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The Kashmir Sunrise: Nuclear War in 2001

India Pakistan 2001 2002 nuclear war nuclear failed civilization

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Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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The Reaper laughed over our nuclear pyre... what an inglorious death of a millennium.

Hell’s Door Opened

By David Mark Atwell.
No one would have believed, at the beginning of the new millennium, the Twenty First Century, that events would unfold that would remind the world of the fears of the past 50 years. Everyone thought that after the fall of the Soviet Union, and with the ending of the Cold War, the world would no long live under the threat of nuclear weapons. For a time this appeared to be correct. A "New World Order", as President Bush (snr) had stated, appeared, for a while, to be living up to the promise of peace. Within a decade, however, everything would change. 

Ever since the United States used the first nuclear weapons, the world had changed. War was no longer seen as the extension of politics by other means. Instead, as more and more nations got the Bomb, war itself, especially nuclear war, had become the enemy of all mankind. Many of the world’s leaders understood this principle, and regardless of how they presented themselves publicly, knew only too well the ramifications of a nuclear showdown. In a insane kind of way, this duplicitous duality of policy actually ensured that no Third World War ever took place. 

Yet that seemed to work fine for the major powers. But when it became clear that minor powers were also seeking the Bomb, the major powers stepped in to thwart their efforts. This worked to a certain degree, but still Israel, South Africa and India had a primitive nuclear device by the 1980s. Other countries were also working on nuclear weapons, such as Brazil and Argentina, but under pressure from the major powers, these countries quietly gave up their nuclear goals. 

Come the ending of the Cold War, however, and the global political spectrum had changed completely. The USSR fell apart and with it went security. Now that capitalism emerged in the former USSR, everything was for sale at a price. And this included nuclear secrets. Of course the Russians have long denied any part in the expansion of countries with nuclear weapons, but it is now believed that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program gained a significant boost somewhere in the mid 1990s. At first it was believed this information had come from the Chinese, but subsequent inquiries have clearly demonstrated that the Pakistani Bomb was of Soviet Cold War era origin. 

So by the year 2000, while the world celebrated the new millennium, Pakistan went about testing their nuclear weapons. Immediately thereafter India, which had remained very quiet on the Bomb subject ever since the 1970s, tested several nuclear devices as well. Clearly the Indians were reminding Pakistan that they had plenty of nuclear weapons to match those of Pakistan. Politics soon took over, with each of the two nations warning the other of nuclear war. 

Things came to a head very quickly when Islamic rebels in Pakistani Kashmir, began attacks across the border, taking control of some Indian territory. Naturally the Indian Army responded and soon it was reporting that the rebels were indeed backed by the Pakistani Army. Vajpayee, the Prime Minister of India, demanded the Pakistanis to withdraw. Naturally they refused and argued that the rebels had nothing to do with Pakistan. Both sides stated the usual rhetoric about sovereignty of Kashmir which only flamed the issue even more. 

By now the world had become involved in the matter, especially the United States, which had become alarmed due to the fact that war was about to erupt in South Asia. What was worse was the fact that both sides were nuclear armed and it appeared that they were ready to use these weapons. Frantic attempts at diplomacy virtually got nowhere and so an economic boycott was put into place. Although this got the attention of the leaders of India and the new President of Pakistan Musharraf, it was in fact eventual victory by the Indian Army over the insurgents which cooled things down. 

It appeared that the threat of war had significantly diminished. Even after the dreadful events and aftermath of September 11 came and went, relations between Pakistan and India had become somewhat cordial. That was to all suddenly change by a single event. Within a week, this event would send these two nations over the abyss and the world would watch helplessly as a nuclear holocaust took place. 

The morning of the 13 December 2001 was a brilliant morning in New Delhi. The noise of the city was at its usual suggesting that all was right in India, apart from the usual simmering of discontent. Nonetheless, the capital of India was also the capital of the largest democracy in the world. Although far from perfect, it had taken on the Westminster system of government and had done reasonably well with it, considering the difficulties that India faced. India’s neighbours, however, were far from democratic. Pakistan, which had occasionally flirted with democracy, was once more a military dictatorship. Burma was another military dictatorship. China was a People’s Republic, which meant to say it was a Communist dictatorship. Thus under the circumstances, India was akin to the Garden of Democratic Eden in comparison to the desert of dictatorships that surrounded it. 

So on the afternoon of 13 December 2001, when terrorists attacked the Indian Parliament, the Indian government went into action. As bullets and explosions shook the building Prime Minister Vajpayee immediately put India’s Armed Forces on alert. This also included India’s nuclear arsenal. By the time the terrorists had been killed India was ready for war. 

