• Athena
    1.8k
    I love the arguments that China and the US will not start a war that could possibly destroy the world but I am afraid wars are a form of insanity and we are headed into that insanity. I am so angry with Biden for being disrespectful and pushing the wrong buttons. Evidently, he thinks this is appealing to US citizens? But saving face is of supreme importance to China and Japan, being disrespectful is pushing the wrong buttons. The nation will not tolerate it.

    On the other hand, it is the historical commitment of the US to defend small countries and international law. That is just as important to the identity of the US, as saving face is important to China, and China's determination to swallow up smaller countries pushes the US war buttons.

    From the book of the 1917 National Education Association Conference in Portland, Oregon

    The speaker is Charles R. Van Hise, President of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

    "This world war cannot cease; it must not cease until Germany shall recognize that the laws of nations must be obeyed, that the conquest of small and weak nations is wrong. It is to establish these great principles that we entered the war. In order to establish these great principles that we entered the war. In order to establish that they may be maintained, all the sacrifices which are necessary must be made by this nation. If the fundamental principles of freedom and democracy call for the death of hundreds of thousands of our young men, the sacrifice must be made."
    — Charles R. Van Hise
  • Manuel
    1.9k


    Yes, China has said so, and given the history of China in the 20th century, I get that perspective and I have no reason to believe they are bluffing.

    People in power do have to deal with nukes, but I highly doubt most sane citizens would want those used, I mean they're not supposed to be used at all, the point of having them is deterrence not attack.

    All I'm saying that it's a dangerous game of chicken to be playing. It's bad enough that China and the US are doing military exercises in the South China sea, but if you get other countries copying the US in the same territory, that's considerably different. To be clear, I don't think most of the world cares about Taiwan to THAT degree (the exceptions being China and Taiwan, obviously) , it's more a manner of pride.

    In any case, it's stupid.
  • dclements
    339
    I love the arguments that China and the US will not start a war that could possibly destroy the world but I am afraid wars are a form of insanity and we are headed into that insanity. I am so angry with Biden for being disrespectful and pushing the wrong buttons. Evidently, he thinks this is appealing to US citizens? But saving face is of supreme importance to China and Japan, being disrespectful is pushing the wrong buttons. The nation will not tolerate it.Athena
    I didn't agree with Trump and the republicans on many things when he was in office, but I agreed on their stance that they can't be soft on China about the issues with regarding trade, military posturing, etc. I'm not exactly sure what Biden is doing wrong in regard to China (other than not taking as hard as stance as Trump did).
  • dclements
    339
    Yes, China has said so, and given the history of China in the 20th century, I get that perspective and I have no reason to believe they are bluffing.

    People in power do have to deal with nukes, but I highly doubt most sane citizens would want those used, I mean they're not supposed to be used at all, the point of having them is deterrence not attack.
    Manuel
    Part of the problem with nukes is since they are a weapon of last resort (by those that are sane at least), countries that have them (and have other countries threating them) have to make other countries think that they are are willing to not as a last resort but long before they even get there. I believe this is what nuclear brinkmanship more or less is all about, making your opponent think you are more willing to use nukes than them thus complicating any military advantage they may have with conventional forces and their ability to exploit such an advantage.

    While nuclear brinkmanship isn't always all that fun to due, if nukes didn't exist there would probably been a least one or perhaps two additional world wars by now so it is a given they are a mixed blessing.

    All I'm saying that it's a dangerous game of chicken to be playing. It's bad enough that China and the US are doing military exercises in the South China sea, but if you get other countries copying the US in the same territory, that's considerably different. To be clear, I don't think most of the world cares about Taiwan to THAT degree (the exceptions being China and Taiwan, obviously) , it's more a manner of pride.Manuel
    It is almost always easier for those in power to beat the drums of war and blame problems on outsiders than trying to really focus and deal with domestic issues. However, the more that is spent on the military and the more rhetoric to is spew, the harder and harder the line a country has to take to either a real or imagined enemy and the more need for such a country has to go to war in order to prove they are not just bluffing.

