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naval combat aircraft as they are forced to fly greater distances would further complicate an increasingly challenged air superiority battle (see Chapter Four. forces would probably be able to progressively mitigate the threat. Burgess Laird.S. surface fleet continues to grow .S. Air Force tanker support. U. U. During the critical first days of a conflict. Libicki.S. perhaps more importantly. Jeff Hagen.S. finding basing for more tankers to support U. 15 – PhD Poli Sci @ MIT [Eric. forces to degrade Chinese space-based ISR and OTH radar. China can now hold the U. Michael Nixon. Sheng Li. Jeffrey Engstrom. David R. including both anti-missile systems and.S. and partner forces less well protected from air attack. .org/pubs/research_reports/RR392. air bases (Chapter Three. and it will improve them over time .S.rand. and the United States is acquiring more and better anti-submarine warfare assets. several of these defensive measures distract from or diminish the ability of U. this would leave U.html. surface forces may.000 km. Heim. ways to defeat Chinese ISR. military has a variety of means to mitigate specific threats. forces to project power. The impact of Chinese threats to carriers will likely be greatest during the first stages of a conflict.S. the growing threat to U. Paul DeLuca.S. http://www. and an increased demand for U. And the reduction in time on station for U. U. Navy’s surface fleet at risk at significant ranges from the mainland. Aircraft carriers can provide their own defensive combat air patrols to defeat the threat from enemy aircraft.China Wins – Navy China beats the navy Heginbotham et al. ge] In contrast to the situation in 1996. However. scorecard 1). RAND. The extent of the threat to the U. stand off farther from the Chinese coast. (3) the acquisition of strike aircraft and surface ships with greater range and power . fewer aircraft on station. however. Morgan.S. Holding carriers farther from the scene of the main battle area would entail longer transit times for combat aircraft. Forrest E.S. as Chinese capabilities grow in both sophistication and numbers. Together with the Chinese missile threat to U. China’s antisurface capability is founded on four developments: (1) the establishment of an increasingly capable longrange surveillance system. for example.S. it will take longer to achieve the same level of mitigation. surface forces can also adjust their operational practices. David A. Navy is almost certainly hard at work on technical counters to China’s budding ASBM threat. scorecard 2). Frelinger. Lyle J. Kyle Brady.S. Martin C.S. Jacob L. surface ships outlined in this chapter is arguably the most serious challenge facing U. air bases (see Chapter Three. thereby reducing China’s ability to find and target them. Morris. Particularly in light of the Chinese missile threat to forward U. aircraft carriers to approach closer to the main battle areas with less risk to themselves. The U. In a protracted fight. allowing U.S. 2015. (2) the deployment of sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles and the development of an ASBM with a range of 2. New counterspace and cyber capabilities may enable U. The U.S.S. Shlapak. forces in any potential China scenario. As important. which improves the PLA’s ability to detect and track surface ships at long ranges.S. scorecard 1). Navy air operations would be difficult. as would withholding aircraft to protect the carriers.S. Moreover. and (4) the deployment of new classes of larger and quieter submarines armed with both torpedoes and cruise missiles .

RAND. Paul DeLuca. http://www.org/pubs/research_reports/RR392. particularly from a qualitative standpoint.China Wins – Air Force China beats the airforce Heginbotham et al. Morgan. Michael Nixon. the PLA could employ a dense and redundant infrastructure to mobilize combat power over a vast geographic area. Morris. The United States would find itself hard-pressed to attack mainland China with the necessary frequency and intensity without suffering greater air losses than it has in any war in recent memory.S. ¶ The net effect of these developments on the outcome depends largely on the geographic reach and duration of the conflict. forces as a whole will no longer be able to deliver ordnance in the same volume that was previously possible without exposing U.rand. SEAD effort will necessarily be more selective.S. Sheng Li. 15 – PhD Poli Sci @ MIT [Eric. the United States faces a problem of scale. Given the cost of U. the U. Heim. Jeffrey Engstrom. high-end systems. Libicki.S. Jeff Hagen. such as that posited in our Taiwan scenario. David A. jamming. efforts appear to be successful in meeting many of the challenges. 2015.html. aircraft to substantial risk. military plans to use stealth. Lyle J.S. At the same time. while a conflict with China could require large numbers. although it will likely continue to rely on foreign sources for the most advanced technologies. and standoff weapons to surmount modern IADS. David R. Forrest E. stealth aircraft and standoff weapons alone might well prove insufficient to neutralize a significant portion of the target set. Given the severity of the threat that modern Chinese air defenses pose to legacy aircraft.S. placing the latter at higher risk. However. In a fight close to China’s coast. Martin C. U. ¶ The U. Kyle Brady. Jacob L. Frelinger. .S. the PLA has turned its air defense network from a flimsy distraction into a robust network that can successfully safeguard its airspace against all but the most advanced technology and tactics. ge] China has made remarkable progress toward improving its air defense capabilities . The Chinese defense industry has since evolved to the point that it can indigenously produce many elements of a formidable air defense system. The PLA began its defense modernization process by relying heavily on foreign weapons and an aging air fleet. Shlapak. and U. In less than 20 years. they are available only in limited numbers. Electronic warfare and other support aircraft face severe challenges accompanying lethal SEAD and strike aircraft to many of the relevant targets. Burgess Laird.