Naturally the Indian’s blamed the Pakistani’s for the attack on their Parliament. And they had much good reason to do so. The weapons that the terrorists used where discovered to be of Pakistani origin, not to mention that Indian Intelligence identified two of the terrorists as Pakistani citizens and known to be members of a terrorist organisation partly funded by the Pakistani Government. All this was far too much for the Indian public who demanded action, and with several state elections coming up, it would be electoral suicide for Vajpayee’s BJP ruling party to do nothing. 

Thus it came as no surprise when Vajpayee ordered 600 000 troops to the Pakistan border in Kashmir. The Indian generals where then given a second order: an invasion of Pakistan itself. Although Musharraf was unaware of the second order, the first one was made very public. At first Musharraf hesitated to response to this Indian action, as the Pakistan Army was committed to the Afghanistan border in an effort to stop the September 11 terrorists escaping the wroth that the United States had decided upon. But soon Musharraf changed his mind and ordered 400 000 of Pakistan’s troops to face the Indians. 

This response was exactly what the Indian generals had hoped for. By sending 400 000 troops to the one region, Pakistan had only 200 000 troops left to guard the rest of the country. India, on the other hand, had a further 700 000 troops to employ as the general’s saw fit. As such an Indian Tank Army was quietly and secretly formed in the Punjab State of India. 4 tank, 4 mechanised, and 4 infantry motor divisions, along with support and logistic units, numbering 250 000 of India’s finest troops, were soon ready. Within a week of the bombing of the Indian Parliament, this army would cross the border near the Pakistani city of Lahore, capture it the same day, then advance onto Islamabad the capital of Pakistan. In doing so it would encircle the 400 000 Pakistani troops in Kashmir and reduce Pakistan to its southern territory. As a result Pakistan would be halved in size. 

Pakistan’s generals were not stupid. They could read the same maps as their Indian counterparts and immediately feared the worst. At best they could deploy 2 brigades to cover the Lahore Front, as they called it, and were well aware that they were extremely vulnerable there. Although the Thar Desert offered another invasion route into Pakistan from India, this was considered unlikely because there was little of value on the Pakistani side. All agreed that Lahore was a very tempting target, should the Indian’s invade, yet they had little to defend it with. It was at this point that Musharraf, an army general himself, made the most unenviable decision in history. Should the 2 brigades be overrun, then Pakistan would use the Bomb. 

It was pre-dawn on the morning of 20 December 2001 when the Indian Tank Army moved towards the border. The Indians had done extremely well. Within a week they had assembled the most powerful field army in all of Asia. Combined with the Indian Air Force, there would be little to stop them save for a nuclear weapon. This consideration had been taken into account and thus the "Charge to Lahore", as it was known, was seen as the tactic to use against any possible nuclear attack. Time, however, was the essence here. The Indian Tank Army had to race to Lahore before Pakistan could react. It was believed that once at Lahore, the Pakistanis would not use a nuclear weapon on them. The trouble was they had to get there first. 

The 2 Pakistani brigades never had a chance. Not only did the Indian Air Force dominate the skies, they were outnumbered 250 000 to a mere 7 000. The Indians simply drove over them. Many prisoners were taken, which were treated with much respect. It is interesting to note that, although the soldiers of both countries were trained to kill the other, they showed much chivalry and honour in battle. Furthermore, the Indian officers mostly referred to the Pakistanis as "those people" rather than "the enemy". 

Unbeknownst to the Indian Tank Army, though, was the readiness of the Pakistani nuclear forces. Musharraf had already put them on full alert and ensured that both the missiles and the bombs had been dispersed around the country. This, the Indians had missed during their preparations for the attack. If the reverse had been true then maybe the Indian attack would have been delayed. Yet as it was, 250 000 Indian troops were on their way to Lahore. None of them would make it. 

Musharraf gave the order that any sane person would dread and regret all their life. As a result of this order, 4 Ghauri missiles, each with a single 10 kiloton nuclear warhead, were launched from their mobile launchers. Three minutes later, four nuclear explosions, all on Pakistani territory, destroyed India’s finest army. Although there were survivors, none were battle capable. Ironically, 4 500 Pakistani prisoners, who had been moved from the battlefield to POW camps in India, witnessed the mushroom clouds from a safe distance, then volunteered to help any Indian survivors. There would be about 50 000 of these horrified and tormented human souls. It was just on 8am local time. 

Word got through to New Delhi about fifteen minutes later. Vajpayee could not believe what he was hearing. Then it hit him. He broke down and cried for about five minutes according to some witnesses. Soon afterwards, however, he was back in business as the Prime Minister. Knowing that Pakistan could not get away with the nuclear attack, and yet dreading where all this may end, he demanded nonetheless a nuclear attack on Pakistan. His generals were not confident that this was the right move, yet Vajpayee and other government Ministers were committed to it. Eventually it came down to an attack in Kashmir on military targets. The generals reasoned that by keeping it limited to the military, the general public will suffer little and that the 17 million casualty figure quoted by the United States only a few days before would be remarkably less. 

