CTRL ALT Revolt! with Nick Cole: Gaming the California Secession and maybe an Anthology… Let’s Discuss.

Friday , 3, February 2017 49 Comments

One in Three Californians Want Out!

So this post isn’t political.  It’s about Strategery.  And, maybe an anthology in the making that you get to decide the course of future historical events for.  In other words: you get to shape it.  Over on my Facebook Page this week I floated the “Hey! Let’s (John Ringo, Larry Correia, Brad Torgeson, Vox Day, Tom Kratman, to name a few… and me and some other writers) write a what-if “Turtledove-esque” Anthology about California actually seceding and a subsequent Civil War…” 

I got a lot of feedback on that Facebook post, to say the least, from people who wanted to tell what they thought would happen if the Snowflakes revolted and they had to man the barricades against some highly motivated armor and infantry.  I also heard from a lot of writer’s who wanted to make this happen.  In a book. Mostly.  Some were very willing to go Live Fire.  So a lot of crazy and really interesting ideas surfaced.

We were gaming a future war, conflict, invasion, rebellion that might actually take place.

Tom Kratman’s idea involved a plan that California go ahead and secede so we can recognize it, mobilize against it, invade it, conquer it, and then restructure it as a territory sin suffragio en perpetua, never to be allowed to vote in national elections like Guam and Puerto Rico.

Good times.  Did I mention I live at Ground Zero of this little plan.

Get a Free Nick Cole Book!

Others, like Larry Correia, were interested in merely encouraging the Golden State to go for it.  Larry hates California.

Some, like Mark Wandrey, author of Cartwright’s Cavaliers, advocated going Roman.  Seriously Roman.  Literally.  It got scary.

So the question I want to ask here at the Castalia House Blog is:

What would you do if your were a General? Politician?  Line Commander? Guerrilla Leader?  SOCOM Shot Caller?

How would you fight this little action?  Would it get totally out of hand?  Or, would it be handled rather handily?  Feel free to cite any relevant Strategic Games with similar scenarios.

You can pick either side.  You can highlight a particular moment, objective (strategic or tactical), or plan the whole invasion.  Who has the momentum and who reacts?  Yeah, it’s probably not gonna happen… but what if it did?

Maybe its not as pat as the 82nd drops into Bakersfield and destabilizes the State while three armored divisions roll up out of the Southwest and the plains.  Maybe Cali gets its hands on some game changers.  Some nukes. Or even foreign aid and mercs (China.)  What if Cali withholds its Federal Revenue?  What if the U.S. turns off the Colorado?  What if Nevada and Utah get all “Hey, Let’s go for it too!”

If the ideas get crazy and cool enough then we’ve got a timeline to set an anthology in.  Readers of the Castalia House Blog are gamers, strategists, veterans and thinkers.  So this is your chance to play with the end of the U.S. as we know it, and, maybe I can twist some arms and get an Anthology going along these lines.  An anthology you help create.  So go ahead:  Ruin California in the comments.  All options are on the table, as they tell the President in those scary  loose-nuclear-weapon thrillers.  Let’s game the Secession of California…

Check it Out! It’s World War Z meets The Notebook

And while you’re at it check out this future California after the Zombocalypse book I wrote.


Nick Cole is a former soldier and working actor living in Southern California. When he is not auditioning for commercials, going out for sitcoms or being shot, kicked, stabbed or beaten by the students of various film schools for their projects, he can be found writing books. He won the Dragon Award in 2016 for CTRL ALT Revolt!


  • Since I’m a California native, Castalia author. writer of apocalyptic sci-fi and all, thanks for the invitation. I assume it’s in the mail somewhere…

  • Nick says:

    We wouldn’t move forward without you, sir!

  • Sean Anderson says:

    Without US military intervention, California secedes, establishes a pure democracy, and within 3 years,is annexed back into Mexico by La Raza, the dominant ruling party.

  • The Crisis 2020 boardgame is probably a good start for simulating it. No secession scenario though.

