Indo Pacific strategy

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 1 of 4: Explaining the concepts of deterrence & relative combat power in reply to ManteoRed

Preparing the battlefield. Identify which beaches could support an amphibious invasion, have tank traps nearby ready to be rapidly deployed, and perhaps offshore underwater systems to trap/bottleneck incoming vehicles/landing craft. Also multiple transport links(not just a single road). Would need to rapidly flow in enough forces to meet them on the beach.
1. Thanks for starting this thread. To support your initiative, I have moved or copied 18 pages of older discussions by various DT members into this thread for your reference, as they are relevant to a PLA attack on Taiwan discussion. But I am not speaking as to the likelihood of success in such an attack.

(a) Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People in Oct 2021, President Xi said: “Reunification through a peaceful manner is the most in line with the overall interest of the Chinese nation, including Taiwan compatriots… No one should underestimate the Chinese people’s staunch determination, firm will, and strong ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xi said. “The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.” He added: “The Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, one which brooks no external interference.”​

(b) As I said before, war between China and Taiwan by an invasion of the main islands, is very unlikely for the duration of Biden’s term as US President. While war is unlikely, it does not mean China’s force build up is not a concern. The U.S. Secretary of the Navy Del Toro told a small group of reporters that he had reviewed Gilday’s distributed maritime operations concept and Berger’s Force Design 2030 plans and was satisfied that both were the right directions for the services to move in. Now he just needs to put the right resources behind those plans. Del Toro confirmed that the U.S. Navy, even as it awaits a fiscal 2022 spending plan from Congress, has already submitted its FY23 plan to the Pentagon and the White House for review and has starting early planning efforts for FY24.​
(c) Looking at Taiwan, we need to consider the formula below, where the strength of deterrence (D) as military force (F) is multiplied by the ability to use such firepower (A). In other words:​
The D=FxA formula explain why countries armed with nuclear missiles, like the U.S. and Russia, failed to deter terror attacks on their soil. FxA also explains why South Korea has to tolerate North Korea’s sinking of it’s navy ship and artillery attack on its territory in 2010.​

2. While the PLA’s intensified sea and air drills in the southwestern corner of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone — and the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙島) threat from China’s military, D=FxA explains why no fighting has occurred — in reality the PLA’s willingness or ability to use force is low. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense has responded to increase D by garrisoning the Marine Corps on the Pratas Islands, ostensibly to conduct off-shore training, but in reality to bolster its defences. IMO, a Chinese attack on Taiwan might possess certain key characteristics:

(a) a crippling first strike, occurring without warning signs or suddenly escalating when least expected. China’s objective would be to impose a political settlement before the US and Japan could effectively intervene;​
(b) mass cyberattacks would target Taiwanese C4I Systems. Activation of cells of Chinese agents embedded within Taiwanese society to engage in acts of assassination, disinformation, or sabotage; and​
(c) thousands of follow-on SRBM strikes (after the 1st strike), to last over 42 days, used for facilitating Chinese air operations over the Strait and Taiwan. Chinese air control would likely be viewed as a key prerequisite for a successful naval and amphibious campaign.​