The orders went out. The planners decided to use strike aircraft instead of missiles. The aircraft would be more accurate plus they could be recalled at the last moment if the Pakistanis surrendered. Furthermore, nuclear armed missiles were in limited numbers and India had control of the skies. Thus, unlike the Pakistanis, the Indians had the luxury of using aircraft on several missions. 

About an hour after the decision had been made, 8 Mirage 2 000 jet aircraft dropped their bombs on the Pakistani Army in Kashmir. Although 8 bombs were delivered on target, the Pakistani casualty rate was not as high as the Indian Tank Army. Having said that, the Pakistanis lost 50 percent of their forces. Those that survived did so thanks to the numerous trenches and bunkers which crossed the Kashmir countryside. Nonetheless it was far from pleasant being on the Pakistani side of the border. Of those that survived, one can hardly imagine the horror that these humans went through. 

Up until know, all the nuclear detonations had taken place in Pakistan. This was soon to change rapidly. Within a few minutes of the Indian attack, Musharraf was informed. Like Vajpayee 90 minutes earlier, he was put into an impossible position. Should he respond with another nuclear attack? Most of his fellow generals were all for it and wanted to target the major cities of India. But Musharraf was against it. Although he was determined to show the Indians that Pakistan could not be intimidated, he decided to play it by India’s example and hit the Indian troops along the border in Kashmir. This the others agreed upon. Soon afterwards, 10 nuclear armed Ghauri missiles were heading for the 600 000 Indian troops. Musharraf said a prayer to Allah for the Indians to come to their senses and not fire back. 

The Indian troops were ready, as much as one can be when facing a nuclear explosion, and hid in their trenches and bunkers. All had seen what had happened across the border to their counterparts and everyone knew what weapon had made those mushroom clouds. The troops realised that their turn for nuclear hell would be next. As a result, several thousand had taken off in an easterly direction to get away from the potential nuclear battlefield. All, however, prayed to their respective deity. Then the missiles hit. Even though the Pakistanis used more weapons than the Indians, their missiles were not as accurate as the Indian aircraft. The result meant that Indian casualties mirrored those just across the Kashmir border. 

If these exchanges seem horrifying enough, it was only the beginning. It was about 10.30am and already 600 000 lives had been lost. More would follow as the horror would soon get worse, although at this point things appeared to quiet down. By this stage the world had caught up with the madness. Pleas for peace, humanity and above all sorrow came from all parts. World leaders began calling India and Pakistan demanding an audience. None were listened to. All calls were rejected. But it seemed that Musharraf’s prayer had been answered as by 1pm India had not counterattacked, even though no word had come through from the Indian government. 

This, unfortunately, would change by 1.30pm. The reason for the lull was never understood by the Pakistan government, but for India it was time well spent. Since the last attack Vajpayee had ordered a list of military targets in Pakistan. He wanted the top 25 on the list targeted with India’s Prithvi nuclear armed missiles and end for good Pakistan’s ability to wage war. As a secondary phase to this attack, the whole Mirage 2000 strike force would be back in the air armed with free fall nuclear bombs. Their job was to hunt down and annihilate the mobile launchers that Pakistan had been using to attack India. Just like what America did to Iraq in chasing their Scud missile launchers, so too India would do to Pakistan: except India was going to use nuclear weapons. 

An hour later, as the Indian Air Force began hunting for the Pakistani mobile launchers, nuclear death rained down on Pakistan. All of the 25 Pakistani military bases were obliterated in the attack. Unfortunately, many of these bases were often located next to large urban centres. Although it was not the intension of the Indians to go from the tactical to the strategic in terms of nuclear warfare, to Musharraf and the others in Islamabad, this certainly appeared to be the case. The war had spun out of control and now even generals, prime minsters and presidents had become mere pawns in it. With little alternative Musharraf ordered every nuclear missile fired at Indian cities within range, and every plane capable of carrying a free fall nuclear bomb into the air. 

At first the Pakistani response could not get under way until 4pm, mostly due to the fact that suitable aircraft had to be found, fuelled, crewed and armed. But by 2.50pm reports started coming in stating that Indian aircraft were roaming over Pakistan dropping nuclear weapons. Although this was somewhat expected by now, this alarmed Musharraf into thinking that the Indians were after the remaining Ghauri missiles. He was right, of course, and immediately ordered their launch. The remaining 38 missiles thus headed for India’s largest cities. It would be Pakistan’s final attack. 