  • Wombat-socho says:

    Nevada is almost evenly split between conservatives and liberals; my guess is it would get very bloody in Clark and Washoe Counties (Las Vegas and Reno respectively) for a week or two until one side or another emerged victorious.

  • Nathan says:

    Obvious play would be for the US to stop diverting water from the Colorado River to Californian irrigation. California would have to choose between coming up with an alternative or invading the US for control of the Four Corners states.

    • Criticas says:

      A better strategy would be to announce, ala the Emancipation Proclamation, that water can be diverted from the Colorado only in Counties that are not in rebellion. The “Red California” agricultural counties would have a strong incentive to remain in the US. It would have a secondary effect on coastal “Blue California”, since their sources of water are mostly in Red California.

  • Criticas says:

    California wants to withhold Tax revenues? Fine, the Feds withhold expenditures. But wait, doesn’t California pay more taxes than benefits received? The study that claimed that took the Federal deficit and added that to the tax burden; the actual amount of funds transferred is less.

    In addition, much of the benefits received go directly to individuals, so California can’t skimp without harming Medicaid, unemployment, and Social Security recipients.

    Finally, imagine the impact on California’s economy if the Feds announce there is suspension of purchasing from California firms…

    Economic warfare is effective because the impact is so broad, and so disruptive.

  • Alan Jordan says:

    Crazy random thoughts: I have heard that some in California is considering taxing individuals who leave the state after they retire just to balance the budget. The idea is that since you made the money here, you owe us your taxes. Just a side note. Would they build a wall to keep people out, or to keep people in? Also- who would be in their military? And Bakersfield would be a good place for the 82nd to land. There may be more friendlies there. If they leave, do we create a mutual defense partnership, or simply let Chian invade?

    • “I have heard that some in California is considering taxing individuals who leave the state after they retire just to balance the budget.”

      This is not a consideration–it’s been policy for a long time. California is still taxing a family member’s pension because he earned it in California, though he no longer lives in the state–he lives in Arizona, which does not tax retirement pay, but if he moved elsewhere, he would be double taxed. They also tax the military retirement of servicemembers who retired with California residency. Meh.

      It’s also important to know the general makeup of each region. The desert and rural areas such as the San Joaquin Valley are quite conservative, even “redneck” and libertarian–which way would these folks break? For secession, because if the anti-fed-government feeling? Or would they be pro-Union because they by and large hate the People’s Republic of California? Because basically, they have most of the legal guns.

      Some other things to take into account:

      The San Joaquin valley is the breadbasket of the state and the nation.

      Fort Irwin is home to probably the best-trained and most effective armored unit in the entire world–the 11th ACR, which functions as OPFOR at the National Training Center. Give them fuel and ammo, and they will kick ass. Create a narrative reason for them (and some other important military units, especially naval units, and you might have some interesting struggles.

      Trying to control a metropolis the size of greater LA would be hellishly difficult. I could see it turning into a brutal insurgency if the people were unified in their antipathy.

      If you want a reason, have the Feds perpetrate a massacre that unites Californians against an overbearing new administration (remember, fiction, folks, not a political jab). It would depend on whether you want to cast the Californians sympathetically as unlikely resistors of Federal overreach (in which case the entire Southwest and much of the Mountain West might join them) or as looney lefties that need smacking down. The problem with the latter scenario is that none of the military units and few of the armed citizenry would help them, so the whole thing would be over in days.

      • Dave says:

        As I posted below California has many distinct regions not only due to geography, and politics but also economics.

        Nobody as yet has mentioned the State of Jefferson movement which already has the support of 21 counties.

        I can see this group as well as the desert and central CA moving to break apart from the rest of the state in the event of an actual secession.

        • Slim934 says:

          There is a somewhat recent episode of the Tom Woods podcast where he talks to one of the heads of the SOJ movement. That guy confirmed that were California to secede, the SOJ would immediately change gears to rejoin the Union as a new state and break from California.

