All I can say is... huh?There has never been a nation that had to face the prospects of nuclear retaliation. Japan couldn't fight back in 1945 because it didn't have nukes. That doesn't count. I'm saying if today US surprise first strike attacks China via nukes and wipe out CCP and all major Chinese cities, what is to guarantee China will actually retaliate? THAT IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION. And if they don't retaliate (for whatever reason(s)) or if such retaliation was only minimally effective, then why would the US not attack? Think about it. Population is the problem. Peak oil is a population problem. It IS a zero sum game. The nukes are already there, those are sunken costs whether or not they will ever be used, and this is the most quickly and effective "bang for buck" and the ONLY way US could totally defeat China militaristically and hence economically in short order... Why do you think US is building missile defense in earnest now and trying to persuade Russia to disarm? If China doesn't built a defensive 'deadhand' tied to some sort of 'doomsday machine' or increase its SLBM by orders of magnitude then it is practically inviting US to attack... I mean after Syria and Iran ... China will be next if it doesn't watch out.
That is the conventional wisdom US and China is interconnected and both "need each other" ... but what about a "black swan event"? Everyone (including CCP) believes America is not that reckless and wouldn't instigate a massive nation vs nation war or nuke war with China anytime soon... But Peak Oil changes the whole picture.... If magically the population of India and China could be deleted like the inverse of how the Feds make money on a computer via a digital bookkeeping entry, then "Peak Oil" would be pushed back 10 - 20 years! Gas would go down to $1.50 and the US can party like it is 1999 again....
The US still has 10,000+ active nukes while China is reported to have less than 100 strategic nuclear warheads actually capable of even reaching the U.S. (most of China's limited amount of 400 nukes are tactical nukes of the short range type that are aimed at Russia, India, and closer nations, etc) ... Now America is building National Missile Defense/ Ballistic Missile Defense systems that will negate China's minimal deterrence stance and obliterate its NFU (no first use) policy. China does not possess a credible deterrence against a sudden US first strike or decapitation strike, and since the Chinese have vowed against launching on warning and will only launch after being attacked, that is practically inviting the US to flatten China and take out the CCP.
If America truly believes it can successfully do a nuclear first-strike depreciation of the CCP in China, then why wouldn't' they? It is now or never, use it or lose it... because later on US will be poorer and Chinese military will be stronger than they are right now (relatively speaking...) so if there ever was a chance to pull something like this off with acceptable loses (say Chinese retaliation strike hits only two large cities, face it, nuclear war is a PERCENTAGES game) then it would be now... China would never strike US first because that would be political, economic and militaristic suicide... but US stands to benefit a lot from a surprise first strike... and right now, it seems IF they are successful (relatively speaking) then the pros would outweigh the cons. Maybe there is some truth to Dec 21 2012? Also, realistically, if US nuke strikes China and knocks out entire CCP, do you think a lone Chinese submarine commander would even give the order to launch in retaliation? I think not.... I think he would probably defect to the US for chance to live American dream like what the Russians did in Hunt for Red October. I don't think China has a credible deterrence against US. The Great Wall didn't work the first time around, what makes them think the underground Great Wall is going to work this time around? Deterrence only works if the opponent KNOWS you possess the deterrent AND he BELIEVES it is credible. It makes no sense for China to secretly increase its nuclear deterrence... and as far as publicly knowledge, for a nation of China's stature, its nuclear deterrence is at a pathetically minimal level. This just doesn't make sense. Why isn't China building more launch range strategic thermonuclear MIRVs and SLBM to protect itself against such an existential Western threat?
The US has brought its nuclear stockpile down to around 5,000 nukes, of which roughly half are operational
United States Discloses Size of Nuclear Weapons Stockpile » FAS Strategic Security Blog
What is your argument? The warmongering US is going to pre-emptively nuke China? A possible conflict scenario? China should build 10,000 nukes?, China is no match for the US?
Whatever your argument is, it uses alot of if's, looks very shaky.