¶ Thus. interest and liquidity of credit. it is itself perhaps the best defence against an adventurous China. as that would simply be to dispense with the existent deterrent effect while it still has great force.¶ As is the case with mutual assured destruction. the balance of advantage rests with the United States. Princeton Professor of World Politics and China and the World Program Director. In the case of Chinese–US relations. and exacerbate the consequences. a strong US economy is not just the basis for a strong defence. This suggests the need to supplement military deterrence with other forms of dissuasion. consumption and employment would also be devastating. However. even if smaller as a percentage of GDP. . 12 [Thomas J. For the United States. accessed 6/30/16. One such measure could be interference with seaborne oil shipments to China (food presumably being off-limits even in war) . The two economies are linked both with each other and with the rest of the world in a manner unparalleled in history. oiltransport routes and arrangements are such that the entire region. It is at least theoretically possible to limit the escalation of a military clash to the sub-nuclear level. However. a strategy based upon escalation and ultimately on deterrence by punishment would mean assuming greater risks in the future than in the past to achieve the same objectives. It is. the value of the dollar. It is true that for China the loss of export revenue.Econ Impact Even limited war collapses the economy Christensen. The Meaning of the Nuclear Evolution: China's Strategic Modernization and US-China Security Relations. resistance and persuasion. Nor is Apple going to be shipping iPads from its factories in China. even the weaker party gains deterrent benefit from the likelihood of mutual. not so with economic consequences. a reason to ensure that the balance of dependence does not shift too heavily against the United States. This trend could be offset by a US willingness to employ horizontal and vertical escalation. however. however much Beijing and Washington might seek to limit the damage. Taylor and Francis. in effect a form of mutually assured economic destruction. The point could be reached sometime in the next few decades.¶ Mutual assured economic destruction¶ Given that. Journal of Strategic Sutdies Vol 35 Issue 4. food and commodities) would have a calamitous effect on its economic and possibly domestic stability. It is often said that a strong economy is the basis of a strong defence. and critical imports (oil. ge] America's capacity to ensure the defence of its friends and allies on China's periphery will diminish over the next several decades. At the moment. the effects on US equity and credit markets. even if the two sides eschewed the use of economic weapons. America's principal creditor and source of manufactured goods. destruction.¶ This is not an argument for seeking to decouple the US economy from the Chinese economy. ¶ The operation of mutually assured economic destruction is somewhat different from classic mutual assured destruction. however. Markets will anticipate widespread disruption in US–Chinese and world trade. investment. This mutual dependence can be an immensely powerful deterrent. would suffer some level of disruption as a result of a distant US blockade of Chinese trade. But China is far from a typical target. American interests in East Asia. China is not going to continue buying US Treasury notes while the American and Chinese navies clash somewhere off Taiwan or in the South China Sea. at which the balance of dependence has shifted so far against the United States that it no longer represents an effective deterrent to Chinese advances against important. it is clear that massive and mutual economic harm would result from any significant Sino-American armed conflict. short of a nuclear exchange. if not vital. including Japan. Economic war against China would more accurately be described as economic war with China. Some American interests in the region may not justify such increased risk s. the greatest damage from any conflict with China is likely to come in the economic realm. and lasting. if unevenly distributed. investment returns. even while acknowledging the impact on the US and world economies. the question – a very fateful one – for the United States is whether it could design economic measures that could hit China disproportionately hard. poor costeffectiveness and opprobrium associated with military force are too great . but even the winner in such a contest will wish it had been avoided. given the scale and intensity of Sino-American economic interdependence. China would consider such an action to be a major escalation aimed at crippling its economy and endangering both domestic stability and the regime itself. ¶ Economic warfare¶ Sanctions have typically been an option of choice for the United States when the risks. May 21. however. Of course. inflation. China has been expanding its strategic oil reserve and building oil and gas pipelines to Central Asia in order to mitigate such dangers and would likely retaliate by other means. Such a war would likely lead to a global contraction much worse than that of 2008–09. China also has options in this regard.

Even more disturbing were their findings concerning the far reaching disruption to global climate conditions that this conflict would cause. each with an explosive power of 15 kilotons—the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945—against urban targets in the other country.¶ In the last two years. the soot particles would cause a major decrease in stratospheric ozone.¶ Far from being a distraction. and acute radiation exposure. ‘13 [Nov 4. would have devastating effects worldwide. there will be a follow-up conference in Mexico to further delineate the medical effects of nuclear war as they are now understood and to consider the circumstances under which nuclear war might occur.[4] Crop specialist Lili Xia and Robock examined the impact on middle-season rice production in China and found a 15 percent decline from the prewar level for the 10 years following this conflict . 870 million people in the world today already are malnourished. the cooling would lower total precipitation worldwide as less water evaporated from the oceans to fall back as rain or snow. dropping surface temperatures across the planet by an average of 1. The decline in food consumption.800 calories per day required for the average adult to maintain his or her body mass and do a small amount of physical work to gather or grow food. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since they gained independence in 1947 and have come close to war twice when armed with nuclear weapons.S. Brian Toon. these meetings are helping to create the conditions necessary for the elimination of nuclear weapons. The local effects were devastating: 20 million dead in the first week from blast effects. ¶ The climate disruption predicted by the Robock-Toon study has been independently confirmed in separate studies done by climatologists Michael Mills2 and Andrea Stenke. This information indicates that even a very limited nuclear war. burns.3 degrees Celsius. ¶ The scientists found that the firestorms generated by these nuclear explosions would loft about 5 million tons of black soot high into the atmosphere.[3] each of whom considered the same limited war scenario but used a different climate model. probably would be much larger than the decline in food production.[7] They receive less than the 1. Most of the countries of North .[6] In addition. and there would be significant changes in precipitation patterns. Environmental scientist Mutlu Özdogan looked at soybean production and corn production in the U. much of the food is imported. The weapons involved represent less than one-half of the current Indian and Pakistani arsenals and less than 0.5 percent of the world’s nuclear arsenals. The Humanitarian Consequences Of Nuclear War. although most people enjoy adequate nutrition today. https://www. sustained over a full decade.[5]¶ The world is not prepared to deal with this kind of significant decline in food production. climatologist Alan Robock. In addition. During one crisis in the 1990s.¶ Next February. Even a 10 or 15 percent decline from these levels of food consumption. The cooling would be much more severe in the internal regions of the major continents. making even the available food inaccessible to the poor. The United States and the four other NPT nuclear-weapon states should participate in the Mexico conference and actively promote the process launched in Oslo to educate policymakers and the general public about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear war. ge] In March.armscontrol. and four colleagues examined the consequences of a potential limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan. By allowing substantially more ultraviolet light to reach the earth’s surface. Corn Belt and found an average decline of 7 percent in soybean production and 12 percent in corn production in the decade following a limited war in South Asia. confined to one region of the globe.[2] It is easy to imagine events. ¶ Furthermore.Yes – Status Quo Esc. 130 nations gathered in Oslo for a two-day conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war.¶ Further. Arms Control Association. that could escalate into full-scale warfare and the use of nuclear weapons.¶ In 2006. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War co-president. ¶ In their study. who are already malnourished precisely because they cannot afford enough food at current prices. Robock and Toon assumed that each country used 50 nuclear bombs. Market forces would magnify the impact with large rises in food prices. World grain reserves amount to less than 70 days of consumption and would not offer a significant buffer against a sharp and sustained reduction in grain harvests. a number of studies have attempted to look at the effect this climate disruption would have on food production. however. by heating the upper atmosphere.[1] They chose to examine the effects of this scenario because of the two countries’ long history of conflict and the ongoing risk of a nuclear exchange. this would further reduce crop yields. Their effects would persist for a full decade until they gradually settled back to earth. a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences. The five countries that the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) recognizes as nuclear-weapon states staged a coordinated boycott. The soot particles would be injected so high in the atmosphere that they would not be washed out by rainfall.org/print/6021. it was reported that Pakistani planes armed with nuclear bombs were kept on the runway with their engines running 24 hours a day so they would be ready for takeoff on a few minutes’ notice. arguing that a meeting that discussed what will actually happen if nuclear weapons are used would somehow distract them from the important initiatives they are pursuing to lower the number of nuclear weapons that they possess. The soot would block out sunlight. shortening the growing season in areas where much of the world’s grain is produced . would be catastrophic . accessed 7/3/16. some 300 million people live in countries where. such as an increase in tension over the disputed territories in Kashmir or another terrorist attack like those at the Indian parliament in 2001 or in Mumbai in 2008.¶ This task is particularly urgent in view of the new data that have emerged over the last few years. Limited regional nuclear wars cause extinction – collapses food production for decades and kills billons Helfand.

