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RAND Corporation Report: ‘War with China—Thinking Through the Unthinkable’

Aug. 1, 2016 (EIRNS)—The Obama war party is dropping all pretenses and preparing for war on China, as the above title of the July 28 RAND Corporation report makes clear. The contents are chilling, proposing that the US is losing its edge if it waits even a few more years, and insanely arguing that war is winnable because the use of nuclear weapons is "highly unlikely," and that Russia "would have no significant bearing on the fighting."

The RAND press release announcing the report reads in part:

"As Chinese military capabilities improve, the United States no longer can be certain that a Sino-U.S. war would lead it to achieve a quick and decisive victory....

"At present, Chinese military losses would significantly exceed U.S. losses during a war. However, the unrelenting improvement of Chinese anti-access capabilities could increase U.S. losses and, as U.S. strike capabilities are depleted, reduce Chinese losses....

"... a premeditated attack from either side is unlikely... [but] China could try to intimidate its neighbors below the threshold of U.S. intervention and misjudge where that threshold is, or underestimate U.S. willingness to back Japan militarily in a crisis over disputed territory in the East China Sea....

" Technological advances in the ability to target opposing forces are creating a condition of... conventional counterforce, where each side has the means to strike and degrade the other’s strike forces. Because this increases the incentive of each side to attack an enemy before one’s forces are attacked, it will make crises and military confrontations—such as the ongoing disputes in the South China Sea—increasingly and dangerously unstable, according to the study....

"Internally, China’s authoritarian regime and nationalistic public mood would, in the short term, enable it to wage war despite heavy losses, whereas U.S. politics are less predictable. Over time, however, China could be subject to heightened dissidence and separatist activities, especially as the economy — the ultimate source of regime legitimacy—is battered.

"Internationally, Russia and NATO might line up behind China and the United States, respectively, but have no significant bearing on the fighting.... Japan’s entry into a Sino-U.S. war could tilt the military situation, though this could increase Chinese resolve and result in attacks on Japan."

Co-authors of the 116 page study are Senior Fellow David C. Gompert, Astrid Cevallos, and Cristina L. Garafola. "Research for the study was sponsored by the Office of the Undersecretary of the Army and conducted within the RAND Arroyo Center’s Strategy, Doctrine and Resources Program, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Army."

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