The Coming Military Conflict With China
The Red Light is ON
There is little to deny about this. The Chinese political party and the its military party are separate entities under one umbrella. They are not always in agreement and each can cause problems for the other. At this time in 2019, they are in agreement and that is to build up the Chinese military forces at a rapid rate so they can intimidate and deny access to areas they claim as their own. The two long standing areas are Taiwan and the South China Sea.
China's military buildup is unprecedented and alarming. There is little anyone can do but watch as they create their own carriers, stealth fighters and bombers, silent submarines, killer satellites and a plethora of anti-ship missiles. They do this by stealing technology from the USA and Russia. They buy Russian military hardware and improve it, if need be. The American technology they steal by various means is reversed engineered and applied to their systems. This has been happening since the early 2000's at a more rapid pace and they are excellent at it. The big question is WHY? Why do they need such a huge military force if they have no nefarious intentions?
South China Sea
They claim it is theirs. Since 2012 or so, they have gradually and without much alarm from the world, have seized certain key uninhabited islands in the Spratley's. Some nations did voice opposition, but were intimidated by China, and China just did as it planned. Today, they have military bases on three of them with airfields, ports, radar, and anti-aircraft and anti-ship missile launchers. The airbases can support up to 24 fighter type aircraft or six bombers. The current anti-air missile system is one copied from the Russian S-300, which is said to be formidable. The anti-ship missiles compliment this with their 300 mile range and they are based on each of the three main islands: Fiery Reef, Mischief Reef, and Subi Reef. At this range, USN ships are at risk.
The military wing of the Chinese forces has recently said that one day, war with the US will come because of American trespassing into Chinese areas. They also said that America does not have the will to fight, despite the immense military power owned, and not willing to accept losses. This may be true. The Chinese surmise that by sinking one or two carriers in a naval battle, the loss of just one would be around 5000 men, more than 9\11. Sinking two carriers, even worse. The USN feels they are capable of handling anything China can throw at them and thwart all incoming missiles. This could be dangerous arrogant thinking as nobody knows just how well Chinese equipment performs. But, does America really have the will to fight and take losses over who controls the South China Sea? Taiwan, which China claims was always theirs?
Geographically, any conflict in that part of the world would place a strain on American endurance for it relies totally on airforce and naval units. America would never risk retaking any of the three major Chinese reefs. The Chinese could also attack American bases in Japan using their non-nuclear ICBM's rendering them useless for resupply purposes. They can do the same at the base in Guam. Of course, America could do the same to Chinese military bases, but the question is, which side is more willing to take losses to achieve the goal? Clearly, China is, especially in areas they claim as theirs.
In the South China Sea, they already have the capability to deny access to anyone nation they deem a threat. What will this be like in another five years? American aircraft and ships transit through despite Chinese warnings and idle threats, but one day, this could change and China would take out one American tanker or USN ship at minimum cost. A tanker can be sunk with a few anti-ship missiles, even the US Aegis naval destroyers can be overwhelmed with more than 4-5 anti-ship missiles. These destroyers can only defend and deflect up to 5 incoming missiles simultaneously, any more will get through. It only take one or two to cripple a ship. The Chinese have a plethora of ways to fire their anti-ship missiles from distances hundreds of miles from its target. It is an ominous sign.
Incoming missiles are hard to track and target as they are small. They skim the ocean surface and very fast. USN reaction time is as little as 30 seconds. Now multiply this by many incoming missiles simultaneously and you can see the dire dilemma the USN ship is in.
After a USN ship is sunk, the ball is in the American court. Would America now have the will to militarily use their might or just try to weasel out of harm's way with some political solution?
This seems like a no-brainer. China has always thought of Taiwan as theirs, and it is, essentially. China has recently said that any war their would be over in a few days as the Taiwanese military is no match. True. Taiwan would rely on the US willpower to protect them. But again, it is a bad spot to fight a war for the USA. It is very close to China and whether the USA would simply let China have Taiwan or not is anyone's guess. How long would America be willing to fight and take losses for Taiwan? Probably not long. In the end, China would have it, one way or another. There would be no nuclear war over either Taiwan or South China Sea, neither is worth many American lives.
China is building up it military. Number do matter in any battle and it is all on China's side in this regard. If China denied access to American ships in either the Taiwan or South China Sea area, the US faces a stark choice: obey or fight. If the choice is fight, are they willing to take the losses to secure a win over a long period of time?