Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Realism and Restraint

Biden Can’t Assume America Beats China in a Taiwan War

U.S. Navy in the Open Ocean
U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay.

Joe Biden will face a host of difficulties and challenges when he assumes office on January 20, but perhaps none more consequential than deteriorating China-U.S. relations. It is the potential flashpoint of Taiwan that will have the greatest urgency.

Many in Washington are advocating a shedding of the decades’ old policy of “strategic ambiguity,” in favor of an overt declaration that we would come to the defense of Taiwan if China ever seeks to reunify the island by force. Assumed in such advocacy is the presumption the U.S. Armed Forces would be able to successfully accomplish that mission. For at least three major reasons, those assumptions are badly misplaced.

First, the risk is high that on purely military fundamentals, the United States would fail to successfully prevent a resolute and committed Chinese assault. As the most recent Department of Defense annual report to Congress on China details, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) – remains on a multi-decade modernization push that has seen them develop a substantial defensive capability, known as anti-access, area-denial (A2/AD).

China’s A2/AD strategy, the Pentagon report explains, is designed to “dissuade, deter, or, if ordered, defeat third-party intervention during a large-scale, theater campaign such as a Taiwan contingency.” Their strategy includes the use of modern weaponry including warships, new fighters, increasingly lethal missile forces, heavy armor, and cyberattack capability.

F-16 in the Sky

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon conducts aerial refueling with a KC-135 Stratotanker.

When comparing the armed forces of the United States and China, we are still substantially more capable than China. Our ability to project power, for example, remains ahead of China. Critically, however, the balance of power near China’s shores would give them virtually every advantage militarily. Repeated wargames conducted in the United States pitting the U.S. against China in a Taiwan scenario reveal the ugly truth.

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense and current RAND analyst David A. Ochmanek revealed earlier this year that simulation exercises have exposed troubling results when the U.S. intervenes in war between China and Taiwan. The American side, Ochmanek admitted, has “had its ass handed to it for years.”  The reasons for the simulated combat losses aren’t hard to understand.

Over the past few decades, the Chinese have developed modern weapons of war and have improved the quality of their fighting force substantially above where they were when the U.S. dismantled Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army in 1991. Though our military is globally superior any fight within the so-called “first island chain” near China’s coast would play to Beijing’s tactical advantage. Our conventional and nuclear power deter Chia from ever attacking the U.S. mainland or Armed Forces – but if we choose to intervene in their back yard, they would have the advantage.

Second, in the event of war, Taiwan may defend itself not merely by targeting the attacking Chinese forces, but by hitting military bases on the Chinese mainland.  If the U.S. joins the fight against China, it is unlikely China would differentiate whether an attack against its mainland came from a Taiwanese or American source and may well prompt a Chinese retaliation against U.S. targets either in the region (such as in Japan, South Korea, Guam, or Hawaii) or directly on our continental homeland. The risk would then rise precipitously of a nuclear response.

Third, even if we overcame all the difficulties and imposed an outright defeat on the Chinese, there’s no guarantee China wouldn’t try again and we would be saddled with permanently garrisoning Taiwan, indefinitely making its security our responsibility. It would also all but guarantee a new war with China, as an American military presence across the Strait would entice Beijing to prepare for the next round.

USS Makin Island

The setting sun silhouettes the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8) under way off the coast of Southern California with the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Sept. 5, 2011. The MEU boarded the Makin Island in San Diego to begin its second seagoing exercise since becoming a complete Marine air-ground task force in May 2011. (DoD photo by Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn, U.S. Marine Corps/Released).

Taiwan is a core interest of China and they would never quit fighting. We would have to spend scores of billions annually to perpetually defend Taiwan, placing severe strain on our economy, diverting military forces and resources from everywhere else in the world, and require a major increase in the size of our military and thus base defense budget.

Undertaking such a burden as the “prize” for successfully preventing China from taking Taiwan could literally bankrupt our country and leave us more vulnerable than we’ve been since before World War I. It should be beyond clear that it is not in America’s interests to take such an enormous risk.

Naturally, the United States is a genuine advocate for freedom and self-determination across the globe. It is not, however, our responsibility to be the global guarantor of every land and peoples’ freedom on the planet. It would be a tragedy beyond compare if in trying to defend one country’s freedom, we put at risk our ability to guarantee our own.

Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis1.

Written By

Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis1.



  1. Jack

    December 31, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Reading the article, I was left with the impression the author believes the US simply should turn its back on Taiwan and let it go to the Chinese. If so, then Biden is the correct person to make that happen. While I don’t pretend to know the military ramifications of the author’s argument, it seems that deserting a long term ally will have a negative impact on our standing with other allies, and will elevate the Chinese to a position of dominance. Perhaps this is what is desired by the author.

    • Bill Halcott

      January 2, 2021 at 9:49 am

      Also, the Chicoms have angered all their neighbors, so I do not think it will be only the USA in the coming conflict.

      • Steven Marshall

        January 3, 2021 at 3:46 pm

        You’re wrong. In a quick strike, Japan and Korea are a long way off. Further, if they believe China would prevail, they may well decide it’s in their national interest to hang back and make a favorable deal with the Chinese. We only have allies if they are convinced of U.S. ascendency.

        • Joseph Edelen

          January 4, 2021 at 1:13 pm

          Let’s make Taiwan a nuclear power. China will think twice before assaulting her.

      • Joseph Edelen

        January 4, 2021 at 1:19 pm

        We could also suggest to Taiwan to bring back US military bases. An attack on Taiwan becomes an attack on the US…a nuclear US that is right next door.

    • Jorge Cartaya

      January 2, 2021 at 10:37 am

      I got the same impression. The author tells us what the consequences could be but not how to avoid them or his suggestions of what to do. I can imagine what Japan, South Korea and Australia would think if the US just turned their backs on Taiwan. All three are quite capable of fielding nuclear weapons on short notice, they would have no choice but to do so if US protection were shown to be nothing but talk.

      The biggest threat from China to the US and the West is the way China thinks. China thinks long term, they have a plan in place and are executing it. The US and the West can’t plan past the next election cycle. That gives China a very big advantage. Unless the democracies can come together to formulate and implement a plan to confront China’s expansion, military conflict is unavoidable. History is full of examples of what happens when a power sets its sight on expansion, it continues to expand until met with force to stop it. No power was talked out of its expansion.

      • Mack wolfe

        January 3, 2021 at 11:50 am

        Give Taiwan plenty of nukes and be done with it . China won’t invade if it means Beijing becoming rubble.

      • Hollis P. Wood

        January 3, 2021 at 9:51 pm

        A united front against Chinese aggression in the western Pacific is way past due. A formal agreement between Japan, Australia, and the United States to support each other similar to NATO Article 5 and maintain existing, internationally recognized maritime boundaries (i.e. UNCLOS boundaries not the 9-dash line that China wants) in the region should be established. Getting S. Korea to join would be monumental, but probably too much to ask as there are WWII scars that have still not healed with Japan.

        Even without any explicit public guarantee of Taiwan’s defense, a NATO like agreement between Japan, Australia, and the U.S. (with invitations for other threatened countries in the region to join) would force China to re-assess any currently formulated plans for invading Taiwan as well as its bullying tactics in the western Pacific. Frequent joint naval exercises and patrols would reinforce the resolve of the western Pacific alliance.

        The problem is it will take a respected leader to build and strengthen the resolve of such a coalition. Unfortunately, Trump missed his opportunity to do so despite Sec. Pompeo’s best efforts and Biden has shown himself to be weak, non-confrontational, and corrupted in his dealings with China over 4 decades in public office. Truthfully, we have not had any Presidents with the ability to build such a coalition since Reagan and George H.W. Bush – nearly 30 years of uninterrupted ineptitude in foreign policy – inconsistent, haphazard, short term, and non-strategic. That has to end.

    • David

      January 2, 2021 at 11:36 am

      You are 100% correct.

      Abandoning our allies and an unwillingness to provide strong leadership is what precipitated the loss of the Crimea to Russia and the morass and mass casualties in Syria.

      Weakness, indifference and lack of preparation are never the solutions when confronting bullies. Strength. Solidarity with allies. Clear-headed preparation. This is the formula for our long-term well-being.

    • Ashok

      January 2, 2021 at 12:36 pm

      Communist China pays off journalists to push their propaganda. I would not be surprised if this is a part of such an effort.

