February 22, 2023

Wargame Report: China’s Nuclear Arsenal More Survivable in Taiwan Conflict

Source: Air & Space Forces Magazine

Journalist: Christopher Prawdzik

China’s diverse nuclear arsenal makes it more survivable and would provide China with more coercive options in a conflict with the United States over Taiwan. The findings were the result of two summer 2022 tabletop wargame exercises conducted by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) that each pitted China (Red) against the U.S. (Blue).

“A larger, more diverse nuclear arsenal not only increased the survivability of China’s second-strike capability but also gave the Red teams the ability to threaten or employ nuclear weapons in a limited fashion,” according to “Avoiding the Brink,” a CNAS report released in February. “In short, the Red teams felt that they had a secure second-strike capability and were better positioned to brandish nuclear weapons coercively and employ them if necessary.”

Read the full story and more from Air & Space Forces Magazine.


  • Stacie Pettyjohn

    Senior Fellow and Director, Defense Program

    Stacie Pettyjohn is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Defense Program at CNAS. Her areas of expertise include defense strategy, posture, force planning, the defense budget, ...

  • Hannah Dennis

    Research Associate, Defense Program

    Hannah Dennis is a Research Associate for the Defense Program at CNAS where she also supports the CNAS Gaming Lab. Her research focuses on the future of warfare, defense acqui...