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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:56 am 
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Dan wrote:
We cannot stop the Chinese from taking Taiwan if they decide they want to do that militarily (unless we are willing to use strategic nukes to try to compel the Chinese to desist. Again, they can diffuse this strategy with economic blackmail countermeasures) and to suggest that Taiwan can defend themselves from China is just silly. If China wants it badly enough, and is willing to deal with the losses, they can take the island. It just won't come cheap, or easy. But the resource imbalance is huge and Taiwan without U.S. support won't be able to hold.


I think I agree with Smitty for the most part inasmuch as there will be significant pain for all parties concerned should China try to seize Taiwan and the US defends Taiwan. But let's look a few facts, please. Taiwan will not lie down. First, Taiwan has a capable military with capable officers and about a half million man military, with another 3 or 4 million men in reserve. Second, Taiwan is armed to the teeth after being armed by americans for decades. Three, the Taiwan soldier is generally well educated and highly motivated. And four, Taiwan has friends in the region and the US can not only supply military assistance, but can resupply the island. There's a damn good reason why China hasn't tried to take Taiwan since the 1950s.

Dan, there is simply no way to convince you that China won't bankrupt the US. I don't think that they could given the enormous wealth of this county -- and that point is hardly unanimous among experts. And even if they could, I don't see them doing it because it would be M.A.D. -- and not just to China and the USA. You can't convince me that we are beholden to China or somehow a second rate country, especially after fighting a 50 year cold war.

But just in pure military terms, you should know better than most that troops fighting for their survival and for liberty and who can be resupplied tend to do very well against conscript conquerors -- especially when the conqueror's Navy is still second rate. Soviet troops had a difficult time outside of the USSR excpet against the Germans and that was a death match because Germany attacked first. Sun Tzu thinks in terms of centuries and millenia -- I don't know how Taiwan will fare in 500 years. But it should fare pretty well today.

The Chinese Navy has an extremely steep learning curve before its Navy can be spoken in the same breath as the US Navy. Not that they can't one day be on par in the China sea. But so long as the the US has deep ties with the Japanese and ASEAN, it's going to take a long time.

Apparently, the Taiwanese themselves have little fear of the Chinese. Maybe they know something we don't.

http://www.defencetalk.com/taiwanese-ha ... vey-28730/

In the end, it depends upon how you look at things. If you think we are at the end of the rope, then there is precious little that does not convince you that the end is near.


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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:01 am 
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China wouldn't attack anyone unless it 1. had no choice or 2. was 100% sure of success.

China plays the long game. They let the Brits hold on to Hong Kong for 99 years. But look who has Hong Kong now...

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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:25 am 
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Felix wrote:
I think I agree with Smitty for the most part inasmuch as there will be significant pain for all parties concerned should China try to seize Taiwan and the US defends Taiwan. But let's look a few facts, please. Taiwan will not lie down. First, Taiwan has a capable military with capable officers and about a half million man military, with another 3 or 4 million men in reserve. Second, Taiwan is armed to the teeth after being armed by americans for decades. Three, the Taiwan soldier is generally well educated and highly motivated. And four, Taiwan has friends in the region and the US can not only supply military assistance, but can resupply the island. There's a damn good reason why China hasn't tried to take Taiwan since the 1950s.


Formosa has no depth... it's inside the the PRC strike envelop. There's nowhere to Marshall forces, upon mobilization, which doesn't come under heavy and sustained fire... They are locked into a phone both, with no where to maneuver... to trade ground for time... they basically have to hold the beachhead... long enough for millions to be mobilized... and then what can you do with all those troops in such a confined space? They're in a shooting gallery. The Chinese drove the US out of North Korea with mass.. there's nothing to stop them from overrunning the Taiwanese... after encirclement, by Air and Sea... They could try to make Taipei a Stalingrad... but the PRC would have gained lodgement at that point... and resupply would be impossible...


Quote:
But just in pure military terms, you should know better than most that troops fighting for their survival and for liberty and who can be resupplied tend to do very well against conscript conquerors -- especially when the conqueror's Navy is still second rate.


I think this is underrating the PLA... they are quite full of zeal and determination... the Chinese have become Ultra-Nationalist... and I don't see how Taiwan can be resupplied inside the Kill zone, without prohibitive losses for Maritime Sealift, attempting to run the gauntlet... it's all within shooting range of PRC assets, Land, Air and Sea.... Flying C-17's in wouldn't be enough anyways... but they couldn't fly in without Air Supremacy.. which isn't going to be quickly achieved at that distance from mainland China...

Quote:
The Chinese Navy has an extremely steep learning curve before its Navy can be spoken in the same breath as the US Navy. Not that they can't one day be on par in the China sea.


