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Road To War
Rotation 02-04 October 2002
173rd Airborne Brigade


      The current conflict between the Republic of Sowenia (ROS) and the Republic of Vilslakia (ROV) represents the greatest threat to regional stability in the US European Command (EUCOM) Area of Responsibility (AOR).  The conflict threatens economic stability in Europe as it is disrupting major North-South trade routes in central Europe. 


      Vilslakia is a land locked country lacking waterway access to the Sea that shares a historically disputed border with Sowenia.  Sowenian peoples descended from Germanic tribes that settled in the region over 2000 years ago, and Vilish peoples descended from the Moors who migrated into the area after being driven from Spain during the First Crusades from the 11th to 16th centuries. The Sowenians are primarily of Catholic faith, and the Vilslakians are primarily of the Muslim faith. Vilslakia and Sowenia were first established as modern, independent nations in the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the close of World War I.  The Contested Area of Sowenia/Vilslakia (CASV, a region of eastern Sowenia) was established following World War II as a reward to Sowenia for assisting in the Allied cause, and as punishment to Vilslakia for its part in supporting the Axis cause.  The CASV enjoyed a period of relative peace, security and prosperity during the cold war despite their internal ethnic and religious heritage.



      The CASV is largely populated with ethnic Vilish (in varying density), who were forced to become Sowenian subjects at the end of WWII.  Starting during the Cold War and extending to the present, Vilish-Sowenians are looked down upon by Sowenians regarding Vilish culture and traditions and their adherence to the Muslim religion.  Sowenia exerted control over CASV initially through the creation of regional Police Districts; and, later via limited integration of Vilish-Sowenians into local government structures.  The area is economically mixed between the wealthy industrial regions surrounding Regensburg, and historically agricultural and timber industries.  Vilslakia has traditionally maintained close relations through official and unofficial contacts and through the use of Muslim Imams, with the Vilish population living in the contested area.  Reclamation of the disputed territories would give Vilslakia access to (and control over) major European and regional markets as well as increasing several other elements of National Power. 






Timeline of Events Leading to Hostilities




November.   Following the fall of the Berlin Wall and resulting worldwide surge of nationalism, the ROV held elections for the first time as a free republic in November 1989.  General Moldinov, a popular former Chief of Staff of the Vilslakian National Army (VNA) was elected President based upon his platform to restore Vilslakia to its historic dominance within the region (and has remained President since). 




January. Moldinov and his Defense Minister, Foreign Minister and Interior Minister met and developed a National Defense Strategy consisting of two Strategic Campaign Plans (SCP) to achieve the goals of restoring Vilslakia to its historic economic/political dominance, and sustaining its military stature in the region.  SCP One (1), defensive in nature, neutralizes the armed threat from Kolakia, its hostile neighbor to the Northeast.  SCP Two (2) Annexes the CASV from Sowenia.  SCP 2 has three key goals: 


      1.  Unify the Vilish peoples of Sowenia within the historic borders between the two countries.

2.    Seize the waterway, road and rail Lines of Communications (LOCs) within the contested area to provide Sowenia increased economic influence within the region.


      3.  Eliminate Sowenia as an armed threat to Vilslakia.





      1990 (SCP 2 Executed)


April.  The Ministry of Defense (MOD) and the VNA General Staff meets to prepare and implement a military strategic campaign for SCP 2. The General Staff develops a two phased operations plan. Phase One is the use of insurgent guerrilla forces to overthrow or at a minimum change the ROS operational environment to uncertain. Phase Two is the use the VNA regular army to invade ROS and seize the CASV if Phase One fails to achieve its goal.


September. Vils agents infiltrate into Sowenia to recruit Vilish-Sowenian nationals for paramilitary training forming them into Vilslakia Guerrilla (VG) units. In late September 1990, Vilslakian Special Purpose Forces (VSPF) training cadre entered Sowenia covertly under the guise of forming the Committee of Solidarity with Vilish Peoples in Sowenia, the political front for the VG.  The purpose of the VSPF training cadre is to train the VG in the use of weapons and infantry tactics.  The VGs are organized into three brigades.  The VG receives direction and control from the Ministry of Defense (MOD) through the VSPF.




