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The aftermath of Great World War II prompted the United Nations to form a peacekeeping force in order to prevent a third world war, but that alone wouldn't be enough; a clandestine unit known as Operations Group Echo: Black Ops 9, in tandem with a global defense agency, was ordered to protect the world from those who would wage war. But, after a failed assassination attempt on Saddam Hussein, the UN could no longer deny the existence of Black Ops 9, and in response, reformed it into the Global Defense Initiative. The Brotherhood of NOD, however, saw it as a tool to keep the world superpowers in power.
In 1,995, a meteor containing an alien organism impacts Earth and is discovered by the Brotherhood's enigmatic leader Kane. The organism, which he names Tiberium, roots itself into the earth, siphoning precious minerals and metals out of the soil and concentrating them into crystals to be conveniently harvested. Kane quickly monopolizes Tiberium and propels the Brotherhood of Nod into a world power. He then whips his followers into a religious frenzy, proclaiming Tiberium as the next step in human evolution, and as such, makes it their mission to control, harvest, and utilize Tiberium to augment the human race.
Nod amasses a military and launches operations all over the world to consolidate its control over Tiberium, and following a series of high-profile bombings, the UN authorizes GDI to engage Nod, sparking the first Tiberium War.