By 3.10pm Vajpayee did not need to read any more of the reports flooding into his bomb-proof bunker in New Delhi. The fact that he just survived an horrendous earthquake told him that the capital of India had just been destroyed by a nuclear explosion. How much longer he had to live he did not know, but Pakistan would pay a heavy price for what they had done. He thus issued his final order of the war, hit the Pakistani cities. A few minutes later 30 Prithvi nuclear missiles were launched into the sky. Some five minutes later 29 Pakistani cities suffered the fate of New Delhi. Two missiles were deliberately aimed at Islamabad. The commander of India’s Missile Force came from New Delhi. Furthermore his wife and four children lived there until a few minutes ago. Added to this horrific attack were the remaining Indian Mirage 2000s which still had their nuclear payload aboard. Ordered now to seek out and destroy all the remaining Pakistani Air Force bases, this had been achieved by 3.50pm. Pakistan never got in its nuclear air strike on India. 

The war might have been over, but the cost to humanity would continue. The US Defence Intelligence Agency warned both the Pakistani and Indian governments that 17 million of their citizens would become casualties in a nuclear exchange. Out of that figure 12 million would die. No one, however, truly knows the true figure. In the weeks that followed, with so many variables taking place, only estimates of casualties can be given. But clearly, what is known is that the figure given by the DIA was completely wrong. On the day in question, the 20 December 2001, at least 47 million people became casualties as an immediate result of the nuclear explosions. Over the next week, as fallout covered Pakistan and Northern India, this casualty rate would triple. 

But it would not end there. As hundreds of millions of people became refugees, all order broke down. Government, what was left of it, collapsed. There was no rescue or medical service to speak of, safe food quickly ran out as did safe dinking water and the like. Not only did 150 million people die from radiation sickness due to fallout and contamination, a further 100 million died of starvation and exposure to the elements. Then the survivors were hit again. Illnesses ran at plague levels ensuring unprecedented levels. Every disease became deadly, especially with all the dead rotting away. And it was not just human bodies littering the ground. Many animals, especially cows, died along with desperate survivors. 

By the time the United Nations finally established a workable refugee system, a whole month had past since the nuclear holocaust. Still, people continued to die in the thousands from radiation. Furthermore, radiation sickness spread throughout the region. Afghanistan and Nepal got off lightly. Iran suffered a few hundred cases, but most of the population were declared safe. For Bangladesh, however, it was an entirely different story. Greatly depended upon the Ganges River, it took but a little time before the Ganges became a hotbed of radiation. Its citizens, not knowing any better, carried on with life as normal regardless of the events in India and Pakistan. Soon, unfortunately, whole villages, towns and cities in Bangladesh were being killed. The United Nations acted fast, but not before 20 million of Bangladesh’s citizens became critically ill. Alas, most would die a dreadful death. 

As this article is being written only a year after these sorrowful events, more after-effects will most likely take place in the future. We still do not know, for example, what the final effects will be for the world’s environment. Yet it is most certain that a great part of our planet will remain uninhabitable for decades if not centuries to come. Furthermore, Pakistan has ceased to exist, although a large number of her citizens continue to live in refugee camps around the world. India, however, is partly surviving in the South and Eastern parts of that country. But like Bangladesh, it requires an enormous amount of aid to survive and will continue to be in this position for decades to come. For the world as a whole, little good has come from this nightmare, other than the fact that it has been reminded that there is no future for anyone in nuclear weapons or modern warfare for that matter. Indeed, as they say, truth is the first casualty in war, then surely the human race and all other living things are a close second. 

© 2006 David Mark Atwell
Good story, but I disagree with the casualty count. I feel it would be at least an order of magnitude greater— somewhere around 1.4 billion dead. And because I created the thread, that's now this thread's canon.
Here's another scenario

India-Pakistan nuclear war could 'end human civilisation'

Even a limited exchange, of the scale possible in 2001-2002 crisis

Both Pakistan and India have nuclear weapons pointed at eachother. Photo: EPA
A nuclear war between India and Pakistan would set off a global famine that could kill two billion people and effectively end human civilization, a study said Tuesday.

Even if limited in scope, a conflict with nuclear weapons would wreak havoc in the atmosphere and devastate crop yields, with the effects multiplied as global food markets went into turmoil, the report said.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility released an initial peer-reviewed study in April 2012 that predicted a nuclear famine could kill more than a billion people.

In a second edition, the groups said they widely underestimated the impact in China and calculated that the world's most populous country would face severe food insecurity.

"A billion people dead in the developing world is obviously a catastrophe unparalleled in human history. But then if you add to that the possibility of another 1.3 billion people in China being at risk, we are entering something that is clearly the end of civilization," said Ira Helfand, the report's author.

