09.08.2022 | Getting Ready for a Long War with China: Dynamics of Protracted Conflict in the Western Pacific
by Hal Brands - American Enterprise Institute
The United States may be preparing for the wrong kind of war with China. Much of America’s planning for a potential war with China appears to hinge on an assumption that the war would be short and localized. Yet most modern great-power clashes have been long wars, lasting months or years rather than days or weeks. And as great-power wars go long, they frequently get bigger, messier, and harder to untangle.
A Sino-American war that occurs in the coming years would most likely fit this pattern. Such a conflict is likely to be long, rather than short; it would probably sprawl geographically rather than remaining confined to the Taiwan Strait. It would feature far higher risks of nuclear escalation than many observers recognize and present the United States with severe challenges of warfighting and war termination.
History has often punished countries that expect to fight short, decisive wars but end up in long, sprawling ones. So the United States needs to get ready for a protracted war with China.
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