America’s East Asia Partners Agree That Supporting Ukraine Is Essential For Deterring China

Supporting Ukraine Is An Investment In ‘Taiwan’s Survival’ And International Security Against Chinese Aggression Across Asia, While The Conflict Also Provides A Wakeup Call For America’s Defense Posture


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “As I’ve discussed repeatedly, Vladimir Putin’s brutal escalation in Ukraine has prompted America’s European allies to take their commitments to collective defense more seriously. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Russia’s authoritarian aggression has reinforced a reality our friends in the Indo-Pacific understand all too well. From communist China’s backyard, American partners in Japan, Taiwan, and elsewhere see the clear connection between Ukraine’s fight against Putin’s Russia and the threats they face closer to home. And they haven’t been shy in calling it out. … Mr. President, take it from our friends with the most to lose from Chinese aggression: Ukraine’s fight is not a distraction – it’s fundamental to deterring China. Fundamental. … Mr. President, America’s Indo-Pacific partners are standing with the West against today’s authoritarian aggression. And our combined efforts are helping the entire free world prepare to meet tomorrow’s threats.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/14/2023)

‘Taiwan’s Parallels With Ukraine Are Evident To Many’ And Many Taiwanese ‘Have Expressed Concerns That A Weak Western Response To Russia’s Invasion Could Embolden The Chinese Leadership’

“Taiwan’s parallels with Ukraine are evident to many on this island of 23 million people. Taiwan, like Ukraine, has long lived in the shadow of a large and overbearing neighbor. Both China’s leader, Xi Jinping, and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia have appealed to nationalistic historical narratives to justify their present-day territorial claims. And Mr. Xi has in recent years intensified his warnings to Taiwan not to seek formal independence from China, similar to the ways in which Mr. Putin had threatened to punish Ukraine if it sought to strengthen security ties with the West, for instance by joining NATO. In Taiwan, the invasion has rekindled debates about the probability of a Chinese invasion, the level of Taiwan’s military preparedness and whether the United States is committed to defending the island. Taiwan is more vulnerable than Ukraine, to some extent, because it is not recognized by most countries as a sovereign nation. For days, the slogan ‘Today, Ukraine, tomorrow, Taiwan!’ has ricocheted online. On Taiwan’s news programs and talk shows, some pundits have said that Beijing could take advantage of a distracted West to step up its pressure on Taiwan. Others have expressed concerns that a weak Western response to Russia’s invasion could embolden the Chinese leadership.” (“Watching the War in Ukraine, Taiwanese Draw Lessons in Self-Reliance,” The New York Times, 3/01/2022)

“Since Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Taiwan has kept a close eye on the war and how Kyiv has fared. For the democratically governed island, which has been under the threat of an invasion by China for decades, the fate of Ukraine is closely linked with its own. China views the war in Ukraine as a ‘test case’ for its own designs on Taiwan, according to Taiwanese Deputy Foreign Minister Roy Chun Lee.” (“China Sees Invasion Of Ukraine As ‘Test Case’ For Its Own Designs, Taiwan Warns,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 5/30/2023)

‘The Japanese Government … Fear[s] That A Russian Victory In Ukraine Could Embolden China In Their Region’

“While Xi Jinping was being received with great pomp and ceremony in Moscow last week, Fumio Kishida was 500 miles away in Kyiv. The fact that the president of China and the prime minister of Japan paid simultaneous and competing visits to the capitals of Russia and Ukraine underlines the global significance of the Ukraine war. Japan and China are fierce rivals in east Asia. Both countries understand that their struggle will be profoundly affected by the outcome of the conflict in Europe.” (Gideon Rachman, “China, Japan And The Ukraine War,” Financial Times, 3/27/2023)


Taiwanese Diplomats: ‘Ukraine’s Survival Is Taiwan’s Survival,’ ‘Defending Ukraine Against Russia Has [Direct] Implications For Taiwan,’ ‘It’s The Best Way To Deter China’

‘Our Best Hope Is That Beijing Also Takes The Lesson That Aggression Will Not Succeed, That There Will Be Tremendous International Pushback,’ ‘Pushing Back On Aggression Is The Key Message That Will Help To Deter Any Consideration Or Miscalculation That An Invasion Can Be Conducted Unpunished’

