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In the 21st century, war was still waged over the resources that could be acquired. Only this time, the spoils of war were also its weapons: Petroleum and Uranium.Fallout intro

The Resource Wars refer to a series of conflicts brought on by an unsustainable global economy that heavily relied on finite resources such as petroleum and uranium.[1]


Several violent engagements took place, including the annexation of Canada by the United States and the Chinese invasion of Anchorage, Alaska.[2][3] European powers fought in the Middle East.[4] Once the Chinese were pushed from Alaska, United States forces were deployed to mainland China, where they experienced a stalemate.[5]

In the United States, anti-Communist propaganda was created which fueled paranoia.[6] The United States Army also commissioned the development of Liberty Prime, intended to be a superweapon.[7] Troops such as the 5th Infantry were stationed overseas on the Island of Mambajao.[8] The nuclear threat was thought contained at the time, as an ideal nuclear first strike scenario (according to DIA intelligence at the time) would only succeed in destroying 41% of the American nuclear stockpile.[9] At Fort Strong, T-51 Power Armor was developed and subsequently shipped to China, where they were reported as effective in gaining troop surrenders.[10][11] Troops that had already completed their tours of duty were redeployed.[12]

Great War

See also: Great War

The Resource Wars ended by way of nuclear war, known as the Great War on October 23, 2077. High-yield nuclear missiles were shot from a Chinese submarine in the Boston area.[13] At 09:13 EST, the IONDS detected the first four missile launches and the United States went to DEFCON 2 and four minutes later, NORAD confirmed launches.[14] At 09:26 EST, the president ordered a retaliatory strike according to scenario MX-CN91 and the first nukes hit in Pennsylvania and New York at 09:42 EST.[14] By 09:47 EST, the facilities were offline.[14]


With conditions deteriorating between the United States and China, a military presence in Alaska was established to prevent a possible invasion across the Bering Strait. With increasingly scarce oil reserves, a last deep-sea deposit below the Pacific Ocean was claimed by China before allegedly being sabotaged by American special operatives. Strained relationships spiraled downward into conflict as China marched on Alaska, and the Sino-American War of 2066—2077 erupted. Under the command of General Jingwei, the Chinese Army usurped control of Alaska's oil pipeline and reserves. In response, the Americans began what came to be called "The Alaskan Reclamation Operation" (2067—2077).

Under the leadership of General Constantine Chase, the U.S. Army battled fiercely to the front lines of the conflict before Chase began deploying specialized Power Armor units that began pushing the Chinese back. Future Power Armor suits were further refined as the conflict dragged on, and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was reclaimed. With resources flowing through Canada, strained diplomatic tensions between Canada and the United States becoming problematic, and Canadian forces attacking the pipeline, the country was annexed.

A combination of inclement weather, constant American bombardment and trench warfare, and U.S. Powered Armor unit attacks sweeping through mainline China, the Chinese supply lines weakened and finally broke down completely. By the beginning of 2077, the city of Anchorage was finally liberated, the Chinese eradicated, and the operation deemed a success. A commemorative memorial was erected in Washington, D.C., in honor of the soldiers who fought and perished for the greater American good. Violence between America and pockets of Canadian freedom fighters continued throughout 2077, until the Great War obliterated almost all infrastructure, commerce, and human life.
Fallout 3 Official Game Guide/Faction profiles


The Museum of History featured an exhibit titled, "2052 to Present The Resource Wars."

Behind the scenes

The Resource Wars are mentioned in the Fallout Bible.


  1. Fallout intro: "In the 21st century, war was still waged over the resources that could be acquired. Only this time, the spoils of war were also its weapons: Petroleum and Uranium. For these resources, China would invade Alaska, the US would annex Canada, and the European Commonwealth would dissolve into quarreling, bickering nation-states, bent on controlling the last remaining resources on Earth."
  2. Fallout intro
  3. Rivet City terminal entries; Welcome to the Capital Preservation Society, U.S. Declaration of War on China
  4. Boston Bugle Building terminal entries; Boston Bugle article terminal, Article 3
  5. Newscaster: "And now, our exclusive coverage of the continuing volatile situation with Communist China. Chinese forces may have finally been driven from Anchorage, but the conflict has transitioned into a frighteningly tense stalemate. With diplomacy all but suspended, and conventional warfare taking a historic toll on both sides, many have wondered if the good old U-S-of-A hasn't finally entered into a fight it just can't win."
  6. Disaster relief outpost terminal entries; Terminal, Know the Signs!
  7. Citadel terminal entries; Liberty Prime Operation, Project Summary
  8. Newscaster: "It would also appear our troops stationed overseas are experiencing some unusual weather, as well. On the Island of Mambajao the nights are cold. Unseasonably so for Southeast Asia. But for the 5th Infantry, that's as comfortable as an Autumn jamboree. All the easier for our mechanized hellcats to drive any screaming Commie meamies right into the Bohol Sea."
  9. The Switchboard terminal entries; Research Terminal, > 2067 Jun 19
  10. Fort Strong terminal entries; General Brock's Terminal, General Brock's Report - February 2076
  11. Fort Strong terminal entries; General Brock's Terminal, General Brock's Report - June 2076
  12. Sierra mission statement
  13. Captain Zao: "200 years ago, I launched all of Yangtze's high-yield nuclear missiles. As ordered. For 200 years, I have lived with that guilt. That shame. So much fire Such bei. But one missile failed to launch. You must go down. Remove the warhead. Then bring it to me."
    (Captain Zao's dialogue)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 The Switchboard terminal entries; Central Terminal, DEFCON Status - 2077