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  1. Veltman

    Veltman Active Member

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    Drawn out war between US and China

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Veltman, Feb 7, 2019.

    If the USA and China went to war over the control of mineral resources in Africa and Eurasia, what are the chances such a war would be drawn out? What are the chances of it degenerating into a stalemate similar to the western front in WWI?
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Chances are it would be more wars by proxy - but in a full on combat the Chinese have the numbers but the American tech is massively superior, plus you could reckon on all the Nato powers siding with the US, whereas Russia probably wouldn't support the PRC.

    also China doesn't have the amphibious capacity to move its troops or the naval capacity to take on the USN

    Both sides have nukes so it would either remain conventional or escalate into Armageddon

    short form the Americans would win in fairly short order in the open country so long as they had the political will to fight, the jungle areas would devolve into a guerrilla warfare ala vietnam
     
  3. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    That's plausible. None of the US tech worked properly, the Chinese had legions of the dark scientists. When Trump launched his ICBM it landed offshore of Hawaii. The next one wiped out Canada. There was some pressure on him to get the 'third one right' as Pelosi or Pelosa, her daughter said. Trump's just a bubbling brain in a bag at this point, a figurehead said one of his supporters. This third nuke wiped out South Korea. 'Be encouraged' said Trump and eventually a stalemate arose amidst the foothills of the Himalayas until the bicycles busted through and Chinese guerillas assaulted our Alpine meadows.

    Your hero is found in a catering unit until he discovers the discarded AK -47. His boy side-kick is @Littlemoose who always says unwise things and Captain Catering has to set him on the right path from time to time, even with a slap for his own good. That's why the book is controversial.
     
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  4. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    Wars haven't had "fronts" in quite a long time, and probably will not again.

    Any war in an African country for resources would look a lot like Syria or Iraq where native insurgents are fighting the US with weapons and funds supplied by China (or Iran, Russia, etc.)

    So if you are looking for the 'romance' of trench warfare - scratch that off your list. That didn't survive armor or air power.
     
  5. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    The first bit isn't quite true. Both Persian Gulf/Iraq Wars had two fronts (special forces+Peshmerga in the north, Coalition forces in the south), and the war against ISIS' primary holdings in Iraq and Syria had three--eastern, northern, and western--to say nothing of its more scattered holdings. Israel's conventional wars with its neighbors all involved two or three fronts.

    If anything, I'd imagine it would be the US backing guerillas in Africa. Right now, China seems to be focused on investing in African governments, trying to drown them in debt and turn them into captive markets for its goods.

    The last sentence isn't true either. We've certainly seen trench warfare post-armor and airpower. Korea degenerated into it after Ridgeway stopped the Chinese offensive, and the same happened during the Iran-Iraq War after Saddam's initial offensives were turned back. Trench warfare occurs whenever defensive military tech and tactics are superior to offensive ones.

    Turning to the OP, I think you're going to need to untangle the Chinese and American economies before open conflict is on the table. Right now, they're too dependent on each other for either party to risk war.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
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  6. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    I'm sorry, maybe the word "front" was a poor choice. The OP asked about WWI type warfare, not fronts, and maybe I should have said "lines". Longstanding "entrenched" geographic lines are virtually impossible now - especially when the powers fighting are as technological and rich as the US and China.

    And I wasn't implying that only the enemies of the US would fight through proxies. We use our share of Contras. I was just using recent examples that are conflicts with the US.
     
  7. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    The Iraq /Iran war in the 80s saw a fair bit of trench warfare, the Iranians attacking through no mans land in human waves and the Iraqi's (who at that time were in the western good boys club and heavily trained by British and American mercenaries) retaliating with poison gas and machine gun fire.
     
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  8. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    That's true, but that behavior on the Iranians part was insanity rather than tactics. The "acceptable losses" were everyone. I also don't know if it would be accurate to say that the Iranians were maintaining their own entrenched line the way the Iraqis had to against the waves of fresh recruits the Iranians were dispatching the war zone.

    Certainly, you could have two countries acting on irrational belief systems that alter their tactics to an illogical conclusion.
     
  9. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    What will armed conflict even look like? A part of me thinks they will unleash something nutty, like swarms of little helicopter drones that can target your eyes with blinding laser strobes if you don’t ping them with an RFID chip or something.

    Robot dogs climbing into trenches.

    Soldiers vaccinated against some kinda worse flu.

    I feel like the interplay between future weapons is too wonky to predict, and trench warfare could have strange character.
     
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  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I suspect it would either go that way (and cyber hacking of each others weapon systems and economic industrial base etc) or go back to the very basic war by proxy with guerrillas killing each other with M4s vs AK47s
     
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  11. Veltman

    Veltman Active Member

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    What kind of difference would the existence of powered armor suits and vertical transport similar but more sophisticated than the Osprey make in this situation?
     
