Three years from now, hypothetically, China launches an amphibious invasion of Taiwan. It does not go well, according to a top Washington think tank report.
While the Taiwanese military is able to prevent initial invaders moving beyond beachheads, US Naval forces and aerial bombardments quickly cripple the Chinese naval fleet, aided by strikes from the Japan Self-Defense Force.
Chinese ground forces, stuck on Taiwan’s shores without supplies, quickly crumble, and in the course of about three weeks the invasion is defeated. All sides suffer extensive losses, leaving Taiwan in a shambles and its economy wiped out.
That’s how a US-China war over Taiwan would play out, according to researchers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Over the course of two dozen war simulations they concluded that, in most scenarios, the US and Taiwan achieve a Pyrrhic victory.
Equipment losses would be staggering, CSIS experts believe, including the destruction of two aircraft carriers “in all iterations of the base scenario,” the report claims. In other words, the nuclear option.
The CSIS report on its simulation also predicts very high combat fatalities. The US lost three servicemen a day at the height of the its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Vietnam, that number was around 30. During World War II 300 US soldiers died daily. In most scenarios for a Taiwan conflict, US deaths (not wounded casualties) would average 140 per day.
“The United States would sustain as many personnel casualties in a month of