“Bi-khim Hsiao, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the United States, said Tuesday that Ukraine’s success in defending itself against Russia’s invasion, with the help of the United States and other nations, is important for deterring China from trying to invade Taiwan, a democratic island that the Chinese government considers part of its territory. ‘I think pushing back on aggression is the key message that will help to deter any consideration or miscalculation that an invasion can be conducted unpunished, without costs, in a rapid way,’ Ms. Hsiao told reporters over a breakfast organized by The Christian Science Monitor. ‘We must ensure that anyone contemplating the possibility of an invasion understands that, and that is why Ukraine’s success in defending against aggression is so important also for Taiwan.’ … ‘Our best hope is that Beijing also takes the lesson that aggression will not succeed, that there will be tremendous international pushback against aggression,’ she said.” (“Taiwan Ambassador Says Ukraine’s Success Against Russia Will Help Deter China,” The New York Times, 5/30/2023)

  • BI-KHIM HSIAO: “Ukraine’s survival is Taiwan’s survival. Ukraine’s success is Taiwan’s success… Our futures are closely linked… Support for Ukraine is relevant to us because, first of all, ultimately it helps to deter. It imposes costs on the aggressor… International support for Ukraine is also essential in affirming the credibility and reliability of the United States and your allies.” (Josh Rogin, “Taiwan Is Urging The U.S. Not To Abandon Ukraine,” The Washington Post, 5/10/2023)
  • TAIWAN FOREIGN MINISTER JOSEPH WU:When there’s a war, we need friends and allies to support Taiwan, as in the case of Ukraine…. I think the Chinese government must be thinking or calculating how the United States or other major countries are going to come to Taiwan’s help or whether they’re going to come to Taiwan’s help. If Taiwan does not have any support, I think that’s going to be a green light to aggression…. The second thing, if they think Taiwan is weak and easy to take over, I think it’s an open invitation for Beijing’s aggression. But I think we have seen from Ukraine, the case of Ukraine, is even though they seem to be weaker than Russia ... that they are able to defend themselves and, therefore, Beijing must think twice whether they are able to take Taiwan over.” (“Taiwan Learning Lessons From Ukraine’s Stout Resistance, Foreign Minister Says,” Politico, 5/01/2022)

TAIWAN FOREIGN MINISTER JOSEPH WU: “We did not stop Russia from taking over Crimea, and the Russians were emboldened to go ahead and initiate a war against Ukraine, and the same kind of analogy can be drawn on the Indo-Pacific. We did not stop China from imposing national security law in Hong Kong and people were asking, ‘what is going to be the next - is Taiwan going to be the next?’” (“‘Don't Make The Same Mistake With Taiwan That You Made With Ukraine,’ Island's Foreign Minister Warns,” LBC, 4/20/2023)

‘Beijing Is Assessing The War Over A ‘Longer Time Span’ And Is Closely Watching If Divisions Emerge Among Western Nations Over Continued Military Support To Ukraine,’ ‘Defending Ukraine … Shows The Potential Support That We Will Receive From Our Democratic Allies In The Case Of A Chinese Military Invasion’

TAIWAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER ROY CHUN LEE: “Until a final victory arrives, defending Ukraine against Russia has [direct] implications for Taiwan. In particular, it shows the potential support that we will receive from our democratic allies in the case of a Chinese military invasion.” (“China Sees Invasion Of Ukraine As ‘Test Case’ For Its Own Designs, Taiwan Warns,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 5/30/2023)

  • “Lee said Chinese leader Xi Jinping has been monitoring both Russia’s performance on the battlefield and the level of Western support for Ukraine as the war nears its 16th month of fighting. [A] senior Taiwanese diplomat added that Ukraine, backed by the West, has defended most of its territory from Russia, a move that he argued has had a deterring effect on China. But he added that Beijing is assessing the war over a ‘longer time span’ and is closely watching if divisions emerge among Western nations over continued military support to Ukraine and enforcing tough sanctions against Moscow.” (“China Sees Invasion Of Ukraine As ‘Test Case’ For Its Own Designs, Taiwan Warns,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 5/30/2023)

‘We’re Asking Everybody To Support Ukraine. It’s The Best Way To Deter China’

Lee rejected the idea that aid for Ukraine undermines Taipei’s defenses, saying the best form of support for the island nation of some 24 million was to avoid ‘making the same mistakes’ with China that were made with Russia in the years before its full-scale invasion in February 2022, which the Taiwanese diplomat said amounted to ‘appeasement.’ ‘That’s why we’re asking everybody to support Ukraine. It’s the best way to deter China,’ Lee said. ‘It’s too late already for us to stop Russia, but I think we still have time to build up our solidarity to deter China from making the worst-case scenario into reality.’” (“China Sees Invasion Of Ukraine As ‘Test Case’ For Its Own Designs, Taiwan Warns,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 5/30/2023)


Japanese Leaders: ‘Ukraine Might Be East Asia Tomorrow,’ ‘China Has Been Carefully Observing The Current Situation Of Russia’s Aggression Against Ukraine’

“Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has used a visit to London to stress the importance of a resolute international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in deterring potential future Chinese action against Taiwan. Kishida issued the warning following a meeting with UK prime minister Boris Johnson, who on Thursday also insisted there was a ‘direct read across’ from recent events in Europe to East Asia…. ‘Ukraine might be East Asia tomorrow,’ Kishida told a press conference at the end of his first trip to Europe since he took over as head of Japan’s government in September. ‘We must show there are consequences to the attack, to violence by Russia,’ said the prime minister. A ‘resolute stance’ on Ukraine would help ensure peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, which was ‘fundamental to the stability of international society’, he said. ‘We must collaborate and never tolerate any unilateral attempt to change borders by force in East Asia,’ Kishida said.” (“‘Resolute’ Ukraine Response Vital To Deter China On Taiwan, Japan PM Says,” Financial Times, 5/05/2022)

  • “Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warned on Thursday that the invasion of Ukraine could be replicated in East Asia if leading powers do not respond as one, saying peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait must be maintained. Kishida, speaking in London via a translator after a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said now was the time for the Group of Seven leading nations to solidify its unity. ‘Collaboration among countries sharing universal values becomes ever more vital,’ he said. ‘We must collaborate with our allies and like minded countries, and never tolerate a unilateral attempt to change the status quo by the use of force in the Indo Pacific, especially in East Asia.’ ‘Ukraine may be East Asia tomorrow.’” (“Ukraine Plight Could Be Replicated In East Asia, Japan’s Kishida Warns,” Reuters, 5/06/2022)

“A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. ‘China has been carefully observing the current situation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and they are paying particularly close attention to what kind of reactions the international community has been taking,’ Kishi told The Post during an interview in Washington on Thursday. The top Japanese defense official, speaking through an interpreter, said the global response will weigh heavily on Beijing and its ‘actions in the Asian region going forward.’ ‘If the international community somehow allows or condones Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, it might send a wrong message that such actions can be tolerated in other parts of the world, including the Indo-Pacific,’ Kishi said. ‘From that perspective, such actions of Russia cannot be tolerated.’” (“Confronting Russia Will Deter China, Says Japanese Defense Minister,” The Washington Post, 5/06/2022)

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Made A Trip To Kyiv, Which ‘Underscored Kishida’s Linking Of Security Concerns In Europe And East Asia With An Eye Toward China’s Growing Assertiveness In The Region’

“Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met Tuesday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, becoming the first postwar Japanese leader to visit an active war zone and the final member of the Group of Seven advanced nations to make the trek to Ukraine’s capital to show support. Kishida’s arrival came as Chinese leader Xi Jinping holds meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin…. The remarkable split screen of the two Asian leaders holding summits on opposite sides of the Russia-Ukraine conflict underscored Kishida’s linking of security concerns in Europe and East Asia with an eye toward China’s growing assertiveness in the region, and his efforts to demonstrate his country as a leading Asian nation in siding with the West against Russia.” (“Visit By Japan’s Kishida To Kyiv Gives Sharp Contrast To Xi In Russia,” The Washington Post, 3/21/2023)

Officials In Japan Have Been Clear About Their Concerns That China ‘Could Seek To Take A Page From Russia’s Playbook’ And ‘Many Have Said A Taiwan Emergency Would Also Be An Emergency For Japan’

“Kishida has linked his strong support for Ukraine to concerns closer to home, with the prime minister repeatedly hinting that others in Asia — widely considered a veiled reference to China — could seek to take a page from Russia’s playbook.” (“Kishida Meets Zelenskyy For Talks In Surprise Visit To Ukraine,” The Japan Times, 3/22/2023)


