WMG / Battlefield 3

This "PLR" that you're fighting against in BF3 is not some radical Arab jihadist group...
..They're Kurds. Here's my evidence:
  • The first level takes place in Sulaymaniyah, a Kurdish city in Northern Iraq.
  • The name "Peoples Liberation and Resistance" doesn't really sound like a jihadist organization. If it was, they would use terms like "Islamic" or "Mujihadeen", or such. The PLR is probably a splinter or successor organization to the PKK.

Here's how it went down. Back in 2003, the United States invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam Hussein. The Kurds had long been oppressed by Saddam's regime, who had used chemical weapons in an attempt to exterminate them. The Kurds were initially grateful to the Americans after having been liberated. But the Kurds, being the largest ethnic group in the Middle East without a country, wanted to establish one. However, America put a stop to it, fearing that Kurdish independence would destabilize the region and that other stateless ethnic groups (Such as the Palestinians, Baloch in Pakistan, et cetera..), would also would also want to be independent. This, along with the continued presence of U.S forces in their homeland (the game takes place in 2014, and by then the U.S military might be wearing out it's welcome), enraged the Kurdish populace. In response the PLR was formed, which began attacking U.S marines, leading to the events of the game.
  • The revelation in the game and novel that the PLR originated in Iran would seem to put paid to this particular theory. Though the part of them not being an Arab jihadist group proved correct; they're decidedly not Arab, and their aim seems to be more along the lines of secular Iranian nationalism Gone Horribly Wrong.

BF3 is not only a sequel to BF2, but BF:BC2
  • The squad from B-Company will show up as major characters halfway through the game, and they will kick ass a-plenty.
    • Previous pre-release materials have specifically said that that would not be the case...but hey, there's always Lying Creator. I can't deny that seeing what you said would be absolutely awesome.
    • Nope! DICE has stated multiple times that BF3 is a direct sequel to BF2, which in turn is a sequel to BF1942. The Bad Companies are set in an entirely different universe, albeit one which is quite similar to the one already established.
      • And besides all that, a recent interview stated that a proper sequel to Bad Company 2 might be in the works for the future, so there'd be little point in cramming any related material into BF3 (not that it works much better in its intended role as a BF2 sequel; where the heck did China and the MEC go, and when did Russia get involved?).

The PLR arose from the 2011 Iranian protests.
Exactly as it says; a faction of protesters got a little carried away and formed a radical organisation that, by 2014, was able to violently seize control of Iran, and proceeded to use it as a staging area to launch PLR attacks in Iraq and other regions. As for why I'm going with Iran as its source rather than Iraq, I'm going on how the wiki mentions a new President of Iran who took control in a coup and has ties to the PLR, and a quote from a character in the tie-in novel who says, "Better learn Farsi," in relation to the idea of the PLR taking over. The game itself suggests that they've been making trouble in Iran for some time by 2014, with the earthquake at the end of the first mission being the last straw for Iran's beleaguered government, allowing the PLR to take complete control.

The Rat was specifically trained to seek out US soldiers
IRL there are people who have been training rats to do mine detection, it's not that far a stretch to think that rat may be trained for search and rescue ops, even without electronic guidance. So the PLR got their hands on a few S&R rats, released them on the earth quake zone and had a soldier follow them with an assault rifle. Hilarity Ensues.

Battlefield 3 is a prequel to the Bad Company games.
The singleplayer campaign explains how and why the rather unclear Russian-American war from the BC games got started, and the multiplayer depicts some of the earliest engagements.
  • Yeah, that's outright impossible. Considering that BC took place in the Vietnam War, and BF3 takes place in 2014. Who knows, maybe they have a time machine!
    • What are you talking about? Bad Company takes place during the modern era. Did you not notice the Blackhawks, the Humvees, the M1A2s, the soldiers' armor, and the guns?
  • Yes, that's absolutely impossible. The Bad Companies take place around 2010, and BF3 happens in 2014. Also, in the Bad Companies, the fighting is mainly restricted to Eastern Europe and South America, rather than Iran. Also, there are references that the war in BC is a war over oil, and the one in BF3 is over nukes.
    • If anything, the BC games are prequels to BF 2142.