March. Moldinov directs increased diplomatic, cultural and economic exchanges with the ROS and other neighboring countries within the region.  Dunavija responds positively, and becomes aligned as an ally.  Freedonia in the South, and Saxonia in the North responded formally, but retain their neutrality.  Sowenia responds with mixed signals, but generally exhibits non-friendly intents to the ROV.  Moldinov continues his diplomatic efforts by increasing participation efforts with the UN and in supporting a variety of International Organizations/Non Governmental Organizations (IO/NGO).  VSPF elements continue to train the VG within eastern Sowenia.


      1992 - 1997


1992.  Moldinov continues his diplomatic efforts regionally, and for the first time, joins various coalitions of Non-aligned States.  Moldinov personally directs the Vilslakian Guerillas to begin an aggressive exchange officer program, and sends a core of maneuver officers worldwide.  The ROV greets the new US administration warmly, and aggressively works with elements of the US State Department to promote goodwill and harmony for the ROV, while continuing VSPF covert operations within the ROS.

In 1993, VNA observers deploy to Somalia with UN forces, and are present during the tragic actions that lead to the rapid US departure from the country.


1994.  VNA observers are present in Bosnia during the initial UN deployment and peacekeeping efforts, to include the establishment of US peace support operations in Macedonia, and Bosnia. Within the region, ROV continues its diplomatic, economic, cultural and covert VSPF operations in eastern Sowenia. ROS police officials begin reporting an increase in VG urban operations, but are not completely successful in tying the VSPF and ROV formally to VG operations.  Sowenia issues a stern public warning to the ROV about state-sponsored campaigns to destabilize the CASV.  Moldinov intensifies his pursuit for favorable diplomatic assistance from the UN by initiating an aggressive media campaign within the region and in New York.  The US initiates diplomatic dialogue between the two governments to defuse the situation and maintain regional stability. 


1997.  The ROS standardizes its Army organizational structure based upon territorial defense, with I (SO) Corps in the North and II (SO) Corps in the South. 





February. Relations between ROV and ROS begin to deteriorate.  Vilish-Sowenians in eastern Sowenia protest their "second-class citizenship" and lack of rights.  Concurrent to the incidents reported in the world press, ROV media and governmental bodies increase demands for IO/NGO and other regional organizations to assist the "victims" of ROS policy.  The VG increases direct action against "soft" targets throughout the CASV.  Two buildings in Regensburg are targeted; firebombs damage the city library and tourist office inflicting several casualties.  In Parsberg, a Vilish Mosque is defaced with graffiti with anti-Vilish slogans (now believed done by VG to purposely inflame the Vilish-Sowenian residents in the area). The US denounces all acts of ethnic violence.  The U.S. Secretary of State meets separately with representatives of both governments to establish a dialogue over ethnic differences.  State Department representatives meet discreetly with ROV foreign ministry officials in Prague regarding US objections and concerns regarding ROV attempts to destabilize the region.  ROV representatives angrily deny the accusations and plead their case in the Vilslakian press, complaining of US high-handedness and accuse the US of threatening ROV sovereignty.  The ROV Foreign Minister cuts short the bi-lateral talks and orders the State Department representatives out of the country.  The US responds by placing the ROV on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.





November. To combat increasing VG activity and to streamline security organization and operations, the ROS Interior Ministry reorganizes the federal police throughout the ROS into seven Special Police Districts (SPD).  The SPD generally follow historic regional boundaries within the ROS, but merge smaller locales into specific regional headquarters for centralized population control and communications.  The purpose of these SPDs is two-fold: in peacetime, function as the regional headquarters for standardizing police operations, and in a time of crisis, convert to Special Police Divisions, to maintain order within ROS and report to and provide the SNA intelligence and basic rear area protection.  The 9th SPD and 10th SPD share the responsibility of operating along the ROS/ROV border, based upon the role the BUNDESGRENZCHUTZ performs in Germany.  The SPD is armed with light weapons and side arms, and equipped with wheeled vehicles only.  It is not a military force, rather it is an organized police force. During peacetime, each district is organized into three to seven sub-districts, based upon city/counties within the region.  During a declared crisis or time of war, the Special Police Divisions reflect a structure of three to seven battalions, however their mission is not to fight, but to conduct interior security operations.  The SPD consists primarily of ethnic Sowenians, but does have minority Vilish representation primarily in the CASV.