    It may seem stupid to say that the reasons countries choose to have a military build up and then go to war is often more about politicians keeping the reigns of power than any real threat or reason, but who ever said that wars are fought for rational reasons or that politicians are really the most rational people?

    Sometimes wars are fought merely because those in power are better at foaming at the mouth (or beating their shoe on a deck) and intimidating while playing this game of chicken you are talking about then at doing anything else for their country. Actually fixing real problems is are long and hard process that is often thankless job for those politicians that choose to do that, while acting like a mad dog in front of your enemies I image is not quite so hard and likely to get immediate approval but any chicken hawks in your own party.

    In nutshell, it is often easier to exploit the worst in human nature then what is best in us or at least when it comes to the politics of war or potential war. You may not like me saying this, but it is just a fact and it isn't something I have any control over.
  • dclements
    339
    Here are two YouTube that I believe shed some light on this discussion:







  • Athena
    1.8k
    I didn't agree with Trump and the republicans on many things when he was in office, but I agreed on their stance that they can't be soft on China about the issues with regarding trade, military posturing, etc. I'm not exactly sure what Biden is doing wrong in regard to China (other than not taking as hard as stance as Trump did).dclements

    In my book, respect is supreme. Especially if you want power because virtues equate strength. The one thing I counted on Biden being is virtuous, but the things that come out of his mouth are horrifying. I wish someone would impress upon him the importance of keeping his mouth shut until he has calmly considered his words.

    It is about having power and right now we need every bit of power we can get because China is spinning out of control. As I said war is insanity. I have no memory of China expanding its territory since all of China came under one ruler. Something has triggered China to disrespect the status quo and I think this is a very serious situation. Does anyone know why China has become so aggressive?
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k
    The OP's a mathematical question about odds/chances/probability of in general hot wars and in particular a sino-US military engagement. I know basic probability but to give a good answer is beyond my ken. Where do I even begin? Perhaps experimental probability is the way to go - how many times in the past has a similar situation been true of the world and ended in bellum? Do we have the data? I'm surprised at the answers though - people seem surprisingly confident of their answers despite the fact that no one posted a figure/number and showed their work.
  • Caldwell
    814
    I'm surprised at the answers though - people seem surprisingly confident of their answers despite the fact that no one posted a figure/number and showed their work.TheMadFool
    And by backing up your answer with numbers it makes it more believable or true?

    This is a matter of political, historical, and social events. If you couldn't be bothered to read history, and just use numbers to gain credibility, I couldn't be bothered either.

    Disclaimer: by "you" I don't mean Fool, but in general.
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k
    And by backing up your answer with numbers it makes it more believable or true?Caldwell

    I would hope so!
    This is a matter of political, historical, and social events. If you couldn't be bothered to read history, and just use numbers to gain credibility, I couldn't be bothered either.Caldwell

    "What are the odds?" is clearly a mathematical question and I've given some hints on how we might be able to actually get our hands on a number to anyone who has the information.
  • Caldwell
    814
    "What are the odds?" is clearly a mathematical question and I've given some hints on how we might be able to actually get our hands on a number to anyone who has the information.TheMadFool
    Incorrect. The OP or anyone can say that in normal speak, and not wanting to get the numbers. I'd say review Wittgenstein's ordinary language. We can move out of formal definitions.
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k
    Incorrect. The OP or anyone can say that in normal speak, and not wanting to get the numbers. I'd say review Wittgenstein's ordinary language. We can move out of formal definitions.Caldwell

    Wittgenstein? Now what are the odds?
  • Caldwell
    814

    You're still not getting my point. In ordinary use of "what are the odds" -- you are trying to solicit answers to the tune of "likely" "most likely" "not a chance" "a small chance".

    Funny how you are so sure of your numbers -- if that's what you're thinking.
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k
    you are trying to solicit answers to the tune of "likely" "most likely" "not a chance" "a small chance".Caldwell

    How do you tell the difference between these fascinating words?

    You're still not getting my point.Caldwell

    :rofl:
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k
    No matter! :joke:
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k


    Oh you're not agreeing with me. Maybe you disagree. That's fine. But I have the microphone, so... — Matt Scannell, Vertical Horizon, Southington CT

    :rofl: :up:
  • Caldwell
    814
    :rofl: :up:TheMadFool

    :sweat: I forgive you!