    • Daniel Piscopo

      January 2, 2021 at 1:35 pm

      Ummm. You forgot Trump deserted the Kurds so as not offend the demagogue Erdogan or that Trump is constantly complaining about NATO and questioning our commitment? And what about pulling out of the WHO as another turncoat move?

      • Michael Palmer

        January 3, 2021 at 10:09 am

        Trump pulling out of the Middle East makes perfect sense. Those tribes have been at war with each other for thousands of years and sending more American lives to die for those barbarians is folly. If it were your son who was being sent into Norther Iraq to “defend the Kurds” would you be so quick to play World Policeman? America has it’s own problem. I spent a lot of time in the ME as a US Marine, and I’m sick of Americans sitting on their fat a**es in the states declaring that we need to keep troops over there to keep the peace when they don’t have an ounce of skin in the game. Let the Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, etc., sort it out for themselves. If you want to help out, go join Blackwater. They still have operators in the area. We have a ton of problems back at home.

    • Gator Dropin

      January 2, 2021 at 3:08 pm

      So, the author claims that the only way to protect Taiwan is with nukes, I am ok with that.

      The problem is would the president give the ok to use them when necessary. I think not and so will the Chinese.

      The solution is out of Dr. Strangelove. We have thousands of old nuclear bombs waiting to be destroyed. They could be moved to Taiwan and riged to explode if China takes the island.

      They would have to be permanent, and designed to go off if anyone tried to deactivate or destroy them in any way. Placed in the bedrock in such a way that the island would fall into the sea and send the words biggest radioactive tsunami to China.

      It would probably be best not to tell anyone including Taiwan what we were doing until it was operational. But then everyone in the world would need to know.

      Don’t want to make the Dr. Strangelove mistake do we.

      After it’s done we could apologize profusely and promise never to do it again.

      • Matt Musson

        January 3, 2021 at 6:28 pm

        Taiwan could go nuclear over a long weekend

    • Hominid

      January 3, 2021 at 10:17 am

      Did it matter when the US betrayed South Viet Nam? Did it matter when the US betrayed Hungary? How ’bout the Cuban counter-revolution?

      America is a schizophrenic country – trust it at your peril.

    • Alhorvath

      January 3, 2021 at 10:29 am


    • Matt Musson

      January 3, 2021 at 6:27 pm

      Sorry folks but China is a Maritime Dependent Empire with a brown water Navy. South China imports 50% of their calories. Without imported oil they cannot support their agriculture, electricity and transport.

      They already have 7 Trillion in bad Corporate debt on the books and 3 out of 4 new loans are to pay interest existing loans. 1 in 4 Chinese homes isan empty Spec house.

      They will be exceptionally lucky to be a united country in 5 years.

  2. Andrew

    January 2, 2021 at 5:33 am

    As an Australian, I can confidently say the first thing the Chinese will do, and I know because they have said this explicitly, is choke the maritime trade to Australia and Japan after they have broken through the first island chain at the point of Taiwan. This will make being a US ally in Asia a distinct liability and the US will then effectively cede all of Asia to the CCP’s totalitarian influence. In addition they would gain Taiwan’s semi-conductor industry and the ideological benefits of crushing democracy in Taiwan. The strategic course you plot will deliver total geopolitical dominance to the CCP. As judged by the recent investment deal Europe will remain largely neutral in this superpower struggle. Please talk to someone in Asia before publishing this defeatist stuff. As you rightly point out nuclear weapons are an effective deterrent and the US can proliferate them to Taiwan if you don’t want to pay to defend it with conventional forces.

    • viktor knapp

      January 2, 2021 at 11:12 am

      How can in the so called “west” almost everybody that dumb? The air? The water? Self delusion? Faith induced brain death?

  3. Joseph

    January 2, 2021 at 5:51 am

    Should China take Taiwan, in my opinion, the US would quickly abandon any effort to come to her aid. Would the US risk ships sunk, aircraft lost in an air space they can’t dominate, or thousands of lives lost in attempted amphibious landings to save Taiwan? No. What might happen if Taiwan quickly capitulates? Would America sacrifice its sons to save a people already surrendered?

