Taiwanese Analysts to Join US-Japan Taiwan Strait War Game

The tabletop simulation will take place in Japan this July

Taiwanese military experts will join US and Japanese analysts in conducting war game simulations for a potential conflict with China in the Taiwan Strait, The South China Morning Post reported Monday.

It will mark the first time that Taiwanese analysts join the tabletop exercises, demonstrating the increasing preparations for war in the region. The event will be hosted in Tokyo by the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies, a semi-official think tank.

“This is the first time experts from Taiwan will work with their US and Japanese counterparts on tabletop simulations,” said Su Tzu-yun, a senior analyst for the Institute for the National Defence and Security Research, a government think tank in Taiwan.

The war games will simulate a conflict with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on one side, known as the red team, and the US, Taiwan, and Japan on the other side, known as the blue team.

“Participants are also expected to analyze military scenarios in the Taiwan Strait and East and South China seas and come up with proposals on how the ‘blue team’ could deal with the threats from the ‘red team,'” Su said.

“The simulations do not necessarily mean that war would come soon, but rather they are risk management. They also carry a message to Beijing that war is disastrous and all parties must be rational in dealing with it,” Su added.

Both US and Japanese think tanks have recently conducted tabletop war games to simulate a conflict over Taiwan. The think tanks typically conclude that the US and Japan can stop China from taking Taiwan but will take heavy losses. However, it’s not clear how accurate the war games are or if the think tanks are taking the risk of nuclear escalation into account.

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a hawkish think tank based in Washington that receives funding from US arms makers and Taiwan’s de facto embassy, recently conducted a Taiwan war game with members of the House’s new committee on China, an unusual move for members of Congress.

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), the head of the China committee, said the war game showed the US needs to arm Taiwan “to the teeth.” But more US support for Taiwan could make a conflict more likely as Beijing has put Taiwan under increasing military pressure in response to the growing ties between Washington and Taipei.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.