The 2016 US Presidential Election, awarded to Hillary Clinton by the courts, was suddenly overshadowed by the loss of USS Harry Truman and USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Mediterranean by the Russians and successful internet attack on the US power grid by the Chinese.
The Wife and I awoke to a house that would never again know electric power. I got dressed, built a fire under the chimney and drove to Food Lion for water and whatever I could get. The half tank in the car would be the last gas it ever got.
The crowd was continuing to grow, but I smiled a lot, waited my turn silently, spent cash and got away. By then, neighbors, some of whom we’d never met, began together on our street. We joined them, introduced ourselves and listened. Thankfully, there were current and former LEOs and veterans to advise us. Leaders were quickly agreed upon, a defense perimeter declared with those to defend it, an inventory of available weapons and supplies and committees established for ration.
Cheviot is a road to nowhere, comprising a dozen homes on each side, making road defense a relatively simple matter of barricading both ends, quickly achieved with lumber from lots of available trees.
A couple of days later, we met with neighbors who’d not formalized, helped them do the same and entered into support agreements. People had yet to run out of water, food and meds, so things were still good. We made an inventory of available vehicles and gasoline, but the local Food Lion was now empty and would never be replenished. An attempt was made to reach Battleground, but they didn’t return.
By the end of the first week, we were out of water and almost out of food. Entreaties to our neighboring groups met similar complaints. There had been accidents and ill health to deal with, but most were holding up.
Unbelievably, disaster was averted in the second week, with air drops from C-17s out of Charlotte. Among the necessary supplies were packets of papers with greetings from our government, a statement of what had occurred and was to be expected. Also provided were satellite phones, batteries, crank radios and frequencies for local broadcasts. By the third week, we were getting custom shipments chuted in with requested meds.
Of course, news indicated a primary effort to restore the power grid, but a lot of that stuff was made overseas and either had to be requisitioned, if not re-fabricated. For now, the two dozen Fukushima-type nuclear power reactor fuel rods were cool, but distribution networks were down.
We also received notice that such a contingency had been anticipated by civil defense agencies and National Guard assets were being used to provide subsistence level support where possible. January was coming and periods of bitter cold. Most were well stocked with chain saws and available lumber, so support efforts focused on items needed for repair and maintenance.
Within a month, support elements had a good idea what they were dealing with and enlisted regular military and police to end violence and assist neighborhoods near major highways so that water, food and gas could get through. Of course, cities like Chattanooga, which enjoyed municipal power and a gigabit fiber net, had not gone out at all. These cities quickly became regional support centers. Among them, the internet was available, allowing coordination of efforts.
FEMA had established emergency relationships with vendors such as WalMart and militarized their distribution efforts to great effect. Airborne assets assisted in disasters related to weather and accidents. In fact, the military upgraded expanses of the superhighway network to accommodate C-17 landings. In three months, every major airport was functional, allowing vital services and commerce to occur.
History would show that while suburbs around medium size cities near regional support centers fared well, extremely low and high population densities did not, due to the finite size of support assets and supply. Those in isolation were on their own and martial law had necessarily been imposed on cities where support was most difficult. In these areas, the military prosecuted its COIN doctrine, usually to disastrous effect.
Unfortunately, having lost in the Mediterranean, President Clinton convinced NATO forces to begin incursions across the Russian border, resulting in the loss of those elements. Making sure such a thing never happened again, Russian and Chinese military assets destroyed oil refineries on both coasts and the southern border of the US. President Clinton’s health forced her to resign and President Kaine signed the treaty ending WWIII .
Whereas Russia was more than happy to regain its preeminence among Europeans, helping to install right wing parties, the shock destroyed global confidence in the Japanese and Chinese economies, over-leveraged as they were, and resulted in collapse of currencies. As expected, China reverted to a Moaist isolationist government, further ruining opportunities to restore America. Their subsequent military conquest of Taiwan, Japan and South Korea meant an end to foreign sources for vital infrastructure components. But not for long, as the Chinese invasion of America finally signaled the nuclear holocaust which put an end to everything.