2013 Invasion of Pangus

Invasion of Pangus
Part of Greater Insula Feran Conflict
300px
From top to bottom: 5th Air Assault Battalion jumping into Pangus; a residential building damaged by the Heraldan Rebels during in-fighting between warlords; an Aquitaynian M.Cs 82 'Illusion' multirole fighter taking off from the HMS Blossom.
DateDecember 28th, 2013 - February 2nd, 2014
Location
Result

Coalition victory,

Territorial
changes
Borders expand northeastward and southward, establishment of New Pangus as the unitary state in northern Insula Fera.
Belligerents

 Aquitayne
22px Symphonia


 Dungeyland
 Polarus
 Blackhelm Confederacy
Template:Country data Heralds Heraldan Rebels
Commanders and leaders
Aquitayne Samuel Reich
Aquitayne Halvor Hummel
Dangish Empire Queen Ellen
Dangish Empire Richard Scylla
Template:Country data Heralds Neemar Loringian
Strength

119,000 troops

 Aquitayne:
46,500
22px Symphonia:
50,000


 Dungeyland:
14,500
 Polarus
300
 Blackhelm Confederacy
210
2 corvettes
 Kyashi
10,000
Template:Country data Heralds Heraldan Rebels:
17,000-40,000 fighters
Casualties and losses
Coalition: 452 (236 Aquitaynian, 216 Symphonia, 415 Kyashian)
1,955 wounded (561 Aquitaynian, 664 Symphonian, 730 Kyashian)
EATA Forces 32 (Dangish)
126 wounded (Dangish)
Rebels:
13,200 (estimated)
6,861 wounded (estimated)

The 2013 Invasion of Pangus lasted from 28 December, 2013, to 2 February 2014, and signaled the start of the Occupation of Pangus, which was dubbed Operation United Resolve after the United Kingdom Joint Military Operations Theater was announced on the 29th of December.[1] Prior to this announcement, the operation had no official name. Its successor, Operation Enduring Resolve, would be announced a few weeks after the initial invasion had concluded, and would mark the begginging of the Occupation of Pangus. The invasion consisted of 36 days of major combat operations, during which troops from Aquitayne, Symphonia, Riysa, and the Dangish Empire invaded Pangus and began deposing of the numerous warlords across the country that fell under the command of the terrorist group Heralds and their leader, Neemar Loringian. The invasion consisted primarily of an unconventionally fought war which concluded with the joint capture of the Pangus capital, Corvus.

Roughly 109,000 Coalition troops, excluding the Dangish military expedition, were sent into Pangus during the initial invasion phase, which lasted from 27 December 2013 to 15 January 2014. About 46,500 were sent by Aquitayne alone, while Symphonia topped that number at roughly 50,000 troops, while Arabic Republic of Riysa contributed around 2,500 Special Operations Forces to the invasion. Multiple other countries would be involved in its aftermath, mostly from the Eastern Astyrian Treaty Alliance. In preparation for the invasion, roughly 100,000 United Kingdom troops were assembled at the United Kingdom Military Base, Kotami Peninsula, which sat roughly southwest of Pangus and Prudensia, by the 20th of December, 2013.

According to Aquitaynian King, Samuel Reich, the mission of the United Kingdom was to, "bring peace, order, justice, and hospitality back to the Pangean and indigenous peoples."[2] A poll conducted in 2014, a few months after the initial invasion had been completed, showed that about 78% of Aquitaynians were in favor of intervening in Pangus and Prudensia, while 54% said they would prefer if other nations took a more substantial role in the conflict. In late 2015, another poll was put out into the field, and the results showed that only 57% of Aquitaynians favored a continued mission in Pangus, and 88% of respondents favored an independent and self-sustaining state on the island that did not require an Aquitaynian military presence. Hector Cai, a widely respected economist and political science author, wrote in his 2016 essay, Reassessing Aquitaynian Defense Strategy, that "if the Aquitaynian government cannot come to terms with the fact that they are losing the war at home, there will be no conflict to win overseas."[3]

The invasion was preceded by the dropping of leaflets over major metropolitan areas announcing the United Kingdom's intention to enter the country and bring order back to the people living there. During the leaflet dropping, air strikes were conducted across the southeastern part of the country at known Heraldan insurgent sites. Notably, a precision strike was conducted on a telecommunications tower that had been intercepted transmitting insurgent radio signals. These events occurred on the evening of the 28th of December, 2013. Later that night, Aquitaynian Special Operations Forces, notably the 20th Kommandosow Brigade, conducted night-time combat jumps into Pangus from their staging point, while multiple infantry and armored divisions began pushing toward Corvus.[4]

The main body of the Coalition forces drove into the heart of Pangus and met moderate resistance until entering large cities. One notable instance was the Battle of Borsoi (2014). The 20th Kommandosow Brigade jumped into the Harrison-Neeson Metropolitan Airport to secure the area for troops and equipment, but were met with heavy resistance from inside the town. Over 70 Aquitaynian soldiers were injured and 15 killed, and was directly linked to a two-day stall in the push north.[5]

The Occupation of Pangus is currently the only territorial occupation of a nation-state in Astyria.

