FORT IRWIN, Calif. — An intelligence planner missed his order submission deadline today after he was unable to determine which enemy U.S. troops should face during an upcoming rotation, sources confirmed.
"Historically, units deploying to the Mojave desert for the Army's biggest war game face an enemy called the 'Donovians,'" said planner Lt. Col. Mitch Sterling, of an enemy force that uses weapons and tactics similar to Russia. "But I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable, especially given the State Department's 'reset' with Russia."
After he realized soldiers would not be able to fight Donovians, Sterling and his staff spent an entire day rewriting the enemy scenario portion of the order, having Americans square off against a regiment from the People’s Republic of China, according to a source close to the planning.
Unfortunately that scenario was also scrapped when Sterling decided that the military’s “pivot to Asia” wouldn’t be helped by a war game focused on the communist nation.
“I was really at a loss,” Sterling explained. “I couldn’t use a Middle Eastern nation obviously. And the North Koreans may eventually reunify with the South, so I don’t think that would send the right message during the peace process.”
Japan and Germany were ruled out early on in the process, sources said.
"A few of my subordinates had toyed with the idea of an ISIS fight, but the anti-Muslim connotations made me really uncomfortable," he said. "That problem was solved for me when the Ops Group refused to sign off on the risk assessment for hundreds of our [Opposing Forces] rolling around the desert in the back of pickup trucks without restraints or reflective belts."
“Plus our guys aren’t really used to replicating that kind of success on the battlefield, so it wouldn’t be very realistic.”
Sterling also said that they considered a Syrian civil war template, but that the idea was thrown out when they couldn’t find anyone capable of explaining who the enemy was supposed to be during that conflict.
At press time, Sterling was debating the pros and cons of having soldiers battle followers of Donald Trump.