I dont know that any of this is publicly available, but something that seems to be the most valuable in terms of defense is also something relatively low tech and inexpensive.
3. In the last 5 years, all the low hanging fruit, for Taiwanese force improvements, have been plucked. All easy steps have been taken. What follows to raise, train and sustain fighting brigades, with fighting cohesion, is more difficult. Some of these prior discussions are long and considered, including at post #199 (The Taiwan factor in regional calculations) that is spread over 6 posts, by me. I have provided specific information about what is needed to train a conscript to fight in an urban environment (with a video on ROE shoot — which is very complicated).
(a) In Sep 2015, an eight-man SAS team was ambushed in Syria by at least 30 militants, while smuggling a secret agent into Syria. The SAS team was “out-gunned and out-numbered” but regained the initiative “by using courage, aggression and firepower.” In fact, one SAS soldier outgunned six militants. Eventually, the SAS team eliminated the ambush and killed eight militants — Admiral McRaven, has a theory of how a small force can achieve relative superiority (where he draws a graph to show an area of vulnerability).​
Q1: Does the quality of soldiers matter more than their quantity?​
(b) I will explain the Lanchester Square Law and link it to the concept of Relative Combat Power (RCP), in the next 3 posts. And RCP is defined as the effectiveness of a force in killing an enemy. If you do a like for like comparison — the SAF’s regular infantry companies (due to the 5 month combat qualification course) are better trained that Taiwanese equivalent processionals — likewise the SAF’s conscripts are a golden mile ahead of Taiwanese conscripts.​
(c) If the Taiwanese infantry conscript is not trained to a minimum standard, they will end up shooting their own civilians and adjacent Taiwanese units — it is my considered view that Taiwan does not invest in well trained and confident conscripts to execute (when they are under fire). They have no hope of training these Taiwan soldiers to Singapore’s minimum standards — the SAF trains it to the level of muscle memory.​
(d) Taiwan’s NS duration is a summer camp, with only basic weapons familiarisation. This means the Taiwanese can’t fight. They have seen Singapore conscripts train in Taiwan and they know they can’t match the level of realism in training, due to the huge difference in physical training standards — be it in basic physical conditioning, mental preparation for operations, tactics, or ROE driven shooting.​
(e) Standards matter. As such, the SAF maintains capabilities and standards for each specialist conscript vocation, like the Guards in the above Guards conversion course video. The Guards Cadre (of trainers) exist to give confidence to junior officers & NCOs — for any SAF infantry battalion to be operational, they are tested at a battalion level for their proficiency in operations in a full scale two sided exercise — exercises are conducted to make our infantry conscripts experience failure and to learn from it; as part of the after action review process conducted by the trainers.​
(f) In contrast to Taiwan’s lack of robust standards for their conscripts, Singapore’s infantry conscripts at an individual skills level are trained to shoot at a head and shoulder sized target at 100 metres and when close-in (15 metres or less), they can shoot at specific parts of a body, when the ROE does not allow shoot to kill. After 22 months of training, Singapore’s conscripts go into the reserves with annual unit proficiency training and are ready to be mobilised for battle in ‘x’ hours for contingency operations under 2PDF’s CONOPS for homeland security.​
(g) Our citizens are especially proud of our German trained conscript tank crews — go watch the YouTube video on Ex Panzer Strike — these armour vocation troops are able to shoot to kill enemy tanks while on the move at Company level (12 to 14 tanks), with their Leopard 2SGs — which enables a SAR to deliver violence of action, for attacking without pause.​
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 2 of 4: Explaining the concepts of deterrence & relative combat power in reply to ManteoRed

4. Recognizing the poor quality of training for Taiwan conscripts, is problem with the ROC Army, actually doing something to deal with that problem are two different issues, but if Taiwan does not have the recognition, its actions are never going to change enough to enable help to reach them. The quality of Chinese troops has increased by leaps and bounds. In 2019, the PLA came to Singapore for a bilateral exercise and we are able to observe their drastic improvements in capability.
(a) After the HK Terrex episode, in 2017 Singapore even had to assure Taiwan that our military training agreement relating to Exercises Starlight and High Noon will stay. Compared with Taiwan and South Korea, Singapore’s NS gives its draftees the most days off, pays them the highest relative to GDP per capita, and has the best safety record.​

(b) China’s self defeating approach extends to the Nov 2016 HK Terrex episode, where Chinese intelligence caused HK to detain Singapore’s armoured vehicles being shipped back from Taiwan — earning the distrust of another ‘neutral,’ who has now entered the F-35B club in Asia, along with Japan. Singapore's recent purchase of the F-35B fighter jets is part of the vital and longstanding relationship shared between the two countries, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, Mr Rene Clarke Cooper, said on 10 Feb 2020. Speaking to global media, Mr Cooper also said that “the US-Singapore partnership is one very clear tangible example of the United States' commitment to a very free and open Indo-Pacific for all states in the region," he added. The US government has approved the sale of up to 12 F-35Bs to Singapore, the first sale to a country in South-east Asia.​
(c) Singapore's air force and navy in particular are praised as the strongest in ASEAN for its investment in technology and operational capability. These factors, coupled with the tri-service integration of the training of Singaporean army conscripts demonstrates that Singapore has found a 22 month schedule that works ⁠— the only thing lacking is combat-provenness.​

5. Have a read of my six prior posts (The Taiwan factor in regional calculations) and let me know what you think. Please forgive my frank response to follow on some of your more problematic ideas — because as a discussion community, we care about your inputs and hope to assist in the development of your ideas.

Am I wrong in thinking that even with the Chinese government there are limits to the amount of lives they can waste on this? If you can make it painful enough will it cause them to pull back, or do you believe they would continue to throw men into a meat grinder?
6. Your thinking on this matter needs to mature, in the face of input from other members here. Once shooting starts, the PLA have a demonstrated capability to continue in the face of losses to achieve their strategic objectives — read the proud history of the PLA and their current doctrine in the face of their modernisation efforts.

