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World View: Readers Comment: Who Would Win a War Between the U.S. and China?

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • China sends fighter jets to South China Sea
  • Readers debate a war between the US and China
  • Who would win a war between the US and China?

China sends fighter jets to South China Sea

Chinese Shenyang J-11 jet being deployed to Woody Island
Chinese Shenyang J-11 jet being deployed to Woody Island

China continues to speed up its rapid military buildup in the South China Sea. In recent days, satellite imagery has shown that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is deploying advanced surface-to-air missile systems to Woody Island in the Paracels chain, and also that China appears to be building an advanced high-frequency over-the-horizon radar system.

Now, US administration officials are confirming that satellite images taken on February show that China is deploying Shenyang J-11s (“Flanker”) and Xian JH-7s (“Flounder”) fighter jets on Woody Island.

As usual, China is claiming that the advanced military buildup of missiles, radar, and warplanes is purely “defensive.” According to China’s state media:

Non-militarization of the islands in the South China Sea has been a common wish expressed by all parties in this region — including China. Top Chinese officials did say the recent reclamation of islands and reefs is mainly aimed at providing better services at sea. However, a commitment to non-militarization doesn’t mean zero military facilities. The US seems to be interpreting China’s commitments in ways that suit itself.

I’m not even sure what this means, other than it is doubletalk to say that a military buildup is not a military buildup.

Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” In 1860, America’s southern states started the Civil War, even though they had no chance against the North, which was three times the size. In 1941, Japan started the Pacific war, even though they had no chance against the US, which was five times the size.

Many Chinese believe that the US is too weak or too tied down in the Mideast to fight back. This is insanity, and a disastrous historical mistake. China is following the path of Adolf Hitler, militarizing, annexing other countries’ regions, promising “Peace in our time” in one way or another. The Chinese are headed in the same direction as Hitler. Fox News and Shanghaiist

Readers debate a war between the US and China

My recent article, “23-Feb-16 World View — China’s military buildup neutralizes America’s aircraft carriers”, generated spirited debate in comments by web site readers over just how vulnerable American aircraft carriers are to China’s military.

With regard to China’s advanced high-frequency over-the-horizon radar system, “anthonyvop” wrote, “The idea of a ‘radar system’ giving China control is laughable. I have radar on my boat. Does that mean I have control over Biscayne Bay?” I don’t know whether he was joking.

“Nemeshisu” gave a detailed analytical summary of China’s military preparations for war with the United States:

“The Chinese have been preparing for the last 30 years or so to get all ‘Tsun Tzu’ on ourass by making our strengths into weaknesses. The Chinese have:

– An entire army group of hackers, PLA Unit 61398, ready to wage cyber warfare which has routinely hacked into our networks (and crashed them) for decades.

– The demonstrated capability to deliver anti-satellite weapons on target which means they can blind us, cut our communications and collapse our economy.

– They, along with Iran and Russia, have super-cavitating torpedoes. We don’t have this tech, nor a defense against it. While our torpedoes travel at about 50 knots, these torpedoes travel at 250 MPH. They don’t touch the water as they travel in a cocoon of bubbles and are capable of ripping a carrier in half from the kinetic energy of the impact alone, even if the warhead fails to detonate. You cannot maneuver or deploy countermeasures against these torpedoes.

– They have an anti-ship ballistic weapon, the DF-21. We also don’t have this tech nor a defense against it. These ballistic weapons are specifically designed to attack our carriers at stand-off ranges of 1500-2000 miles. Our carriers will not be able to operate in the western Pacific, much less get into range to launch airstrikes when warheads rain down on the battle group with pin point accuracy and at thousands of miles an hour.

– When we deregulated export restrictions on 5 axis milling equipment (thanks conservatives in Congress), the Chinese got the tech to mill silent submarine propellers. Prior to this, their screws were noisy and easily detectable. The first lathes to leave our shores went to China and within a couple of years, they replaced the screws on their entire submarine fleet. If you want to know what they can now do, google “The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced”

– Over the last 35 years, the Chinese acquired from Israel all kinds of advanced weapons technology, from advanced missile systems to tank armor technology and advanced avionics for their shiny new air force. Israel sold this tech that we shared with them on the condition that they not sell it to others, much less to our potential adversary. Such awesome allies them Israelis. I wonder if the conservatives asked Bibi about this last time he was here.”

“FederalFarmer” pointed out how vulnerable American aircraft carriers are:

“One mistake that is commonly made is preparing to fight the last war again. The situation we face with China is very different from that we faced with Japan. We need to start now to prepare to fight them.

