FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Scenario for a US-China War

Retired Brigadier General Victor N. Corpus examines some scenarios for future military conflict -- none of which should provide any comfort to the Pentagon.

A key scenario involves the US making a pre-emptive strike against China after instigating unrest in Taiwan and a Chinese military response. The Chinese arsenal includes everything from economic weapons (dumping US Treasury bonds, causing a financial panic), anti-satellite "space mines," and an "assassin's mace" of rocket torpedoes and supersonic cruise missiles launched against an advancing carrier fleet. Corpus believes that such an attack would be very difficult to counter, and that it could, in effect, make the American aircraft carrier fleet obsolete... just as carriers and other weapons did to the battleship in World War II. In fact, Corpus believes that China could use such a strategy to neutralize US forces in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Pacific in a matter of hours. Furthermore, Corpus believes that Chinese cruise missiles launched across the Pacific could even pose a threat to US West Coast cities... especially if they're tipped with nuclear warheads.

Corpus also speculates on the impact of asynchronous and asymmetrical warfare that includes everything from crude "dirty" bombs, computer hacking and chemical/biological weapons, to high-tech weapons that use lasers, ultrahigh frequencies, microwaves and ultrasonic waves.

Corpus' scenarios are meant to highlight the danger of pre-emptive war, concluding that the US will be best served applying its vast power and resources to peaceful purposes. However, one would hope that current and future US military planners are considering these such weapons and strategies in their own battle plans.

Source: Minding the Planet