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Should America Fight A War with China over Taiwan? Hell No.

U.S.-China War Taiwan
Lockheed Martin photo by Liz Lutz rJob Reference Number: FP171283 Measles rWorkamajig Reference Number: 17-14231 rCustomer: Amyjo Measles rEvent: AF-123 GOV 3 Aerial ImageryrDocument: ZA 123 Boot Overcoat rPilot: LtCol Joseph ‘Hooch’ Hutcheson rDate: 08-15-2017 rrThis image is Public Release approved per F-35 Communications.

Between Friday and Monday, China launched an unprecedented 155 warplanes into the skies near the Taiwanese coast. “Time to warn Taiwan” that the threat of war “is real,” blasted the headline on Monday from the Chinese Global Times.

Now, while there is still time for thoughtful debate, is the time to contemplate the pros and cons of fighting a war with China over Taiwan. If we wait until a crisis has been thrust upon us, we will be more likely to be propelled by an emotional response into a catastrophic mistake.

Since 1979, the United States has had an unbroken policy of “strategic ambiguity” regarding our willingness to intervene in a the event China invades Taiwan. China, in contrast, has been unambiguously clear that it would use force to take Taiwan if Beijing believed Taipei sought to declare independence.

There is a growing chorus in Washington, however, advocating a move from strategic ambiguity to strategic clarity, in which the U.S. government would make explicit security guarantees to Taipei and commit our military to fighting on their behalf if Beijing attacks them. Such a policy change would have profound implications for U.S. national security, almost all of them negative. Before any adjustments are made in a decades’ long policy that has successfully prevented war between the U.S. and China, American policymakers must answer three crucial questions.

First, what is the capacity of the U.S. Armed Forces to repulse a Chinese attack against Taiwan?

Second, what price should the U.S. be willing to pay to accomplish our policy preferences 6,000 miles from our shore?

Third, what is the capacity for Beijing to act in support of its policy preferences 100 miles off its shore?

Viewed through the lens of cold, hard reality, the questions are more easily answered than many expect. Let’s take the questions in reverse order. The autocratic Chinese leader Xi Jinping has staked his political legitimacy on unifying Taiwan with mainland China. In a speech this summer marking the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese leader did not mince words.

Xi forcefully declared that resolving “the Taiwan question and realizing China’s complete reunification is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment of the Communist Party of China,” warning that anyone who tries to stop them, “will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.” The matter of Taiwan is a highly charged emotional and political issue for Xi and millions of Chinese citizens. There is likely little they would not sacrifice to achieve their objective of reunification.

While America does remain the only truly global superpower, we are not militarily omnipotent. Our Armed Forces are spread out on hundreds of bases in Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, and other locations—the U.S. troops stationed nearest Taiwan are in Okinawa, about 1,000 miles away. Virtually all of China’s maritime, air, and missile forces are concentrated on its east coast, 100 miles away from Taiwan. Even with the full commitment of all our Asian allies – no sure bet when it comes to actually fighting a war – China would have a tactical advantage over us. Thus, our ability to stop a determined Chinese assault of Taiwan is likely insufficient.

Lastly, while taking Taiwan is a desire of most Chinese mainlanders, militarily defending the island is at best a distant interest of many in the U.S. If war is truly a contest of wills – and it is – all evidence suggests the Chinese people are far more willing to make enormous sacrifices to capture Taiwan.

If we fight China, the very best outcome we can hope for is a U.S. military that is left severely damaged, thousands of service members killed and wounded, and a massive security and financial burden of defending Taiwan indefinitely – a bill we cannot afford to pay. But the worst outcome (and the more likely result) is that we lose a war, suffer egregious casualties, and – in an absolute worst-case scenario – get drawn into a nuclear exchange with China in which millions of American civilians could die—we shouldn’t sacrifice Los Angeles for Taipei.

There is absolutely nothing in Taiwan worth that risk to our country.

However much we desire to see Taiwan remain open and free, trying to prevent a Chinese attack with force of arms has virtually no chance of long-term success and a high probability of catastrophic failure for our own country. Before such a choice is thrust on the United States, our leaders in Washington must decide to take the only course of action that will ensure the security of our country, and that is to refuse to fight a war with China over Taiwan.

Now a 1945 Contributing Editor, 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.

49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. Slack

    October 4, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    It would be extremely silly and STUPID for china to invade taiwan (John Wayne a la Iwo Jima style).

    China can just stop or block overflights to/from taiwan that transit its airspace.

    Taiwan belongs to china, as it was forcefully wrested from it by japan and china has FAR FAR greater rights to the island than US has to places like Puerto Rico, Diego Garcia, Gitmo, Guam or Wake.

    There are already US military personnel present in taiwan, despite current massive numbers close to china in japan and korea.

    US has tried to turn hong kong into a toehold or rather western beach head with help of local anti-china cantofascist groups and no doubt will do the same with regards to taiwan.

    China must bring back taiwan into its fold via the one nation two systems formula. It doesn’t need to invade it but just forbid flights to / from taiwan. But does china have the balls to do it ??? ???

  2. Jim

    October 4, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    The author is very shortsighted when he says Taiwan is “not worth the risk”. He further explains that Taiwan is thousands of miles away so who should care. History yends to repeat itself. Nazi Germany was took over Austria and Czechoslovakia while the world looked on. It was only when they invaded Poland did the British and French declare war. The biggest mistake was for the United States to look on and do nothing. Europe was almost entirely in Nazi Germany’s hands. To let China take over a sovereign country without a fight is the biggest mistake that could happen.

  3. Robert

    October 4, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    If we don’t step in to stop China, then when ?
    It is just the beginning, and here we are with a pussy running the country.

    Yeah, go ahead,step aside while China kicks dirt in our face and takes another step towards taking down the world.

  4. Dawid

    October 4, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    Daniel Davis: how can you claim a cold objective analysis without asking the cost of losing influence in the Taiwan strait? Lacuna much?

  5. Glenn

    October 4, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Almost all computer chips are manufactured in Taiwan. All production of any item made requiring chips will be turned over to China. We should absolutely defend Taiwan or just go back to life in the 1940’s.

  6. Johnny Tau

    October 4, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    Wrong! The US doesn’t need to send any actual military personnel to fight in any war against Taiwan!
    It can supply and re-supply the island state with all of the defensive ground-air, ground-ship, ground to ground, cruise-missiles and air-air missiles to both adequately deter and to defend, mainly Taiwan’s airspace, in an a similar manner in which the US did with Israel in the Yom Kippur war in the early 1970s. Taiwan’s technical manpower and training along with a powerful military buildup of supplies and support, will be more than enough to hold the day.
    As supplies and re-supplies are being replaced, by both ships and transport aircraft on the Eastern seaboard of Taiwan, they can easily be protected by a large combined Naval fleet with both aircraft and anti-aircraft missile defenses placed sufficiently East of the Taiwanese East coast.
    That will very securily work as an efficient deterrent and defense at preventing Taiwan from being defeated and at the same time, the US not getting involved directly in fighting a war that only China and Taiwan can be actively engaged in and if China then chooses stupidly to escalate that, then the US forces within the region, including all the Naval assets, will be in as prime and as safe a position to both adequately defend their positon and to effectively and swiftly counteract any and all threats.
    Fear Not! Except Fear Itself, Because Fear Is One’s Biggest Insecurity That One Can Have!!^^

  7. Josh

    October 5, 2021 at 1:56 am

    No mention whatsoever of taiwans critical semiconductor factories. War is fought with semiconductors today. Furthermore, why assume China would be satisfied with Taiwan? Germany was appeased after its first conquests. No. If a country is to be an agressor, better to fight right away then let them build strength.

  8. Rick justiniano

    October 5, 2021 at 3:10 am

    This guy is full of shit, never appease a tyrant.Taiwan first, what next? China actually belongs to Taiwan as the communist where the usurpers of the original nationalist chinese.The u.s. has always stood for freedom and the American way. Taiwan is no Hong Kong, it is sovereign. The u.s.cannot and should not let taiwan fall, no matter the cost. And china should know that!

