Defence of Taiwan

OPSSG

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Part 2 of 3: A Ray of Hope for Taiwan? Should we be hopeful?

4. Taiwan is set to receive its first two of 108 M1A2Ts by 30 June 2022; with 38 tanks to be delivered in 2024, 42 in 2025, and 28 in 2026.
(a) If Taiwan is serious about war prep on urban battles and to push the PLA invasion force off the beaches, they will need to place a follow on order for another 216 MBTs between 2024 to 2025 — this is because they need to replace their fleet of ageing 450 CM-11s (a modified M-48 turret with a M68 105mm cannon and a M-60 chassis), which is not superior to the PLA’s Type 99A and Type 96B MBTs, which are armed with a 125 mm smoothbore gun and loads with a carousel-style autoloader.​
(b) Ivan Kanapathy recommended coastal defense cruise missiles to target ships, TOWs and Javelins to target landing craft, and Stingers to target aircraft in order to prevent Chinese forces from gaining lodgment.​

5. Despite NATO’s decision not to intervene militarily in Ukraine, Taiwanese may be heartened by the range and scope of support for Ukraine — from weapons shipments to punishing sanctions against Russia. For President Xi Jinping, that show of unity is a potential problem.

6. The Taiwanese Army’s branding and communications strategy is badly dated; it’s like watching 1980s music videos. Flashy weapons but no ammo. For those who read Chinese and want to learn more, I highly recommend Lt Col James Huang's column. His views are so cynical and yet reflecting his decades of exp. and observations. If you look at the total defence messages by Finland & Singapore — they are much more sophisticated. I previously shared a video link from Finland.

7. There were 2 armed conflicts between China and Taiwan during: (i) the Formosa Crisis in 1955; and (ii) the 1958 Taiwan Straits Crisis. China was the instigator on both occasions, and had wanted to drive Taiwanese troops off several islands in the Taiwan Strait. Diplomatically, Singapore has been Beijing’s go-to convener for the two historic meetings with Taipei.
(a) The heads of two semi-government bodies, China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (Arats) chairman Wang Daohan and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) chief Koo Chen-fu, met in Singapore for landmark talks in April 1993.​
(b) In Nov 2015, Singapore hosted the Xi Jinping–Ma Ying-jeou summit, which was the first time the top leaders from both sides shook hands since Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek did in 1945.​

In 1992, both the China and Taiwan governments agreed to recognise that there is only one China — both the mainland and Taiwan belong to the same state; but this consensus has been destroyed by Taiwanese political choice.
 
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Musashi_kenshin

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The Taiwanese government is to undertake a study on the possibility of increasing the length of conscription, citing public support for such a measure. It has no date for a conclusion except that it shouldn't take more than a year.
 

koxinga

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The Taiwanese government is to undertake a study on the possibility of increasing the length of conscription, citing public support for such a measure. It has no date for a conclusion except that it shouldn't take more than a year.
There was widespread public support for reducing the length of conscription last decade. There are core issues which cannot be run on populism and public opinion. I don't really care for the idea of conscription but in the case of TW, it is a real, existential threat.
 

OPSSG

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Part 3 of 3: A Ray of Hope for Taiwan? Should we be hopeful?

There was widespread public support for reducing the length of conscription last decade. There are core issues which cannot be run on populism and public opinion. I don't really care for the idea of conscription but in the case of TW, it is a real, existential threat.
8. Taiwan has a training pipeline capacity & capability problem, which needs fixing and not a band aid. Their 4 month long conscript training programme is very limited and not serious. There is no advanced infantry training at all — it’s not just the short duration that is a problem.

What they do in that period be it 4 months or 12 months, matters. More importantly, less than half of Taiwanese polled in Aug 2020 evinced a willingness to fight if war came.​

9. 6 years (& 492 deployed) with ISAF in Afghanistan have radically changed Singapore’s mindset to war. Beyond realistic pre-deployment training, the laws of war have to be carefully observed — in this aspect, our ROEs have changed to better cope with suicide bombers — with well established procedures for handing POWs and handing human remains.

10. It is unfortunate but Ukraine is going to have a lot of friendly fire incidents at manned checkpoints as nervous poorly trained but armed men, look for Russian infiltration teams.

