‘Prolonged, destructive’ United States, China war possible, ex-Obama intelligence adviser says

Monday, August 15, 2016
By Paul Martin

Aug 15, 2016

Former United States chief intelligence adviser has warned a war between the US and China would be long, destructive and could erupt if regional disputes already underway overheat.

David Gompert sent the warning to policy makers in a Rand Corporation report commissioned by the US Army.

“War between the United States and China could be so ruinous for both countries, for East Asia, and for the world that it might seem unthinkable,” Mr Gompert wrote.

“Yet it is not: China and the United States are at loggerheads over several regional disputes that could lead to military confrontation or even violence between them.

“If an incident occurred or a crisis overheated, both have an incentive to strike enemy forces before being struck by them.

“And if hostilities erupted, both have ample forces, technology, industrial might, and personnel to fight across vast expanses of land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace.”

He said if such a war broke out today, China’s losses would greatly exceed that of the US.

But he said it was possible by 2025 China’s economy may have overtaken America’s and the gap could be much smaller.

“Even then, however, China could not be confident of gaining military advantage, which suggests the possibility of a prolonged and destructive, yet inconclusive, war,” Mr Gompert said.

US ‘should prepare for long, fierce war’

Mr Gompert said the US should make sensible preparations to wage a “long and fierce” war with China but argued it must also develop plans to limit the scope, intensity and duration of such a conflict.

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