|This article, Interplanetary War (Labyrinth), is currently under active construction.|
When you think about it, there have been no wars. All conflicts have their origins in their predecessors. Take the Cold War. A layman will tell you that it started because the Soviet Union and United States, the last two superpowers after the Second World War, began to vie for power, but that is only partially true. The Cold War started as soon as Germany invaded Russia, even if nobody knew it yet. Responding to the attack, Russia invaded Nazi-occupied Europe, and carved up Germany along east/west lines. After the war, there was no way that Russia could be satisfied with just these gains – and Britain and America would never allow this to happen either. It wasn’t just about strength, either – it was about ideology. Communism vs. capitalism. Autocracy vs. democracy. East vs. west. And so we had the United Nations vs. North Korea/China stalemate in the Korea Peninsula, the US catastrophe in Vietnam, and the shorter but no less catastrophic defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. And even the Second World War had its origins directly in its predecessor – the fall of the Russian empire and the rise of the Soviet Union, the embarrassing defeat of Germany and the increasing balkanisation that had begun to occur, that would continue to occur even after the Cold War – which in turn has its own roots in the . And even after the fragmentation of the Soviet Union, it didn’t end – the nations of Earth would feel the aftershocks of the Cold War long after those who had fought it had died off.
It is here, then, that we find the earliest roots of the Interplanetary War. The war itself was enormously devastating, lasting an entire decade, longer than the First or Second World Wars, and saw more deaths than either conflict combined. But it was far from spontaneous – each of its supposedly separate aspects has its own roots, some going back all the way to the Cold War two centuries earlier. With the Russian-based Koslovics, we find neo-communist hardliners who look back on the decades of Soviet oppression as glory days, and look upon the end of the Cold War as a defeat of their ideals against the burgeoning and increasing corruption of the capitalist west; with the Frieden, we see a growing resentment of colonial populations towards rule by a governing body that will probably never set foot on their home worlds; and with the UNSC, we finally begin to see the beginnings of the world government that conspiracy theorists had predicted would spell the doom of mankind. Turning their claims on their heads, the UNSC would save mankind from itself, not once, not twice, but three times – from its solar brethren, from its interstellar expansion, and from an external threat that was the first truly unforeseeable war in human history. Three hundred years before the Insurrection, the Interplanetary War would lay the groundwork for almost the entire later conflict – the paramilitary Frieden and Koslovic, the importance of naval assets, the use of terrorist tactics and first deployment of weapons of mass destruction since the Second World War, and the unification of Earth under one banner, one of peace and prosperity, even if that peace and prosperity would never come to it.
Strictly speaking, the term “Interplanetary War” covers only the crushing of Frieden and Koslovic forces and sympathisers on Earth, Mars, and the various solar colonies between 2140 and 2170, a period of six years, still not inconsiderable. But the wider conflict begins in 2160 with the Jovian Moons campaign, sparked by Frieden unrest at growing colonial bureaucracy, and continued with the Koslovics and Frieden taking the fight to Earth itself in 2462, and the subsequent Mars Campaign of 2163 to control Earth’s largest, most heavily populated and most symbolic colony. The conflict would claim millions of lives, both on and off Earth, the highest death count since the Second World War, and possibly in human history, and would be the first true space war – while prototypes had occurred throughout the 21st and earlier 22nd centuries, the Interplanetary War would thoroughly earn its name. Concluding with the signing of the Callisto Treaty in 2170 between UN, Koslovic and Frieden representatives, the Interplanetary War is perhaps best used as a marker of humanity’s next cultural phase – the beginning of the Great Age of Colonialism, expanding out into space and past all previous boundaries.
Prelude to War
As with the much earlier Cold War period of conflict, while the direct results were radically different to its origins, previous conflicts indirectly affected it. Indeed, without either the Second American Civil War or the Alaskan Dispute, the Interplanetary War may have occurred much later, and in much reduced capacity.
Nobody was more surprised at the outbreak of the Second American Civil War than the United States itself. In the leadup to the conflict, it had begun significant steps toward rehabilitating its traditional image of an aggressive colonial presence, increasing in popularity among the rest of the world. More importantly, it had established the North American Union, a political and economic alliance between the United States of America, the United Mexican States, and Canada to foster better relations with each other, hoping to pave the way for a continental American nation. The outbreak of war would severely disrupt, though not stop, these plans, though the internal conflict between traditionalist anti-union and pro-union factions would disrupt the country's government and military for five years, putting paid to short-term plans for continental unification.
At the same time, however, military hardliners within the Russian military saw this as an opportunity, and struck. The invasion of Alaska would be the first conflict between American and Russian troops, and engagements between the two would rock the northernmost US state
Colonial Unrest (2160)
War on Earth (2162)
Operation: NOVEMBER BLACK
The Callisto Treaty (2170)
Formed in 1945, the United Nations has historically served as a political, diplomatic, economic and military mediator. During the late 22nd and 23rd centuries, the UN would gradually become a major governing body as Earth's nations began to suffer the combined effects of centuries of prolonged international hostility, a series of crippling economic depressions, and a worsening climate hitting major agricultural producers. The very factors that would push humanity into space would also unify much of it under the banner of the UN, though it would not be until the end of the war that the last independent nations and rival power blocs would finally agree to merge with the UN, leading to the creation of the Unified Earth Government.
Before the war, the United Nations Space Command would evolve from the UN Defence Force, originally the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, as a direct response to the growing hostility of the many orbital habitats over Earth, on the moon, on Mars and among the other, more recent colonies further out in the solar system to Earth rule by their parent nations. Initially, it was hoped that the presence of the UN as a neutral arbitrater and peacekeeper would avoid such conflict, but their presence would only exacerbate matters - while not subject to the parent nation, colonists would still percieve the UN as pro-Earth, and react with hostility. The outbreak of war would see the creation of the UN Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, all prototypes of their later UNSC ancestors.
- "You can already see the next war, even three hundred years early - colonial bureaucracy causing interplanetary tension. The UNSC was lucky at this point in time that they were just fighting for one star system, and not hundreds. You'd think we'd have learnt our lesson after that, but history repeats more often than we care to think."