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The Global Defense Initiative (abbreviated as GDI) is an international military force sanctioned by the United Nations to preserve world order by combating global terrorism and pursing the eradication of Tiberium from Earth.
The GDI is one of the two most recognized factions in the Tiberium universe, the other being its nemesis the Brotherhood of Nod.
The Global Defense Initiative was created by the United Nations on 12 October 1995, in order to enforce the United Nations Global Defense Act and uphold the ideals of the UN Charter. This was in response to the growing threat that terrorism, epitomized by the Brotherhood of Nod, poses to the international world order.
With the arrival of Tiberium in the same year, GDI's mandate later expanded to global environmental protection from the spread of Tiberium.
First Tiberium War
- Main article: First Tiberium War
After the bombing of the Grain Trade Center in Vienna by Nod terrorists, the United Nations authorized GDI to openly engage Nod forces. By that point, Nod already had secured a foothold in Eastern Europe and are beginning their conquest of Africa.
GDI fought the Brotherhood on a multitude of fronts, led by American brigadier general Mark Jamison Sheppard. Battlegroups under the command of James Solomon and J.C. Carter engaged Nod militia throughout Eastern and Central Europe.
Despite GDI's best efforts in the war, they lost their last foothold on Africa and Nod cemented control over the whole continent. After capturing a crucial base in South Africa, Nod would then hack into GDI's ion cannon network. The orbital weapon fired onto the White House, delivering a humiliating blow to the GDI. With global condemnation, the United Nations was forced to cut off funding and deactivate GDI bases around the world. Nod was left unchallenged, making them the victors of the First Tiberium War.
Following GDI's defeat in the First Tiberium War, the United Nations decided to capitulate to Kane's demands, forcing the peacekeeping organization to undergo "substantial restructuring", downgrading it to merely a token force. This left the weakened GDI at the whims of the Brotherhood, as leftover GDI bases began to suffer the onslaught of Nod aggression.
All seemed lost for the fractured remains of GDI until in 2010, a young GDI colonel named Andrew Owen opened negotiations with the GloboTech Corporation. GDI was not Nod's only target, as the corporation's sanctuary cities also suffered attacks by Nod zealots. Owen's GDI remnant agreed to serve as a glorified PMC for GloboTech in exchange for arms and aid. Following this deal, GDI forces discovered the location of the GDI Supreme Commander, General Sheppard.
In 2021, the GloboTech-backed GDI forces made their assault on Nod-controlled Turin in Italy, in hopes of capturing the Wellsping field, one of the largest Tiberium fields at the time nearby. Deploying their latest Kazuar prototypes, GDI eliminated the Nod presence, securing a vital resource point. For the next six years, GDI slowly but surely received the necessary manpower and resources to rebuild themselves back into a major military power.
First Tiberium War
During the First Tiberium War, GDI mostly utilized conventional weapons and equipment from its member nations, with the notable exception of several advanced weapons and technologies:
- Artificial intelligence: GDI commanders are supported by Electronic Video Agent, or EVA, an artificial intelligence that provides them with intelligence and serves as their battle command interface.
- Orca aircraft: deployed during the later stages of the war, the Orca was an extremely fast and maneuverable VTOL aircraft armed with rockets. It would become the first in a long line of similar aircraft.
- Space technology: GDI utilized the satellite-based Ion Cannon to eliminate entire bases with a single blast. However by the end of the conflict, Nod forces in Africa would hijack the ion cannon network, using one to destroy the White House.
Second Tiberium War
Despite their losses in the first war, GDI's technology advanced dramatically thanks to its support from the GloboTech Corporation. It came to rely on high-tech weaponry and equipment during the Second Tiberium War:
- Mechanized walkers: units like the Kazuar and the Scatterpack became mainstays of the GDI arsenal during the conflict, replacing most standard armoured vehicles.
- Hover vehicles: the Skimmer LHV was GDI's first observed hovercraft used in combat.
- Orca aircraft: the Orca moniker was now used for a series of specialized aircraft, combatant or not.
- EMP weaponry: EMP was employed by the Wasp APC and Orca Manta to disable enemy electronics and vehicles. The EMP Cannon can launch large concentrated spheres of energy to disable vehicles, structures, and cyborgs in a large radius.
- Railgun technology: railguns are the main armaments of the Railgun Commando, the Phalanx Platform, and the Mammoth Walker. Gatling Towers may also be upgraded with anti-air railguns.
- Jet packs: a primitive version of jet packs was seen used by Marauders.
- Firestorm technology (campaign only): Firestorm barriers were impenetrable force fields used for passive base defense.
- Space technology: GDI was able to re-establish their space capability, using a new generation of the ion cannon called ICARUS.