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A Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), transits the Taiwan Strait during a routine transit near China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy ships. (Image source: DVIDS)
A recent tabletop exercise has indicated the United States, as a significant ally of Taiwan, needs to arm the island nation to the brim before a Chinese invasion breaks out, as resupply would not be an option.
The strategic simulation occurs amidst rising tensions between China and the US over Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing insists is it’s own.
War Games: 2027
Washington-based think tank Center for a New American Security and the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), chaired by Republican Mike Gallagher, conducted the unprecedented war game on Wednesday evening last week.
According to the hypothetical scenario, China launched its “first strike” against Taiwan on April 22, 2027, and 72 hours later, the US deployed its military to assist with the response. But by then, the casualties had already been significant and damaging for all sides, not just to the troops in the front but also to civilians and infrastructures caught in between, thanks to Beijing’s missiles and rockets that would rain down the island nation. Siding with Taipei, Washington will also bear repercussions with its military installations in Japan and Guam, facing direct fire from the aggressor.
After the initial attack, the war gamers estimate that the initial attack will result in the loss of hundreds, or even thousands, of US troops. Although, it will not be as significant as the losses that Taiwan and China will suffer.
Apart from the military options, the exercise also explored diplomatic and economic alternatives over a potential war in Taiwan. Overall, lawmakers inferred that the only way to prevent such catastrophic consequences is to “deter aggression” as much as possible.
However, Chinese President Xi Jinping has already ordered his military to be ready to retake Taiwan in 2027 “by force if necessary,” making it difficult to maintain peace and stability in the region and instead grow more agitated as the Chinese deadline approaches.
“Impossible” to Resupply
Another notable result of the war game is the resupplying of the island nation amid the conflict.
After deliberation, lawmakers have concluded that the US would face significant challenges, and perhaps even impossibility, in resupplying Taiwan. As a result, they strongly urge the US to arm the latter “to the teeth.”
“We are well within the window of maximum danger for a Chinese Communist Party invasion of Taiwan, and yesterday’s war game stressed the need to take action to deter CCP aggression and arm Taiwan to the teeth before any crisis begins,” Gallagher said in a statement.
He also noted that Washington needs to fulfill a $19 billion worth of weapons backlog to Taipei, conduct more advanced joint military training, and strengthen the US military presence in the region.
Moreover, the conclusion of the recent war game appears to urge the US to boost further its production of arms, particularly long-range missiles, and prepare for economic fallout, or it will lose Taiwan and simultaneously suffer damning repercussions.
Chinese Embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu responded to the conflict-simulated exercise, stating that China is committed to reunifying Taiwan peacefully—nonetheless added that Beijing reserves the right to consider other options if necessary.
“The US side’s so-called ‘war game’ is meant to support and embolden ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists and further fuel tensions in the Taiwan Strait, which we firmly oppose,” Liu said via the Associated Press.
Resupplying the island nation will be difficult, as China could, or would likely impose a de facto blockade on all sides of the Taiwan Strait, barring the supply of more than 60 percent of the world’s semiconductors and other high-tech gears. With this, a shortage will affect the American technology industry, and subsequently, the entire US economy. American-owned businesses and factories will also take an immediate damaging hit in the first couple of days, even hours of the chaos.
War games are simulation exercises, often conducted by military or government officials, to test potential scenarios and strategies in hypothetical conflicts or crises—in this case, the brewing tension between Taiwan and China that dangerously inches towards breaking point and could potentially drag the US into the bloody mess.
By conducting these simulations, authorities can gain valuable insights into the situation and potential outcomes, allowing them to make more informed decisions based on the results.
Most US foreign fund allocation has been poured into supporting the yearlong war in Ukraine. It also has been the main focus of most lawmakers, pushing aside yet another major crisis that requires immediate action, Taiwan.
In addition, the depleting stockpile of long-range ammunition in the country is a matter that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
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