  12. Necronox

    Necronox Contributor Contributor

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    Quite a lot. Power armour, even in it's most basic form as a tool which amplifies humans strength would allow soldiers to carry more gear, to carry heavier weapons or gear without having to worry about weight to much, improving firing, throwing of weapons. Plus, eventually you would easily be able to attach additional stuff unto the power armour, like a radios, health monitoring, GPS, range-finder, heat-finder, etc... etc... So, if armies or soldiers where equipped with this, they would effectively supercede most soldiers and would put anyone not in power-armour to shame. Probably would result in an arms race of power-armour between the two sides to be honest.

    Vertical transport would depend on the speed, otherwise I think it might just supercede troop helicopters depending on size. But really, without knowing any finer details I don't know how much it could affect.

    However, going back to the original question, it is my opinion that a drawn out war between the US and China would radically alter diplomatic power. Russia is quite friendly to a number of anti-US countries (Iran, Russia [and most of former USSR except latvia, lithuania, estonia and ukraine], DPRK, venezuela (currently), most south-american countries, most african countries). These would probably help, but south-america and african countries would probably not intervene militarily. Countries like Russia and Iran and the DPRK very well might, depending on the situation.

    Let me explain a bit.

    Currently, talking about a war between the US and China is impossible without including relevent allies. the US would naturally draw in NATO countries as per it's aggreement with them. Russia and China have an alliance, and would most likely join china. that means that Belarus would also joins. the EU may well try and stay neutral but also possible they intervene on the side of the US if at all (possibly due to EU countries being part of NATO - France). Anyway, long story short, a lot of countries would support a side. This is why proxy wars exists as they allow two countries to fight by proxy without it devovling into a full scale war. Proxy wars are very usefull diplomatic tools as they allow to expand a country's sphere of influence and extend power projection and diplomatic standing by fighting another power. Plus, proxy wars have an advantage where the blame can, and usually is, shifted onto the first party combatants. Thus allowing the 3rd party supportive countries to deal out some seriously immoral stuff without any problems. (For instance, Bombing of hospitals by the USA & allies in syria could be considered an example wherein a country shifts the blame elsewhere thought it is not strictly a proxy war tho).

    Also, proxy wars allows countries to 'pass-the-buck'. Anyway, crux of the matter a war would be unlikely.

    But assuming an actually war happen, and proper war between the USA and China. then a lot would change. Firstly, an immediate devide on most countries on who supports who would happen. Plus, China's industry would vastly out-pace that of the USA. in addition, the USA is not in a position to fight a full war - shortly put, it simply does not have the funds to capabilities to do so. That said, china also has it's far share of problems (a lot to list, but in short the government is not nearly as effective or stable as people think).

    Countries like Iran and the DPRK would likely be game-changers. the DPRK has a vaste army, though overwhelmingly under-equipped. Russia has some comparable tech to the USA. Combining this with China's industry would result in a pretty long-term advantage for China. That said. at the off-start the war would easily find itself in the favour of the USA due to it's large navy, good technology and large alliances (particularly with Britain and France).

    I would suspect that Massive cyber-wars would happen for the first time. China/USA coalitions would attempt to disable power plants, banks or whatever else and cause as much damage that way as possible. I also suspect that they may well be some kind of space-war in attempt to attack and destroy or defend satellites as they are incredibly useful if not critical to modern-armies (everying from maps to targetting system uses satellites now-a-days, let alone the whole internet aspect of it).

    Large scale battles would almost never happen I suspect. Instead, I think it would first be a series of highly tactically minded operations, probably targetting logistical points first (such as naval bases, comms infrastructure etc...).

    Eventually, as most of the high-end skilled soldiers die off, more and more common-battlefield may begin to emerge as conscripts and lowly trained people are pressed in. At that point, the war would be heavily in favour of China so the USA would attempt to prevent it from dragging out that long.


    In short, the USA would act rather similarly to Nazi Germany in it's war plan - throw everything at the enemy before they can bring the force to bear and try to crush the opposition. China & Co would most likely play a long-term game since they simply cannot compete on a 1v1 vs the standing USA navy. But eventually over time their industrial factor and manpower may well shift things in their favour.
     
  13. Necronox

    Necronox Contributor Contributor

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    Also I forgot to mention:

    The war would have Insane effect on the global market. Companies would rise and fall like soldiers. Russia might well stop exporting oil to USA-friendly countries. china may well stop exporting as many cheap goods, etc... etc...

    You have to remember that in today's society everything is so interlinked with everything else that is is quasi impossible to do anything without massive repurcussions elsewhere. A war on this scale would drastically affect everything and everyone down to the bone.

    Previously, massive wars like WWII had not this effect as the world had not achieved a level of globalisation as incredibly high as we have now-a-days. the media would also be an immense problem as it is almost impossible now-a-days to control the flow of information.
     
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  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Powered armour is a bit of an outdated concept - if the tech is there for that why wouldn't you use remote controlled drones.
     