attack submarines and ballistic missile submarines share shore-based infrastructure. pressuring China to escalate to nuclear use while it still could. over the last decade in response to local crop shortfalls. the United States. ¶ In April 2012. George Washington University Political Science and International Affairs Assistant Professor. at the Nobel Peace Laureates Summit in Chicago. air defense systems may protect both conventional and nuclear assets. The arsenals of China. February.¶ There are no simulations examining whether there will be similar shortfalls in other temperatezone grain producers such as Canada. the predicted food shortfalls would create a decade of severe economic and social instability in China.¶ Nuclear escalation in response to an opponent’s perceived attempt at conventional counterforce constitutes an alternative pathway to nuclear escalation. 16 [Caitlin. for limited periods of time. In particular. At the very least. air defenses. submarines. and the United Kingdom are all capable of causing the same or greater degrees of climate disruption. show that these other grains are affected much more severely than rice. and tactical overlap Talmadge. winter wheat. and Taiwan. or is seeking to neuter the state’s nuclear capabilities . “Nuclear Famine. In the face of significant declines in food production. France. there was a general understanding that large-scale nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union would be a disaster. South Korea. early warning radars are relevant to both conventional and nuclear operations.–China Conflict. Conventional war goes nuclear – “use em or lose em”. The latest studies suggest that there might be widespread starvation in China. This has happened repeatedly.wilsoncenter. Physicians for Social Responsibility.Africa and the Middle East and many of the wealthy industrial countries of East Asia. about 50 to 75 of which are deliverable by land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. fall into this category. In addition. Global Impact¶ In the 1980s. and the same sites can house both conventional and nuclear missiles (called co-location). with the former often protecting the latter. For example. Xia and Robock have generated new data examining the impact of a limited nuclear war in South Asia on grain crops other than rice in China. and Europe except for Özdogan’s study of corn and soybeans in the United States. not just for those countries but for the whole planet.org/sites/ default/files/ china_policy_brief_talmadge_0. Preventing Nuclear Escalation in U.¶ Regional War. these 300 million people also would face severe food insecurity. Their findings.S. accessed 7/3/16. Such fears also could lead the state to engage in behaviors that make other pathways to escalation more likely. But if such a war were to break out. the notion that one side might try to use its nuclear weapons to pre-emptively destroy the arsenal of the other. and unauthorized launch by a commander who is physically able to use nuclear weapons but does not have political permission to do so. a state subject to attack on these targets may have a difficult time distinguishing whether the adversary is merely conducting a normal conventional campaign. it is probable that grain-exporting countries would suspend exports. In the absence of such studies. For example. production of the secondlargest grain crop. actual detonation of nuclear weapons— likely would be higher than many observers realize. which would reduce vulnerability to conventional counterforce but . the risk of nuclear escalation —that is. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and its U.¶ This escalation scenario is distinct from other possible pathways to nuclear use.[8] The report concluded that more than one billion people might starve as a result of a limited. Israel. ge] Conventional Counterforce as a Pathway to Nuclear Escalation Conventional ¶ War between the United States and China remains a lowprobability event. with severe humanitarian consequences extending far beyond the countries directly involved in the conflict. estimated to be nearly 300 warheads. ¶ These new findings suggest that the “Nuclear Famine” report may have seriously underestimated the extent of the catastrophe that would follow a regional nuclear conflict and that arms control advocates need to fundamentally rethink their assumptions about limited nuclear war. would be spared actual famine. regional nuclear war. released a report. Other scenarios for nuclear escalation include mistaken launch based on faulty warning information. is projected to fall 31 percent. affiliate. Yet. aggressive tactics. putting another 1.” examining this potential catastrophe. and missile sites have the potential not only to degrade that side’s conventional capabilities but also its nuclear capabilities. conventional military attacks by one side against the other’s command and control networks. the state could opt for more decentralized control of nuclear weapons. Some aspects of a likely U. ¶ These findings have significant implications for nuclear weapons policy choices in South Asia and for the policies of other states toward India and Pakistan. It can arise when one side’s conventional military campaign infringes or appears poised to infringe on the other side’s ability to use or control its nuclear arsenal. command and control networks for conventional forces may also be relevant to the control of nuclear weapons. some states develop doctrines that deliberately threaten to escalate to the first use of nuclear weapons in the event of rapid conventional losses. which is the largest country in the world and has the world’s second-largest and most dynamic economy. along with most of the rest of the industrial world. it is clear that even a much more limited nuclear war would be a global catastrophe. For example. early warning radars. ¶ For all of these reasons. it may wish to escalate to nuclear use while it still has the ability to do so.3 billion people at risk. ¶ Since then. campaign in a conventional war against China could look to China like an attempt at conventional counterforce.[9] From the studies described above.S. miscalc. After all.pdf. https://www. including Japan. China also has a large nuclear arsenal of its own. which will be published later this year. The report assumed that China. in the Cold War the classic scenario for escalation was pre-emption. Russia. the issue extends well beyond South Asia. it seems prudent to assume that these countries might well suffer the same major food shortages that are now predicted for China. Thus. If the state fears the latter.S. Institute for Security and Conflict Studies.