Battlefield 3 and 4 are set in the Modern Warfare universe
At the risk of tapping into an intense fandom rivalry, here goes:

Battlefield 3 takes place in 2014, three years after the events of MW1. The Coalition forces are doing pacification operations to mop up what's left of the PLR, who was the Opposition Force in MW1. Khaled Al-Assad was the original head of the PLR and while it originated in Iran (the OpFor in MW1 was originally Iranian) Al-Assad sought to create a Middle East Coalition similar to the one in BF2. As Al-Assad's PLR was more or less in line with the views of then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the PLR sought to exert its influence elsewhere, and was successful in killing Iraqi President Yasir Al-Fulani, and managed to conduct a substantial invasion of Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. The American campaign in MW1 is the efforts by a Coalition force lead by the US to repel the invasion, and despite Kuwait City being destroyed by a nuclear bomb, the PLR is contained and Al-Assad is assassinated by the SAS in Azerbaijan.

Fast forward to 2014 and the PLR has re-organized under the leadership of Faruk Al-Bashir and rogue CIA asset Solomon. With the departure of Ahmadinejad and the election of a presumably more pro-western Iranian President, the PLR is limited to causing instability along the Iran-Iraq border and not doing much other than harassing US and Coalition forces. However a catastrophic earthquake originating in Iran gives the PLR an ample opportunity and the Iranian President is disposed of in a Coup, with Al-Bashir being installed as the new President. The US begins a military intervention in Iran, with the aim of disposing of Al-Bashir and finishing off the PLR once and for all.

Meanwhile the Russian civil war has ended with the Ultranationalists in control of the country. Their anti-western rhetoric results in tension between the US and Russia. Solomon sees this as an ample opportunity to not only strike back at the west but also potentially start a war between the two nations. Through a Russian arms dealer, Kaffarov, he is able to acquire three portable nuclear devices. One of these devices is captured in Tehran, but not before the other two are moved off site. US forces then capture Al-Bashir who dies of his wounds soon after, leaving the PLR in the hands of Solomon who directs them to concentrate on attacking targets in the US and Europe.

Russian paratroopers attempt to capture Kaffarov but their operation coincidentally occurs at the same time of a US operation with the same aim. This results in a minor skirmish along Iran's northern border adjacent to the Caspian sea. Despite the international incident, Kaffarov is captured and the Russian GRU learns that the second device has been transported to Paris with the intention of detonating it. Three GRU operatives are sent to prevent the detonation, but despite their best efforts they are unable to stop the device from exploding. Fortunately a malfunction prevents the nuke from fully detonating its already small yield, and while much of Paris's infrastructure remains intact, 80,000 civilians still die from the blast and after effects, such as radiation.

Back in the states, USMC Sergeant Henry Blackburn, who is now only one of two men who know of Solomon's plan, is questioned by CIA on his involvement. Although his story is not believed due to lack of conclusive evidence, he is still able to prevent the detonation of the third device, as well as kill Solomon. Despite the blow to US-Russian relations due to the origin of the devices being Russia as well as the presence of the GRU operatives in Paris before the detonation, the two nations stop short of declaring war.