  • Larry says:

    I’ve seen where there is discussion of splitting California into two separate entities. This might work. Have he Left wing extremists on the west side of the San Andreas fault for obvious reasons and the people with critical thinking skills on the east side of the subduction zone. After all, time does heal a wounds…

  • Jason Weiser says:

    Honestly, I could see the California secession becoming very messy indeed. The coastal counties will vote for it en masse..and then have the inland and northern counties seecede ala West Virginia to rejoin the Union..

    The rest..well, failed state seems to come to mind…probably followed by the US having to perform a humanitarian intervention within a decade.

  • I wrote a Mad-Max-esque alt-present take on what California would look like if people played with the state’s water rights.

    That the corruption and power would revolve around the flow of water.

    Couple things for the CA secession —

    1) The Federal government in 1860 did not let states they were politically opposed to secede from the Union. There’s no way in hell they’d let CA walk out without a war (and, obviously, CA would have to win it).

    2) CA is hard-up for power / electricity. Gaming CA’s power grid in the late 90s / early 2000s is how Enron put CA in debt to the tune of 9M. There would need to be a massive infrastructure overhaul before CA could think to be self sufficient.

    3) Current estimates are CA is 420B in debt. Meaning, good luck being self sufficient, as a state, particularly now that you’re going to incur export taxes from the U.S.

    4) The Colorado River. The water rights to the CO river are a HUGE deal, and CA is on the buttend, downstream end. If it were to become another country, you can kiss off any sort of rights to this waterway.


    5) Likely, it would be a Civil War within a Civil War.

    While CA is fighting the US gov, it would also be a Civil War within the State itself. The agricultural areas (you know, the resources that make CA valuable in a global economic sense) would be at war with the massive population hubs of SF and LA.

    There’d be a ton of infighting.

    If CA were to leave (successfully) it is likely boundaries would be redrawn and CA would look like post WW2 Germany, really only the areas around SF and LA constituting this new CA, while the bulk of the agricultural land remained part of the U.S.

    That’s where I’d focus my story. On the infighting within the state, while both sides are taking a beating from the Federal government.

    That’s my two shits worth. I’m a Cali kid. Grew up all over CA. Beverly Hills to Stockton. One thing all Californians seem to have in common — their hearts are in the right place, but their heads are up their ass.

    I don’t usually plug my shit like this, but if you’re interested, the link is below.


    • Nohbody says:

      Regarding California’s debt, don’t forget to include pension obligations. I don’t recall where I saw it, but I vaguely remember mentions of obligations in the terabuck range.

  • Mark Olivares says:

    This war could not be lengthy. California’s water is too vulnerable. A few PGMs on aquaducts and pumping stations, and Los Angeles dies within a week or two. Body count in the millions. Very nasty. The SF Bay Area is only slightly more difficult.

  • Sam says:

    Don’t forget information warfare and propaganda.

    Picture a buildup to secession, where Hollywood starts cranking out propaganda pieces like mad. Not targeted at the US, but at China, Russia, whoever else they think they might get on board as protectors.

    Google, Facebook, Yahoo and other companies start data mining for information to use against politicians. They contract with the criminal cartel(s) of their choice to open up their use databases for exploitation. On Secession Day, a series of fraudulent funds transfers cause panic in the US. CA splits the take, and is suddenly solvent.

    If they just say, “Yeah, we’re seceding! Screw you!” then they’ll have problems. If they’re smart about it, though…

  • cirsova says:

    Two words: Colorado Headwaters

  • Thank you for some honest refreshment. How did you develop your characters and create tension in your writings?
    Military Historian In-Training

  • Declan Finn says:

    First, North and South California would split. This would be awkward for the governor, considering where they put Sacramento.