(a) The Chinese leadership mindset and tolerance for losses will make your knees go weak. The Korean War, is a good example of Chinese loss tolerance.​
(b) In their recent article (“American Support for Taiwan Must Be Unambiguous,” September 2), Richard Haass and David Sacks correctly note that China’s coercive tactics and military buildup are eroding deterrence in the Taiwan Strait. But their proposed solution—a U.S. security guarantee for Taipei—would not solve that problem and might even provoke a Chinese attack.​
(c) To reduce the chances of war, Team Biden needs to signal credibly that Beijing would pay a high price for invading Taiwan. Washington cannot, however, make its willingness to defend Taiwan unconditional.​

7. Watch the above video in which Bonnie S. Glaser explains:

China’s current strategy is not to invade but to induce a sense of despair in the Taiwanese.​

And there are other military conflict scenarios I am more afraid of than a simple blockade of the main island of Taiwan — where the chance of occurrence is more than 10%. For example, raise a fake dispute or event over Kinmen Islands and use that as an excuse not to allow Taiwanese flights or Taiwanese coast guard ships to approach them. There is no invasion or blockade of the main island and it forces a disproportionate response. The PLA(N)’s surface force of over 450 ships can carry a variety of anti-ship and anti-radiation missiles to force an Australian Naval Task group in the 2030s, to exercise emissions control, while striking from over the horizon, with one barrage of missiles. Even the very capable JMSDF with their 4 huge escort fleets will struggle in the 2030s.

If you're Taiwan,
1) never going to be able to go on the offensive in the sense of landing on the mainland
2) never going to outnumber them in most any serious sense.
8. From a tactical perspective for an island defence, not correct. I am concerned that you (as a long time member), don’t seem to understand basic war fighting concepts — the Taiwanese Army needs to and will conduct large scale spoiling counter-attacks at brigade strength, in each division sector. Let me expand on a basic concept, for the discussion to be meaningful. Relative combat power (RCP) as a concept needs to be understood, including the use of reserves for spoiling counter attacks. How RCP is to be applied is detailed below.

Blue Lower quality than RedBlue Same quality as RedBlue Greater quality than Red
Blue with smaller numbers than RedAvoid battleAvoid battle, apply Tactics of Division if unable to avoid battleApply Tactics of Concentration
Blue same numbers as RedAvoid battle, apply Tactics of Division if unable to avoid battleApply Tactics of DivisionApply Tactics of Concentration
(a) The Lanchester Square Law allows us to compare the RCP of two fighting forces and anticipate the outcome of battle. There are 3 points that needs to be highlighted, as follows:​
(i) RCP of a force is not the number of units; but​
(ii) the RCP is proportional to the square of the number of units and proportional to the quality of units; and​
(iii) if we know the qualities and numbers of two forces at the start of a battle, we can tell the outcome.​
(b) If Blue forces are outnumbered but are of greater quality, they can defeat a Red enemy force of lower quality. Commanders should use Tactics of Concentration—to divide the Red forces into smaller groups, so that Blue forces have greater quantity and quality (and so greater RCP) in each battle against the smaller groups of Red forces. The Blue forces can take on these smaller groups of Red forces one by one, eventually wiping them out.​
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 3 of 4: Explaining the concepts of deterrence & relative combat power in reply to ManteoRed
(c) If Blue forces have greater numbers but of lower quality, they can defeat a smaller enemy force of greater quality. Commanders should use Tactics of Numbers—to prevent the Red forces from dividing Blue forces (i.e. prevent Red forces from using Tactics of Concentration against them).​

(d) If Blue and Red forces are evenly matched in numbers and quality, commanders should not fight the enemy head-on. Instead, commanders should use Tactics of Division—to use terrain, time and location to set up a battle favourable to them. This could involve the deliberate setting of decoys, traps and surprise manoeuvres.​
(e) If you understood the concept of RCP as explained above, it does not matter (as much) that during the initial stages, Taiwanese F-16s, are going up into the sky out-numbered; and they, as the Blue force, have certain specific tactics to set up a battle favourable to them.​

9. Despite an annual defence budget of US$16.89 billion for FY2022 (from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2022), let me say again that Taipei is Kabul on steroids due to decades of under investment. Lots of rage from the online media in Taiwan but actually impotent, when it comes to raising, training and sustaining a force. For clarity, let me add some points:

One, in the distant past due to RCP, the numerically inferior Taiwan’s Army successfully pushed off a PLA landing before in the Battle of Kinmen, with tanks. The tank platoon fired until they ran out of ammo and proceeded to drive over PLA infantry. No quarter was given, then.​