These sorts of attacks will be essential to U.S. conventional success but also will make it increasingly difficult for China to feel confident that U. aims are limited and that China’s nuclear retaliatory capabilities remain intact. The Pacific Ocean may insulate the United States from much of China’s striking power.S. Indeed.–China Conflict¶ Five factors suggest that a U. ¶ Second. militaries have a well-developed general preference for the offense. and other sites well inside the Chinese mainland .¶ Fifth. air defense networks. the United States embraces highly offensive conventional concepts of operations in the Pacific. Some civilian policymakers may not be fully aware of the potentially escalatory implications of such approaches. ¶ First. allies.S. situational awareness is likely to deteriorate rapidly for the United States and especially China during a conventional conflict.S. escalation depends on how a state perceives an aggressive conventional campaign against it. alliance commitments could further exacerbate this danger . some Chinese statements indicate that conventional attacks on China’s nuclear capabilities could vitiate China’s no-first-use pledge.–China conventional war could activate this escalatory mechanism. particularly Japan and Taiwan. allies might not share that conviction. civilian control of the U. in ways that further compound all of the escalatory pressures just discussed. conventional operations could quickly expand in ways that could appear to impinge on Chinese nuclear capabilities. creating strong use or-lose pressures. and reconnaissance assets (ISR) and command and control networks is likely to be one of the primary objectives of any U.S. After all.heighten the danger of unauthorized launch.¶ Ultimately. This reality again suggests that U. The historical record suggests that civilian oversight of conventional operations with nuclear implications has not always been robust. From China’s perspective these assets may be relevant to China’s assured retaliation capability.S. campaign in a conventional war with China could target Chinese submarines. the U. Thus what the United States may view as a purely conventional operation might look to China like the prelude to a counterforce strike. actively embracing this risk as a way to increase pressure on the adversary.S. Even if the United States believed it could achieve security through a slower and more limited conventional campaign. despite the nuclear pressures these approaches might place on China. military’s organizational tendencies also tilt in the direction of a more conventionally aggressive campaign.¶ Third. military strategy. Militaries also tend to pursue tactical and operational advantages at the expense of broader strategic and political objectives. but U. denying China knowledge of the battle space through the destruction of intelligence. would be much more militarily and economically exposed in the event of a U.S. The state waging the campaign might use conventional force to target the opponent’s nuclear capabilities inadvertently. Or it might do so deliberately. U.–China war. . preventing ongoing wars from escalating). Similarly. For understandable reasons. Historically this behavior has resulted in a U. missile sites.S. military is unlikely to check these tendencies . Either way.S. approach that is very good at general deterrence (preventing the outbreak of war) but less adept at intra-war deterrence (that is. A U. not realizing that the conventional campaign was starting to look to the opponent like counterforce. surveillance.S.S. while others may actually embrace these approaches .S. the United States may cross Chinese nuclear tripwires without realizing it.¶ Fourth. command and control systems.S. the target state’s fear of disarmament could lead that state to use nuclear weapons. U. ¶ The Dangers of Nuclear Escalation in the Event of U.

Mitigation Options¶ The U. greatly increasing the range from which they can attack. In 1996." much less the disabling or destruction of a carrier. much less attack. they provide a good indicator of trends over time. surface ships.S. in turn. Chinese capabilities to generate submarine-attack opportunities increased by more than an order of magnitude between 1996 and 2010 — and further increases are likely through 2017. improvements to Chinese ISR have improved the chances that Chinese submarines will receive such information.AT: Carriers Non-unique . Heginbotham is also a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. and it will improve them over time. Although most Chinese boats are diesel-powered and none is not up to U. carrier-strike groups would increase the ability of Chinese submarines to engage U. military has a variety of means to mitigate specific threats. and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and the anti-surface warfare battle.S. place further stress on available U.S.rand. This threat to the U. carriers are substantial and rising. standards.html) Focus on Chinese Anti-Surface Warfare¶ This brief focuses on one area in which China has made rapid and substantial relative improvements: its ability to locate and attack U.¶ Assessing the Submarine Threat in the Taiwan and Spratly Islands Scenarios¶ The researchers assessed various aspects of Chinese intelligence. naval aircraft in the fight. However. and helicopters) to screen the fleet and to detect and suppress or destroy Chinese submarines.S. senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation specializing in East Asian security issues. China's anti-surface capability is founded on four developments : (1) the establishment of an increasingly capable long-range maritime surveillance capability designed to detect and track surface ships. Increased tanker demand will. carriers and cases in which the submarines received cueing about the target location once every 24 hours.¶ As shown in the figure.S. as well as its over-the-horizon radar.S. The remainder of its fleet consisted of legacy boats based on 1950s technology. PhD from MIT. given growing threats from China's submarines.S.S. (2) the deployment of sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles and the world's first anti-ship ballistic missile.S . It will also increase the demand for U. as modern. lacking teardrop shaped hulls and armed only with torpedoes. surface ships. under all scenarios and circumstances considered. maritime patrol aircraft.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9858z4. “Chinese Threats to US Surface Ships.S.S.¶ U.S. as well as an idea of the general scale of the challenge at any given point in time. China was reportedly unable to locate.S. surface fleet continues to grow. The quieting of Chinese submarines and the addition of cruise missiles largely accounts for the change. In assessing each scenario.Carriers are vulnerable now – newest ev Heginbotham 15 (Eric. and (4) the deployment of new classes of larger and quieter submarines armed with cruise missiles and torpedoes. carriers may be held farther from the Chinese coast.S.S. In contrast.S.S. http://www.S.000 km of the Chinese coast at significant risk. anti-submarine warfare capabilities.S. in conflicts centered on Taiwan or the Spratly Islands. perhaps more importantly. By 2017. New counterspace and cyber capabilities may enable U. as these aircraft will have to traverse greater distances and will therefore spend less time on station. aircraft carrier over a seven-day period. Chinese submarine commanders may not execute an attack every time they have an opportunity to engage.S. and each attack may not result in a "hit. particularly during the early stages of a conflict. which may itself be under threat from ballistic and cruise missile attack.¶ While the development of China's anti-ship ballistic missile capability has garnered headlines.S. especially aircraft carriers. China can now hold the U. this analysis suggests that the PLA's steady (but less heralded) development of quieter. aircraft carriers by nearly an order of magnitude above that without cueing. ways to defeat Chinese weapons sensors. forces to degrade China's spacebased ISR. .S. While it is not possible to confidently assess how often cueing might be provided in an actual conflict. as well as China's increasingly capable strike aircraft and anti-ship missiles.” RAND. aircraft-carrier battle groups in the waters around Taiwan. U. weapon capabilities. by any reasonable definition. This discussion is limited to the modeling of Chinese submarine attacks against U. two U. carriers in two scenarios at varying distances from the mainland: a Chinese invasion of Taiwan and a campaign to occupy a portion of the Spratly Islands. China had taken delivery of only two submarines that could be described.S. they could nevertheless threaten U. and the ability of U. with 49 modern ships. the modeling indicates that the risks to U. Inputs included sensor ranges. antisubmarine warfare assets (including submarines. The results are not intended to represent fully developed or precise predictions. China will have a smaller but more capable fleet. ¶ A second notable pattern is that even occasional cueing from other ISR assets regarding the location of U. Air Force tanker aircraft to refuel them. Navy is almost certainly working on technical counters to China's budding anti-ship ballistic-missile threat. and the United States is acquiring more and better anti-submarine warfare assets. the team considered cases in which each submarine acted individually with no external sources of information about the location of U. carrier-strike groups within 2. the movement speed of Chinese submarines and U.¶ During the Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996. basing. warships. The U.S. surveillance. Navy's surface fleet at risk at significant ranges from the mainland . both through kinetic ballistic-missile defenses and. more capable submarines represents a more immediate threat — one that puts U.¶ Nevertheless. This improvement came despite a reduction in the overall size of China's submarine force and improvements to U. But given the consistency of the methodology applied over the period considered. This will reduce the number of U.¶ The primary output metric was "attack opportunities" — the number of times Chinese submarines could reach positions to attack a U. including both Russian Kiloclass boats and indigenous designs. (3) the acquisition of strike aircraft with greater range and power. China's recent submarine classes are armed with both sophisticated cruise missiles and torpedoes. Aircraft carriers can provide their own defensive combat air patrols to defeat the threat from enemy aircraft.

