Will the next major war find us unprepared and unwilling to win?

In World War 2, the United States lost 400,000 men.  This works out to about 300 deaths per day.  Some days saw few men killed; at other times, thousands were killed in a single day.  Okinawa alone, the final battle, saw more than twelve thousand Americans killed in less than one hundred days, a horrific flood of death.  Could the America of today endure such losses?  

The reason for mentioning this is because we must assess America's stomach for the next war.  The strategy by which North Vietnam defeated the United States was simply to kill as many Americans as possible in the shortest amount of time — not for strategic gain, but for psychological advantage.  It worked.  We lost.  

Undoubtedly, these facts figure into the gruesome calculus of the communist Chinese military dictatorship.  Consider that a modern aircraft carrier, the largest ship in the United States Navy, has a complement of more than five thousand personnel.  Sinking just one of these ships, especially if it caused heavy loss of life (a nuclear strike could instantly kill everyone on board), would be a devastating shock, both militarily and psychologically.  Not only would our military commanders be stunned to the core, but our civilian population would be so shaken as perhaps to demand a complete abandonment of our interests in Asia.  

Consider the reverse side of this: that the communist Chinese military forces could, with relative ease, absorb heavy losses of personnel.  Indeed, they could use them as a flag around which to rally outrage and incite demands for revenge against the U.S.  

We must therefore consider two vital questions: how likely is communist China to initiate total war against the United States?  If it does so, then what will be the American response?  

Numerous scenarios are possible.  They are being meticulously analyzed.  These two questions, however, must be answered first, in preparation for any eventuality.  

The likelihood of China launching a direct, major attack on the United States is small but not entirely negligible.  What is far more likely is an attack on American allies and interests in Asia.  Specifically, invasions of Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, and even Japan could happen simultaneously in an effort to overwhelm our response capabilities.  This would put the ball in our court.  American leaders would need nerves of steel in deciding what to do — counterattack, retaliate, or retreat — because surely, there could be no halfway measures at that point, no "proportional" response.  Would we risk the almost inevitable escalation to nuclear conflagration?  Or would we, to use the term made famous by the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, "go wobbly"?  The wrong decision would likely be fatal.  

American retreat would hand China the resources and power not only to dominate the Pacific but, eventually, to bully the United States into complete submission to its further demands, which would be endless and onerous.  The alternative to surrender is total war, the complete and permanent destruction of their nation or ours.  

Nerves of steel.  

Undoubtedly, China understands this.  The Chinese dictators well understand that an attack on the United States would be irrational, an almost hopeless endeavor.  Yet history shows that Japan in 1941 was warned by no less a figure than its own Admiral Yamamoto not to even try, but it rolled the dice anyway and bombed Pearl Harbor.  Once the war started, Yamamoto gave it his all and was killed in the process.

China's leaders can be irrational.  They acted with reckless abandon in lying about, and exporting, the coronavirus, thereby inflicting millions of deaths worldwide.  As both America and China suffer weakening economies and social disruption, miscalculation is easy, and over-optimism is a natural outcome of that.  The Chinese may feel that their moment has finally come.  They may decide that it's now or never.  They may be right.  

The greater question is not so much what the Chinese will do, but rather, how will we react in the worst-case scenario?  That scenario moves closer every day.  Can we sustain another Battle of Okinawa?  Are we too far gone in wokeness to stiffen our spines, and shed vast quantities of our blood, once more, for freedom?  

Moreover, what do the Chinese think we will do?  Upon that depends everything.

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