Monday, July 14, 2014

Can China Defeat America In Battle?

Can China Defeat America In Battle?
July 14, 2014 |Tom Olago
Share this article

In an all-out war between China and America, could China possibly prevail and win? The answer, according to the, suggests that China could win smaller, localized battles such as a battle for Taiwan, but its Achilles heel in a major military confrontation with the United States would be America’s nuclear-powered submarines.

David Axe, in his article for bases this conclusion on the testimony of Lee Fuell (from the U.S. Air Force's National Air and Space Intelligence Center) on January 30th before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission in Washington, D.C. According to Fuell, China finally believes that after two decades of sustained military modernization and changes in military strategy over the past year, the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) officers indicate in their writings "a growing confidence within the PLA that they can more readily withstand U.S. involvement."

Axe believes that rather than execute a pre-emptive strike likely to provoke a full-scale American counterattack, Beijing believes it can attack Taiwan or another neighbor while also bloodlessly deterring U.S. intervention. It would do so by deploying such overwhelmingly strong military forces — ballistic missiles, aircraft carriers, jet fighters, and the like-that Washington dare not get involved. 
Such an outcome would, in the words of Roger Cliff, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, “…be tantamount to ceding East Asia (countries like Taiwan, Japan, or the Philippines) to China's domination.” Worse, according to Axe, is that the world's liberal economic order — and indeed, the whole notion of democracy — could suffer irreparable harm, quoting Cliff’s assertion that "The United States has both a moral and a material interest in a world in which democratic nations can survive and thrive."

According to the report, the Navy has 74 submarines, 60 of which are attack or missile submarines optimized for finding and sinking other ships or blasting land targets. 
The balance is ballistic-missile boats that carry nuclear missiles and would not routinely participate in military campaigns short of an atomic World War III. 33 of the attack and missile boats belong to the Pacific Fleet, with major bases in Washington State, California, Hawaii, and Guam. When deployed, Pacific subs frequently stop over in Japan and South Korea and occasionally even venture under the Arctic ice. 
Based on quoted military sources, U.S. submarines are concluded on average to be greatest in number besides being bigger, faster, quieter, and more powerful than the rest of the world's submarines.

Axe also alludes to America's superior submarine strategy and skill based on Cliff’s testimony: “…eight-at-a-time submarine picket in or near Chinese waters could be equally destructive to Chinese military plans, especially considering the PLA's limited anti-submarine skills…its ability to find and sink U.S. submarines will be extremely limited for the foreseeable future…those submarines would likely be able to intercept and sink Chinese amphibious transports as they transited toward Taiwan."

Axe further suggests that in practical military terms, the Pentagon can therefore more or less ignore most of China's military capabilities, including those that appear to threaten traditional U.S. advantages in nukes, air warfare, mechanized ground operations, and surface naval maneuvers. Supported by the submarines, American attack boats have the potential to destroy all of China's major amphibious ships — and with them, Beijing's capacity for invading Taiwan or seizing a disputed island.

Andrew Erickson, a Naval War College analyst believes that another factor that is expected to work towards U.S military advantage over China is the perceived unsustainability of its economic growth, coupled with the burdens of its ageing population demographic that “will probably divert spending from both military development and the economic growth that sustains it."

Other U.S military analysts are however not so optimistic that perceptions of U.S military superiority will deter China from attacking U.S interests. For example, earlier this year, James Fanell, deputy chief of staff for Intelligence and Information Operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, reportedly warned that China’s PLA Navy has developed into a fighting force that posed a significant threat to U.S. interests.

In addition, a recent report covered in Prophecy News Watch indicated that China’s belligerent behavior in the East and South China Seas suggests that she is not as impressed by U.S naval capacities to retaliate or defend herself or her allies. It would seem that, rather than being driven by recklessness or ignorance, China may have instead calculated that it has enough political advantage over Obama to risk “playing chicken.”

According to Hugh White in his recent article in the Huffington Post China’s confidence reflects two key judgments by its leaders:

1. They believe that China's new anti-access/area denial capabilities can deny America a quick and easy victory in a maritime clash in the East Asian littoral waters, without provoking a full-scale war. This confidence is based on China's leader’s belief that their U.S. counterparts know that they can neither win nor limit such a war against China today.
2. Beijing believes the balance of resolve is on China's side and that Washington understands this imbalance of resolve. That makes the Chinese confident that U.S. leaders will not assume that China would back down first in a crisis.

Other reports also indicate a massive ongoing effort by China to enhance its military capabilities. China’s military budget is now set to surpass the combined budgets of Britain, France and Germany. 
In contrast, the U.S is known to be cutting down on military expenditure – to dangerous levels, according to critics. Planned defense cuts announced earlier this year intended to reduce U.S. ground forces to their lowest level since World War II at a time when world threats are increasing. 
Earlier this year, Defense secretary Chuck Hagel outlined the dramatic reductions in a briefing for reporters at the Pentagon. They include significant cuts in Navy shipbuilding and Air Force aircraft purchases, and a 20 percent reduction in Army ground forces. Proposed Naval cuts included the following:

• For the Navy, 11 aircraft carrier strike groups were to be retained but the USS George Washington will be retired in 2016, leaving 10 carrier groups;
• Eleven warships—half of the Navy’s cruiser fleet—were to be taken offline or placed in a reduced operating status while they are upgraded; 
• Navy plans for Littoral Combat Ships, designed for mine-sweeping and anti-submarine warfare near coasts, were being limited to 32 ships, amid concerns the warships would not survive against advanced Chinese weaponry.
• Marine Corps cuts would include further planned reductions from the current level of 190,000 Marines to 182,000 Marines, with a further cut to 175,000 after 2016.

Are the effects of these cutbacks now being reflected, if only in part, in the increased Chinese aggression and confidence in East and South Asia? 
Russia, China not to mention terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS are anxiously waiting in the wings to defeat or fight for the spoils of the nation that once prided itself on being one nation under God: The United States of America.


No comments: