Considered to be the catalyst of the nuclear war, the Citadel Starstation was the crowning jewel of US technology. Soviets claimed that it was merely a military launching platform, alarming several nonaligned nations. Right wing governments of South and Central Americas, many of them set up by the United States during the Drug Wars (1987-1993) pledged their support to the USA, along with NATO nations (including it's new African members). This forced the remaining neutral nations to join the Soviet protest. In six weeks, only Switzerland, Sweden and Ireland continued to declare themselves neutral... all the while the Citadel was nearing full operational capability with the coming of 1998.
Two weeks before March, the Citadel transmitted a distress signal about an imminent Soviet attack. This signal was followed by most satellites being swept from the sky, leaving the superpowers blind. In panic, they sent their nuclear arsenals flying, obliterating each other. The signal was deliberately faked by the Cochise AI in a bid to wipe out humanity, but its plans failed as the global communications network was disrupted and the star station was destroyed in the process.