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  • The United States, the world's premier military power.

  • China, a rising power that may one day be able to challenge the US's own, but today

  • cannot.

  • What if these two military giants went head to head though, and the conflict played out

  • on China's own shores?

  • What if the United States decided it needed to invade China, could China defend from a

  • US invasion?

  • First though, is conflict between the two even probable?

  • The short answer is yes, and the possibility is frighteningly real and seemingly only growing

  • more realistic by the day.

  • Today these two great powers find themselves locked in what historians have come to term

  • Thucydides's Trap.

  • Thucydides was an ancient Greek historian who commented on the rise of Athens and the

  • fall of Sparta.

  • For a long time Sparta was the reigning power of the Greek world, until the city-state of

  • Athens began to rival it in terms of economy, wealth, and military power.

  • The end result was an inevitable war between the two city-states and their allies, as one

  • side- Sparta- sought to hold on to its spot as the number one power, and Athens sought

  • to dislodge it.

  • If you think that's ancient history, then consider that out of 16 instances in just

  • the last 500 years alone of a rising power supplanting a pre-existing great power, war

  • broke out 12 out of 16 times.

  • Clearly, the odds are not good that the US and China can avoid war.

  • To make matters worse, the seeds of conflict between the two nations already exist in a

  • variety of potential flashpoints.

  • The biggest of these are Taiwan's continued independence and China's aggressive- and illegal-

  • expansion into the South Pacific.

  • Eventually- most likely due to the matter of Taiwan- a conflict between the US and China

  • is likely, especially if China wants to prove it really is a great power.

  • As long as the US Navy reigns supreme in the South Pacific, China cannot claim to be a

  • great power and cannot influence its neighbors the way it wishes to.

  • For China, conflict with the US is all but inevitable, not just a matter of national

  • pride, but one of continued political survival for a Communist party that finds itself increasingly

  • isolated from the outside world by growing democratic movements along its borders.

  • So what if the worse came to worse, could the US successfully invade China?

  • The US's greatest asset is the presence of its forces all around the world thanks to

  • defense agreements with partners and allies.

  • This is a mutually beneficial arrangement, as it provides a boost to the hosting nation's

  • economy and ensures its continued defense in the case of war.

  • For the US though, it has the added benefit of allowing it to stage forces all around

  • the world and quickly react to a conflict.

  • American forces with their wide network of military installations and partnerships with

  • nations all over the globe allow them a degree of flexibility and mobility that no other

  • nation can even come close to matching.

  • In a war against China, the US would rely on its Pacific bases to prosecute the conflict.

  • Spurred on by China's growing aggressiveness against its neighbors in the South Pacific,

  • President Obama launched a strategy of encirclement, much like that employed so successfully against

  • the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

  • Today this means that US forces are deployed, or can deploy, from bases in Japan, the Philippines,

  • Guam, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, and even Thailand.

  • Plotted on a map, this clearly shows how American military power is posed to contain China no

  • matter in which direction it attempts to move its own military.

  • The reverse is also true.

  • The wide dispersion of US power in the South Pacific allows it to use military force against

  • China from multiple avenues of approach, forcing Chinese defenses to spread out amongst a host

  • of potential threat vectors.

  • However, the primary purpose of US encirclement is not to start hostilities, but rather to

  • respond to them or prevent them altogether.

  • China's chief strategic problem is that it relies on overseas routes for most of its

  • trade, with up to 60% of all Chinese trade passing through the South Pacific.

  • Current US force predisposition has the foot of the US military poised straight on the

  • jugular of Chinese trade, and it would not take much pressure to shut that trade off

  • and send China into an economic collapse.

  • In case of war, this is exactly what would happen.

  • US forces would immediately begin a naval and air blockade of all Chinese trade, boxing

  • in the Chinese navy all the way from the Malacca Straits to the Sea of Japan.

  • While the Chinese navy now for the first time in history outnumbers the US's own navy, it

  • largely lacks a capability to operate far from its own shores and is best suited for

  • coastal defense.

  • This would make it impossible for China to send a naval expeditionary force to the Malacca

  • Straits and secure them for its trade ships.

  • Then there's the added complication of US allies and partners in the area, who would

  • indubitably join the US side in the conflict.

  • Chinese ships trying to leave their territorial waters would find themselves threatened on

  • all sides, on top of having to deal with the formidable American Pacific fleet.

  • At the same time that US ships are blocking off Chinese trade though, the People's Liberation

  • Army Rocket Force would saturate US bases in Guam, South Korea, Japan, and possibly

  • even the Philippines.

  • These attacks would overwhelm american missile defenses and cause considerable damage, requiring

  • weeks of repair to bring them back into operational status.

  • This huge missile volley would greatly delay US offensive operations by both its air and

  • naval fleets, not to mention the preparation of any sort of invasion force.

  • However, it would also greatly anger the nations that host US forces, as missiles like the

  • DF-21 ballistic missile have a margin of error that can be as much as several hundred meters.

  • Missiles would be destroying not just US forces, but also Japanese, South Korean, and Filipino

  • military assets and even civilians.

  • This would further cement support for US action against China.

  • The Chinese missile stockpile numbers in the thousands, but it is ultimately finite, and

  • military facilities can always be repaired faster than that missile stockpile can be

  • replenished.

  • Not to mention that long before a second volley can be fired, US forces would have moved to

  • heavily damage China's command and control assets.