May. The VG increases regional direct action under the direction of the VSPF.  The VG is reorganized into brigade-level commands.  The VG changes tactics by attacking both ethnic Sowenian and Vilish- Sowenian targets to increase the tension between the two ethnic groups.  Direct actions consist of terrorist attacks in rural areas striking at Sowenian military convoys and attacking both Sowenian and Vilish-Sowenian targets such as historical sites and ethnic education centers.  The ROS responds to the attacks against Sowenian targets by imposing a curfew on Vilish-Sowenian citizens and prohibiting Vilish-Sowenian clubs from meeting.  The ROV UN Ambassador makes claims of Sowenian atrocities in July.  An intense media campaign by the ROV to gather international support succeeds only in bringing traditional US adversaries to the forefront, and fails to energize official UN support for the ROV cause.  In October, the Sowenian National Police (SNP) begins official reprisals and jails ethnic leaders, bans ethnic clubs/activities and attempts to restrict historical teachings of the Islamic faith.  The US subsequently advises ROS against extreme measures against the Vils minority, which will only inflame the regional situation.  Relations between ROV and ROS begin to seriously deteriorate during this period.  Vilish-Sowenians in eastern Sowenia begin to violently protest the "prelude to ethnic cleansing."  Again, as these acts are reported in the world press -- ROV media and governmental bodies then increased demands of IO/NGO and other regional organizations to assist the "victims" of ROS policy. 


      2000 - 2001


May. The VNA restructures its army from its traditional Regimental system based upon the former Soviet organizational model into a Brigade system.  The decision to restructure creates significant turmoil within the VNA, resulting in Moldinov having to reestablish his power over the VNA.  Subsequently, training and readiness of VNA units is degraded for several months due to transition issues and reluctance by some VNA leaders to adhere to this major VNA organizational shift, which Moldinov personally directed.  Several key leaders in the Ministry of Defense are forced to resign their positions, and all officers were required to reaffirm their loyalty to Moldinov.  Likewise, several commanders at the tactical level readily grasp the new directives and concepts and are identified as fast track leaders and appointed to command positions.  Two combat commanders elevated to a fast-track command are appointed to command the 40th MID and the 4th IMIBR.  This group of capable officers take the transition a step further, arguing that even more flexibility is required, and by August 2001 propose a new, revised doctrine to combat any nation or coalition of nations asymmetrically.  President Moldinov approves the new doctrine and directs the Defense Ministry staff proceed with implementing the new doctrine, strategy and tactics immediately.




Dec 01. The Defense Ministry-level study group results in a major reorganization of VNA force structure and strategy, moving from the May 2000 reorganization from Regiments to Brigades, to a new organization based upon Tactical Groups.  The VNA reorganizes in a time of crisis from Army-level, into Operational Strategic Commands (OSC); from Divisions into Division Tactical Groups (DTG); and from Brigades, into Brigade Tactical Groups (BTG).  In addition to force restructuring, the new strategy promotes fighting potential enemies at their weak points, and avoiding direct confrontation with technologically superior forces.  The reorganization of the VNA is based upon five OSC's to accomplish both strategic campaign plans (SCP).  Two OSC's (2nd OSC and 5th OSC) are deployed along the ROV/Kolakia border in a defensive posture under SCP 1.  Two OSC's (1st OSC and 3rd OSC) are deployed along the ROV/ROS border in a defensive posture as well under SCP 2.  The lone uncommitted OSC, 4th OSC, is centered vicinity Prague, with an exploitation mission to either SCP 1 or SCP 2.  US Intelligence analysts believe the 4th OSC is the key to VNA intentions.  If it should deploy to the East, then the VNA intentions are to execute SCP 1.  Should 4th OSC commit to the West towards ROS then such a deployment would be considered a clear warning that the VNA intends to execute SCP 2.  During the fall and early winter of 2001, the VNA undergoes major reorganization and training using simulation exercises, and it is believed to achieve complete reorganization into the Tactical Group structure by July 2002.  Strategic intelligence reports the pace of training within the 4th OSC was very intense, particularly in the 40th DTG and the 4th BTG.  Reports of the reorganization, restructuring and training of the VNA is provided in extensive briefings to the ROS military and to USAREUR elements, however, reports are received with some skepticism within the ROS.  Many of the ROS military leaders do not believe the VNA would restructure from its regimental system to brigades, and then again into Tactical Groups so quickly. A tri-nation defense meeting is held with Krasnovia and Cortinia, the two non-aligned nations with extensive experience against the U.S., to exchange information about U.S. Armed Forces tactics.  The ROV then begins restructuring of VNA tactics, techniques and procedures.





