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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!
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中國能否抵禦美國入侵? (Can China Defend From a US Invasion?)

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Summer 發佈於 2020 年 9 月 16 日
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