In that theater, it's a combined operation...the PLAN is within the cover of it's Land Based Air Forces and Missiles... and has to only control a very narrow corridor to Formosa


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In the end, it depends upon how you look at things. If you think we are at the end of the rope, then there is precious little that does not convince you that the end is near.


Well you were the one who brought up the unlikely War with China, as a threat... so you're the one preaching negativity and fear mongering

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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:00 pm 
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Smitty-48 wrote:
Good points all...

One of the biggest problems is how much the US overrates its military capabilities, based on propaganda from the Defense establishment, Contractors and their Allies in Congress... all of whom have an interest in protecting the distribution of Pork.... which is best done by overly complex, expensive and unproven technology... focusing on big ticket items, even if they are obsolete or ineffective.

The result is not invincible war fighting capability... but an ever shrinking.. and in a holistic sense... poorly equipped force.

It's not to say that the US forces are completely incapable.... obviously they can dish out a significant amount of punishment.... but does that actually amount to anything productive at the strategic level? And does it actually make the US as dominant as the advertising suggest?

For instance.. the Air Power. It's primarily based around Strategic Bombing.. even in the case of the Fighter Forces... they essentially are Bomb Trucks... which deliver ordinance to grid references on a map... But they haven't been tested in combat against a robust force since WW II... and in Vietnam... losses were heavy, despite a relatively inferior opponent.

It's seems pretty far fetched that the US could destroy the PLAAF and the Integrated Air defense, without suffering a lot of casualties... and would the bombing of the Chinese make any difference? When has Strategic bombing ever produced any positive results? From Germany to Japan to Vietnam... it has never brought the enemy to it's knees... rather it has always caused them to resist even more. The Chinese don't strike me as one of those societies that would 'cry uncle' just cause you were bombing them... they strike me as the types who would 'dig in'....

So... then what? Tac-Nukes? They have ICBM's and SLBM's.. so better say your prayers if you start dropping those.... and what do you do if they use Tac-Nukes... WW III? Not something any administration wants to get into... at least not over Taiwan.

There power projection is not in the class of the US... but Formosa is a special case... it's right across the strait from them... point blank range... it can hardly be considered 'power Projection' for them to cross that body of water and overwhelm the Taiwanese... just using mass.. and the willingness to take casualties. It's not nearly as hard a nut to crack, as trying to invade Vietnam through the Jungle... against PAVN.. hardened by decades of war against superpowers... that's not Taiwan, at all.

The US may sail a Carrier Group in there for Appearances... but you cant do that when all the shit is flying... you'll lose Carriers... and the littoral around Formosa is bad Ju-Ju for large Nuclear Subs... that's confined and inside the PRC wheelhouse...

Defending Taiwan by direct military force... even if China launched a surprise attack... would be too much of a risk for the US... But for the PRC... it's in their front yard.

Now here's the video of retired Air Force Chief Deptula, mugging for more F-22's.... but within his assessment... which may or may not be alarmist... he's portraying the Taiwan Strait as being a massive kill zone... 183 F-22's... all of which will not be available at once... plus F-15...F-16...F/A-18 and B-1... are going to get mauled if HQ-9 and J-11 are deployed... F-35 is years away (and they aren't stealthy enough.. and not good for A2A)... and B-2's are a First Strike weapon, which could initiate a Nuclear retaliation, if they fly against the PRC... so very dangerous to deploy against a country with SLBM's...

It's a question of cost/benefit. Is it really worth it for the US to risk everything in a gambit to save Taiwan? Is it really realistic for the US to plan to fight this war? The PRC is not going to attack the US unprovoked... they are natural allies now. Is the PRC what the US should be focusing on as a future threat... with the inherent dangers of engaging a Nuclear Super Power directly? China can fly enough MIRV's to reduce the US to the stone age.. easily overwhelming any Anti-Ballistic Missile system... so they can never be defeated outright. At some point there would have to be negotiation... or it's National Suicide for both parties.. better to negotiate before hostilities even break out.

The US already looked into the abyss, in 1962... at the height of the Cold War.. with Nuclear Missiles 90 miles off of Florida.. and decided not to go there... they Negotiated their way out of it. I don't think anything has changed in this regard. War with another Super-Power is a Lose-Lose for the US.


Smitty, your points are very persuasive and I agree with your final conclusion more or less. But how you get there is based on some predicates I take issue with.

First, you seem to argue that the hundreds of billions of dollars the US spends on military equipment and weaponry is feckless and not a “strategic” deterrent to China. Really? Obsolete weapons? Forget for now that this argument assumes the experts in the military are all corrupt – a tall claim. But this argument is also counter to the criticism of the Pentagon that I hear the most -- it is spending too much money on weapon systems directed at first-world military powers (i.e., Russia and China) and not third-rate military threats, such as Al Queda or Yemen terrorists. The argument goes that we don’t need strategic fighters that cost $100 million because Al Queda does not have bombers. You are now arguing the opposite. You are saying that the $100 million fighter is a waste of money not because it is ineffective against Al Queda, but because it is ineffective against the threat with whom it is directed – the Chinese. I don’t know if the F-22 or F-35 is “obsolete” or “ineffective” against the Chinese and I suspect that you would find legions of experts with no dog in the hunt who would disagree with you.

