Serbia is removed by a group of irredentist military officers who form a strategic alliance with Russia and proceed to annex large parts of former Yugoslavia into a new federal state.
Having long been fed up with the empowerment of the now-weakened Brussels central government, the nations of Eastern Europe seize the opportunity to break away from the Union and turn to Russia as a future strategic partner and protector. The Federation, newly liberalized and increasingly prosperous as a result of Suvorov’s effective policies, gladly steps in, allowing the smaller nations to benefit from its rapidly growing economy. Soon, eastern Europe finds itself on the same level of development as Russia itself and drifts away from the EU sphere of influence.
Several high-ranking US Air Force officers, most prominently General Malcolm Granger, take the fall for the terrible performance of the Aurora strike bomber during the war. Eugene Griffon is promoted to General of the Air Combat Command.
Snubbed by the nations of western Europe, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia merge many resorts of their governments and form the Baltic Commonwealth to represent their interest in front of the resurgent Russian Federation. What starts as an awkward dialogue soon develops into a profitable alliance.
The Greater Asian Peoples Alliance (GAPA) is formed on behalf of China and includes Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. At the same time, Mongolia is peacefully absorbed into the People's Republic after many years of mutual cooperation. The GAPA is largely seen as a mere puppet of Beijing and acts as a buffer to the economic downturn that China managed to delay for the duration of the war after the GLA attacked Beijing, Hong Kong and the Three Gorges Dam.
The Hammer, a trilogy of PLA-funded war movies detailing the exploits of the propaganda hero Xing Chen, is filmed back-to-back and released, landing a large hit at the Chinese box office while American critics dismiss it as a trite propaganda piece but acknowledge the impressive production values.
As part of the reorganisation of Europe, the European Broadcasting Union is transformed into the European Communications Agency Network (ECAN) which is a tight-knit collaboration of various telecom companies, news agencies and public broadcasting services.
With the country isolated and threatened by economic collapse, the US government has to make far-reaching cuts to the overflowing military budget. Several future weapon systems are scrapped and the Navy has to mothball or sell many of its vessels, mainly older vessels dating back to the 1980s.
After a Senate hearing regarding his out-of-control R&D budget, General Townes revolts against the closure of his laser projects and briefly locks down his base at Redwood Shores, California, before being arrested by his second in command.
The M2A4, an ad-hoc upgrade of the aging Bradley IFV, is forced upon the US Marine Corps. Despite initial complaints, the Corps soon develops a hate-love relationship to the vehicle as it proves to be very reliable in combat.
Much to the chagrin of the other branches, the US Air Force makes it through the budget cuts and doctrine changes largely unscathed thanks to the brokering of General Eugene Griffon.
Deathstrike dies unceremoniously at the hands of an unknown assassin, throwing the GLA into a power struggle and diminishing its global presence. Anwar Sulaymaan embarks on a quest to re-unite the organisation under his rule. Due to being disunited and busy among itself, the GLA soon disappears from the perception of both the general public and intelligence agencies.
Prince Kassad once again betrays the GLA and is subsequently shot dead by Sulaymaan himself. Cobra Cell is disbanded and its surviving members and equipment are absorbed by the rest of the GLA.
After three ineffectual administrations in less than five years, Kevin O'Connor is elected as the new President of the United States. His economic policies manage to produce a positive turnaround.
In an attempt to regain economic momentum, the United States propose the foundation of the North American Union (NAU) to Mexico and Canada, a controversial move which helps to stop the economic downturn and restore America's standing in the world.
Juergen Burkhard, the former head of the European Domestic Security Directorate, is sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in The Hague after issuing the order to employ deadly force against anti-EU protesters in the wake of the insurrection.
British Prime Minister Susan Adams welcomes the verdict and expresses the support of her government for the creation of a new European community while the last remains of the EU institutions are being wrapped up.
In order to restore the country's territorial defense capabilities, the German Army begins with the procurement of several Leopard 3A1 tanks, Tiger II attack helicopters and Jagdmammut tank destroyers.
Japan intervenes on behalf of the South Koreans and manages to turn the tide in their favour, resulting in the defeat of the DPRK and the creation of the United Republic of Korea.
The Prague Treaty is signed to reconstitute the remains of the European Union into the European Continental Alliance, a firm but strictly limited alliance of eighteen sovereign nation states.
The Treaty includes the formation of a joint military task force, the European Continental Army. As a result, the Europeans put a predicable end to both the EURA and the Chinese security agreement, promting the PLA to withdraw from Europe.
In order to provide the ECA with strategic bombing capabilities in times of need, Bomber Command makes a reappearance as a distinct entity within the British Royal Air Force, along with a refurbished model of the Cold War era Vulcan bomber.
The ECA enacts strict limits and quotas on immigration and secures its land border with a fortified wall, pejoratively dubbed the Concrete Curtain by the Eastern European countries that are now left out. Willem van der Meer is involved in the construction.
The Russian action movie Red Squadron becomes a summer blockbuster in Russia and a few other countries after Hollywood had to tighten its belt in the wake of the downturn and produced works that reflected the zeitgeist of the post-GWOT era in a more modest and introspective way, often exploring the consequences of economic failure and military adventurism.