    If crazy Southern California takes Northern California with them, we can all just wait and watch as California undergoes a Civil War. This will be won by Southern California after the drug dealers at war with Mexico officially invade “the aid and support the righteous Southern Californians.” Once all of the drug suppliers and dealers become the muscle with which Southern California wins over the North, expect every other criminal from Mexico to come forth and be given positions of power within the state government. Southern Californians will rejoice, since the drug suppliers will be confiscating the farmlands in the North, and selling to the South.

    THEN the actual United States starts supplying the Californian Resistance Front with weapons and logistics. We won’t need to invade, we’d just need to sit back and watch as everyone in power, and who support the separation, are assassinated by the CRF.

    If they’re lucky, we don’t build a wall to keep THEM in.

  • Jim Nanban says:

    Don’t forget the broader scale. Given the right scenario conditions, Texas could also secede, likely over 10th Amendment grounds (imagine a Convention of States that gets ignored). While it may not be an ally of CA, it would be no ally of USA either. Now you’ve got USA fighting two civil wars, and strange bedfelows could be made.

  • Astrsorceror says:

    It would have to feature a Siege of San Francisco. With the massive US naval base in the middle of the city, and a city vulnerable to be surrounded and cut off by a most unsympathetic populace. Most civic leaders would look at this scenario and think: “no way in Hell is there going to be a succession.” But, not the reality-optional leadership of San Francisco. Nope, they rebel, with a massive military base inside their city, hostile populations without, and vital resources easily cut off, they begin the “Seige of San Francisco”!

  • Dave says:

    Agree with Declan that California would split apart, however it would be many partitions.

    For starters say;
    Bay Area
    Central Cal
    Orange County?
    San Diego?
    Midcoast 101?

    Whatever the approach, it’s got the makings of an anthology I would definitely buy.

  • tweell says:

    It would be ugly, like most civil wars. There would be at least one big bank going with CA, and the banking system would get crashed, along with the stock exchange. Silicon Valley would give CA a big edge in the techno-war.
    The many bases and military units would button up. There’d be mobs crying for peace as they smashed their way in, lots of photo ops. Some bases would be lost.
    AZ would shut off CA’s water and power. There might be enough power capacity left to go to rolling blackouts, but I’d expect most would go for ‘essential government services’. The looting and rioting would go to eleven.
    This would be when the US mil moves in to ‘restore order’, if they are being handled competently. Water and power would get turned on along with the advance.
    At some point, I’d expect a leadership battle in the Republik of Kalifornia, the winners to try to ‘reboot’ and act like the revolt never happened.

  • Paul D. says:

    With all their loony leaders they would
    wreck their economy in a month or two.

    Everything free this and that.

    The military could dropped bread in and the masses would revolt.

  • Manni Ratliff says:

    I flat -guarantee- you, in the event of even the possibility of a successful Californian secession, volunteer regiments from every state in the Union would form up to fight against the Californian rebellion.

    See, in any civil war, and that is what a Calexit would entail, there are going to be agitators on either side. The nastiest agitators are deliberately going to attempt to start a war, in the manner of John Brown and other irregulars during the days of Bleeding Kansas.

    Expect roving bands of guerrilla troops perfectly willing to blow up infrastructure, cut roads, and generally cause hell and mayhem for any “legitimate” Californian government.

    The state would be ripped apart ten ways, and that’S before the water ran out…

  • Tim George says:

    My wife’s family lives about 10 miles from where the movie, The Free State of Jones, is about. The legends and truths about that conflict within a conflict still abound in south Mississippi. I can see Central California facing the same dilemma.

    Jones County, MS was one of a large number of counties in the deep south that did not vote for succession and deeply resented wealthy plantation owners who had do problem drafting poor non-slave owners while they insulated themselves from joining the fight.

    Imagine the elites of So-Cal and the Bay Area of San-Fransisco. They would have no problem starting a fight but would no doubt do the same to Fresno residents who never wanted an exit in the first place.

    Imagine now, pockets of progressive la-land dwellers in places like Austin, Texas or Franklin, TN (Nashville) trying to help California. Austin and Franklin have some of the best live music in America but I dare say they wouldn’t have a chance against the sea of US loyalist that surrounds them.

