Chinese invasion Taiwan It would likely fail if the US helped defend the island — but it would be at a debilitating cost to the US military itself, according to a US think tank.
Gather military experts before Center for Strategic and International Studies In the war game, the conflict said, every potential direct participant in the war—the United States, China, Taiwan, and Japan—would suffer “enormous” losses.
Chinese missiles could destroy US air bases Japan As far as Guam, two American aircraft carriers and between 10 and 20 destroyers and cruisers were sunk as the invasion began.
But the Chinese invading force itself would be destroyed before it occupied any significant part of Taiwan, and would ultimately be prevented from achieving its goal of capturing the island’s capital, Taipei, according to most of the scenarios tested.
This, combined with the damage to mainland targets from Taiwanese counterattacks, could destabilize Chinese Communist Party rule, the report says.
“We came to two conclusions,” said Eric Higginbotham, a security expert at MIT.
First, in most circumstances, China It is unlikely that it will succeed in achieving its operational objectives, or occupying Taipei.
“Second, the cost of the war would be enormous for everyone involved, and would almost certainly include the United States.”
The maneuvers tested 24 different scenarios centered on China attempting to seize the island by invasion in 2026. The United States was critical: without America’s help, the People’s Liberation Army would occupy Taiwan in three months or less.
The war game assumed that the invasion would begin with an opening bombardment by China that would destroy most of Taiwan’s naval and air forces within a few hours. The Chinese Navy would blockade Taiwan and begin ferrying a landing force of thousands of PLA soldiers and their equipment across the Taiwan Strait.
In what war players have described as the most likely scenario, the Taiwanese military could hold back the invaders on the coast.
“Meanwhile, US submarines, bombers, and fighter/attack aircraft, often bolstered by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, are rapidly crippling China’s amphibious fleet,” the report said.
“Chinese strikes on Japanese bases and US surface ships cannot change the outcome: Taiwan remains independent,” she said.
There are critical variables on which this success depends, said Matthew Cancian of the US Naval War College.
First, he said, Taiwan itself must be determined to respond.
Second, Japan must give the United States permission to launch counterattacks from its bases on Japanese soil.
Without this, Kansian said, “US intervention will not be sufficient to continue Taiwan’s autonomy.”
In such cases the casualties would be great, around 10,000 in the first weeks of the war. The war game has raised important unknowns, such as whether the United States would risk nuclear war by attacking China directly.
She also asked whether the American and Japanese publics were willing to accept the losses that came with defending Taiwan, saying that American losses could hurt Washington’s ability to project global power for a very long time.
The report stated that “the United States may win a Pyrrhic victory, and will suffer more in the long run from the ‘defeated’ Chinese.”
The report said that both Taiwan and the US military need to mobilize forces, focusing on the most survivable and effective weapons, to create more deterrence in the face of a Chinese invasion.
“Despite the rhetoric about adopting the ‘porcupine strategy,’ Taiwan still spends most of its defense budget on expensive ships and aircraft that China will quickly destroy,” she said.