    • Warren Dew

      January 3, 2021 at 2:40 pm

      If the US provides Taiwan with up to date weapons, Taiwan and the US could easily dominate the air space over Taiwan.

  4. Chris J Anderson

    January 2, 2021 at 9:55 am

    I don’t think the author should assume that the PLA could execute a successful invasion of Taiwan? Any PLA amphibious invasion scenario of Taiwan would be the largest and most complex mission of it’s kind in the history warfare. According to Ian Easton in his book “The China Invasion Threat” there are only a handful of suitable landing beaches and only 4 weeks of permissive weather twice a year. Also, the terrain past the beaches is extremely rugged and mountainous. I’m not entirely sure the U.S. Military could pull it off if we had to do it. Either way, we need to ask ourselves what we stand for anymore? We tried and failed to promote democracy in the Middle East. What happens when we can’t protect it where it already exists? I don’t want me kids inheriting that world.

    • Old Codger

      January 2, 2021 at 1:38 pm

      Agree, I simply cannot see our peace loving chinese brothers sailing a 150 to 200 ship invasion fleet across the Taiwan Strait without getting blown out of the water.

      US satellites will give weeks of warning of the ship and plane buld up, and Taiwan will know which of the 12 west coast beaches are to be the target from tidal records.

      Taiwans top rate missiles will do the rest.

      • go Navy!

        January 3, 2021 at 2:50 pm

        Wouldn’t our satellites, submarines, and drone weapons allow us to sink most/all of the Chicom invasion fleet? Wouldn’t this allow our forces to bloody their noses without revealing it was our fists doing the bloodying? Sell the Taiwanese more subs, any-ship weapons

  5. R. L. Hails Sr. P.E. (Ret.)

    January 2, 2021 at 10:23 am

    There is only one answer to war between nuclear armed adversaries. No combat. Technology has eliminated the invasion option; it leads to death of the aggressor. This has been true since the errors of Mao Zedong and Douglas MacArthur. One thought bodies could overwhelm fire power; the other thought nuking the enemy solved problems.

    Mankind must find another way.

  6. Frank Blangeard

    January 2, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Currently only 14 countries in the world recognize Taiwan as being independent from China. Guatamala is the largest of those countries. The U.S. does not recognize Taiwan as being independent from China. In fact…Taiwan does not claim that it is independent from China.

    • Joseph Edelen

      January 4, 2021 at 1:34 pm

      Depends on who you asked in Taiwan.

    • Hollis P. Wood

      January 5, 2021 at 12:36 pm

      The U.S. did until 1978. It can and probably should recognize Taiwan again, but it won’t happen under Biden. The CCP has too much influence (read: money) over the DNC and all progressive institutions in the United States (entertainment, sports leagues, academia, news media and social media, major corporations).

  7. Lance Benson

    January 2, 2021 at 10:52 am

    Bearing in mind Michèle Flournoy’s suggestion that the U.S. should become able to credibly “threaten to sink all of China’s military vessels, submarines, and merchant ships in the South China Sea within 72 hours”, what is the possibility that Taiwan might be able to achieve an ability to sink every Chinese vessel within 150 miles of its shores?

    For instance, a billion dollars worth of hardware might do it (with equivalent or greater support costs): 600 million-dollar missiles, 600 half-million-dollar ones (perhaps imported), 600 $100,000 missiles, 3,000 at $10,000, 10,000 at $1,000 (perhaps locally built). A few handfuls of Exocets gave the British nightmares in the Falklands conflict 38 years ago.

    In view of the recent Azerbaijan/Armenia contest, such a defensive ability might well be deterring, with no attacks on mainland facilities except as tit-for-tat.

  8. viktor knapp

    January 2, 2021 at 11:05 am

    “Naturally the a genuine advocate for “freedom” and self-determination across the globe” This bull, is for the few literate, but just as faith demented, single digit I.Q. idiots, like the whole country. The USA was, is and will be, (for the short time, till it’s total collapse) the most cold blooded mass murderer on the globe.

  9. Joe P

    January 2, 2021 at 11:38 am

    The only way to beat China is nuclear and we probably won’t do that. With some pretty generic anti ship missiles, but launched by the hundreds, they will overwhelm our fleet. If our navy is overwhelmed our choices will be limited.