    A side note: Texas controls and one of the three power grids in this country and it is fully self-enclosed. California is not nearly as self-sufficient as some progressive types seem to thing. Should So-Cal get cut off from the grid or the CO river, I don’t see the Fed gov needing to do anything but wait them out. What would happen to my friends in Orange County is another matter.

  • Scott Cole says:

    The assumption is that California succeeds and faces a united Federal effort to return them to the fold. If it got to the point of California succession then the fighting / unrest would not be localized on the West Coast. At the minimum the entire western coastal strip would go or attempt to go with California.

  • flyingtiger says:

    The Chicago city council passed an ordinance declaring themselves to be a “Sanctuary City.”Until then, it had been an executive order that could be ignored. Chicago has essentially seceded from the Union. After yelling at my Alderman, I stated to work on my novel “Sanctuary City: Blood will Flow.” I had hoped to get it done by Inaugural day, but forced overtime caused by the incompetence of the senile Illinois speaker of the house has slowed down progress. I hope to get it done in a few months.

  • UF says:

    California cannot secede until March, 2019: they need to amend the state constitution, which they can put on the ballot in 2018, before they can actually vote to leave the Union. Because that gives them two years to double down on the stupid, I believe that California will collapse before they can secede. Specifically, over the next two years the current government of California will cause a major demographic shift and a minor economic collapse. It will also completely fail to maintain even a semblance of order. If there’s a Federal invasion, it will be of the stateless region formerly known as California, not of a new, independent country.
    1) Demographics—Mexicans in + whites out = Flint 2.0
    Several mayors of cities throughout the United States have claimed that they will resist President Trump’s attempts to deport criminal illegal aliens. In response, Trump has threatened to deny federal funding to the rebellious cities. Most of the mayors have backed down, but in California there has actually been an increase in the number of openly defiant cities. I assume that at least ONE of these mayors will continue to resist despite losing federal funding. Politicians want first and foremost to stay in power, so they will do what the rapid leftists in those cities want: defy Trump, even if they cannot possibly win.
    This will cause many Mexicans to move to the few remaining “sanctuary cities.” Even if they are in the United States legally, they might have family members who aren’t. If President Trump rolls back DACA, even more will move, for fear that Trump might declare other amnesties invalid. In the past, something as simple as requiring proof of citizenship to send a child to preschool has been sufficient to cause Mexicans to move to another state with remarkable celerity. California will probably not be the only place for Mexicans to flee to, but the weather is better there than, say, Boston, and Florida still has a Republican governor. Since I expect deportations to begin before the spring, I assume that significant numbers of criminal illegal aliens and their relatives will soon begin moving into California.*
    In addition to the number of illegal aliens coming into California, many whites will leave. Due to the state’s crazy laws, company after company has been relocating. Also, in January child prostitution was effectively, though not officially, legalized in California. Right-wingers have been leaving California for years, but the combination of a shrinking job market, children whoring on the streets, and the absence of federal funds should be sufficient to send most of them running even before criminals start being moved into the good neighborhoods again.
    It is possible that white leftists and pedophiles (but I repeat myself) will move into California in such numbers that they offset the departure of the right. However, even if they do, they will have less political power than the rightwing refugees did, and, will be even less able to maintain California’s infrastructure. There just aren’t very many leftwing plumbers, and toilets are racist anyway. As the demographics begin to resemble Mexico, so will the state.
    *(In the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte encouraged people to kill drug dealers. Over six months 400 were shot, 4,400 were arrested, and 500,000 turned themselves in. Of course, since Trump won’t be killing illegal aliens, the math will be different. Let’s assume that illegals will flee to a sanctuary city rather than turn themselves in, that a deportation is comparable to an arrest, and that—in the absence of death squads—a deportation will cause only 1/10th as many people to flee. So if Trump deports 2-3 million people, that will cause ~22-34 million to flee. Since estimates of the number of illegal aliens range from 11-30 million, this is in line with my previous assumption that some people who are here legally will also move. If even a tenth of these people—one person per deportation—fled to California, that would be devastating, as their population is, according to InfoGalactic, only 39 million.)
    2) Economy—Latino Communism works, compadre
    California’s government is already running out of money, and will be in serious financial trouble if they defy Trump and he follows through on his threat to cut off federal funds. However, they will likely find some way to limp along long enough for the secession vote. Probably through a combination of fraud, theft, and support from Soros, China, the Saudis, Mexico, and/or the UN, the government will be able to pay its bills. The international left stands to gain enormously from Californian secession and success, even if it’s illusory.
    However, just because the government has money doesn’t mean the people do. The various welfare programs will keep people fat and happy, and Hollywood and Silicon Valley will continue to rake in money. However, everyone else will have to tighten their belts. Between ludicrous government regulations and increasing crime (due to increasing numbers of criminal aliens), more and more businesses will be forced to close. Except for those which are more interested in ideology than success, companies that are able to leave California will continue to do so. This will force more people onto welfare, at a time when the government’s tax base is shrinking. While a Venezuela-style collapse is possible, it is likely that various humanitarian organizations would supply sufficient food.
    Within two years, California’s “economy” could consist entirely of: 1) Propagandists and technocrats who bankroll the government, 2) government employees, 3) welfare recipients, 4) child prostitutes, 5) tourists, 6) banks, and, 7) Asian shopkeepers, and 8) drug dealers, racketeers, etc. And I would expect kidnappings for ransom to dry gradually up tourism. The smarter tech companies will leave while they still can.
    3) Collapse
    Gang wars will become increasingly intense. In order to gain an edge, one or more cartels will probably try to take over various levels of the government. Additionally, Mexican/African-Americans antipathy is such that there may be more than one attempt at ethnic cleansing of a city. For example, this is currently happening in Compton. Of course, in the summertime, there will be the customary riots and looting.

