Profile image
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

What Happens If the US and China Clash in the Pacific?

Saturday, September 19, 2015 9:02
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

Image result for china against us
As the United States continues provocative actions the South China Sea, it’s worth asking: What would happen in a hypothetical military confrontation between Washington and Beijing? A new report from the nonprofit RAND Corporation compares the capabilities of the two countries in 10 separate fields.

The recently released 430-page report written by 14 scholars on military strategy focuses strictly on military might. Ignoring political policy issues, “US-China Military Scorecard: Forces, Geography, and the Evolving Balance of Power, 1997-2017″ considers two hypothetical scenarios – a Spratly islands campaign and a Chinese invasion of Taiwan – to gauge which side would win.

Chinese Air Base Attack

While the Chinese military had only a handful of short-range ballistic missiles in 1997, that number has now risen sharply. With nearly 1,400 in Beijing’s arsenal, those missiles could easily cripple the Kadena Air Base, a US installation on the island of Okinawa.

“Committed attacks might close a single base for weeks,” the report reads, and that could dramatically increase the distance that the US Air Force would be required to travel. Forcing the US military to operate out of Alaska, Guam, or Hawaii could give China more time to react to offensive maneuvers.

US vs. Chinese Air Superiority

Beijing has seen a rapid improvement in its air force, modernizing half of its fighter jets. According to RAND, the two nations’ capabilities in the air are almost comparable, with a slight advantage given to the US.

Still, in protecting Taiwan during a hypothetical invasion in 2017, “US commanders would be unable to find the basing required for US forces to prevail in a seven-day campaign,” the report reads.

While the US could gain an advantage if it drew out such an operation into a longer campaign, that action could also put ground and naval troops at a greater risk.

US Airspace Penetration

The Chinese military has added a large number of surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems since 1997. With nearly 200 now in Beijing’s arsenal, as well as improved air detection systems, US aircraft would have a difficult time operating in the Taiwan scenario, given its proximity to the Chinese mainland and those defenses.

In a Spratly scenario, however, US stealth aircraft could gain the upper hand, given the archipelago’s 800-mile distance from the Chinese mainland.

US Air Base Attack

American long-range weapons could give the US the capability to shut down Chinese air bases. Looking at 40 bases within range of Taiwan, the US would be capable of closing airstrips for approximately eight hours. Adjusting for 2017, those closures could last for two to three days.

Chengdu J-20 fighter

Still, the report acknowledges that this advantage relies on a limited missile stockpile.

“While ground attack represents a rare bright spot for relative US performance, it is important to note that the inventory of standoff weapons is finite, and performance in a longer conflict would depend on a wider range of factors,” the report reads.

Credit to Sputnik
Read more:


Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.