Because the leaders of the US are unwilling to go to war with Russia after the operations in Iran and continued presence in Afghanistan putting strain on the military, US Army Lt. General Shepard takes it upon himself to push the US over the edge, not only due to his resentment of the soldiers killed by the nuclear bomb in Kuwait City, but also a desire for a powerful US military with himself at the head. At the same time Imran Zakhaev's heir apparent, Vladimir Makarov, is excommunicated from the Ultranationalist party due to his continued demands of an aggressive military policy against the West. Shepard sees an opportunity to ignite the spark of war and begins coordinating with Makarov. For two years Shepard provides Makarov with equipment, intel and training, while Makarov and a small army of loyal Ultranationalists and mercenaries stage terrorist attacks in Europe and Russia, with the aim of putting strain on international relations. Unbeknownst to Makarov however, Shepard has begun a manhunt for the terrorist, both recognizing that he is a loose end that will eventually need to be tied up, and to garner the support of the US government for his own policies. To that end he founds the international Task Force 141, commanded by SAS Captain John "Soap" MacTavish, and his own private US Army unit called "Shadow Company."

In 2016 a US Military satellite crash lands in Russia, the satellite contains a component called the ACS Module which allows access to the US's early warning systems. After Task Force 141 recovers the ACS, Shepard learns that the Russians had reverse engineered the module, giving them the ability to disable America's early warning network. Rather than alert his superiors to the potential danger, he decides now is the time to make his move. He orders Makarov to stage a terrorist attack at a Russian airport, and arranges for US Army soldier turned CIA operative Joseph Allen to not only pose as one of the terrorists, but also be killed in the attack, making it appear as if Makarov now has the backing of the United States. This culminates in a surprise attack against the US by Russia and an invasion of the East Coast, resulting in near catastrophic damage to major cities such as Richmond, New York, and Washington D.C. Thanks to the courage and perseverance of the US military however the invasion is stopped just short of seizing the American Capital. Task Force 141 also does their part to quell the invasion, by eliminating strategic Russian military outposts on the Kamchatka Peninsula, rescuing SAS Captain Jonathan Price who was a key player in the 2011 crisis, and rigging a Russian SLBM to cause an EMP to disable the Russian mechanized forces (albeit blacking out the US East Coast as well). Price and MacTavish also discover that Shepard was the man who orchestrated the current crisis. Shepard realizes that he's been found out and orders Shadow company to eliminate Task Force 141 as well as Makarov. While Shadow Company is successful in killing most of the Task Force 141 operatives, they are unable to prevent Shepard's death at the hands of MacTavish and Price. Makarov, realizing he's been double crossed, goes into hiding.

With their invasion of the US failed and American forces gearing up for a counter invasion of Russia, the Russian President seeks to broker a peace with the US. However he is ambushed and captured by Makarov, who effectively takes control of the Russian military. Following a biological attack across Western Europe, Russia begins a massive invasion. In addition, following the remnants of the PLR swearing their allegiance to Makarov, a limited invasion of Iran begins to try and assist the PLR in securing the country. Russian paratroopers are also sent to other locales, such as Wake Island and the Gulf of Oman, to attempt to deny strategic assets to the US.

Despite heavy fighting in Berlin, Paris, and other locations across Europe, Russia, and elsewhere, US and NATO forces are able to contain the advance. Makarov, becoming increasingly desperate, captures the daughter of the Russian President and threatens to kill her unless he is given command of Russia's nuclear arsenal. Fortunately she and the President are rescued through a joint operation of Delta Force and the remnants of Task Force 141. Subsequently Makarov is killed, bringing an end to the war and the reign of terror began by Zakhaev and Al-Assad, passed down through Al-Bashir and Solomon, and finally to Makarov...

...until 2020. During the crisis China has been sitting in the shadows, watching the two nations tear each other apart, with the intent to eat up the remains and assert itself as the new dominant superpower. Through a backdoor alliance, China provides assistance to the battered Russian military in return for Russia's foreign policy to serve Chinese interests, virtually making them a puppet state. Before long the US becomes aware of the alliance and begins military operations against the Chinese. At the same time the Russians seize the opportunity to strike against China while they are distracted by the US. Now the three nations are battling to become the undisputed top dog on the global stage.

But that's a story for Battlefield 4...

The CIA actually isn't stupid...
They want the war to happen. The CIA just pull in Blackburn as a scapegoat. Considering he has been in contact with a Russian agent.