Remember my short story I never finished? I predicted that a massive missile barrage would take out our forces on Guam.
Looks like I was right. Check this out from Rand...
The researchers modeled Chinese missile attacks against U.S. forward air bases in two scenarios at varying distances from the mainland: a Chinese invasion of Taiwan and a campaign to occupy the Spratly Islands. Inputs included Chinese missile inventories, PLA missile reliability and accuracy, the presence or absence of U.S. defenses, Chinese battle-damage assessment capabilities, the number of cuts necessary to close runways, and U.S. runway repair times.Note.
Two types of attacks were modeled, with runways targeted in the first case and aircraft parked at the air base targeted in the second. The discussion here is limited to runway attacks, with the major output being the number of days that U.S. air bases would be closed. These results are not intended to represent fully developed or precise predictions. But given the consistency of the methodology applied over the period considered, they provide a good indicator of trends over time, as well as an idea of the general scale of the challenge at any given point in time.
The analysis of the Taiwan case focuses on attacks against the Kadena Air Base, which is the only major U.S. air base within unrefueled range of the Taiwan Strait. Using baseline assumptions, the analysis indicates that China would have been able to close Kadena to fighter operations in a Taiwan scenario for four to ten days in 2010. Closure times increase with the expansion and improvement of China's missile inventory: In 2017, China might shut down operations at Kadena for 16–43 days, though the latter figure would imply a single-minded focus on Kadena at the expense of striking other targets or holding missiles in reserve. Missile attacks against U.S. air bases would have significant spillover effects into the air superiority contest. And given the importance of airpower in Asian scenarios, the tertiary effects on other parts of the battle could also be significant.
Chinese attacks on air bases would cause relatively less disruption — and have fewer consequences — in the Spratly Islands scenario. As in the Taiwan case, however, the challenges posed to air base operations by Chinese missiles are growing. In the Spratly Islands scenario, bases on Guam and Mindanao would be as important as Kadena. These bases are farther from China, and, in 2010, Chinese attacks on them would have been limited to bombers firing ALCMs. In such attacks, some portion of both the shooters and missiles might have been brought down in flight. The likely future addition of IRBMs, however, will give China the ability to attack relevant bases with less warning and greater effect.
They're broadcasting this in the clear. Secret findings are probably much more dire. Although I'm sure this is timed to influence the Congressional debate about the military budget and is being used to protect big ticket items like the F-35 and the LRSB, I don't doubt its validity.
By 2020 China will have REGIONAL superiority. Especially if we keep chasing the stupid dream of making the Middle East work (better to allow the natural evolution to occur...let strongmen come into power to put down the sectarian violence).
Sidenote: Is it time to reconsider our entire approach to dealing with threats in the Pacific? I'm becoming more convinced that forward basing is no longer an advantage...at least in this particular theater. Perhaps we should consider reconstituting the Rapid Deployment Force and have our units surge to the theater in question from the continental United States. As things now stand we have penny packets of units all over the place and by doing so diminish our combat power.