I’ve received a lot of emails telling me how my previous This Will Make You Smile! blog brought a chortle and a chuckle to people’s lips and brightened their day.

So, I feel I must apologize in advance for today’s offering in which smiles are in short supply. In fact, I might go so far as to suggest that frowny faces are the order of the day. The reason for my doom and gloom is that my chum Jay Dowling just sent me the link to an article that says We’re Going to Lose Fast if we enter a war against China.

There are many issues between America and China — not the least the fact that China steals our intellectual property and mounts cyberattacks against our computer infrastructure and personal data with impunity — but one of the biggest problems is Taiwan or, more officially, the Republic of China (ROC). The road to the ROC, which evolved from a single-party military dictatorship into a multi-party democracy, involved many twists and turns. The bottom line is that the Taiwanese regard themselves as being an independent nation, while the People’s Republic of China (PRC) — which is what the rest of us think of as China — regards Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be subsumed back into the mainland mothership.

The reason I’m waffling on about this here is that, according to the aforementioned article, the US Air Force simulated a conflict with China set 10 years in the future, and we didn’t come out of that simulation with smiles on our faces.

The current feeling is that China might try and annex Taiwan sometime in the coming decade. Is America obligated by treaty to defend Taiwan? Well, not exactly, because America’s policy — as articulated by the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which is best described as “strategic ambiguity” — is designed to dissuade Taiwan from a unilateral declaration of independence while also dissuading the PRC from unilaterally unifying Taiwan back into the PRC.

After that, things get complicated. All I can say is that I recommend you read the We’re Going to Lose Fast article from top to bottom, after which you can join me sporting our frowny faces. Do you remember last year when the COVID-19 pandemic really kicked into gear and it was well nigh impossible to lay your hands on things like toilet rolls and paper towels? Suffice it to say that, if we go to war with China, we will look back on the time of the pandemic as being “the good old days.”