We can beat China, but we need to stop underestimating them and start preparing to fight them. That means lowering our level of involvement in the Middle East. We need to get out of the INF treaty. We need to build more frigates and destroyers which have both AA and ASW capability. In the initial phases of fighting, we will probably be pushed back to Guam. We need to be able to both defend Guam from missile attack and transport weapons across the Pacific while we play to our strengths and blockade China from a distance.

[An aircraft carrier can be simultaneously attacked] by hundreds of guided missiles fired on several axis of attack including ballistic warheads. A carrier’s defenses can be overwhelmed by volume.

In China, we are probably going to be fighting the most dangerous and strongest adversary since Nazi Germany.”

“MarchHare” responded that American aircraft carriers may be better off than many people think:

True enough, if you have “hundreds of guided missiles” using hundreds of launchers to fire at every ship from every compass-point at the same time, but that’s unlikely, even for China… US Navy Carriers are easily the best-protected, hardest to hit target an enemy will ever face…. Just because China or anyone lobs a missile at it, doesn’t mean we won’t have a say in whether it hits or not. But I’m not saying the carrier is invulnerable either…

Warships are complicated things… Some have survived insane amounts of damage, while others were lost to relatively mi nor hits by one or two lucky shots… No ship is unsinkable, I won’t dispute that… But saying a ship-class is obsolete because it can be sunk is just as stupid a conclusion as saying a ship can’t be sunk… War is risk and loss… That’s why we have more than just one aircraft carrier in commission… This is (as I pointed out in my original post) a very old story, and some nations have already discovered that listening to know-nothings costs lives…

The British once had a huge carrier force and decided to go-small with “through-deck-cruisers” ski-jumps and Harrier jump-jets… The result was the Falklands which was a close call for Britain… They probably would have lost if a Liberal government was in power or if they had managed to scrap HMS Hermes before Thatcher saved it and rushed it back into commission, but what they had (Two light carriers) was still barely adequate to the job… It was even worse for Argentina, BTW, because they only had one carrier and no combat aircraft ready to deploy from it… Even being relatively close to the Falklands gave them no advantages, and this was 1980, not 1940… Since that time, Britain is now building a new generation of carriers because they realized that, if you don’t have a carrier, you don’t go to war… period… Right now, there is no substitute for carrier air-power, and a radar set does not change that… If carriers weren’t the answer, China wouldn’t be building their own fleet of carriers… Remember that…”

Popular Science

Who would win a war between the US and China?

If we want to understand what a war between the US and China would look like, then we have to look at history.

Here’s something that I’ve heard many people say: “If Hitler had won World War II, then everyone in France would be speaking German today.” The assumption is that Germany would take control of France and force everyone to speak German. But that doesn’t make sense. Germany didn’t win the war, but Russia did win the war in eastern Europe, and took control of much of eastern Europe. By the same logic, the people of Poland should be speaking Russian, but they aren’t.

Things like cultures, languages and national boundaries are remarkably resilient. That’s not to say that they never change, but they almost never change.

Hitler had promised a 1,000 year empire. But he overlooked the generational paradigm. If he had won the war and taken control of France and other countries, then he would have had a mess on his hands during the 1960s generational Awakening era, with massive student riots across the continent. By the generational Unraveling era of the 1990s, his empire would have fallen apart, just as the Soviet empire fell apart. My guess is that if Hitler had won the war, the world today would look pretty much the same as it does now.

So when China launches war against the United States, it will launch hundreds of missiles at American cities and bases. There will be millions of refugees fleeing their homes, and many will die of starvation. “Survivalists” who stock up on food, medicines and water will do the best, at least for a while. Many others will be killed by marauding gangs of thieves and murderers.

But the US will survive and fight back. Of course, American missiles will inflict similar damage on Chinese cities. After several weeks, all the intercontinental missiles will have been expended, and by that time the ground war will have begun. But for China, it won’t be a ground war with the US. It will be a war with several of its neighbors.

There are very few countries in the world with recent experience fighting an external war. These include the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and perhaps a couple of others. China has no experience fighting an external war. Even worse, China will almost certainly be fighting an internal civil war at the same time, just as it did during World War II.

So, not only will the war not end overnight, as some people seem to think; it will actually go on for several years, probably around five years. I’ve estimated that the war will kill around 3-4 billion people worldwide. That will include deaths from nuclear weapons, missiles, disease, famine, and ground war.

After the war ends, there will be about 3-4 billion people still alive to rebuild the world. At the end of every major “world war” in history, there’s always been a big international conference with officials from all the nations of the world, who will adopt measures to make sure that no such war ever occurs again. And it doesn’t happen again, until it does.

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, People’s Liberation Army, PLA, Paracel Islands, Woody Island, Shenyang J-11, Xian JH-7, Friedrich Nietzsche, Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany, Russia, Poland
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