The US has spent perhaps $5 trillion on defense in the 2000s. To say that much of that was spent on obsolete weapon systems is hotly disputed.

Second, you argue that the US is “poorly” equipped. That is counter-intuitive on its face, if not counter-factual based on the sheer amount of money paid for weapon systems, guns, ammo, missiles, etc, etc. So the Chinese is “better” equipped because it spends less than 10% of what the US spends?

Your post says almost nothing about drone missiles and remote control weapons systems.

Third, you place a significant reliance on the distinction between strategic weapons versus tactical weapons. Just saying a “strategic” weapon is not “strategic” does not make it so. A carrier group is ipso facto “strategic” because, to date, no one on the planet has ever taken such a group on. To date, US air superiority has prevented many nations from aggressive action. It is a force multiplier. It induces fear. A B-1 Bomber wing is strategic because it can level cities and means of production. Whether you can win a war with just “strategic” weaponry is debatable. We all know that the Maginot Line was a strategic “weapon” too, and the German strategically bypassed it. But who says the US would bomb civilian centers rather than centers of command and control and means of production? German resisted because we were bombing people. Japan resisted because we were bombing people. I don’t know if strategic bombing stiffened the spine of the Vietnamese—that was not a total war or war of conquest and we did not seek North Vietnamese territory. What about a naval blockade of China. What if the US halted all shipping to China after it strikes Taiwan? What could the Chinese possibly do in the Gulf region or the Indian ocean? Nothing but send out submarines, which would be hunted incessantly.

In the end, who is claiming that US Air Power will defeat China. It does not have to. China is a target rich environment along the coast – it is hard to imagine that a potential Chinese land invasion force would not be severely attrited before the first PRC soldier set foot on Taiwan. Yes, the straits are a kill zone, but who says we would be flying jets over it? Why can’t drones and mobile land based missiles take out landing craft? Who says we can’t soften up Chinese Air defense with drones and land and sea based missiles? Who says we have to bring the Chinese to “its knees” through strategic bombing? We just need to deter or stop a D-Day type invasion.

Fourth, your point, stripped of the gloss, is that the US does not have the marital spirit to fight the Chinese -- It won’t “risk” its carriers to fight the Chinese based on a cost-benefit analysis. I don’t know what that is based on. I have no idea whether the US would come to the aid of the Taiwanese and neither do you. I will say this: much of the US’s power is based on the belief that the U.S. is not a paper tiger and does not bluff. It did not bluff when it dropped 2 A-bombs on the Japanese. It did not bluff in Korea. It did not bluff in Vietnam. It did not bluff in West Germany. It did not bluff in Iraq. What makes you think it is bluffing now?

If any one is bluffing, it is the Chinese. In a cost-benefit analysis, it is hard to imagine that Taiwan is worth it for the Chinese.

At the end of the day, I agree that war with China is very unproductive and is decidedly not in the US national interests. But I am hesitant to put China up there as an existential threat to the USA. All this talk about a Chinese threat is likely to induce more, not less, military spending and of the sort that is directly related to the Chinese threat. The military industrial complex needs a boogeyman – the USSR is gone and the “terror” stop-gap threat has just about run its course. China will be that new boogeyman in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:06 pm 
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Smitty-48 wrote:
Well you were the one who brought up the unlikely War with China, as a threat... so you're the one preaching negativity and fear mongering


In the short run, China is an economic threat and, in the long run a military threat. My "dictator" would act accordingly.

As for Taiwan being a "Stalingrad," do you really believe that???????


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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:39 pm 
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Felix wrote:
Smitty, your points are very persuasive and I agree with your final conclusion more or less. But how you get there is based on some predicates I take issue with.

First, you seem to argue that the hundreds of billions of dollars the US spends on military equipment and weaponry is feckless and not a “strategic” deterrent to China. Really? Obsolete weapons? Forget for now that this argument assumes the experts in the military are all corrupt – a tall claim. But this argument is also counter to the criticism of the Pentagon that I hear the most -- it is spending too much money on weapon systems directed at first-world military powers (i.e., Russia and China) and not third-rate military threats, such as Al Queda or Yemen terrorists. The argument goes that we don’t need strategic fighters that cost $100 million because Al Queda does not have bombers. You are now arguing the opposite. You are saying that the $100 million fighter is a waste of money not because it is ineffective against Al Queda, but because it is ineffective against the threat with whom it is directed – the Chinese. I don’t know if the F-22 or F-35 is “obsolete” or “ineffective” against the Chinese and I suspect that you would find legions of experts with no dog in the hunt who would disagree with you.


Are you sure you were in the Infantry? You seem a little sold on the Chiar Force perspective of War Fighting....

The actual prices are $330 million for F-22... and $246 Million for F-35 which is a ridiculous price for a Fighter... anyway you cut it... inflation hasn't gone up that much in 30 years... that's 1000% inflation.... and I said strategic bombing...as in trying to effect decision by Air Power, without having to fight a long and costly war... which history shows has never worked. Tactical support of Ground forces by Aircraft has been effective at the operational level... such as switching from carpet bombing of the Normandy beach head... which had little effect, with heavy bombers... and breaking out under the Cover of CAS and Top Cover provided by cheap and plentiful P-47's and P-51's... same in Korea... same in Vietnam... same in the Gulf... the massive preparatory air bombardments proved to be an expensive waste of time and lives... with huge casualties for the Bomber crews and Civilians... which stiffened the enemies resolve.

The F-22 and F-35 are expensive hangar queens.. which degrade the skill of US pilots, becuase the training budget is trimmed to pay for the operating costs... and the programs are so delayed and over budget, that numbers end up being cut back to control cost inflation.. which ends end with a vicious spiral... and fewer inferior aircraft... designed for Air Shows and Red Flag, rather than actual Air War...


Quote:
Second, you argue that the US is “poorly” equipped. That is counter-intuitive on its face, if not counter-factual based on the sheer amount of money paid for weapon systems, guns, ammo, missiles, etc, etc. So the Chinese is “better” equipped because it spends less than 10% of what the US spends?

Your post says almost nothing about drone missiles and remote control weapons systems.


The US spends all it's money on big ticket items, Like vulnerable Aircraft Carriers... way more Nuclear Subs than it needs... Useless Ballistic Missile defense... Overpriced Poor performing 5G fighters... Airborne Lasers... Robot Planes... PGM's... Exoskeletons... etc etc

But when the Troops roll into a the battle... they are riding in Humvees, short of night vision... short of comms equipment... lacking body armor... using crappy M4 carbines... no translators... not enough GPS sets... etc etc etc...

The funding is not distributed evenly.. and doesn't get to the 'sharp end of the spear'... where all the real fighting of significance happens...


You were a Fucking Ranger... this can't be news to you.... the Infantry knows the score...


Quote:
Third, you place a significant reliance on the distinction between strategic weapons versus tactical weapons. Just saying a “strategic” weapon is not “strategic” does not make it so. A carrier group is ipso facto “strategic” because, to date, no one on the planet has ever taken such a group on.


And when they do... the Carrier will prove vulnerable... Sub commanders close to striking distance of the Carrier, undetected with ease... luckily they are US subs... and they don't fire... but Russian/Chinese SSN's... and certainly ultra quiet SSK's could do it... especially in tight quarter...like in the the China Sea... a swarm of subs would mean somebody would get through... just by laying on the bottom and waiting for the CVN to pass over... it only takes one...

Quote:
To date, US air superiority has prevented many nations from aggressive action. It is a force multiplier. It induces fear. A B-1 Bomber wing is strategic because it can level cities and means of production. Whether you can win a war with just “strategic” weaponry is debatable. We all know that the Maginot Line was a strategic “weapon” too, and the German strategically bypassed it. But who says the US would bomb civilian centers rather than centers of command and control and means of production? German resisted because we were bombing people. Japan resisted because we were bombing people. I don’t know if strategic bombing stiffened the spine of the Vietnamese—that was not a total war or war of conquest and we did not seek North Vietnamese territory. What about a naval blockade of China. What if the US halted all shipping to China after it strikes Taiwan? What could the Chinese possibly do in the Gulf region or the Indian ocean? Nothing but send out submarines, which would be hunted incessantly.


This is not factual. The US bombed German production... they decentralized it. Command and Control was never lost... Hitler was still issuing orders from his bunker at the end... Japan also had it's production attacked... but it was Submarines sinking the supplies coming into Japan that crippled them... just as you would cripple Taiwan... starve them into submission. Just as the British did by Blockading the Germans in WW I...

Vietnam was a total Air War.. they dropped more ordinance than all of WW II combined... check your history... the Vietnamese dug in and lived under ground for years... only to emerge victorious in the wake of the Failure of US Air Bombardment as a strategy.

