We’re Not Ready For It” Should China Wage War With the United States – After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor more than 80 years ago, there was a sentiment among some in the Imperial Japanese Navy that it had awoken a sleeping giant and filled it with a terrible resolve. The United States may have been in an isolationist mode, ignoring events on the world stage, as the country was only slowly coming out of the Great Depression.
Yet, the United States rallied and, in the process, became a global superpower. The “Greatest Generation” may not have been looking for a fight, but it was still ready for one.
What a U.S.-China War Would Look Like
Today, the country is in a very, very different place, warned Harry Kazianis, president of the Rogue States Project, who spoke with Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson on Tuesday evening.
When asked how China might respond to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the first such trip by the third-highest ranking U.S. lawmaker since Newt Gingrich in 1997, Kazianis warned that Beijing should be taken seriously. This isn’t mere saber rattling, and the U.S. attempt of 21st century “gunboat diplomacy” by sending aircraft carriers to the region is no longer the deterrent it once was.
“They’re not bluffing at all,” explained Kazianis. “They’ve been preparing for this scenario for 30 years. If you go back to 1995-96, we had a similar situation with China, when Taiwan’s president wanted to come back to Cornell University to visit his alma mater. We had a similar crisis, but at the time, the United States was the overwhelming military superpower.”
That Was Then
The “Third Taiwan Strait Crisis” began in July 1995, after President Bill Clinton granted Lee Teng-hui, the then president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), a visa to visit the United States so that the ROC official could attend a reunion at Cornell University.
Beijing didn’t take the matter lightly, and the situation simmered until the PLA carried out military exercises in March 1996 that included the live fire of missiles, which allegedly were intended to intimidate the Taiwanese electorate in the run-up to that year’s presidential election. The White House responded by ordering two aircraft carriers to the region.
What worked then, may not work now, suggested Kazianis.
“We had no problems worrying about China,” he continued. “In fact, Chinese officials couldn’t even find our aircraft carriers. Today, the situation is very different. The Chinese have prepped for this scenario. They have thousands of ballistic cruise missiles, hypersonic missiles, (and) carrier killer missiles.”
China’s Long Game
Beijing was forced to back down in the 1990s, but the country has a long history of having to back down to what it sees as western aggression – going back the 19th century when it was forced to cede so-called “treaty ports” such as Hong Kong to Great Britain, and opened others to foreign trade. China won’t be pushed around any longer, which explains the massive build-up of its navy and air force.
Simply put, China has prepared for a major war in a way that the United States really hasn’t.
“If there was ever a war between the United States and China, the first thing they’re going to do is… attack with a ‘bolt from the blue,'” warned Kazianis. “They’re going to destroy our satellites in orbit; they’re going to destroy our communications equipment.”
This wouldn’t be like the conflicts in Afghanistan or Iraq, which essentially left most Americans unaffected. A war with China would be something that would genuinely impact every U.S. citizen.
“We’re not going to be fighting about transgender issues on TikTok anymore because TikTok isn’t going to work in the United States. Then they’re going to destroy our aircraft carriers, destroy all of our bases in Asia – this has all been worked out,” explained Kazianis. “I’ve actually fought this war in simulators for over 10 years. You know what happens every time… we lose.”
History Repeats Itself
In many ways, the United States is once again in a pre-Pearl Harbor moment, but the Greatest Generation isn’t here this time to ensure victory. Carlson pondered how our lawmakers have allowed the situation to get so bad.
“A lot of this is mis-prioritization,” said Kazianis. “It feels like we’re forever stuck in a Cold War mindset. We’re forever stuck in this idea that we’re the dominant hegemony. A lot of our foreign policy thinking seems like it is stuck in the 1990s. The unipolar moment if you will where the United States is omnipotent and can do anything. Nothing can happen to us.”
Throughout the Clinton era, the United States had the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as protection, along with Canada and Mexico – and the mindset was that nothing could permeate the borders.
“9/11 proved that can obviously happen, and China has proved this threat is very real,” Kazianis cautioned. “We’re not ready for it.”
Don’t Want to Watch the Video? Full Transcript of the Interview Below:
Carlson: “Harry Kazianis is the president of the Rogue States Project. He joins us tonight to assess where China is and all this. Harry, thanks so much for coming on. So, I guess the question is to what extent is China bluffing, if any, what do you think?”
KAZIANIS: “Tucker, I’m going to be honest with you, they’re not bluffing at all. They had been preparing for this scenario for 30 years. If you go back to 1995, 1996, we had a similar situation with — with China when Taiwan’s president was wanting to come back to Cornell University to visit his alma mater, we had a very similar crisis. But at the time, the United States was the overwhelming military superpower. We had no problems worrying about China. In fact, Chinese military officials couldn’t even find our aircraft carriers. Today, the situation is very different. The Chinese have prepped for this scenario. They have thousands of ballistic cruise missiles, hypersonic missiles, carrier killer missiles. So if there was ever a war between the United States and China, the first thing they’re going to do is they’re going to attack with a bolt from the blue, they’re going to destroy our satellites in orbit, they’re going to destroy our communications equipment. We’re not going to be talking about transgender issues on TikTok anymore, because TikTok is not going to work in the United States. And then they’re going to destroy our aircraft carriers, destroy all of our bases in Asia. This is all been working out. I’ve actually fought this war in simulators for over 10 years. You know, what happens every time Tucker? We lose.”
Carlson: “So I — I mean, everyone prays we would never get to a point anywhere near what you described. But of course, it could and the Chinese have not been, I don’t think very subtle about telegraphing their intentions. In the face of this looming threat from this rising power, how has the entire United States Congress sat back and continued to fund a military that gets weaker and more politicized every year, I don’t understand that.”
KAZIANIS: “I don’t either, Tucker, to be honest with you. I mean, a lot of this is misprioritization. I mean, it feels like we’re forever stuck in a Cold War mindset. I mean, we’re forever stuck in this idea that we’re the dominant hegemon, a lot of our foreign policy seems like it’s stuck in the 1990s. You know, the unipolar moment, if you will, where the United States is omnipotent can do anything, nothing can happen to us, you know, we’ve got the Atlantic, the Pacific, we’ve got Canada and Mexico, and nothing can — can permeate our — our — you know, our space. But I think 9/11 proved that that, you know, obviously can happen. And I think China proves that this threat is very real. And let’s face it, Tucker, we’re not ready for it.”
Carlson: “Yeah. And if this moment doesn’t freeze the renewable energy cult in its tracks and makes a laughingstock of anybody who just turning our grid over to China, I — you know, I don’t know, honestly, what — what will. Harry, great to see you. Thank you for that.”
KAZIANIS: “Thanks, Tucker.”
A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.