It is possible that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan could result in significant losses for both sides, including the United States if it chooses to become militarily involved in the conflict.
The outcome of a potential war
It is difficult to predict the outcome of a potential war because a large number of parameters must be taken into account, such as the capabilities, doctrines, strengths, and weaknesses of the belligerents However, war simulations can provide insight into what might happen in the event of a conflict and help prepare.
U.S. think tanks have recently studied the consequences of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. In 2020, the Rand Corporation concluded that U.S. forces would often be defeated by the People's Liberation Army in the various simulations considered. According to David Ochmanek, a former senior Pentagon official who participated in these simulations, "as during the naval battle of Tshushima won by Japan in 1905 , the Chinese navy would have the advantage of operating close to its bases."
The cost of a war would be very high on both sides
In addition, in these simulations, the Taiwanese air force could be quickly decimated and U.S. ships and planes would be kept at bay by China's long-range missiles. In 2022, the Center for Strategic and International Studies conducted an even more comprehensive simulation of a possible Chinese attack on Taiwan in 2026. The results showed that, in most cases, the PLA would not have succeeded in occupying Taiwan, but only if the United States and Japan came to the island's aid. However, the cost of a war would be very high for all forces involved.
It is important to note that these simulations are based on limited assumptions and data, and it is impossible to predict exactly what would happen in an actual conflict. As the authors of the simulation conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies point out, "the results of this simulation should not be viewed as predictions or projections, but rather as illustrations of the potential consequences of a war between China and Taiwan."
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