(a) Likewise, Taiwan is going to have a big problem, when they redeploy their minimally trained conscripts on security operations — during periods of tension. They don’t get any ROE training in Taiwan, except at their special forces level.​
(b) Most armies don’t want conscripts to feel of life of guilt, if they wrongly shoot a civilian for ops. In my country, we prepare our conscripts to face suicide bombers & to deal with complexity of mass panic, in a city wide terror incident.​
(c) Ukraine is getting small arms and ammunition, not entire companies of armor and artillery. It cannot be replaced, not anywhere in the near future, and they cannot train artillerymen or tankers in two weeks. Once heavy equipment is destroyed/crew killed it's *gone*.​
(d) If war starts, no port in Taiwan will be working and shipments of small arms, by American C-17s and Japanese C-2s, may be subject to missile attacks, as they unload. Think about it, there is no land border to ship huge amounts of arms. It has to come by sea and the PLA(N)’s submarines are waiting — the Taiwanese navy is not able to escort its merchant ships and even if they reach port, all the cranes and wharf facilities would be hit again and again by missile strikes.​
(e) Even as the emphasis of Team Biden’s new security assistance policy for Taiwan is focused on speed, asymmetric capabilities, and a whole-of-society strategy, it is absolutely essential that the US and Taiwan arrive at a shared operational definition of what “asymmetric” means. Despite regular consultations, there is an interrelated political element to the security relationship that must be simultaneously addressed.​
 
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Musashi_kenshin

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There was widespread public support for reducing the length of conscription last decade. There are core issues which cannot be run on populism and public opinion. I don't really care for the idea of conscription but in the case of TW, it is a real, existential threat.
The article said:

"The government’s focus is to augment the military reserve by creating mobilization plans and reservist training programs via the All-Out Defense Mobilization Agency, which was activated in January, he said.

However, the government acknowledges that there is a consensus among Taiwanese to extend military conscription and re-evaluate Taiwan’s military system, he said."


Conscription may not have been popular historically, but it appears opinion has shifted.
 

OPSSG

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Post 1 of 4: A couple of partial replies
Conscription may not have been popular historically, but it appears opinion has shifted.
1. If you look at Finland, their service period is also very short but it works — 165 days, or 255 days, for the rank and file conscripts. Taiwan needs to train their NCO conscripts to a higher standard (347 days for conscripts in Finland trained as NCOs or reserve officers).

(a) If you pass through Changi airport, you will see joint army & police patrols. Every solider is trained on the ROEs for the operations being conducted. There are scenarios for shoot-to-kill or shoot-to-wound. Singaporean conscripts have live-fire ROE shoots into a video projection. That is something Taiwan does not do for its conscripts — they just don’t spend enough to train tactically competent conscripts, who will react correctly to fire. Singapore enforces leadership standards by putting an entire NS infantry battalion, including its conscript NCOs and officers, through an objective and external evaluation process — called ATEC. Below is a video of a conscript platoon SGT in action during ATEC and as a bonus, the systems in place for Changi airport patrol.

(b) The NCO culture in Singapore and positive attitude by some junior officers towards military service is radically different from Taiwan. Many youths want to serve and are willing to go the extra mile for their mandated service period of 22 months — my son was initially exempt from a combat vocation; he went and took an extra medical test to upgrade his PES status — in the end he went to officer cadet school (OCS) and was commissioned as an infantry officer in Mar 2018.​
(c) At the commissioning dinner in 2018 (for newly commissioned officers with their parents), I met his OCS course mate, who extended his military service duration to be commissioned (after an injury that took him out of course). Above is a video of OCS for those in armour vocation, training in Germany. As trainee tank commanders, they know that it’s the crew that makes the tank’s ability to fight — these officer cadets train hard to build their skills.​

2. The Russian service period is 12 months but they are still a cluster-fuck when shooting starts. A poll from 2020 showed:

(i) 96% of 18-19 yr old Taiwanese would fight in war, but whooping 87% disapprove of conscription. In other words they want other people to fight their war; and​
(ii) only 26% would fight, 58% agree on conscription for the 20-29 yr old Taiwanese.​

3. Taipei and other cities in Taiwan must be prepared to make the PLA, as the attacker go where the Taiwanese want, not where the PLA wants. Build barriers. Block streets, alleyways, doors, and windows. Turn any Taiwanese city into a fortress of walls that make the PLA enter prepared traps in 72 hours.