    By the summer of 2017, Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon will be suffering periodic raids. The numbers of people involved will be so small that the raids will probably not be used as justification for sending the Army into California. Instead, Arizona and Nevada will organize border defenses, based mostly on volunteers. Oregon will simply bend over and take it.

    The cartels will probably not overthrow the government of California, because having some other group take the blame for failing to provide order benefits them. The region will simply deteriorate into largely stateless chaos. I suspect that Americans would not care enough to do more than insist on better security along the Arizona-Nevada-Oregon border.

    However, China may decide that, instead of getting their people out, it would be better to take over. The Chinese could almost certainly deal with the cartels, and it would not be difficult to continue to process of secession. Once the Chinese-dominated government has established its independence, the United States could invade the new country. But California would have the support of China, the UN, and whichever European countries still have globalist leaders in early 2019.

    This would be a disaster. China could simply take over the existing Army bases in California and send a sizeable army there—ostensibly to protect the new county and help train its armed forces. With the Chinese army right on our borders, it would be considerably harder to prevent them from overtly taking control of all of Africa (they have invested more money there than in the United States).

    Because the United States has toppled so many governments in the name of Democracy, there is nothing we can do about this. We could try to declare secession illegal, and have the army ready to move the moment the referendum passes. But China, or any other country, could send soldiers in beforehand, and claim to be protecting democracy. What could we do, attack the army of a nuclear power?

    The only ways we can win are: 1) Secession fails, 2) California’s government completely disintegrates before they secede, or 3) China decides they don’t want the world’s best invasion beachhead.

    • Dave says:

      I think UF just confirmed there is no character limit to comment on this blog.

    • David VanDyke says:

      I think you’re missing the point here. The anthology will happen. Fiction will be written, words shall be shed, scenes shall be shaken.

      This means that rather than trying to list reasons why it wouldn’t work, we need to accept the dictates of fiction and create ways for it to work, to create a situation with tension and conflict, where the heroes, whomever they are, have a chance of winning and the villains, whomever they are, rise up and create genuine threats.