Aircraft Carrier in the Yellow Sea. warships deployed close to its territorial waters. Based in Yokosuka. citing South Korean officials. “Red Alert: The Growing Threat to U. and warned of the implications for bilateral relations of any misunderstanding or unintended incident involving U. Global Times said China would likely send ships and aircraft to monitor the drill. Medium-range threats include systems capable of operating at ranges of up to 600 nm. such as anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs) and submarine.and bomber-delivered ASCMs. Japan since May 2008. International Editor for CNS News “China Bristles at Prospect of U.S. Chinese vessels have also tried to harass U.S. instead focusing on short-range assets intended to improve sortie generation rates. It must give up the idea of constantly aggravating another important cornerstone of security in the region. . Since the end of the Cold War. about the involvement of the USS George Washington.000 nm. the USS George Washington is the U. of the Arabian Sea.S. domination of the world’s oceans. has not ratified) provides for “freedom of navigation and overflight” in EEZs. Long-range threats include systems capable of operating beyond 600 nm.org/sites/default/files/publications-pdf/CNASReport-CarrierThreat-160217. territory of Guam and additionally cover the entirety of the Bay of Bengal and most. if not all. These systems could extend as far as the U.” Center for a New American Security. military movements in waters to its south and east. such as ASCMs delivered by submarines.S. But the 1982 U.S.” 7/12/2010.” said foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang.Destroying carriers good .S.S.com/news/article/china-bristles-prospect-us-aircraft-carrier-yellow-sea) The Pentagon has yet to confirm reports. ‘Undermining China’s security interests’ The Chinese government itself has by comparison been restrained in its response.S. which featured a combat radius of 1. “We hope relevant parties exercise calmness and restraint and refrain from actions that might escalate tension in the region.6 This was largely the result of the decision to replace the A-6 attack aircraft.carrier presence causes Chinese nationalist backlash Goodenough 10 – International Editor for CNS News. military activity. February 2016. or the area in which a given country enjoys sovereign rights over natural resources. the service has steadily retreated from its prior emphasis on long-range carrierbased assets and the deep strike mission. The treaty (which the U. China has challenged U. carrier and its air wing and foreshadow the end of unrivaled U. going so far as to pass laws aimed at restricting foreign ships’ activities in those waters. a paper affiliated with People’s Daily. Select land-based fighter aircraft may also threaten the carrier – without aerial refueling – at distances greater than 600 nm.S. Navy is particularly illequipped to operate at distance.com in Jerusalem. “The entire West Pacific is not the backyard of the U. East China and South China seas.S.5 During this time. Growing international interest in A2/AD capabilities occurs at a time when the U.7 The convergence of these factors could present new challenges for the U. a People’s Daily columnist. and especially surveillance. launched foreign bureaus for CNSNews. At its widest. described a surge of nationalist sentiment reflected by posts on the Internet by ordinary Chinese calling on China to attack U. But the possibility that the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier may take part in the exercise is provoking particular criticism.” Qin told reporters . must consider the impact its military presence would have on public perception and the delicate strategic balance in the area . these systems could be used throughout the East and South China Seas and could reach the first island chain that extends from Japan in the north to the Philippines in the south.pdf) Short-range threats include systems capable of operating within China’s 200-nautical-mile (nm) exclusive economic zone (EEZ). anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs). These systems – such as surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). “The U.” As China’s naval power has grown it has become increasingly resistant to U. ships in the Yellow. Navy’s first permanently forward-deployed nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. and tactical unmanned aerial vehicles ( UAVs) – are additionally capable of reaching Taiwan. land-based fighter aircraft and bombers. http://www. 96 percent of Chinese respondents agreed that a drill involving an aircraft carrier would pose a threat to China. but critical nonetheless. in its EEZ. In the event of a conflict.S.S. In its own editorial. Litany of Chinese threats to the carrier – newest ev – operating the carrier beyond the threat envelope and emphasizing denial capabilities solves Sayler 16 (Kelley. Associate Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program and the 20YY Warfare Initiative. “Our stance is consistent and clear. Limitations on the CVW’s range were further exacerbated by the retirement of the KA-6 tanker and the resultant decline in the carrier’s organic tanking capabilities. Convention on the Law of the Sea also recognizes exclusive economic zones (EEZ) stretching 200 nautical miles (about 230 miles) from a country’s coastline. the average unrefueled combat radius of the carrier air wing plummeted over 300 nm – from 800 nm in 1996 to only 500 nm in 2006 – bringing it well within the range of a number of states’ A2/AD capabilities.S. and larger surface vessels. Nonetheless. We have already expressed our resolute interest and concerns to related parties. It does not forbid one country from carrying out military activities inside another’s EEZ as long as the activity is “peaceful” and does not harm the coastal state’s environment or economic resources. http://cnsnews.N.cnas. Aircraft Carriers. the Yellow Sea is around 450 miles across and countries’ territorial limits stretch only 12 nautical miles from their coastlines.S. with the comparatively low-cost but shortlegged F/A-18 fighter jet. London and the Pacific Rim (Patrick.” Li Hongmei. “We firmly oppose foreign military vessels and planes conducting activities in the Yellow Sea and China’s coastal waters that undermine China’s security interests. In an online poll run by Global Times. It recently returned to port for the July 4 holiday but according to the Navy sailed again on Friday.” it said. and Chinese forces.S.