    China would suffer severe economic damage, as will we. So it’s doubtful they will attack.

  10. The David

    January 2, 2021 at 11:44 am

    The US should admit Taiwan, Israel and other threatened, close allies into the United States as new states.

    Then, there would be no question in the minds of our enemies what the consequence would be if they (we) were attacked.

    No wars would ensue because the cost would be too high for any potential aggressor.

    Peace through strength and clarity is better than peace through conflict.

  11. Peter Lampinen

    January 2, 2021 at 11:46 am

    So basically. Lt. Col. Davis is advocating for another Munich.
    In a straight forward military analysis, China of course has an unbeatable home field advantage. But there are always imponderables. The biggest one is the Taiwanese willingness to fight. Assuming China puts an occupation force on the island, a long drawn-out guerilla warfare campaign, with the US attacking China’s supply lines could weaken China’s resolve for am endless conflict. We have no way of knowing how the Chinese people would react to a grinding, costly military campaign.

  12. Daniel Hossley

    January 2, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Sounds like Taiwan should develop nuclear weapons to defend itself.

  13. chrisford1

    January 2, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    Well, start at the root of the problem, which is that the US fell over backwards to try and give China all the tech and “Free markets for Freedom Lovers like the Chinese” on the idea that prosperity would make China Just-Like-Us!
    It came with a big dollop of arrogance and complacency – The Chinese would be low tech, remain they’d make sneakers, we would sell them US made computers and cell phones. The ‘Murikan worker, by golly, can out-innovate, out-produce any worker on the planet, so their jobs would be safe from the Chicommies. We had the Holy Constitution, guiding us inerrantly for 230 years and that and Holy Democracy would continue to show the US off to the world with our clean, majestic cities, schools, and Blessed Diversity. The Chinese military was hopelessly outclassed, and where would they get the money to modernize it when the ‘Murikan worker would out-compete the Chinese while China built sneakers and paper umbrellas that the higher knowledge and tech US workers didn’t want to make???
    Now the US is about where Yugoslavia was in 1990, and headed into more instability and disorder as our systems and institutions are under challenge from within. If I was in a poorly run 3rd World nation, the Chinese system is looking more functional and better able to bring order and prosperity than the US system.

  14. CapitalistRoader

    January 2, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    Taiwan, Japan, and Australia should all aquire nuclear weapons offensive capabilities. Nukes are the only weapons that will deter the imperialistic Chinese Communists. Cheap insurance. Gone are the days of Mao daring the US to nuke China:

    “If the worst came to the worst and half of mankind died, the other half would remain while imperialism would be razed to the ground and the whole world would become socialist”
    Mao Zedong (1954)

    Mao’s dead and China has moved from a socialist economy to a fascist economy. Fascists only understand force.

  15. Gator Dropin

    January 2, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    So, the author claims that the only way to protect Taiwan is with nukes, I am ok with that.

    The problem is would the president give the ok to use them when necessary. I think not and so will the Chinese.

    The solution is out of Dr. Strangelove. We have thousands of old nuclear bombs waiting to be destroyed. They could be moved to Taiwan and riged to explode if China takes the island.

    They would have to be permanent, and designed to go off if anyone tried to deactivate or destroy them in any way. Placed in the bedrock in such a way that the island would fall into the sea and send the words biggest radioactive tsunami to China.

    It would probably be best not to tell anyone including Taiwan what we were doing until it was operational. But then everyone in the world would need to know.

    Don’t want to make the Dr. Strangelove mistake do we.

    After it’s done we could apologize profusely and promise never to do it again.

  16. Adler Pfingsten

    January 2, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    When there are vague references to “war games”, the parameters of which are undefined, resulting in an “a** kicking” by China over the US, it is safe to assume the players are Taiwan, China and a very restrained US exclusively…which is not realistic i.e. every country in Asia and Australia have a vested interest in outcome of a Chicom assault on Taiwan. Most importantly, and of grave concern to the Chinese, is how Japan would respond, especially if missiles rained down on bases in Japan. And then there is India and Korea; with India in a tense standoff with China and North Korea a puppet on strings capable of nothing more than a diversion…unable to restrain itself given a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have no faith in the EU and NATO but I do believe Britain would rise to the occasion.

    The defense of Taiwan is not that difficult given the 110 miles of water separating the mainland from the island; US surface combatants need only operate from the far side while working with Israel to place the most advanced layered missile defense in between on the island i.e. negate the feared area denial. As to any threat from Chinese submarines, the idea of going toe to toe with the most advanced hunter killers should serve as a warning to the goose stepping PLA…110 miles might as well be 10,000 miles.

    Unfortunately, it looks like a Chicom bought and paid for Biden or Harris might be making the calls.

  17. wallace

    January 2, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    The Chinese play the long game and I doubt very much that they would attack the island right now, or in the coming 4 years. US is doing the best it can by selling arms to Taiwan. This should be enough

  18. Kofi Asare

    January 2, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Would a war with Taiwan serve China’s interests? It would hurt them economically. I don’t think China would ever go to war with Taiwan. They will make threats, but actual war? No. China wants to be the world’s dominant economy. They are on course for it. Why would they risk all that for Taiwan? Remember, China’s rise hugely depends on their trade with North America and Europe.

    • Kofi Asare

      January 2, 2021 at 4:39 pm

      Even if they defeat Taiwan in 24hrs, it would cost them so much in terms of trade telations with Japan, Korea, Australia, the US, Canada, the EU, etc.

  19. afhack62

    January 2, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Irresponsible article. It encourages the Chicoms to believe they have successfully stolen enough western technology and imitated western militaries well enough to be approximately as capable. The author is at least right that they will throw everything they’ve got at Taiwan. But having no relevant combat experience, whatever they do is at serious risk of failure.

  20. LT Smith

    January 2, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    I am absolutely ashamed of this LTC Davis. A field grade officer should have the Army Values and Warrior Ethos ingrained into his psyche. But I suppose “I will never leave a fallen comrade” is considered optional by the Colonel when the odds look grim? This kind of defeatist attitude would find company with the isolationists during WWII. Hitler and Nazi Germany were just too powerful, and besides, they’re merely a European problem, right? Completely disgraceful, and an embarrassment to the rank.

  21. Obama mama

    January 3, 2021 at 6:44 am

    If China did attack all the world would say was – ” some people did some thing”

  22. Keevan D. Morgan

    January 3, 2021 at 8:11 am

    The article does not even acknowledge, much less analyze, China’s risk.

    Although perhaps less true today, Napoleon’s observation that morale is 3x as valuable as material remains viable.

    U.S. morale is already zero, and no Democratic administration could rally this country into a major war. So, although that factor will limit us to turning off the invader’s computers and facing a dedicated Taiwanese defense force, that may suffice, and China faced with its own Bay of Pigs to start, and a lot of body bags at Beijing’s airport and just plain bodies washing ashore on the mainland. Even if the landings are successful, pacifying the island may prove an impossible task.

    A mainland defeat or quagmire with its people wondering why they are slaughtering and being slaughtered by their cousins could bankrupt or even bring down the whole rotten enterprise.

  23. Pathcoin

    January 3, 2021 at 8:42 am

    The author should state whether there is a conflict of interest and if he, his employer or his organization received any funds from the Chinese Communist Party or companies/organizations owned by the Chinse Communist Party or companies/organizations that received funds from other organizations owned or influenced by the CCP.

  24. Distant Smoke

    January 3, 2021 at 10:57 am

    Democrats will never allow America to win a war.

  25. Austin

    January 3, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    This should be titled as a guide on how to bend over and accept communist dictatorship. War creates new economy, especially in America…everyone knows that, he’s acting like it would bankrupt us which is ridiculous. Tensions are high, America rallies during wartimes and this is a legitimate time to intervene to defend a democratic country from an ugly communist draconic regime. This guy sounds biased towards China, completely. Who in their right mind wouldn’t defend Taiwan. Who cares what the simulations from years ago said, nowadays Taiwan has more forces and we would actually win, not to mention the forces that this guy doesn’t even know about. I’m all over this author, his insights are manipulated. He doesn’t even sound like a veteran. If you only do the right thing when it’s convenient for you, you’re a fucking pussy.