    Good quote!
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k


    N = The number of times a similar situation was the case (before)

    n = The number of times war broke out

    P(W) = the probability of a Sino-US all out war



    It seems I'm an insurance agent! :lol:
  • dclements
    339
    The OP's a mathematical question about odds/chances/probability of in general hot wars and in particular a sino-US military engagement. I know basic probability but to give a good answer is beyond my ken. Where do I even begin? Perhaps experimental probability is the way to go - how many times in the past has a similar situation been true of the world and ended in bellum? Do we have the data? I'm surprised at the answers though - people seem surprisingly confident of their answers despite the fact that no one posted a figure/number and showed their work.TheMadFool
    I don't think one can use basic statistics in determining whether China will be willing to go to war in order to get control over Taiwan since there are too many unknown variables in such a equation that would nearly be impossible to give a percentage chance at any time. It is as complex or even more complex that determining whether the stock market will either go up or down in a 6 month or 12 month period.

    What is know however is that if and when China chooses to strike (or perhaps in might just be a question of WHEN since China has already said they will use military force if Taiwan doesn't choose to surrender to China in the near future) it will most likely when either they feel like they have a clear cut advantage or when it starts becoming evident that Taiwan is about to gain an advantage that is will make invading Taiwan much more difficult if China doesn't act quickly. Because of this China has put Taiwan and any potential allies they might have in a "dammed" if they do, dammed if they don't situation making so that if they don't prepare enough for an invasion it is very likely China will gain an advantage and invade, but also if they start preparing TOO well for an invasion China will get upset that we are trying to make it impossible for them to take control of Taiwan and it is likely they would want to strike before such preparations can really be put in place. Because of this the US and Taiwan have been trying to make just enough preparations to give China pause in wanting to invade immediately because they don't have a clear cut advantage but not enough preparations that China doesn't feel like they couldn't take over Taiwan if they really wanted to. However this will not be as easy in the coming future since China is aggressively building up it's military making harder and harder to to make difficult for Taiwan (and their allies) to build up it's military readiness without poking the panda into war.

    It is already a given that China is in sort of a cold war with the US and her allies(both economically and military), wants to replace the US as the dominate super power in Asia, and is threating it will resort to war if they don't get what they want in the very near future.

    I believe when it comes to guestimating possibilities in economics, political actions, and wars planners use certain indicators to figure out whether one thing is more likely than not. As far as China goes nearly any and every red flag that could be raised has either been raised or is about to be raised other than a troop build up in order to invade Taiwan. However the only reason China hasn't do this is it would be noticed and it would let Taiwan and the US know an attack is imminent. Because of this China may take steps to NOT let Taiwan and the US know that they are about to strike at least until it is too late.

    To the best of my knowledge the only reason China isn't ready to invade Taiwan is the issue of how to deal with the economic and political fallout once they start a war with Taiwan and the US, The US and China are currently very dependent on each other economically and it is a given both countries will face problems once they start taking military actions against Taiwan. Some may believe China won't go to war with Taiwan because of the economic (and perhaps political) reasons and all their sabre rattling is just a lot of hot air to try and scare the US and her allies into giving them Taiwan. However it is hard to imagine a country such as Taiwan just surrendering to China out of fear alone.

    I guess the bottom line is China just going to give up it's ambition on being the biggest superpower in Asia in order to avoid the economic and political ramifications in going to war or is China going to at one point decide that they is a way they can deal with such issues or that such issues are not as important as them showing the rest of the world that they are the most powerful super power in Asia 9and eventually in the world), that they are not to be trifled with, and there is little to nothing that the US and her allies can do in preventing China from doing what it wants to do.

    Or perhaps in other words to the question of going to war with Taiwan, the US, and her allies at what point will China really believe that can do whatever they want without worrying about what the Western powers can do about it and try to stop them? Obviously right now they haven't reached that point (and perhaps they will never really get there) but it is almost a given they are trying everything in their power to be in that position in the near future.

