I m trying to imagine how a conventional war would unravel between the US and China. Here is my fictional scearnio, let me know what you think!
Question: Is the following scenario realistic?
A few deades from now, the US debt reaches astronomical unsustainable levels. All the solutions proposed by the succeding politicians didn't work. The Chinese economy rivals the US economy and printing dollars no longer works. Oil suppply is getting really tight, other developped nations are also heavily indebted. A great economic depression hits the entire planet (US,Europe,Asia).
A populist president is elected in the US who blames all the issues on China. He decides to cancel the trillions of dollars of debt the US ows to China.
China is not really happy with this and tries to negociate a deal, without success. Conflict escalates as part of the Chinese population is also struggling from the crisis. The Chinese government collapses in a coup d'etat from the very popular Chinese Extreme Nationalists. They decide to declar war on the US.
The first 24H seem very quiet, nothing really happens. The entire world is frozen, wondering where the first battle would take place. Armies are fully mobilized everywhere, hackers are working hard to try to destabilize the other camp. However even if war is declared, it looks like both camps are not interested in escalating it to full scale immediately. Anti sattelites missiles are not shot, jet fighters are scrambled but never attack each other. Allies from both camps are very vocal and outraged but actually don't want to be part of that war. Russia and Europe take sides but don't really do much.
Surprisinlgy after a few days, China capitulates and strikes a deal with US. The US will repay only 50% of the original notional. Chinese and Americans are a bit baffled and don't understand why the war ended whithout a fight.
Well actually there was a fight but it all happend in the pacific ocean under the surface.
Dozens of US and Chinese nuclear submarines were roaming deep under the surface. Chinese submarine killers tried to destroy the American nuclear submarines and vice versa. However the more advanced US submarines won the sub marine war with the help of submarine drones.
Eventually, the US managed to position all of the nuclear submarines strategically around China. Checkmate.
At the same time, the US sent backchannel diplomatic envoys to China to negociate a deal. The US wanted to renegotiate the terms of the debt. They wanted to repay only 50% of the original debt. They also promised to send enormous amounts of money to the members of the Chinese Nationalist party to some hidden offshore accounts.
The Chinese nationalist had two options. Since China was surrounded by US nuclear subs, they would be at a strategic disavantage if the conflict escalated further. They could still go all in and launch all of their ICBMs. However they knew that it would end up in mutual annihilation. They had too much to loose and rationally accepted the deal from the US. Some members of the Nationalistic party refused to accept the deal and were executed.
The Chinese populace is very unhappy with the result but understands that a deal is better than a nuclear war. Americans are also unhappy about the fact that they still have to pay part of the debt to China but the US media starte a government backed campaign convincing people that they won the war and eventually the opinion accepts it.
End of World War III