Kurds launched a series of attacks and captured Kirkuik and Mahabad in Iran, Erzurum in the north, and Aleppo in the west, declaring the area formed by that triangle as the new Kurdistan. They also gained control of the Trans-Anatolian pipeline at Erzurum and the Ceyhan to Iran pipelines at Kirkuik and Erbil. The pipelines were damaged but not severed and now in control of the Kurds.
The attacks were wildly successful. Turkish and Iranian troops were caught completely out-of-position and Kurdish forces rapidly displaced the token resistance of the civilians.
In rapid succession, the Kurds launched a series of attacks on oil and natural gas pipelines inside Turkey. Those pipelines supplied Europe with a very large percentage of the oil and gas they used daily. The pipelines were severely damaged but not severed.
Quick response by Turkish troops allowed them to recapture the regions around the pipelines before the Kurds had dug-in and reinforced their positions. Turkish troops pursued the terrorists deep into Syria. During a massive battle near Aleppo, they capture a soldier in an Israeli uniform who had lost his suicide capsule.
They paraded the Israeli soldier and the Kurds he had been captured with on national TV. The reports were picked up and broadcast internationally.
Israel denied the soldier was Israeli and claimed the action has all of the markers of a "false flag".
The main thrust of the Turkish troops, now reinforced by Syrians, swept toward Israel.
Cities in Europe erupted in massive riots as the cities with the highest proportions of immigrants spontaneously exploded in “Islam Lives Matter” protests.
Europe was paralyzed.
Along the Pakistan-Indian border in the Punjab, one of the corporals had an encrypted radio that had been hacked into the command channel for 30 kilometers of line.
The corporal was a native of the Punjab and, like most Pakistani Punjab, was of the Shia branch of Islam. A particularly devout, young man, he was flattered when he was given a fatwa personally by one of the most senior and scholarly imam's in Iran.
“The Indian Bastards launched their nukes on Islamabad. Command given to fire on Indian positions and then advance” the corporal screamed into the radio. He had memorized the appropriate “verification phases”. His tank was among the first to fire on the Indian troops defending the Punjab and he was among the first to die, certain that he would be in the arms of his 72 virgins in paradise.
As America ineffectively attempted to gain the attention of nations on the other side of the globe, Europe, the middle-East and the sub-continent were consumed by flames and rapidly spiraling toward nuclear holocaust, Iran and China stepped forward to broker a peace.
America sat on the sidelines, helplessly wringing her hands while Iran hauled Turkey, Syria and Pakistan back from the brink. China advised India, pointing to minutes-old satellite imagery providing evidence that no logistical tail was attached to the Paki tank columns that India was rapidly destroying.
Within two weeks, China revealed that it had a massive missile presence on the north side of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Tens of thousands of CONEX containers with knock-down-sides proved to have anti-ship and anti-aircraft "kits" ready to plug-and play. Those batteries of missiles were soon populated by Chinese military technicians who had been ferried to Iran by the thousands via Aeroflot planes.
The US military response to threats against China's de facto take-over of Taiwan were punched in the nose when the submarine vanguard of the task-force was stopped cold. Nuclear submarines were center-punched by anti-submarine missiles launched from Mainland China. China had developed some kind of technology that abrogated US stealth technologies.
Events outran US policy wonks' ability to assimilate. None of the simulations involved conflict along the entire southern crescent of Eurasia. Washington was unable to issue cogent orders or policy.
The majority of the oil-producing countries on the Persian Gulf were under the protection of US forces. They bought and trained with US arms. They sold their oil to countries protected by the US military shield.
Chinese delegations told them to stand-down. “America cannot keep aspirin or pencils on the shelves of stores in Washington D.C. They cannot police illiterate savages within their own cities. It is thirteen-thousand nautical miles from Norfolk to the Straits of Hormuz. Unless Bedouin can make spare military parts out of sand you had best bow to us as your new masters.”
Tiny United Arab Emirates called Iran’s bluff. As one of the first Arab states to normalize relationships with Israel, they knew Iran would ride rough-shod over them. Also, as one of the most liberal, at least when the doors were closed, they knew that the Khomein would be brutal in their oppression.
After verifying that the UAE rejection of the Chinese-Iranian-Turkish axis was from the highest sources, Chinese technocrats sent out an electronic signal. Chinese integrated circuits in communications equipment with GPS coordinates within the UAE committed suicide in unison. All electronic communication in the UAE ceased. Pumps stopped pumping. Elevators stopped moving. Fire alarms stopped alarming.
It was a masterful sequence of moves on the chessboard from enticing the Kurds to attack by feigning the weakness to the pre-positioning of missile pods and command-and-control structure to integrate them into a single organism. The world’s center of gravity shifted to Beijing virtually overnight. The world competed in dumping US dollar as it lost its status as the world reserve currency. The world was absolutely awash with the worthless paper and every nation, every corporation attempted to divest their hoard while some residual value still clung to it. Europe was at the mercy of the China-Iranian-Turkish alliance: The New Silk Road was open for business. Americans need not apply.
Nobody in the US had any sense of impending doom; not the politicians, not the academics, not the man on the street.