South Korea’s President Also Understands That ‘International Support And Assistance For Ukraine Are Not Only For The Benefit Of Ukraine And Its People’ But Have Implications For Security In Asia As Well

SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT YOON SUK YEOL: “The war against Ukraine is a violation of international law. It is an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo with force. Korea strongly condemns the unprovoked armed attack against Ukraine. When North Korea invaded us in 1950, democracies came running to help us. We fought together and kept our freedom. The rest is history. Korea’s experience shows us just how important it is for democracies to uphold solidarity. Korea will stand in solidarity with the free world. We will actively work to safeguard the freedom of the people of Ukraine and support their efforts in reconstruction.” (President Yoon Suk Yeol, Address To A Joint Session Of Congress, 4/28/2023)

“South Korea’s president told Congress … his country — a onetime beneficiary of U.S. military intervention and significant foreign aid — now stood ready to stand in solidarity with Ukraine and other vulnerable democracies and help them in their hour of need…. [T]he president drew unmistakable allusions to the example and rewards accrued from U.S. aid to South Korea decades ago. So were comparisons to Taiwan, which is facing mounting military threats from its much larger neighbor China.” (“South Korea’s Yoon Reminds Lawmakers Of Benefits Of US Intervention,” Roll Call, 4/27/2023)

  • “South Korea and the European Union agreed … to step up cooperation on security amid tension over Russia's invasion of Ukraine and North Korean nuclear threats. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol held a summit in Seoul with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel … Yoon has been pushing for greater security ties with Europe and other U.S. allies to address global challenges, including the conflict in Ukraine and tension over China's stance towards self-ruled Taiwan.” (“South Korea, EU Agree To Boost Security Ties Amid Ukraine, North Korea Tension,” Reuters, 5/22/2023)


Foreign Policy Experts: ‘Beijing Is Taking Note Of The Speed And Strength Of The International Response [To Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine],’ ‘In Some Ways, The Best Way To Deter War And Defeat An Enemy Is To Have Them Conclude That It’s More Difficult Than They Assess’

RYAN HASS, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow: “Beijing is taking note of the speed and strength of the international response [to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.] It is becoming more difficult for anyone inside China to argue that Beijing could subdue Taiwan quickly and without high costs.” (“Taiwan’s Leaders Try To Calm Fears Over Ukraine Invasion, But Citizens Worry Their Island Will Be Next,” The Washington Post, 3/04/2022)

ANDREW NIEN-DZU YANG, former Taiwan defense minister and adjunct assistant professor at National Sun Yat-sen University: “The lessons from the Russia-Ukraine conflict are that Russia was repeatedly emphasizing [pre-invasion] that they needed some kind of protection for Russian strategic interests…. [Beijing] will continue to emphasize … that moving away from China and declaring our independence or conducting a referendum will force China to take action.” (“The GOP Push To Ukraine-Proof Taiwan,” Politico China Watcher, 3/03/2022)

JOHN CULVER, former CIA analyst and former CSIS National Intelligence Officer for East Asia: “If Putin and the Russian General Staff had understood what they were going to face in Ukraine instead of assuming that it would be comparatively easy – like perhaps they think 2014 was – would they have taken this course? In some ways, the best way to deter war and defeat an enemy is to have them conclude that it’s more difficult than they assess; that if China is ever contemplating a war of choice against Taiwan … It affects their assessment of the risk of such an operation and then the course of a war. You know, would it be relatively quick and they could pacify Taiwan, or would they face a multi-decade insurgency? You know, and I said earlier the Chinese are close students of U.S. military operations, and one of those that I think made the Chinese, you know, already have some thoughts on this was the insurgency that we faced in Iraq after successfully overthrowing Saddam; that, you know, for the first time the lights kind of went on in PLA headquarters that it wasn’t just enough to defeat the Taiwan military and secure the beaches, you then had to rule a population of 24 million people. And anything that makes that a more complex or risky undertaking can at least buy Taiwan time. It makes the PLA reassess not only phase one or, you know, initial kinetic operations, but then war termination and then postwar. And all of these, you know, I think, you know, again, push back the idea that as the PLA continues to modernize, as its capabilities relative to Taiwan look even more formidable, whether Xi Jinping or a future Chinese leader contemplates a war of choice like Putin just opted for with Ukraine. I think that also covers the kind of, you know, long drawn-out and whether it would be too risky.” (“Ukraine and Taiwan: Parallels and Early Lessons Learned,” Center for Strategic & International Studies, 3/22/2022)