Two, in 2020, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), said the Taiwan Army is planning the purchase of the most advanced tanks to speed up the pace at which it replaces old models while remembering a soldier killed in a M41A3 tank accident in Kinmen County. One soldier -- Sergeant Lin Kai-chiang (林楷強) -- was killed in an accident involving a M41A3. The light tank (as part of the Kinmen Defense Command's Lieyu Garrison Battalion), was heading back to its base at the end of a drill when it crashed into the embankment, near Lieyu Township. After this death, the Taiwanese plan to replace the M41A3 tanks, with the M41D, a modified and more modern version of the Walker Bulldog (that is equipped a new 76-mm gun M32K1, a Detroit Diesel 8V-71T engine, and thermal imaging sights).​
Three, due to RCP concerns and the danger of the forces in the Kinmen islands being flanked, the Taiwanese are not going to defend the Kinmen islands with Taiwan’s most capable tanks — the 108 M1A2T Abrams (to be delivered in batches).​
Four, Taiwanese army personnel are expected to be sent to the US for training and acceptance of new main battle tanks (MBTs) in 2022. The M1A2Ts are expected to be delivered to Taiwan from 2023 onwards. The first 18 MBTs will be used for train-the-trainer (to be conducted in the U.S.) in 2022; with another batch of 18 to be delivered directly to Taiwan in 2023, a further 28 in 2024, the next 30 in 2025 and the remaining 14 in 2026, Taipei Times reported.​

10. Going forward for the defence of the main island, at the point of landing, at the beachhead, Taiwanese MBTs (along with its supporting armoured infantry) in a brigade sector, mustering its RCP, must kill enough to ensure that they out number the PLA’s first and second waves — if they fail to do so the PLA would breakout of the beachhead and the Taiwan Army would be forced to counter attack, rather than reinforce existing forward positions. Reinforcement is morale boosting. Losing the position and counter attacking is morale sapping.

So it seems like especially those Frigates are a total budgetary drain in the event of an actual conflict. Sending them out into the Straight seems like a cruel waste of lives for no foreseeable gain. The only use I could imagine for them is to essentially weld them to the dock and leave only enough crew on board to man and operate the onboard air defense systems.
11. You are a member since Apr 2012. Therefore, I am surprised that your proposed cure is worse than the problem. In the era of precision guided glide bombs, a Taiwanese navy ship needs to remain mobile, launch decoys (like Nulka), to have a better chance of survival. These are concept issues. To cure these concept related problems, please read, “Air Power 101 for New Members” and watch this video on Ex Pacific Griffin, held in Guam in 2017, 2019 and 2021 (that latest was held from June 21 through to July 7), for some basic naval war fighting tactics in modern navies.

12. If shooting starts, Taiwanese hope for prompt American or Japanese reinforcements by sea will not materialise. In part because PLA(N) submarines will remain a potent threat for months and they will hinder attempts at reinforcement. As a recent report by the US Congressional Research Service points out, while China’s current submarine force is now quantitatively smaller than it was in 1990, it has ‘greater aggregate capability than it did in 1990, because larger numbers of older, obsolescent boats have been replaced by smaller numbers of more modern and more capable boats’. A staff report for the US–China Economic and Security Review Commission puts the trend towards a more formidable Chinese submarine fleet by 2020 into a table:

China’s Submarine Fleet, 1990–2020

Type1990199520002005201020152020
Diesel Attack884360515457-6259-64
Nuclear Attack (SSN)455666-86-9
Nuclear Ballistic(SSBN)111233-54-5
Total934966596366-7569-78
The report also notes the ongoing modernisation of the fleet, defining ‘modern’ submarines as those able to launch ballistic missiles or anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs).

China’s Submarine Fleet, 1990–2020, approximate percent ‘modern’

Type1990199520002005201020152020
Diesel Attack0%0%7%40%50%70%75%
Nuclear Attack0%0%0%33%33%70%100%
That assessment is underlined by recent Congressional testimony from the US Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). The ONI also expects that by 2020 the ‘vast majority’ of China’s submarine force will be armed with ‘advanced, long-range ASCMs’.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 4 of 4: Explaining the concepts of deterrence & relative combat power in reply to ManteoRed

13. To deter the PLA, professional war planners in Taiwan have invested significant time, effort and intelligence gathering resources to gain a better understand the PLA’s force structure — so as to generate realistic enemy courses of action or ECAs.

(a) To my simple mind, PLA’s force structure is MLRS and artillery heavy, as they place great emphasis on these support arms to engage in attrition of Taiwanese forces. It’s a much harder fight, when ROC Army is forced to retake a lost position than to reinforce an existing defence line, as part of its own course of action or OCAs.​
(b) Once a PLA force is secure enough (to allow follow-on forces to land on the beachhead), one possible ECA of the PLA is to push in a MLRS or artillery system. If such an unlikely ECA happens, it can quickly affect the RCP of the Taiwanese defenders — especially if Taiwanese forces are hit with an barrage while on the move to reinforce a position.​
Some Key Terms Defined for Readers
(1) Strategy - The overall concept of using military power to achieve political and/or military ends

(2) Tactics* - The art of winning battles and engagements (and this idea is always tied to a specific area of operations, usually at a lower level of command and against a specific enemy)

(3) Battle - A violent collision of forces at a specific time and place

(4) CONOPS - The planned positioning and movement of forces to gain an advantage over the enemy

------------------------------------------------------------
Note: *The following definition of tactics may also be used:
(i) The employment of units in combat (FM 3-0).