  9. jd

    October 5, 2021 at 6:30 am

    The author seems to have a bias. Ignoring such things as the difficulty of a water crossing and China’s lack of sufficient watercraft is revealing.

  10. Conmentar

    October 5, 2021 at 6:51 am

    Heh, operations like Overlord (june 6 ’44) and Iceberg (early’ 45) are old school and irrelevant to today’s people, except gungho types like the leathernecks.

    Today, people whack living daylights out of recalcitrants using shock & awe or galactic-class firepower – one futuristic method (among vast array of methods) could be use of EMP bombs and/or neutron bombs.

  11. Ted Peters

    October 5, 2021 at 7:44 am

    Hmmmm… nukes? Put in place a Strangelove Doomsday Device triggered by any Chinese attack on Taiwan. OH! And don’t forget to tell XI.

  12. Jeff Bassett

    October 5, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Given during China’s 50th year celebration they bragged they would TAKE OVER THE ENTIRE WORLD IN THE NEXT 100 YEARS, you should look at this as the same threat Germany posed to the world in WWII.

    All the arguments made in this article are the same used to to keep the US out of WWII originally.

    Taiwan is a sovereign free nation. The globalist policies has helped built up our foreign adversaries so they now threaten us. With a State Department that believes bad people are really not that bad if you can just figure out how to agree with them. Seriously, I have had political debate with insiders who do not have a clue what evil truly is. You compromise with evil, the only direction you take / go is evil. And when a nation decides the short term cost are too great, they pay for ten times more on the long term. We cannot afford to continue to have short term vision in our policies. Nor can we give up our rights and freedoms, as well other nation’s rights and freedoms, to compromise with evil.

  13. GiveMeLiberty

    October 5, 2021 at 9:22 am

    I’m glad at least the comments section isn’t as obviously short-sighted as the author. I wonder how much Daniel Davis is paid for his “fear China” propaganda. Absolutely disingenuous article bc anyone with a cursory knowledge of the issue is aware of Taiwan’s strategic relevance in chips AND the history of Nazi appeasement. Y’all wish the American people were as stupid as you like to think. Everything about this article is manipulation, and David isn’t even good at it. Hope you realize the CCP won’t keep you as pets.

  14. Guy Augsburg

    October 5, 2021 at 9:47 am

    “Since 1979, the United States has had an unbroken policy of “strategic ambiguity” … That would be Jimmy Carter, nuf said.

  15. David L Newland

    October 5, 2021 at 9:50 am

    What would “have profound implications for U.S. national security” is for the US to do nothing as a totalitarian dictatorship invades and conquers a democracy. Were its invasion successful, China would proceed to aggressively re-arrange the local geopolitical landscape, which it would then use as a springboard for its larger ambition of becoming the world’s hegemon. Ironically, China is not that capable. But it does have dangerous delusions about itself that shouldn’t be fed.

  16. Thomas Sites

    October 5, 2021 at 9:51 am

    I agree with the trend above in the comments. We need to take a stand here or we will face increasing and unrelenting efforts by China to control the South and East China seas and much of the world’s trade routes. That is something over which big wars get started. We must project a strong image now and with the current set of politicians with substantial financial connections with China, that may be difficult (e.g. McConnell and Kerry).

  17. ss

    October 5, 2021 at 10:11 am

    There is no compelling, or even convincing reason to spare the CCP, or the east coast of China from the nuclear fury of (what’s left of) America.
    Taiwan gives the world LOTS of advanced chips and col Taiwanese people.
    China gives the world death, poison, deceit and broken-minded, broken-souled chinese slaves.
    Preserve and defend Taiwan.
    Burn China down to a radioactive glass ash tray.
    Any other issues are tactical.
    Time fir the CCP to die,

  18. Mark Kapping

    October 5, 2021 at 10:48 am

    This was obviously a deeply considered and thoughtful article written by someone who has NO concept of the word Honor, Integrity or
    Gratitude.
    The Free Chinese people were petitioned for the last two years of WWII by Japan to sign a peace treaty, thereby freeing up hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers along with all of their artillery, air power and naval resources still in China. Those massive resources would have then been shifted to inflict casualties upon US forces and could have even changed the outcomes of some strategic battles for key islands, and would likely have even prolonged the war despite the atomic bomb. At the behest of the US government, Free China declined.
    Tens of thousands of American lives that would have been lost returned to America, had families, started businesses and produced the greatest economic engine in world history. Millions of Americans alive today are decendants of those ‘saved American lives’, and would not actually exist if not for the resolve of Free China. Our allegiance to Taiwan was betrayed once by Truman, who could have easily allowed American bombers to wipe out Moa’s communists and stop their takeover of the mainland. American honor demands a defense of Taiwan, and to fail to do so would be a betrayal of epic proportions that would diminish the current shame of Afghanistan to a footnote. America would never be trusted again in any theatre. Sadly, Joe Biden is exactly the wrong man, at the wrong time during the most crucial period of modern history. I predict disaster.

  19. Lance Benson

    October 5, 2021 at 11:10 am

    Well, almost every commentator disagrees with the author. Some advocate nuclear war without apparent recognition of the likely consequences for U.S. population centers.

    The U.S. wants to keep Taiwan independent as a stopper on the Chinese bottle. The Chinese understandably don’t want to be stoppered.

    I agree that a Chinese invasion would be very costly for China, with the possibility of failure because of robust Taiwanese anti-air and anti-ship capabilities (and possibly allied help). Taiwan probably could, within 5 years, build an ability to sink every Chinese ship within 300 miles.

    But the reverse could also happen. If China were prepared for kinetic action, it might declare a rocket-enforced embargo on shipping into and out of Taiwan (a capability it might not now have, but likely could have in 5 years). It could affirm that it would not make onshore attacks or attacks on military ships. Could the U.S. and allies muscle through enough shipping to sustain the population and the trade upon which Taiwan depends?

    Time to build other sources for the semiconductors which make the world dependent on Taiwan.

  20. ed brandwein

    October 5, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Japan and the Philippines are pretty far away too. Should we write them off too if China moves against them?

  21. Rick Clifford

    October 5, 2021 at 11:34 am

    Why is 1945 publishing Chinese agitprop? I never want to hear from this hack again whose third grade analysis left out many other sweeping, interconnected issues.

  22. Joe Comment

    October 5, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    How the US should respond to any new Taiwan Straits crisis depends on the detailed facts and circumstances around it. That is the whole point of strategic ambiguity.

  23. Sld

    October 5, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    A Chinese invasion or attack on Taiwan would likely be very difficult for China and extremely costly regardless of the final result. A cross straits attack of 100 miles would be far more difficult than Hitler’s planned invasion of England in 1940. Taiwan could inflict enough damage to make the endeavour not worthwhile. The US could easily stop a naval invasion force with a few well placed submarines. Even if we did not get involved, what would they gain? Taiwan could adopt a scorched earth policy. They’d get nothing but a destroyed hulk. Then they’d have to control it from afar. Not easy, given the problems that they already have with Hong Kong. The international political cost to China would be huge. Likely a complete embargo. Assets frozen. They would lose virtually all of their trading partners. The entire world, with the exception of Russia, would line up against them. Japan would beef up its military again. It would destroy China even if we didn’t get involved. And they know that. They aren’t going to invade or attack. They are trying to win by intimidation.

  24. EasyEight

    October 5, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    I agree! It’s not worth fighting over the Sudetenland!

  25. leo

    October 5, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Communist China never ruled Taiwan. It never ruled Hong Kong. Neither did it the South China Sea. The Chinese government’s formal claims on those lands and seas are as groundless as many of its jingoist netizens claiming sovereignty over Vietnam and Korea based on “ancient possession”. Japan ruled Taiwan for 50 years; it ruled Hong Kong for almost four years. If Japan were to claim Taiwan and Hong Kong, it would have more grounds than China has. Taiwan is an independent country. Hong Kong is occupied territory. I would suggest the author of this article to read up on history.

  26. Panda Express

    October 5, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    I can’t believe this guy was in the military. China is not omnipotent. China does not have the amphibious capabilities to mount that sort of invasion. The US, Japan, and Taiwan all have superior air and naval power compared to the PRC. China has to transport men and weapons across a 100 mile body of water. Taiwan is safe as long as we control the sea lanes and body of water around Taiwan.

  27. Lindsey Gramling

    October 5, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    I personally would trade LA for Taiwan any day of the week. Lol

  28. Jerome Kelly Barry

    October 5, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    A Lt. Col. is a person with a degree in any subject who stayed in the Army long enough to be promoted along with all his cohort and he both stayed in because he couldn’t imagine a livelihood in the private sector and stayed behind his either more intelligent or better character peers who were promoted on to Col. and Gen. As a deep thinker, a generic Lt. Col. is not going to have my attention.

    As long as China can frighten the American military retirees into ceding anything within 100 miles of Chinese missile forces, the Chinese method of creating islands then claiming seas will leave the entirety of southeast Asia, except Vietnam, in the control of China. America didn’t have the means to fight for Guadalcanal when America did, but America made do with what America had. It was hard and expensive and costly in blood. By the time China gets to Guadalcanal, it will be too late for America to do anything about it next time.

  29. S Harris

    October 5, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Agree, it is unlikely that the US electorate has the stomach for a long war to defend a small island 6000 miles away.

    So what else could America do? It could – wreak havoc with Chinese imports and exports by sinking shipping coming to and from Chinese ports from Macau to Tianjin. It could – arm and train Taiwanese military with high tech defensive weapons. It could – provide valuable intelligence data to the Taiwanese military. And if all that failed, it could offer temporary residency in the US to all Taiwanese citizens who elected to leave, on the proviso that all strategic infrastructure (particularly semiconductors) in Taiwan was destroyed so when the Chinese ultimately won all they got was an empty rock in the Pacific. The Taiwanese and their descendants could stay in the US until the CCP was no longer running China.

  30. CliffRa Jones

    October 5, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    This is a simple solution. It is the same solution that protected Western Europe for year from Soviet invasion. We knew we could not defeat the Soviet Union on a ground war in Europe so the “threat” was “if you invade Western Europe we will respond with an all out nuclear attack on the Soviet Union”. This should be the same threat we give the Chinese, invade Taiwan and we unleash the full nuclear arsenal upon the Chinese mainland. With our anti-missile technology we would be the one to come out the least harmed, but that will never happen, just like it never happened in Europe.

    The problem is the bumbling fool in the White House would never have the guts to say that nor do any of his pantie waist staffer!

    No this fool will be one to respond with conventional forces and screw that up and lose with catastrophic loses.

    It is always more dangerous to have a coward in power than a cowboy!

  31. CliffRa Jones

    October 5, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    @Lance Benson
    No one wants a nuclear exchange anywhere in the world. The implications are far more broad than the 2 countries involved, BUT, it is the real and sincere threat that will be the thing that makes it less likely to happen. Our posture toward the Soviet Union was if you invade Western Europe WE WILL respond with nuclear weapons! This threat kept the peace no matter now many sniveling cowards in the American Left wrung their hands over it. The same threat should be hung over the CCPs head. “If you believe you can survive a nuclear exchange with the US, then go ahead, invade Taiwan!” They will not!

    The real danger come in with this current fool and his cadre of fools in the White House. The danger is the CCP invade Taiwan and we respond with conventional forces, we start losing, the CCP responds with attacks on bases in Japan and S. Korea drawing them into the war. Biden and his band of idiot cannot manage the conflict and defeat looms large, not only for Taiwan but Japan and S. Korea and the S. China Sea threatening the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, US Pacific holdings and even the west coast of the US. In order to save face Biden orders a limited nuclear strike hoping that makes the CCP change it’s mind. It doesn’t, and the CCP responds with its full capacity to which this fool in the White House is unprepared to counter.

    That my friend, is the nightmare scenario!

  32. Mae

    October 5, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    Does USA have treaty agreement with Taiwan? Is USA now a nation that fails to uphold its vows?

  33. Steven Ryle

    October 5, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Daniel Davis, you are so right. It will be a shame to have Taiwan fall to China but that is exactly what is going to happen. I predict April of 2022. If we try to come to Taiwan’s rescue we will get our butts handed to us. The battle will be on China’s door step, we will have to cross 6,000 miles of the Pacific and depend on bases in Guam and Okinawa. China knows that the time is now. Joe Biden is a failed and weak President who could be out of office at any moment for health reasons. For the next 15 months the Democrats have Congress. Will they authorize use of force actions against China? Open your eyes people. The World will look a lot different in a few months, and not for the better.

  34. OldSarg

    October 5, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    We will fight them now or later. It is best to battle an opponent when they are not conditioned.

  35. Rick

    October 5, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    “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.” I know military cooks and clerks who “deployed into combat zones” more than four times.

    Now if he said “led troops in combat four times” that would be different. His CV makes him sound like one of the In The Rear With The Gear Pentagon Perfumed Princes. No semblance to the Lt. Col sitting in a USMC brig for daring to demand accountability from military leadership for the incredibly dangerous debacle of the Afghanistan surrender and arming of the hajji army.

    “Taiwan is not worth the risk”… as the author channels Neville Chamberlain. The Theory Of Appeasement is alive and well, obviously. Maybe it would finally work this time!

    The author neither mentions nor defends his implication that Communist China would stop its’ expansion if we just let them take Taiwan back.

    BTW, as a “strategic analyst”, with the importance with computer chips, etc in America… no problems with having Taiwan removed as a source for those chips versus Communist China pretty much being the only other real source right now?

  36. Brian Pendell

    October 5, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    “How horrible, fantastic, incredible, it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing.” — Neville Chamberlain, rationalizing Munich.

    I think Taiwan is well worth fighting for. Quite aside from the semiconductor and other chips manufacturing, it is both a constant reproach to the mainland government for their own failures and an unsinkable aircraft carrier in its own right, right smack in the middle of one of the most important seas in the world.

    We do not — and should not — get into a land war in Asia to preserve Taiwan’s independence. Submarines in the straits, coupled with airpower from friendly countries such as Japan and carrier air, not to mention more crazy ideas such as filling the straits so full of mines you couldn’t sail a rubber raft through without blowing up, will suffice. Allow the forces of the Republic of China to defend on land, ensure air and sea superiority in the straits. If the mainland government can’t get ships across the straits in meaningful numbers they can neither land troops nor resupply those who do arrive. Make it a debacle for the mainland government.

    Indeed, it is precisely to oppose the mainland government that the current US administration made withdrawal from Afghanistan such a priority. It was a disastrous operation poorly executed, and that hurts our credibility greatly, but the administration recognizes that competition — not necessarily war — with the People’s Republic will be the primary American struggle for at least the first half of this century.

  37. Lance Benson

    October 5, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    @Mae — there is no treaty with Taiwan.

  38. Robert Anthony

    October 5, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    Countering aggression by communist China will come with a high price to pay, but so will Neville-Chamberlain-style appeasement, and I think the price of appeasement will be the higher price.

    China is trying to rapidly build up it’s naval forces, with at least two objectives in mind. Ultimately China hopes to establish regional hegemony in and around the South China Sea by forcing the U.S. out of the region, starting with forcing the U.S. Navy out of the South China Sea. China falsely claims that it owns the entire South China Sea. China is making, or has made, similar false territorial claims, past and present, that China also owns Taiwan, most or all of Inner Mongolia, Tibet, and several land masses, real and artificial, within the South China Sea.

    Failing to respond to Chinese aggression would be a first giant step toward our abandonment of the entire region around the South China Sea, including not only Taiwan, but also the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. Appeasing China rather than confronting their aggression would be the beginning of Joseph Biden Jr.’s second great abandonment.

    And China would end up controlling one-fifth of the world’s most active sea lanes, diminishing our current 100% control of the world’s sea lanes that we use to ensure freedom of navigation on the high seas for all of the nations of the world.

    And, because Joseph Biden Jr. is the weakest American president in history, China is now sorely tempted to invade and conquer Taiwan, because they expect Biden to do nothing in response.

