The US Air Force has been simulating war games over Taiwan amid escalating tensions with China — a battle that military leaders fear would likely end in crushing defeat for the US, according to a report.
Last fall, the latest war game was based on a Chinese biological-weapon attack that swept through US bases and warships in the Indo-Pacific region more than a decade in the future, Yahoo News said.
It ended with devastating Chinese missile strikes and air and amphibious assaults on the island of Taiwan, the outlet said.
As the highly classified war game was happening, Chinese combat aircraft made real-life crossings of the median line in the Taiwan Strait 40 times — simulated attacks that Taiwan’s premier called “disturbing,” the report said.
China also released a propaganda video showing a simulated attack on Andersen Air Force Base on the US Pacific island of Guam, calling the video, “The god of war H-6K [bomber] goes on the attack!”
Then, just four days after President Biden took office in January, a large force of Chinese bombers and fighters flew past Taiwan and launched simulated missile attacks on the USS Roosevelt in the South China Sea.
The repeated antagonization and show of force comes amid rising tensions with Beijing, with a leading Chinese think tank describing relations as the worst since 1989’s Tiananmen Square massacre and advising its leaders to prepare for war, Yahoo News noted.
The Council on Foreign Relations warned that Taiwan “is becoming the most dangerous flashpoint in the world for a possible war” between the two superpowers in a report last month titled, “The United States, China, and Taiwan: A Strategy to Prevent War.”
Most alarmingly, the war games suggest the US would easily lose the war, military leaders told the outlet.
“Whenever we war-gamed a Taiwan scenario over the years, our Blue Team [the US] routinely got its ass handed to it,” David Ochmanek, a senior RAND Corporation analyst and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for force development, told Yahoo News.
“But the US military is still not keeping pace with Chinese advances. For that reason, I don’t think we’re much better off than a decade ago when we started taking this challenge more seriously,” he warned.
The “dramatic increase” in provocations follows the “belief that militarily, China is strong enough now to credibly challenge us,” Ochmanek said.
Air Force Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration and requirements, also admitted that the recent trend in war games was “not just that we were losing, but we were losing faster.”
“The definitive answer if the US military doesn’t change course is that we’re going to lose fast. In that case, an American president would likely be presented with almost a fait accompli,” Hinote insisted.
Hinote insisted that China is actively “planning” an attack starting with Taiwan, saying, “Taiwan is what they think about all the time.”
Adm. Phil Davidson, the head of US Indo-Pacific Command, told the Senate Tuesday that he believes China might try and annex Taiwan “in this decade, in fact within the next six years,” the report noted.