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.