      That could be Chinese or Pan-Asian or Mexican intervention, or a feckless new regime in Washington, or aliens that take control of people’s brains, or a rift that vomits magic into the world, or something. The goal is to come up with ways and means to make good stories, not to argue reasons why such stories make no sense.

      Good Lord, people, we’re SFF writers! Act like it!

  • Richard Fox says:

    Consider the cash situation. CA pulls the trigger and says “we’re out”. Washington cuts off all CA banks from electronically transmitting dollars anywhere. (Fun Fact: Banks do not transmit money directly to each other, money goes to the Federal Reserve (who take a very small cut) and then the Fed sends it on to the intended destination)

    CA needs cash to pay for everything…and if the Fed printing presses in SF are sabotaged during the succession CA won’t be able to print decent bank notes.

    CA wants weapons? Cash. Pay workers and soldiers? Cash. Pay for oil to run power plants? Cash.

    Where would CA get a wad of cash while it works through it’s liquidity problem? There’s the Las Vegas strip with casino’s flush with cash just across the border.

    CA launches the biggest cash grab in history by sending a raiding force into NV to rob every last casino blind. And Reno.

    There’s a fun story for you.

  • Alexandru says:

    23 years worth of California Living here, grew up in Long Beach and lived allover from San Diego up.

    The first obstacle to get over in the world of imagination is making the lefty side a cohesive group. The reality is that while the fancy rich liberals from the Bay would be the initial agitators as soon as the shit hits the fan their minority subjects would loot and pillage their own cities within days. Any white, middle-class support would crumble withing the first few weeks as anybody with knowledge and skill would get the hell out. Lefties always turn on lefties and this current crop lacks the intelligence and philosophic acumen of their Soviet heroes.

    Second, 1st Marine division is in San Diego and Twenty Nine Palms, and the Pacific fleet is floating around San Diego at all times. 1 Marine Regiment would pacify most of SD county easily.

  • David Williams says:

    The California Legislature votes to secede. The areas without a liberal majority refuse to recognize the referendum. The National Guard splits with many soldiers leaving the successionists and leaving for the outskirts. Law enforcement in the Unionist areas begin to cut off all supplies that come into the Successionist areas. There is confusion in the US government how to deal with the situation. Is it armed rebellion against the nation or is it criminal action in the state. The Successionists invite in the Mexican government and the Chinese government for help. The US tells the Chinese navy and air to stay back. In the meantime people from all over the country begin to move onwards California. Some to support the rebels, some to join the Union forces. Fighting escalates between the areas. Rebels encourage thugs and gangs to join the army to fight the “oppressors” promising them free lands. Agitators in major cities across the nation riot to support the rebels. After a particularly brutal attack on civilians in the heartland by gangbangers in the rebel army the decision is made to go in. Brutal house to house fighting occurs.

    In international politics the Iranians, North Koreans, and Chinese attempt to arm the rebels. Japan and South Korea join forces in an alliance with the US against their common enemies.

  • Christopher says:

    I think a semi-successful secession movement in CA (by that, I mean the more likely scenario of CA splitting in two, the north definitely remaining in the union, and the south/coast trying to attain more autonomy and deal with wacko separatists who can’t quite pull it together) ties into a broader internal political reorganization inside the US – the 10 or so main “city-states” we have, that drive, or suck away the economy and population, depending on your perspective seek to secede from their parent state (the more rural / commuter-bedroom community regions), or vice-versa, the parent state tries to get rid of them. So I think several major cities, a’la Washington, seek statehood – LA, Miami, of course NYC (plus Long Island as part of it), Chicago. I think parts of other states that have more in common (half of Wyo and Northern CO for example) seek to merge, or split off – so I think our map of the US internally ends up looking a LOT different in 50 years.

