[…] If the political purpose of a new Pacific war is to change Chinese behavior externally or internally—to render China incapable of resisting American political demands—it is worth noting that China is not Imperial Japan in 1941. Japan’s economy was roughly one-tenth the size of the U.S. economy, and it still required three years of hard fighting by U.S. forces to redeem America’s ignominious defeat at Pearl Harbor and in the Philippines. In addition, when Tokyo decided to attack U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor, Japan was already at war with a number of states including China, Great Britain, and the Netherlands.
Beijing, meanwhile, will not confront a two front war. Neither Moscow nor its Indian ally will risk war with China. However, in the event of war with China, Washington must take seriously the danger of fighting China and Russia, two major regional powers, simultaneously, because Washington is actively hostile to both.