Reading the paper this morning I noticed an interesting similarity between the theory of a Russian academic of the imminent (2010) disintegration of the United States brought about by economic collapse and civil war:
He based the forecast on classified data supplied to him by FAPSI analysts, he says. He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.
California will form the nucleus of what he calls "The Californian Republic," and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of "The Texas Republic," a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an "Atlantic America" that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls "The Central North American Republic." Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.
And the Milton Bradley board game Fortress America (released in 1986):
The game opens with the world divided into three major world powers outside of the US:
1) The Asian Peoples Alliance (yellow player)
2) The Central American Federation (blue player)
3) The Euro-Socialist Pact (red player)
These three powers have launched a surprise assault on the now-conventionally-weak United States: Asian invaders on the Pacific coast, Central American invaders along the Southwestern border with Mexico, and the Euro-Soviet invaders along the eastern seaboard. The United States Navy is brushed aside. The land and air forces, still capable of resistance, are nevertheless insufficient to halt the invasions.
Other than Canada jumping in to snatch a piece of the American pie, it's pretty much the same scenario. American readers will be relieved to note that in my somewhat limited (at least compared to "Axis and Allies") Fortress America gaming experiences of youth, the United States typically held off the foreign invaders.
Here's the map of how the US would look if the Russian's prediction came true:
A couple of points regarding the Central North America Republic come to mind:
1. With Minnesota and Michigan and in the Canadian sphere of influence, we would definitely be the hockey power.
2. While we would be self-sufficient in most areas, we'd need a strong navy to keep the Great Lakes trading route open.
3. We'd be a little weak at the corners with Ohio and Colorado, but they would probably just end up being much fought over border outposts anyway.
UPDATE A few further thoughts on the CNAR:
4. While there would be a temptation to locate the capitol in Chicago, St. Paul would make a better choice. It would allow for a defense in depth from potential invaders.
5. The only real military threat would come from the Texas Republic. Atlantic America would quickly splinter with West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North and South Carolina breaking off from the New England states to form their own independent country. The CNAR could probably form an alliance with this new country although we may have to cede portions of southern Ohio. No great loss there.
While there are a lot of military resources available in the California Republic, most of the states are sparsely populated. It's difficult to imagine the laid back sunshine softies of the current day state of California having the fortitude and gumption to mount a military operation across the Rockies. California supporting fifth columnists in Colorado could be a concern, but they could be rounded up and deported back to their native land once the CNAR was born.
I for one welcome our new Canadian overlords.