Friday, December 18, 2015

What Makes Sense?

This really is an interesting question:

Will Guam Be America's Next Pearl Harbor?

The worry is that China will strike first at us in a war, and the author cites other cases where China did that (although I'd dispute the Korean War case where we missed signals from China that they would intervene if we approached the Yalu River. They achieved surprise but it sure seems like they didn't plan a pure surprise intervention).

It really depends on who the target is. I continue to hold that if China seeks a war against someone other than America, it makes no sense for China to strike American forces, too, at the outset of a war.

Such an attack on our forces would accelerate our decision to fight, which otherwise might take weeks--if we decide to intervene at all.

So if China attacks Taiwan, why bring us into the war right off the bat when China just needs to delay our intervention (for weeks?) while they conquer Taiwan?

Or if China attacks Japanese islands in the East China Sea, why hit our forces when China can grab the islands, rattle nuclear sabres, and call for a ceasefire and talks (to confirm Chinese possession of the islands)?

So to decide whether it makes sense for China to attack American bases on Guam (or Okinawa), you have to figure out who China is going to war against. If China is going to war against America, then yes, China will slam Guam.

If the war is against someone else, if makes little sense for China to attack Guam.

Assuming China's assumptions and logic are the same as ours, of course. If China doesn't believe that it would take America perhaps weeks to decide to intervene to help a third party--even an ally--and also gather forces to intervene, China might strike us.

Which is why I really don't like dangling our best stuff forward to tempt an enemy into striking first to eliminate that best portion of our military.

And why I really would like to disperse our capabilities in the western Pacific away from Okinawa and Guam.