its ability to strike incoming targets will extend to 215 nm – a range large enough to cover the entirety of its EEZ. However.S. Existing batteries are capable of striking incoming cruise missiles and nonstealthy aircraft at a range of 80 nm9 and may also have limited abilities to strike ballistic missiles. operating within the threat envelope of surface combatants. reaching speeds of Mach 2. advancements in precision and lethality have amplified this risk at all ranges and will continue to do so in the years to come. in particular.Short-Range Threats Throughout its history. alternatively known as the 3M80ME Moskit – with each ship capable of launching eight missiles. China deploys the SS-N-27 Sizzler. which lies less than 100 nm from mainland China.11¶ Throughout its EEZ.15 It is additionally capable of striking targets with a 300 kg semiarmor-piercing warhead at a range of 65 to 130 nm (depending on variant). an ASCM that employs inertial and active radar guidance and that can receive in-flight target updates.13 China is also capable of delivering this missile from a range of land-based fighter aircraft and bombers and. China additionally operates a wide range of surface combatants – including destroyers. Over 100 of these vessels are capable of carrying the YJ-83. or 3M-54 Klub. defenses . shifting from subsonic .10 Furthermore. These capabilities could additionally be brought to bear in a conflict with Taiwan. SAMs.14¶ China’s four Russian-built Sovremenny guided missile destroyers also operate an advanced anti-ship cruise missile – the SS-N-22 Sunburn. China operates approximately 40 Russian-built S-300 SAM batteries in addition to 60 indigenous HQ-9 models. China. and fast-attack craft – equipped with anti-ship cruise missiles . when China receives delivery of the upgraded S-400 system.17 This system operates in variable flight mode. the YJ-83 delivers a 165 kg semi-armor-piercing warhead – large enough to disable destroyers and frigates – at ranges of approximately 65 nm. ASCM aboard eight of the country’s 12 Kilo-class diesel submarines . and land-based aircraft. in the event of a conflict.12 ¶ Difficult to defend against due to its speed (Mach . frigates.16¶ Similarly. the carrier has been forced to assume risk at short ranges. these systems are highly survivable in combat. At this short range. Department of Defense has termed “one of the largest forces of advanced long-range SAM systems in the world.5 and conducting 15G maneuvers. would be likely to attempt a saturation attack that would overwhelm U. corvettes. It is designed to evade the United States’ advanced SM-2 missile interceptors as well as the defenses of the Aegis Combat System.S.9) and flight altitude (20 to 30 meters).”8¶ Deployed on mobile launchers. is acquiring a robust portfolio of A2/AD capabilities that could be used to constrain adversary operations within its EEZ. which together form what the U. the Sunburn employs inertial and active radar guidance. Like the YJ-83.

ASCMs – including those delivered by submarines. the design characteristics of the Soar Dragon suggest that it may be capable of carrying a sensor suite that could be used in support of an emerging reconnaissance-strike complex. China could deploy its fleet of over 100 Israeli-built Harpy UAVs in the event of a conflict within its EEZ. At this distance. detection occurs at a distance of less than 18 nm.S. throughout the East and South China Seas and the first island chain extending from Japan in the north to the Philippines in the south. Indeed.24 . bringing the platform’s effective reach to around 600 nm. ¶ Medium-Range Threats¶ In addition to its short-range A2/AD capabilities.S.23 These limitations would likely pull the carrier well inside the threat envelope. swarm its Harpys in a saturation attack against the carrier.”18 This approach both prevents the defender from detecting the missile until it breaks the defender’s radar horizon and complicates fire control calculations . land-based fighter aircraft. which have a range of approximately 215 nm.flight in phases one and two to supersonic flight (Mach 2. has a combat radius in excess of 540 nm.S.S. bombers. and large surface vessels – will continue to pose a threat to the carrier due to the range of their associated platforms. Navy’s existing fleet of F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets is less than 500 nm.¶ Finally. Both variants are thus capable of operating throughout China’s EEZ.20 While a single munition of this size could disable [destroy] a ship’s radar. which begins 10 to 35 nm from the target.19 While the Sizzler has an overall range of 120 nm. it appears to be developing high-altitude. For example. it would be highly unlikely to achieve a mission kill. It is possible that China could.endurance UAVs that could assist in over-the-horizon targeting for ASCMs and ASBMs. China operates a number of systems that could be used at medium ranges. however. the J-10A/S fighter jet. long. the most recent estimate of the F-35C’s combat radius is 610 nm.21 In the event of a conflict.2) in the terminal phase. freedom of operation in contested areas and push U.¶ While China’s ability to track and target the carrier degrades as a function of distance and could be limited at such ranges. An attack of this nature could overwhelm U. In particular. At such altitudes. defenses and ultimately result in the neutralization or loss of the carrier. leaving the defender less than one minute to respond.22 while the combat radius for the U. During the terminal phase. aircraft carriers to – or even beyond – the maximum unrefueled range of their tactical aircraft. following a “zigzag flight path. the B variant eliminates the terminal phase sprint vehicle to achieve an extended range of over 160 nm. the Sizzler additionally operates in sea skimming mode at an altitude of five to 10 meters. essentially function as loitering anti-radiation missiles equipped with a 32 kg explosive warhead . one major delivery platform for the 65 nm-range YJ-83. These systems. these capabilities could limit U.

32 Further complicating defensive . these aircraft could be capable of targeting the carrier at distances of over 1.28 If paired w ith long-range ASCMs.31 China currently deploys the solid-fuel DF.30¶ In addition to ASCMs.S.200 nm 29 – a range that could be extended to over 1. China could use ASBMs to strike aircraft carriers at distances greater than 600 nm . carrier-based aircraft. Many of its landbased fighter aircraft could continue to deliver ASCMs at this range only with the assistance of aerial refueling. the J-20 and J-31. each of which is expected to have a combat radius of over 1. a task that could expose the fleet to a high level of threat from U.600 nm if China were to assume the risk of aerial refueling. the number of China’s A2/AD systems begins to taper. As China becomes increasingly proficient in conducting its own carrier operations. fifth-generation fighters.21D ASBM on highly survivable land-based mobile launchers capable of operating in off-road conditions. China’s approximately 250 land-based Su-27 Flankers and J-11s (the Su-27’s indigenously produced counterpart) and over 100 land-based Su-30MKK/2 Flankers are notable exceptions to this limitation. it may also deploy YJ-83s and other ASCMs from carrier-based aircraft.Long-Range Threats¶ Beyond the 600 nm range.27 China is also developing two stealthy.000 nm. featuring combat radii of over 750 nm.

