How to Lose A Carrier Strike Group in An Afternoon
Imagine a scenario where China, for whatever reason, announces a “no warships allowed” closure of the Taiwan Strait. It’s not an implausible scenario at all. The Chinese have spoken openly of the possibility. They regard the entirety of the strait as their sovereign waters, and assert the right to exercise control over them.
Now imagine a US carrier strike group is commanded to challenge the blockade in order to assert what the empire regards as “freedom of navigation” through what the “rules-based international order” defines as international waters.
Then imagine the distinct possibility of a perceived provocation that escalates to a limited engagement that escalates into a launch of the carrier’s air wing and then escalates to the launch of a mixed-salvo of 500+ Chinese kamikaze drones and anti-ship missiles, plus a full complement of ECCM jammers and a couple hundred decoys.
The stocks of long-range SM-6 missiles on the cruiser and destroyers would be exhausted long before the Chinese missiles stopped coming.
Short-range defense systems would deplete their ammunition in a matter of minutes.
Every ship in the flotilla would then be sunk or severely damaged — as it were in the blink of an eye.
This is how the US could lose an entire carrier strike group in an afternoon — and I challenge anyone to argue how, in the scenario I describe, the outcome could be meaningfully different than the one I project.
Also bear in mind that very similar scenarios could just as easily play out in the Baltic Sea or the Persian Gulf.
And the day it finally happens — as I fear it surely will — the world will suddenly begin operating on radically altered terms.