Once the VNA reorganizes into the OSC structure, the VG Brigades reorganize as well.  In times of pre-conflict, the VG report to, and are controlled by VNA headquarters.  Once the VNA commits to wartime operations, the VG are affiliated to the appropriate VNA OSC and their direct actions are command and controlled by the VSPF constituent to the OSC headquarters.  As shown, the three VG Brigades are affiliated with the 1st, 3rd and 4th OSC accordingly.


Good Friday 31 Mar 2002. The Provocation.  75 "good" Vilish-Sowenians are killed in a Mosque bombing in Hohenburg, a town in eastern Sowenia with a majority Vilish population and city administration. The bombing occurs on a most holy Catholic day during the weekly Friday prayers, which creates great confusion regarding an unknown attack against the Muslims on a Christian holiday.  Incidentally, this is the oldest Vilish Mosque in existence in the central region, thus this attack is viewed in the ROV as tantamount to an attack upon the ROV itself.  A major media campaign is generated by the ROV Ministry of Information to enhance public support at home and within the international community.  Major news organizations from around the world and regional media descend upon eastern Sowenia to investigate the bombing and subsequent investigation by the SPD.  The ROS responds by investigating suspected VG, firing of many of the Vilish SPD officers, and jailing of known Vilish-Sowenian troublemakers.  The US response comes in the form of an Embassy announcement of support for freedom of worship for all peoples, deploring the violence and cautions against retaliation. Despite the ROS opposition to intervention, the US supports IO/NGO investigations.  At this point, tensions within the CASV and regionally begin to worsen.  The ROS attempts an even-handed response, but IO/NGO and media critics criticize ROS investigations as nothing more than a witch-hunt against the ROV and VILISH minority within the CASV.  The ROV response is to increase political and media pressure to punish the ROS and to demand that ROV peacekeepers be permitted to enter the CASV to protect Vilish-Sowenian citizens.  This call is soundly rejected by the ROS and the US.  Regional tensions again increase when Moldinov announces that his Defense Minister, Abramsov would meet with the Defense Council to propose military courses of action.






The Vilslakian Defense Council prepares a campaign plan to retake the CASV.  Moldinov approves the campaign plan, and personally issues mission directives to each OSC Commander as follows:


2nd OSC and 5th OSC.  Conduct security operations along the ROV/Kolakia border to prevent any violation of the  ROV.


1st OSC

. Task: Destroy I (SO) Corps between Bamberg and Nürnberg

. Purpose: Encircle Sowenians from the North prior to U.S. commitment and destroy military industry vic. Nürnberg.

3rd OSC

. Task: Destroy II (SO) Corps between Passau and Regensburg.

. Purpose: Seize LOC and Industrial sites vic Regensburg prior to U.S. commitment.

4th OSC

. Task: Follow 1st OSC and encircle II (SO) Corps.

. Purpose: Exploitation Force to encircle Sowenians and complete its destruction prior to U.S. commitment.

VG Brigades

.Task: Conduct disruption zone ops in peacetime ICW VSPF & VNA HQs, & ICW OSC in war.

.Purpose: Provide Intel reports and targeting, and conduct direct action against high value systems, CPs & Logistics ICW OSC command.