4. Without proper systems and processes to train committed Taiwanese conscripts to act on a good defence plan, Taiwan is wasting time and money by just increasing the duration of reserve service to 2 weeks per year, without a coherent city defence plan.

(a) In 2020, of two dozen conscripts, interviewed, “only one was more confident in Taiwan’s ability to resist China after going through the conscript system.”​

(b) Therefore, the main burden for the defense of Taiwan is up to the full-time military (most of which are on 4 year contracts) — currently, there are 169,000 active-duty military personnel, according to the IISS’ The Military Balance & dwarfed by the PLA.​
(c) Not everyone is satisfied with the current approach by Team Biden. There are grumblings among some defense experts and former defense officials that the definition of asymmetry set by the Biden Administration is too restrictive, and could severely limit a broad range of capabilities that Taiwan’s defense establishment wants and arguably needs.​
(d) John Feng has shared some takeaways from the ongoing defence committee hearing in the legislature:​

• Full-on debate to extend conscription period;​
• Taiwan's Overall Defence Concept (ODC) framework remains, but they're not calling it ODC;​
• Speculation on Taiwan’s request for 12 Seahawks axed by US State Dept (didn't fit asymmetric bill).​
5. Like the former UK defence attaché at Moscow embassy (whose warnings was ignored), I feel that my various warnings on minimum levels of competence are being ignored by the Taiwanese. Taiwan also needs to set up a working reserve recall system, by 2026. The reserve recall system works in Finland and Singapore to deliver fighting competent and motivated units — but when we see Taiwan’s system, we know it doesn’t work.
 
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T.C.P

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Regarding Taiwanese airfields, how many Chinese missiles will have to be launched to knock out all the important airfields in taiwan? In the Ukraine conflict, despite the weaknesses of their airforce, the Russian cruise missiles were bale to knock most airfields in Ukraine out of commission. Taiwan is much smaller, will the taiwanese airforce even be abke to take to the skies in case of a full blown Chinese attack.

Taiwan does have better missile defenses than Ukraine, but its very hard to shootdown hypersonic missiles, especially when launched in large numbers.

If China launched say 400 cruise missiles in one gigantic attack on the very first day of a possible invasion, how many Taiwanese airfeilds would remain intact enough for them to counter? I know taiwan has some major highways that can eb sued to launch aircraft, but if there is non stop incoming missile attacks, will they be able to transport their fighters to the highways to take them off?

If the Chinese missile attacks are also supported by large numbers of disposable UCAVs attacking missile defenses and runways, how quickly could China disable the taiwanese Air force?
 

OPSSG

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Post 2 of 4: A couple of partial replies
Regarding Taiwanese airfields, how many Chinese missiles will have to be launched to knock out all the important airfields in Taiwan?
6. It depends on PLA second artillery CONOPS and DF-11/DF-15 missile accuracy. If the Chinese just go for pain vanilla runway cratering with such SRBMs, it will not work well.
(a) The Taiwanese use the same quick runway repair kits as the USAF and RSAF, so there will be small periods where they can’t land (at both primary or divert air fields).​
(b) In any event, the new 350 km range, PCL191 multiple launch rocket system erases the distinction between SRBM's & guided MLRS. This system is intended for erasing Taiwanese SAM sites.​
(c) The ROCAF rely on land-based HF-2E cruise missiles, and a few F-CK-1 launching Wan Chien missiles to attack DF-11/DF-15 launchers, far away from PLA SAM range.​

7. It’s not easy to stop all sortie generation, as Taiwanese air bases are very well protected (as in the hangers are dug into the mountain). What the PLA want to do is kill the runway repair engineers, when they are working on runway repair (after a 1st strike).

8. If Chinese SRBMs are very accurate, they could target certain critical infrastructure and disrupt sortie generation, which means less fighters up in the sky or loss of ROCAF fighters due to lack of undamaged runways or highway landing strips, when they are bingo fuel at inopportune moments.