Helfand said that the study looked at India and Pakistan due to the longstanding tensions between the nuclear-armed states, which have fought three full-fledged wars since independence and partition in 1947.
But Helfand said that the planet would expect a similar apocalyptic impact from any limited nuclear war. Modern nuclear weapons are far more powerful than the US bombs that killed more than 200,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
"With a large war between the United States and Russia, we are talking about the possible - not certain, but possible - extinction of the human race.
"In this kind of war, biologically there are going to be people surviving somewhere on the planet but the chaos that would result from this will dwarf anything we've ever seen," Helfand said.
The study said that the black carbon aerosol particles kicked into the atmosphere by a South Asian nuclear war would reduce US corn and soybean production by around 10 percent over a decade.
The particles would also reduce China's rice production by an average of 21 percent over four years and by another 10 percent over the following six years.
The updated study also found severe effects on China's wheat, which is vital to the country despite its association with rice.
China's wheat production would plunge by 50 percent the first year after the nuclear war and would still be 31 percent below baseline a decade later, it said.
The study said it was impossible to estimate the exact impact of nuclear war. He called for further research, voicing alarm that policymakers in nuclear powers were not looking more thoroughly at the idea of a nuclear famine.
But he said, ultimately, the only answer was the abolition of nuclear weapons.
"This is a disaster so massive in scale that really no preparation is possible. We must prevent this," he said.
President Barack Obama pledged in 2009 to work toward abolition but said that the United States would keep nuclear weapons so long as others exist. Nine countries are believed to possess nuclear weapons, with Russia and the United States holding the vast majority.




What would have happened if the Kargil War turned into nuclear war?

By  the time Pakistan starts prepping it's nukes everywhere from New Delhi  to Washington will know and there will be incredible pressure and even  threat of a pre-emptive non-nuclear disabling attack.

If the  Pakistani's keep going on their path despite all the warnings - India,  Russia, Iran, US even China would intervene militarily with pre-emptive  conventional strikes using missiles, alternate weapons and special  operations teams.

If beyond all this incredible opposition, the  Pakistani's do manage to launch a nuke against India - by the time the  nuke enters the trajectory and starts the ballistic approach - India  would have launced a full scale retaliation against Pakistan  as per  Indian nuclear doctrine which is simply put : "No First Use of nuclear  weapons; any nuclear attack no matter it's magnitude will be met with  full retaliation".

Then there would be a mad scramble to disable  all Pakistani nukes which are in flight - our new anti-ballistic defense  systems are tested but never used in a real nuclear situation (thankfully for everyone)

This  would be while US and others would be trying to pressure India as well  to stop any retaliation against Pakistan despite them nuking us. It  would fall on deaf ears though. Since any government that refuses to  retaliate against a nuclear strike on it's civilians would be overthrown  and reviled for centuries by the poeple.

END RESULT: The entire  conflict lasts atmost 6 hours with Pakistan becoming a desolate  wasteland while India has is more or less intact due to larger  area/population (worst case scenario - most of their missiles are  launched and they get through the defensive shield leading to loss of  upto 700 million people).

There is a massive loss of life like  never seen before in History (easily over 200 million since Pakistan has  about 180 million people and India would lose atleast 1 or 2 cities to  the nearly 200 pakistani nukes) with catastrophic ecological damage,  radioactive fallout, world weather pattern changes due to all the  particulates launched into the air, partial world winter might happen,  decrease in sunlight and in air quality and worse - NOT TO MENTION the  people would be suffering ill-effects from all of these - radiation  poisoning/burns/etc, genetic disorders, reproductive disorders/babies  born with genetic defects, rise in harmful mutuations, etc.

India's  economy would take a massive hit due to the loss of life and habitable  land and potential political scapegoating that we would be subjected to  while we would need to re-organize the Government, the people, the  economy and the military while trying to get aid for rebuilding.
Then we would have to find a way to terraform all the affected lands back to normal - which will take who knows how long. 

Though  on the extremely minor positive side - there would be no more Pakistani  based terrorism in the world and India would acquire that irradiated  territory which would provide direct access between South, South East,  Central and East Asia not to mention to Russia and Europe too which  could alleviate our power supply problems though at that point - what  would it matter?.

This is why I hope no country ever uses a WMD  again. The results and the potential cascade scenarios : the Indo-Pak  nuclear exchange goes Global similar to how WWI escalated and the  current Human civilization with most of our population, our fellow  tenants (flora and fauna) and our poor Mother Earth would be dead.  Armageddon/Ragnarok over.

The survivors might survive, rebuild  and a few thousand years later when excavating our remains will discuss  on how stupid we were.


