What's new

Let’s Pretend: What Happens If the US and China Clash in the Pacific?

Syama Ayas

BANNED
May 21, 2010
13,920
-21
13,338
Country
India
Location
United States
I bet that many respected members of this forum know better what will happen if China and the US were EVER to clash than RAND, and RAND knows squat!
RAND irrespective of its funny name has alot of credibility in USA's strategic circles.

I have seen 70s declassified intelligence assessments citing RAND for certain OSINT sections.
 

anon45

SENIOR MEMBER
Aug 13, 2010
3,215
4
1,765
Country
United States
Location
United States
the whole point of attacking US bases is to prevent the US from acting, or limit its options in the opening days of a taiwan scenario. thereby establishing a fact on the ground that the PLA more or less controls the island by that point(you can argue they cant quite take the island so quick yet, but you cant deny they're getting to that point). the US could and most definitely would retaliate, but by that point it's either all out war or make a statement(ie retaliate against a chinese base here and there) then leave as there is no longer anything to defend. full out war does nothing for anyone, since it will likely lead to a nuclear exchange, and trying to take back a taiwan already overrunned by the PLA will be extremely costly in materials, manpower and wealth more than any war since WW2. the PRC of course, hopes the US will consider the effort to be too much effort and cost for too little gain and just come to a negotiated settlement after some retaliations. of course war is the last option for everyone involved, and probably will only come to that in 2 situations, 1. the ROC declares independence, 2. ROC seeks nuclear weapons.

the rand study aside, what happens if the PLA DON'T attack US bases? in either a SCS or Taiwan Scenario. this is of course another train of thought in china. where the PLA do not attack the US. but has demonstrated, in tests or otherwise that it can cause many tens of thousands of US military casualties at a minimum, ie: unacceptable costs, thereby causing the US to hesitate, hopefully long enough for the PLA, to again, establish facts on the ground. or if the US does join the fighting right away then there is legitimate cause for attacks on US bases and others since now the US is no longer officially considered neutral(unofficially, of course it's never considered neutral). in this case too, the US must weigh the decision to attack the PRC homeland, since such an attack will widen the war, opening the US homeland to any attacks the PRC can muster, which might not seem like much given the limited chinese power projection capabilities, but there are other ways, such as using spies or container bombs. of course all this isnt so that the chinese can say "they hit us first". its so that negotiations become easier, compared to a surprise attack on the US bases. but it does give up the advantage of catch the US unprepared. eitherway i would consider the Taiwan situation to be stable and no chance of war in the medium term. the SCS is fairly stable as well, no claimant stand a chance against the PRC anyhow and the SCS isnt about anybodies mainland or survival of the state. and any accidental shooting war with any other claimant will probably lead to a chinese victory within days.
No I don't see war in the near term either. This is all just hypotheticals.

I imagine satellite imagery would detect a buildup in advance of the invasion, its hard to hide something like that.

Those bases essentially mean immediately available assets. If China doesn't attack them, the US has immediate options while its carriers are sailing to the destination (lets assume the carriers are not near there.)

It is quite a pickle, which is why China's best generals are constantly working on the plans, and why our best American generals are trying to keep it that way.



Also I wouldn't just look at casualties when it comes to war weariness, but time as well. thousands of casualties in a relatively short period of 2 weeks to 1 month can potentially galvanize the US rather than wear it down. The story is what matters, not the death count. This sort of invasion is a rather easy story to craft, assuming Taiwan doesn't just fold.

If Taiwan immediately folds, than there was nothing the US could do anyways given the Taiwanese themselves weren't willing to fight, and that is what this is predicated on. This sapping of Taiwanese will is the best bet strategy.


Given that the majority of US forces would be naval and maritime, 10000 casualties would pretty much necessitate sinking a carrier as well

As you noted, China can start the war alone, but it can't end it alone.

bro if dollar crashes the world of paper money will collapse and riots will start.
I should have specified, China selling its dollar reserves would be the least of either side's worries.

I don't believe the dollar would 'crash' (whatever that means in this context). Decline in value? possibly, maybe other countries or the US would just buy it back up. but there would be no financial apocalypse when people care more about creating weapons to fight the Chinese.

A purpose tends to do wonders for an economy.
 

21 Dec 2012

FULL MEMBER
Nov 3, 2011
894
-2
623
China will get Hawaii after US surrenders.

and Alaska too

and California.

and that square shaped state which is pretty kool..just cannt remember the name.
How will Chinese forces get to Hawaii which is halfway across the Pacific when they can't sail 100 miles to Taiwan.
 

applesauce

SENIOR MEMBER
Jun 9, 2009
3,145
2
2,026
Country
China
Location
United States
No I don't see war in the near term either. This is all just hypotheticals.

I imagine satellite imagery would detect a buildup in advance of the invasion, its hard to hide something like that.
indeed, sats or on the ground spies would certainly pick up any major build up. however, bases cant just be picked up and moved during times of tension and possible war, surely base defences would be boosted but how much would that help? afterall within the first island chain basically all recent chinese weapons can reach you. of course the US can certainly take the losses, then in time, come back with much more forces. but the point here isnt whether the US military as a whole is more powerful. it most certainly is, and a long war certainly favors the US at this point. the point is to limited or eliminate the option of fast responses then quickly take ground, leaving the US with essentially two choices, accept the fact already established, or go into a very costly possibly nuclear war. just for the record, im not in favor or preemptively strike any american bases if war breaks out, you can plan for the logical, but sometimes emotions take over, especially if you are surprise attacked.

