The year is 2030. Chinese troops seize a Japanese island in the South China Sea. Japan dispatches an amphibious task force to retake the island. Soon, U.S. warships and aircraft arrive, accompanying a Japanese flotilla. Their orders are to support Japan while trying to avoid combat with Chinese forces.
That plan soon falls apart. According to a wargame run by the Washington-based Center for a New American Security (CNAS), it is impossible for the U.S. military to step in without American and Chinese troops firing on each other.
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