    Hopefully this answers your question as to what is the probability of China invading Taiwan. :D
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k
    I don't think one can use basic statistics in determining whether China will be willing to go to war in order to get control over Taiwan since there are too many unknown variables in such a equation that would nearly be impossible to give a percentage chance at any time. It is as complex or even more complex that determining whether the stock market will either go up or down in a 6 month or 12 month period.dclements

    So much for probability and the alleged unreasonable effectiveness of math....

    All we can say is the likelihood ain't cipher and that's not very helpful is it?

    You're aware of the DEFCON system, right? It seems the US military and other armies around the world as well have in place some criterion to measure the likelihood of war. How do they calculate the probability of war? That is the question!

    I wonder what the DEFCON level of the US army is right now?
  • dclements
    339
    It is about having power and right now we need every bit of power we can get because China is spinning out of control. As I said war is insanity. I have no memory of China expanding its territory since all of China came under one ruler. Something has triggered China to disrespect the status quo and I think this is a very serious situation.Athena
    Exactly! China use to be happy just in controlling it's borders and maintaining it's status quo in the world but now it changing it's stance to one of being one of being a super power that either rivals the US and her allies and being a superpower more powerful than the US itself.

    Does anyone know why China has become so aggressive?Athena
    I believe that is the five thousand dollar question. Maybe they feel that they are close enough in power to the US that they can do whatever they want, maybe it is just a change of posturing in order to gain more political power in their country (kind of like the game some republicans sometimes play by pretending we don't have to care what other countries opinions are), or maybe they are doing because they don't believe any other country can or will stand up to them if they just do whatever they feel like doing.

    It is kind of odd that instead of playing the slow and methodical game in the past (which worked fairly well since the US and her allies didn't pay them much attention), they are now being much much more aggressive to the point where they are beating their chest and going so far as to threaten US allies with potential war. The world is use to powers that be doing this in either the US and or the former USSR but for China to behave this way almost all of a sudden is definitely odd because it means either they don't have to worry about pissing other countries off or they are trying to act like they don't have to worry about it. As far as I know the US goes back and forth (one day being nice and the next not so nice, kind of like a good cop/bad cop routine) with such rhetoric when dealing with our allies and or other countries, but China seems to be going for bad cop/bad cop kind of routine. I'm kind of at a lost as to why they are trying to show this kind of face to the rest of the world unless they imagine that they can really do whatever they want regardless of what other countries think.

    Maybe I'm wrong and all they are is really just a baby tiger instead of a mean and vicious bear they are trying to pretend to be. But even if they are not really ready to be the world superpower that they think that they are, I sure they have enough people, resources, etc. to make themselves a bit of a headache for the West in the years to come. However if they are almost at the point of being a super power on pare with the US, it is going to take carefully planning and work with our allies in the West to make sure China realizes that they really can't just do whatever they want.

    I'm sure part of all these issues might stem from the fact that other countries meddled in China's affairs in the recent past and now they want to undo such meddling (or perhaps do some meddling of their own to make up for other countries interference), but the problem is they can't make up for the fact that others stepped on their toes without ending up stepping on other peoples toes in the process. I might seem crazy that they are trying to do this out of national pride because of certain embarrassments in the past, but they wouldn't be the first would be superpower using such an excuse in order to try to strong arm other countries.
  • dclements
    339
    So much for probability and the alleged unreasonable effectiveness of math....

    All we can say is the likelihood ain't cipher and that's not very helpful is it?

    You're aware of DEFCON system, right? It seems the US military and probably other armies around the world have in place some criterion to measure the likelihood of war.
    TheMadFool
    I could be wrong but I imagine neither China nor the US want to resort to NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) type weapons even if China tries to invade Taiwan.

    Part of the reasoning is IF China did use such weapons that it is almost a given that ALL US allies would immediately side with the US and would do everything they can to deter China from trying to expand and/or attempt to become a superpower. Of course if the US was the first to do this almost all allies won't want to help the US and/or Taiwan and China would likely get the upper hand.