The Day A Nuclear Conflict Was Averted
Clinton was ready to jump on plane to stop Kargil's escalation


Well... congratulations, humanity. You done fuck't up.

What's worse is that these are the homes of some of humanity's first civilizations. The Indus Valley civilization is said to predate even the Sumerians. What a bookend. 


  • How does the nuclear war affect the War on Terror (which, if you recall, was raging right next door in Afghanistan and, eventually, Iraq)?
  • How does the nuclear war affect global politics?
  • How does the nuclear war affect culture? In the West? In the East? In your hometown?
  • Does the nuclear winter following the war cause a mini-ice age? If so, how long does it last and what does that mean for the Green movement over the next several decades?
  • Does the nuclear war set humanity back? Fatally so?
  • Does the nuclear war accelerate us towards the Singularity? Or, building off the last question, is the destruction of the Indian subcontinent and death of hundreds of millions, if not a billion, what fatally delays the Singularity to a negligible future point, so far in the future that we should give up on it pursuit?
  • If the Singularity is ruined, what does that mean for humanity?
  • Altogether, what happens in the world afterwards? In the immediate future? Over the next 5 years? Over the next 15 years? Over the next several decades?

  • eacao, Futurist and Outlook like this

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.

Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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I'll start.


So it's December 2001, eh? 


Hum-dee-dum, well I'm just a stupid little 7 year old kid. Just discovered Cartoon Network thanks to the glories of cable TV. Kinda, sorta paranoid because of 9/11, of course. Everyone was talking about 9/11, and I barely even knew what the hell was happening. Just that all the TV channels had that George Bush guy on, and kept talking about New York City, and the school teachers were all sad, and there were loud jets flying over us all the time now. 


W-what's this? India? Is that where Indians come from, or do Indians come from Indiana? Why do Indians have nuclear weapons, and why didn't they use them against the pioneers? What is Pakistan? Is it like Afghanistan? And Iran...? They all rhyme, hee-hee...


Whoa, was that a nuclear bomb? They're using nuclear bombs! 


Are we gonna get bombed?! 


Runs and hides under Ma's bed



And then there's a jet fighter roaring over us. I still don't know why they flew over New Orleans so often back then, but it sure worked to scare the crap outta me. There was a jet flying over us pretty much once a week back in December 2001, IIRC, so let's just say one passed over that day. I'm a 7 year old about to have a heart attack because I think the Terrorists are nuking us and invading at the same time, and I was about to be strung up a light pole. Ohhh, it's gonna be a bad night. I'm gonna be hiding under this bed, and then Terrorists are gonna bang at our door and drag out my family. And in the background, there'll be a cartoon-esque nuclear explosion, ring around it and all.



In reality...


While this kooky 7 year old shits himself empty thinking Terrorists are Red Dawning their way through New Orleans, all of America is collectively shitting itself empty right now. All of humanity is shitting itself empty.


CNN's ratings are through the roof during a moment of television where not one word is being spoken. We're just watching. Watching. In this moment, the world is dead. 


We saw the second plane hit the second tower. We heard about when the Pentagon was attacked. We knew something changed in all of us. 


Never could we have fathomed it was but an appetizer for a course far darker than anything we'd ever known.



December 20th, 2001... Over two months after the devastating terror attacks.... Sometime overnight, war had broken out between India and Pakistan. It spiraled out of control too quickly for anyone to comprehend, and by midnight EST, nukes were flying. 


6 AM EST, Thursday, December 20th, 2001. Local news stations across America are cutting to the national emergency network, but most don't realize this until 7 AM EST. By now, tens of millions of Americans are awake and checking the news for any updates on the Afghanistan situation. America had just bombed the hell out of Tora Bora, but the hunt for that bastard-Goldstein, Osama Bin Laden, was still on. The World Trade Center is still smoldering, after all.


No. Not this morning. Not Black Thursday. Look a few hundred miles east of Afghanistan, at Pakistan. What's left of Pakistan.


Video is already pouring in. It's not as overwhelming as it would've been in the future, in the era of smartphones, but it's far more than we ever would have seen in the past. These things video cameras have captured— you're only supposed to see them in movies, or in cartoons... or maybe on the History Channel... They're supposed to be out in the Nevada desert, or by the Bikini Atoll. 


Not in actual cities.


Nuclear explosions. Dozens of them, caught on film.


What happened? What happened? That's what's going through everyone's minds. Not just in the US, but across the world. Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, even Antarctica— everyone everywhere can no longer move. They're glued to their TVs, unable to understand what just happened. Or, no— they understand what has happened. We just refuse to believe it actually happened.


"They did it. The motherfuckers actually did it."


It's... very sad. We survived! We survived the Cold War. We survived the Cuban Missile Crisis. We survived Korea, Vietnam, through the '70s, through the '80s... And then the Soviet Union collapsed, and we started living in the End of History. The new millennium. We were home free, goddammit!


