Bergonia's Foreign Relations, Past and Present




Current Foreign Relations

The United States

George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are utterly reviled by the Bergonian public. The foreign policy establishment believes that the current Republican regime in Washington is aggressive, untrustworthy, and disconnected from reality.  Thus Bergonia regards the U.S. now with measured fear.  

Bergonia and the United States obviously have very different social and economic systems.  The United States has in the past tried to make Bergonia a pariah, for both racist and anti-socialist purposes, but because Bergonia has never attempted to invade other countries or point missiles at the U.S., and because Bergonia and the U.S. are geographically so close to each other, they have worked hard to normalize relations, ever since the 1931-34 Revolution. 

Thus, the Democratic Commonwealth has been able to get along with every U.S. administration until now.

The US and the Democratic Commonwealth have evolved treaties concerning extradition, air travel, naval protocols, military early warning, insurance, law of the sea, claims, telecommunications, and just about every other subject that two neighboring states can have.  Traditionally the Bergonian president invites every new American president to meet in a summit.  In 1977, while Jimmy Carter was president, the two countries signed a treaty of mutual non-aggression and perpetual peace, largely symbolic, but very much appreciated by the Bergonians. In 1976, for the American Bicentennial, Bergonia offered to build in Miami a grand Spire of Unity, to commemorate the peaceful coming together of the world's races and cultures.  This imitated France's gift of the Statue of Liberty in 1876. Many students from one nation attend college in the other.  They both benefit from a lot of scientific and technical exchange.

But there is a very bad side to "Bergo-American" relations.  In colonial times nearly all Europeans, wherever they were, entertained the evil conceit of race superiority and looked down on the dark-skinned Bergonians.  But no majority white nation embraced racism with the fervor and dedication of the United States, thanks to the history of slavery.  America's racism has tainted all relations with Bergonia.  Until the last twenty years, the United States had never allowed the immigration of Bergonians, except as indentured or slave labor in colonial times,   Now very few Bergonians have any interest in immigrating to the US, except for Hollywood, to play baseball, or to study.  Only in the last twenty years have Bergonian restaurants become popular in the US, primarily because (unlike much of what else passes for ethnic cooking in the U.S.) it is healthy, offers vegetarian dishes, and not too spicy.  American racism toward ethnic atrei Bergonians remained explicit until the last thirty years.  Since WWII American conservatives have vilified Bergonia's revolution and treated her hostilely, with all their typical invective.  Bergonians, for their part, have become extremely resentful of American power and contemptuous of US culture.

Relations with the current Bush administration are not good.  President Cuolimei, at a press conference in August 2004, described relations with the U.S. as "routinely functional in the day to day matters, but otherwise a cold fish."  Cuolimei and most other Bergonian politicians have actively denounced the Bush doctrine of preemption, the refusal to sign the Kyoto Treaty and the International Court of Justice accord, and the overall hypocrisy permeating all U.S. foreign policy under Bush.  In front of the UN General Assembly in September 2002 Cuolamei of Bergonia called the Bush administration "dishonest and feckless, as if devoid of principles. 

Finally, in December 2005 Cuolamei's foreign minister, Ricorei Iorimanei, said in a press conference, "It seems they are unmasking themselves, as time goes on, exposing themselves to be a group of fascists."  When asked if he was calling the Bush administration fascist, he answered, "I'll get in trouble for this, but they are most certainly acting like a bunch of militarized freedom-hating fascists."  This of course raised the predictable public flap on American talk radio and squawk television.

If Bergonia really existed, no doubt that the various generations of American conservatives, from Manifest Destiny imperialists, to post-WWI respectable middle-class KKK members, to McCarthy and his witch-hunters, all the way to today's deluded Neo-Cons, would all argue that Bergonia needed to be "dealt with" in some way or another, and at the very least there would have been a lot of bellicose posturing against Bergonia over the years.  

As discussed below, Bergonia has consistently denounced the US and UK for the invasion of Iraq, though it supported the invasion of Afghanistan.

The Middle East

At first Bergonia had good relations with Israel, feeling empathy with the socialistic kibbutzim.  But when Israel drove the Palestinians off their land, Bergonia shifted its tilt.  The 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank & Gaza and the subsequent colonization of the West Bank & Gaza quite plainly sparked the subsequent wave of Palestinian counter-terror.  Had the Palestinians adopted more civilized methods of resisting Israel, Bergonia would have more quickly embraced their cause.  But Bergonia has always insisted that Israel return the occupied territories, and has nearly always voted with the Palestinians in the UN. 

The election of Likud, the increased Israeli settlement of the occupied territories, the emaciation of the Palestinian communities there, and the invasion of Lebanon all have thoroughly alienated Bergonia from Israel.  In the past two decades Bergonians has come to see Israel standing on a moral plane lower than the Palestinians.  While the Palestinians have forfeited much of their ethical position with despicable terrorist acts-- which Bergonia roundly condemns-- Bergonians generally distinguish between the aggrieved Palestinian nation and those among them who embrace bloody, fruitless terror.  They understand the need to continue resisting an intentional aggressor consciously intent on permanently emasculating them.   The Israelis started the duel, and now claimed to be aggrieved when the Palestinians reacted with its own brand of brutality.  Israel continues stealing from the Palestinians their land, water and lives, and should not claim the moral high ground when the people whose future they steal react with anger and hatred.  The U.S.'s rigid, unconditional support for Israel deeply offends Bergonia.  Bergonian governments have repeatedly stated that it will never move its embassy to Jerusalem until it can build two embassies there.  Nevertheless, Bergonian police and intelligence have at times cooperated with the U.S. and Israel in tracking and pursuing Palestinian and Pro-Palestinian terrorists.

Bergonia has enjoyed good relationships with most Arab and Islamic states, particularly Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, and sporadically with Algeria and Libya. The Islamic world greatly appreciates Bergonian intervention on behalf of Bosnia's Muslims.


Bergonia has often provided France with a dance partner whenever Gaullist ambition has sought to make the US jealous.  Now that Bush has alienated so much of European opinion, there is renewed interest in Bergonia as a counterweight to the U.S.  Overall Bergonia has generally enjoyed much better relations with Western Europe than it has with the US, although the unilateral decision to invade Bosnia-Herzegovina caused friction, but though the Europeans resented an external power stepping into their realm, the European public applauded the result and secretly the Europeans were glad that someone was willing to do the dirty work of clearing out the Serbs.

Bergonia has developed a set of protocols with the European Union to guarantee smooth trade.  Bergonian experts & technocrats (usually representatives of the syndicates) confer regularly with E.U. technocrats in developing uniform standards, and Bergonia has modeled some of its own regulations after the E.U.  Bergonia is a natural trading partner for Europe, and there have been discussions about some sort of a special trade relationship, but Bergonians generally believe that free trade cannot exist between capitalist economies and a socialist economy without a set of "filters" to protect the latter from the former.  So while trade between Bergonia & the E.U. is generally free of tariffs and duties, but subject to all sorts of controls.  Many Europeans complain about the vigor with which France protects and subsidizes its farmers (as does Japan), but Bergonians do not care, since they regard the health of special sectors of the economy something worth subsidizing.  France subsidizes its grain farmers and vintners, while the U.S. subsidizes its weapons contractors-- which is worse?

This is in part because

(a) the currency of the socialist country is not something that  is susceptible to free market trading against capitalist currencies,

(b) stable & balanced prices structures in the socialist economy should not be subject to fluctuations of international commodity markets,

(c) the socialist economy should not risk being flooded by cheap mass produced capitalist crap,

(d) a syndicalist-socialist-ecological economy is based on local production, to assure a minimum of transportation of goods, so that autarky becomes sound policy.

The "Developing World" or "Third World"

Bergonia repeatedly deplores the way the industrialized nations exploit the third world-- child labor, slave wages, slave work conditions, nurtured dependency on First World largesse and patronage.  Bergonia supports forgiveness of Third World debt.  Bergonia regularly condemns IMF and World Bank policies and will not have anything to do with them.  Instead Bergonia has its own programs of direct assistance, loans and grants for developing nations.


Bergonia has for decades condemned all Red Star socialist regimes for their intolerance of dissent and suppression of religion.  Bergonians, however, generally regard Cuba as the mildest of the red-star states, certainly far more benign and ideologically consistent than China-- which capitalist countries now embrace.  Cuban-Bergonian cultural exchanges are frequent and informal, but Cuba is still nervous about letting its nationals travel freely to Bergonia, since Bergonia will accept Cuban dissidents as political refugees deserving permanent residency status.

Bergonia sides with Cuba in the face of America's grossly unfair blockade.  Bergonia and Cuba enjoy warm fraternal relations and open trade.  This has greatly irritated the United States.  Begonia has suffered some losses in trade with the United States because of the ridiculous Helms-Burton Act, but has stuck to its principles. 


Bergonians entertained great interest in China's Communist revolution as it unfolded, and many Bergonian journalists and intellectuals traveled there.  When China broke with Moscow in 1965, China and Bergonia quickly warmed up to each other.  Their growing relationship alarmed both Washington and Moscow.  But it was a brief flirtation. 

The Cultural Revolution exploded China, and the violent excesses alarmed the staid, civil Bergonians.  Bergonia was then just beginning a new revolutionary wave of its own-- the "Greening."  The new flush of idealism allowed Bergonians to recover their traditional abhorrence for Red Star totalitarianism.  Any respect that Bergonian socialists still had for the Chinese Communist Party by 1989 was destroyed by the Tiananmen Massacre.

After Tiananmen, Bergonians began routinely denounce Chinese suppression of Tibetans and other national minorities, Chinese slave labor and labor abuses, suppression of religion and free expression, and the betrayal of socialism.  Bergonians import very few Chinese manufactured goods to begin with.  A series of meetings of syndicates and legislative councils concluded in the early 1990s that Bergonia as a matter of political policy would not actively seek much trade with China.

But the big rupture in relations with China occurred when the Bergonian government began to equivocate on the Taiwan issue.  In October 1999 the Chinese recalled its ambassador from Lefitoni after a ministerial position paper recommended a review of the "One China" policy.  the paper contained findings that "over the last century enough convergence has occurred between Taiwan and the mainland as to permit the possibility of national divergence, or fission.  In such circumstances, the only appropriate remedy is democratic consultation.  Now the Chinese government limits formal contacts with Bergonia and regularly denounces the Bergonian government. 

Nevertheless, on a strategic level, the two nations have a trusting back-alley avenue of communication.  The two leaderships, for all their differences, have trusted each other.  They share similar perspectives on the US, and they do trade intelligence. 

Bergonian socialist theorists in the last three decades have dismissed the Chinese Revolution as essentially an anti-feudal quasi-bourgeoisie event, like the Russian Revolution three decades earlier.  They find it ironic that these revolutions found it necessary to employ socialist labels and trappings, though in both form and essence the resulting regimes differ little from fascism.    


