A deadly toll.
This Simulated War Game Shows How China Would Win in the South China Sea
Our scenario takes place in the South China Sea at a cluster of reefs and rocks called the Scarborough Shoal, roughly 137 miles west of the Philippines. In real life, China and The Philippines both claim the shoal as part of their territory, and tensions between the two nations have been growing.
The year is 2016, and two of the U.S. Navy’s latest ships are backing a key ally in the tinderbox of the South China Sea. They’re facing down the Chinese navy halfway across the world with the latest weapons and systems the United States can get its hands on. But is it enough?For more than a hundred years, the U.S. Navy has been using naval wargames to test ships, tactics and strategy. Today, thanks to the ability of computers to process massive amounts of data, sharply accurate, procedural “hard” simulations are possible.
One such sim is Command: Modern Naval/Air Operations, a new game that attempts to model modern sea and air warfare as closely as a game for civilians can.
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Command is particularly suited for attempting a high-fidelity simulation of modern naval combat — it included an admiral and staff from the U.S. Naval War College in the game’s beta testing — and we’re going to take a page from the Navy and put America’s latest fighting ship to the test.
(This first appeared in June 2019.)
The result isn’t good — and a harrowing lesson to be cautious about how we equip the U.S. military.