The Chinese don't need to resupply by sea... and they don't need to project power to the Indian Ocean, to take Taiwan

Quote:
In the end, who is claiming that US Air Power will defeat China. It does not have to. China is a target rich environment along the coast – it is hard to imagine that a potential Chinese land invasion force would not be severely attrited before the first PRC soldier set foot on Taiwan. Yes, the straits are a kill zone, but who says we would be flying jets over it? Why can’t drones and mobile land based missiles take out landing craft? Who says we can’t soften up Chinese Air defense with drones and land and sea based missiles? Who says we have to bring the Chinese to “its knees” through strategic bombing? We just need to deter or stop a D-Day type invasion.


Well the Chinese have the advantage in terms of Massed fires at that range... and the Drones can't defend themselves and are easily shot down... or their control signals jammed... and mobile land based missiles would have a hard time hitting a bunch of dispersed landing craft... especially under bombardment from PRC land and sea based based assets.... but I think the Chinese could send a lot of craft... and would be willing to lose a few... to gain lodgement... they train for it constantly...

Quote:
Fourth, your point, stripped of the gloss, is that the US does not have the marital spirit to fight the Chinese -- It won’t “risk” its carriers to fight the Chinese based on a cost-benefit analysis. I don’t know what that is based on. I have no idea whether the US would come to the aid of the Taiwanese and neither do you. I will say this: much of the US’s power is based on the belief that the U.S. is not a paper tiger and does not bluff. It did not bluff when it dropped 2 A-bombs on the Japanese. It did not bluff in Korea. It did not bluff in Vietnam. It did not bluff in West Germany. It did not bluff in Iraq. What makes you think it is bluffing now?


How many Americans sign up to fight in the Wars? Is it a Martial Country like Israel... or is it a Bourgeois Country with a Warrior Class?

The Japanese did not have a Nuclear Deterrent... and in Korea, Vietnam and Cuba... where the US was faced with one... it decided not to use the Nuclear option... and failed to achieve victory in any of those cases... in Germany... the US was willing to sacrifice the entire FRG... and maybe even France, before it went Nuclear... which is why the French felt they needed their own independent Nuclear deterrent force.

Quote:
If any one is bluffing, it is the Chinese. In a cost-benefit analysis, it is hard to imagine that Taiwan is worth it for the Chinese.


They will control it anyways, by other means... but if it's not worth it for them... then it's certainly not worth it for the US... which has no real strategic interest in an Independent Taiwan.... since it already does business with the ChiComs

Quote:
At the end of the day, I agree that war with China is very unproductive and is decidedly not in the US national interests. But I am hesitant to put China up there as an existential threat to the USA. All this talk about a Chinese threat is likely to induce more, not less, military spending and of the sort that is directly related to the Chinese threat. The military industrial complex needs a boogeyman – the USSR is gone and the “terror” stop-gap threat has just about run its course. China will be that new boogeyman in my opinion.


So you admit that the motivation is not actually US security or Taiwans... and US war fighting capabilities on the real battlefield....but rather the imperatives being generated by the Military Industrial Congressional Complex?

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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Felix wrote:
Smitty-48 wrote:
Good points all...

One of the biggest problems is how much the US overrates its military capabilities, based on propaganda from the Defense establishment, Contractors and their Allies in Congress... all of whom have an interest in protecting the distribution of Pork.... which is best done by overly complex, expensive and unproven technology... focusing on big ticket items, even if they are obsolete or ineffective.

The result is not invincible war fighting capability... but an ever shrinking.. and in a holistic sense... poorly equipped force.

It's not to say that the US forces are completely incapable.... obviously they can dish out a significant amount of punishment.... but does that actually amount to anything productive at the strategic level? And does it actually make the US as dominant as the advertising suggest?

For instance.. the Air Power. It's primarily based around Strategic Bombing.. even in the case of the Fighter Forces... they essentially are Bomb Trucks... which deliver ordinance to grid references on a map... But they haven't been tested in combat against a robust force since WW II... and in Vietnam... losses were heavy, despite a relatively inferior opponent.

It's seems pretty far fetched that the US could destroy the PLAAF and the Integrated Air defense, without suffering a lot of casualties... and would the bombing of the Chinese make any difference? When has Strategic bombing ever produced any positive results? From Germany to Japan to Vietnam... it has never brought the enemy to it's knees... rather it has always caused them to resist even more. The Chinese don't strike me as one of those societies that would 'cry uncle' just cause you were bombing them... they strike me as the types who would 'dig in'....

So... then what? Tac-Nukes? They have ICBM's and SLBM's.. so better say your prayers if you start dropping those.... and what do you do if they use Tac-Nukes... WW III? Not something any administration wants to get into... at least not over Taiwan.

There power projection is not in the class of the US... but Formosa is a special case... it's right across the strait from them... point blank range... it can hardly be considered 'power Projection' for them to cross that body of water and overwhelm the Taiwanese... just using mass.. and the willingness to take casualties. It's not nearly as hard a nut to crack, as trying to invade Vietnam through the Jungle... against PAVN.. hardened by decades of war against superpowers... that's not Taiwan, at all.