02 May. Based upon increasing tensions in the CASV, and perceptions of a hostile ROS response to provocations, the ROV ambassador to the UN asks for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council regarding approval for peacekeepers in the CASV.  After deliberation, the UN Security Council declines to approve either ROV peacekeepers or recommend third-country peacekeepers.  When denied, Moldinov berates the UN, the ROS and its supporters on CNN.  There are major demonstrations for intervention based upon the perceived "suffering of the Vilish-Sowenians" within the CASV.  Moldinov directs increased VSPF and VG actions, and discretely initiates mobilization to fill all OSC's to their authorized strength.  The US response is to continue supporting dialogue between all parties in the region.  The US recommends the European Union (EU) take the lead in managing this regional issue.  VSPF and VG direct action increases within CASV, concurrent with increased ROV diplomatic, political, media and economic pressure with all of its regional neighbors.  The EU begins deliberations of potential peacekeeping, and tasks its individual members to obtain national approval first.


03 May. U.S. State Department issues Worldwide Travel Caution. (See Enclosure 1)


10 Jun. After a significant increase in political and media pressure, and sustained VSPF/VG activities, the GOS requests US assistance to maintain regional stability.  The EU responds with support from Germany.  The Bundeswehr decides to deploy the 10th Panzer Division (10PZ) into the region, but only as far as INGOLSTADT, with a task of securing a potential ISB, with the purpose of providing force protection for potential deploying EU or other NATO troops.  Initial 10PZ elements deploy into the ISB on 16 Jun, and close 1 Jul. 


02 Jul. The ROV completes augmentee mobilization of all five OSC's. 1st OSC and 3rd OSC begin combined arms training at local training areas.  2nd OSC and 5th OSC continue to mobilize and increase patrols and observation of the ROV/Kolakia border.  The 4th OSC conducts gunnery training near Prague, but has not indicated any threat or movement towards either West or East, thus there are no clear intentions of VNA strategic decisions.  Moldinov is interviewed in Prague by CNN and states that increased repercussions by the SPD on the peace-loving Vilish peoples in the CASV (in reality caused by increased VG activity) justifies ROV mobilization in case of a potential peacekeeping requirements within the CASV.  EUCOM initiates CONPLAN development for possible deployment into the AOR.


01 Aug.  The UN Security Council denies the ROV authority to conduct peacekeeping operations in the CASV, yet approves NATO peacemaking efforts.  The ROV UN Ambassador walks out of the UN, and tells CNN that the ROV cannot be denied its lawful right to defend its citizens in the CASV.  Following this incident, the President directs US Forces to prepare for a possible evacuation of American citizens (AMCITS) from AOR.  JCS directs EUCOM to develop a CONPLAN for the evacuation of AMCITS from the ROS.  US Department of State issues Public Announcement for CASV. (See Enclosure 2).


03 Aug. VG members blocked a number of roads in the REGENSTAUF area, including all the roads to the airport in BODENWÖHR.  The airport was closed by the blockades.  Many people in the REGENSTAUF area were prevented from moving freely in and out of the area.  Some tourists were stopped and forcibly detained by the VG at the blockade near the entrance to the airport.  There were no reports of any injuries, but tourists were not allowed to leave the blockaded areas for about 36 hours.


15 Aug. The EU and US continue last minute diplomacy and increased media pressure to enlist international support for defusing the regional situation peacefully.  The VNA completes all transitions from peacetime Field Army structure to Operational Strategic Command structure; however, it continues to hide intentions regarding the 4th OSC.  US Diplomatic efforts increase while simultaneously; EUCOM units conduct CONPLAN CPX at home station.


13 Sep. VNA 1st OSC and 3rd OSC deploy to forward assembly areas just east of the ROS/ROV border.  4th OSC begins discrete deployment to the West, traveling in small units and speeds slow enough to stay below the movement threshold of US electronic sensors.  VG activities within CASV surprisingly become discreet.  ROS authorities become confused, and direct the ROS military to initiate immediate defensive measures in garrison.



20 Sep. US identifies movement of 4th OSC to the West as a potential exploitation force, and provides this information to the ROS.  Based upon this information, I (SO) and II (SO) Corps deploy forward into defensive positions to augment Sowenian Police Divisions and counter provocative moves by the VNA.  EUCOM directs ARFOR to deploy an advance party into the ISB.  10PZ secures the ISB at INGOLSTADT.