36 If accurate and operational. kinetic strike. revealed that it may have an ASBM variant of a substantially longer-range missile – the DF-26. hacking – that the attempt to mitigate the missile threat. and additionally improving its ability to coordinate and cue intelligence. Conclusion No longer will aircraft carriers and their associated air wings be able to operate with impunity.S. United States could undertake in order to dazzling. potentially. spoofing. surface assets. integrating UAVs – such as the Soar Dragon – into an existing suite of over-the-horizon radars and overhead satellites. the DF-21D reportedly has a circular error probable34 of 20 meters and is capable of striking “slow-moving targets” at a range of around 810 nm. of the Arabian Sea. there are a number of countermeasures – including jamming.S.37 In the event of a wider conflict. These factors would greatly strengthen the defense of U.38 Nonetheless.41 U.35¶ China appears intent upon increasing its ASBM capabilities further and. China’s ability to successfully track and target adversary assets at such distances is unclear and there is no evidence that China has tested its ASBMs in a realistic operating environment. at a recent military parade commemorating the end of World War II.45 Over the long term. Furthermore. China is actively growing its reconnaissance-strike complex. this system would give China the ability to strike targets within the second island chain – including those in and around the U.39¶ Finally. estimates of the capabilities of the DF-26 vary widely. it is thought to have a range of 1. however. the United States may have access to additional countermeasures such as railguns. Operating the carrier in the face of increasingly lethal and precise . but if they become operational at some point – a prospect far from guaranteed – they will significantly increase the depth of ships’ magazines while simultaneously decreasing the cost47 of defending against missile salvos. as China continues to develop and mature its reconnaissance-strike complex. forces. it is highly unlikely that they could wholly neutralize a saturation attack against U.measures. even assuming a high degree of Chinese attrition. if not all. they will face a dense and growing threat across their full range of operations as A2/AD systems continue to proliferate . China would likely launch a large number of A2/AD systems – including ASBMs and submarineand bomber-delivered ASCMs – along a variety of azimuths.160 nm and to have both conventional and nuclear warheads.S. the threat to the carrier will grow increasingly resilient.46 The Navy is evaluating early-stage prototypes of these systems. Instead. which could fire projectiles at speeds as high as Mach 7 and ranges of 50 to 100 nm. these systems could also reach targets throughout much.44 An assessment of the effectiveness of these measures is unavailable in the open source.40 In the event of an attack.33 While opensource details of the system’s operating parameters vary. Doing so would increase the difficulty of defense and almost certainly result in significant damage to U. carriers within range.620 to 2. territory of Guam – as well as those throughout the entirety of the Bay of Bengal.42 passive avoidance.¶ While both the DF-21D and the DF-26 represent a significant threat to the carrier.S.43 and.S. As with the DF-21D. surveillance. Chinese submarines and bombers will continue to pose a threat to the carrier throughout much of the Western Pacific . and reconnaissance ( ISR) assets capable of providing more precise targeting data. the DF-21D – which travels at speeds of Mach 10 – features a maneuverable warhead guided by inertial and GPS navigation and may additionally incorporate cluster fléchettes designed to neutralize carrier flight decks and radar and communications equipment. however. Countermeasures In the event of a near-term conflict.

Such an attack would be di fficult – if not impossible – to defend against.49 Indeed.munitions will thus require the United States to expose a multibilliondollar asset48 to high levels of risk in the event of a conflict. under such circumstances. . an adversary with A2/AD capabilities would likely launch a saturation attack against the carrier from a variety of platforms and directions.

However. While there is a realization on both sides of the Pacific that a kind of strategic stability is necessary to prevent great power conflict. . these two great powers have been increasingly relying on their military capabilities and hard power tactics. http://nationalinterest. which is one of the single greatest points of contention between China and the United States. in every relationship.-China Relationship Passed the Point of No Return?. Instead. there is a tipping point or a point of no return. these two countries are drawing lines in the sand and preparing for the worst. That’s especially true in the South China Sea. October 26.AT: War Inevitable Relations are stable now but it’s tenuous—further cooperation necessary to prevent devolution of relations Pickrell 15 (Ryan.S. both China and the United States remain unwilling to compromise and make the kind of meaningful concessions required to move the relationship further from confrontation and conflict and closer to cooperation and rapprochement . and China and the United States are rapidly approaching this point. Ryan Pickrell is a writer for The National Interest. As traditional diplomatic outlets have done little to resolve the more challenging issues presently affecting the Sino-American relationship.org/feature/the-tipping-point-has-the-us-china-relationship-passed-the-14168)//SLR Conflict between a rising power and an established power is not inevitable as most realist scholars suggest. The Tipping Point: Has the U.

