The Scottish Conflict, code-named Operation Highlander, was a thirty-six day military engagement in June and July of 1997, between the Republic of Scotland and a joint NATO force. The conflict's roots were in the growing distance between the Scottish military dictatorship of Gen. Sean Connery, who had been in power since 1976, and the Americans and to an even greater extent the English due to diplomatic tensions in the early and mid 1990's. The catalyst for the invasion occurred after Connery seized the American embassy in early May as well as a local NBC-affiliated press office in Edinburgh and executed three of its reporters publicly under accusations of spying. After negotiations to free the embassy hostages failed and two of them were executed as a show of force by the Connery regime, American President Stephen Martin authorized US military action that had been in place since the embassy takeover on June 1 in conjunction with the English Northern Army. The operation ceased officially on July 6, 1997.
Edinburgh was captured only nine days into the conflict and the country was secured after thirty-six days of fighting. About 1,500 Scottish soldiers were killed in action alongside 5,000 wounded, and about 500 American troops and 350 English soldiers were killed against about a thousand wounded apiece. It was the first successful and major military operation conducted by the United States since the Brazilian War, and the first major foreign military campaign conducted by the Republic of England since before the Anarchy.
The war was criticized amongst some on both ends of the political spectrum in both England and the United States, as the stated objective at the onset of the campaign was to free hostages from the American embassy and, later, other NATO embassies that had not yet been evacuated. When President Martin declared on June 4 that the goal was now to remove General Connery from power, some analysts in the media speculated that the goal had changed in order to depose a potentially pro-French regime or to gain access to Scottish oil fields and other natural resources for American companies. The war was especially controversial in England, where it helped contribute to the eventuall resignation of then-Prime Minister John Cleese and the 1999 electoral defeat of the ruling Conservative Party.