Spoiler alert! The following feature contains story elements from the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. This is not a review but an analysis of the story told in Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare series. For those of you that will never play the game, skipped the “No Russian” mission, or missed the subtleties I encourage you to read on.
Shepherd is almost proud as he declares to the 141 that he has a blank check and the intelligence to capture Makarov and bring him to justice. Two location are identified as possible hideouts for Makarov and the 141 splits to engage. Along the Russian border deep in the woods there is a hunting cabin where Makarov has organized his troops. Roach Sanderson and Ghost attempt an infiltration only to be ambushed as they approach. Despite overwhelming odds both Ghost and Roach are able to locate a secure the information stored on the computers in the cabin and are rescued by Shepherd’s men. After confirming that the data is secure Shepherd executes Roach and Ghost, secures the data, and then burns the bodies. General Shepherds reasons for this betrayal are not made clear however as the semi-conscious Roach is being covered in gasoline he is told by Captain Price that Shepherd cannot be trusted. What Price learned while in the African bone yard, an airplane junkyard , is not revealed but after Soap tries to contact Roach and Ghost Captain Price assumes them KIA and contacts Nikolai for extraction. As Price and Soap are making their escape, Price contacts Makarov with a stolen enemy radio and offers to work with the terrorist to take out Shepherd; an offer Makarov refuses.
The information that Price learns is not revealed in the game but there are enough details to wager a guess at Shepherd’s true intentions. The General secured data hidden on a computer owned by Makarov, which indicates that he had evidence of Shepherd’s plans, and it was through Makarov indirectly that Price learned of Shepherd’s plot. Shepherd also tried to secure information captured by the Russian military during its invasion of US soil, only to have what little information left fall into the hands of Private Ramirez. Thanks to the Russian attack and attempted nuclear launch, perpetrated by Price, General Shepherd has been given a blank check by the US secretary of Defense to capture and kill Makarov. All signs point to General Shepherd planting false information in order to implicate the Russian government with Makarov in order to have the United States declare open war on Russia and invade. Soap and Price see that the only way to prevent open war and the death’s of millions of Russian innocents is to kill General Shepherd before he has a chance to complete the falsified information. They go in alone to the General’s base of operations in Afghanistan with the sole purpose of General Shepherd’s assassination not expecting to survive the attempt. They manage to corner the General and kill him after a desperate struggle. Nikolai picks them up in a helicopter claiming to know somewhere they will be safe. With Makarov and soon the brunt of the US military aligned against them, Soap and Price have become the same kind of outlaw terrorists they used to hunt.