CSIS War Game Reveals Key Factors for Success in Defending Taiwan from Chinese Invasion. It also Highlights Opportunities for India

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a think tank and research organization conducting war games as part of its national security and international relations research. The philosophy behind CSIS war games is to use simulations and scenario-based exercises to test and evaluate strategies and tactics for dealing with potential security challenges. The war games are designed to simulate realistic scenarios and to provide participants with an opportunity to test their responses to a variety of crises.

In addition, CSIS war games also help to create a common understanding and shared vision of the security challenges facing a nation among policymakers and military leaders.

It’s worth noting that CSIS war games are not meant to predict the outcome of real-world conflicts but to provide a safe environment where the participants can learn and experiment with different strategies and tactics.

CSIS recently conducted a war game simulation to examine the potential defense of Taiwan from a Chinese invasion. The simulation revealed four necessary conditions for success in defending the island.


First, the Taiwanese forces must hold the line. To do so, it is recommended that Taiwan strengthens its ground forces. Some Chinese troops will always land on the island, and Taiwanese ground forces must be able to contain any beachhead and then counterattack forcefully as Chinese logistics weaken. However, the Taiwanese ground forces currently have severe weaknesses. Therefore, Taiwan must fill its ranks and conduct rigorous, combined arms training. Ground forces must become the center of Taiwan’s defense effort.

Secondly, there is no “Ukraine model” for Taiwan. In peacetime, the United States and Taiwan must work together to provide Taiwan with its necessary weapons. In the event of war, if the United States decides to defend Taiwan, U.S. forces must quickly engage in direct combat. In the Ukraine war, the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have not sent troops directly into action, but have sent massive amounts of equipment and supplies to Ukraine. However, the “Ukraine model” cannot be replicated in Taiwan because China can isolate the island for weeks or even months. Therefore, Taiwan must start the war with everything it needs. Any delays or half measures by the United States would make the defense harder, increase U.S. casualties, allow China to create a stronger lodgment, and raise the risk of escalation.

Thirdly, the United States must be able to use its bases in Japan for combat operations. To do so, it is recommended that the United States deepen diplomatic and military ties with Japan. While other allies (Australia and South Korea) are important in the broader competition with China and may play some role in defense of Taiwan, Japan is the linchpin. Without the use of U.S. bases in Japan, U.S. fighter/attack aircraft cannot effectively participate in the war.

Lastly, the United States must be able to strike the Chinese fleet rapidly and amass from outside the Chinese defensive zone. To achieve this, it is recommended that the United States increase the arsenal of long-range anti-ship cruise missiles. Bombers capable of launching standoff, anti-ship ordnance offer the fastest way to defeat the invasion with the least amount of U.S. losses. Therefore, procuring such missiles and upgrading existing missiles with this anti-ship capability need to be the top procurement priority.

In conclusion, the simulation conducted by CSIS highlights the importance of strengthening Taiwanese ground forces, collaboration between the United States and Taiwan in providing the necessary weapons, deepening diplomatic and military ties with Japan, and increasing the arsenal of long-range anti-ship cruise missiles to defend Taiwan from a potential Chinese invasion.

The idea presented in this research suggests that a war between the two top superpowers, the United States and China, would have devastating consequences for both countries and the global economy. The US is already dealing with an economic crisis, and China is still grappling with the ongoing pandemic.

In this scenario, India may see an opportunity to strengthen its regional position. The country is currently relatively stable, with only a slight slowdown in the market. This could present an opportunity for Indian businesses to focus on creating more robust manufacturing units and becoming potential suppliers to neighboring countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Middle East. Furthermore, with the war between China and Taiwan, India may also push its army to strengthen its hold on the border regions.

This approach could help India gain a stronger foothold in the global economy and increase its regional influence. However, it’s important to note that this is a hypothetical scenario, and the actual outcome will depend on a variety of factors, including the actions of other countries and the potential global economic impact of the war. Additionally, India’s foreign and defense policies are not only driven by its financial interests, but also by the principles of peace and non-interference in other countries affairs, so any action from India’s side should align with that principle.

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