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World War III: Inside The War Room

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World War III: Inside the War Roomis a BBC docudrama released in 2016 which goes over a war game detailing a scenario where a War in Donbass style conflict breaks out in the Eastern European country of Latvia and how the decisions of the War Room influences the events of the hypothetical conflict.


In Western Europe, NATO holds 'war games', where a committee of senior officials come together to game out potential scenarios for future conflicts. In these war games, the committee is faced with making real time decisions in order to see how they would do if the scenario they are practicing ever comes to pass. In this documentary, a committee of former senior British officials are forced with making debates and decisions in order to decide what actions the United Kingdom should take in the scenario of a potential nuclear confrontation between NATO and Russia over a civil conflict in Latvia.

The events portrayed in the documentary are not real. BBC used actors and footage in order to portray the events in the scenario in a realistic way.


The potential scenario in this war game was created under the assumption that Vladimir Putin may attempt to foment conflict in the Baltic states to test NATO's resolve in the near future after seeing their inability to respond to the Russian involvement in Ukraine and the invasion of Georgia

When several Russians disguised as Estonian police officers attack Russian protesters in Tallinn, ethnic tensions rise between the Russian population and the Estonian government. Protests and riots throughout Estonia spread into the neighboring country of Latvia, mostly in the eastern province of Latgale and its capital, Daugavpils. The province has a large ethnic Russian population and it is one of the poorest provinces in the country. The Russian population claim they have been evoked numerous civil rights by the Latvian government, and as a result, the local government in the city is overthrown by the Latgalian-Russian Union and the new Pro-Russian mayor calls for a referendum for greater autonomy from Latvia. Within several days, Pro-Russian militias and separatist groups begin to take control on territory in Eastern Latvia. The War Room committee decides that even though the civil conflict is not a violation of Article V, they decide that they should follow the United States approach and deploy the VHRJTF in order to provide aid to the Latvian and dissuade Russian intervention.

After the VHRJTF is deployed into Latvia, Russia conducts military exercises close to the Latvian-Russian border as a response. Meanwhile, the Latvian Armed forces attempt to regain control of the Daugavpils International Airport, but are pushed back by the separatists. During the operation, Separatist forces capture four British soldiers and several Latvian military officers. The war room committee chairman, Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British Ambassador to the United States, persuades the committee that rescue operation is necessary, but decides the operation should be conducted by the Latvian military in order to prevent a Russian response. Latvian special forces, aided by British advisors, successfully rescue the hostages and get out safely.

Shortly after the operation, a Latvian military helicopter is shot down by an S-400 missile battery from inside Russia, killing dozens of soldiers. The war room committee is faced with the decision of destroying the missile battery in an air strike. They decide against the strike as it would result in heavy losses and would most likely be met with massive retaliation. A few days later, hundreds of Russian trucks move into Eastern Latvia. Putin claims that the trucks are a humanitarian convoy sending aid supplies to the citizens of Latgale. Putin's national security advisor sends the war committee a peace proposal for NATO, but they reject it when the final item on the proposal asks for NATO to withdraw all troops and bases from former Soviet republics. The U.S National Security Advisor says that the president is prepared to issue an ultimatum for all Russian forces to leave Latvia within 72 hours. The committee votes to support this ultimatum and to use military force if necessary.

After NATO prepares for a military confrontation, Putin reveals that tactical nuclear weapons have been moved to Kaliningrad in order to repel NATO aggression. With this new development, the council goes into debate over whether to extend the deadline or keep it. They decide to enforce the deadline and to join the United States military in a military offensive against separatist forces. The U.S-led offensive operation is met with relation success, and the coalition begins to take back the city of Daugavpils. Shortly after the operation began, a tactical nuclear missile detonates over the Baltic Sea, destroying the HMS Ocean and the USS America and killing nearly two thousand British and American sailors. The Russian government claims the commander who fired the missile exceeded his authority and that it was not ordered by Putin. Seeing as how the Russians are apologizing and that they taken their nuclear forces off the highest alert, the committee believes them. The U.S tells the committee that the president is planning to initiate a nuclear strike of equal proportion against the Russians, but the committee advises against this.

The Americans ignore the U.K's advice and detonates a tactical nuclear device over the Russian Baltic fleet, killing thousands of Russian servicemen. Nuclear war becomes imminent and the committee is faced with deciding on whether or not to retaliate if the Russians attack the United Kingdom. The committee decides not to retaliate against the Russians if the nuclear confrontation is imminent. The documentary ends with Myers leaving the war room and walking through central London, indicating that the war game has ended, leaving the viewers to guess if their decisions prevented a nuclear war, or doomed the United Kingdom to nuclear destruction.


1. World War III: Inside the War Room, dailymotion, Fall 2016, https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3q8go9

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