A Chinese Invasion Taiwan in 2026 will result in thousands of casualties among Chinese, US, Taiwanese and Japanese forces, and that is unlikely to lead to a victory for Beijing, according to an independent think tank. famous Washington, which conducted a war game simulation of a possible conflict that is preoccupation with military and political leaders in Asia and Washington.
A war over Taiwan could render the victorious US military as crippled as the Chinese forces it defeated.
When the conflict ends, at least two US aircraft carriers will lie on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and China’s modern navy, the largest in the world, will be thrown into “chaos”.
That is one of the conclusions of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which came after running what it claims to be one of the most extensive studies. War simulation game was conducted about a possible conflict over Taiwan, the democratically ruled island of 24 million people that the Communist Party of China claims as part of its sovereign territory although never controlled it.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has refused to rule out the use of force to bring the island under Beijing’s control.
CNN reviewed an advance copy of the report – titled “The First Battle of the Next War” – on two dozen war scenarios conducted by CSIS, which said the project was necessary because the models Former government and private war simulations were too narrow or too vague. to give the public and policymakers an honest look at how a conflict over the Taiwan Strait might play out.
“There is no unclassified war game that looks at the conflict between the United States and the United States,” said Mark Cancian, one of three project leaders and senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ky and China. “Among the unclassified games, they are usually played only once or twice.”
CSIS ran this war game 24 times to answer two basic questions: was the invasion successful and what was the cost?
The CSIS report says the likelihood of answers to those two questions is no and very large.
“The US and Japan lost dozens of ships, hundreds of planes and thousands of troops. Such losses would damage the United States’ global standing for many years,” the report said. In most scenarios, the US Navy lost two aircraft carriers and 10 to 20 major surface warships. About 3,200 American troops will die in three weeks of fighting, nearly half the number of American troops killed in two decades of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“China has also been hit hard. Their navy is in disarray, the core of the amphibious force is broken, and tens of thousands of soldiers are prisoners of war,” the article said. The report estimates that China will lose about 10,000 troops and lose 155 combat aircraft and 138 large ships.
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The scenarios paint a bleak future for Taiwan, even if a Chinese invasion fails.
“While Taiwan’s military is not disrupted, it is severely degraded and must protect a damaged economy on an island without electricity and basic services,” the report said. The report said the island’s army would suffer around 3,500 casualties and all 26 destroyers and frigates in its navy would be sunk.
Japan is likely to lose more than 100 fighter jets and 26 warships while US military bases on its territory come under attack from China, the report said.
But CSIS said it did not want its report to imply that a war over Taiwan “is inevitable or even possible”.
“The Chinese leadership may adopt a strategy of diplomatic isolation, gray zone pressure or economic coercion against Taiwan,” the article said.
Dan Grazier, a senior fellow for defense policy at the Project Government Oversight (POGO), sees a complete Chinese invasion of Taiwan as extremely unlikely. Such a military operation would immediately disrupt the import and export activity on which the Chinese economy relies to survive, and disrupting this commerce is at risk, Grazier told CNN. lead to the collapse of the Chinese economy in a short time. China relies on food and fuel imports to fuel its economic engine, Grazier said, and it has little room to maneuver.
“In my judgment, the Chinese will do everything they can to avoid military conflict with anyone,” Grazier said. To challenge US global dominance, they will use industrial and economic might rather than military force.
But Pentagon leaders labeled China a “paced threat” to the US, and last year China Military Strength Report authorized by Congress said “the PLA has increased its provocative and destabilizing actions in and around the Taiwan Strait, including increasing flights into the air defense identification zone claimed by Taiwan.” sovereignty and conduct exercises focused on the possibility of seizing one of Taiwan’s remote islands.”
In August, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island prompted a wide-ranging show of military might by the PLA, including the delivery of missiles over the island as well as into the region. waters within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
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Since then, Beijing has stepped up its aggressive military pressure tactics on the island, sending fighter jets flying over the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the sea separating Taiwan and China. and entered the island’s air defense identification zone – an often-mentioned airspace buffer. into ADIZ.
And when speaking about Taiwan at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October, Chinese leader Xi Jinping won a standing ovation by saying that China would “strive to unify peace” — but then issued a stark warning that “we will never promise to renounce the use of force and we reserve the option to take all necessary measures.”
The Biden administration has steadfastly supported the island under the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act, which says Washington will provide the island with the means to defend itself without involving US troops in defense. .
The recently signed National Defense Authorization Act commits the United States to Taiwan’s military modernization program and provides $10 billion in security assistance over five years, a strong sign of support. enduring bipartisan support for the island.
However, Biden has more than once said that US military personnel will defend Taiwan should the Chinese military launch an invasion, even as the Pentagon insists there is no change in its “One China” policy. Nation” of Washington.
Under the “One China” policy, the US acknowledges China’s position that Taiwan is part of China, but has never officially recognized Beijing’s claim to the self-governing island.
“War occurs even when objective analysis can indicate that the attacker may not succeed,” Cancian said.
The CSIS report says that in order for the U.S. military to prevent China from eventually taking control of Taiwan, there are four constants that emerge out of the 24 iterations of the war game they run:
Taiwan’s ground forces must be able to intercept China’s beaches; The United States must be able to use its bases in Japan for combat operations; The US must have long-range anti-ship missiles to attack the PLA Navy from a distance and “in bulk”; and the US needs to fully arm Taiwan before it starts opening fire and entering any immediate conflict with its forces.
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“There is no ‘Ukrainian model’ for Taiwan,” the report said, referring to the gradual flow of American and Western aid into Ukraine after Russia’s invasion of the neighboring country began and did not There are no US or NATO troops actively fighting against Russia.
“Once the war started, it was impossible to get any troops or supplies to Taiwan, so it’s a very different situation than Ukraine, where the United States and its allies can,” Cancian said. constantly sending supplies to Ukraine. “Whatever weapon the Taiwanese intend to use in war, they must have it when the war starts.”
Washington will need to start acting soon if it is to meet some of the CSIS recommendations to succeed in the conflict in Taiwan, the think-tank said.
These include, fortifying US bases in Japan and Guam against Chinese missile attacks; shifting its naval forces to smaller and more survivable ships; submarine priority; prioritizing a sustainable bomber force over a fighter jet force; but producing more fighters is cheaper; and push Taiwan toward a similar strategy, arming itself with simpler weapons platforms rather than expensive ships that are unlikely to survive a pre-emptive Chinese attack.
The CSIS report said those policies would help the U.S. military win less expensively, but the damage would still be high.
“The US may win a crisp victory, but in the long run it will suffer more than the ‘lost’ Chinese.”
“Winning is not everything,” the report said.
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