    My guess is that the US would rather NOT use any NBC weapons and would solely rely on more conventional weapons (which can be pretty devastating themselves without NBC type weapons) even if in doing so they couldn't keep China from taking Taiwan, but the question is more about if China is willing to use NBC weapons if they believe things aren't going their way in a conflict.

    I could be wrong but I don't think China would use NBCs against either Taiwan, the US, or any of her allies because no country) not even Nazi Germany resorted to using them when they started losing World War II.

    I could be wrong but I believe very few leaders (or generals that control such stockpiles) are as eager to use such weapons as convention troops are eager to fight with what they have due to the ramifications of what will either happen to them (ie the leaders and generals themselves) or what might happen to their own families when they expand a war to use such weapons,

    If a country is either trying to become a super power through expansion or merely hold onto the power they have, it is very difficult to maintain such power if you and another adversary start using NBCs since the devastation is so great and the damage done to each side can weaken both countries that they can become venerable to other countries that before the conflict posed no threat.

    Or in other words a super power that has to use NBCs (with another country that either has them or is allied with one that has them) will no longer be a super power once the other side decides to use them against them as well.

    I could be wrong in all of this but the fact that China isn't directly threating with nukes or chemical weapons is kind of suggests that they don't want to get into a conflict where they have to use them.
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k
    This is the paradox: The more lethal weapons are, the less likely armed conflict is. Nobody wants to die (for nothing). MAD (mutually assured destruction) is an effective deterrent, more so than pacifism. What's up with the US and gun control? Explains proxy wars (skirmishes essentially at a global scale and also winnable), cold wars (stalemate), and arms races (messing with balance of power).
  • dclements
    339
    This is the paradox: The more lethal weapons are, the less likely armed conflict is. Nobody wants to die (for nothing). MAD (mutually assured destruction) is an effective deterrent, more so than pacifism.TheMadFool
    I think the more accurate way to put it is that with NBC type weapons the level of collateral damage becomes so high that it becomes difficult to justify the gains of any war when compared to that would be lost. One should note that during modern convention wars "usually" the damage is contained to the enemies military and maybe a few economic/strategic targets unless things get worse and then it becomes what one might describe as a unrestricted type war. In any case, usually the wealthiest people and their assets in either country are not usually damaged since neither side wants to destroy any centers of commerce or product which will either may be needed to support a war effort or help rebuilding and/or paying for costs reconstruction after a war is fought - unless of course a losing side decides on using a scorched earth mentality (such as during the first Iraq war with the Us, and what Russians did to their cities and towns before the Germans took control of them) but of course such measures are one of what one might do when it is inevitable when one can not win.

    It is kind of funny to say it but part of the reasons countries are so willing to fight is that those making such decisions are not all that worried that their lives will be upended by any damage caused by conventional wars however when a war goes from one that is restricted to one that is unrestricted that also involves NBC weapons this definitely and all of a sudden all the chicken hawks start having second thoughts when their own lives and/or livelihoods could be ruined by damaged caused during the conflict.

    I believe that before World War I and World War II there was a similar issue with explosives and machine guns where lose of life was so great that it required that wars to be fought differently than what generals were use to and enough advancement in medical technology where being shot with a gun didn't end up either with one losing their life or one of more limbs. Supposedly the doctor who invented the Gatling gun did it so that the effects gun would be so devastating that people would not want to fight wars in which such weapons are used. It is obvious that while the Gatling gun and similar weapons did more damage then the guns before it, it wasn't so devastating to really give as much a pause to people fighting that the person who invented it hoped for.

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is that in the near or perhaps not so near future either their will be a way to mitigate some or most of the damage caused by NBC weapons or there could be an advisory that has them that isn't afraid of the consequences of MAD. With nukes there exists the possibility of them being intercepted before they hit there intended target, and with biological weapons there is the possibility that certain medical advances could make some of them less deadly such as the advancements to make COV-ID less deadly than it was when it first came out. I guess the same could be said of chemical warheads as nuclear unless they use alternate delivery systems (such as a shells instead of rockets, or a terrorist with a backpack delivery system) but means are more of a limited range or means of delivery that they may nor be as effective as intercontinental missiles in use today.

    The real danger of NBC weapons comes from those that either have nothing to lose (ie. a organization that isn't backed by any country) or someone that has what one could call "total commitment" (is willing to lose any and everything they and their love ones have in order to damage or destroy their enemy or enemies). When one isn't bothered by whatever consequences that could happen to them if their enemy even uses NBC and or any other weapons at their disposal then it is almost all but a given that effects of MAD is no longer an effective deterrent to them. Luckily the powers that be in China are very unlikely to have this kind of mentality, or at least not at the present

    What's up with the US and gun control? Explains proxy wars (skirmishes essentially at a global scale and also winnable), cold wars (stalemate), and arms races (messing with balance of power).TheMadFool
    I'm not sure how exactly how gun control and possible war with China really tie in together. I think the problem with gun control in America is basically we Americans for some reason have a weird love relationship with our guns and some of us can't have enough of them. I don't know if it is either because we are more capitalistic than other countries (buying junk that we don't really need or buying something in the hopes it will solve something that it doesn't) or if the average American is neurotic/psychotic then your average person in another part of the world or maybe it is a combination of both of them as some other issues.

    I think some of the average upper middle class American (and/or those wealthier) who for one reason or another doesn't feel in control of their lives often tend to want to buy and practice with their guns because they are afraid that one day they will get a visit from the "boogey man" (ie a criminal who wants to hurt them and their family) and they hope the fact that they own a gun will prevent them from harming them. Also some Americans might be so neurotic that they feel that for one reason or another the US might not be able to protect themselves from other countries and that we might get invade and because of that they will need to protect themselves with the guns from those invading us. Or perhaps they are afraid of powers that be in their state realize that they are a danger to themselves and others and send some cops to take them away and they plan to stop that from happening with whatever guns they have.

    Bottom line, there are enough Americans are either gun/trigger happy to make it seem like almost every American sleeps with a gun under their pillow. I don't know if this has anything to do with the fact that after WWII the US government has had to try whip up support for a variety of wars that have happened at least every ten years or so and/or if Americans are just nuts for some other reason. Maybe it is just something in the water we drink that makes us so infatuated with buying and having guns around us.
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k


    To use a chess analogy, we have 3 options:

    1. Checkmate
    2. Draw
    3. Stalemate

    Option 1 is impossible (MAD). Option 2 is pointless (why fight if you can't win). Option 3 seems to be the only one that makes sense (cold war).

    Amazing ain't it how it all works out? Everybody goes for the win - the checkmate - which is, obviously, irrational but then what happens is the most rational state of affairs - the stalemate - game theoretically that is.

    Being illogical ultimately leads to being logical. I haven't the slightest clue how that comes about?

    The Mind - No Mind Equivalency Paradox
  • KaimBasha
    3


    If we consider the fact that there are still thousands of active warheads, located around the world, it will just be a matter of time before they will be actually used. However rational the stalemate, some are just mad and wanna win.
  • dclements
    339
    To use a chess analogy, we have 3 options:

    1. Checkmate
    2. Draw
    3. Stalemate

    Option 1 is impossible (MAD). Option 2 is pointless (why fight if you can't win). Option 3 seems to be the only one that makes sense (cold war).

    Amazing ain't it how it all works out? Everybody goes for the win - the checkmate - which is, obviously, irrational but then what happens is the most rational state of affairs - the stalemate - game theoretically that is.

    Being illogical ultimately leads to being logical. I haven't the slightest clue how that comes about?
    TheMadFool

    What you say is true, but only IF both sides have more to lose (or at least think they do) if they decide to resolve their differences through conflict and this only happens if this is what both sides believe that through out the time where they they could potentially go to war.

