Even though US-China is unable to take Taipei in the first few weeks of the fight, the island experiences a great deal of loss of life and destruction, and all sides in the conflict suffer heavy casualties.
The Centre for a New American Security (CNAS) carried out a simulation of such a conflict not too long ago, and the results were extremely concerning.
According to the results of the simulation, even a relatively contained conflict over Taiwan has the potential to rapidly escalate out of control and result in a disastrous nuclear exchange.
The Chinese Red Team came to the conclusion that the use of nuclear weapons would be the only remaining choice if conventional strikes on US sites in Hawaii failed to dissuade the United States from continuing to support Taiwan.
The CNAS simulation underscores the enormous dangers of a potential confrontation over Taiwan as well as the urgent necessity for strategic communication and diplomacy.
Many analysts and government officials are extremely worried because there is a growing risk of a confrontation between the US-China over Taiwan. Recent Chinese military exercises lend credence to the theory that Beijing is making preparations for an invasion of Taiwan. Such an action would almost probably elicit a significant response from the United States. The ensuing conflict has the potential to be disastrous on account of the fact that both sides are well equipped and extremely driven.
A struggle over Taiwan would most likely involve major air and sea engagements, with hundreds of warplanes and dozens of warships on each side, in contrast to the ground combat that is currently taking place in Ukraine. The number of dead and the destruction caused as a direct result of this fight would be enormous, and there is a very real risk that it may develop to the level of a nuclear war.
Both the US-China have made significant investments in their armed forces in recent years, updating their more antiquated aircraft and vessels with newer, more advanced equipment. Japan, which is likely to take part in any battle between the US-China over Taiwan, has also been increasing its military capabilities, and it recently announced intentions to treble the amount of money it spends on defence.
All three nations have made significant financial investments in long-range precision-guided missiles. These missiles are designed to hit high-value targets such as enemy ships, ports, and airfields. While the United States has equipped its ships and submarines with hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles that are capable of striking coastal targets in China from hundreds of miles offshore, China has amassed a formidable force of ballistic missile launchers that are capable of reaching Taiwan, Japan, and US bases in the Pacific. In contrast, China has amassed a force of ballistic missile launchers that are capable of reaching Taiwan, Japan, and US bases in the Pacific.
The use of such weapons on a broad scale at the beginning of a conflict between the US-China over Taiwan would result in catastrophic losses on both sides, including the destruction of a significant number of ships and other targets. The subsequent escalation has the potential to be disastrous and would almost certainly have repercussions that would be felt throughout the entire area as well as the rest of the world.
Fight over Taiwan between the US-China would be a colossal and devastating event, with disastrous effects for all parties participating in the conflict. As tensions in the region continue to build, the entire globe is keeping a close eye on the situation since the stakes are quite high. It is not yet clear if this perilous game of brinksmanship will result in full-scale war or whether cooler heads will prevail.
Wargaming the Results of the Conflict
Imagine for a moment that the US-China are at war with one another because of the issue of who owns Taiwan. It’s a nightmarish scenario, but it’s not something that can just be made up in your head. In point of fact, in 2022, two think tanks located in Washington, District of Columbia, the Centre for a New American Security (CNAS) and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), ran simulations to determine how a conflict of this nature may be fought.
The following is the fundamental scenario, as described by both think tanks: In the not too distant future, China makes the decision to attack Taiwan in order to stop Taiwan from proclaiming its independence. After launching huge air and missile assaults, the Chinese military follows up with an amphibious assault to seize a beachhead on Taiwanese soil. They did this in preparation for retaliation from the United States and Japan, bombing US air bases in Japan and firing numerous missiles at US warships that were in the area. Taiwan is making an effort to limit any beachhead that the PLA is able to build, while the United States and Japan are attempting to thwart the PLA’s assault by launching attacks against Chinese ships, ports, missile launchers, and air bases.
