The Central American War refers to a series of covert operations conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency and Office of Strategic Services in the 2020s, and in some cases direct border skirmishes throughout the decade, with affected areas ranging from Baja California to Panama City, and even as far as Paraguay.
The prelude to the war can be seen as the Chinese-backed coup of Mexico in 2017, a surprise move that resulted in the entire U.S. southern border to be directly next to an openly-Communist leaning dictatorship. Having one of the largest armed forces in 2020 (according to a decannual census), Mexico became the largest direct threat to the safety of the United States, with only the implicit Chinese threat hovering over them. The People's Republic of Central America (a name change that had occurred after the invasion) subsequently, in 2018 and 2019, "liberated" most of the Central American nations to their south, including Panama, and with it the vital Panama Canal.
The neutral nations of South America, however, refused to allow U.S. forces to deploy from their lands, and as a result, Panama canal was locked down, a vice around the neck of the U.S. and other Western democracies with interests in Asia. Mexico then began to build up its forces on their northern border, beginning with the deployment of their Pacific naval fleet. Soon enough, a war looked nearly inevitable (such was labeled the "Third Red Scare"). However U.S. special operations units, namely those operating under the O.S.S. and C.I.A.,were already gearing up to undercut the Communist Mexico and its supporters.
Invasion of ColumbiaEdit
The U.S. made the first move in the conflict in January 2020, moving two hundred personnel into Bogota, Columbia, via helicopter. There, the CIA set up what amounts to a covert Forward Operating Base, where they planned their missions. The primary goal of those first two hundred men and women was to launch a coup, but that coup had to have popular support. Over three and a half thousand Columbian citizens belonged to a paramilitary organization known as the "Right Arm of Democracy", which resisted the dictatorial regime that had come into existence in the late 90s. Using them as their primary infantry force, the CIA managed to overthrow the Columbian government quickly, within two weeks of landfall. The new pro-American government allowed the Americans to bring in more men and materiel, and by March 2020, the stage was set for the taking of Panama canal, in league with Panamanian partisan forces.
Lacing of Baja CaliforniaEdit
The OSS conducted a covert operation in southern California, in preparation for the attack on Baja. Not a week after the landfall of CIA operatives on Columbian soil, fifty OSS operatives, disguised as Mexican border guards, moved into Mexicali. Twenty of those men were sent to Mexicali to collect information on Mexican troop movements, and subsequently transmitted findings to their California headquarters in San Diego. Before the coup in Bogota, however, the remaining thirty operatives moved into Tijuana covertly, waiting for the signal to begin attacks on Baja, as a distraction prior to the invasion of the heavily-guarded Panama canal, so as to prevent Mexican reinforcements from retaking Panama canal.
Chinese special forces, suddenly aware of CIA operations in Columbia, began mobilizing to stall or eliminate the CIA. In late February 2020, the Chinese special operatives attacked the American covert FOB in Bogota, and attempted to remove the revolutionary government from power. Although there were many casualties during that engagement, they were largely civilians, as the CIA, thanks in large part to the OSS in Baja, had learned of the Chinese plan and had already exfiltrated from Bogota -- the target building was completely empty, and the whole incident was successfully covered up as a reactionary Columbian act.
Attack on the Panama CanalEdit
Diversionary operation in BajaEdit
On the morning of March 5th, 2020, the O.S.S. began a full attack on Mexican forces stationed in Tijuana. Deliberately targeting both military and civilian targets, soon enough what began as a small set of skirmishes became a full-on battle, with Mexican reactionary forces near Tijuana lending aid to the O.S.S. As expected, Mexican forces began deploying to Baja, under the false assumption that their southern flank was relatively safe.
Assault on the Panama CanalEdit
Immediately following the attack on Tijuana, hundreds of CIA agents and other special forces, as well as Columbian forces, began airdropping on the easter portion of the Mexican side of the Panama Canal. Some linked up with Panamanian partisans, and moved to attack Panama City directly. However, most of the force went with the intention of removing any Mexican forces stationed in the region; that would be, two tank detachments and an entire infantry regiment based in Panama City. It was only luck that the joint U.S. and Columbian forces would see no Mexican aircraft, which could easily have been a game-changer as the day dragged on and casualties on all sides rose dramatically -- the end result of the ongoing engagement would see 20,000 Mexican soldiers dead, alongside 10,000 Panamanian civilians and paramilitaries, as well as 7,000 Columbian soldiers. CIA casualty numbers were never released to the public, but were reportedly around 60%.
Destruction of the Mexican Pacific FleetEdit
In May of 2020, Mexico's Pacific Fleet began to move towards the Panama Canal. In what seems to be either a result of miscommunication or misinformation by the OSS, the entirity of the Mexican fleet -- ten missile cruisers, five destroyers, five battleships, and ten pocket battleships, as well as several patrol boats -- was sunk by a small detachment of Chinese submarines. The lack of naval support left Mexican ground forces in Panama City on their own, against a both numerically and technologically superior force of Columbians. The Mexicans finally were defeated in July of 2020, when the remnants of the formerly 30,000-strong force surrendered to the Columbians and Panamanians.
Following the capture of Panama City and the reinstatement of the Panamanian government in August 2020, joint Columbian-Panamanian forces prepped for a campaign through the rest of Central America -- hopefully liberating the remaining major Panamanian cities -- as well as finally attacking Mexico city by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021. To accomplish these goals, Panama enlisted 175,000 new recruits in addition to its already 500,000-strong military force. The Columbians brought another 100,000 men, as well as hundreds of tanks and other vehicles, over the Panama Canal.
The Mexican forces in late August had successfully put down the insurrection in Baja, and redeployed its forces into Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Now with air power and many more armored vehicles, the Mexicans stood poised to stop any attack they could. However, the Columbians and Panamanians now were more on even terms with the Mexicans, with similar armaments and vehicles. They were also granted an American orbital missile platform by the C.I.A.. When the day finally came, on September 5th, 2020, the Panamanians made massive gains, retaking the lightly-defended cities of Santiago and David. However, San Jose would prove a much tougher nut to crack. Not only was it much more heavily defended, but it was also located in the mountains. A dead charge would prove to be absolutely fatal, so rather than a headlong assault, it was decided to dig in just outside the city and wait for Mexican armor and infantry to show themselves, using the American missile platform to remove high-value targets.
On September 12th, 2020, the battle for San Jose began. Both sides, with heels dug in, put up a strong fight. Ultimately, however, the missile platform proved to be a game-changer as the Panamanians bombarded a nearby airport, preventing Mexican air power, as well as destroying a large portion of Mexican armor. By September 17th, the Panamanians and Columbians moved into the city, to find that the Mexicans had largely abandoned the city. They had fallen back to Managua on the 15th, and the Panamanians had given them plenty of time to set up shop there. Considering it suicidal to attempt to take that city, as they had lost over six thousand men just in that one battle, it was decided to circumvent the Mexican defense by keeping to the east coast, with some Columbians providing a skeleton front to distract the Mexican forces in Managua. By late September, all of the Panamanians had managed to move around the capitol of Nicaragua and into southern Honduras. The Columbians remained behind to keep the Mexicans static, and prevent them from striking back at Panama.