War between the US and China. It might not go as you’d think. According to this report from the RAND corporation, it would actually be “ruinous,” “intense,” and “destructive.” And it would also probably be long and drawn out. Sounds like Suicide Squad. By the way, “thinking through the unthinkable” apparently describes both war with China and Jared Leto’s method acting.
Anyway, back to the more appealing subject, a War with China. The report was commissioned by the US Army. They love a good game of worst-case scenario. Which is why the Pentagon actually has a plan for a Zombie Outbreak.
And one of the report’s authors is former chief intelligence adviser to Barack Obama, David C. Gompert. So, depending on your political leanings, he either knows exactly what he’s talking about or is a complete idiot. The report does acknowledge that a war between the US and China is very unlikely. But even though the US’s military lead on China right now may look like Usain Bolt, in ten years, the US might not be awkwardly smiling.
China’s A2/AD—or anti-access and area denial—technology is making breakthroughs. And by “making breakthroughs,” I mean successfully knocking off technology that China, steals from the US.
China’s A2/AD technology includes things like both land-attack and anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles, a surface-to-air missile network, and anti-satellite weapons. Plus things like cyber warfare and China’s lesser known psychological warfare tactics.
Like this secret experimental government footage shows.
I love it.
And as China’s technological breakthroughs continue, it will be, as the report says, “increasingly difficult for the United States to gain military-operational dominance and victory, even in a long war.” “By 2025, U.S. losses could range from significant to heavy.” And this would be, “a prolonged and destructive, yet inconclusive, war.”
The good news is the report suggests that neither side would be willing to use nuclear weapons. I mean, this isn’t a game of Civilization with a rampaging Gandhi.
But there are plenty of hotspots for war with China. And each side is incentivized to strike first. In other words, if something goes wrong, like a Chinese vessel accidentally fires on a Japanese ship in the East China Sea, it doesn’t pay to take a moment and think rationally. After all, only the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
However, not everyone agrees with the prediction that China’s military is catching up to the US, or will be there even by the year 2025. Sure, China has upped its military spending to 155 billion dollars a year. But America still spends about four times as much. And I hope at least a few billion of that goes to developing military-grade earplugs.
So what do you think? Would war with China be worse than the zombie apocalypse? How should the US respond to the threat of weaponized Chinese opera? Leave your comments below.