First September 11... Now this...


Where did it all go wrong? How did it all go wrong?


Everyone wants the 21st century to just be over. At least 2001. As soon as it started, we've only known fear, pain, and suffering. Climaxed by this bullshit— a full-scale nuclear war between India and Pakistan, just two months after the World Trade Centers were felled. 


9/11, 12/20, Limp Bizkit... god, how could this year get any worse? 




As all eyes turn away from their television sets, all minds instantly begin to realize what it all means. It was already gonna be dirty when we saw the towers fall, but now we're dealing with another beast entirely. No, 9/11 was like getting mauled by a pack of lions. It was bad, but it was one thing, one league of beasts. What we're dealing with now is the Antichrist of Beasts.


Everyone knows it's time to start preparing for nuclear winter. The cities of India and Pakistan are burning; some places burning hotter than the surface of the sun. The wind patterns are going to blow all of this fallout into Bangladesh, Indochina, and China. This is going to absolutely ruin crops across the region, and possibly up to a billion people are going to starve to death over the next year.


The loss of a billion human beings is already sending global markets into a meteor fall. The New York Stock Exchange starts the day, and the DOW falls 3,000 points. By the end of the day, it's still down by 2,100 points. 


The number of deaths is still rising. The initial reports said a billion were dead. This is almost certainly too low— the number of fatalities may reach 1.4 billion. And that's only the statistic, not counting how many are actually going to die in the coming hours, days, weeks, months, and years. 


The most optimistic projection? 1.5 billion by December 31st, 2001. 100 million are about to die? From where? For a large part of it, Bangladesh. The Ganges River is still actively being used. However, it's extremely irradiated, and it's probable that upwards of 30 to 50 million people are now or shortly will be deathly ill of radiation poisoning. Of those, 90% will die. 

Continuing on, we may see 1.7 billion total deaths by the end of 2002, and 2 billion total by 2010 due to the resulting famine in China. 


And that's the optimistic scenario. 2 billion deaths is optimistic. Do you wish to hear the pessimistic scenarios?


1.5 billion by the end of 2001 is still the accurate projection. However, the worst case scenario for China will see to it that 700 million Chinese die in the largest famine in history, by the end of 2002. Another 500 million from around this area will perish due to radiation poisoning and continued famine. The nuclear winter will lead to crop failures all across the planet. In Russia, in Africa, in the United States... Possibly 350 million will die from that. All this, by the end of 2002. Upwards of 1.2 billion more people will perish between 2002 and 2010 due to a combination of famine, radiation sicknesses (including extremely high rates of cancer), and various other diseases. Most in Africa and Asia.

Altogether, 3.8 to 4 billion deaths by 2010. That's 2/3 of humanity. 


This isn't even the most pessimistic scenario; it's only the most pessimistic scenario in which civilization survives. 


It's almost certain that this is going to lead to a societal breakdown in the coming years. Most likely starting in China and Russia. India, it's already a given. Bangladesh, all the same. World governments are about to go down, and hard. It's a toss up whether this leads to World War III. As countries become more desperate, it becomes more likely. China is already almost certainly about to lose half of its population at best. 

It's looking increasingly likely that Western civilization collapses by 2010. The world population may fall under 1 billion by 2015 in this scenario, and won't ever recover. If it were to recover, we're looking at 2001 population levels (6 billion people) being reached again some time in the 2700s at soonest and 4000s+ if ever.


Quite frankly, we may very well be staring human extinction in the face today. Civilization is almost certainly going to fail, and within the decade. If not, then we're at least going to be set back centuries.


May God have mercy on our souls.

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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.




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Also, this song was playing in my head while reading this.

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"Feeling like I need to fall down some stairs"   "The kids are Alt-Right today!"   "And when we fall, we will fall together"  "Good god have I become so tightly wound?"  "Oh I'm just a girl, guess I'm some kind of freak" 

Yuli Ban

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How would this affect the War on Terror?


Short answer: a lot.


Long answer: Not a lot at first, but quite a bit down the road. From what I've researched, the wind patterns mean virtually no fallout will rain on Afghanistan, so US forces are safe. However, there won't be a Pakistan left for Osama Bin Laden to hide within, so he'll be stuck in the Afghanistan mountains for the foreseeable future. Who knows, he might even migrate north into one of the other -stans. It's possible he could found within a few months in this case, rather than in 10 years.


Nevertheless, the fact there was just an atomic storm a few dozen miles away from our military operations is gonna piss off the entire US military-industrial establishment. 