There is a tension here but no contradiction. This is particularly true. Spratlys. are turned on their heads in the post-Cold War world. In other words. Second. While the United States would still enjoy conventional superiority at air and at sea in an all-out confrontation. but that it might become concerned about the sustainability of that deterrent in the course of war-fighting at the sub-strategic level at time t plus 1. accessed 6/30/16. ge] The United States now faces a conventionally inferior potential adversary with nuclear weapons. Fourth. Such escalation can happen in two ways. But it is still fair to say that the United States enjoys broad spectrum conventional military superiority over China . as we will see below. But these claims are contested throughout the region and any effort by China to enforce the claims by military means would almost certainly look revisionist to many regional actors and to many Americans. So. and somewhat ironically. Chinese second strike capabilities may matter for the first time in US–PRC (People's Republic of China) crisis management. from the perspective of political psychology we may be facing the worst combination of factors: both sides in a dispute may stand particularly firm because each believes sincerely that it is defending the status quo against revisionists and that the other side should therefore back down. In this article. Chinese elites believe in the stability-instability paradox and clear firebreaks between conventional and nuclear conflict. for the first time. May 21. Paracels. knowing that China is at least capable of countering any American threat of nuclear escalation if a strong response is made to China's conventional military actions. since in previous years a conventional conflict itself seemed harder to imagine. as Robert Ross has argued. even if Chinese leaders are simply upgrading their second strike capability from an older version to a newer version. The Meaning of the Nuclear Evolution: China's Strategic Modernization and US-China Security Relations. China is developing new conventional military capabilities designed to assert or protect the PRC's interests in its maritime periphery in ways that greatly increase the chance of conventional engagement with US forces. if. 12 [Thomas J. One might argue that it seems somewhat contradictory to argue that a country has a secure second strike at time t and might therefore be emboldened by that fact politically in a conventional crisis. In other words. China's military modernization over the past two decades has produced an array of new conventional capabilities that. I will support the arguments by referring to newly available doctrinal works in China regarding conventional and nuclear deterrence. If true. in the minds of China's top leaders. 8In other words. pose a serious coercive challenge to forward deployed US forces in the Western Pacific. Princeton Professor of World Politics and China and the World Program Director. First. in order to adjudicate between the relative persuasiveness of arguments about stability based on ‘the stability-instability paradox’ and arguments about instability based on the ‘threat that leaves something to chance.’ we need to be able to assess the robustness of firebreaks between the conventional and nuclear level and the plausibility of scenarios for escalation from conventional conflict to nuclear conflict. somewhat ironically. may not be valid. Journal of Strategic Sutdies Vol 35 Issue 4. a relatively calm reaction to contemporary Chinese nuclear modernization in the United States requires ascribing to the Chinese a relatively hawkish view of Cold War deterrence challenges for the United States vis-à-vis the Soviet Union. China may be acquiring a secure second strike capability for the first time or recovering one it lost after the United States developed new strike capabilities since the 1980s.AT: 2nd Strike Bad Chinese second strike capabilities aren’t a threat and conventional war escalates Christensen. Chinese leaders might be more bold in conventional crises with the United States than they otherwise would be. the relationship between a perceived second-strike capability and coercive diplomacy at the conventional level was less important to ponder. fighting can become blurred between conventional and nuclear war in ways that were made likely in Europe by the forward deployment and integration of tactical and theater nuclear weapons with NATO conventional war-fighting assets. a contemporary application of the ‘stability-instability paradox’ might suggest that the acquisition or maintenance of a Chinese second strike should prove immaterial to the United States because the United States maintains such conventional superiority and Chinese nuclear retaliatory capabilities can only deter a US nuclear strike against China. It does not necessarily posit that the same state can or will stand idly by while its key . China has expansive maritime claims in the South and East China Sea (Taiwan. and Diaoyu/Senkaku islands). Secure second strike is really the ability to survive a bolt- out-of-the-blue massive enemy strike against one's nuclear forces and still level unacceptable damage on the enemy with one's own nuclear forces. In a sense then. First. many of which date back to the 1930s and thereby hardly seem new or revisionist in Chinese thinking. Beijing is developing coercive conventional options designed to delay or deter effective US intervention in support of Taiwan or other regional actors by raising the potential costs of US intervention. The four lines of argumentation relate directly to Jervis's Cold War theories. something China was previously largely incapable of doing in an effective manner. so the hawkish and dovish logics of the Cold War. Taylor and Francis. we cannot be sure that Beijing's elites believed they had an effective ‘second strike’ or retaliatory capability in recent years. Whenever possible. I will call into question any unalloyed optimism about the meaning of China's evolving nuclear arsenal. Third. not US conventional operations. the lack of agreement over the legitimate status quo in maritime Asia makes the region potentially more volatile than the Central European theater during the Cold War . given the small number and high vulnerability of China's traditional nuclear forces. Ross's argument is tightly logical but depends on assumptions about Chinese attitudes regarding nuclear deterrence that.

The attitudes of top leaders about nuclear weapons are closely held in most capitals. If this were to occur. Future war-fighting with some of the key weapons systems in this conventional modernization drive – especially submarines and conventionally-tipped missiles – could rather easily blur the lines between conventional and nuclear war in a Sino-American conflict (since missiles and submarines are also the backbone of China's nuclear deterrent). But we do have some windows into China's nuclear thinking. if strikes by the United States on China's conventional coercive capabilities or their critical command and control nodes and supporting infrastructure were to appear in Beijing as a conventional attack on its nuclear retaliatory capability or as a precursor to a nuclear first strike. China might simply soften or scrap its adherence to a No First Use principle under various extreme circumstances in a conventional war. this work and others are largely consistent with China's publicly stated ‘No First Use’ Doctrine. In a sense. no one could deny that China's ability to deliver a larger number and wider variety of nuclear weapons against US targets would be quite consequential indeed for US national security. Beijing perceived that the United States was seeking to destroy China's retaliatory capability with conventional weapons. On the positive side. and Beijing is certainly no exception. Key to answering all these questions is China's own views about nuclear deterrence. A second and perhaps somewhat less inadvertent road from conventional to nuclear war can occur if conventional strikes by the enemy are deemed themselves to be threatening unacceptable damage to the state's core national interests and therefore might warrant either the threat of nuclear retaliation or actual nuclear retaliation as a means to dissuade the enemy from continuing to launch those devastating conventional strikes. in the case of China. But sections of the book suggest that No First Use is sometimes vaguely defined and that the conventional and nuclear levels could easily become blurred in a shooting war between the United States and China if. for example. should make US strategists more concerned about Chinese developments today. Moreover. the British and French independent nuclear forces may have played such a role during the Cold War in helping to deter conventional Soviet aggression in Europe. even a China that generally adheres to a No-First-Use posture might escalate to the nuclear level.9The lessons drawn here from that book suggest that the same factors that made Jervis relatively relaxed about Soviet Cold War military developments in the 1970s and 1980s. One major problem is that China is simultaneously developing conventional and nuclear coercive capabilities that overlap significantly. the Second Artillery of the People's Liberation Army.strategic assets. . one section of the book also explicitly discusses other extreme conditions during conventional war that might warrant ‘adjusting the nuclear deterrence threshold’ (or ‘adjusting nuclear policy’) in a way that makes China's NFU Doctrine seem more of a guideline than a rule. Moreover. including relevant weapons and command and control systems are degraded during a conventional or tactical nuclear war. one can imagine both roads to escalation in wartime in ways that may lend credibility to China's nuclear coercion in conventional crises. For example. which recently has become available outside of the PRC. in general. including one important 2004 doctrinal book for China's rocket force. Unfortunately.