Prelude to the Invasion

While the invasion of Pangus and Prudensia were not directly correlated with the government of the Imperial Spartanian Empire, the nature of the relationship between Aquitayne and the ISE was fragile at best. Weeks before the collapse of the ISE, the King of Aquitayne ordered a show of force using the 4th Fleet in a show of force to solidify the new official territory that had been incorporated into Aquitayne on the southern end of Insula Fera.[6] Not only so, but the I.S.E had also, days before the show of force had been conducted, enacted heavy trade sanctions and travel restrictions on ships flying the Aquitaynian flag, especially through the Mican Straight.[7]

File:Escortaq.jpg
The HMS Reinhult being escorted by an Imperial Spartanian fighter aircraft through the Mican Straight.

There were calls within the Magnus Magnatus to enact similar legislation against the I.S.E in an effort to slow down their economy and make the effects of recession begin to make their way onto the island. This did not happen, however, as before the legislative body could pass any such law, the I.S.E's government had fallen to the Heraldan threat. In a highly publicized event, Aquitaynian fighter jets were scrambled off the deck of the HMS Orion during a trip through the Mican Straight to Cape Town, when Spartanian aircraft began encroaching on the 200 nautical mile exclusion zone.[8]

Aquitayne had a policy of neutrality towards the I.S.E. It was beginning to make an entrance into the East Astyrian Trade Alliance, and public opinion did not have anyone in favor of creating regional tension by inciting violence between the two states. The problem between Aquitayne and the I.S.E arose mainly over the use and control of the Mican Straight, which sat between the I.S.E and Stretta. Stretta, being a member of the EATA, and the I.S.E, an upcoming member, wanted to retain the shipping rights for themselves to maximize taxable profits on the waterway. Aquitayne, a major user of the straight, had strategic interest in ensuring the waterway stay open. This was the cause for the Free Passage Act of 2002, which guaranteed international use of the passage for upwards of fifty years. After the establishment of New Pangus, an open waterway agreement between the new state and Aquitayne would be signed.

Preparations for War

Prime Minister James Zaeir discusses the potential invasion in early December, 2013, to the Policy Network Talks in Nikolia.

While there had been some earlier discussions about military action against the Imperial Spartanian Empire, King Samuel Reich waited until September of 2014 to begin drumming up support for some type of intervention on the island. Reich formally began garnering the support of the international community in November of 2014, with Aquitayne's major ally Symphonia agreeing to the intervention. The Tel Al-Riyah Pact had not been signed at the time of the invasion, but long-standing good-will between Aquitayne and Riysa had permitted the latter to agree to a limited role in the invasion and occupation, opting for a behind-the-scenes special operations forces approach. While the specifics of Riysa's contributions to the invasion are classified, some experts estimate around 3,000 special forces soldiers were used.

The rest of the international community, however, was less than happy about Aquitayne's seemingly unilateral action in advancing into the territory. The most notable opposition to the invasion was from the Dangish Empire, who immediately threatened to declare war on Aquitayne if United Kingdom troops remained in the Imperial Spartanian Empire by a certain time.[9] Fortunately for all parties involved, the Dangish were talked down: a compromise organized by the Blackhelm Confederacy had EATA observers permitted alongside the United Kingdom troops,[10] to which end the Dangish conceded not to declare a state of open war against the United Kingdom.

The nature of the rising tensions that had escalated between the two powers leading up to the invasion of the former Imperial Spartanian Empire derived from two documents: the Osborne Doctrine, and the recent Dangish white paper on Maintaining the Peace.[11] The Dangish Empire was in a unique position to secure EATA interests in the region while shifting the nature of the strength between nations radically. Before the invasion would take place, however, the Tel Al-Riyah Pact would be formed,[12] solidifying the Riysan interest in Insula Fera and creating the finalized coalition that would conduct the invasion in 2013. Tensions across the Mare Ferum, however, remained high. In an address to the Symphonian Congress, Emperor Jacob von Kiramashi-Reich, Samuel Reich's younger brother, asserted that "Should Her Majesty’s Government in the Dangish Empire and the government of the Blackhelm Confederacy continue to push for ever tighter and stringent demands from the United Kingdom, I can only say that negotiations will only get harder to be definite. His Majesty, King Samuel Reich of Aquitayne and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has already made it clear that further instances of interference cannot be tolerated, and Symphonia will only back his statements further.”[13]

Aquitaynian soldiers with the 2nd Regiment, Operational Maneuver Response Group, would be the first to enter Pangus before the invasion began, in November of 2013. They conducted scout reconaissance and created a detailed layout of the landscape before the main invasion force entered the country. They, alongside other Aquitaynian and Riysan special forces units, would infiltrate the population and create a detailed analysis of the culture and important figureheads, such as warlords, that would need to be taken into account if the intervention were to be successful. Not only this, but the roots of the New Pangus Defense Forces can be traced here, as the GROM operators began training some civilians to use heavy weaponry against the Heraldan Rebels.

