That's a bit of cross purposing. The US military presence in Europe initially was viable only because of its nuclear deterrent. Ike promised the army that it could go down to 12 active divisions because it would never have to fight the USSR in Europe without tac nucs on the battlefeld. Of course, that battlefield was not US property and it became over time an imperative to beef up US conventional forces with an eye to making it a viable force without the immediate use of tac nucs. The resulting economic expenditure so stressed the USSR that it still is credited in some quarters with ending the Cold War. By the 1980s, the US buildup in active divisions and stockpiled materiel for ten more divisions in Europe amounted to our own "horde of tanks."
Nonetheless, it has remained US policy not to initiate direct conflict with a nuc superpower, for fear that it could escalate to a nuclear exchange that would cast the outcome in severe doubt to say the least. There have been several proxy wars involving superpowers, but that's a different consideration not implying nucs.
When this discussion of revamping the USMC for a conflict with China first raised its ugly head, it naturally set off alarms in the heads of those of us who worked in military affairs in the 70s-90s, such as Bill Lind, now retired as a former military staffer in the US Senate. I too wondered right away, what was the idea of fighting China in the So China Sea with naval forces in isolation? What were the associated requirements for the US to defend the ROK, Japan and Taiwan? Was this to be a conventional war, if not what were the constraints?
We remember, it was the same Ike that promised tac nucs for the US Army in Europe who also voiced his view that the US should never fight a land war on the Asian mainland. Given Chinese armaments today, we need not limit it to the mainland, I'd wager. This also goes for a certain Fake President who promised N Korea a rain of fire should Kim threaten US security. Well, US security hardly is maintained by a nuc bombardment of N Korea, which cannot fail to have lethal effects on neighboring Chinese and Russian territory. But the stupidity continues, despite the soundest US intell and military advice at hand for the xxxxx in the Oval Office.
Edited by Ken Estes, 12 May 2020 - 0424 AM.