The US may sail a Carrier Group in there for Appearances... but you cant do that when all the shit is flying... you'll lose Carriers... and the littoral around Formosa is bad Ju-Ju for large Nuclear Subs... that's confined and inside the PRC wheelhouse...

Defending Taiwan by direct military force... even if China launched a surprise attack... would be too much of a risk for the US... But for the PRC... it's in their front yard.

Now here's the video of retired Air Force Chief Deptula, mugging for more F-22's.... but within his assessment... which may or may not be alarmist... he's portraying the Taiwan Strait as being a massive kill zone... 183 F-22's... all of which will not be available at once... plus F-15...F-16...F/A-18 and B-1... are going to get mauled if HQ-9 and J-11 are deployed... F-35 is years away (and they aren't stealthy enough.. and not good for A2A)... and B-2's are a First Strike weapon, which could initiate a Nuclear retaliation, if they fly against the PRC... so very dangerous to deploy against a country with SLBM's...

It's a question of cost/benefit. Is it really worth it for the US to risk everything in a gambit to save Taiwan? Is it really realistic for the US to plan to fight this war? The PRC is not going to attack the US unprovoked... they are natural allies now. Is the PRC what the US should be focusing on as a future threat... with the inherent dangers of engaging a Nuclear Super Power directly? China can fly enough MIRV's to reduce the US to the stone age.. easily overwhelming any Anti-Ballistic Missile system... so they can never be defeated outright. At some point there would have to be negotiation... or it's National Suicide for both parties.. better to negotiate before hostilities even break out.

The US already looked into the abyss, in 1962... at the height of the Cold War.. with Nuclear Missiles 90 miles off of Florida.. and decided not to go there... they Negotiated their way out of it. I don't think anything has changed in this regard. War with another Super-Power is a Lose-Lose for the US.


Smitty, your points are very persuasive and I agree with your final conclusion more or less. But how you get there is based on some predicates I take issue with.

First, you seem to argue that the hundreds of billions of dollars the US spends on military equipment and weaponry is feckless and not a “strategic” deterrent to China. Really? Obsolete weapons? Forget for now that this argument assumes the experts in the military are all corrupt – a tall claim. But this argument is also counter to the criticism of the Pentagon that I hear the most -- it is spending too much money on weapon systems directed at first-world military powers (i.e., Russia and China) and not third-rate military threats, such as Al Queda or Yemen terrorists. The argument goes that we don’t need strategic fighters that cost $100 million because Al Queda does not have bombers. You are now arguing the opposite. You are saying that the $100 million fighter is a waste of money not because it is ineffective against Al Queda, but because it is ineffective against the threat with whom it is directed – the Chinese. I don’t know if the F-22 or F-35 is “obsolete” or “ineffective” against the Chinese and I suspect that you would find legions of experts with no dog in the hunt who would disagree with you.

The US has spent perhaps $5 trillion on defense in the 2000s. To say that much of that was spent on obsolete weapon systems is hotly disputed.

Second, you argue that the US is “poorly” equipped. That is counter-intuitive on its face, if not counter-factual based on the sheer amount of money paid for weapon systems, guns, ammo, missiles, etc, etc. So the Chinese is “better” equipped because it spends less than 10% of what the US spends?

Your post says almost nothing about drone missiles and remote control weapons systems.

Third, you place a significant reliance on the distinction between strategic weapons versus tactical weapons. Just saying a “strategic” weapon is not “strategic” does not make it so. A carrier group is ipso facto “strategic” because, to date, no one on the planet has ever taken such a group on. To date, US air superiority has prevented many nations from aggressive action. It is a force multiplier. It induces fear. A B-1 Bomber wing is strategic because it can level cities and means of production. Whether you can win a war with just “strategic” weaponry is debatable. We all know that the Maginot Line was a strategic “weapon” too, and the German strategically bypassed it. But who says the US would bomb civilian centers rather than centers of command and control and means of production? German resisted because we were bombing people. Japan resisted because we were bombing people. I don’t know if strategic bombing stiffened the spine of the Vietnamese—that was not a total war or war of conquest and we did not seek North Vietnamese territory. What about a naval blockade of China. What if the US halted all shipping to China after it strikes Taiwan? What could the Chinese possibly do in the Gulf region or the Indian ocean? Nothing but send out submarines, which would be hunted incessantly.

In the end, who is claiming that US Air Power will defeat China. It does not have to. China is a target rich environment along the coast – it is hard to imagine that a potential Chinese land invasion force would not be severely attrited before the first PRC soldier set foot on Taiwan. Yes, the straits are a kill zone, but who says we would be flying jets over it? Why can’t drones and mobile land based missiles take out landing craft? Who says we can’t soften up Chinese Air defense with drones and land and sea based missiles? Who says we have to bring the Chinese to “its knees” through strategic bombing? We just need to deter or stop a D-Day type invasion.