(ii) It includes the ordered arrangement and maneuver of units in relation to each other, the terrain and the enemy to translate potential combat power into victorious battles and engagements. (FM 3-0 & FM 3-90).
14. The correct strategy for Taiwan is to bandwagon it’s interests with Japan to achieve political and/or military ends. After the alignment of geo-political interests, Taiwan needs to go about acquiring the correct military platforms (or equipment), to execute its island defence CONOPS. Only with the execution of the correct tactics can Taiwan win its battles. To address the above concern, there are two concentric defensive rings, the ROC Army can consider investing in, to increase FxA to enhance deterrence of the PLA.
(a) For the ROC Army to increase force or F, they are investing in suicide drones, anti-landing craft missile defences and anti-ship missile defences, in multiple layers, to prevent any PLA amphibious landing is obviously a crucial first outer ring by a special budget for additional defence spending over the next five years (see paragraph 16(a) below for details of these budget measures).​
(b) The RCP discussions in paragraphs 8 to 10 above on improving the fighting ability of the ROC Army to enable a spoiling counter-attack in force is the next ring of defence — should the PLA attempt to breakout of the beachhead. For the ROC Army to increase their ability or A, they next have to focus on investing in sufficient quantities of new armoured vehicles and 8x8 war fighting concepts and capabilities (from year 6 to year 10 onwards, after the US$9 billion is spent), in the ROC Army capability development roadmap. At that stage, standards for equipping of each battalion and for their training cycle becomes more important to the discussion.​

15. The quality verses numbers debate is a common feature of many military discussion forums but I hope by explaining the concept of RCP, and some of the maths (as provided in the link), forum members can get an idea of how AI is used to determine the most dangerous ECA -- in planning, its not only the most likely ECA that a planner worries about. Most often good quality troops in a defensive section can win but not always. The interesting questions are:

Q2: Why are there times when good quality troops with a good plan fail in battle?​
Ans: I have a proposed answer to Q2 but would rather not answer it here -- to encourage discussion. A part of the answer, the concept of OODA or observe–orient–decide–act, is explained in AirPower 101 for New Members and the video below illustrates the 6th Division’s use of AI in its CONOPS for sense & strike:​
Q3: What are the determining factors which decide which side wins a particular battle and under what CONOPS?​
Ans: Again I have a proposed answer to Q3 but would rather not answer it here -- to encourage discussion.​

16. Besides the factor of the naked will to win, which cannot be determined in advance, there are associated concepts on RCP that affect the ability of a defender to fight. Therefore, it is no surprise that sources have reported that:

(a) Taiwan plans to set aside an extra US$9 billion as a special budget for additional defense spending over the next five years as it prioritizes long-range and anti-ship weapons in the face of ongoing pressure from China; and​

(b) a small contingent of around 20 U.S. special operations and conventional forces has been conducting the training for less than a year, the official, who declined to be identified. Some of the trainers rotate in and out. The training has been going on for at least a year, amid China’s rising verbal threats against Taiwan — this will ensure that the USSOCOM is able to demonstrate its relevance to Great Power competition and engage in sense and strike, should the need arise. A single ODA team will make a huge difference in any Taiwanese division sector’s fight, if air power is relevant.​

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report of U.S. forces in Taiwan, but Pentagon spokesman John Supple said that generally speaking, U.S. support for Taiwan’s military is gauged on its defense needs.
 
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STURM

Well-Known Member

An interesting article on Indonesia and AUKUS. Amidst all the talk about AUKUS and what it's intended to achieve, it's easy to overlook the fact that ASEAN countries, which are much closer to China than any AUKUS member also have their legitimate concerns and although AUKUS - on paper - will contribute to regional stabilty, not eveything which serves the interests of its members will be in line with the interests of ASEAN countries.

Most ASEAN countries, despite sharing a common concern towards China, have different approaches in dealing with China. Malaysia which has intensive defence ties with the U. S. [unlike its other neighbours it downplays ties] and Australia, was labelled by some as being quick to appease China merely because it seeked China's views on AUKUS, yet it also was in contact with other countries on AUKUS. Like Malaysia, Indonesia has a tough balancing act to maintain, safeguarding its key interests, while also handling things with China and other countries. Both countries are also in no hurry to pick sides.

The article mentions and Indonesian official claiming that anti communist elements in the country were eager for it to be part of AUKUS. How much of how Indonesia views China is coloured by history is open to debate. At one point in the 1960's the Indonesian Communist Party [aligned with China] had a very huge following and attempted a coup. In the aftermath of Sukarno's ouster, the military went on a very bloody campaign throughout the archipelego to eliminate the Communist Party and its support base. Relations with China were severed.

