Hoffnung Bridges

The burning of Hoffnung, the earliest-known example of a scorched earth policy in the Strangereal universe

A scorched earth policy[1][2] is a military strategy to destroy anything that may be useful to an enemy while advancing through or retreating from an area. All potentially-useful assets are targeted including food sources, transportation, communications, and industrial areas.

The Ace Combat franchise has only depicted scorched earth policies in three conflicts, all of which took place in the Strangereal universe.

Belkan War[]

After the Allied Forces abrogated its nonaggression treaty in the Belkan War,[3] the coalition advanced into—and began to capture—Belkan territory. The retreating Belkan forces enacted a scorched earth policy to prevent the Allied Forces from utilizing any Belkan facilities. This was first witnessed during the Allies' Operation Cannibal; Belkan units retreating from Hoffnung were ordered to set fire to the buildings they were leaving.[4]

The Allied Forces continued to advance and reached the Waldreich Mountains, considered to be the boundary separating North Belka and South Belka.[5] Belkan forces detonated seven nuclear weapons along the mountains to prevent the Allied Forces from advancing any further.[6] The blasts killed 12,000 civilians,[6] vaporized cities,[7] and resulted in a nuclear winter over the area.[8] The mountain range became highly radioactive and stayed that way for years.[7]

Circum-Pacific War[]

"Hey...I didn't think it would blow up like that. Must be pretty bad in there...You thinkin' the same thing?"
Alvin H. Davenport[9]

During the Circum-Pacific War, the Osean 8492nd Squadron carried out a terrorist attack in Yuktobania[10] to increase tensions between the warring countries.[11] After Yuktobanian forces carried out two simultaneous[12] terrorist attacks[13] in Osea, the Osean military temporarily enacted a scorched earth policy to annihilate Yuktobanian facilities. This was done by destroying an ammo depot[9] and destroying a munitions factory deep in Yuktobanian territory, past the front lines.[14] The destruction of these facilities caused numerous deaths and, in the former's case, large swaths of damage to the surrounding environment.[9]

Emmeria-Estovakia War[]

Near the end of the Emmeria-Estovakia War, the Estovakian military used a scorched earth policy to blackmail the Emmerian Joint Chiefs of Staff into halting their military's advance.[1] They threatened that any further Emmerian advance would be met with the use of weapons of mass destruction on Gracemeria.[1] The Emmerian military secretly sent Garuda Team to destroy Estovakia's WMD catalyst in Fort Norton, eliminating the threat and allowing the military to continue advancing.[2]