Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, said in an online discussion on Monday (March 20) that if there is a war in the Pacific, it will be on the scale of World War II. Casualties, so the overall goal of the United States is to deter war, which should also be China’s goal, “but it is difficult for them to get out of their obsession with Taiwan.”
In an online discussion at the Mitchell Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the U.S. Air Force Association, General Wilsbach asked whether the U.S. military is prepared for the attrition that may be caused by a high-end war in the Pacific Ocean. The military is indeed fighting I think about it a lot in my planning and preparations because if it happens, it won’t be on the scale of the conflicts the United States is used to in the Middle East, but on the scale of what my grandparents experienced during World War II casualties, so deterring war should be everyone’s goal.
“Why? Because we really want this war to happen? No, I don’t think China really wants this war, they’ve said that. Of course, Taiwan doesn’t want this war. So in the end, our The whole goal is deterrence.”
The overall goal of the United States is to deter war
Wilsbach said that the overall goal of the United States is to deter war, so what is often discussed within the military is how to execute and complete tasks in war and attrition that modern humans have not experienced.
“So we have to think about how we execute the mission. When we have this attrition rate, yes, we do talk about it. I would say, again, deterrence is the goal, and it should be the goal of China, but it is difficult for them to get rid of their obsession with Taiwan.”
Retired Lieutenant General David Deptula, director of the Mitchell Institute and retired former U.S. Air Force deputy chief of staff, also strongly agreed in his conversation with Willsbach because he participated in the The conclusions of a series of unclassified simulated wars conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) last year for the conflict in the Taiwan Strait can be discussed publicly, and the conclusions reached by everyone are quite consistent.
“Everyone involved in this kind of war is a loser — or let me put it this way — everyone will suffer significant losses, and that includes China, Taiwan, Japan, other allies, and that includes the United States. So As you said, we have to come up with creative ways to stop it from happening in the first place because that’s not a pretty picture.”
Information warfare to justify intrusions will not succeed
Deptula asked Wilsbach what lessons China might learn from Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
Wilsbach said that the first thing he wants China to “pay special attention to” is that Russia’s information warfare before invading Ukraine was ineffective. Don’t buy it”, so Russia’s “fabricated lies” did not work, and what China is doing now will not be effective either.
“We’ve started to see China doing similar things with Taiwan, like the US trying to create an Asian version of NATO or Taiwan trying to become a sovereign or independent country. It’s China who’s talking about that, not us, nor Not other countries in the region, but China.”
Second, General Welsbach said that he wanted China to pay attention to the fact that after the conflict in Europe, the whole world jointly sanctioned Russia, and those economic measures made Russia pay the price, and finally, the international Societies also coalesced to support Ukraine, even providing lethal weapons assistance, so if China attacks their immediate neighbor, “I think China should expect a similar response.”
The human cost of the war is huge
Finally, Wilsbach said that the Russia-Ukraine war has been going on for more than a year now, but Russia still cannot achieve air superiority, which has cost them a huge price in their lives, and more than 100,000 people have died in this conflict Russians lost their lives, so from a humanitarian point of view, what he hopes China and its military can think of is that the operation that Russia could have done relatively easily across the border from land, but caused so many sacrifices of life, China should also Think of the humanitarian price that must be paid for attacking Taiwan.
“China has the most difficult military operation, which is an amphibious landing, and it has to overcome more than 100 miles of ocean, and then it also faces an opponent who can fight like Ukraine. We have seen a country that is determined to defend itself. , in my discussions with my counterparts in Taiwan, they told me that they would have a similar determination.”
Regarding the lessons the U.S. military has learned from the Russia-Ukraine War, Wilsbach said, one is to achieve air superiority. importance and the second is how to provide supplies to the frontline when under attack. These are the dilemmas that the Russian military still faces today, and they have paid a great price for it. Therefore, he often communicates with Air Mobility Command Commander Mike Admiral Michael Minihan will discuss how to enhance resupply capabilities and conduct resupply missions when under attack.
China is facing the United States and its allies
Wilsbach emphasized that the biggest “pace threat” of the Pacific Air Forces is still China, and the U.S. Department of Defense is ensuring the freedom and openness of the Indo-Pacific region through the “Integrated Deterrence” (Integrated Deterrence) approach. “Whole-of-government” integration, such as the FBI’s investigation into cyberattacks from China, the theft of US technology, and the Treasury Department’s economic sanctions against Russia; also involves the coordination of US allies and partners.
“Bringing in allies and partners is very important, that’s very important as part of our strategy because what China wants most is only the United States and China, but in fact, China is facing the United States and our allies and partners, because the big Most countries, almost all countries in the Indo-Pacific region, and many European countries as well, want a free and open Indo-Pacific region, they are interested in connecting with us, and they are also formulating their own strategies to try to ensure that there will be a A free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The U.S. government recently approved a batch of arms sales to Taiwan. A congressional delegation led by Ken Calvert, chairman of the National Defense Panel of the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, also visited Taiwan last week (March 15). Topics covered include bilateral security and economic and trade cooperation.
Tan Kefei, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, expressed his opposition to the exchanges between the United States and Taiwan on March 16, saying that the United States is engaged in an attempt to “use Taiwan to contain China” and asked the United States to “stop ‘sausage-cutting’ and making breakthroughs on the Taiwan issue.”.
Tan Kefei said that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army “stands ready” for any interference and provocation by external forces, and will resolutely defend China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Regarding the bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the United States and its allies in the Indo-Pacific region such as the Philippines, Australia, and Japan, Tan Kefei also accused the United States of “relying on its own military hegemony” to wantonly “form cliques to form ‘cliques’ and incite confrontation and confrontation.” It is the greatest threat to the world and regional peace and stability.