One doesn’t have to swallow the line of some observers in Jakarta that Southeast Asians are universally upset by Australia’s ‘arrogant’ actions on the grounds that buying such boats will imperil the region’s aspirations to being a zone of peace.

They aren’t. Some have welcomed AUKUS and what it brings, including Australia’s boats. Their fears about China lie behind this.

Even many Indonesians are unconvinced that signing up to the ASEAN peace treaty guarantees either amity or cooperation when Beijing is busy enforcing its absurd nine-dash-line pretensions to ownership of the ‘North Natuna Sea".
 
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KrustyKoala

New Member
An interesting article, i am confused on the author saying Australia shouldnt have informed Indonesia about AUKUS because we're "way too short of being truly strategic for that". But we should have done things differently and informed them. Indonesia was given the same heads up Japan, NZ, India etc. got before the AUKUS press conference.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
An interesting article, i am confused on the author saying Australia shouldnt have informed Indonesia about AUKUS because we're "way too short of being truly strategic for that". But we should have done things differently and informed them. Indonesia was given the same heads up Japan, NZ, India etc. got before the AUKUS press conference.
1. Rather than respond to a think tank article that way, which I think is less interesting, it may be more useful to see ADF-TNI and ADF-MAF communication as an ongoing active process.

2. Part of this process is sending senior ADF officers to address a forum for TNI officers, so that they can hear it from the horse’s mouth what AUKUS means for the ADF; and provide reassurance that Australia’s SSN plans are as stated and transparent (within the boundaries of permitted disclosures on nuclear matters). By now, I am sure all ADF chiefs of service have reached out to have a conversation with their counter parts in Malaysia and Indonesia — as part of the leg work necessary to keep the relationship cordial.

3. That is not to say there is no concern with AUKUS. The Indonesian parliament’s commission responsible for foreign and defence issues is used by Indonesian politicians as a bully pulpit to shape public opinion (often in the direction of nationalist populism). Given that Australia has often been a favourite target of this body’s more jingoistic members, and little could inspire them more than the prospect of their southern neighbour being up to its perceived usual tricks and treating Indonesia with contempt. The commission’s members have acted true to form, with some urging the administration to confront Australia for threatening the region’s peace.

4. In 2008, on a bilateral basis, Singapore and the US have managed a small trace leak from a US Navy nuclear vessel into a non-issue while complying with our laws and need for parliamentary oversight.
(a) On 1 Aug 2008, the media reported that the US nuclear-powered submarine USS Houston had been found to be leaking trace amounts of radioactive water. The leak had been discovered by the United States Navy during a routine dry dock maintenance of the submarine at Pearl Harbour Naval Shipyard in July 2008. The media noted that the US had informed Japan of the leak, as the United States Navy's investigations had determined that the USS Houston could have been leaking when the USS Houston made its port call in Sasebo, Japan in Mar 2008.​
(b) Nevertheless, as a precautionary measure, Singapore asked the US on 4 Aug 2008 for information about the leak. The USS Houston had last called at Singapore nearly two years ago from 22 to 26 Sep 2006. Singapore also went through our own monitoring records for the period when the USS Houston was berthed in Singapore at Changi Naval Base. On 7 Aug 2008, the US informed MINDEF that the USS Houston had been leaking trace amounts of radioactive water since Jun 2006. This suggested that the USS Houston could have been leaking during her port call at Changi Naval Base in Sep 2006.​
(c) The US has assessed that the cumulative amount of radioactivity that could have been leaked in Changi Naval Base was approximately 0.095 micro curies. To put things into perspective, the US indicated that this was less than the amount of radioactivity found in a common smoke detector, and would not have any adverse effect on human health, marine life or the environment.​
(d) Apart from the information provided to Singapore by the US, MINDEF has its own independent monitoring system. Since Feb 2003, MINDEF has put in place a round-the-clock Integrated Environment Monitoring System (IEMS) at Changi Naval Base. The IEMS takes readings of air quality, and water and sea-bed samples to determine the normal background environmental radiation level, and to detect whether there has been any abnormal level of radiation which may be of safety concern. The safety limits are set by our National Environment Agency's Centre of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Science.​
(e) The then defence minister reported to parliament that:​
“With the assurances from the US, verification from the data collected from our monitoring system and our own experts' assessments, I am confident that there was no adverse impact on public health, marine life or the environment as a result of the USS Houston's port call in Singapore in September 2006, and that the safety of Singaporeans was not compromised by the reported leak.”​

5. AUKUS is a non-issue for Singapore and it is very likely that there is quiet support for our Aussie mates behind the scenes — to ensure we sing from the same song sheet. With the assurance provided by IEMS, Changi Naval base will continue to host USN, RN and RAN submarines, LHDs and carriers, be it nuclear or otherwise.
 