It's less questionable over whether we'd still invade Iraq. The answer? We'd probably do it sooner! The whole justification for fucking Iraq in the ass was "they have WMDs." If WMDs assfuck a large part of the world, we're going to blitzkrieg into Iraq even harder than we did in this timeline "in order to make sure Saddam Hussein doesn't do to his neighbors what India and Pakistan did to each other." We'll find just as many WMDs this time as we did in our timeline (answer: zero), and Iraq will become a dystopian hellhole all the same. Except now, the whole Middle East is a dystopian, Mad Max-esque hellhole. Totally post-apocalyptic to the East and wartorn and anarchic in the West. Fun times.


2002: as about two billion people die this year, the whole deal with the War on Terror is questioned. Pakistan is out, and they were one of the big funders of terrorism. All that's left is Saudi Arabia, and they are not doing too well right now considering the price of oil is fluctuating so badly, it's out of control. 

USica invades Iraq in order to """"disarm"""" them, with the news media playing up the idea that Iraq is "literally weeks from nuking Israel and Saudi Arabia". Anti-war protests are even bigger in this timeline than in ours. 



2003: with Iraq ruined, it's time to invade Iran. Why? "They're building nuclear weapons!" That's good enough for us, because we're sick and tired of nuclear weapons. 


So we have 1,000 miles of hell on Earth, stretching from Iraq all the way to Bangladesh. These countries are either wartorn or nuclear wastelands. 


And it's snowing at the equator. This is just gonna destabilize other countries. Christian and Muslim African countries are going down, and you're going to see extremists from both sides trying to genocide each other. 

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.

Yuli Ban

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What would it have been like growing up in this world? 


Well, when I turned 10, I'd still probably be too young to understand just what's going on, so life wouldn't feel that much different. There might be more shortages of goods, though. After all— China's our sweatshop. Less so today, but much, much moreso back then. I checked some charts, and I saw that China's average income is approaching $9,000. Just 3 years ago, it was $6,800. In 2004, it was $1,500. Bonkers success, man! So yeah, today they're not our sweatshop, but back then, that's all they were known to be.


But in this timeline, China got wiped out. Not all at once. No, that's the worst part about it— China suffers total collapse over the course of several years


2002 through 2007, there would have been a famine unlike any this world has ever seen. Hundreds of millions of people would starve to death, allthewhile hundreds of millions of people are dying from radiation sickness from fallout, radioactive rain, radioactive groundwater, godknowswhat. 


I prolly woulda heard about it in 2004, 2005 that the Chinese are going extinct. I didn't watch CNN too much back then, but I was in the early stages of becoming "informed." Actually, now that I think about it, I entered a dark age in 2006 and 2007, because I was becoming excessively interested in politics and world events in 2005, and then it all vanished and I became a usual 11-year old who watches nothing but cartoons and the Weather Channel... Sonic the Hedgehog, goddamn you. You ruined me. 


But my point is, for a bit of time in 2005, I would have known something was wrong. Fast forward to 2008, and I definitely would've started noticing changes in my life. I wonder if there would've been martial law by this point...?

A sense of hopelessness might've taken root in some, but by 2009, you just gotta start moving on. So it would've been seen as being a major, devastating part of history, the loss of humanity's nuclear innocence. 


The real problems for me start in the 2010s. I only became a futurologist out of pure chance. I was into future technology and things like transhumanism and artificial intelligence, but it was a vague interest and I still thought of it all as being far out into the future. Then I found FutureTimeline.net some time in 2010. 


The only reason I stuck around was a sense that all on the timeline could come true. In fact, a lot of the more negative predictions wound up failing to materialize— most famously Iran's nuclear test in 2013. Remember that? No? Good, because it never happened.


If the world was imploding, would there be any reason to be a futurologist, other than to talk about what could have been? The dream of the Singularity is dead. AI will never come. 

Southeast Asia's ruined, and that's where we get most of our computer tech from (remember the Thailand floods of 2011? That caused a hard drive shortage). So technology would have stagnated in the early 2000's anyway. If civilization was on the verge of collapse for 15 years, we wouldn't see any improvements in things like solar energy because countries would be supercharging coal and oil just to keep the lights on. No solar revolution out of China. 


No risks to be taken, so Tesla and SpaceX would've been footnotes in history that faded soon after their inception. 


Goodness, this is starting to remind me a bit of the Saga of Our Destruction.

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.

Yuli Ban

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Here's Threads, if you want to get a feel for how nightmarish this would be for those on the ground.



So yeah, see that. And realize it almost came true in 2001/2002.

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.

Yuli Ban

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In light of the recent attack in Kashmir...


Pakistan vs India Nuclear war


Binkov's Battlegrounds: Pakistan vs India

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: India, Pakistan, 2001, 2002, nuclear war, nuclear, failed civilization

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