In 1990 Bergonia joined the rest of the world in denouncing Saddam's invasion of Kuwait.  Bergonia endorsed Desert Shield and Desert Storm and became part of the Coalition.  It was a rare occasion for US-Bergonian cooperation.  Bergonia contributed 8,000 men, something more than a token.  The US did not want too many Bergonians, since they were not operationally compatible with US command, and the 8,000 worked primarily in logistics, support and technical roles.  

During the Clinton administration, however, Bergonia questioned the efficacy and the humanity of the U.N. sponsored boycott.  Bergonia then denounced George W. Bush's unnecessary saber-rattling against Iraq.  Bush's remarks about the "axis of evil" struck the Bergonians as plain stupid and more than a little scary.  In April 2002 President Cuolamei in a press conference stated that Bush's "attitude about Iraq is something other than rational."  

Reagan's man, the monster dumbass Donald Rumsfeld, shakes Satan's hand, 1983, when negotiating the importation of materials needed for poison gas production.

Bergonia vehemently opposed George W. Bush's invasion of  Iraq. In 2002 Berg declared that it opposed any US move on Iraq without UN approval.  Bergonia consistently believes that all nations subject to UN resolutions should abide by them.  For this reason Bergonia joined the demands that Iraq readmit weapons inspectors without conditions.  But Bergonia criticized the US justification for war based on UN resolutions by noting that the US's close ally, Israel, has violated many UN resolutions with US complicity.  Throughout the summer and fall of 2002 Bergonian leaders repeatedly asked why now Bush felt compelled to make demands on Iraq.  In his address before the UN General Assembly President Cuolamei openly accused Bush of "bad faith."  

It is ironic that Bush's supporters pointed out Bergonia's very own intervention in the Bosnian Civil War as a precedent justifying the invasion. 

After September 2002 Bergonia mirrored the French position that new UN resolutions were needed.  Bergonia also urged Iraq to disarm, and to allow the return of inspectors, but also supported an end to sanctions if Iraq did so.  In January & February 2003 Bergonia supported the French position opposing an invasion of Iraq.  Bergonia then restricted U.S. military flights over its territory, which it had allowed in the 1991 war.  In January 2003 Colin Powell made the case for military confrontation in a speech before the UN General Assembly.  In response the President of Bergonia gave a speech in which he accused the US of "exaggeration, insincerity and bad faith." 

Bergonia harshly denounced the United States after the invasion began.  Bergonia always made it clear that Saddam Hussein's regime was a horror, but found the unprovoked attack and the Bush doctrine of "preemptive strike" a terrible excuse for gross imperialism.  Relations with the Bush Administration are now quite cold, as Bergonians now openly gloat over the failure to find even a speck of WMD.  It was generally understood by everyone in 2004 that the vast majority of Bergonians, including the leadership, hoped that John Kerry would defeat George W. Bush.

In the Autumn of 2003 the Bergonians offered to send a large humanitarian mission to Iraq, but Bush rebuffed the overture.  Since then Bergonia has offered nothing for Iraq, figuring that the US must pay for what the US broke.  Bergonia is not displeased to see the US military overstretched and bogged down.


Bergonia has greatly irritated the US by its qualified support of the Iranian Revolution of 1979.  Bergonia condemned the hostage-taking that consumed Jimmy Carter, and tried to broker a settlement, but recognized what happened in Iran as a legitimate, popular revolution. 

Bergonia backed Iran when Iraq attacked, and the two nations have maintained fairly good relations on all levels since, and Bergonia buys all the oil it needs from Iran. 

Though Americans refuse to recognize it, Iran has a limited but functioning republican (not democratic) government that now holds contested elections, although the regime's brutality and the refusal by fundamentalist clerics to give up power has greatly perturbed Bergonia.  America denounces Iran for these reasons too, but many of America's allies maintain far worse human rights records (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, China).

Currently, in early 2006, Bergonia is virtually the only non-Muslim country inclined to support Iran in the confrontation over its ambiguous development of nuclear power. 

Bergonians dismiss as ridiculous and paranoid most of the reasons given for why Iran should not have nuclear weapons.  President Cuolamei has consistently stated that Iran has legitimate concerns over American "encirclement." given American deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and the naval deployments off Iran's coast.  He has stated repeatedly that the West has applied a double standard in not opposing acquisition of the bomb by Israel, India or Pakistan.  Cuolamei has stated that Iran should receive security guarantees from the United States in exchange for a step-down from development of nuclear weaponry.  Cuolamei is not the first Bergonian president to offer to mediate between the U.S. and Iran.

However, relations remain strained between Bergonia and Iran over human rights issues.  Moreover, the prevailing opinion among the diplomatic corps is that continued Iranian rigidity, rhetoric and duplicity have contributed to its poor standing among the world's nations, and Bergonians continue to counsel restraint during consultations.


Pakistan has characteristically tilted toward the US and China, neither of which have been Bergonian allies.  India has been truly non-aligned.  Against this backdrop, it has been rather inevitable that India and Bergonia would become friends.  Bergonia highly respects Indian democracy, which stands out like a beacon among third world countries.  For decades Bergonia and India have enjoyed warm, fraternal relations.


No nation protested American military involvement in Vietnam more than Bergonia.  Nothing has symbolized American superpower arrogance to the Bergonians more than the Vietnam War.  Since 1975 Bergonia has enjoyed very good relations and abundant trade with Vietnam.

Black Africa

Bergonia has in the last 15 years supported African countries with a great river of aid.  It has always tried to get African countries to allow Bergonian NGOs to distribute aid directly on the local level.  However, anyone involved in African affairs must recognize the pervasiveness of corruption.  

Bergonia has its own version of the Peace Corps, called International Service Corps, also known as the Helping Hand, which targets Africa, sending thousands of volunteers there annually.

Bergonia has sponsored and helped finance a University of Africa, headquartered in Domala, on the coast in Cameroon, with campuses in eleven African countries, mainly Francophone Africa, to help develop a class of professionals and technicians, and to generate African solutions to African problems.  The University also performs medical research on diseases prevalent in Africa, field studies and research on environmental and agricultural issues, with an emphasis on promoting indigenous crops and setting aside wilderness.  The University conducts research to develop solar power, ethanol and biomass solutions to Africa's technical needs.  The University of Africa also promotes Radio Africa that offers music, news, jokes and health & farming tips.  The Helping Hand gives away radios in rural Africa.

Bergonian aid programs have otherwise concentrated recently on developing infrastructure, particularly wireless and satellite based communications systems.  In former decades Bergonia helped several countries develop major highway and railroad arteries.  Bergonia is especially close to Cameroon, Gabon, Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania, Eritrea, Ghana, Mali and Senegal, in addition to South Africa.  Its navy is welcome in many African ports.  

Bergonia actively opposed the Apartheid regime in South Africa and was the first country to order a total trade boycott.  Bergonia's president in 1981 stated that he would consider launching a war against the Apartheid government if the ANC requested it.  Bergonia now stands as a great close friend to the new South Africa.

National Intelligence

There are in essence three national police forces, each of whom operates as collectors of domestic intelligence.  The jurisdictions are prescribed by  Art. 4, Sec. 6(c). These are the Commonwealth Police, the Environmental Police and the Coast Guard which has authority to act as the customs and border police.

The agency charged with both foreign intelligence and counter-espionage operations at home is the Consolidated Intelligence and Security Service (CISS), with a number of distinct divisions.  One of these divisions is a law enforcement agency, called the Security Protection Agency, charged with treason and national security crimes.  CISS has not been without controversy over the years-- covert power in any society attracts the same sort of abuses.

The military's Active Intelligence Command (see below) gathers intelligence from satellites and communication interceptions.  The military also maintains a military police force.

All these agencies may share information under Commonwealth law.  These agencies designated as "law enforcement" agencies may and do make arrests and prepare cases for prosecution.  The non-law-enforcement agencies may provide information or "tips," but all criminal prosecutions, including grounds for warrants, must be supported by legally obtained evidence, even if by an intelligence officer in a non-law-enforcement agency.

All these agencies fall under the purview of the National Security Council, a legislative council operating under law.  One third the members are member of congress and the others are representatives of the agencies, including the military agency.  Congress also has an Intelligence Review Committee, consisting purely of delegates, that audits and requires briefings from the agencies. 

The Bergonian Military

Comparative References:  Global Security profile of the U.S. Military,

Federation of American Scientists Guide to American Weaponry

Hazegray World Navies & Naval History

Why Such a Large Military?

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed; those who are cold and are not clothed" --Dwight Eisenhower, 1960.

There are many wonderful things about the United States of America.  Its people have produced unexcelled genius, and they have given so much to the world, but their ruling elites are mortally dangerous to all the other nations and peoples of the world.  Time after time the United States has meddled in the affairs of other countries, too often with guns and bombs.  We live next to the country that tried to rule Central America as a colony for a century, and more recently run by the Dulles interventionists, the Nixonites, self-righteous Reagan and now the Bush Gang, all with the world's largest and most aggressive military.  With such a neighbor, it would be crazy for Bergonia not to have a large armed force.  --President Amon Cuolamei, 2003.   

This argument never goes away, since the prevailing ideologies endorse pacifism.  But no government since the revolution has deviated from the policy of militarism.  Bergonia has the third largest blue water navy in the world and the fourth largest air force, and the taxpayers sometimes resort to pacifist rationales for expressing their frustration.

The plain, simple fact is that Bergonians are afraid of the United States.  Military doctrine regards the United States as the foremost potential enemy in any future war, and mandates a force sufficiently capable of both defensive and offensive to deter the U.S. from any aggression.

Another rationale for the large military is that it serves more functions than in some other countries.  The military is now formally charged with first response in disaster situations, and has become adept at airlifting emergency supplies and commencing temporary make-shift services.  In a Hurricane Katrina situation, the entire military would have been immediately mobilized to invade Louisiana to establish an emergency transportation and communications network.

Commonwealth law also authorizes the President to authorize the military to engage in emergency law enforcement operations, carefully limited by the law to circumstances of riot and mass civil disturbance, hunting fugitives in dragnets, restoring order in prisons and work camps, and hunting down pirates and criminals at sea. 

A Summary:

The military includes about 740,000 active members, plus 400,000 naval reservists and 200,000 "Peoples Guard," thus constituting one of the largest institutions in the country.  The military forces are rather ubiquitous, with garrisons and forts in many cities and towns. 


The language employed by all branches of the military is French.  Every recruit and draftee is taught French, and most are exposed to English as well, especially .  People refer to the Service Armé

Supreme Command

The President appoints the Defense Minister, a civilian, whom he can remove at will.  The President also appoints an advisory military council, comprised of senior generals appointed by the President, plus a number of civilian specialists, and a General Military Commander who is at the top of the chain of command.

