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Producers’ Pick | Adm. James Stavridis: Expect Heavy U.S. Losses in a Conflict with China over Taiwan

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade
The Truth Network Radio
August 14, 2022 12:00 am

Producers’ Pick | Adm. James Stavridis: Expect Heavy U.S. Losses in a Conflict with China over Taiwan

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade

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August 14, 2022 12:00 am

Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander on projections that a naval conflict with China will be tougher than we think.

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First of all, the counter-attack that's taken place in Khursan Oblast, which is just north of Crimea, that has begun on a very modest scale.

A lot of preparation taking place in doing that, and this will turn out to be, I think, a turning point in the war. Can the Ukrainians take back territory that the Russians have seized, and will the international community continue to support them as a result of that? If they fail to take the territory back, the Ukrainians are very concerned that the international community will begin to walk away.

I mean, not precipitously, immediately, but over time. That is their fundamental concern. Yeah, they're worried about the nuclear power plant, they're worried about taking back territory, and Khursan means a lot. They're trying to keep everything down and the progress they're making low. They're also trying to infiltrate in areas that Russia stole, like Crimea, and the New York Times reporting that the Ukrainians should take a responsibility for it, blowing up nine planes inside Crimea, one of these sabotage operations. Their goal is to make every bit of land that Russia has taken, and try to annex, and make them fear for their lives on a daily basis.

If they can't take it back, make it impossible to settle. Admiral James Stravidis knows all about it, 16th Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, author of Risk It All, Nine Conflicts, and the Crucible of Decision. Admiral, welcome back. What could you tell me about this war in particular? Because I think something's changed since we spoke two weeks ago, and I'm not seeing much land grab, many miles of land grabbed by the Russians. Now, the Russian offense, as you and I and Jacqueen talked about a couple weeks ago, is really grinding slowly, if at all.

And what's happening, of course, is massive losses. US intelligence now estimating 70,000 Russians either killed or wounded off the battlefield. That's roughly half the combat strength Putin started with.

25% of all the equipment he went in with destroyed, probably a bit more. And as you just point out, this kind of stunning behind enemy lines, the dirty dozen kind of raid against the airfield in Crimea, taking out a substantial chunk of warplanes. So, things are kind of moving in the Ukrainian's direction.

I'm with General Jack. We need to watch what happens around this town of Tursan. It's the gateway to Crimea. It controls the water supplies into Crimea.

If the Ukrainians can pull that one off, taking that territory back, I think they will have a great deal of momentum headed into the fall campaign. How close is this Iranian deal? The Iranians and European Union seem to be hammering this out. The Russians are dealing directly as well.

What could you tell us about it, and how concerned should we be? Well, I've spent a lot of time in the Middle East and have often bought carpet there, bought rugs, many of which are made in Iran, Persian carpets. And whenever you're in a transaction about buying a rug in the Middle East to include in Iran, it's going to be very hard to ultimately close the deal. And what you're seeing is the Iranians say, that looks good, that looks good, we're very close. Whoops, wait a minute, we got one more thing we want to nail down here.

Now, where are we this morning? The Europeans appear to be crafting some kind of agreement that would take one of the big hard stops for Iran off the table. That's the inspection of their nuclear program. And if they do that, if the Europeans are successful with the Iranians, then I think you have probably a two in three chance of this deal coming through, which is way up from where I thought it would be six months ago. So we caught them cheating, they want to stop the investigation into the cheating, and that we wouldn't agree not to even look into that site.

What a joke. I mean, how is this in the best interest of our country? I know it's rhetorical. And that provision where the Russians hold the weaponized uranium, and they give it back if we tear up the deal like Trump did. So if the Republican walks in, Marco Rubio becomes president, he goes, yeah, I hate this deal, I'm ripping it up. So the Russians come in with the uranium and give it back to the Iranians. That would be unbelievable.

I agree with everything you've said. This deal has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese. And it particularly is distasteful in a period of time when Putin becomes the guarantor, if you will, while he's invading Ukraine, and by the way, is being hosted repeatedly in Tehran by his new best friends, the Iranians. It doesn't look like a good landing to me.

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Subscribe and listen now at or wherever you get your podcasts. So we did some, everybody's watching Taiwan and the speakers visit, and now Taiwan was really surrounded in a series of war games or military exercises that gave us an idea of how the Chinese might invade Ukraine, might invade Taiwan. What is your takeaway from that? And what could you tell us about these DC war games that have the US and China fighting over Taiwan? Yeah, three big takeaways from the Chinese reaction to the Pelosi visit. Number one, they've given us a pretty clear look at their war plan, and this is what US intelligence has postulated all along.

