Future War: Taiwan

A plausible scenario for a Sino-American clash in the Taiwan Strait.

Issue: Summer 2006

Washington, June 10, 2013

IN LAST week's U.S.-Chinese war over Taiwan, the president was propelled towards conflict by strategic miscalculation, rather than a bold defense of a popular but geopolitically dispensable ally, according to a senior administration official. The president had hoped to repel China's rising bellicosity with a show of force, rather than the actual use of force. After Beijing responded by ratcheting up tensions in the Taiwan Strait, both sides feared that a subsequent climb-down would damage their global credibility and leadership, the official said.

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