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Unlike in the First Tiberium War where the GDI and Nod forces fought directly for control of specific nations and in many cases invaded neutral ones, in the Second Tiberium War the forces were instead understood as controlling and fighting over geographical regions, usually without much regard for national borders.
This situation likely resulted from a number of causes.
- The new ability of Nod and GDI to move forces easily around the world without much regard for geographical or political obstacles, the GDI through space and Nod through underground tunnels undermined the importance of establishing control of continous areas.
- The decline in the power of national militaries relative to that of the forces of GDI and Nod rendered it less important to establish secure control over as many nations as possible.
- The increasing political autonomy of GDI and Nod organisations from any kind of effective oversight by national governments and the intense competition between these organisations leading to the collapse in the political unity of many nations leading to those organisations essentially partitioning the nations into zones, their organisations taking over moribund government functions.
- The spread of Tiberium rendering certain areas completely impassable and essentially no-go areas for human beings GDI and Nod alike.
Military zones were the focus of conflict between the factions. The central cross-hairs within the high-lighted zones apparantly does not appear to always represent the actual location of the mission, for instance the Cairo missions cross-hairs both centre on a location the Sinai desert not Cairo. Most probably the cross-hairs actually represents the central base in command of the zone being contested, this was in both cases located in the Sinai desert because it is a large zone covering several all or part of several middle-eastern countries in addition to Egypt. It is not always the case that the central base is actually the base of importance to the mission but it can be assumed to be for provisional purposes if there is no other evidence to go on.
The areas not controlled by either side, the neutral areas are somewhat mysterious in their nature. They can surmised to represent territories that are in the following state.
- Controlled by the forces of national governments aligned to the factions but without a serious direct GDI or Nod presence.
- Controlled by neutral national governments.
- Controlled by non-government factions that are seperate from the GDI or Nod such as the Forgotten.
- Presently fought over between GDI and Nod forces without either side able to establish a clear regional control (ie more than just pockets and isolated bases).
- Uninhabitable due extensive presence of Tiberium.
Due to the above mentioned nature of the war it is not possible to determine national allegiances for classification purposes in the same manner. However they can be classified according to the following system if (as far as is known) the following applies.
- If a nation solely solely contains military zones of a faction it can be taken to be aligned to that faction.
- If a nation has no military zones of any party is it can be taken to be neutral.
- If both parties have military zones within a nation then the party whose military zone incorperates it's capital city is taken to have the nation's allegiance.
- If a nation has military zones but neither has the capital then the nation is to be classified as disputed.
Disputed is a new classification invented to represent the situation where while both sides have established control over areas of a nations territory, but the central government represented by the capital has not been 'secured' by either side. The same classification could be used for other games than Tiberium Sun if relevant, but remember that it does not mean the same thing as neutral.