In the Ukraine conflict, despite the weaknesses of their airforce, the Russian cruise missiles were bale to knock most airfields in Ukraine out of commission.
9. The PLA has to fight a ROCAF that is many times more capable than Ukraine’s Air Force — in air to air and in SAM systems. I don’t think it’s a good analogy.

Taiwan is much smaller, will the taiwanese airforce even be able to take to the skies in case of a full blown Chinese attack.
10. Yes, that’s why the ROCAF has ordered 66 new F-16Vs. Reasonable confidence unless PLA uses chemical warfare or nuclear bombs within the 1st ten waves of missile attacks in the first 72 hours of war.

Taiwan does have better missile defenses than Ukraine, but its very hard to shootdown hypersonic missiles, especially when launched in large numbers.
11. It’s a waste to use a DF-17 hypersonic missile on a static target. Those are carrier & LHA killers. The PLA claim (i) the DF-26 (also called Guam killer) has a range of over 5,000 km (3,100 miles); and (ii) the DF-21 has a range of over 1,500 km (930 miles). Both missiles may conduct precision nuclear or conventional strikes against ground and naval targets. The PLA is more worried about the carriers of the JMSDF and the USN — with Guam serviced by multiple DF-26 missile strikes in the 1st day of war.
(a) But Guam and it’s diverts are protected by THAAD, Patriot and even the Iron Dome. Future air USAF commanders’ ability to maneuver air power at at land air bases will be seriously challenged in a near-peer or peer conflict. The US Indo-Pacific command proposes a US$4.7 B budget for 2022 to combat China —more than DOUBLE of 2021 at US$2.2B, for military expansion and war prep for Guam, Okinawa, and so on.​
(b) USN aircraft carriers conducting sustained air operations close to land sacrifice the protection mobility provides and could risk unacceptable losses. Guam is not even the top priority for the PLA (as divert air fields near Guam have been built). The PLA wants to kill the USAF AWACS, KC-10s, KC-135Rs and KC-46s. In such a complex scenario, Australian, Korean and Singaporean A330MRTTs are going to be refuelling USAF AWACS, C-17s, B-52s, B-1s, KC-10s, KC-135Rs and KC-46s, as they push into theatre (to avoid landing).​
(c) Refuelling is critical for the USAF’s an anti-ship mission — the B-1 is able to carry the LRASM, giving it an advanced stand-off, counter-ship capability.​

If China launched say 400 cruise missiles in one gigantic attack on the very first day of a possible invasion, how many Taiwanese airfeilds would remain intact enough for them to counter? I know taiwan has some major highways that can eb sued to launch aircraft, but if there is non stop incoming missile attacks, will they be able to transport their fighters to the highways to take them off?

If the Chinese missile attacks are also supported by large numbers of disposable UCAVs attacking missile defenses and runways, how quickly could China disable the taiwanese Air force?
12. 400 ballistic and cruise missiles is a number much less than my expectations for the 1st wave of PLA missile attacks. I think we can add another zero, to the likely PLA strikes in day 1. Taiwanese, Japanese and American war planners expect this. They will conserve SAM missiles to extend the fight. Taiwanese weakness is not just the air bases. It’s the ports, power transmission cables, power plants, fuel depots, sewage systems and so on. As the Russians show, loading & unloading is a period of vulnerability.
 
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tonyget

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The US does not want to engage in direct military conflict with Russia,as we see in Ukraine. The reason I presume is Russia's nuclear deterrence capability.

China is rapidly increasing it's nuclear weapon stockpile according to western source. The reason China doing this,is because I think in China's calculation,when it's nuclear deterrence capability reach to certain point,the US won't risk to fight China directly over Taiwan, just like in Ukraine. And I don't think countries like Korea or Singapore would fight for Taiwan either,their home land will become target of Chinese missile attack if they do that. Australia perhaps,since they are far away from China's attack range. Even Taiwanese don't have full faith of help from outside in case of war.

But of course,it doesn't mean China can take Taiwan. Taiwan is capable of defending itself without outside help, at least at this moment. It's increasing purchase of long range missiles as deterrence.
 
