New map thread, so I thought Id throw this one out here.
Its a fairly crack alternate future, (and a bit of a twist on the Eurabia meme), and Ill excuse myself by saying it was inspired by an even more crack future setting in the SF novel The Centauri Device, by M. John Harrison.
The idea here is that in an AH late 70s, due to a falling out between the USSR and its major Arab allies, relations improve between the USSR and the Israelis, to the point where after the balloon goes up due to an unfortunate set of events involving a flock of large birds, a certain amount of vodka, and a radar-machine assembly tech with very little job motivation, Israel has been taken off the short list of nuclear targets.
Israel wakes up the next day to find out that the US, USSR, most of Europe, and China (smashed by the USSR in a well, they wont get to dance on our graves fit of end-of-the-world pique) are now radioactive rubble.
Surrounded by Arab nations undergoing severe internal instability in the face of the collapse of the world economy, the Israelis decide that taking certain precautionary measures for the future would be a good idea, and move in to establish what order they can in the disaster area to the north and west. (And, incidentally, occupy any good non-radioactive farmland they could find).
In the long run, the Israelis ended up taking over what was left of a 90% depopulated Europe with no functional governments save in parts of the Iberian peninsula, and a shellshocked and grateful European population ended up taking part in one of the great religious revivals of history, in which over 50% of a previously mostly irreligious European population would end up converting to Judiasm. Later, the Israelis would extend their influence to the depopulated east coast of the United states
While this had been going on, Arab governments had been collapsing like ninepins as world trade imploded, cancer deaths soared, and agriculture suffered horribly from the rather nasty weather (not a full-blown nuclear winter, or neither they or the Israelis would have survived, but bad enough). By the early 2000s, a radical new Islamic movement had unified most of North Africa, and would continue to expand across the Arab world and south into the mostly disintegrated state-systems of sub-Saharan Africa.
By the 2070s the expansion of the Islamic state had largely stalled out as states consolidated themselves to the South with Israeli and Latin American help, and the Indians proved bellicosely resistant to the notion of direct incorporation of Former Pakistan into the Union, although loyalist groups kept such places as Baluchistan and Bangladesh under fairly close control. Worse, such Islamic states as the Indonesians, Afghans, and Turkestanis seemed oddly reluctant to undergo full assimilation into the Union
Latin America, although clobbered by world economic collapse and various consequent revolutions, largely avoided any nuclear attacks (although Mexico was rather hard hit by fallout) and became another one of the centers of global recovery. The Brazil-led League of the Americas is a major free trade block, although politically it remains a very weak union. Angola, which the Brazilians moved into looking for oil a few years after the war, remains a close associate state of Brazil, as does the Katangan republic.
India, with its own historical Muslim issues, is the Federations major ally. Although hit badly by fallout, it has managed to remain together and regain control of a few areas which broke away in the aftermath, although theyve stayed out of Kashmir as more trouble than its worth.
Iran, whose Shias look with suspicion on the UIRs claims to speak for all of Islam, is neutral (in its own opinion), Finlandized by the UIR (in the Israelis opinion) or an objectively pro-Israel and probably Up To No Good state (in the UIRs opinion). Iran currently has fairly good relations with a number of minor states, including Japan, another carefully neutral and heavily armed nation.
East Asia is a bit of a mess: the various Chinese states have been struggling to find a way towards reunification for some decades now, not helped by Korean, Israeli, and Islamic meddling. (Keeping China disunited in a major deal for the Koreans and the Turkestanis, both of which have large and restless Chinese minorities under their control.) There have already been a couple of bloody, inconclusive wars, and a new round of fighting seems likely, now that recovery has proceeded to the point where the states can field modern armies.
In the south, the Vietnamese took advantage of the near-collapse of civilization to be naughty, and nowadays are having some trouble with their Cambodian and Laosian minorites. India has a sort of protectorate over the fragmented states of former Burma, and Japan has recovered from the rather horrendous post-war famine-and-fallout death-toll to the extent where it can guard its strict neutrality with a fairly formidable military
As the 22nd century dawns, the major powers jostle for influence, and compete to place colonies on Mars and the Moon. Tensions remain between the ancient enemies, Israel and the Arabic lands, but the Islamic Republics have mellowed a bit, not least due to the satisfactions of great-power status. Israels currently biggest headache is not the Islamicists, but the hard-core Christian fundamentalists of the CSA, which threaten friendly California and work to stir up terrorism among hardcore nationalists and fundamentalists living in the former US territories to the east. President Scudder fulminates against the Zionist Occupation Government, and people worry about the prospect of the CSA government obtaining nuclear weapons