Those bases essentially mean immediately available assets. If China doesn't attack them, the US has immediate options while its carriers are sailing to the destination (lets assume the carriers are not near there.)

It is quite a pickle, which is why China's best generals are constantly working on the plans, and why our best American generals are trying to keep it that way.
yes, the bases allow immediate responses, hence exactly why the PLA wants those gone first, if possible. carriers based near the area also allow an immediate option. which is also why you see china put so much effort to improve tracking, surveillance(via space and drones) and asbm such as the df-21 and df-26.

the chinese assets are very much a work in progress, how well china can find those carriers in a vast ocean and strike at them is up for debate, but the very fact that df-21 and df-26 exists, presents a grave threat and may make the US admirals much more cautious than they would have been overwise, which of course benefits the PLA. these kinds of problems for thte Us only gets worst as the years go by.



Also I wouldn't just look at casualties when it comes to war weariness, but time as well. thousands of casualties in a relatively short period of 2 weeks to 1 month can potentially galvanize the US rather than wear it down. The story is what matters, not the death count. This sort of invasion is a rather easy story to craft, assuming Taiwan doesn't just fold.

If Taiwan immediately folds, than there was nothing the US could do anyways given the Taiwanese themselves weren't willing to fight, and that is what this is predicated on. This sapping of Taiwanese will is the best bet strategy.
no one assumes the ROC will just fold, they will attempt to hold out but they simply do not have the manpower, the fire power nor the space to do so for any significant amount of time, they may not even have the public support to fight a long war. i had previously said, how fast the PLA can take over taiwan is an open question, but they are getting more and more capable at achieving that faster and faster.

in addition i agree about the casualties, hence im not exactly in favor of any preemptive strike if it came down to it. nonetheless, i do see why other are in favor. the US may be galvanized, however the preemptive strike buys precious time in the probably most important moment of the fight, the actual invasion of taiwan island. once the islands is secured, the fight ahead for the US will be much harder than if they joined while taiwan was still in ROC hands. essentially the question for the chinese leadership if war breaks out is if they think the US will attempt to rush to taiwan's defence immediately. if they think the US won't hesitate then striking the bases and possibly the carrier as a first move is wise, otherwise, of course let the american politicians debate while they establish facts on the ground, its much easier for the US to accept the situation if they haven't actually gotten attacked.

Given that the majority of US forces would be naval and maritime, 10000 casualties would pretty much necessitate sinking a carrier as well
indeed, hence df-21 and df-26, and of course if the US hesitated and the chinese has taken over most if not all of the island then many, many thousands of men will be needed, casualties from such an operation will certainly be in tens of thousands at a minimuim. the chinese essentially wants to ask the americans, "how many lives are you willing to bet on this, because im willing to bet millions of mine", whoever wants it more will probably get it since no one wants a nuclear war. that said, china of course would like an intact taiwan than a burnt-to-a-crisp one.

As you noted, China can start the war alone, but it can't end it alone.
indeed, but do keep in mind that taiwan is THE most important issue for the PRC except the mainland itself. im of the opinion that it is the single area that china is willing to risk nuclear war over, save the mainland itself. so is the US willing to go that far? that question pretty much decides whether the US will get involved in any significant way. and also note that war doesnt happen in a vacuum, all these studies somehow assume china is invading just because, idk they're evil commies or something. if war happens its because taiwan has either declared independence or has started a nuclear program. well known red lines that the US will have certainly tried to prevent the ROC from crossing, and if they have done so they they've defied the US as well.



I should have specified, China selling its dollar reserves would be the least of either side's worries.

I don't believe the dollar would 'crash' (whatever that means in this context). Decline in value? possibly, maybe other countries or the US would just buy it back up. but there would be no financial apocalypse when people care more about creating weapons to fight the Chinese.

A purpose tends to do wonders for an economy.
agreed, the dollars reserves are not a weapon. people always assumes somehow that china can crash the US economy with its reserves, that's simply not how the modern world works. i bet unless an actual general war happens, China and the US will still at least maintain a facade of a functioning relationship. but the world market will certainly tank, simply at the news that US and Chinese forces may shoot at one another.
 

FairAndUnbiased

SENIOR MEMBER
Nov 25, 2011
7,439
0
11,080
Country
China
Location
United States
Because the USA doesent have the same, except your surrounded by countries that would invade you if you were under attack, Japan would pounce, Russia would get excited at the chance of eating more borders, even India would probably take some land. USA only has to worry about Canada and Mexico. If China is ever attacked the potential loss of human life in China alone would be gigantic on a scale of multiple world wars, it would start shrinking within weeks.
Just see if they have the balls lol.
 

Azadkashmir

SENIOR MEMBER
Nov 10, 2012
6,410
0
7,477
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
usa is israel israel is usa. greater israel expansion is being implemented at this moment yep bye to middle east oil fields in near future.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom