Discussion Modern Warfare 2's Plot Explained

Noupoi

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I never really got the plot myself until I read this.

Taken from: Feature: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained - Official Xbox 360 Magazine

Obiviously, major spoilers inside.

Lots of people have said that Modern Warfare 2's plot has left them baffled. (SPOILERS BELOW!)

They can't understand why Price fired a nuclear missile at the US, or why Russia went to war with the US, or why Shepherd did... well, pretty much all the crazy things he did.

There have been a lot of questions and not everything is well explained within but it does make sense and all tie in together. We've rounded up and answered the most common questions people have been asking about Modern Warfare 2's plot.

Why is low-ranking Private Allen given such an important CIA task at the Russian airport?
As the plot later on establishes, we know Shepherd is working together with Makarov, so Shepherd wants a 'disposable' fall guy to trigger the political chain reaction that results in the war.

How does American Allen pass off as a Russian?
There are no physical differences between Americans and Russians, at least none that are immediately obvious. We can also assume that Allen speaks Russian, which is why he's instructed to speak English at the start of the airport level. In any case, Makarov and Shepherd are working together, so Makarov would allow Allen to 'infiltrate' the group regardless of how authentic Allen's cover is.

Why would Shepherd/Allen allow Makarov to kill hundreds of civilians at the airport?
Shepherd mentions losing his men earlier "while the world watched", so his anger means his morality is already out of step with what you'd expect from an army official. You could also argue that he doesn't care about Russian citizens. Allen is following orders - it could be his obedience and complete complicity that saw him selected for the job to begin with.

Why would Russia start war and invade the US because of a rogue group of Americans killing Russian citizens?
The key here is that the Russians believed it was a group of CIA operatives responsible, meaning their actions would have been sanctioned by the American government. Therefore, it was seen as the American government carrying out the Russian killings and not the actions of a few rogue Americans.

Why was Price kept in a Russian prison for four years when he was rescued alongside Soap?
Not explained. Price was kept in Russia for medical treatment, as he was seriously wounded following the events of Modern Warfare. The political mood quickly changed following the fall of Zakhaev and it's likely Price was kept as a 'political prisoner' of sorts.

Why doesn't Soap know what happened to Price?
Again, not explained, but Soap not knowing what happened to Price means we can only presume that Price is being kept/held somewhere against his will.

Why does Shepherd have total command over TF141?
It's his own personal army and at this point, he almost has command of the entire American military.

Why does Shepherd betray his own private army?
Shepherd is simply covering up the evidence that could link him back to what happened at the airport or at any point after that. It may have been that they were in on the conspiracy anyway but Shepherd doesn't take any chances.

Why does Shepherd do all this anyway, what does he get out of starting this war?
He wants to increase the American military's dominance and his own command within it. He's after a 'blank check' to wage his own war with, which means his power and influence would receive a massive boost.

Why did Price launch a nuke at the US?
He fires a nuke to detonate above the Earth's atmosphere to serve the same purpose as an EMP, the radiation would get blocked by lower levels of the atmosphere. The intention is shown in the following scene - to cripple the electronics in Washington and slow the Russian invasion of the US.
 

Hovi

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Thanks for this, cleared things up a bit
 
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