.The growing pains of a space-faring species are a long and bloody affair. Look at our own civilization for example. Since the day our species learned to fashion sticks of wood into spears, or chisel obsidian into arrow tips; we have found new ways to viciously kill one another. Over thousands of years our weapons became more and more advanced, but the battlefields remained the same. Urban cities, endless fields, farmlands, river valleys, heat scorched deserts and frozen tundra. Humanity has waged war on itself across the planet, and in the future, possibly in other star systems or alien worlds.
But there is one environment which every soldier dreads, the forest. Behind every sky reaching tree and overgrown foliage the enemy may lie in wait. Underneath the moss covered ground may lie a booby trap or mine. And on top of it all, the air is thick with humidity and the heat unbearable. Your sweat sticks to you, trapping in more and more heat.
During the Vietnam War, which lasted almost two decades in the jungles of Vietnam, United State's army soldiers aptly named it "The Suck." And yes, it did indeed suck. Interestingly enough, Halo had its own version of jungle warfare. From 2162 to 2163 various nations fought in the forests of South America, and like all battles, it lead to an all out conflict lasting well over a decade.
Before I delve into the specifics of the Rainforest Wars, I need to fill in some background information on how the campaign began and which factions were involved.
In 2159 Humanity had colonized most of the solar system, with the Jovian system being the mid-point to the outer planets and a strategic location for the United Nation's (yes, they are still around in 2159) fleet. The Jovian moons of Europa, Io and Ganymede had massive colonies on their surface, with Io having the largest and most well-developed. However, the United Nations was not the only governing faction within the solar system. During colonization of the Jovian moons, a new political faction known the Frieden movement surfaced before the formation of the United Earth Government and United Nations Space Command, or what we know now as the "UNSC."
The Frieden rose from anti-Koslovic sentiment in the Jovian Moons. The movement was supported by Unified German Republic corporations who were frequent targets of Koslovic "workers' crusades". The Koslovics were supporters of the neo-communist hardliner Vladimir Koslov, who was something of a fascist. Both he and his followers sought a return to the glory days of communism (think the USSR and modern day China) and the elimination of corporate and capitalist influence, particularly in orbital facilities and off-world colonies throughout the Sol system. 
For several years up until 2159, the U.N. and the Frieden fought small skirmishes across the solar system, centered around Mars and the Jovian moons. However, in 2159 the fascist movement on Io organized a full-blown insurrection and intended to succeed from the U.N.
The Jovian Moons Campaign began due to Jovian secessionist attacks on United Nations colonial advisers on the moon Io. The entire colony was razed to the ground and the colonies on Europa and Ganymede were similarly damaged. This prompted the U.N. to send in a strike fleet consisting of several heavy hitting ships to suppress the uprising. The fleet succeeded, but sustained heavy losses in the process. It was one of the bloodiest battles in Halo's human history. 
So, by now you're all probably wondering when the jungles of Earth come into play? Well, the answer to that is complex; as is with any conflict's history.
The Jovian campaign was one of humanity's bloodiest battles with a presumed million plus casualty list. However, the rebellion was quashed and the Frieden movement was removed from the Jovian colonies. Small skirmishes continued on Europa and Io, but for the most part the Jovian moons were deemed "safe." The Koslovics associated with Frieden then fell back to Earth and began to spread their neo-communist ideals across the continent of South America. Thus, the Rainforest Wars began.
In 2162 the U.N. sent peacekeeping forces to patrol and keep order within the continent as the Frieden movement had become more violent in their rhetoric. While we don't know exactly how the major conflict began, we do know that tensions within South America exploded rather quickly. Combat took place across the Amazon basin, estuaries and rain forests. Fighting must have been quite brutal, as guerrilla tactics were known to be employed by the Frieden movement against U.N. forces and civilians alike.
If this was anything like the United State's own Vietnam War, conditions were probably verging on unbearable. For context, the Amazon basin is very moist and humid with an average humidity index of 90%. On top of this, the Amazon rain forests belong to the tropical wet climate group. The temperature of the rainfall can be upwards of 93°F with an average humidity between 77% and 88%. Rainfall in the Amazon basin can exceed 100in a year. Now imagine for a moment, carrying fifty pounds of gear, in 93°F weather with humidity at 88%. The sweat doesn't evaporate due to the high humidity, so soldiers probably had no reliable way of cooling off. Exhausted, U.N. forces probably lacked full cognitive function and were unprepared for ambush attacks or booby traps. In addition, rainfall would muffle troop movement, so attacks could come from anywhere without any audible warning. 
U.N. forces fought with the Frieden and Koslovics for a decade, with fighting moving across Earth and even to the Moon before combat finally ceased. This conflict dwarfed the Jovian campaign in terms of casualties. It was also a huge blow to moral for those on Earth, as the insurrection had now been brought to the doorstep of humanity. Although the Frieden movement was crushed on Earth and the lunar colony, they were not defeated. Again, their movement found a new breeding ground on the Mars colony. There, the final battles of the collection of conflicts known as the "Rainforest Wars" would be fought.
Within the Mars colony, the same tragic spread of hate and propaganda which affected South America spread without hindrance. Before long, history would repeat itself and in 2163 the Mars Campaign had begun. The Frieden sought to take control of the plentiful corporate production facilities on Mars. In particular, the Koslovics concentrated their occupation to the shipbuilding facilities on the Argyre Planitia, a huge canyon region on Mars in where entire fleets were constructed. The U.N. would not tolerate the loss of a strategic shipyard, and once again, amassed a massive strike force.This time however, the U.N. would not tolerate anything other than final and ultimate victory over the Frieden and Koslovics. 
Pooling their resources, the U.N. created the United Nations Space Command, or UNSC. The UNSC would serve as the final word in colony protection and enforcement. With a fleet of hundreds of capital ships, and thousands of small craft, the UNSC fleet which arrived at Mars became an unstoppable juggernaut.
The UNSC deployed the newly-created UNSC Marines in the first extraterrestrial marine deployment; a tactic which would define military doctrine for centuries. The campaign was an unquestionable success with the Frieden and Koslovics finally being vanquished. The Rainforest Wars damaged the U.N. for years to come and was influential in the creation of the UNSC. By 2556 a novel titled, A Soldier's Tale: Rainforest Wars, which was written by Jeremiah Mendez, was still considered a military classic.
The peace would not last, however. As the UNSC grew in size and faster than light travel lead to interstellar colonies, isolated zones of colonization would once again long for independence. Two centuries after the Rainforest Wars concluded, humanity would fight its most deadly conflict, known as the "Insurrection," until the invasion of The Covenant.
But that is a story, for another time.
That's it for this week, hope you enjoyed the read and found this forgotten part of Halo's universe interesting.
A Halo fan since the beginning, 2001. Also a games industry consultant, writer, and educator. These are my thoughts, praise and advice concerning the past, present and future narrative of the Halo franchise.
Halo, all assets within, characters and merchandise are property of the Microsoft Corporation and is developed by its subsidiary 343 Industries.
I do not own, claim to own or retain any rights to the Halo franchise. This is a fan based work, and is strictly non-profit.
All other images, articles linked, materials and franchises that are not strictly specified as my own are property of their respective owners.
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