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18 hours ago, Josh said:

The US and its allies had rather more success in Iraq, though that and Afghanistan were pointless wastes of blood and money. But in terms of simply taking apart a modern military, I'd argue the US and its allies are fairly competent. How long did the Iraqi army hold out? And in the case of China, no one would have any intention of fighting Chinese troops anywhere outside Taiwan and the local islands. I don't think the failed nation building exercise in Afghanistan is particularly relevant, outside the resources it wasted that could have been better spent containing China.

So if alliance tactics failed in Afghanistan against an isolated hill tribe for the simple reason that the Taliban wasn't going anywhere, then why would you expect them to succeed across the breadth of Europe, Asia and Africa against a China that is a thousand times stronger than the Taliban and also not going anywhere?

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12 hours ago, Nobu said:

The war that they (somehow) win may be a limited one, but I don't think the economic lawfare that will be fought afterward will be. You'd have the first world and most of the second on one side, and Beijing on the other. 

Ok, so that's the first problem with your conclusions.  Most of Europe will not go down this garden path, the British all 99% talk, 1% action, Canada has no capacity to do much of anything, and Australia and Japan have long been in the US corner against China.  The other big European player - Russia - will support China.   The second and third world, I would hazard the guess that none of them will want to pick sides and all will try to steer a neutral course of varying degrees.

 

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At the very least, a defeated and enraged Washington would divest from China, freeze Chinese assets, and pressure its partners around the world to do the same. The Chinese economy crashes.

All of those things would have happened before the war you postulate that the US must somehow win the peace, and the Chinese economy might shrink and suffer, but it sure as hell is not going to collapse.  So, why wouldn't the US just do what you suggest economically without the bother of fighting a war?  

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Ironically, if China loses, Washington probably divests itself from China anyway, and similarly pressures its partners around the world to do the same. 

US has dropped heavy pressure on Turkey and India to reject their S-400 deals with Russia, which economically is far less a global player than China.  Has this pressure caused either Turkey or India to drop their S-400 deals with Russia?  It has not.  Then why would you assume US pressure on Europe and India to slit their own throats economically will succeed?   The stakes for Europe in China are far higher than in India for S-400.  

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Beijing making loud noises about an invasion makes sense to me in various ways. Given the way they entered the Korean War, it'd probably be more worrying if they weren't saying anything at all.

Do try to understand at least one thing from the CCP's perspective.  If they were to get their way, if their plans come off like they would have them, and China really some day does invade Taiwan, then it will be in a situation where the Chinese military advantage over the US at that moment will be so preponderant that no country in the world will lift a finger.

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33 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

So if alliance tactics failed in Afghanistan against an isolated hill tribe for the simple reason that the Taliban wasn't going anywhere, then why would you expect them to succeed across the breadth of Europe, Asia and Africa against a China that is a thousand times stronger than the Taliban and also not going anywhere?

Afghanistan was nation building with going Roman off the table. Scenerios like defending Taiwan is purely a military operation. 

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33 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

Ok, so that's the first problem with your conclusions.  Most of Europe will not go down this garden path, the British all 99% talk, 1% action, Canada has no capacity to do much of anything, and Australia and Japan have long been in the US corner against China.  The other big European player - Russia - will support China.   The second and third world, I would hazard the guess that none of them will want to pick sides and all will try to steer a neutral course of varying degrees.

 

All of those things would have happened before the war you postulate that the US must somehow win the peace, and the Chinese economy might shrink and suffer, but it sure as hell is not going to collapse.  So, why wouldn't the US just do what you suggest economically without the bother of fighting a war?  

US has dropped heavy pressure on Turkey and India to reject their S-400 deals with Russia, which economically is far less a global player than China.  Has this pressure caused either Turkey or India to drop their S-400 deals with Russia?  It has not.  Then why would you assume US pressure on Europe and India to slit their own throats economically will succeed?   The stakes for Europe in China are far higher than in India for S-400.  

Do try to understand at least one thing from the CCP's perspective.  If they were to get their way, if their plans come off like they would have them, and China really some day does invade Taiwan, then it will be in a situation where the Chinese military advantage over the US at that moment will be so preponderant that no country in the world will lift a finger.

You are assuming Xi is smart and read his Sun Tsu. Suppose he is dumb as rocks, arrogant as Trump, and an inflated sense of his country's capablities? His own Generals clearly think that. Why not ascribe to them the potential for the same kind of dumbassery that got us into Afghanistan?

