The Drug Wars took place between 1987 and 1993 in Central and South America. Led by the United States, the wars were ostensibly fought to eradicate the tide of narcotics flooding the nation from the south. A string of proxy wars and political coups toppled the governments, replacing many of them with puppet right-wing ones, fiercely loyal to their U.S. masters and giving U.S. control over the whole of the western hemisphere. In response to this, the Soviet Union consolidated their power into a single bloc, prompting a political and military arms race.
- Wasteland manual p.1: "Tensions grew with the coming of 1998. The United States’ Citadel Starstation was slated to be fully operational by March, Soviet charges that the space station was merely a military launching platform alarmed a number of nonaligned nations. The right wing governments in the South and Central Americas, many of them set up by the U.S. during the Drug Wars (1987-1993), pledged their support to the U.S. The NATO nations, including the new African members also declared their alliance with the U.S. That move forced most of the remaining neutral powers to join the Soviet protest. In six short weeks, only Switzerland, Sweden, and Ireland continued to declare themselves neutral nations."
- Desert Rangers Wasteland Survival Guide p.9: "The End of the old world and the birth of the new began with that most modern of pre-war plagues, illegal drugs. Between 1987 and 1993, under the banner of eradicating the tide of narcotics that was flooding in from the south, the United States spearheaded a series of proxy wars and political coups in Central and South America that were designed to topple the governments there and install new governments loyal to new masters. This gave the U.S. de facto control over the whole of the western hemisphere.
The ramifications were far-reaching, and, ultimately, sealed the fate of the old world."
- Wasteland 2 Director's Cut Manual p.5-6: "But tensions were building. The two continents of the Americas had recently come under control of the United States following a six-year period of hostilities known as the Drug Wars, which ended in 1993. In response to this, the Russians consolidated their power into one massive Soviet Bloc. Pretty soon the politicians and the generals were all playing an ever escalating game of "my gun is bigger than your gun." There was just no way it was gonna end well, and as you know just by looking at the world around you, it didn't."