The US Air Force demonstrates its new financial and doctrinal supremacy by introducing the AC-17 Spectre III, the most heavily armed and lethal American gunship ever built, which is armed with a 155mm howitzer, a dual GAU-12 Equalizer cannon and Maverick air-to-ground missiles.
The provisional military government of the restored Federal Republic of Germany suspends the emergency acts and holds a democratic election, transferring control to the first civilian government after the collapse of the EU.
Wary of the resurgent power of the United States, the South American Pact (SAP) is founded under the leadership of Brazil to strengthen the position of Latin America on the global market. Violent criminals and political extremists threaten the new alliance.
As a general trend, 'classical' nuclear power falls increasingly out of favor world-wide except for China, where an entire dozen new reactors are under construction. In an effort to obtain total self-sustainability, the European Space Agency and CERN commence development of the Solaris energy project.
Due to his declining health, President O'Connor resigns before the end of his first term. Donovan Giordano is elected as the new President and continues the policies of his predecessor.
Japanese Prime Minister Kazuya Shimada surprises the entire world with his famous genuflection in Seoul, which becomes the symbol of reconciliation and a new bond between Korea and Japan.
Originally scheduled for 2028 but cancelled due to the crisis, the Olympic Summer Games are hosted in Berlin, Germany, precisely one hundred years after the games of 1936 which happened during the Nazi reign. The humble but dignified opening ceremony places an emphasis on the modernity, but also the newfound self-confidence of the Federal Republic which has finally come to terms with its own national identity.
On a tragic note, the Games are overshadowed by violent clashes between pro-Western and pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. Persident Suvorov pledges support to the pro-Russian Donetsk Republic that formed in the East of the country way back in 2014 during the First Separatists Crisis and sends General Leonid Zhukov to assist. The battle is quickly decided and the eastern half of Ukraine becomes a republic of the Russian Federation, but Zhukov loses his son in one of the war's last pointless skirmishes. European politicians draw comparisons to the German annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia in the years leading up to World War II.
Inspired by the events in Ukraine, the troubled Republic of Belarus holds a public referendum and joins the Russian Federation.
In a wholly unexpected move that baffles the international community and leads to heated discussions at the virtually powerless UN in New York, the ECA initiates Operation Nemesis, a massive retaliatory invasion against the North African countries that supported the GLA insurrection. The invasion is followed by the creation of a new Maghreb Union and an elaborate package of infrastructure development, humanitarian aid and modern education in an effort to establish an anti-GLA sentiment in North Africa and ensure ECA control of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Generals Wolfgang von Kuerten and Charles Cutting embark on several joint operations against GLA holdouts in the Sahel region and win some of the ECA's most acclaimed military victories despite their vastly different attitudes and leadership styles.
After years of free reign across the vital shipping routes in the Gulf of Aden, GLA pirate gangs are forced out of Somalia by a full-scale Chinese military invasion and occupation.
The light-weight Crusader II is introduced as the new expeditionary tank of the US military. It is met with positive reactions from the Marine Corps for its amphibious features and rapid deployability.
With North Africa opened to European enterprises, the world witnesses a global rush for the continent's precious resources. America, China and Russia soon follow, dividing Africa among their respective client states.
In an attempt to improve its international image, China spearheads an international ban on neutron weapons, resulting in the signing of the Budapest Accords. General Tsing Shi Tao resigns from service and goes into retirement.
Europe's first solar-fusion reactor, powered by the satellite Comas Solà, is activated in Granada, Spain. The facility produces enough energy to supply both Spain and Portugal.
A few months later, another pair of satellites is activated: Cassini provides energy for France, Belgium and the Netherlands while Kepler is used to power the joint reactor of Germany and Denmark.
With Europe becoming increasingly independent from foreign energy thanks to its own renewable sources, many long-standing fuel treaties with Russia are cancelled, putting a strain on the Federation's economy and the diplomatic relations between the two powers. The demand for Russian resources decreases over the coming years, signalling the impending end of the country's economic boom. Furthermore, military observers point out that Solaris could potentially be used as an orbital strike weapon capable of threatening Russia's cities and nuclear stockpiles.
The former Secretary General Cheung Liu is appointed as the new Party Chairman of the People's Republic of China.
The third batch of Solaris satellites is activated: Newton provides energy for the United Kingdom and Ireland while Copernicus is linked to the joint reactor of Poland and the Czech Republic.
Sulaymaan's army occupies large swathes of Central Africa, forcibly disbanding several countries and claiming the land as the first GLA nation, which is treated as terra nullius by the international community.
With a safe, uncontested foothold in Central Africa, the GLA proceeds to absorb the remnants of local tribal and military forces, gaining access to crude fighter planes and helicopters while building an economy around the production and trade of drugs, diamonds and oil.
President Giordano wins a narrow victory over his opponent William Bradford, who called for a strategic re-evaluation of the US/China relations and a tougher response to Russia's recent expansionism.
The discovery of a Russian research base in Chinese-aligned North Sudan prompts a global outcry. In an attempt to appease the hawks in Washington, President Giordano proposes a military pact between China and the US, resulting in the creation of the Pacific Peace Alliance (PPA).
General Aleksandr organises the defence of his research base and succeeds against seemingly impossible odds thanks to superior weapons and tactics. The PPA breaks apart after a series of political assassinations while Aleksandr's victorious Shock Division is presented to the world for the first time.