 

 

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1 hour ago, glenn239 said:

So if alliance tactics failed in Afghanistan against an isolated hill tribe for the simple reason that the Taliban wasn't going anywhere, then why would you expect them to succeed across the breadth of Europe, Asia and Africa against a China that is a thousand times stronger than the Taliban and also not going anywhere?

China is invading Europe?

Let's narrow the scope of this conversation to the context of the original discussion, an invasion of Taiwan. You seem to keep moving the goal posts. Yes, the US has allies that will help it in the event of a Chinese invasion - all but certainly Japan and Australia, and quite likely South Korea and the UK as well. Japan (and the ROK if it is involved) has a very large navy with top flight equipment and training, as well as a substantial air force. It also has numerous bases in the region. So it will be extremely useful, probably indispensable to the US in a conflict with China.

If you want to discuss the global containment of China politically and economically and somehow compare that to the fighting in Afghanistan in some convoluted way, I suggest a new thread.

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32 minutes ago, futon said:

Afghanistan was nation building with going Roman off the table. Scenerios like defending Taiwan is purely a military operation. 

Yes, Japan also thought that the Pearl Harbor attack was a purely military operation.  Well, right up until the USAAF and USN chopped Japan to pieces in 1945.

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5 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

You are assuming Xi is smart and read his Sun Tsu. Suppose he is dumb as rocks, arrogant as Trump, and an inflated sense of his country's capablities? His own Generals clearly think that. Why not ascribe to them the potential for the same kind of dumbassery that got us into Afghanistan?

 

 

Sulpicius probably thought that Sulla was a Sulpicius too.  

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3 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

Yes, Japan also thought that the Pearl Harbor attack was a purely military operation.  Well, right up until the USAAF and USN chopped Japan to pieces in 1945.

And you thought you could spam PH all over the place without stirring up a fishy smell.

 

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42 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

Ok, so that's the first problem with your conclusions.  Most of Europe will not go down this garden path, the British all 99% talk, 1% action, Canada has no capacity to do much of anything, and Australia and Japan have long been in the US corner against China.  The other big European player - Russia - will support China.   The second and third world, I would hazard the guess that none of them will want to pick sides and all will try to steer a neutral course of varying degrees.

 

All of those things would have happened before the war you postulate that the US must somehow win the peace, and the Chinese economy might shrink and suffer, but it sure as hell is not going to collapse.  So, why wouldn't the US just do what you suggest economically without the bother of fighting a war?  

US has dropped heavy pressure on Turkey and India to reject their S-400 deals with Russia, which economically is far less a global player than China.  Has this pressure caused either Turkey or India to drop their S-400 deals with Russia?  It has not.  Then why would you assume US pressure on Europe and India to slit their own throats economically will succeed?   The stakes for Europe in China are far higher than in India for S-400.  

Do try to understand at least one thing from the CCP's perspective.  If they were to get their way, if their plans come off like they would have them, and China really some day does invade Taiwan, then it will be in a situation where the Chinese military advantage over the US at that moment will be so preponderant that no country in the world will lift a finger.

The US by itself could probably severely damage the Chinese economy. Your example of Turkey and India involve fairly lack luster measures taken against a nominal ally. In the case of total economic warfare, the US might simply cut off all trade with a country or any other country that trades with that country. The SWIFT banking network would probably be denied in that kind of situation. The US might also might tie its military commitments to economic commitments - for instance if it wants the EU to do something badly enough, it can simply pull its troops out and drop out of NATO. If the EU wants to face the Russians just with EU assets with no nuclear umbrella but the French, well, bully for them. The US can exert a similar if not greater amount of pressure on Saudi Arabia, since not only does it ensure security there, it also is the supplier and maintainer of almost the entire military establishment. These are just a couple of examples of what actual economic warfare could look like, not the petty carrot and stick sanctions you are making comparisons to.

If the Chinese are going to wait until there is no risk of a Taiwan invasion failing, then Taiwan is safe.

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2 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

Glenn, you clearly took a discussion about a Taiwan invasion and defending the island militarily and then expanded it to China's political and economic creep over the entire world, and yet still you are comparing it to trying to install a government on hillbillies in the mountains of Asia. You are moving the goal posts. 

More over "but Afganistan!" seems to be your version of "but her emails!"; it seems to support any of your contrarian arguments du jour.

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Ok, lets get back to reality and leave the Siebel ferry craziness behind. Do they actually today have the capacity to invade and hold onto Taiwan?

I dont think so personally, I dont think they have the amphibious lift to pull it off. But I do think the way the USMC has been butchered, if they do take it, there will be no taking it back.

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11 minutes ago, Josh said:

Let's narrow the scope of this conversation to the context of the original discussion, an invasion of Taiwan.

I already told you.  I don't think China will invade Taiwan for at least a decade.  Posters here thinking of wars as of today when China will not win it are engaging in wishful thinking.  Taiwan is not going anywhere.   The US is in turmoildomestically and its manufacturing base is in serious decline.  

 

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 Yes, the US has allies that will help it in the event of a Chinese invasion - all but certainly Japan and Australia, and quite likely South Korea and the UK as well. Japan (and the ROK if it is involved) has a very large navy with top flight equipment and training, as well as a substantial air force. It also has numerous bases in the region. So it will be extremely useful, probably indispensable to the US in a conflict with China.

Real alliances, the ones that actually fight wars rather than make grand proclamations and then dissolve the League without a shot fired, these generally break out into three broad grounds. 

The first type is the alliance of the damned, countries that are going to be conquered and must fight because they have no choice but to win, or perish.  An example of this would be Austria-Hungary and Germany in WW1.

The second type is the alliance of the hegemon.  This is where an overwelmingly strong power picks a fight with a very weak local power and just wrecks them.  As part of the festivities, sometimes the hegemonic power desires poodles and minions to join them for one reason or another.  These allies join the war not because they would fight the small cornered power, but to curry favor with the hegemonic power in anticipation that the actual conflict will be so one-sided they will suffer not at all from it.  Most of the Iraq 1991 coalition would be an example of this.

The third type of alliance is a symbolic alliance.  This is where two or more powers have a sufficient communion of interests to dip their toes into the water for war, but where one (or more) is also a massive flight risk depending on circumstances.   Egypt and Syria in the 1973 war would be one example of this.  Napoleon's Rhine allies in 1814 would be another.

Without thinking about it, you're supposing an alliance against China would look like the first type of coalition.  I don't.  I think it would be the third type.  Or, perhaps, the League of Nations that poofs out of existence without a shot.  Only with Taiwan and Vietnam would I expect the first.

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14 minutes ago, Josh said:

Glenn, you clearly took a discussion about a Taiwan invasion and defending the island militarily and then expanded it to China's political and economic creep over the entire world, and yet still you are comparing it to trying to install a government on hillbillies in the mountains of Asia. You are moving the goal posts. 
 

Allow me to divest you of your deeply held illusions.  If the US sent troops to Taiwan tomorrow and Taipei declared open independence with every Western country sending embassies the next day, China is still unlikely to invade Taiwan in the near future.  Do you understand?  You are barking at a mailman that its not going to come up the lane.  There will be no war for Taiwan in any situation where China thinks it will lose it.

So now, the US troops are in Taiwan along with British, Japanese, Australian, and the obligatory 3 Canadians.  What will be China's response?  What I fear they would do is mimick the Soviet Union strategy of as many bush wars everywhere as possible which mobilizing their economy to defeat the Allies on Taiwan at some future date.  They will not invade Taiwan until the outcome of such a war is obvious to all in advance.

If that premise is not where you're at, then I think you do not understand the situation.

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19 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Ok, lets get back to reality and leave the Siebel ferry craziness behind. Do they actually today have the capacity to invade and hold onto Taiwan?

I dont think so personally, I dont think they have the amphibious lift to pull it off. But I do think the way the USMC has been butchered, if they do take it, there will be no taking it back.

China has the lift in the form of civilian ships, in particularly ro-ro ferries. Some of these ships have been modified with ramps that can support armored vehicles being launched into the sea such that they are not just point to point carriers but actually could be used in a first wave landing deploying amphibious vehicles. And there is no shortage of cargo ships of all types to bring in supplies, probably even new car ferries that could be used to bring in thousands of support vehicles once a port was secured.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2021/08/04/china-reportedly-converted-civilian-ferries-for-amphibious-assault-operations/

https://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/china-s-navy-is-exploring-ways-to-use-ferries-for-military-landings

https://eurasiantimes.com/red-alert-china-starts-conducting-massive-military-drills-in-civilian-disguise-neighbors-alarmed/


The draw back of using civilian ships is that they aren't optimized to the process nor built to defend themselves or sustain any kind of military damage. A single bomb or missile hit to a lightly manned civilian ferry filled with fueled and armed vehicles is likely to turn it into a crematorium. So sea control would need to be near total, with heavy anti aircraft screening against any AShMs.