    And any military conflict with China would involve primarily the U.S. Navy, and to a lesser extent, our Air Force, with little if any involvement of our land forces, and certainly no involvement of our nuclear forces. China would not escalate a conflict to the level of the exchange of nuclear weapons because, while China’s nuclear forces can be thought of as a hammer, and you can do a lot of damage with a hammer, our nuclear forces are better thought of as several large sledgehammers.

    So, while no one is likely to win an exchange of nuclear weapons, China would clearly be the Biggest Loser, and Xi Jingping doesn’t want to die in a ball of fire as he leads his nation into nuclear oblivion, because even a feeble minded President Biden, who has difficulty walking upright, is still capable of pushing the little red button on the nuclear football that he is never supposed to be without.

    The other goal of China’s naval buildup, and by far the greatest threat to China, is to be able to overwhelm the US Navy in the South China Sea in order to prevent a naval blockade of China’s eastern seaboard. The United States Navy is capable of successfully blockading China’s east coast, and that naval blockade would very quickly bring China to it’s collective knees, cutting off their import of fuel and foodstuffs that China is dependent upon to feed it’s people and fuel it’s industry. Without access to imports by sea, China would come to a grinding halt very quickly, within o longer than a few months, and possibly within weeks. A naval blockade would quickly result in massive starvation and the complete shutdown of industry and commerce within China

    And, the U.S. Navy keeps ten nuclear attack submarines on station in the South China Sea at all times to help ensure the success, especially, of a naval blockade of China’s east coast, as well as to help prevent a successful amphibious invasion of Taiwan by the Chinese People’s’ Army’s navy should China decide to become the aggressor.

    So, our greatest danger right now is the perceived weakness of our feeble-minded president.

    I’m also a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who began my military career at age 17, serving, as I progressed in rank, first as a crew chief on a Bell UH-1 Iroquois, “Huey”, helicopter, later serving as a combat medic before finishing my Active Duty service as an officer with the 82nd Airborne Division.

  39. Robert Pappas

    October 5, 2021 at 11:15 pm

    Anyone who believes that Communist China would stop at Taiwan, is smoking some of the same weed that Bill Clinton “didn’t inhale.” Within easy strategic reach are Okinawa, Korea, Japan, Philippines, and all of Southeast Asia…and the ChiComs are building a military to dominate the area.

    “China” does not refer to itself as the “Center of the World” without reason. Which country conquered all of Asia stopping only at the Nile?
    If anyone thinks that China does not believe that it still “owns” the same is in a phrase, an idiot.

  40. Rik Blumenthal

    October 5, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    It is only Czechoslovakia.

  41. John Doe

    October 6, 2021 at 12:54 am

    If congress was somehow able to get enough votes for a war with china, the US would have to enable the draft. North Korea would immediately invade South Korea and now we’re in 2 wars since we have a Treaty and troops in South Korea. Russia would invade east Ukraine and split the country in half. With kids and their woke mental state, well the US would crumble internally. They rather riot and loot than die for the country.

  42. Joe Comment

    October 6, 2021 at 3:12 am

    Everyone seems to be underestimating the political aspect. The Mainland’s problem is that its model of developmental dictatorship is not very attractive to a place like Taiwan that is already developed and has democracy. And intimidation won’t work for this type of existential issue. It might end when one side loses patience with the impasse and triggers a crisis. Nobody should hope for that. A better ending would be for the Mainland to reform itself and become an attractive society for Taiwan to join. So what can the US do? Support patience on both sides, and support reform in the Mainland. That means the Mainland needs to know that it can’t succeed by brute force. That’s why I disagree with this article.

  43. Aren Haich

    October 6, 2021 at 6:17 am

    Here is a likely Trumpian solution.
    There are three steps to undertake if Americans want to ensure free Taiwan and the Taiwanese having long-term future in Western style democracy and capitalism.
    The same scenario could be applied to Japan and South Korea as well.
    (1) The US should provide absolute, short-term military protection for the island by signing a binding defense pact.
    (2) America should then allow and facilitate Taiwan acquiring nuclear weapons capability deterrence powerful enough to deter any Chinese Mainland thought of invading the island.
    Nuclear weapons have actually prevented many big conventional wars breaking out since WWII – US vs. Russia, India vs. Pakistan, China vs. India … )
    (3) Let the strong nuclear-capable Taiwan then decide for itself what kind of future it wants, free of US interference and dictates.