    While thinking about this is issue today I came across these videos:






    The above videos made me realize a couple things about China and it's desire to seize control over Taiwan. One is that while the rhetoric lately has gotten more aggressive while China saying that owns Taiwan, the fact that Taiwan is independent (sort of like one of the US states seceding from the US) has been a thorny issue for China for some time now. While they may not be tolerate of this state of affairs and may act like they are becoming even less tolerate as time goes on, if it was REALLY as bad as they say it is they would have likely have tried to take control of the island in the past and wouldn't even bother to wait all this time for the right moment to strike. However because they have chosen to play a waiting game and allowed Taiwan develop into a full fledge independent country, the "right" time to invade may have already passed them since now it is easier for Taiwan to ask for help if they are attacked. If China invade either during their civil uprising or right after the communist took control, the rest of the world may have written it off as part of a civil war and the West may have been less eager to get involved.

    The second thing may be is that China's navy and air force may not be on par with the US and they could suffer heavy casualties if they went against air and naval units made and trained by Western power. I'm not one that is good at figuring out who's military is better or worse than another's but from what little I have heard about Chinese air force and navy it seems they rely using stolen intellectual property they get from the West in order to try to keep up with Western powers. When a country isn't willing to spend enough money on R&D to either surpass or at least keep up with potential enemies, it is almost given that anything you can muster to fight against your enemy will be pretty far behind whatever they have. This is most evident when it comes to one's air force and navy were inferior technology can put one at the greatest disadvantage (ie. one can not easily make up for inferior technology by just using greater numbers) and if China's navy/air force is nowhere near as good as their western counterparts, then seizing and maintaining dominance over Taiwan will be very difficult if the US comes to Taiwan's aid, which it is all but a given that we would.

    If the two above issues are true then it is kind of a head scratcher as to why China is heating up it's rhetoric about them owning Taiwan and taking military actions to make it look like they may be getting ready to invade. It may be just a case of sour grapes where they know they can not take Taiwan at the present time and them saying that they are willing to invade when they know they can't without facing consequences that they are unwilling to face at the present time. However I imagine such posturing itself will likely have the undesired consequence of making the West think of China as a rogue country, alienate potential friendly or neutral countries like Australia ,and ramp up potential western military might in the area.

    In Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" it is written somewhere I think where one should make your armies look weak if they are strong if in fact that they are weak. I don't know if this train of thought really applies to modern warfare since one needs to almost always make the enemy think or know your armies are strong to prevent conflicts, but I'm pretty sure that it doesn't hurt to use constant deception to make it difficult for one's advisory to really know what is going on. My guess is that since nearly every military commander in China as well as many politicians understand Sun Tzu's teachings it is hard for me to imagine that if China really did become strong enough to invade Taiwan and had the political will to do so (ie they could deal with the consequences of such an invasion), that they would be so eager to let the West know that they have such power and that they are getting ready to use it. It is common sense that if one really wanted to invade a country and seize their land it is most efficient to NOT to let your enemy know anything about such intentions until it has already been done

    Because of fallacies involved in such behavior before an actual invasion and any or all problems in doing any kind of military actions near that area, China has more or less lost any element of surprise they might of had and it is almost a given that even if China did take measures to be more prepared for an invasion in the near future such measures will be undermined by measures taken by western powers to make it harder for an invasion.

    It is possible that all of China's posturing is that they hope Taiwan will give up fro either political or other non-military pressure before a shot is fired, but that is a incredibly unlikely scenario since most citizens in democratic countries are really warm to an idea of their lives being under control of an Authoritative state. If all China has is merely rhetoric when it comes to them wanting to control Taiwan, and they really don't have enough military might to easily (or easy enough) seize Taiwan, then it is fairly likely that they are just trying to appear strong when they are not and are hoping that outsiders will be afraid enough of their paper mache military that will be able to broker more favorable economic/political deals then if outsiders were not afraid. If this is true than it is almost a given that China will not be able to invade Taiwan or become the biggest super power in the Asian region for some time to come, and we will just have a cold war with them until they tire of this as well..
  • dclements
    339
    If we consider the fact that there are still thousands of active warheads, located around the world, it will just be a matter of time before they will be actually used. However rational the stalemate, some are just mad and wanna win.KaimBasha
    Nuclear warheads and other NBC type weapons are really only useful as a deterrent to preventing another country from trying to invade you since you could "theoretically" get away with using a nuke against a military force (somewhere outside of your country where they are building up for an invasion) if that force was much too big for your own military to deal with. Also they can be useful if you need to strong arm a neighboring country that has powerful conventional forces but no nuke themselves.