But certainly in a lightly opposed landing, the physical lift is there. It just wouldn't be in the form of LPDs and LHAs for the most part. Those kinds of faster, more survivable forces would probably be used for an initial surprise attack to take a port intact for follow on landings.

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5 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

Allow me to divest you of your deeply held illusions.  If the US sent troops to Taiwan tomorrow and Taipei declared open independence with every Western country sending embassies the next day, China is still unlikely to invade Taiwan in the near future.  Do you understand?  You are barking at a mailman that its not going to come up the lane.  There will be no war for Taiwan in any situation where China thinks it will lose it.

So now, the US troops are in Taiwan along with British, Japanese, Australian, and the obligatory 3 Canadians.  What will be China's response?  What I fear they would do is mimick the Soviet Union strategy of as many bush wars everywhere as possible which mobilizing their economy to defeat the Allies on Taiwan at some future date.  They will not invade Taiwan until the outcome of such a war is obvious to all in advance.

If that premise is not where you're at, then I think you do not understand the situation.

I don't think China invades tomorrow, but I think it makes some kind of play by the end of the decade. If it doesn't, then I think they simply never have the capacity to invade in my lifetime. I've laid out in other posts why I think China will soon peak and why its window for forcing the issue will close; I won't bother rehashing it. You seem to ascribe to the 'China is inevitable' school of thought; we'll agree to disagree.

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China is at the moment inevitable because of the size of its population, its merchantile capability and motivation.

This can only be destroyed by the CCP.

 

I remember that Soviet Union was only a 150 million country without any industrial capability except weaponry plus ideology. Despite that it was still a challenge.

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I find the idea of 'at the moment' inevitability a little contradictory...

I think both China's population and merchantile capability will suffer in the near to medium term. Additionally I think the US will continue to pursue access denial technology that will make surface operations increasingly more risky for the PLAN (networked sea mines, UUVs, A2A UAVs, stealth bombers, hypersonic AShMs, etc). An invasion is a sustained surface operation over days or weeks. So I think the PRC's ability to effect an invasion will plateau and start to decrease by the end of the decade, and I think that will probably happen even without any economic or political decline on their part.

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Not contradictory. I don't know what CCP will do. Ex. if they have some crazy XXI Century Cultural Revolution in store obviously or what they will do in fight for Xi -by 2030 he will be  76 years old- replacement their advance can be limited by themselves.

Many more Chinese will increase their productivity in next decades because their output is still inferior per capita to Western World, Japan , South Korea.

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3 hours ago, lucklucky said:

Not contradictory. I don't know what CCP will do. Ex. if they have some crazy XXI Century Cultural Revolution in store obviously or what they will do in fight for Xi -by 2030 he will be  76 years old- replacement their advance can be limited by themselves.

Many more Chinese will increase their productivity in next decades because their output is still inferior per capita to Western World, Japan , South Korea.

There won't be many more Chinese. Their population decline is already locked in, if it isn't happening already. Certainly their productive population is shrinking now. They may improve the productivity of their work force per capita; there's plenty of room for that. But that too seems unlikely given the direction Xi is moving in.

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18 minutes ago, Josh said:

There won't be many more Chinese. Their population decline is already locked in, if it isn't happening already. Certainly their productive population is shrinking now. They may improve the productivity of their work force per capita; there's plenty of room for that. But that too seems unlikely given the direction Xi is moving in.

is there a shortage of Chinese? they already outnumber the USians 4 to 1. GDP per capita favors the US 3 to 1, but that can change.

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23 minutes ago, RETAC21 said:

is there a shortage of Chinese? they already outnumber the USians 4 to 1. GDP per capita favors the US 3 to 1, but that can change.

As I discussed in another post, the problem isn't so much 'not enough' as much as how quickly the current population is aging.

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7 hours ago, Josh said:

China is invading Europe?

Let's narrow the scope of this conversation to the context of the original discussion, an invasion of Taiwan. You seem to keep moving the goal posts. Yes, the US has allies that will help it in the event of a Chinese invasion - all but certainly Japan and Australia, and quite likely South Korea and the UK as well. Japan (and the ROK if it is involved) has a very large navy with top flight equipment and training, as well as a substantial air force. It also has numerous bases in the region. So it will be extremely useful, probably indispensable to the US in a conflict with China.

If you want to discuss the global containment of China politically and economically and somehow compare that to the fighting in Afghanistan in some convoluted way, I suggest a new thread.

Possible other entrants — Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, others I cud name 

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