Rather than redundant "branches of service" as in the U.S., there is a single command structure, a single system of ranks, uniforms and insignia, a single budget, a single set of support services, e.g. recruitment, personnel records, and medical services.  The GMC also has a lot of "staff commands" under him, including the war planning office, the national war college and the national military archive.  Everyone in the General Military Command wears formal charcoal-grey uniforms and informal light greys.

There is a flexible "modular" approach to operational command.  If an operation requires naval, air and ground "assets," the appropriate units are drawn from the Navy, the Air Forces, the Ground Forces and the other "standing commands" and assembled under an ad hoc "mission command." 

There are the "standing commands" under the GMC.

1.  The Logistics and Service Command

This includes a unified system of logistics, including a single system of procurement, a single network of distributions of food, supplies, equipment and weaponry to the entire military.  All other sectors depends upon this command, and since everyone  knows that "an army crawls on its stomach," this section is always referred to as the "First Command."  The LSC also includes responsibility for a single system of telecommunications, including the "military telephone service."  Khaki uniforms with gold and dark blue trim.

2.  The Active Intelligence Command 

monitors all foreign and domestic radio, radar, satellite and aircraft presence in the coastal and regional waters and airspace.  This service has the responsibility of detecting incoming trouble and alerting all the other defense forces.  The AIC maintains an integrated network of radar installations and air defense direction centers throughout the country known as the Air Defense Ground Network.  In the late 1970s, the system was modernized and augmented with early-warning aircraft able to operate over the oceans, thus expanding the range of the system.  

The next major improvement to the AIC early warning system was the the system of spy satellites Bergonia put into orbit in the 1980s.  The Bergonian military finally agreed with the Harmony Party proposal to open the live-time intelligence to the world, for huge royalties, so that if some huge explosion goes off in the middle of China, the subscribers the world over can immediately see.

AIC also operates the primary functions of military intelligence, although it hardly has a monopoly in this area, monitoring other nations' transmissions, photographing their facilities and deployments, stealing military secrets and analyzing data.  AIC also piggybacks agents and observers with other active units, for the purpose of providing direct and immediate intelligence upward to the top, bypassing chains of command.  AIC wears grey uniforms with amber trim.

3.  The Navy

Overall, Bergonia's fleet is comparable in size to the present Russian Navy, and comparable in applied technology to the American or British navies.  Its primary missions are to (a) secure the waters in the North Atlantic and the "Western Waters" surrounding Bergonia, and keep the sea lanes open to Bergonian and world shipping, (b) provide the "second  line" of defense against an attack or invasion of Bergonia (the "first" being missile and forward air defense), (c) and transport offensive units to other lands if necessary.

The naval forces include about 200,000 active duty personnel, and 400,000 reservists who rotate on and off of ships. These numbers don't include the air pilots or aviation workers working on aircraft carriers and naval bases, who come under the Air Command, and does not include coastal defense. 

All branches of the Navy wear grey uniforms with blue and white and occasionally gold trim.  There are darker formal gray uniforms, and then light grays and whites for more informal purposes.  No Bergonian uniforms involve the "naval stripes" or the broad collars, bows or other neck apparel so often seen in other nations' naval uniforms.

Bergonia has always had a large navy, long before the Revolution that soured relations with the United States, largely to counterbalance the naval strength of the UK.  It is not any longer particularly threatening to the US that Bergonia has such a large navy, just has the Bergonians are less threatened by the great American war machine all around them. 

Following its own traditions originating in the 1780s (and imitating the British tradition), the Navy consists of three fleets, the "Fleet of the Blue Flag," the "Fleet of the Gold Flag" and the "Fleet of the Red Flag."  Each fleet is a fully self-sufficient naval command, with a full compliment of fighting assets. 

The fleets divide among themselves these assets:

a)  In October 2005-- right on schedule, for a rare change in large weapon procurement-- Bergonia's navy commissioned its most recent aircraft carrier, the Edouard Mansour.  Now Bergonia has six solar-powered aircraft carrier (compared to the U.S.'s eleven carriers).  These vessels are the core of the navy and the essential component to any offensive action.  The aircraft carriers are capable of launching various classes of fighter aircraft and fighter-bomber attack aircraft, and numerous classes of helicopters.  Two carriers are assigned to the far-ocean Blue Fleet, and one each to the Gold and Red Fleets.  The two remaining carriers, the Nisoran, Minidun meaning the Defiant. and  the Edouard Mansour, rotate through the fleets on a mission-contingent basis.   

b)  Six frigate-sized helicopter carriers with a complement of eighteen AH-5 attack helicopters (equivalent to the Apache), and the smaller SH series helicopters designed for use in antisubmarine, patrol and mine warfare operations, as well as limited land warfare operations.  The United States has no equivalent vessels, although several European countries maintain a few designated helicopter carriers.  

c)  Regiments of submarines, both nuclear and non-nuclear.  Below read more about Bergonia's decision to cease wasting money on nuclear submarines.

d)  A total of sixty-four destroyers, each arrayed with its own combinations of (1) missile batteries and (2) artillery capabilities, as well as (3) launch capacities for various classes of helicopters and (4) the Hummingbird class of vertical take-off fixed wing aircraft.  These are the meat and potatoes of the naval force.

e)  Independent brigades of secondary craft, including (1) frigates and other escort and transport ships, (2) mine warfare craft, including mine-sweepers, (3) patrol craft, and (4) amphibious craft. 

The Navy's three fleets:

The mission of the Blue Fleet, also called the Northern Fleet is to defend Bergonia's interests in North Atlantic, European and Mediterranean waters.  The Northern Fleet is headquartered at Comleta, with additional home ports at Rantan in Calpia, and at St. Laurent and Courbourg both in Pasiana.  The fleet provides home ports for nuclear and non-nuclear submarines, as well forty-seven principal surface combatants,  The naval aviation contingent includes a complement of twenty Su-39 fixed-wing aircraft and ten antisubmarine warfare helicopters on board the aircraft carrier Permado Acuila.

The mission of
the Gold Fleet, also called the "Far Waters Fleet" is the true Blue Water Navy that penetrates the Indian and Pacific Oceans.  The blue-water striking power of the Gold Fleet lies in its thirty-four nuclear and non-nuclear submarines and forty-nine principal surface combatants, as well as two aircraft carriers, the Kirshe, named for the ancient storm god, and the Michel Peislei, named for the Republic's first president.  It includes an assortment of escort vessels, including a number of fuel tankers.  The Gold Fleet is based at Glen, Midway and Lilian, all close together on Bergonia's eastern coastlines. 

The mission of the Red Fleet, also called the Southern  Fleet, is to protect Bergonia against the United States and protect Bergonian access to the the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, including the Panama Canal.  It is headquartered in Harler-Bathilicon.  It includes the aircraft carrier Amareia, a Nacateca name meaning the Sea-Beast.

4.  The Land Forces

All land-based forces, including infantry, armor, marines, airborne fighters and home guard, are all organized under the Land Forces Command. 

4.1  The Home Army

The Home Army, consisting of the majority of Bergonia's infantry, a total of 150,000 active duty soldiers in nine divisions (each divided into battalions)  and eleven independent brigades.  Doctrine designates the Home Army to serve as the nation's all-purpose military muscle and firepower, both in defending the homeland against a highly improbable invasion or in any foreign offensive campaign.  In defense they will produce the first large-scale response to any invasion on the beaches and then fight inland if necessary.  In any foreign offense, the Home Army will follow in behind the marines & airborne units and take over the establishment of an offensive front. 

The Home Army wears khaki and brown uniforms, with dark-red and gold trim.

The Home Army is also trained now to conduct (a) peace-keeping missions abroad, as well as (b) humanitarian aid airlift operations.

The Home Army consists of:

two armored divisions, 

seven infantry divisions, 

one helicopter brigade with twenty-four squadrons, 

three training brigades, 

one artillery brigade, 

three mobile air defense brigades consisting of  antiaircraft artillery and missiles.

an antitank helicopter brigade.

two engineering brigades.

4.2  The Peoples Guard 

The local militias, organized on the county levels, have their own command structures and democratic self-rule, with independent budgets, but still under the uniform system of military control and command.  These 200,000 Guardsmen are Berg's civilian-soldiers.  Each man and woman give approx. 48 days a year, distributed to work as adjutants (e.g. like journeymen) to active duty-units in technical and combat assignments.  But of course they are subject to active-duty. and many were called up during the Bosnia Intervention.  

The Guard has an egalitarian structure, consisting only of "chiefs," technical chiefs called "specialists," "band leaders" and "guardsmen."  Many internal promotions are made and most internal problems are solved only after meetings of all the affected soldiers.  But when active duty begins, all regular forms of military discipline apply.  The peoples guard in every country and city all wear khaki uniforms, with red emblems.  Many old these units actually descended from independent partisan militias during the days of the Revolution, and took advantage of the General Amnesty to incorporate intact into the new single Guard command.  

The guardsmen have few armored vehicles, but are trained proficiently in light infantry operations.  Military doctrine states that if a serious invasion occurred, the Peoples Guard would become the guerilla defense.  They are versed in defending and protecting cities, towns and communities.  

Military doctrine also assigns to the Peoples Guard the duties of disaster response.  The Guard "specialists" are versed in repairing and maintaining basic infrastructure--including electrical, water and sanitary services services-- crucial things to fix quickly in the wake of a hurricane, earthquake of flood.  In the Bosnian campaign, Guard units consisting of engineers, heavy equipment, construction units and logistics experts came in behind the armed fighters to provide support.

4.3   The Marine Corps

Amphibious landings are an extremely high priority in Berg military doctrine.  In order for any island nation to attack the territory of another state, it must do so either by assaulting the coastlines with marines or airdropping infantry into the interior.  Bergonia's Marines consist of 180,000 men, with over 1,200 amphibious tanks and armored assault vehicles and 280 amphibious ships. 

Bergonian military doctrine concerning marine forces arises out of the successful Kilitan amphibious invasion of Pasiana in 1932 during the Revolutionary War.  It might happen in a future war that Bergonia under attack might need the amphibious capacity to land troops along a coast somewhere to outflank the enemy, as the Kilitan had.

This doctrine also learns from the spectacular American success with amphibious attacks in both Europe and the Pacific theatres in WWII -- indeed every American campaign in WWII commenced with a successful amphibious assault, with not a single defeat.  Ironically, military doctrine also theorizes that Bergonia's marines would most likely be deployed in an invasion of the US eastern coastline to seize key vulnerable infrastructure installation.

4.4   The Airborne Corps

This corps is equivalent to both the American Army's 101st airborne division, which consists of helicopter-born offensive troops, and the 82nd airborne division, which consists of "jump assault" troops, that is to say parachutists.  Under doctrine these men are, along with the Marine Corps, the Commonwealth's offensive point troops who will lead the charge in any offensive operation.  The Airborne Corps were the first Bergonian units to hit the ground in the Bosnia campaign.