Fourth, your point, stripped of the gloss, is that the US does not have the marital spirit to fight the Chinese -- It won’t “risk” its carriers to fight the Chinese based on a cost-benefit analysis. I don’t know what that is based on. I have no idea whether the US would come to the aid of the Taiwanese and neither do you. I will say this: much of the US’s power is based on the belief that the U.S. is not a paper tiger and does not bluff. It did not bluff when it dropped 2 A-bombs on the Japanese. It did not bluff in Korea. It did not bluff in Vietnam. It did not bluff in West Germany. It did not bluff in Iraq. What makes you think it is bluffing now?

If any one is bluffing, it is the Chinese. In a cost-benefit analysis, it is hard to imagine that Taiwan is worth it for the Chinese.

At the end of the day, I agree that war with China is very unproductive and is decidedly not in the US national interests. But I am hesitant to put China up there as an existential threat to the USA. All this talk about a Chinese threat is likely to induce more, not less, military spending and of the sort that is directly related to the Chinese threat. The military industrial complex needs a boogeyman – the USSR is gone and the “terror” stop-gap threat has just about run its course. China will be that new boogeyman in my opinion.


We should probably move this to another thread of its own, but I am not sure you are reading material Felix that disagrees with your analysis. Maybe you should. The Asia Times specifically has a host of great pieces on likely scenarios, measures and countermeasures in the region. You might be surprised:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/HD20Ad03.html

This one has a lot about India, but its info about U.S. and Chinese capabilities is good, and up to date
http://www.eurasiareview.com/2010070745 ... india.html

Good piece on how Taiwan is NOT ready for a war with China
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/LC31Ad01.html

And, in general, the nation that is fighting nearer to it's home has an advantage over the nation projecting its power over long distances. China's coastal air defenses are better than anything the U.S. has run into in its entire history and China has the ability to rain ballistic missiles on Taiwan (and U.S. bases in the area). Fighting Chinese forces in Asia would be the toughest military encounter the U.S. has had since the Second World War. You are unbelievably overconfident in such a scenario (oh yeah...did we mention the fact that we are a little occupied right now with a couple of other wars? The Chinese are not).

:hijacked:


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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:55 pm 
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Dan wrote:

We should probably move this to another thread of its own,

:hijacked:


Ninja's!


Dan wrote:
The Asia Times specifically has a host of great pieces on likely scenarios, measures and countermeasures in the region. You might be surprised:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/HD20Ad03.html



Now... some of this ones ideas are a little far fetched... or at least premature... Just as High Tech Gizmo War doesn't work as advertised for the US... the same applies to the PRC...

So would they have 'Trump' cards completely blinding the US? I don't know if that would go off that easily... but they would certainly have some moves that would disrupt ISR and C4...

....they might shoot down some satellites, but that just leaves permanent debris clouds in space, which can come back around and take out your own assets... but they can used dispersement, camouflage, concealment, decoys, jamming, Counter-Intel etc etc

They certainly will have some Super Sonic Cruise Missiles... although they're only SS in the terminal phase... when a sub-section breaks away rocket powered.... they might have some Sqvall Jet Torpedoes... although those aren't in wide use yet... and some other exotic weapons as well... they would definitely be using Cyber...

Really their strength comes from Proximity to the Island... and mass, in terms of relatively modern but proven technologies, which are simple, effective and devastating... regular Torpedoes sink ships quite easily... regular Sea mines deny maneuver... Rockets and Ballistic missiles could saturate Taiwan, disrupting mobilization and Logistics... landing craft are cheap and plentiful... ... SSN's/SSk's, SAM's, AAA, Flankers, J-10's, .. etc, etc...

...and they are a bottomless pit of Troops, ever increasingly mechanized and combined operations capable

Formosa could be isolated and surrounded by a threat envelope, which would make it extremely costly to try to operate within... and certainly block significant logistical support... the Taiwanese would likely have to fight as they are, without having time and breathing space to bring reserves to bear, effectively... and the Chinese could just force a ton of Troops and kit across the Channel, regardless of losses in a relatively short time... gaining lodgement and expanding their beachhead/Airhead... surrounding Taipei... and then reinforcing their position to make it exceptionally hard to drive them out, with the protective cover of their mainland based forces... backed by their Nuclear Deterrent.

Command and Control is less of an issue for them, because it is a endlessly rehearsed operation which they have war gamed to death... with a relative small target... and simple mission.

Get over there and hold it.... Cut the Island off... and just overrun it with mass...then dig in.

