I've given some thought to this situation. Here's some key points that popped into my mind:
1. I don't think anyone wants to nuke the US because they'll want the infrastructure. If we do war with China, they'll want what we have. They're trying to conquer us economically, I have no reason to doubt they'd want to do the same to our land and our people. That's the big picture.
IMO, Bombing our infrastructure is a must if you want to take over our home land. I also can't see an "ALL OUT WAR" with China not going to nukes at some point as there is always a looser.
2. Narrowing the scope a little bit to all out conventional war, I think we would have a MAJOR dependence on aircraft carriers. They are mobile and hard to find in the big vast ocean. I'd say that would be the first line of defense in the event our major bases were rendered inoperable. By inoperable, I refer to conventional means like cruise missiles and such.
Agreed mosty, but where are China's aircraft coming from to attack the US?
I don't think they have enough missiles to take out all of our runways and other target as well. I don't think they could win without control of the sky. Also, I think we're lucky to have those carriers as China only has one carrier and it dosn't even have aircraft on it yet.
How are they going to get enough people here to fight us? Even if they could get a million man army here I don't think they could even come close. Not counting our armed forces we have over 200 million armed people.
3. I got on google earth and started to think where I would be able to operate from if the air bases were taken out.
* The first thing I noticed was all the international, regional, and municipal airports that dotted the landscape all across the US. Many of the municipal airports had runways in excess of 5000ft. This is in addition to bases that have been closed, like NAS Dallas. The runway is still there and can accommodate any aircraft. When the major bases are taken out, there will still be plenty of useable runways.
* Next I noticed that there are still plenty of perfectly straight stretches of highway. I'm from TX and looked to the western part of my state and noticed countless areas which were several miles long and straight. That's even between overpasses, which are good places to hide planes and perform maintenance.
* Last I noticed all the lakes. Now, around Dallas, all the lakes are man made, which means they have levees. I looked at the levees and they all seem to be a mile+ in length and straight. I mentioned this because of TACA flight 110. It was a 737 flying into New Orleans which had a dual flame out. The pilots managed to glide the plane far enough to reach a levee and land on it. The landing was surprisingly smooth. The cool thing is Boeing went out and replaced the engines on sight, and flew the plane off that very same levee. So where there are levees, there's a high possibility they could be turned into makeshift bases. Google the TACA 110 story, it's fascinating!
Agreed. It would not be that hard to build makeshift bases of some sort.