However, success in this kind of conflict is contingent on one’s capacity to quickly eliminate the vital resources held by the adversary. For the United States of America and Taiwan, it is of the utmost importance to destroy as many Chinese amphibious warships as they can during the first few days of the conflict. On the other hand, China’s main goal is to reduce the United States’ airpower by launching attacks on American air bases and aircraft carriers.
However, neither of the think tanks who ran the simulations could come up with a winner in any of the scenarios. Even though China is unable to take Taipei in the first few weeks of the fight, the island experiences a great deal of loss of life and destruction, and all sides in the conflict suffer heavy casualties. According to the CSIS, “The United States and Japan lose dozens of ships, hundreds of aircraft, and thousands of service members.”
There are hundreds of casualties on each of the two damaged or destroyed aircraft carriers that belong to the United States. “it is severely degraded and left to defend a damaged economy on an island without electricity and basic services,” Taiwan’s military continues to exist despite the fact that it has been significantly weakened. A significant portion of China’s amphibious force is destroyed, the country’s navy is in disarray, and tens of thousands of Chinese soldiers who were ambushed and captured on Taiwan became prisoners of war.
Peaceful resolution of conflicts
The researchers from CNAS, despite employing a different game model, arrived at essentially the same findings. China is able to secure a beachhead on the coast of Taiwanese territory, but it is unable to supply sufficient forces to either conquer Taipei or coerce Taiwan into surrendering. The United States and Japan suffer devastating losses despite their success in destroying a huge number of PLA ships and planes. Because of this, the conflict has reached a standstill, and all of the important actors now have to decide whether to escalate the conflict, seek a negotiated settlement that is agreeable to no one, or continue fighting a drawn-out war with no obvious outcome.
This is a terrifying possibility that no one likes to contemplate, but it serves to emphasise the significance of diplomatic efforts and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Losses in such a war would be disastrous for all of the parties engaged, and the ramifications for the world would be significant. To forestall the occurrence of anything so catastrophic, it is essential for leaders to place a premium on conversation and compromise.
The Possibility of Escalation
A nightmare scenario that experts have been warning about for years is the prospect of a military clash breaking out between the US-China over Taiwan. The Centre for a New American Security (CNAS) carried out a simulation of such a conflict not too long ago, and the results were extremely concerning. According to the results of the simulation, even a relatively contained conflict over Taiwan has the potential to rapidly escalate out of control and result in a disastrous nuclear exchange.
One of the most important things that I learned from the simulation was that the leadership of both the US-China would be under a great deal of pressure to avoid embarrassing themselves and to keep their credibility. Because of this, both parties may feel compelled to take increasingly dangerous and hostile activities, which may lead to a rapid escalation of the war. For instance, in the event that China attempts to invade Taiwan but is unsuccessful or suffers a significant number of deaths, President Xi Jinping may feel obligated to escalate the battle in order to avoid giving the impression that China is weak. In a similar vein, if the United States were to suffer the loss of two aircraft carriers, President Biden (or any other president) may find himself under enormous pressure to react aggressively.
Catastrophic nuclear attacks
Within the context of the simulation, one of the possible scenarios that was investigated was the employment of nuclear weapons. The Chinese Red Team came to the conclusion that the use of nuclear weapons would be the only remaining choice if conventional strikes on US sites in Hawaii failed to dissuade the United States from continuing to support Taiwan. The detonation of a nuclear weapon off the coast of Hawaii would be intended largely as a signal to persuade US authorities to renounce their support for Taiwan. However, such a strike would also suggest the possibility of more widespread and catastrophic nuclear attacks. The United States Blue Team may also be considering the use of nuclear weapons in order to bring an end to China’s participation in the conflict.
The CNAS simulation underscores the enormous dangers of a potential confrontation over Taiwan as well as the urgent necessity for strategic communication and diplomacy in order to prevent an outcome as disastrous as this. According to Democratic Representative Ro Khanna of California, “a war with China would be catastrophic for both the United States of America and all of humanity.” Because of the high stakes, it is imperative that both policymakers and the general public have a solid understanding of the potential dangers and do their best to mitigate them.