What War with China Would Look Like

If China attacks Taiwan in 2015 and the United States comes to the island’s rescue, the Air Force would have a tough fight on its hands, predict analysts with RAND Project Air Force. The “significant number” of modern fighters, surface-to-air missiles, long-range early warning radars, and secure communication links that China is likely to have by 2015, coupled with Chinese capabilities to strike US bases in the western Pacific, would make the air campaign “highly challenging for US air forces,” they write in Shaking the Heavens and Splitting the Earth, a recently issued RAND report. Improving US capabilities to attack China’s aircraft on the ground, “may be the most effective way to defeat China’s air force,” it states. (RAND release with hyperlink to report, which is a large file.)