It'll be a blockade, long range ballistic missiles. The only thing we didn't see them exercise was the energization of a fifth column that undoubtedly is built into Taiwanese society, special forces, targeted assassinations, explosions all over the island. So we got a good look at the war plan. Number two, we see that US is going to have a very challenging time pushing this back, and we'll come to that in one second with the war games. And number three, little noticed, but the Taiwanese response, their military exercises, which have gone on over the last couple of days, kind of in response, show a very capable, very motivated force. Bottom line, we need to do more to ensure the Taiwanese are ready to fight in a way that the Ukrainians were not, and we had to flow weapons in very late in the game.

Let's do that earlier. As to the war games, simply, Brian, they show how tough a fight this will be. I think many Americans think the US Navy would just roll over the Chinese Navy.

That's not how this is going to come out. There'll be huge losses on both sides. The outcome, I would still, as an admiral, I'd still rather have the American hand of cards to play in this than the Chinese one, but it's going to be hard fought with a lot of casualties.

18 of the 22 rounds of the game played at this point. Chinese missiles sink a large part of the US and Japanese surface fleet and destroy hundreds of aircraft on the ground. However, allied air and naval counterattacks hammer the exposed Chinese amphibious and surface fleet. The reason for the US losses is that the United States cannot conduct a systematic campaign to take down Chinese defenses before moving in close. The United States must send forces to attack the Chinese fleet to get a sense of the scale of the losses in our last game iteration. The United States lost over 900 fighter attack aircraft in a four-week conflict. That's about half the Navy and Air Force inventory. But they do believe that Taiwan could repel an invasion, correct?

Correct. And if you think about it, Taiwan is a tough nut to crack. It's an island. It has an 80-mile moat right in front of it. And of course, the vast Pacific Ocean on the other side. And the island, if you've never been there, I have, is very mountainous.

It's covered with forests. The Taiwanese have plans how to fall back if they need to. Even if the Chinese could get a toehold, it would be a very tough fight on the island itself. Bottom line, Brian, one thing to worry about that we haven't mentioned and was explicitly excluded from the war game was what if the Japanese don't let us use the bases?

That would be very significant. And a second thing is there was no use of tactical nuclear weapons, something that I explored, as you know, in my novel, 2034, a novel of the next world war, a book about a war between the US and China. So even with the massive losses we're talking about, there are other twists of the wheel of fate that could undermine this campaign.

It'll be very challenging. Admiral, one thing that drives me nuts is that we've been talking about what Taiwan needs to defend itself. I have not heard any consummation of any of these requests for defensive weapons that would repel China. I mean, we hear that they, we know exactly what they want. We know exactly what we can give them, but we're not doing it.

What is the holdup? I think at this point, the light is going on across the political aisle that we have to do this. It's been, you know, a kind of back and forth stage, but I think, Brian, this is something that there's agreement from Pelosi on one side to Mitch McConnell on the other side. And frankly, the war in Ukraine ought to tell us if we put the weapons systems in there, we can deter China and avoid a war. So I think you're going to see motion on this pretty significant in the fall. And in that sense, we can hopefully get ahead of the curve in a way that we weren't in Ukraine.

All right. We'll see how it goes. Any word if the Russians are paying an economic price as significant as they need to, to revisit the wisdom of this war? Slowly but steadily, these sanctions are biting, but let's face it, it's going to take time for those economics to come into play. The thing to watch, the thing that'll push Putin to the negotiating table is actually not the sanctions.

That'll be helpful. But the thing that'll push him will be the combat losses he's suffering. The Ukrainians are making the Russians pay for every inch of territory. Crimea could end up soaked in Russian blood. That is what is going to get Putin to the table. And that's what we need to put in the hands of the Ukrainians, the tools to accomplish that. I hear the numbers 85,000 wounded or killed. Is that correct?

Absolutely. And let's make a point. That's from US intelligence, which historically is very conservative in how they make those kinds of assessments. British intelligence puts those numbers even higher. This is a massive loss of personnel. And final thought, Brian, Putin has thrown open the jail cells in Russia, saying to felons, murderers, thieves, hey, I will commute your sentence from 15 years or 20 years down to six months and give you time served if you will go and fight in Ukraine. Think about that for a minute. How desperate is that? He will not have a draft.

He thinks it'll be a boomerang on him. Admiral James Jarvides, thanks so much. You bet, Brian.

Have a great weekend. That's a lot of knowledge. I just don't know who, very few people in the country you can talk to to give you a more solid update on a chance of winning a war against China and what's actually happening in Ukraine and how bad this Iranian deal is. So with that, we laid the groundwork and we're also following this story. The president of the United States made it clear through his website, Truth Socials, it looks like Twitter, that he has no problem releasing the warrant, no problem releasing the affidavit that was handed to him as the FBI decides to raid Mar-a-Lago on Monday. What they took, what they were looking for, and why the Trump camp is convinced that the attorney general is way over his skis. There is a report that he had nuclear plans and details on nuclear weapons in his possession. I have not seen that confirmed. Where was that in June? If you knew about June 22nd, why did you wait till August? This is The Brian Kilmeade Show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-15 06:21:00 / 2023-02-15 06:26:09 / 5

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