    I think we’re going to regret the HI annexation down the line, if not annexing them, then giving them statehood, because there are a lot of folks who think that they have a strong, legitimate case for secession (YMMV).

  • Kim Sommer says:

    I posted about this in the original FB post. This is exapnded.

    The trials a functionary in the CA-EPA goes through dealing with the pre and post action environmental analyse and reports. Fighting the hard fight to protect the environment while working 29hrs a week, staying calm with yoga and aromatherapy, and making sure they use non-GMO almond milk at the local non-corporate coffee co-op.

  • Here’s the thing. It wouldn’t just be California pulling out it would be Washington, Oregon and possibly BC as well.

    I think the political crisis would go something like this. The break away starts off cleanly enough but then the State of Jefferson attempts to breakaway from California and rejoin the US. The Pacific Union comes down hard on them because Jefferson bisects the PU.

    Since the PUs secession has no validity under the US constitution, Jefferson residents have every right to claim that they are still American citizens.

    Would Camp Pendleton become the new GITMO?

    And the big question, how many nukes can the PU get a hold of? I think they still have them at Travis but I’m not sure.

    If the PU can get ahold of those it would be able to hold the USA at bay in terns of conventional attack.

  • Criticas says:

    The Nukes are a nice twist. Heck, you could even posit a ballistic missile sub at Alameda, San Diego, or Long Beach going rogue and joining the rebels. 24 Trident D5’s would make the People’s Republic a nuclear power.

    The stories will need something to balance the power of the United States. Counterbalances, because otherwise the war is “shut off the power, water, commerce, and communications, and wait”. What if the Russians helped San Francisco, Mexico helped LA, and the Chinese helped Oregon and Washington?

  • Ron says:

    Think several decades down the road where Whites are no longer in majority and Mexicans are in sufficient numbers to help Mexico take back the South West from Texas to California. Maybe foreign powers help Mexico to collapse US power. Maybe some nations assist the US.

  • Tim says:

    Victor Davis Hanson writes all the time about the incredible differences in life styles and attitudes between the Fresno area (inland CA in general) and the SF Bay area. The very well-off and oh-so-liberal whites are in for a nasty awakening when they meet the mobs of hungry and thirsty illegals up close and personal. It will be like an invasion of army ants…

  • Cataline Sergius says:

    I think the most realistic approach is the peaceful breakaway

  • Cataline Sergius says:

    Strategic assessment: plus side:

    Software warfare. Assuming control of the entire Pacific coast; Excellent. If they put their minds to it they could easily put anybody else on the planet to shame. The US would probably have to revive carbon paper and mimeograph machines.

    Population density isn’t bad but it pretty far from homogenous. That is the real issue if you are creating an army. The societal cocktail that produces good soldiers is very specialized. The PU is going to end up with a three tiered system.

    An A Team that is in charge of regime protection

    A, B Team that is largely volunteer.

    And a C Team that is largely conscripted and you can guess who in California would be getting conscripted.

    Still you could call it a regular army but it would be atrocious for counter insurgency work. Very thumb fingered. And atrocity prone. But it would still be an army.

    Propaganda. Yeah they already got that one covered.

    Strategic Minerals. Not too good but the US isn’t much better. So that is kind of even.

    Petroleum Production: also pretty good although I don’t know if it could sustain Cali plus a war effort.

    The minus side is obvious but the authors need something to work with in order to build dramatic tension.

  • pyotr says:

    Adding my two cents – in the book _Ecotopia_ the idea was that the entire state of Washington and Oregon leave. Doubtful – there are major differences between various regions of both states. Outside of the liberal islands which is the main city (Seattle/Portland) there is a lot of “why don’t you move back to California?” sentiment.

    Likewise for Calexit. While San Fransisco, Sacramento and West LA are all in favor of it – Jefferson, the Central Valley and Oakland are sufficiently unhappy with Sacramento (et al) as it is, secession will just give them the excuse.

    And of course, “A riot is an ugly t’hink. But I say it’s time we had one!”

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