  • In the opening of the war, American stealth bombers would strike at Chinese long range

  • surveillance radar, command and control nodes, and precision missile systems deep inside

  • the country.

  • These attacks would be mirrored by a missile barrage nearly as large as China's own being

  • launched by America's large submarine fleet, most of which are capable of carrying long-range

  • land-attack cruise missiles.

  • While China may be able to hold the US surface navy at bay with its rocket forces for a few

  • weeks- possibly even a few months- the US submarine force would be impossible to target

  • with those same rocket forces, and given China's extreme lack of anti-submarine warfare assets,

  • the American silent service would all but have the run of China's coast.

  • American stealth aircraft and submarine forces would continue striking deep into China, destroying

  • air defense networks, satellite communication nodes, and other vital facilities for coordinating

  • China's ability to threaten the American navy.

  • US stealth bomber losses would no doubt be very high, potentially knocking the entire

  • fleet of 20 US B-2 bombers out of commission within the first few weeks.

  • Air attacks would then have to rely on unmanned drones supplemented by submarine cruise missile

  • strikes, but eventually Chinese defenses would be eroded enough to allow B-1 and even B-52

  • strategic bombers to begin to soften up Chinese coastal defenses.

  • Going any further inland would likely be fatal for B-1s and B-52s at even this stage of the

  • war, with the Chinese Air Force suppressed but very much still capable.

  • Escorting those non-stealthy bombers however would be American F-22 Raptors and F-35s,

  • which would operate from repaired facilities in Japan and South Korea.

  • While the US would suffer losses to both its F-22 and F-35 fleets, the loss ratio would

  • be extremely favorable.

  • After a few weeks of air operations, enough of China's air defenses and most formidable

  • of its fighter aircraft would have been thinned out to allow non-stealthy US Air Force F-15s

  • and Navy F-18s to join the fight, considerably boosting the presence of American combat aircraft.

  • American air forces are not just more capable than China's, but considerably larger as well,

  • with 13,264 total aircraft versus China's 3,210.

  • Of those aircraft, the US operates nearly double as many combat aircraft as China, at

  • 2,085 versus 1,232.

  • To make matters worse for China, US aircraft are overwhelmingly more modern and capable,

  • and its pilots more experienced.

  • China may have the homefield advantage, but the US would dominate the air and sea war

  • within a few months, putting a stranglehold on China economically.

  • In the real world, this is the limit of the US's plans for a war with China: destroy its

  • navy and air force and strangle it economically into submission.

  • In today's scenario though, we're taking this a step further.

  • Preparation for an invasion of China would take many months, and require the mustering

  • of most of the US's amphibious forces.

  • If the US wanted to gather an invasion force and maintain its global commitments as they

  • stand today, it would need to institute a national draft, which could potentially see

  • it add up to 145 million additional personnel to its military.

  • However, China's 1.3 billion strong population could muster up a defensive force of 753 million,

  • though with its much smaller military budget, a floundering economy due to the US's stranglehold

  • on its trade, and damage on its infrastructure caused by American air and naval attacks,

  • China would only realistically be able to train and equip a small percentage of this

  • number.

  • Likewise, the US would only be able to equip a small percentage of its own reservists,

  • leaving the numbers advantage firmly in Chinese hands.

  • The US has always had the capability to move forces around in large numbers relatively

  • fast, but in recent years it has greatly increased its expeditionary capabilities, adding a number

  • of mobile landing platforms, afloat forward staging bases, and amphibious assault ships.

  • Today, the US maintains three Marine Expeditionary Forces- it's primary force dedicated to kicking

  • down the door on hostile beaches all over the world.

  • Each Force can bring to an enemy's shore between 20,000 and 90,000 marines and sailors.

  • These would quickly be supplemented by US Army expeditionary forces, though they would

  • require longer to assemble, prepare, and transport to a hostile Chinese beach.

  • Initially, American Marines would be forced to hold the beach alone, though they would

  • not be able to land in their full numbers all at the same time.

  • Not wishing to spread themselves too thin, and with US air and naval power only capable

  • of carving out a very small slice of safety on hostile Chinese beaches, US forces may

  • at best approach the numbers of the amphibious assault in Normandy, averaging between 15,000

  • and 20,000 personnel per day.

  • This would require a full three and a half days for an entire Marine Expeditionary Force

  • to make the beach.

  • This would leave 20,000 Marines with the unenviable task of holding a narrow strip of beach against

  • a People's Liberation Army of around 975,000- not counting reservists and conscripts.

  • Even with air superiority achieved, US and allied aircraft could not hope to hold at

  • bay the vast numbers of Chinese ground troops, and it's likely that even before the first

  • Marine Expeditionary Force could completely offload onto the beach, the Marines holding

  • them would have been thrown back out into the ocean.

  • Sheer numbers alone make an invasion of the Chinese mainland completely impossible for

  • even the technologically superior US, and it would require the unloading of an entire

  • Marine Expeditionary Force in one single landing to secure a foothold against the vast numbers

  • of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

  • This is precisely why the United States has no plans of invading China, and instead plans

  • on simply destroying the Chinese navy and air force while blockading it economically

  • in the case of war.

  • Want to find out how the US Navy plans to defeat China?

  • Watch US Navy Must Do This To Defeat China In War!

  • Or check out this other video instead!

The United States, the world's premier military power.

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Can China Defend From a US Invasion?

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    Summer posted on 2020/09/15
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