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STURM

Well-Known Member
KrustyKoala,

Indeed, it was given the same heads up. In addition to making a phone call to several ASEAN heads of states, the Austalian PM also despatched a special envoy. In Malaysia's case a RAN Admiral met the Defence Minister.

The article addresses the key fact that whilst some ASEAN countries in private welcome AUKUS, they also have their own concerns about being caught in the middle of big power rivalries/competition and have their own issues to deal with. It's easy to get caught up with the larger issues at play regarding AUKUS members and China, whilst overlooking the fact that AUKUS also has wide implications for ASEAN members and that what's good for AUKUS doesn't or isn't necessarily good for ASEAN.
 
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AndrewS

New Member
A few points below.


Post 4 of 4: Explaining the concepts of deterrence & relative combat power in reply to ManteoRed

13. To deter the PLA, professional war planners in Taiwan have invested significant time, effort and intelligence gathering resources to gain a better understand the PLA’s force structure — so as to generate realistic enemy courses of action or ECAs.

(a) To my simple mind, PLA’s force structure is MLRS and artillery heavy, as they place great emphasis on these support arms to engage in attrition of Taiwanese forces. It’s a much harder fight, when ROC Army is forced to retake a lost position than to reinforce an existing defence line, as part of its own course of action or OCAs.​
(b) Once a PLA force is secure enough (to allow follow-on forces to land on the beachhead), one possible ECA of the PLA is to push in a MLRS or artillery system. If such an unlikely ECA happens, it can quickly affect the RCP of the Taiwanese defenders — especially if Taiwanese forces are hit with an barrage while on the move to reinforce a position.​
We've already seen Chinese MLRS systems deploy on cargo ships offshore.
So wouldn't a reasonable assumption be that any Chinese landing force will have MLRS support during an amphibious assault and the follow-on movement from a beachhead?
And furthermore, given the large number of MLRS systems and cargo ships available, wouldn't it be feasible to have 50 MLRS launchers available offshore?


14. The correct strategy for Taiwan is to bandwagon it’s interests with Japan to achieve political and/or military ends. After the alignment of geo-political interests, Taiwan needs to go about acquiring the correct military platforms (or equipment), to execute its island defence CONOPS. Only with the execution of the correct tactics can Taiwan win its battles. To address the above concern, there are two concentric defensive rings, the ROC Army can consider investing in, to increase FxA to enhance deterrence of the PLA.
(a) For the ROC Army to increase force or F, they are investing in suicide drones, anti-landing craft missile defences and anti-ship missile defences, in multiple layers, to prevent any PLA amphibious landing is obviously a crucial first outer ring by a special budget for additional defence spending over the next five years (see paragraph 16(a) below for details of these budget measures).​
(b) The RCP discussions in paragraphs 8 to 10 above on improving the fighting ability of the ROC Army to enable a spoiling counter-attack in force is the next ring of defence — should the PLA attempt to breakout of the beachhead. For the ROC Army to increase their ability or A, they next have to focus on investing in sufficient quantities of new armoured vehicles and 8x8 war fighting concepts and capabilities (from year 6 to year 10 onwards, after the US$9 billion is spent), in the ROC Army capability development roadmap. At that stage, standards for equipping of each battalion and for their training cycle becomes more important to the discussion.​
The big assumption here is that Taiwan, Japan and the USA have the military capability to stop the Chinese Air Force just 200km from its shores.

If the Chinese military is able to obtain air superiority of the skies over Taiwan, China will have aircraft and drones constantly monitoring the ground below, and systematically dismantling Taiwan's military/civilian infrastructure. Any vehicle movements would also be tracked and then destroyed. In such a scenario, I struggle to see how Taiwan army forces could conduct any spoiling attack against a landing force, because they would be destroyed whilst moving.

In the future, if China can project overwhelming military force on Taiwan, then perhaps the correct strategy for Taiwan is to follow Lee Kuan Yew's advice to obtain the best settlement now, rather than suffer worse terms in the future.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
A few points below.




We've already seen Chinese MLRS systems deploy on cargo ships offshore.
So wouldn't a reasonable assumption be that any Chinese landing force will have MLRS support during an amphibious assault and the follow-on movement from a beachhead?
And furthermore, given the large number of MLRS systems and cargo ships available, wouldn't it be feasible to have 50 MLRS launchers available offshore?




The big assumption here is that Taiwan, Japan and the USA have the military capability to stop the Chinese Air Force just 200km from its shores.

If the Chinese military is able to obtain air superiority of the skies over Taiwan, China will have aircraft and drones constantly monitoring the ground below, and systematically dismantling Taiwan's military/civilian infrastructure. Any vehicle movements would also be tracked and then destroyed. In such a scenario, I struggle to see how Taiwan army forces could conduct any spoiling attack against a landing force, because they would be destroyed whilst moving.

In the future, if China can project overwhelming military force on Taiwan, then perhaps the correct strategy for Taiwan is to follow Lee Kuan Yew's advice to obtain the best settlement now, rather than suffer worse terms in the future.
It's one thing to know the theory of amphibious landings. It's another thing to have the experience and institutional knowledge of undertaking very large opposed amphibious assaults / invasions. The PLA does not have the latter. Will the CCP Politburo Standing Committee be willing to risk the political consequences of the potential failure of the invasion?
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
We've already seen Chinese MLRS systems deploy on cargo ships offshore.
Normally an MLRS wants to be able to shoot-and-scoot. It doesn't want to just sit in one place and then get shot up, which is what would happen if they were parked on a big, slow cargo ship. Presumably you're not suggesting these would be suicide crews manning the MLRSs.

If the Chinese military is able to obtain air superiority of the skies over Taiwan, China will have aircraft and drones constantly monitoring the ground below, and systematically dismantling Taiwan's military/civilian infrastructure.
Is this where Taiwan just parks all its anti-air systems in the open and asks the PLA to destroy them?

I'm not really sure what the point of your post is. Anyone can invent a scenario where China automatically wins and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it "because air superiority". You have to allow the possibility of the other side being able to take counter-measures.

In the future, if China can project overwhelming military force on Taiwan, then perhaps the correct strategy for Taiwan is to follow Lee Kuan Yew's advice to obtain the best settlement now, rather than suffer worse terms in the future.
What's the point? HK has demonstrated that the CCP will just revoke any "autonomy" granted to Taiwan as soon as it's upset with the situation.

I'm not Taiwanese but I can see how they might prefer to fight and potentially win rather than surrender and automatically lose.
 
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AndrewS

New Member
Normally an MLRS wants to be able to shoot-and-scoot. It doesn't want to just sit in one place and then get shot up, which is what would happen if they were parked on a big, slow cargo ship. Presumably you're not suggesting these would be suicide crews manning the MLRSs.
There presumably are going to be stationary landing ships with thousands of personnel actually landing on beaches
Wouldn't those be higher priority than a virtually unlimited supply of cargo ships with MLRS launchers?

Remember that cargo ships typically have a crew of 20. You would have a few more people on MLRS launchers.
And remember there will be at least 10 air defence destroyers, tasked with protecting any invasion fleet

Is this where Taiwan just parks all its anti-air systems in the open and asks the PLA to destroy them?

I'm not really sure what the point of your post is. Anyone can invent a scenario where China automatically wins and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it "because air superiority". You have to allow the possibility of the other side being able to take counter-measures.
Unless Taiwan is happy to have its electricity and transportation networks crippled, their anti-air systems will have to shoot and reveal themselves.
Remember that Taiwan is only 200km away, so Chinese ISR aircraft can remain safely over mainland China, whilst still having a direct radar line-of-sight over the entire island, and track all vehicle movements

What's the point? HK has demonstrated that the CCP will just revoke any "autonomy" granted to Taiwan as soon as it's upset with the situation.

I'm not Taiwanese but I can see how they might prefer to fight and potentially win rather than surrender and automatically lose.
It would be better than being conquered, with Taiwan left in ruins and then being left with nothing at all, as Lee Kuan Yew would put it.
 

AndrewS

New Member
It's one thing to know the theory of amphibious landings. It's another thing to have the experience and institutional knowledge of undertaking very large opposed amphibious assaults / invasions. The PLA does not have the latter. Will the CCP Politburo Standing Committee be willing to risk the political consequences of the potential failure of the invasion?
They would rather not of course

The idea is to apply overwhelming economic carrots and the potential military stick to persuade Taiwan that they should seek a settlement
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
They would rather not of course

The idea is to apply overwhelming economic carrots and the potential military stick to persuade Taiwan that they should seek a settlement
Why should Taiwan seek settlement? It definitely wasn't part of mainland China during the overthrow of the imperial dynasty in 1911 nor during the civil war. The CCP has no legal claim over it, and for all intents and purposes Taiwan functions as a legitimate independent nation. It has its own independent legislature, government, foreign policy, currency, armed forces, justice system, head of state, flag, and legal system.

The Taiwanese have seen what has happened to Hong Kong and Macau and they have no reason to trust the CCP at all. There is now sufficient evidence to show that the CCP does not honour agreements that it signs. It's proven conclusively that it is dishonourable and a consumate liar.
 
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