  15. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    Powered armor might be useful if battlefield jamming makes remotely piloted vehicles impossible. But power armor is going to have its own sets of limitations on speed, armor strength, weight (broken floors) and energy (you can only fit so much fuel/batteries into a man shaped suit). Given the advantages of powered armor, I don't know why you'd bring it in via helicopter instead of just dropping it from fixed wing or ballistic delivery - which is how most SF writers have handled it. Helicopters are real bullet magnets.

    Even then, power armor's advantage is only really acting as a better infantry soldier - it is going to be a terrible tank or gunship.
     
  16. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    I kinda thought that powered armor had two main advantages:

    It lets the soldier carry more equipment, like a heavy gun, more ammo, or gear for the camp.

    It lets the soldier cut his parachute sooner and land safely so he isn’t vulnerable as long.

    Lastly, a soldier with certain injuries could take over driving it.

    I think they would mostly be like a frame supporting the limbs and back, letting the soldier carry a little more weight. Something like this: https://goo.gl/images/z5TEpo

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Contributor Contributor

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    I don't understand your idea.

    USA and China might go to a war because...
    - Logistical routes.
    - Trade norms.
    - Spying.
    - Taiwan.
    - South China Sea
    - Myanmar. India.
    - Food production, fish, soil...
    - China's political development.
    And tens of other reasons.

    But control of mineral recources? Who gives a shit about that?

    REE's are important. And China controls them. But the point is not the control of recourses but the control of process. The knowhow is there and it takes 10-25 years to learn how ro do it.

    Many countries have REE resources. But what to do with them? Who knows - in practice? China. Sometimes those resources are in mountain size piles of mining waste. So... No need to mine. Just take the REEs out and use - if you can.

    Mineral recourses are nothing. Minerals start to be something after refining - not before it. After refining minerals come to markets as metals or nonmetals. Then they have some kind of value.

    Just compere the value of this company to the mineral recourses it has and you see what is the meaning of holding mineral recourses.

    https://www.nordicmining.com/operations/

    It's almost nothing. Nobody gives a shit. It takes so long time to get so little profit with huge risks.

    WW3 because of mineral resources is a bit like WW3 because of arguing about which is better: Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck.
     
  18. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Contributor Contributor

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    You seem to have decent amount of knowledge and understanging about this topic.

    Respect!
     
  19. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Contributor Contributor

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Battle_of_Donetsk_Airport

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mariupol_(May–June_2014)

    ..and still going...

    Lines are deeper. Lines are not fortified in the same way they were in WW1 or WW2 but lines can be there years and have active war going on all the time.

    It would look very much like what Russia is doing in Ukraine.

    Here you have very high level knowledge about it. Dr. Philip Karber. He knows what he is talking about.



     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  20. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Oil .. the gulf war 1 and 2 were both about oil.

    Trouble is currently brewing in the south China sea over the Spratly Islands which are claimed by China and by the Phillipines (who are an American ally) … no one would really give a shit about the Spratly's were they not sat on an oil field.

    The Katanganese secession and the Congo wars that followed were basically about copper and diamonds

    During WW2 Japan referred to the Dutch east indies (oil, rubber) and Australia (gold, uranium) as "the southern resource area" (Siberia was the northern resource area (gold, oil, coal) but they never realised their ambition to invade that )

    So who gives a shit about mineral resources ?… pretty much every body
     
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  21. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    Those are lines, but not lines of two forces in all-out conflict. They wouldn't exist 5 seconds after either side brought in air power. They are not lines in an active combat conflict but a political one.
     
  22. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    Not really. If the US only cared about oil they would have bought Kuwait's oil from Iraq.
     
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  23. Necronox

    Necronox Contributor Contributor

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    The problem with anything remote-controlled is that they are prone to hacking. Something which is becoming an ever-more present concept in today's war 'fields'.
     
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  24. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    That is a very simplistic view which shows a lack of understanding of the geo political reality - In short there is no guarantee that Iraq would have been willing to sell them the oil on favourable terms.

    in 1991 Iraq owed Kuwait a lot of money which they didn't want to repay, so Saddam Hussein invaded them rather than repay the loans - however his end goal was the Saudi Arabian oil fields, since with them in his control as well he would have had control of about 80% of the Gulf oil and the ability to turn off or at least impede the American/European oil supply. Had he been successful they would have eventually bought oil from him, but they did not want him to have that lever since he was politically unfriendly towards them and falling increasingly into the Russian sphere of influence (remember that in 1991 the cold war was only just winding down)

    American and British companies had already paid a colossal amount of money to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for oil extraction licences and this money would have been lost had the oil fields fallen to Iraq.
     
  25. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    This is true - but equally it also applies to powered fighting suits if they are in anyway computerised. You could perhaps have semi autonomous drones that are hard loaded with mission orders before each strike .. the US is said to already be looking at that (of course the hard loading is still subject to hacking)
     

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