‘Unacceptable Damage’: What If US Launched Nuclear Strike on China?

Friday, July 28, 2017
By Paul Martin


On Thursday, the commander of the United States Pacific Fleet said that he would be ready to launch a nuclear strike on China if President Donald Trump gave the order.

“The answer would be: Yes,” Adm. Scott Swift said, responding to a hypothetical question at a security conference at the Australian National University.

Swift added that every member of the US military “has sworn an oath to defend” the country against all enemies and to obey orders of the commander-in-chief.

On the one hand, the admiral said what he should say as a military man. On the other hand, he didn’t mention the importance of US-China cooperation, as it is usually done. Many experts believe that his remark is just part of a political game.

In terms of firepower, Adm. Swift’s statement is not without reason. There are 10 US Ohio-class submarines operating in the Pacific. They are armed with the Trident and Trident II ballistic missiles (with an operational range of 7,400-11,000 km). Each submarine carries 24 missiles capable of delivering 8 or 14 nuclear warheads to the enemy territory. Moreover, their large operational range allows the missile to be launched from the US territorial waters, for example, from the area around Hawaii.

“In the event of a large-scale war, the Chinese military would be unable to prevent a nuclear attack. They could not locate and destroy all of the enemy’s submarines,” Vasily Kashin, senior research fellow at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies, the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Sputnik.

For now, the Chinese military has 75-100 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), with 75 percent of them capable of reaching the continental US. No less than 20 of the missiles are silo-based while the others are mounted on trucks.

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