A Chinese invasion of Taiwan could result in attacks on the continental United States, according to the U.S. Army’s civilian leadership.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China as a single-party state, would likely threaten the U.S. homeland during a conflict for Taiwan, according to Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth.
“If we got into a war with China, the United States homeland would be at risk as well, with both kinetic attacks and non-kinetic attacks,” Wormuth said during a Feb. 27 discussion with the American Enterprise Institute.
“They are going to go after the will of the United States public. They’re going to try to erode its support for a conflict.”
In the event of such a catastrophic conflict, Wormuth said, it was likely that the CCP would conduct large-scale cyber and kinetic attacks on vital U.S. infrastructure including the power grid and natural gas pipelines.
Taiwan Invasion Would Ignite ‘Protracted Conflict’
The CCP falsely claims that Taiwan is a breakaway province that must be united with the regime by any means, including conquest.
Taiwan has never been controlled by the CCP, however, and has its own democratically elected government and a thriving market economy.
U.S. military leadership believes that the CCP is preparing for a full-scale amphibious invasion of the island, with various military officials predicting that fighting could break out in either 2025 or 2027.
With that in mind, Wormuth said that such a conflict would likely become a protracted war, drawing in numerous powers across the globe.
“There is definitely the possibility of a protracted conflict,” Wormuth said.
“Certainly, we spend a lot of time in the Department thinking about the invasion scenario because it’s the most stressing, it’s the most demanding.”
To that end, Wormuth said the U.S. Army had two key priorities: “Helping Taiwan become a porcupine” by arming it with asymmetric strike capabilities, and “complicating China’s decision-making” by ensuring that the United States would have multiple regional partners engaged in the fight.
“Showing that we have a strong network of allies and partners in the region is really critical and one of the ways that we do that is with our security force assistance brigades,” Wormuth said.
Security force assistance brigades are specialized military units that train, advise, assist, and otherwise enable allied operations with partner nations, and it is through them that Wormuth believes the United States can best prepare its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific to deter the CCP from full-scale invasion.
The United States’ goal, Wormuth said, was first and foremost to deter the regime from assuming open hostilities in the region.
“Our goal is to avoid fighting a land war in Asia,” Wormuth said. “This is all about deterrence. We want to lower the temperature in the relationship with China.”