Another crucial mission the GROM operators undertook was establishing contact with the former Spartanian military installations. Most of them had been abandoned and ransacked for their heavy machinery and weapons, but there were a few that still had a vestige of the former professional military force. Most commanders understood the situation and were willing to assist the soldiers, however there were few instances of commanders being unwilling to rescind their command, even under the circumstances.

Casus belli and rationale

Human Rights

File:Iconicphotoofhorror.jpg
This iconic photo of a Pangeian man and his children stirred Aquitayne to take action in the developing crisis.

The largest, and most cited casus belli for the intervention Aquitayne took in Pangus was the developing human rights crisis that was taking hold of the dissolved state. Aquitaynian reports found evidence of mass graves, evidence of heavy weaponry use, as well as charred towns in the countryside.[14] The extent to which the civilian population had been decimated in the region was not fully known at the time, but current estimates put the civilian death toll anywhere between 100,000 to 800,000. The E10 Council of Nations estimates that roughly 3.2 million Pangeians have been displaced because of the fighting, and it is unknown at what rate the population will recover.

There is widespread evidence to support the idea that the Heraldan Rebels were the perpetrators of the Pangeian Genocide, largely considered to be the single most devastating loss of human life in Astyria in the 21st century. Nations throughout the region would send support to help the population in need, most notably the Astyrian Federation of Red Cross Societies deploying thousands of aid workers to the region to help people get back to their daily lives. Aquitayne would cite the massive death toll in its call to arms to Symphonia in the beginning stages of the formation of troops along the Pangus and Prudensia borders.[15]

Terrorist Threat

Military aspects

Multilateral support

Invasion force

Preparation

Defending force

Invasion

Opening attack

Battle of Dovadola

Battle of Bagnolo

Battle of Borsoi

Battle of Biseg

Special Operations

Battle of Loseto

Battle of Medicia

Battle of Saccuti

Battle and fall of Corvus

Coalition and allied contingent involvement

Symphonia

KV-107 Shootdown

Riysa

Dangish Empire

Summary of the invasion

Casualties

Death toll

Security, looting and war damage

International humanitarian aid

File:AFRC NP.jpg
AFRC vehicles arriving in Corvus

Not long after the start of the combat activities in Pangus, the death toll of the civilian population started to rise, mostly caused by lack of basic necessities caused by the blockage of the war-torn country. The Astyrian Federation of Red Cross Societies was one of the first organisations to send international humanitarian aid and as nearly as 8,000 volunteers, technicians and physicians mostly from the Red Cross of Nikolia. The humanitarian personnel were distributed in two teams, one in Orsetta, and the other in nation capital, Corvus, where they had set up a large refugee camp 20km from the city limits.

Nearly 2,5 million people had passed through one of the camps from the beginning of the operation to its end in late 2014. Although the humanitarian operation ended in December 2014, permanent camps were set up in both cities with as much as 2,000 volunteers that are changed every 6 months on rotational basis and they are still operating today. (as of 2016)

Criticism

Dangish Empire

The Dangish Empire was one of the more critical opponents of the United Kingdom's intervention on Insula Fera. The Dangish were quick to respond to news of Aquitayne's invasion with their invocation of the Osborne Doctrine, a foreign policy that sought to retain the balance of power in eastern Astyria and to prevent nations from tilting that power for their own benefit. The semantics around the humanitarian mission were lost in the frenzy of military movement and diplomatic messages that were sent between the two powers, and it was widely seen as the biggest flare of tensions in eastern Astyria in over two decades, with the United Kingdom coming close to all-out war with the Dangish, and more widely, the EATA.

After much of the saber-rattling had died down, the United Kingdom agreed to Dangish terms for elections within two years as well as a joint military command shared by United Kingdom and EATA officers, later known as the Multi-national Force - Insula Fera. Tensions between the two powers have died down significantly since then, and the Dangish still retain a small troop presence in Pangus awaiting the elections in August of 2016.

Blackhelm Confederacy

The Blackhelm Confederacy is a long-standing rival of Aquitayne and trades regional power in the east with Aquitayne as most of the Confederacy's forces are dedicated to counter intelligence and preparing for a war with Kobolis. That being said, the rhetoric from the Chancellor after news of the invasion broke across the region was one of controlled anger, in that the Confederacy did not support the invasion but would not publicly stand in its way. However, there are reports of Confederate intelligence officers sending money and weapons to various factions across Insula Fera, namely a pirate colony located on the western end of the archipelago, and promoting anti-Aquitaynian and Symphonian propaganda.

The Blackhelm Confederacy currently supports the mission in Insula Fera with officers tasked to the MNF-IF in an administrative capacity.

Symphonia

References