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Musashi_kenshin

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The US does not want to engage in direct military conflict with Russia,as we see in Ukraine. The reason I presume is Russia's nuclear deterrence capability.
It's more because of Russia's conventional capabilities. If the US intervened by sending American forces into Ukraine, it would probably lead Russia to conclude it had little choice but to attack NATO countries. Even taking nuclear weapons out of the equation, Russia has a significant submarine fleet that could create havoc amongst international shipping in the Atlantic. That's just one part of its arsenal.

NATO would eventually win a conventional war against Russia but the cost would be huge. Also, as bad as the war in Ukraine is, the impact of it on the economies of NATO is minimal. And given the current situation it seems improbable it can be conquered and turned into a Russian base that would threaten NATO's eastern border. So it's not worth it to risk the escalation.

Regarding China, the US doesn't want a war with it but:

1. the CCP may leave it no choice if they decide US intervention is likely and attack US/Allied bases first; and
2. the strategic and economic importance of Taiwan will also make it hard for the US to stay out. If Taiwan falls it will make Japan and the Philippines vulnerable. It will also boost Chinese ultra-nationalism to levels not yet seen such that a much worse conflict could be triggered. A war over Taiwan could be contained, but a conflict that followed afterwards might be another world war.

Or to put it another way, if China's nuclear weapons mean the US would not support Taiwan, then the US will not help Japan or South Korea if they were attacked by a nuclear power. That's not something US politicians would deem an acceptable position.
 
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OPSSG

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Post 3 of 4: A couple of partial replies
13. No one is as stupid as DPP, who pays Mike Pompeo, to say what they want. The Taiwan government’s National Development Council all but admitted that Mike Pompeo indeed lobbied the ruling government for an investment in his Anarock fund, though insisting it has nothing to do with his visit this time. For Taiwan, the real opposition to a return to serious debates about defence is not just DPP (or corrupt Americans like Mike Pompeo) but also the level of defence discussions on mainstream media — they refuse to interview qualified people, who have done the research. And the way to deal with the DPP to deal with a serious discussions is to flood the zone with sh!t. This is not about persuasion. This is about disorientation. I also don’t know why DPP keeps trying to buy people on sale.

14. DPP is hostile to Biden, as they bought a few GOP politicians — there are trends underway that could make the current Ukraine crisis look tame in comparison, if the GOP and its Senate members seek a path to war.

15. US politicians need to recognize that despite the challenges China presents (in relation to Taiwan), doubling down on threats to China and deterrence without substance, any reassurances or restraint will not work — China has the world’s largest navy and they know American BS, when they see it.
 
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Ananda

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US politicians need to recognize that despite the challenges China presents (in relation to Taiwan), doubling down on threats to China and deterrence without substance, any reassurances or restraint will not work — China has the world’s largest navy and they know American BS, when they see it.
I don't understand many in Washington thinking. They want to push China in the moment still have problem with Russian. They just pushing their adversaries closer together.

I hope Biden have more sanity then Trump, but lately he's behaving closer like him. Hope this's just mid term election gimmick.
 

OPSSG

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Post 4 of 4: A couple of partial replies

16. There is an almost universal truth that if Taiwan is faced with a war, they would experience shortages in weapons and ammunition, in particular items seeing heavy use such as anti-ship missiles, SAMs, artillery rounds, guided air to ground munitions and advanced systems. Any defence force budget and stocks of equipment and ammunition is the outcome of an analysis leading to what is felt to be an acceptable risk. If you look at the testimony on Congress, pretty clear that Gen. Milley as Chairman of joint chiefs don’t think Taiwan is doing enough.

