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US could lose 900 fighter jets to protect Taiwan from Chinese aggression: analysis

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  • A think tank conducted a wargame analysis of the US-China conflict over Taiwan.
  • One analyst told Insider that the US and Taiwan are likely to succeed in repelling a Chinese aggression.
  • However, both sides can suffer devastating losses. Up to 900 US aircraft could be destroyed.

The United States and Taiwan could probably fend off a Chinese aggression, but it would cost both sides heavily, a think-tank analysis has found.

The Institute for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, has conducted war games to imagine how such a conflict might play out.

“The good news is that at the end of all iterations so far, we have an autonomous Taiwan,” Mark Kanxian, senior adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Insider.

“The United States and Taiwan have been largely successful in keeping the islands away from Chinese occupation, but at a very high cost – the loss of hundreds of aircraft, aircraft carriers, and damage to Taiwan’s economy and the Chinese Navy and Navy. A terrible devastation, Air Force.”

In one of the more pessimistic scenarios, the loss of 900 U.S. fighters and attack aircraft in four weeks, according to The Times of London, is half the number of U.S. Air Force and Navy fighters. increase.

Potential losses in war games.

Institute for Strategic and International Studies

But while the United States is likely to suffer heavy losses in a full-blown conflict with China, Kanxiang points out that China in general is likely to suffer more losses.

“I think that in most scenarios, the Chinese fleet would suffer more because it is so much more at risk,” he said.

He pointed out that there was a high probability of losing more than 100 ships in the landing operation.

War games are designed to help you imagine how a conflict might unfold. I only have

The team has run the game 18 out of 22 times so far and plans to release a final report in December.

The game includes two boards with Western Pacific operational maps including Taiwan, Japan, and China, and counters that move on the boards.

Teams use computer models and battle results tables to determine what will happen based on analysis of historical experience. Dice are used to add an element of randomness.

They then travel to another map of Taiwan and engage in a ground battle between Chinese lands and the Taiwanese as they attempt to defend the island.

A map of Taiwan used for war games.

Institute for Strategic and International Studies

Cancian said he hasn’t run out the worst-case scenario yet, but pointed to one of the games The Wall Street Journal reported containing two pessimistic elements. And because of China’s manipulation and sabotage, Taiwanese are slow to react.

He said he plans to run the game with even more pessimistic assumptions in the future, including a strike in mainland China and the role of Japan.

With most of its aircraft destroyed on the ground, Cancian believes that the United States could deter China by purchasing more long-range missiles and building shelters in Guam and Japan to protect its aircraft. He said CSIS would suggest some improvements to the strategy.

war game board.

Institute for Strategic and International Studies

Disagreement over Taiwan has increased tensions between the United States and China, with some military analysts believing China could eventually invade Taiwan.

For decades, China has pressured its government not to recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state, promising to “unify” its autonomous islands with the mainland by 2050.

The United States has long tried to maintain a delicate balance between supporting Taiwan and preventing war with China, but tensions have increased recently.

Earlier this month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, but China repeatedly warned her not to do so.

China called it a “vicious provocation” and said it would sanction Democrats and their families, but experts say China’s response generally falls within standard strategy.

Pelosi defended her trip, telling NBC: “We cannot allow the Chinese government to isolate Taiwan.”

After Pelosi’s visit, China said it would conduct military exercises around Taiwan and continue further “training and war preparations,” The Guardian reported.

5 members of the House of Representatives A delegation led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, less than two weeks after Pelosi’s visit, risking further tensions with China.