Sunday, May 17, 2020

Would America Win a War against China?

It seems like it was only yesterday, but ten days have passed since I posted about differing views of China. The antagonists were George Friedman of the Geopolitical Futures and David Goldman of Asia Times.

Two worthy adversaries. Friedman suggested that China had a Potemkin military and that it could never stand up to America. Goldman cited a study from the University of Sydney, to the effect that China could neutralize American military power in East Asia in relatively short order.

At the least, however much we stretch things, they cannot both be right.

Anyway, I cannot guarantee that the Pentagon is right, but they have just war gamed it all out. The result: by all appearances, Goldman was right. The Chinese military is not something to trifle with.

The story comes from the Times of London, via the Daily Mail.

The US would lose a war with China fought in the Pacific, is unable to defend Taiwan from an invasion and fears the Guam military base is at risk now, US defense sources have warned. 

'Eye-opening' Pentagon war games have revealed growing fears the US is vulnerable to threats from China and that any attack would lead to the US 'suffering capital losses', the sources said.

The worrying analysis is expected to come to light in the Pentagon's 2020 China military power report this summer. 

The story continues:

US defense sources told The Times that one Pentagon simulation based on the year 2030 when China would have new attack submarines, aircraft carriers and destroyers resulted in the US being overwhelmed by the nation's force. 

The threat is more immediate than 2030, however, with every US base in the Indo-Pacific Command region considered to be at risk of attack now because China has ramped up its supply of medium-range ballistic missiles.

The US island territory Guam, home to three US military bases, is a particular concern, the games revealed.

'China has long-range anti-ship ballistic missiles and hypersonic [more than five times the speed of sound] missiles,' one US defence source told The Times. 

Analysis from US experts on China have issued similar warnings. 

Consider this:

Bonnie Glaser, director of the China power project at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington and a consultant for the US government on east Asia, told The Times that Taiwan is the 'most volatile issue' between the two nations and fears tensions could erupt in a nuclear war….

Beijing military activities have been ramped up in the South and East China Seas, including harassing carriers and constructing military outposts on artificial islands it has built in the disputed waters. 

Meanwhile, the US has also increased its military presence in the seas and antagonized China by increasing its ties with Taiwan through boosting arms sales to the country.  
'Every simulation that has been conducted looking at the threat from China by 2030 have all ended up with the defeat of the US,' said Glaser.

As you know, Chinese military activities in the South China Sea were full steam ahead during the Obama administration. The great Obama, of course, sat back and watched it happen. That’s why China respected him so much. The last time that President Obama visited China the airport authorities in Beijing refused to roll out a staircase to allow him to exit Air Force 1 as a commanding presence. He was forced to exit by the plane’s rear.

As of now the Trump administration recognizes the military threat China is posing. It is working to upgrade American technology.

Still, one does not imagine that China is going to be sitting idly by for the next years.

By the way, we all understand the political advantages to trash talking China. It seems to be working for Republicans. And yet, under the circumstances, it does not feel like a very smart thing to do. Keep in mind: China counterpunches. They did not even learn it from Trump. If we are going to attack China, with armies of lawyers and social justice warriors, understand that China is not just going to take it.


UbuMaccabee said...

I’m hoping China shows the Normals how to deal with armies of lawyers and SJWs. That will be our model, too.

David Foster said...

During the Iraq War, a Swiss company decided to cut off a key component (a quartz crystal) which was used in the US JDAM missile. Not sure if this was really the company's own decision or imposed by the Swiss government.

Multiply by thousands of items for which the US is now dependent on China.

Sam L. said...

"The last time that President Obama visited China the airport authorities in Beijing refused to roll out a staircase to allow him to exit Air Force 1 as a commanding presence. He was forced to exit by the plane’s rear." China had his number.

It just occurred to me that "number" is also pronounced "numb-er" and Obama was numb-er than most.

Kansas Scout said...

"Winning" must be defined before you say one wins and the other loses. Tactically the Chinese may well "Win" but victory is more than military action. The strategic situation would become dire for a longer term. It could be a pyrrihic victory. It will be very complicated for China. So what would they achieve? Japan won't submit. South Korea will not submit.Australia won't submit. They would end up with a smoking ruin all around them . The price of this "victory" will be immense and the "victory" hollow. I really doubt it goes Nuke. If so China becomes an ashtray. We would be hurt badly but nothing like what happens to China.

Gospace said...

In all the proxy wars around the world, in every real world encounter between US military equipment and Communist equipment, not matter which communist supplier, the US equipment has won out. The Israelis take some of our avionics and make it even better.

Yet, in every war game we lose. Because the simulated war games are based on published capabilities of the possible adversaries equipment. The published capabilities, not the real life capabilities. Their capabilities are always overestimated, ours always understated. There are multiple reasons for this. One domestic reason is- the military gets more funding to make up for the "whatever" gap to catch up and try to surpass.

When the super dangerous far more advanced than our fighters Mig 25 was delivered into our hands by a Soviet defector- it was discovered it was put together with rivets, not welded, and it's electronics were vacuum tubes, not solid state. I know our Spruance class vessels used to play games with a similar class of Soviets, slowly increasing speed,and the Soviet ship would keep up. And at the same speed, every time, there'd be a puff of black smoke from the Soviet vessel and they'd go DIW.

The Chinese can't even reliably win encounters with India.

We're not going to invade China.China isn't going to invade the U.S.China is a danger to Taiwan and Japan. China wold lose to Japan in any encounter.Solely due to numbers, if China were willing to sacrifice the manpower, they could conceivably launch a large scale amphibious operation against Taiwan and take it over forcibly. Provide WE didn't interfere, and the Japanese didn't interfere. One of our subs in Straits of Formosa given freedom to fire would take care of a large number of Chinese ships. Taiwan has it's own diesel subs.