17. There are a few hard truths we need to swallow:
One, to avoid diplomatic isolation, Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu had a video call with Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klychko; and organizing shipments of humanitarian aid to Ukraine — but Taiwan does not have a seat at the table as a dialogue partner of the EU, G7, G20, ASEAN or have formal diplomatic ties with America. Taiwan is a diplomatic underdog and yet as an underdog, the average Taiwanese wants American sons and daughters in the armed services to die for them but they are unwilling to die for Taiwan.​
Two, on both-sidism, American or Indian reporters covering the economic plans of China, Japan, Australia, America or Taiwan. There is nothing to compare. Xi’s China has a very comprehensive belt and road plan that has some execution problems — but it’s a proper plan.​

(i) Biden has none. America, the slogan maker, devoid of ideas to lead since Trump withdrew from the TPP (and poisoned the well for multilateral trade agreements).​

(ii) In 2019, India rejected joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) an agreement between ASEAN and its large trading partners that includes China, Japan, and South Korea.​

(iii) Further, the CPTPP, led by Japan, will consider Taiwan’s 22 Sep2021 application to join CPTPP; but some member states do not want Taiwan in.​
Three, these American or Indian reporters want to write something balanced on the Quad, so they write fluff pieces on India buying a few American weapons or Taiwan buying a few American weapons that do not affect the greater balance of power in the Taiwan Straits or in the greater Indo-Pacific region.​

18. Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation found Russia-Ukraine war had a major impact on Taiwan public's perceptions and morale.
  • 73% Taiwanese public thought Russia's Ukraine Invasion as unjustified, and 64% supports the ruling govt's (declaratory) joining of US/Western sanctions against Russia.
  • 78% now said they have few or no confidence Taiwan could defend itself against China, compared to just 44% no confidence in the Sept. 2020 poll.
  • Taiwan's majority now supports extending compulsory military service to one year (from four-months). But one-year term is unlikely to fix the underlying problems e.g. Taiwan military's mismanagement and flawed leadership.
  • The biggest finding: Taiwan majority (55.9% vs 34.5%) is now skeptical of US mil. intervention if China invades Taiwan.
 
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ngatimozart

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Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation found Russia-Ukraine war had a major impact on Taiwan public's perceptions and morale.
  • 73% Taiwanese public thought Russia's Ukraine Invasion as unjustified, and 64% supports the ruling govt's (declaratory) joining of US/Western sanctions against Russia.
  • 78% now said they have few or no confidence Taiwan could defend itself against China, compared to just 44% no confidence in the Sept. 2020 poll.
  • Taiwan's majority now supports extending compulsory military service to one year (from four-months). But one-year term is unlikely to fix the underlying problems e.g. Taiwan military's mismanagement and flawed leadership.
  • The biggest finding: Taiwan majority (55.9% vs 34.5%) is now skeptical of US mil. intervention if China invades Taiwan.
Yep I saw a video last night which presented that and commented on it. It's a big change and the Ukrainian War may have just been what was needed to wake ideas up among the Taiwanese. I also believe that the Ukrainian War must also change the calculations of the senior CCP leadership about how they will invest Taiwan. The video suggests that Xi Jinping may claim sovereignty over Taiwan either during the 20th Party Conference in November or before it. If he does he can succeed in claiming his third term as CCP General Secretary. Lei also suggests the the PLA will invade the two Taiwanese Islands closest to the mainland.

 

STURM

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Excellent talk on Taiwan and the PLA.


In.addition to the usual stuff one would expect; PLA modernisation; it's various plans; its limitations [lack of joint warfare experience and the sea and air lift ability to only life a single airborne brigade and 3 marine brigades] and Taiwan's responses; he notes that China's leadership is risk adverse; is mindful that a military setback would endanger the CCP and still has some hopes for peaceful reunification. They would only undertake military action if left with no alternative and would weight all the consequences; including world opinion; the U S. response; as well the costs of inaction. A Taiwanese vulnerability is the fact that undersea internet cables pass through Shanghai.

I would think it's safe to assume that unlike Russia which made the assumption that the Ukrainians wouldn't fight and restricted the choice of targets to be hit in order to not alienate the local population; the Chinese leadership.and the PLA won't make the same mistake and would initiate hostilities using all conventional means available on a large scale; in parallel with an extensive cyber war and information campaign.
 

OPSSG

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Part 1 of 3: An unmanaged termite infested wooden framework of a defence plan pretending that it is fit for purpose

Excellent talk on Taiwan and the PLA.


In.addition to the usual stuff one would expect; PLA modernisation; it's various plans; its limitations [lack of joint warfare experience and the sea and air lift ability to only life a single airborne brigade and 3 marine brigades] and Taiwan's responses; he notes that China's leadership is risk adverse; is mindful that a military setback would endanger the CCP and still has some hopes for peaceful reunification. They would only undertake military action if left with no alternative and would weight all the consequences; including world opinion; the U S. response; as well the costs of inaction. A Taiwanese vulnerability is the fact that undersea internet cables pass through Shanghai.

I would think it's safe to assume that… the PLA won't make the same mistake and would initiate hostilities using all conventional means available on a large scale; in parallel with an extensive cyber war and information campaign.
Thanks for sharing.

1. News articles are finally reporting that 53.8% of Taiwanese disbelieve that Washington would come directly to Taiwan's defense.

2. Thanks to America’s "strategic ambiguity," the Taiwanese believe that no American boots on the ground is coming, should war start. I also note that there is no mention of the need to reform Taiwan’s conscript management system, in the 8 concrete areas where the US and Taiwan should now invest to make the island tougher to invade, even harder to subdue, and harder still to occupy and govern. The 8 areas are as follows:
(1) ballistic missile defence;​
(2) air defence;​
(3) sea-denial fires;​
(4) shore-denial fires;​
(5) mine warfare;​
(6) information warfare;​
(7) civil defence; and​
(8) the resilience of critical infrastructure.​
 
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koxinga

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The poll cited above is found here and the content are quite interesting.


There is support (75%) to extend the conscription from 4 months to 1 year. While this is better than nothing, 1 year would only be sufficient to achieve a basic level of proficiency without any specialisation. I suspect if the duration was any longer, that number would trend downwards.

There is also little confidence (78%) in TW protecting itself without external support (US/Jpn).

TW is an island; unlike Ukraine, there will not be "shipments of arms across the border" situation. Any reinforcement means a direct confrontation with Chinese forces that will be blockading the island at sea and air. It would be interesting to see US/Western responses as they have so far been unwilling to put their own troops in harms way.
 

Musashi_kenshin

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TW is an island; unlike Ukraine, there will not be "shipments of arms across the border" situation. Any reinforcement means a direct confrontation with Chinese forces that will be blockading the island at sea and air. It would be interesting to see US/Western responses as they have so far been unwilling to put their own troops in harms way.
  • When asked about a range of potential scenarios, just over half of Americans (52%) favor using US troops to defend if China were to invade the island. This is the highest level ever recorded in the Council’s surveys dating back to 1982, when the question was first asked.
Given there's no sign of China adopting a more humble approach on the international stage, I doubt that figure is going to drop substantially for now.

In any event, in my view US military intervention over an attack on Taiwan will almost certainly be one of strategic necessity rather than domestic populism. Not least because if China attacks US military installations first because it assumes the US will intervene, the issue of the feelings of ordinary Americans pre-invasion will immediately become academic.
 

koxinga

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Personally, I don't think the Chinese will attack Guam or US military installations in APAC/JPN as part of an opening move on TW.

They are aware that this will draw a US response, and there is a historical precedent (e.g Pearl Harbour).

The problem with US intervention in TW (without preemptive Chinese attacks) that I see is:

1) US will be seen as taking the initiative, rather than the Chinese
2) It would require placing US forces in harms way from the get-go
3) It would require a strong response. Not half measures or piecemeal actions to break the blockage.

If the US elects to take these actions, then yes, US military installations would be fair game from that point onwards.

The Chinese are aware of these, and I am not surprised if the US are as well. IMO, the US approach will depend on the ability of TW to defend, absorb and exhaust Chinese attacks in the first few weaks. This would allow them time to build up the international pressure and marshal their forces for a response.
 
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OPSSG

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Part 2 of 3: An unmanaged termite infested wooden framework of a defence plan pretending that it is fit for purpose

3. What's Taiwan military's "reserve" training really like?
Other than firearm drill there was zero training, even for NCOs/officers in:
  • Physical training
  • Infantry basic maneuver/tactics
  • NBC (gas mask etc)
  • Radio/com.
  • Navigation
  • Enemy (PLA) identification
  • First aid/medical
  • Camping
  • Let alone "modern" stuff like drones
4. It sucks big time, firing less than limited rounds on old weapons without zeroing them and having a defence plan that does not work. Why would they provided an "unzeroed" machine gun for reservists to do live fire training with?
 
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