  26. Warren Dew

    January 3, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    Taiwan is not a core interest of China, as evidenced by the fact that various Chinese governments have accepted Taiwan being in the hands of other governments for all but four years of the last century. The fictional “one China” policy did nothing to alter this fundamental reality.

    For this reason, there is no chance that China would risk nuclear war with the US over Taiwan, even if Taiwan staged counterattacks on the Chinese mainland.

    If for some reason these war games are resulting in nuclear escalation by China, play out the nuclear war. I think you’ll find China loses.

    • Scuba Steve

      January 3, 2021 at 5:46 pm

      Taiwan is a core interest of China’s. So much so that Xi has staked his future and the future of the party on regaining Taiwan. The commies in Beijing are very careful as what they tell their unfortunate population and they have been telling them for decades Taiwan will return to China. It is a major, if not the most important, promise besides economic prosperity that the Communist party has made to the people.

      It is symbolic to China’s rise as a key tenant of China’s rise is territorial integrity. They want to regain and maintain after a century of being pushed around by the West.

  27. Scuba Steve

    January 3, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    I dont think the article is defeatist. It is realistic. If anything those of you believing its defeatist is the exact type of thinking that got us into Iraq, kept us in Afghanistan and more or less the reason we have not won a war since 1991.

    If you look at China’s strategy and capabilities they can dominate the region around Taiwan. They can easily keep US forces away with their large maritime forces that number around 1000 ships. That includes the PLAN, Coast Guard and militia ships that are outfitted fishing vessels.

    This is how it can go down.
    1. Massive subversion campaign by Chinese sleeper cells in Taiwan.
    2. Chaos ensues and Taiwan govt looses control
    3. Massive ballistic missile strikes take out most of the ROC air force, military installations, and critical infrastructure.
    4. There are only a few beaches suitable for amphibious landings but this won’t be needed.
    5. China will blockade the island and wait for surrender. OR
    6. They will simply use brute force to pummel ROC into submission.

    Any destruction will be dealt with quickly by Beijing and Taiwan will be rebuilt within a few short years.

  28. Peter

    January 3, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    The point is not to demonstrate the overwhelming likelihood of victory, but to introduce enough risk and uncertainty for Xi that he backs off. The truth is no one can predict the outcome. Xi is unlikely to proceed unless there is high confidence in a swift victory. A failed amphibious landing followed by a retreat would be a huge moral blow that could sweep Xi from office and even undermine the credibility of the CCP. This is Taiwan’s fight. The US can support the fight but it is ultimately up to the Taiwanese people to decide how much they value their freedom.

  29. Philster7656

    January 3, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    I guess pre-emptive surrender to the Chinese is our only option. After all, we lost the Cold War. Communism is entrenched in the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall will never come down. We were right to abandon the people of Eastern Europe because nothing we could do would ever free them from Soviet domination. We might just as well abandon the people of Taiwan, too.
    (Attention author: this post was sarcasm.)

  30. RD

    January 3, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    The author seems to want us to back off to allow the CCP to take Taiwan, so it will then have the ability to starve out Korea and Japan, and deploy the PLA Navy into the middle Pacific. Watching the Taiwanese go down will worsen our security, despite what the author may think. A free Taiwan is a core interest to the democratic government in Taiwan, to free people everywhere, and to the US and our allies, especially those in Japan who would probably prefer not to starve to death. If the CCP wants to fight, then I say we fight. Win or lose, so be it, but we fight.

  31. Michael

    January 4, 2021 at 1:04 am

    Give Taiwan nukes. Problem solved.

  32. Mike

    January 5, 2021 at 4:56 am

    A comment above spoke of Napoleon’s axiom that morale is 3x more valuable than material. The US is assumed to be Taiwan’s savior should China attack, but I don’t think the US military is up to the task.

    In the event of war with China, American armed forces would face their most formidable foe since WWII. The US military’s warrior ethos and focus has been eroded substantially in recent generations. When the fight begins, 30% of US personnel will find a way to escape deployment to the new Taiwanese war. The vaunted “power” of the US war machine may now be a myth.

    Recently visiting several military bases, I noticed how chubby many personnel were. Instead of gunnery competition, twerking contests with smiling, bespectacled officers as judges were advertised. It did not inspire much confidence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *