This blog will contain stories taking place in two universes. In one 'reality', Earth has been hit by a large asteroid that wiped out most of the population. Stories (with the exception of the intro) will follow those spared by the impact as they struggle to survive on the now hostile planet. The other story line involves an invasion by a large alien fleet intent on settling on Earth and ruling over mankind. All stories belong to Mihai Pruna, no republishing without permission.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Strategy: Invasion Story 3

Interview with General H. Townsend, Unified Defense Headquarters

When the alien fleet was first spotted, our weaponry had evolved in the wrong direction for over a decade. Most new developments concerned themselves with the COIN (counter-insurgency) field.
We had smart, semi-autonomous UAVs that could loiter for hours hunting a group of terrorists, then delivering a small missile or bomb on top of them with deadly precision. A big charge was not needed, because Tangos or insurgents seldom used any armor at all.
We had intelligence gathering drones that relied on a well established, invulnerable- at the time -network of satellites and command centers.
Our soldiers had sophisticated combat suits that relied on the same network to convey battlefield information and orders to their wearer. Remote control operated vehicles patrolled unfriendly cities, looking for hidden bombs and booby traps.
Our newest fighter, the F22, was built mainly for stealth. The cold war ended, the competition for speed and maneuverability had been won by the Russians, with their S-37s, but nobody cared. Even in the very unlikely event of a confrontation, we knew they couldn't match us in numbers. The other superpowers, China and India, depended on us economically as much as we depended on them...and they knew it. They didn't care if they lagged behind in technology. Europe was content to ignore our capabilities altogether and go off in their own direction, with their multirole, canard fighters. Cute, but not outstanding in any way.
The missile defense system, for fear of North Korea and Syria and Iran, had evolved nicely, but could only handle attacks with limited scope.And it was calibrated for known warheads and missiles. Of course we couldn't know in advance what an alien fleet could throw at us from orbit or land bases.
So when the massive armada was first spotted - beyond Jupiter, due to the light coming off their nozzles as they were decelerating -we were ready to face conflict anywhere on Earth but wholly unprepared to face invaders from space.
We could take out satellites with kinetik interceptors, but that was about it.
Our astronomers gave us three years until the fleet arrived in Earth orbit, based on their speed and deceleration rate.
We had to think fast. We knew we couldn't build spaceships that would match theirs in space combat. Heck, we didn't know much about them at all. We sent probes, but they would take months before they reached the enemy.
Yes, we figured out they were the enemy pretty soon. One doesn't send over a hundred huge ships for exploration or any peaceful purpose. No, we figured out right away this was an invasion.
An invasion we could only fight from our home turf. Our home turf was Earth itself and Earth's vicinity in space. We had to quickly build up forces that could meet the space armada in orbit, and we had to prepare to face them on the ground and in the air.
In space, we would rely heavily on nuclear missiles launched from the ground or from orbital interceptors. We figured out the alien fleet would establish orbit around Earth rather than simply fly past and drop bombs.All their ships were decelerating at a slowly increasing rate, and computer projections showed they were setting up to match Earth's velocity around the sun and the plane of the elliptic. That was established early on, even before the message came.
At that point there were some who still hoped maybe the fleet was a peaceful if sizable exploration and technology exchange or commercial venture.
But everyone agreed that it was best if we met them in space in terms as even as possible. That meant we had to make a sizable military presence in orbit.
To maximize the amount of material and people we put up to meet the strangers in LEO, we established early on that the bulk of our forces would be launched in space when the fleet braked for orbit, barring a sizable preliminary attack.
That minimized the loiter time for our space forces and thus the consumables sent up to support them, which meant more weapons could be launched. Throughout the 3 years that elapsed between its detection and arrival, the fleet maintained cohesion. No scouting parties, probing attacks, or drones arrived. Their transmission later on would explain why.
Heavy debate between the major superpowers preceded the formation of a collaborative strategy. The United States, Europe, Russia, China and India and most other countries finally worked out an approach which allowed each country to contribute according to its capabilities. Remember, that was still during the early days, when we all thought were fighting for a common goal. The message would change things a little bit, but fortunately or unfortunately it came after the chips were already on the table and it was too late for any of the major players to change their stance and strategy.

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