You don't even destroy Taipei... because that's a jewel you want to capture... but once it's encircled and cut off... it's just a matter of time. You hold the Island... at that point you commence negotiations for an orderly surrender.. sparing Taipei as a gesture of Friendship and Reunification...

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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:46 pm 
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I throw my full support behind the half eaten cheese sandwich in my daughter's lunchbox for supreme dictator. I like its stance on interest rate policy and appreciate that it will need to be replaced before it has a chance to become drunk with power. I support term limits.

I nominante my daughter for supreme court justice. At least she can read.


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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:27 pm 
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EWhat a coincidence. At a ball game with a senior naval officer and a few army colonels. The answer is the East side of Taiwan apparenty. Not too concerned that the US wouldn't make a good showing or that the US would fail to honor its commitments. Reminds me that the US has plenty of friends in the region to park the boats. Agrees that a surprise attack would pose a problem until the fleet arrived. Even more of a coincidence is that in the box next to me were about 30 chinese nationals visitiong for a conference. Didn't get their take on things. They left after they snapped a few pics before the 6th inning.


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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:51 pm 
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Felix wrote:
EWhat a coincidence. At a ball game with a senior naval officer and a few army colonels. The answer is the East side of Taiwan apparenty. Not too concerned that the US wouldn't make a good showing or that the US would fail to honor its commitments. Reminds me that the US has plenty of friends in the region to park the boats. Agrees that a surprise attack would pose a problem until the fleet arrived. Even more of a coincidence is that in the box next to me were about 30 chinese nationals visitiong for a conference. Didn't get their take on things. They left after they snapped a few pics before the 6th inning.


Not really an argument... that's just; 'I know a guy and he said...' maybe if one of them was on the board outlining the response... but honestly... what's a Naval Officer going to say? We overate ourselves and the Chinese could take Taiwan?

The board is more for laying out an argument... than it is dropping names and ranks... If I had a Chinese Naval officer, he might say different.

I'm basing my assessment of the performance of US forces, in terms of Strategy, Operations and Equipment.. from the Historical record... not on claims of 'expert' witnesses that don't appear to testify.... I move to strike on the basis that it is hearsay, rather than argument.

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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:33 pm 
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Chill out Field Marshall Smitty. You take your minority view arguments far too seriously. Sorry, I was simply reciting a recent experience that is germane to a debate here. I was not citing a nameless naval admiral as authority -- but for me he is far more authoratative than you, no disrepect. Besides, this a bullshit argument because it won't happen. You can postulate as much as you like about Angels dancing on thje heads of pins, but China is not going to invade Taiwan anytime soon. My ¤etro is here. Relax


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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:39 pm 
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Felix wrote:
Chill out Field Marshall Smitty. You take your minority view arguments far too seriously. Sorry, I was simply reciting a recent experience that is germane to a debate here. I was not citing a nameless naval admiral as authority -- but for me he is far more authoratative than you, no disrepect. Besides, this a bullshit argument because it won't happen. You can postulate as much as you like about Angels dancing on thje heads of pins, but China is not going to invade Taiwan anytime soon. My ¤etro is here. Relax



Pffffft... Your not citing him...but he's far more authoritative?


I'm starting to agree with Trek's assessment of you.... FOS.

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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:55 pm 
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Sorry. Internet blogging field marshall vs. naval admiral. I know, its a close call. All I said was he told me the navy would not go into the straits but stay on the east side of Taiwan to provide support. Then again, just look at a map. Methink you take your role as resident military expert far too seriously, especially since you seem to believe that the US intends to bomb China to the stoneage.

Btw, the US bombed German civilian centers. What the heck are you talking about. Heard of Dresden? In fact, the US obliterated numerous civilian centers in Japan and Germany. Of course they bombed production centers, but you are dead wrong if you are suggesting that the US did not bomb civilians. Read McNamara's book. Read about Curtis LeMay. Lemay would be a war criminal had we lost WW2.


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 Post subject: Re: Who would be your dictator?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:59 pm 
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Felix wrote:
Sorry. Internet blogging field marshall vs. naval admiral. I know, its a close call. All I said was he told me the navy would not go into the straits but stay on the east side of Taiwan to provide support. Then again, just look at a map. Methink you take your role as resident military expert far too seriously, especially since you seem to believe that the US intends to bomb China to the stoneage.

Btw, the US bombed German civilian centers. What the heck are you talking about. Heard of Dresden? In fact, the US obliterated numerous civilian centers in Japan and Germany. Of course they bombed production centers, but you are dead wrong if you are suggesting that the US did not bomb civilians. Read McNamara's book. Read about Curtis LeMay. Lemay would be a war criminal had we lost WW2.



Whatever...Ranger.... you've burned your bridge with me... I'll let you carry on the debate with your Admirals and Action Figures....

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