    Americans can then concentrate on defending their homeland more effectively by removing most of their military and naval forces from the South East Asia, leaving the people of the region decide for themselves and grapple with their security problems.

    It is time America abandons its notions of global hegemony.

  44. Paddy Collins

    October 6, 2021 at 6:29 am

    Amature hour at 1945, or a sad attempt at gaining some notoriety? The author is warranted his opinion, he lays it out nicely … and he is a fool. How far is Taiwan from Guam? That’s U.S. soil. How far is Taiwan from the Philippines? We have a Treaty obligation to come to their aid. What is the price of our word as a nation? I’m sure for Mr. Davis he was okay with how the retreat from Afghanistan unfolded, but how many hits to our credibility like that can this nation withstand and still meet its world-wide obligations and strategic needs? Mr Davis touts himself as a former Army LTC who deployed to combat four times. Well, congratulations and thank you for your service. That record will garner him thanks on November 11 … but means nothing in terms of his intellectual acumen. This article will do nothing but embolden the CCP.

  45. Robert Byrne

    October 6, 2021 at 6:33 am

    The American character, specifically the will of the American people has been at a low ebb for quite some time. I do not believe Americans have the determination to fight- especially to suffer casualties. A brief look at American conflicts since World War II reveals just how few casualties it takes to reverse policy.

  46. Mike

    October 6, 2021 at 6:39 am

    It has been often said that discretion is the better part of valor. Or put another way, the best way to win at war is to not fight one. Trying to defend Taiwan; is likely to be all but impossible from a simply military standpoint. The distances make the logistics of equipping ans supplying our own forces, a total nightmare. While it might be possible to slug it out with the Mainland Chinese; what are the likely outcomes even if we were to be successful; and nothing like that is likely to be guaranteed. Are the likely results worth the costs. I think not. A war with China will de-stabilize the entire world, and lead to a world war that in the end will ruin everybody’s future. This is one conflict we should sit out. We can have a far greater impact on China’s future economically than wasting trillions of dollars and thousands of lives just to draw even. In the end; our goal is likely to be stalemate. One that is likely to last forever. I agree with the article’s author; this is one war we shouldn’t fight!

  47. Stefan Stackhouse

    October 6, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    The responsibility to defend Taiwan clearly rests with the people and government in Taiwan. If they want to resist incorporation in the PRC, then it ultimately is up to them. The truth is that they have thus far done less than they could do to defend themselves.

    One thinks of Switzerland, which – as the adage goes – doesn’t so much HAVE an army, they ARE an army. The same pretty much applies to Israel. Both are small countries that have engaged all of their citizens of military age to defend themselves. Any potential aggressor should understand that an invasion will involve fighting against the entire population, every step of the way. If Taiwan is serious about defending itself, anything less than this will not do.

    Anyone facing such an existential threat, as does Taiwan, should also be investing far more in their defense than the present 1.7% of GDP. That tells me that they are not nearly as serious about defending themselves as they should be. It also tells me that if they are not willing to invest more than a token amount of the GDP in their defense, then the US should also be far more restrained and circumspect when it comes to our investment of not just funds, but potentially American lives, in their behalf.

    We have done more than enough fighting of other people’s wars for them. Enough!

  48. Johnny Davis

    October 7, 2021 at 12:09 am

    Defense Priorities is in bed with China. Daniel Davis and his buddies are arguing China’s victory cannot be avoided and the USA should accept it and pass the torch and embrace a China-dominated world. A world that would in reality be a hell on Earth.

  49. Crocy

    October 7, 2021 at 8:33 am

    The nous that suffuses these comments raises the question of why the US cannot field a cannier president.

    I nominate expert commenter Robert Anthony.

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