4.5   The Special Tactical Corps

This is the elite fighting force, equivalent to the U.S. Special Forces or Rangers, with a heavy emphasis on quick in-and-out sabotage operations, extraction operations, amphibious assaults, stealth night-time strikes and guerilla combat.  

5.  The Air Forces

The air forces include about 130,000 troops.  At the end of 2004 Bergonia's air forces, including air defense, possessed a total of 2,283 combat aircraft under a single command.

5.1   The Air Combat Command

The primary fighting assets of the air force are integrated and organized under the Air Combat Command, analogous to the U.S. Air Force command of the same name, except that it includes all the nation's fighting aircraft, rather than allowing the army or navy to have their own air forces.

The usual command configuration includes a division of three regiments, each with three squadrons of aircraft, plus independent specialist regiments.  The Air Combat Command includes these divisions: 

a)  The Long-Range Bomber Division of eighty-five Skyrider bombers.   The Commonwealth has one class of long-range bombers, called the Skyriders, comparable to the B-52H Stratofortress, which can deliver cruise missiles, gravity bombs, or a combination of both. There are two generations of Skyriders, all the older series constructed in the 1950s and 60s have been successfully refitted.  The Skyriders can reach any target on the planet, with the aid of midair refueling. For this purpose, the strategic bomber fo rce has forty tanker aircraft in its inventory.  They are not maintained on a day-to-day alert.  

The Skyrider can carry nuclear weapons, include the dreaded gravity bombs and up to 24 "air-launched cruise missiles" or the "advanced cruise missiles" that have a significantly longer range and greater accuracy than the older versions.  Designed to evade air-and ground-based defenses and strike heavily defended and hardened targets, the ACM also has stealth features to increase its survivability. Bergonia has no "non-strategic nuclear weapons" as do the U.S. and Russia. 

b)  Four Mixed Air Combat Divisions, comprised of regiments of different classes of warplanes, including the Air-Dagger class fighters, the very quick and maneuverable Falcon-class fighter-bombers, ground attack and dual-use aircraft, plus a reconnaissance regiment consisting of specialized aircraft.  These are the meat-and-potatoes units of the air force, and are based on Bergonian soil, in four separate territorial command divisions.  Their respective names indicate their area of defense and their quarter of the island.  They are the Northwest and Southwest Divisions, deployed against the U.S., the Northeast Division deployed over the North Atlantic toward Europe and the Mediterranean, and the Southeast, responsible for long range defense missions.

c)   The Naval Aviation Division, the command under which carrier-based aircraft are organized.  The five (soon to be six) battalions correspond to the five (soon to be six) carriers, plus the battalions of helicopters & vertical-takeoff aircraft (like Harriers) based on destroyers and helicopter carriers.  These include Bergonia's most elite air assault units, including the Gudazhe class attack helicopters, on par with the Apaches, and the Viking amphibious assault helicopters, on par with the U.S. Marines' Sea Knights.

d)   The Naval Support Division, consisting of shore-based defensive aircraft and missiles to protect the navy's port and ships and give them air cover out to sea within a wide range around Bergonia.  This division includes shore-based naval aviation consisting 200 combat aircraft and sixty-four helicopters, and an air defense missile regiment. 

5.2  The Air Mobility Command

organizes all air  transportation for the air force and, for that matter, the entire armed forces.  The AMC, known as the Pelicans, function as the unified internal airline and air transport service for the entire military.  All the other military services depend on its transportation services.  It carries everything and everyone to everywhere in non-combat situations, and thus is the backbone of all logistics.  It is capable of conducting huge airlifts for either military offensives or emergency relief, and has been deployed to airlift relief supplies to various African countries suffering from dire famine.  

To subsidize its operations, the AMC is permitted under certain circumstances to provide transportation services to the civilian government and to the public--especially air transport services to cooperative enterprises, but the AMC under law must issue tickets to all comers and charge a uniform rate that cannot be waived, even by the President of the country.  Every other military command is required to pay for discretionary travel by buying tickets or chartering plans.  With such income, the AMC rather pays for itself.  

5.3  The Air Services Command

manages all the airfields and air bases, and organizes all ground support for the other commands.  They organize and integrate all military air traffic controllers, including those on aircraft and helicopter carriers.  They organize the large numbers of aircraft mechanics and they keep the aircraft running.  They have responsibility for logistics-- providing and delivering fuel and equipment to combat units.  They operate hospitals, clinics and infirmaries, and organizes the combat medics and field hospitals.  

5.4   Air Training Command

Two training centers of the Air Training Command which runs the air force academy and trains all pilots.  It includes four integrated training regiments deploying a combination of ninety-four combat aircraft are headquartered in the National Aeronautics District.

6. The Missile Defense Corps 

This autonomous force consists of defensive missile deployments for use against any attack or invasion, consisting of 2,500 launchers deployed in about 250 different sites around the country.  Several regiments man surface-to-air missiles to shoot down approaching enemy planes.  Other regiments man surface-to-surface missiles to hit enemy ships as they approach the coast.  Because of Bergonia's proximity to the continental United States, the surface-to-surface missiles can also be used offensively against American targets. 

The missile defense command includes a technical studies section, a special high-security unit that conducts research and weapon development in anti-missile defenses.  It is not that Bergonia wants to build its own stupid Star Wars missile defense system, but rather to monitor and assess the feasibility of the American efforts.  Bergonian scientists think it is possible to construct something like like an energy or sound wave than can knock a plane or missile out of the sky

7.  The Nuclear Forces Command

7.1   The Intercontinental Missile Corps

The strategic missile forces include 160 Socialist Vengeance II and III intercontinental ballistic missiles, deployed at four air force bases in Bergonia (compared to the 500 Minuteman missiles deployed by the US), each with three warheads.  The air force have begun studies on a IV series.

ICBMs are maintained at high alert rates (above 90 percent) and can be launched on short notice to provide "prompt strike capability." 

7.2   The Strategic Naval Forces Command

Operating independently of the fleet commands are the submarines that carry the nation's nuclear missiles.  The submarines are variously attached to the fleets for routine stuff like maintenance and docking and administration, but the submarine commander take orders directly from the the SNF Command at the Ministry of Defense.

Other submarines are in service to the fleets, strategically dedicated to clearing the sea lanes of enemy ships and protecting Berg shipping.  Most of these are designed to carry cruise missiles.  Each of the 24 launch tubes can be fitted with canisters that hold eight cruise missiles. The launch tubes can also house pressurized chambers for special operations underwater forces.   During the "Whale War" submarines conveyed underwater forces that attacked and disabled commercial whaling vessels found violating Bergonia's Whale Zone.

The submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) system constitutes the nation's offensive nuclear strike force.  Each sub has 24 launch tubes, identical to the Trident.

As of mid-2003, Bergonia deployed 10 Julzen class submarines (see below) to carry SLBMs, compared to the U.S.'s 16 operational Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.  The 16 U.S. subs carry 384 SLBMs with as many as 2,880 warheads--about half the operational warheads in the U.S. strategic arsenal, while Bergonia's 10 subs carry an equivalent number.

The Non-Nuclear Submarine Option

The U.S. Navy nuclear fast attack submarine fleet is the most awesome suite of weapons ever built, but gains in non-nuclear propulsion technology in the last few decades have produced a non-nuclear alternative of equally effective and dramatically less expensive submarines.

Bergonia currently floats 30 fast attack nuclear submarines (Russia has 45). 17 are of the Arisa class, built in the 1960s & 70s, and getting ready for retirement, and 13 are of the improved Julzen class, built in the 1980s, which are quieter, with improved weapons, retractable bow planes instead of sail planes, especially suited for under-ice operations.  

Originally the armed forces intended to build more Julzen nuclear submarines, but with the advent of Harmony in the 1980s and the end of the Cold War the force was limited to the 13 submarines that have since been built.  This was done to make way for a new, more versatile, less expensive non-nuclear submarine, the new Campo class, of which there are now 20. 

The annual operating cost for a nuclear sub is at least  $20 million. The typical service life of a nuclear sub is about 30 years. Refueling and modernizing at the half-life point costs about $200 million. Near the end of the service life, another refueling and extensive overhaul for about $410 million will extend the life another 12 years, for a total service life of 42 years. Thus a nuclear submarine can last for up to 45 years as an effective weapon platform, but over its life it will cost over $3.5 billion.  

Nuclear submarines are designed to operate in "blue water," out in the open ocean. They can run fast and deep, using thermal layers and other characteristics of deep water to disguise their movements and mask their noise.  But in shallow waters, the very long and large nuclear submarines have severely restricted its maneuverability. 

The new non-nuclear Campo class is smaller, thus designed to operate closer to shore, and can maneuver quite effectively in littoral waters, ice margins, straits, and other global "choke points." 

Diesel submarines use reciprocating engines on the surface and while snorkeling, and battery driven electric motors while submerged. The first is noisy, the latter extremely quiet.  A nuclear sub uses a compact nuclear reactor to generate steam to drive a turbine to turn the propeller. This basic process is in principle the same as the old coal driven turbines, but quieter than the diesel.

Near the end of World War II, Germany experimented with several methods for driving a submarine independent of surface air. Several Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarine prototypes ended up with the hands of the Americans, Russians and British.  While Adm. Hyman Rickover steered the United States irrevocably toward nuclear power for submarine propulsion, other nations, including Bergonia, remained interested in non-nuclear propulsion.

Howaltswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) in Germany has developed a hybrid fuel cell system for a diesel-electric sub. High-speed operations run off the conventional battery, while the fuel cell recharges the battery, and provides energy for low-speed operations. Typical submarine cost using either HDW AIP systems is $250 million, and Bergonia has used this technology in designing a new sub, called the Sea-Serpent.

The Campo class sub employs the French "MESMA" (Module d'Energie Sous-Marine Autonome) AIP system, which is a steam-turbine system that burns ethanol and liquid oxygen to make steam that drives a turbo-electric generator. Typical cost for a new submarine powered by MESMA is $250 million.

Both classes of subs can operate four to five weeks submerged, which is less than a nuclear submarine, but still adequate for world-wide voyages.  Each class can accomodate up to 45 crewmen, and they can be operated by crews of only twenty.

Nuclear submarines are quieter than the WWII era deisel-powered subs, but still make a lot of noise. The non-nuclear HDW and MESMA systems are far quieter than any nuclear/steam plant. 

Both classes of Bergonia's AIP submarines, the Campo and the Sea-Serpent cost no more than $300 million apiece, while the U.S. spends at least $1.6 billion per submarine.

Even less expensively, Bergonia has purchased from Sweden 5 Gotland class AIP subs, which use hybrid diesel-electric units , supplemented with engines that run on liquid oxygen and diesel oil to turn a generator to produce electricity for propulsion and to charge the vessel's batteries. Typical cost for a Gotland class sub is $100 million.

Topics on this Page:

History of Bergonia's Foreign Relations since independence.

Bergonia's decisive military intervention in the Bosnia War, 1993-- a detailed history of the events leading up to Bergonia's invasion of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 August 1993: the invasion itself.

Relations with:  the U.S.A., Cuba, Europe, China, Iran, India, Vietnam, Black Africa.

Bergonia's stance on the U.S. Invasion & Occupation of Iraq.

Bergonian opinion on the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

The Armed Forces of Bergonia, described in detail:  CommandNavyLand ForcesAir ForcesMissile DefenseIntelligence

Military Doctrine: Why such a large Military?

National Intelligence

11 September 2001 and the War on Terror

Bergonians joined the world in grieving with the US, as they have since given sympathy to the people of Spain, Britain, India and Jordan.  Its government has repeatedly denounced Al Quaida's craven hatred of America and the West.  Bergonia supported the American efforts in Afghanistan, though with careful admonishments against civilian casualties.   Bergonia had joined the world community in condemning and isolating the Taliban regime, and saluted the US and its allies for its successes.  Bergonia supports the reconstitutive process in Afghanistan, and has offered large amounts of aid to Hamid Karsai's regime.

Though Bergonia regularly and actively cooperates with all investigations and law-enforcement efforts to curb terrorists, Bergonia expresses fear that the US has placed far too much emphasize on the military in responding to terrorism, and not enough on either investigative intelligence and police tactics or on addressing root causes.  

A general understanding of American high-handedness is necessary to understanding why people in the third world have come to resent and hate America, particularly Arabs and other Muslims, and why a small number of them are willing to give their lives in order to hurt America.  Bergonians generally accuse Americans of naiveté and arrogance in dealing with other nations and cultures.  Sometimes the accusations are unfairly shrill, and even a little paranoid, but the U.S.'s post-911 behavior has in many respects confirmed them.  Bergonian commentators abhor the loud "bomb 'em back to the stone age" mentality that afflicts many Americans, and they observe how the jingoistic and vengeful mentality has driven Bush's response.

In the first year after 9-11 Bergonians generally admitted relief that Americans had largely behaved well and with restraint, and note that many other nations would have reacted with far more excess, but after the summer of 2002, when it became increasingly clear that Bush was bent on invading Iraq, all good feeling toward  U.S. foreign policy dissolved.  Anti-Americanism has become quite vocal, virulent and pervasive since March 2003.

History of Foreign Relations since Independence

Traditional Enmities and Alliances in the 1800s

Rebels in the northern half of Bergonia created the first modern independent state in 1880 by beating Great Britain.  It was not until 1856, however, that Britain gave up its last Bergonian territory.  Bergonia for the first part of its history regarded Britain as its primary foe.  Therefore Bergonia generally got along well with anyone who opposed Britain, which early on included the United States.

But opposition to American (and Brazilian and Russian) slavery was universal all throughout Bergonia, among all classes and segments, and this view colored almost all perceptions of the United States.  Politicians referred to the U.S. as "the republic of slavers." Bergonian journalists, writers and politicans took to using the derisive term amure-ketei when referring to the U.S., which meant "people-traders" or "soul-traders" in Nacateca.  During the American Civil War all these epitaphs were immediately transferred to the Confederacy.  The Bergonian Navy even leant assistance to the Union by helping to enforce the blockade of Confederate ports.  The Bergonians took special delight in detaining British ships, a tendency that culminated in October 1863 when the Bergonian Navy seized and confiscated five British commercial vessels on the high seas that they claimed had left the port of Charleston, South Carolina.  The ships were not returned to the British until President Lincoln interceded.

Bergonia traditionally had good relationships with France Tallyrand made it a point of cultivating good relations with the young Bergonian Republic.  However, as Britain and France became increasingly allied in the late 1800s, leading up to WWI, Bergonia's relationship with France cooled.

Britain and France moved closer together as the newly unified Germany grew strong. Germany strategically courted Bergonia consistently all the way up to World War I.  Germany's navy never reached the size of Bergonia's, and naturally wanted to recruit Bergonia to help diminish Britain's dominance at sea.  A prominent conservative politician in Bergonia did publish a pamphlet in 1899 that alarmed governments on both sides of the Atlantic-- proposing a permanent alliance between Germany, Bergonia and Japan.

Bergonia always made it a point to cultivate good relations with non-European countries, including Latin American countries, the Ottomans, and Japan.  The Bergonian Navy traded liaisons with the rapidly expanding Japanese Navy, and Bergonian observers were on the Japanese warships that pummeled the Russian fleet in the war of 1904. Bergonia had off-and-on relationships with the US throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, but opposed every US move in the Caribbean.

World War I Neutrality

Bergonia sat out this dumb war.  The Germans tried hard to get Bergonia into the war with promises of overseas colonies.  There were earnest negotiations, but the Bergonian military weighed the possible outcomes of a European land war and concluded that Germany had botched the invasion of France and had unwisely taken on a two-front war with unreliable allies, and that the allies would win on the Western front, especially if the U.S. entered the war.  At the last minute the military advised the diplomats to break off negotiations. 

The The Allies did not try so hard to recruit Bergonia, largely content with continued Bergonian neutrality.  Bergonia signed a non-aggression pact with Great Britain in November 1915.  The period of peace benefited Bergonia's industrializing economy.  Bergonia joined the League of Nations after the war.  Bergonia had rather chilly relations with the US and the UK during the 1920s, though it enjoyed considerable trade with both.

1931- 1945:  The Revolutionary Period

In the 1930s the US and UK both opposed and vehemently protested Bergonia's new revolutionary government.  But after the brief War of 1936, both sides realized the wisdom of reaching mutual accommodations.  Bergonia's revolutionaries disavowed all interest in exporting revolution (but see Spain), and in exchange the US and UK agreed not to interfere in Bergonian affairs.  All three countries normalized relations in 1939.  Their navies developed protocols for dealing with each other on the high seas to avoid any incidents.

The Bergonian Revolution became institutionalized after the socialists and anarchists of the Democratic Movement subjugated the pro-Moscow Communist Party.  Thereafter Bergonia had rather sour relations with the Soviet Union.  Bergonia hotly competed with Moscow for influence among the Spanish Republicans and among revolutionary movements all around the world.  The Nazis and fascists approached Bergonia, but Bergonia rebuffed them.

All in all the Bergonians felt fairly isolated from the rest of the world after 1938, even as it reached out to normalize relationships with all governments.  It was one of the few countries that sat out World War II, becoming one of the very few nations that sat out both world wars (Spain, Sweden, Switzerland).  (However, read our alternative history of Spain to see how Bergonian armies might have helped liberate France in WWII.)

The Cold War

Bergonia continued its traditional neutrality and wanted only good relationships with both sides. 

The Soviets repeatedly sought alliance with Bergonia.  NATO surrounded Bergonia, and the Bergonians didn't want to make enemies so near, and provoke an encircling NATO squeeze.  But on the other hand, strangers who have a common foe have a natural tendency to become allies, and so there was a natural logic for  a Soviet-Bergonian alliance as a counterweight to NATO. 

But Bergonian politicians adopted the view that the basic NATO-Soviet rivalry concerned-- as had the two world wars-- a contest over control of Europe, and Bergonia did not want its security threatened over misunderstandings between American and Russians in Central Europe.  So Bergonian demurred on all Soviet overtures for a permanent alliance, and cooperation with the Soviet Bloc occurred on a case-by-case basis.  Bergonian socialists always detested what they saw on their visits to the Russian "Workers Paradise," and the two countries' drastically different approaches to "socialism" had more than a little to do with Bergonian's reluctance to ally themselves with the USSR.

Bergonia did make an attempt to understand Russian paranoia, and studied how the two superpowers functioned on the basis of fear of the other.  Occasionally Bergonia tried to smooth things out as an intermediary, especially with regard to encounters on the high seas.  America at every turn since WWII has actively opposed left wing governments, parties and political movements around the world, and Bergonia at times did more than the Soviet Union to oppose this.  Bergonia therefore always tried to maintain a correct even-handedness between the two super-powers.  Bergonia of course had far more protocols in place for normal relations with the US than with the USSR, primarily because of the proximity of the two.  

Bergonia joined the non-aligned movement, and built warm relations with countries like India, Indonesia, and many of the newly independent Black African nations.

1993: Bergonian intervention against the Serbs in the Bosnian Civil War  

This the only part of the Bergonia fantasy where I venture to fantasize about any place in the real world.  In no other respect have I presumed to speculate directly about what the real Planet Earth would be like with Bergonia in it.  I have adopted a Prime Directive of sorts that allows me to fantasize as much as I want about how the outside world has influenced Bergonia, but I will not fantasize about how Bergonia could have affected the real world.

But here I make an exception for Bosnia-Herzegovina, a country whose blood stained all our hands.

I am still thoroughly outraged over the moral cowardice of both Europe and the United States in allowing the Serbs to murder Bosnians and Croats.  I realize that no side came out of the horrible civil war with clean hands, but the Serbian nation initiated the atrocities in all levels and in all theaters of conflict, and the Serbians clearly committed the worst atrocities and produced far more victims than all other combatants aside.  The Serbians were the only combatants to employ civilian torture and murder and ethnic cleansing in a systematic, publicly organized manner. 

Yugoslavia once stood for the ideal of socialist ethnic confederation of diverse peoples-- exactly what I imagine Bergonia to be.  That Yugoslavia's experimentation in worker-controlled collectives and multi-ethnic federalism ended so ignominiously was, to me personally, one of the saddest historical tragedies of the 20th Century.  Especially since I believe that it, like most of the other great blood-lettings of the times, was entirely preventable.

So here is my fantasy of how Bergonia intervened into the Bosnian civil war to break the Serbian siege of Sarajevo. 

Bergonia's relationship with Yugoslavia.

Bergonia once had excellent relations with Tito's Yugoslavia, since the two were kindred spirits on the issue of worker's democracy.  Bergonians had thought rather too optimistically that Yugoslavia was making progress in fusing the disparate ethnic groups into a single nationality, but like many others around the world they underestimated the degree of suppressed ethnic hatred and bitterness over past atrocities, both real and imagined.

The violent breakup of Yugoslavia was a surprising disappointment to many in Bergonia's foreign policy establishment, and the atrocities committed in the early stages of the war by Serbians against Croatian civilians shocked them greatly.

Bergonia rapidly became supportive of the Bosnian regime in Sarajevo, because it-- and the City of Sarajevo itself-- stood for the principle of diversity.  Socialism was apparently dead in Yugoslavia, and Yugoslavia itself was dead, so all that was left to defend besides life itself was the principle of diversity, tolerance and democracy.


The Serbian Siege of Sarajevo

Bergonia reacted with outrage when the Serbians began the brutalization of Bosnia.  While NATO diddled, decisive Bergonian military intervention broke the Serbian siege of Sarajevo.

The Serbian siege of the city began in early April 1992 and for the rest of the year the combined Serbian factions subjected the city to punishing artillery attacks and random sniper killings of civilians.  In early 1993 negotiates produced the Vance-Owen peace accord that would have provided for a loose Bosnian confederation of ethnic cantons, but the plan was scuttled on 5 May 1993 by the Bosnian Serb parliament.  

The Bergonian Decision

The collapse of the Vance-Owen accord was what prompted the Commonwealth's Executive Committee to take up President Vortron's proposal to intervene in the Bosnian war and break the siege.  The EC convened in special session on 8 May 1993, and the President's office announced that the EC would remain in continuous session to "consider appropriate action to take for the protection of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian state and population."

President Vortron gave a speech on 16 May 1993 before the national convention of the Soldiers & Sailors Syndical in which he fiercely denounced the Serbians, explicitly stated Bergonian affinity for the Bosnian cause, and concluded, 

"I agree in principle with those who argue that the Commonwealth has no business in another country's affairs, but those who slaughter the innocents deserve no regard, no respect and no quarter.  I insist that our higher duty to the innocents trumps the general principle and compels us to their rescue, with force and with blood, and defend civilization."

The EC confirmed Vortron's decision to commence planning for both a campaign limited to bombing and missiles and a campaign of invasion and intervention on the ground.  This planning process involved positioning of intelligence satellites and fly-overs by intelligence gathering planes.  It would also involve overt and covert aid to the government of BH, including deliveries of weaponry and humanitarian aid.  The Commonwealth also provided credit to the fledgling BH state.  Bergonian intelligence officers soon arrived in Sarajevo. 

On 4 June Treasurer Francis Elemon initiated the process of amending the Commonwealth budget to create a military contingency action fund.  This would ultimately require a vote of Congress to approve. 

In June President Vortron and other members of the government continued making forceful speeches, in order to prepare public opinion for war, while in secret the military prepared for intervention contingencies.  It was during this time that Bergonian diplomats approached Bosnian President Izebegovic with the willingness to intervene.  

July 1993:  The Serbs Tighten the Noose

On 5 July 1993 the Bosnian Serbs launched a new offensive south of Sarajevo cutting off the road to Goradze.  Shortly thereafter, the Bosnian Serbs attacked the northern slopes of Mount Igman, but the Bosnian forces clung to a part of the mountain and barely held open that path to the city. Serbian pressure continued, and through the rest of the month the Serbs variously attacked Hrasnice (near the airport), the suburb of Rijlovac, and again on Mount Igman and its neighboring heights of Mount Treskavica and Mount Bjelasnica.  In each case, the attacks were on open (if mountainous) terrain or suburbs with low residential houses, conducive to Serbian armored vehicles.  Each attack made limited gains, but could not achieve its entire objective.  

The only flights allowed into the Sarajevo airport were UNPROFOR sponsored relief flights, but the Serbs disallowed these when Bergonian aircraft began parachuting supplies into the city on 15 July. 

Late July:
Threats and Plans for Intervention

During July NATO members, including the United States, were threatening air strikes against the Bosnian Serbs.  These threats came in tandem with Vortron's pronouncements.  The U.S. military conferred with the Bergonian military about the feasibility of joint strikes.  This alone was significant-- The U.S. had consulted with and received some assistance from the Bergonian military during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and a second opportunity for military cooperation was of great interest to Bergonian military commanders.

However, the Bergonian politicians precluded joint planning by choosing an incompatible strategic objective.  NATO and the UN were never willing to do more than commit a long-distance "safe" aerial campaign to either deter or punish the Serbs.  Bergonia's EC on 17 July accepted Vortron's recommendation that Bergonia airlift troops into Sarajevo and other parts of BH.

During July a mission-dedicated naval task force entered the Mediterranean.  It consisted of the Red and Yellow Fleets, including of three of Bergonia's six aircraft carriers and over twenty frigates & destroyers,.  Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic denounced the move as a ploy and a bluff.  Serbian President Milosovic issued a warning to Bergonia not to intervene, and assured the Bosnian Serbs that Serbia would come to its rescue if any outside power intervened.

2 August 1993 (Monday)

On 2 August 1993 Serbian troops, backed by helicopters, captured Mount Bjelasnica in a huge offensive, and launched a new onslaught against the Bosnian defenders on Mt. Igman.  The Bosnian delegates walked out of the Geneva negotiations in protest.  Previously they had been lured back to the stalled talks by a false promise that the Serbs would withdraw from Mt. Igman if they did.  

BH President Alija Izetbegovic immediately threatened to pull out of the peace negotiations in Geneva if the Serbs did not give up this gain. The latest round of peace talks was postponed in Geneva at this request.  BiH Foreign Minister Haris Silajdzic described Serb attacks around Sarajevo as "breaking of good faith."  Silajdzic reportedly said, "The condition for successful negotiations was to restore electricity, water and gas to Sarajevo," which had been lacking for months.

Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was reported to have assented to Izetbegovic's demand, agreeing to surrender the mountain to UN control. 

On the same day senior NATO officials met in Brussels for 12 hours to discuss a US plan for air strikes against Serb positions, in particular around Sarajevo. Diplomats at NATO headquarters said final decisions on when and where to use air power rested with UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali.  Their communiqué stated that NATO would make preparations to take "stronger measures including air strikes" if the strangulation of Sarajevo continued.  But of course no immediate air strikes were ordered.  Sources in Brussels said that NATO members with troops in BH were concerned that those troops could be endangered either by the air strikes or subsequent Serb retaliation. Mediators David Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg reportedly registered their opposition to air strikes, on the grounds that it would hurt the peace process.  They address the Bergonian bellicosity by begging prudence and patience.

The commander of the tiny Bosnian Serb air force, General Zivomir Ninkovic, told Belgrade radio that Serb forces would respond "by all available means" to any Western or Bergonian attack on their positions. 

Meanwhile, in Washington, President Clinton bravely told reporters, "I don't believe that the allies will permit Sarajevo to either fall or starve."  That same day he received a communication from President Vortron informing the U.S. of the "substantial possibility" of Bergonian intervention "in the very near future."



3 August 1993 (Tuesday)

UNPROFOR sent a five-member monitoring team to explore the situation on Mount Bjelasnica. 

In Geneva, the three Croatian members of the collective BiH Presidency said they were not walking out, but were boycotting the talks as long as Muslims continue to attack Bosnian Croats. They refused to recognize BiH President Alija Izetbegovic as representing the collective presidency. Izetbegovic shunned the talks because of the continued Bosnian Serb siege of Sarajevo. 

The peace talk mediators called the presidents of Serbia and Croatia back to Geneva in an effort to get the three warring factions to resume negotiations. Momir Bulatovic, the president of Montenegro, also flew back to Geneva. John Mills, spokesman for the mediators, said that the scheduled meeting did not take place. Mills said, "Directives from the leaders to military commanders have resulted in a very significant reduction in the intensity of fighting."  He looked forward to the installation of UN military observers on hills around Sarajevo.

US officials welcomed the support of European allies for air strikes. President Clinton bravely said that the Allies had delivered the message that they were "determined to protect UN forces [in BH], determined to secure the humanitarian relief program." According to the Washington Post, a US official said that "speculations about [air strikes] over the last few days may have encouraged Serb flexibility" at the bargaining table in Geneva.  However, in direct contradiction of this, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said that Western and Bergonian threats could adversely affect peace talks by encouraging the Muslims to hold out for military intervention. 

Lord Owen said that he was satisfied with the NATO alliance's threat to conduct air strikes against Serbian forces in BH. Officials close to Lord Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg said they believed that NATO had signaled to the BH Government that the US would not intervene on its own against the Serbs, and that the Muslims should return to the talks.  Therefore it seemed that, instead of succeeding in pressuring the Serbs with the threats, the implicit promise of no imminent attacks had the opposite effect.

Not coincidentally Serb forces were continuing their attacks around Sarajevo.

Here is a day-by-day account of the Serbian slow, methodical advance around Sarajevo, to completely cut it off from the ouside.  During this time, Geneva peace talks continued, where the Serbs continued making false promises of peace, and the NATO and UN representatives reacted with typical hand-wringing reluctance and delay. BH President Alija Izetbegovic remained in Geneva.

4 August 1993 (Wednesday)

UNPROFOR reported that Serbian tanks, artillery and infantry appeared to have trapped BiH forces atop Mount Igman. It was reported that the only gap in the Serbian siege lines around Sarajevo remained along a corridor of territory which connected the suburb of Dobrinja, on the south- western edge of Sarajevo, across the airport to two other BiH- held suburbs, Butmir and Hrasnica, and, from there, over Mount Igman to Konjic and Jablanica. The capture of Mount Igman threatened to sever this supply line. Also, the capture of Mount Igman reportedly endangered the 32,000 Muslim civilians living in villages in the vicinity. Their flight path as refugees would take them across the airfield. The agreement by which the airport was ceded to the UN prohibited civilian crossing of the airfield. Those who had done so invariably came under fire from Serbian guns at both ends of the runway. 

Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said that the Serb advance in the Igman area was not an offensive, but merely an effort to protect Serb-populated parts of Sarajevo from Muslim bombardment. He said his troops were ready to hand over to UN peacekeepers the key hills near Sarajevo. Karadzic falsely stated that the UN had already taken over part of Mount Igman and was flying its flag there. 

British Brigadier General Hayes, Chief of Staff of UN forces in BiH, told reporters in the BiH capital that the BiH army bore the main blame for blocking relief supplies to Sarajevo. He said the current Serb assault on Mount Igman was strangling only the Bosnians' military supply line into Sarajevo. 

In Geneva, Lord Owen said that the air raids proposed by the Clinton administration were inadequate. "The only military solution is if you're prepared to put ground troops in and take it seriously," he said.  Yet he appealed to the international community to give peace efforts a chance before ordering air strikes.

In Washington, the State Department's chief expert on BH, Marshal Freeman Harris, resigned, charging that the Clinton administration was putting undue pressure on the Bosnian government to agree to the partition of the country. In a letter to Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Harris said the US push for airstrikes was too little, came too late and represented an abandonment of the stance that BiH should be preserved as an independent state. He wrote, "I can no longer serve in a Department of State that accepts the forceful dismemberment of a European state and that will not act against genocide and the Serbian officials who perpetrate it."  He wrote that in pressuring BH to agree to a partition, the Clinton administration was "driving the {Bosnian} Government to surrender its territory and its sovereignty to the victors in a war of aggression."

Later that day, Serbian and Croatian leaders quit the peace talks and headed home, promising to return Friday if President Izetbegovic agreed to rejoin negotiations.

5 August 1993 (Thursday)

On this day an agreement was reached, at least ostensibly, between the UN peacekeepers and the Bosnian Serbs.  UNPROFOR General Francis Briquemont and Bosnian Serb leader Ratko Mladic met in the Serbian capital city of Pale, just a few miles away from Sarajevo.  They then left to inspect Mount Igman and Mount Bjelasnica.  Clashes reportedly were visible between Bosnian Serb and Muslim forces below.  Sarajevo radio quoted the BH Army 1st Corps, responsible for defending Sarajevo, as saying that it had secured the village of Malo Polje on the south slopes of Igman. 

Bosnian Serb leader Nikola Koljevic announced the agreement, saying that UN peacekeepers would replace Serb forces on Mount Igman on Friday. Lord David Owen and Thorwald Stoltenberg confirmed that Bosnian Serbs had agreed to cede Mount Igman to UN troops, and to instruct their military commanders to negotiate the opening of roads leading to Sarajevo to all except military vehicles. The agreement was reached in Pale, where Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military chief Ratko Mladic met with an UNPROFOR delegation led by General Francis Briquemont, head of UN forces in BH. Karadzic read a joint statement, which said he had agreed to withdraw forces from Mount Igman, to allow UNPROFOR to occupy the area and to reopen two access roads to and from the capital to UNPROFOR, UNHCR, civil and commercial vehicles. The opening of the roads and the resumption of utility services would be discussed the next day.

BH President Alija Izetbegovic reiterated that the international peace talks would not resume until the Serbs withdrew from Mount Igman.   Talks in Geneva were suspended until Monday.

Paddy Ashdown, the leader of Britain's Liberal- Democratic Party, told BBC television that he had suggested to the Serbs that there be "an area of no-go around Sarajevo"--and that after a certain deadline any heavy weapons seen in that area would be subject to air attack». According to Ashdown, the Serbs agreed to this proposal. Ashdown said that, with winter approaching, the West had "somewhere between six and eight weeks to save the city, to lift the blockade and to get supplies through."

In Amman, US Secretary of State Warren Christopher said he would fly to Italy Friday for NATO talks on possible air strikes against the Serbs. Meanwhile, an association of 51 Islamic countries called to Geneva for rapid implementation of NATO proposals for air strikes.

6 August 1993 (Friday)

Sarajevo radio reported that Serbian forces had reinforced troops on Mount Igman.  Bosnian Serb Commander General Ratko Mladic said he was reluctant to fulfill his promise to withdraw troops from Mounts Igman and Bjelasnica.  Mladic told Dnevnik, the government-run Serbian newspaper, that Serbian troops would not withdraw until politicians agreed on ending the war. 

In fact, on this day, apparently, the Serbs were on the move to continuing the push around to the south of Sarajevo.

7 August 1993 (Saturday)

UN observers reported that Serbian forces opened fire on BiH Army units that were abandoning positions on Mount Igman and withdrawing to Hrasnica. It was also reported that there were no Bosnian Serb movements to withdraw from the area.

In Sarajevo, Barry Frewer, UN spokesman, reported, "What we are seeing is the Bosnian Serb army consolidating up there....  There are no movements at this time to withdraw." 

Commander Frewer described talks on the Serbian withdrawal from Igman as "virtually at an impasse." UN civilian official Viktor Andreyev described General Mladic, the Serbian military commander, as "emotional" during talks in which Mladic referred to the supply route across Mount Igman as "Allah's road."  According to one report, however, Mladic agreed that UN peacekeepers were free to deploy observers on the heights.  

The BH garrison on Mount Igman had been effectively abandoned, with BH units retreating north to Sarajevo and south toward the towns of Lokve and Pazaric. 

In Pale, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic told Reuters Television that he had set as a condition for the withdrawal of troops from Mounts Igman and Bjelasnica that the UN install troops sufficient not only to observe but to take over the area. 

BH President Alija Izetbegovic called for a meeting of the UN Security Council to confirm the primacy of principles laid down at the 1992 London conference on the former Yugoslavia. In a letter to Council President Madeleine Albright of the US, he said current negotiations in Geneva "sanction genocide and reward aggression while making Bosnia the victim forced to accept humiliating terms in order to establish peace."  This referred particularly to the future of Sarajevo, "which is to be divided, isolated and sentenced to a slow annihilation," he said.  

US officials said that it agreed not to bomb any target in the former Yugoslavia without the approval of UN ground commanders.  Upon hearing this, Berg President Vortron said, "the American and European bureaucratized plan for air strikes won't stop the terror and murder-- only decisive action on the ground will do."  He said this after attending a pro-intervention demonstration held in Five-Corners Plaza in Lefitoni, Bergonia's capital city, attended by around 40,000 people.  Pundits were impressed that the political clubs could bring out that many members on short notice, considering the slowness of public opinion to move on the issue.  In the next few days small rallies both in favor and opposed to intervention occurred across the country.

That evening Izetbegovic conferred over the phone with Vortron when, it was later revealed, Vortron told Izetbegovic for the first time that Bergonia had made the decision to invade, and that the invasion would occur "as soon as possible," mentioning Wednesday the 11th as the most likely date.  Izetbegovic was delighted.

8 August 1993 (Sunday)

The day's events focused on the negotiations on Bosnian Serb withdrawal from positions on Mounts Igman and Bjelasnica.

General Ratko Mladic, commander of the Serbian army in BiH, said he would make a "phased withdrawal" from positions on Mounts Igman and Bjelasnica after five hours of talks at Sarajevo airport with UN commander, Lieutenant General Francis Briquemont. UN spokesman, Lieutenant Commander Barry Frewer, said that the Serbs' removal on Saturday of two tanks and several heavy guns from Mount Igman appeared to have been "stage management," rather than a sign of real withdrawal. General Mladic said the Serbs would give up positions one by one, contingent on their replacement by UN forces. They would withdraw only if fully guaranteed that the BiH army would not regain the positions. General Mladic said that the first step would be reconnaissance of Mount Igman at 6:00 a.m. Monday by UN and Serbian units. At 9:00 a.m., Serbs would pull back from the 6,800-foot peak of Mount Bjelasnica. There was speculation that the demand that UN resources cover the ceded territory could cause delays in the pullback because the UN commanders repeatedly stated that their overall force, about 9,000 troops, allowed only for monitoring, not control, of the areas that Serbian forces had left. 

Bosnian Croat representatives reportedly rejected the proposal made by Alija Izetbegovic in Geneva last week, to join forces with Muslims to form a joint Muslim-Croatian state in BiH. "Our experience tells us that any agreement with Muslims would only cause damage to Croats," said Miro Lasic, one of three Croat members of the BiH collective presidency. "Too much blood of Croatian civilians was spilled by Izetbegovic's forces," Lasic said in an interview with Zagreb government-controlled radio. 

Vortron that afternoon lamented the Bosnian Croat decision in public remarks he gave while visiting a military hospital in the city of Glen.  That evening he flew back to Lefitoni to confer with the Executive Council in an emergency session.  In a late night conference phone call with Izetbegovic, Vortron and the other Executive Council members discussed postponing the invasion until the Bosnian-Croats could be induced to seal an alliance with the Bosnians.  As of that time, neither the Croat Bosnians nor Croatia knew of Bergonia's intention to invade.  Instead, the two sides decided that Vortron would call Croatian President Tujman to urge Croatia to lean on the Bosnian Croats.  It was also affirmed that the invasion would commence on Wednesday as planned, with the expectation that the invasion itself would induce the Croats to come along side the Bosnians.  Vortron said that evening to Izetbegovic during the conference call, "the only way that I will refrain from giving the orders Tuesday night is if you are satisfied that the Serbs are withdrawing, and we both know that they are not."

9 August 1993 (Monday)

Activity on Mounts Igman and Bjelasnica were monitored by UNPROFOR for signs of Bosnian Serb troop withdrawal. 

UN officers said that a Serbian special forces unit (called Cobra), which had led the assault on Mount Bjelasnica, dynamited the television tower atop the mountain so that it leaned over "like a broken matchstick."  Sarajevo radio reported that Serb forces over the weekend had destroyed two unidentified hotels located on Mount Igman.

The BH Public Health Ministry reported 17 killed and 148 wounded in the last week. It also reported cumulatively 9,238 killed (of which 1,487 were children) and 54,208 wounded (of which 14,149 were children). 

The spokesman for UNPROFOR said that there was no apparent sign of Serbian withdrawal from the positions overlooking Sarajevo.  Earlier in the day, two UN military observers said that the Serbian flag had been taken down from the summit of Mount Bjelasnica, but when UNPROFOR troops arrived at the summit around 4:00 p.m. they were met by Serb soldiers who told them to leave after one hour there.  Initially, UN troops sent to monitor the Serbs' withdrawal had been hindered by demonstrators, minefields and bad weather in trying to reach the heights. Observers said that demonstrators, mostly women, blocking the patrol at the village of Blazuj were likely encouraged by Serb militiamen opposed to the Geneva peace process.  UN officers said that the Serbian special forces unit, called Cobra, which had led the assault on Mount Bjelasnica, dynamited the television tower atop the mountain so that it leaned over "like a broken matchstick."  Serbian officers reportedly belied the importance of pullback activity by pointing out that control of the summit was strategically irrelevant since their advance had carried them five miles past the base of Bjelasnica. 

UNPROFOR spokesman Barry Frewer said that there was no indication that Serbs had withdrawn or begun to withdraw from neighboring Mount Igman.  The captain of the UN reconnaissance team sent to Mount Igman reportedly said, "They have absolutely no intention of withdrawing, as far as I can tell."  State-run Sarajevo radio said that Serb forces over the weekend had destroyed two hotels on Mount Igman.  According to one report, almost all of the buildings between Veliko Polje and Malo Polje were burned.  A BH soldier, standing in a forest clearing on Mount Igman, told reporters, "A Serbian withdrawal? . . . Let me tell you: when you reporters are around, or the United Nations, the Serbs behave like babies. But as soon as you go, pow! Tanks, howitzers, mortars, antiaircraft guns-- everything."

Serb demonstrators blocked the UN patrol scouting one of the two supply routes slated to be cleared for the transport of humanitarian aid between Mostar and Sarajevo, according to UNPROFOR. 

At the front line, at the ski village of Malo Polje, Serbian tanks and howitzers shrouded beneath pine branches reportedly aimed at BiH positions a half-mile ahead. Serbian soldiers in tented camps reportedly were seen fetching water and cooking over wood fires. Spent shell casings littered the road. A soldier reportedly said, "Pull back? Why? This is Serbian land." Across the line, over the bank of a road blocked by a fallen tree, a man identified as Mr. Kozar and 10 other Bosnian soldiers stood over a wood fire with nothing but assault rifles to defend their positions. Kozar said that Serbian attacks, backed by helicopters, had been so sudden and overpowering that the BiH forces had no chance of resisting. Survivors, he said, waited in the forests without even dugouts to protect them. 

BiH President Alija Izetbegovic, in Geneva said that negotiations would resume Tuesday if the Serbs withdrew from the hills surrounding Sarajevo. Radovan Karadzic disingenuously told the BBC, "Step by step, we are withdrawing from [Mount Bjelasnica and Mount Igman], replacing our forces with the forces of UN."  Karadzic reportedly said that the shelling of Sarajevo would cease. 

NATO leaders approved a joint plan for possible air strikes on Bosnian Serbs to break the siege of Sarajevo, but deferred the prospect of an immediate attack and gave the UN Secretary General an effective veto on such military action.

The ambassadors of the 16 NATO nations said in a communiqué that they had endorsed a list of options drawn up by the alliance's military committee over the past week. According to a NATO official, the list specified types of targets--such as heavy artillery pieces, supply and transport links, and command centers- -but not specific ones. The leaders made clear that the choices they endorsed were in support of humanitarian relief efforts, rather than any of the warring parties. Any military action would be determined jointly by NATO and the UN. Leaders said they were ready to convene at short notice to decide whether to implement air strikes if the strangulation of Sarajevo continued and UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali asked NATO to act.

A senior US official said the alliance would be prepared to bomb within one to two days. NATO Secretary-General Manfred Woerner said the necessary precautions had been taken to ensure the safety of UN troops in BiH against Serb retaliation following NATO air attacks. 

In an interview on Weekly Consideration, the one headline-making prime-time news interview show on prime time television, First Deputy Irun Canatari stated, "I think the people have accepted the decision already made.  It is all implicit, because of the needs of the mission.  The people of Bergonia are not stupid." 

The interviewer asked, "Do you mean to say that a decision has already been made to start a military intervention?" 

Canatari responded, "Unless the Serbs suddenly reverse their creeping strangulation, I would have to admit that the specific thresholds have been met." 

The interviewer said, "Some Serbs have said as recently as yesterday that we are bluffing, and that we're capable of adding a little air support, and maybe a few commando units on the ground, not enough to make a difference."

Canatari answered, "I think all nations involved had better realize right now that this government is not bluffing.  We don't worry any more about NATO.  We don't care any more about the UN.  Russia can say whatever its wants.  The only two people in control of our decision now are our friends in Sarajevo and the people who are on the ground trying to strangle them"

10 August 1993 (Tuesday)

UNPROFOR spokesman Frewer stated that the UN had "noticed increased movements of [Serb] military vehicles on Igman, but it is still early to say whether they are preparing to withdraw."  Reporters who crossed the Serbian siege lines and reached Serbian positions on the heights returned to the city at night with the news that all signs on the two mountains pointed to a consolidation of the Serbian strongholds. They said they had seen columns of self-propelled field guns and military trucks moving along the main access routes to the mountains, backed up by at least 600 newly-arrived soldiers. UN officers in Sarajevo said that radio reports from their military observers confirmed this information. UN troops sent to monitor the withdrawal from the mountains said that they had been halted by Serbian officers as soon as they reached the mountains and had been refused permission to patrol. 

Two reporters who reached the Serbian front lines on Mount Igman at Malo Polje said they saw Serbian soldiers formed into platoons, who claimed to have been fighting for a month in Banja Luka, where fresh units drawn from the Trnovo area would replace them. The reporters said they saw no evidence of any pullback of tanks, howitzers and antiaircraft guns deployed along the road at Malo Polje and in forest clearings beside the road. Instead Serbian forces appeared to be covering the heavy weapons with fir tree branches, apparently in an effort to conceal the weapons from possible air attacks. The reporters said that they had seen Serbian replacement troops, along with heavy guns and ammunition, arriving at a burned-out Muslim village about halfway between Trnovo and Mount Igman.

According to the New York Times, anonymous UN sources said that Serbian commanders appeared to have decided that NATO had attached such stringent conditions to planning for air strikes that the threat of bombing was far less than Serbian commanders had previously feared. In deciding whether to withdraw from the heights around Sarajevo, UN sources said, the Serbs seemed to have followed closely negotiations between the US and NATO allies on terms for bombing attacks. 

General Mladic, Commander of Bosnian Serb forces, met through the day and into the night at Butmir airport with UN commander Francis Briquemont, who sought a broader agreement which would commit the Serbian forces to lift the siege of Sarajevo. 

In Geneva, peace negotiations were canceled when President Izetbegovic failed to attend. The Belgrade-based Tanjug news agency reported that Izetbegovic met privately with peace negotiators Stoltenberg and Owen after appearing late in the afternoon at the Palace of Nations. Peace conference spokesman John Mills told reporters that Stoltenberg and Owen had earlier called in Karadzic and his Bosnian Serb delegation to demand the evacuation of Mount Igman. Mills said that Karadzic, in the presence of the co-chairmen, telephoned General Ratko Mladic, commander of the Bosnian Serb forces.

By now speculation was rampant over whether either Bergonia or NATO would intervene.  Many said that if the Bergonians planed anything imminent, then Izetbegovic would return to Sarajevo, but he remained in Geneva, attending to the diplomatic shadow dance, in order to confound expectations. 

UNPROFOR spokesman Frewer said that NATO had not decided on immediate bombing attacks aimed at strongholds around Sarajevo.  "Right now we don't see any indication that we would need the use of air power," he said. According to the New York Times, UN commanders' opposition to airstrikes stemmed from a belief that it was safer and in the long run more effective to placate the Serbian forces than to confront them.

The Irish government said it would provide emergency orthopedic surgery for five BH children and accept a group of 200 refugees, most of them relatives of members of a similar group allowed to settle in Ireland last year. 

11 August 1993 (Wednesday) 
The Day Bergonia Commenced Its Invasion

In the early morning hours of Wednesday 11 August, Bergonia commenced a coordinated aerial attack upon Bosnian Serbian forces around Sarajevo and elsewhere in east-central Bosnia.  An hour after the first explosions in the hilltops around Sarajevo, President Vortron telephoned President Clinton, President Yeltsin of Russia, and other world leaders to inform them of the action.

From the three aircraft carriers in the Adriatic Sea, Bergonian Falcon fighter-bombers dropped bombs and launched air-to-ground missiles against the Serbian artillery and tank positions overlooking Sarajevo.  Cruise missiles fired from destroyers and submarines in the Adriatic, and Skyrider intercontinental bombers completed the offensive mix.  Every Serb fuel depot in southern BH was bombed that night, and every highway leading from Pale toward the fighting around Sarajevo was severed.

Airborne commandoes parachuted and took positions south of the city, where they set up defended helicopter pads, brought in rocket lunders and then hit Serbian units.  A force of helicopters arrived to secure the Sarajevo airport.  A second force of helicopters airlifted commandos onto mountains north of Sarajevo, behind Serbian positions on the heights overlooking the city and pounded them with rockets from their backsides.  

Late that morning (Berg time) a very energized President Vortron gave a press conference, with all the members of the Executive Council sitting with him at a long table to show solidarity.  When one European journalist indignantly scolded Vortron for endangering U.N. peacekeepers, he shot back, "that's like telling the hospital that the staff is more important than the patients.  You tell the peacekeepers to duck like everyone else.  And you tell Karadzic and Mladic that if their people harm a single peacekeeper then our cruise missiles will find them and they will pay the price with their own lives."  Then foreign minister Alfred Cavaro added, "It is not our fault that the UN sent in peacekeepers.  It was entire ably foreseeable that they would immediately become potential hostages, which has given NATO and excuse for its cowardice.  These inflammatory statements led the news accounts, and Vortron was widely condemned in Europe and the U.S.

After 11 August:
The Bergonian Campaign to Break the Siege

In the coming days over 40,000 Bergonian combat soldiers had deployed around Sarajevo in numerous scattered positions, attacking Serbian positions, and spotting and directing cruise missile and Falcon bombing attacks against Serbian weapons and fortifications.  The Falcons also harassed and bombed Serbian truck convoys and destroyed their roads.  Bergonian special forces attacked behind Serbian lines, destroying any remaining fuel supplies, shutting down electrical service to the Bosnian Serb capital of Pale, and interfering with Serb radio communication.  Berg commandos worked with Bosnian units in operations against the Serbs as well.  As the Serbs withdrew, Bergonia air cover allowed the offense to continue.  

Of course this prompted Serbia to enter the war. While the "Yugoslavian" army poured across the border into Serb controlled areas of BH, Bergonia's air force, employing both Falcons, Air-Daggers and Skyriders immediately hammered the Serbian air force, and once Croatia opened its air fields Bergonia within a week had achieved air superiority over all former Yugoslavia.

The Croatians actively joined the fray, fighting to eject the Serb population in Krijina and also to take back the territory lost to the Serbs in Vukovar in north-eastern Croatia.  The Bergonian plan was to rally all non-Serb Yugoslav nationalities into a unified action to isolate and contain Serb power.  Therefore the Bergonians then leveraged Albania and the Albanians of Kosova to rise up against Serbia, and Bergonia quickly airlifted 17,000 troops into the mountains of northern Albania to provide arms, intelligence and logistics to the Kosova uprising.  This stirred up the Russians, and prompted them to increased support for Serbia and threaten to send troops there.  

This aroused fears all over Europe-- people cited the bad example that had been set in 1914.  But the Bergonians had taken the likelihood of escalation into account when calculating their gamble, and they anticipated that this scary prospect would wake up NATO and the UN.  They expected that NATO and the UN would feel compelled to broker a cease fire that would restrain Russia and then a permanent peace after Bergonia and its allies had achieved their strategic goals on the ground of halting Serbian aggression and atrocity.  

The mediator group still was able to push forward, and finally all the principles were invited to a newly energized Geneva conference, with the Bergonians and the Russians delegations glaring at each other across the table.

In time the Berg special forces pursued Serbian terrorists like Karadzic and Arkan.  As a result of the intervention, Bosnia Herzegovina was organized as a multi-ethnic federal state with a strong president and self-governing cantons and with no self-governing Serb republic, Croatia was restored to its full territorial integrity. Kosova was liberated and declared independent, after partitioning off a small northern slice of it for Serbians, and with guarantees for Serbian Orthodox and patriotic sites.  Not a single U.N. Peacekeeper was harmed by the Serbs, although three were killed by Bergonian ordinance.  And Serbia was defanged, humiliated for its hubris, and trimmed down to its appropriate size.


Internet Bibliography:

A military history of the siege of Sarajevo.

Study of the Battle and Siege of Sarajevo by a United Nations Commission of Experts, with an excruciatingly detailed day-by-day chronology that I ripped off and edited here.

Map of the siege of Sarajevo


Serbian hatred and Western indifference combined to fill the cemeteries of Sarajevo