    It may be just my personal opinion but as long as an all out nuclear war doesn't happen in the near future the human race should be "ok". I don't know of the consequences of what one or two nukes places that are critically important (like major cities in the biggest countries of the world) other than such events could spark further use of such weapons but something like a nuke going off in an area that isn't highly populated would be more manageable and may not spark further escalation. Of course why a nuke might be use on a target of not so much value is hard to fathom, but I'm just saying it could be used in such a way with the hope that such an action wouldn't spark a nuclear war.

    On the bright side as technology advances, countries are constantly trying to develop conventional munitions that while not have as big of a bang as a nuke they can still deliver enough devastation to neutralize a threat almost as well as a nuke (if used repeatedly). In WWII carpet bombing often would a city so devastated (along with thousands that lived there killed or injured) that they were hardly much better off than a city that was nuked. While nuclear weapons have their own extra unpleasantness (like radiation) to make them scarier in the minds of the public, if you ever saw a city that was bombed so badly that the burning building started creating a firestorm you would realize you don't really need nukes if all you want to do is lay waste to a city. Of course you usually need more than a single bomb to start a firestorm in a major city, and deliberately trying to incinerate a city and the people in it is usually looked down upon by one's allies and civilians in one's own country. Luckily I believe such methods haven't really been used since WWII (partly because there isn't a real need to do so as well as it is much more likely a city would rather give up if they are given an ultimatum that they would be bombed if they don't).

    Firestorm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firestorm

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is it is often accepted by two powers to rely mostly on conventional forces to do the fighting and deciding who is the victor in most modern conflicts. Of course it is a given that most of the modern conflicts have NOT been between two major powers who have nukes and/or the conflicts have not involved territory that is really vital to the interest of a power that has nukes. Hopefully it stays that way.
  • Athena
    1.8k
    Maybe I'm wrong and all they are is really just a baby tiger instead of a mean and vicious bear they are trying to pretend to be. But even if they are not really ready to be the world superpower that they think that they are, I sure they have enough people, resources, etc. to make themselves a bit of a headache for the West in the years to come. However if they are almost at the point of being a super power on pare with the US, it is going to take carefully planning and work with our allies in the West to make sure China realizes that they really can't just do whatever they want.dclements

    How about this, the US minded its own business and was known for isolating itself and being strongly against war. Our Constitution made it hard for the US president to engage the country in war, and this is no longer the case. It used to take the US a good year to mobilize for war. We can now engage in war with 4 hours and congress does not need to approve of anything before our bombs fall. In the past, our ability to fight wars depended on our patriotism. Thanks to education for technology for military and industrial purposes our high-tech military does not depend on our patriotism.

    We think of the US as a national leader and what did that mean before the world wars? What does it mean today? How about this, Eisenhower embedded the Military-Industrial Complex in the US and it is now what it defended its democracy against. In the past our leader was about ideals. In the present our leadership is about military might. Not only is our leadership about military might, but when it comes to understanding our ideals and being a united nation, we are destroying ourselves and could hardly look any weaker to the rest of the world. Hello WE ARE WHAT WE DEFENDED OUR DEMOCRACY AGAINST AND THAT IS THE POWER AND GLORY OF MILITARY MIGHT. China is just following our lead.

    Next, China's huge population demanded a huge leap into modern technology. The same is true for India but I think India is less likely to want military might. Our planet is overpopulated and resources are relatively scarce. Surviving will depend on our technology and that includes the technology for war. China has hypersonic nuclear missiles that can bypass the US defense system. So much for the US pounding its chest and posturing as the alpha male. It ain't the alpha male anymore and any American who disrespects China is being part of the problem. Few things are more important to Asians than saving face and being honored.
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k
    Good analysis! :up:

    will just have a cold war with them until they tire of this as well..dclements

    I'm hoping this'll happen sooner or later. Individuals usually get tired of the toys they have - they get bored and what was before an exciting plaything becomes dull and fails to evoke the, thrilling as hell, dopamine rush.
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