Russia and China Go War Against America. Here's What Could Happen Next.

Robert Farley
(U.S. Navy photo by Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Kenji Shiroma/Released)

Robert Farley

Security, Asia

Washington beaten in battle?

Russia and China Go War Against America. Here's What Could Happen Next.

Could Beijing and Moscow coordinate a pair of crises that would drive two separate U.S. military responses?

The United States discarded its oft-misunderstood “two war” doctrine, intended as a template for providing the means to fight two regional wars simultaneously, late last decade. Designed to deter North Korea from launching a war while the United States was involved in fighting against Iran or Iraq (or vice versa,) the idea helped give form to the Department of Defense’s procurement, logistical and basing strategies in the post–Cold War, when the United States no longer needed to face down the Soviet threat. The United States backed away from the doctrine because of changes in the international system, including the rising power of China and the proliferation of highly effective terrorist networks.

But what if the United States had to fight two wars today, and not against states like North Korea and Iran? What if China and Russia sufficiently coordinated with one another to engage in simultaneous hostilities in the Pacific and in Europe?

This first appeared in August 2017.

Political Coordination

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