27 Sep.  VNA 1st OSC and 3rd OSC move into attack positions near the border and initiate radio silence.  Initial ARFOR elements arrive in ISB.  US advises the ROS of likely ROV attack within 2 to 3 weeks.  ARFOR conducts mission rehearsal for Airborne Assault and NEO.  VG activities continue to target ROS government facilities.




1 Worldwide Caution


2. Public Announcement















































Enclosure 1


This is for exercise use only.


US State Department Travel Advisory


Worldwide Caution (May 3, 2002)


This Worldwide Caution supersedes the previous Worldwide Caution of March 17 to alert Americans to the need to remain vigilant during the upcoming summer season and to remind them of the continuing threat of terrorist actions which may target civilians and include suicide operations.  This Worldwide Caution expires on October 1.

            The U.S. Government continues to receive credible indications that extremist individuals are planning additional terrorist actions against U.S. interests.  Such actions may be imminent and include suicide operations.  We have no further information on specific targets, timing or method of attack.  We remind American citizens to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

            Terrorist groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets.  Recent attacks on worshippers at a church and synagogue and a mosque underline the growing possibility that as security is increased at official U.S. facilities, terrorists and their sympathizers will seek softer targets.  These may include facilities where Americans are generally known to congregate or visit, such as clubs, restaurants, and places of worship, schools or outdoor recreation events.  Americans should increase their security awareness when they are at such locations, avoid them, or switch to other locations where Americans in large numbers generally do not congregate.   American citizens may be targeted for kidnapping. 
            U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert.  These facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time to review their security posture and ensure its adequacy.  In those instances, U.S. Embassies and Consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to American citizens.  Americans are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. 
            As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to Americans overseas, it will share with them credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents.  These documents are available on the Internet at  In addition to information on the Internet, U.S. travelers may hear recorded information by calling the Department of State in Washington, D.C. at 202-647-5225 from their touch-tone telephone, or receive information by automated telefax by dialing 202-647-3000 from their fax machine.
            Department of State travel information and publications are available at Internet address: U.S. travelers may hear recorded information by calling the Department of State in Washington, D.C. at 202-647-5225 from their touchtone telephone, or receive information by automated telefax by dialing 202-647-3000 from their fax machine.





This is for exercise use only.








Enclosure 2.


This is for exercise use only.  Format has been taken from the US State Department Travel Warning Page.



September 1, 2002



Office of the Spokesman

Contested Area of Sowenian-Vilslakia (CASV)

September 2002

This Public Announcement is being issued to alert American citizens to the possibility of civil disturbances in the CASV region if diplomatic efforts to ease the tensions between the ROS and ROV are not successful.  This Announcement expires on October 31, 2002.


·        In early August, VG members blocked a number of roads in the REGENSTAUF area, including all the roads to the airport in BODENWÖHR. The airport was closed by the blockades. Many people in REGENSTAUF area were prevented from moving freely in and out of the area. Some tourists were stopped and forcibly detained by the VG at the blockade near the entrance to airport.  There were no reports of any injuries, but tourists were not allowed to leave the blockaded areas for about 36 hours.

·        The VG released all of the tourists after the ROS agreed in negotiations to not detain or arrest the VG.

·        Although the U.S. Embassy is not prohibiting U.S. Citizens from traveling to the CASV at this time, at least one planned tourist trip of U.S. government employees has been cancelled due to security concerns. University-sponsored educational tour groups are encouraged to review local security prior to venturing into remote areas and advise the US Embassy of their intentions and provide contact information for all participants.  Until further notice, American citizens visiting or residing in Sowenia or Vilslakia should monitor local media reports to see if there is protest activity that justifies suspension of travel, especially in the affected area of the CASV and all roads leading into that area.


For further information on travel to Sowenia or Vilslakia, please consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet, available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at The US Consulate in Sowenia is located in München at 7-01 Wahlstrasse.  The US Consulate in Vilslakia is located in Prague at 8-02 Danielallee. 


This is for exercise use only.  Format has been taken from the US State Department Travel Warning Page.

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