Shortly after the end of World War II, the United States of America emerged as one of the world's superpowers. The 1950s saw growth to the nation's economy, and new technologies were introduced seemingly every day. It seemed that the American way of life would be eternal. Alas, this would not be the case.
Both the United States and a rival nation, the Soviet Union, had control over Germany during its rebuilding. Tensions grew with the construction of the Berlin Wall, as the Soviets attempted to prevent American intervention on their hold in the region. A long cold war began, with no conflict for decades. Vast nuclear arsenals ensured that it was unlikely. Proxy wars, however, were fought all over the globe.
1983 was a monumental year for American exceptionalism. The government announced the beginning of construction on the Citadel Starstation, the crowning jewel of U.S. technology. The Soviets interpreted this as a hostile gesture, insisting that it was a missile launching platform.
The Drug Wars, lasting from 1987 to 1993, were seen as a ruthless bid for the United States to 'create' allies. Nations in South America and Central America, even Mexico, were invaded, their governments replaced with puppet governments fiercely loyal to the US.
Captain Andrea Mills of Sleeper One Military Base won a nobel peace prize in 1997, recognized for her significant advancements in cloning technology. Scientific achievement continued to occur, and amazing technology straight out of a pulp fiction novel was created in preparation for war with the communist enemy.
In February of 1998, the Citadel Starstation neared completion. Nuclear war seemed imminent. The world divided into Soviet and NATO camps, with only Sweden, Switzerland and Ireland claiming neautrality. Everyone's worst fears finally came true in March. The Citadel broadcasted a distress signal, knocking many of the world's satellites out of orbit. In retaliation, the Starstation was hit with multiple nuclear missiles. Of course, countries around the world saw this as the beginnings of war. In a blind panic, all of the Earth's nuclear capable nations launched everything they had. Most of the major cities of the Earth are hit.
The United States government was destroyed, but many organizations descended from surviving Americans. The Desert Rangers were formed directly following the conflict by a battalion of the Army Core of Engineers. By the time the fallout settled, a surviving group of soldiers stationed at a satellite relay facility joined up with local towns to form the Agricultural Center.
It is debatable whether the United States appears in any of the Wasteland games. All games to date have featured territory formerly governed by the Government of the United States of America, but in most cases now either claimed by other groups, or not governed at all.