HAL BRANDS, School of Advanced International Studies Professor: “America’s frontline allies in [Asia] understand that what happens in Ukraine won’t stay there — it will either strengthen or weaken a larger global order on which they depend.” (Hal Brands, “Ukraine’s Survival Is Vital to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan,” Bloomberg Opinion, 6/01/2023)

  • “[A] Russian triumph in Ukraine would have global implications. It would signal that the autocratic entente led by Beijing and Moscow is rising while a Western coalition led by Washington is faltering. It would create a climate of insecurity in Europe, consuming US attention and resources for many years, perhaps decades, to come. Neither of these developments would improve the prospects for peace and stability in Asia, and the region’s leaders know it.” (Hal Brands, “Ukraine’s Survival Is Vital to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan,” Bloomberg Opinion, 6/01/2023)
  • “[D]eterrence also hinges on how an attacker gauges the intentions of its rivals, and whether it thinks the international community has the will to punish the most grievous forms of aggression. Countries have few better ways of making these judgments than by extrapolating from recent experience. So Japan, Taiwan and South Korea are paying close attention to who outlasts whom in Ukraine, because they understand that China and North Korea are watching, too.” (Hal Brands, “Ukraine’s Survival Is Vital to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan,” Bloomberg Opinion, 6/01/2023)
  • “The war in Ukraine is a register of the resilience of the world in which East Asian democracies have thrived. So-called realists in the West may scoff at the very idea of international order. Yet officials in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan understand how much their nations depend on a world where territorial conquest is discouraged, brute force isn’t the only thing that counts, and vulnerable democracies aren’t abandoned to the tyrants next door. They understand that a world in which those rules are weakened is a world in which their own security — perhaps their own survival — will be at greater risk.” (Hal Brands, “Ukraine’s Survival Is Vital to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan,” Bloomberg Opinion, 6/01/2023)


Russia’s War On Ukraine Has Exposed Weaknesses In America’s Defense Production Capacity Compared With China’s: ‘Ukraine Is Our Wakeup Call. This Is Our Watershed Moment’

‘The Failure To Deter Vladimir Putin From Invading Ukraine … Should Be Sounding Alarms For The U.S. Military Posture Vis-A-Vis Taiwan’

In other words, the failure to deter Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine and the stress this has put on the U.S. defense industrial base should be sounding alarms for the U.S. military posture vis-a-vis Taiwan, many defense experts say. Yet critics on both sides of the aisle say the Biden administration has been slow to respond to what is minimally required to prevent an Indo-Pacific catastrophe, which is the need to rapidly build up a better deterrent — especially new stockpiles of munitions that would convince China it could be too costly to attack Taiwan.” (“The Pentagon Is Freaking Out About A Potential War With China,” Politico, 6/09/2023)

“Some U.S. intelligence and defense officials fear that Beijing understands the deficiency in American readiness all too well and could try to exploit it by attacking or blockading Taiwan in the next few years. Earlier this year, CIA Director Bill Burns said the United States believes that Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered his military to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027. This was so, Burns said, despite the likelihood that Xi was “surprised and unsettled” by the “very poor performance” of the Russian military in Ukraine.” (“The Pentagon Is Freaking Out About A Potential War With China,” Politico, 6/09/2023)

‘Ukraine Is Our Wakeup Call’: America Needs To Refurbish And Expand Our Defense Industrial Base And ‘Take Steps Now In The Indo-Pacific To Ensure The Conflict Doesn’t Happen’

“‘The thing we see across all the wargames is that there are major losses on all sides. And the impact of that on our society is quite devastating,’ said Becca Wasser, who played the role of the Chinese leadership in the [House] Select Committee [on competition with China]’s wargame and is head of the gaming lab at the Center for a New American Security. ‘The most common thread in these exercises is that the United States needs to take steps now in the Indo-Pacific to ensure the conflict doesn’t happen in the future. We are hugely behind the curve. Ukraine is our wakeup call. This is our watershed moment.’” (“The Pentagon Is Freaking Out About A Potential War With China,” Politico, 6/09/2023)

“Today the Pentagon suddenly finds itself scrambling to re-weaponize across the board — from submarines to aircraft to surface-to-air missiles — as Washington awakens to the reality of twin strategic threats from China and Russia.” (“The Pentagon Is Freaking Out About A Potential War With China,” Politico, 6/09/2023)

  • “Beyond that, skilled labor is sorely lacking, and the learning curve is steep. The U.S. has slashed defense workers to a third of what they were in 1985 — a number that has remained flat — and seen some 17,000 companies leave the industry, said David Norquist, president of the National Defense Industrial Association. And commercial companies are leery of the Pentagon’s tangle of rules and restrictions.” (“The Pentagon Is Freaking Out About A Potential War With China,” Politico, 6/09/2023)

“One of the reasons, again, is that China and other countries — not all of them friendly — make and supply a lot of that stuff now. Over decades of what many say was delusional thinking by both political parties about turning China into a friendly ‘stakeholder’ in a peaceful international system, Washington heedlessly ceded shipbuilding, aircraft parts and circuit boards over to China and other cheap overseas labor forces. America’s new F-35 fighter jets, for example, contain a magnet component made with an alloy almost exclusively manufactured in China. China also totally dominates machine tools and rare earth metals, essentials for manufacturing missiles and munitions, as well as lithium used in batteries, cobalt and the aluminum and titanium used in semiconductors. While Beijing has made new advances in explosives, most American military explosives are made at a single aging Army plant in Tennessee, Forbes reported in March.” (“The Pentagon Is Freaking Out About A Potential War With China,” Politico, 6/09/2023)

  • “‘While they were industrializing, we were deindustrializing,’ says [former John McCain aide Christian] Brose. Today China commands some 45 percent to 50 percent of total shipbuilding globally, while the United States has less than one percent. ‘Given those numbers, explain to me how the United States is going to win a traditional shipbuilding race with China?’ ‘The bottom line is this whole problem was decades in the making,’ added Brose. ‘It’s not something that just kind of crept up on us and surprised us over the last couple of years.’” (“The Pentagon Is Freaking Out About A Potential War With China,” Politico, 6/09/2023)

Wargame Scenarios Of A Hypothetical Conflict Between The U.S. And China Repeatedly Estimate American Munitions Stockpiles Would Be Depleted Within Days

“The war began in the early morning hours with a massive bombardment — China’s version of ‘shock and awe.’ Chinese planes and rockets swiftly destroyed most of Taiwan’s navy and air force as the People’s Liberation army and navy mounted a massive amphibious assault across the 100-mile Taiwan Strait. Having taken seriously President Joe Biden’s pledge to defend the island, Beijing also struck pre-emptively at U.S. and allied air bases and ships in the Indo-Pacific. The U.S. managed to even the odds for a time by deploying more sophisticated submarines as well as B-21 and B-2 stealth bombers to get inside China’s air defense zones, but Washington ran out of key munitions in a matter of days and saw its network access severed. The United States and its main ally, Japan, lost thousands of servicemembers, dozens of ships, and hundreds of aircraft. Taiwan’s economy was devastated. And as a protracted siege ensued, the U.S. was much slower to rebuild, taking years to replace ships as it reckoned with how shriveled its industrial base had become compared to China’s. The Chinese ‘just ran rings around us,’ said former Joint Chiefs Vice Chair Gen. John Hyten in one after-action report. ‘They knew exactly what we were going to do before we did it.’” (“The Pentagon Is Freaking Out About A Potential War With China,” Politico, 6/09/2023)

  • Dozens of versions of the above war-game scenario have been enacted over the last few years, most recently in April by the House Select Committee on competition with China. And while the ultimate outcome in these exercises is not always clear — the U.S. does better in some than others — the cost is. In every exercise the U.S. uses up all its long-range air-to-surface missiles in a few days, with a substantial portion of its planes destroyed on the ground. In every exercise the U.S. is not engaged in an abstract push-button war from 30,000 feet up like the ones Americans have come to expect since the end of the Cold War, but a horrifically bloody one.” (“The Pentagon Is Freaking Out About A Potential War With China,” Politico, 6/09/2023)



Related Issues: National Security, Russia, China, America's Military, Ukraine