War With China


Tom over at The Redhunter has an excellent post up today about the chances of China invading Taiwan:

Many would dismiss a Chinese attack as improbable. The point out that from a logical standpoint, China has no need to occupy or control Taiwan. By attacking China risks throwing their economy into chaos, being isolated on the world stage if not becoming an outright pariah, risking a nuclear escallation, and even if the succeded they would lose the ability to use the issue of Taiwan to whip up popular sentiment at home. And, as the outcome of war is never certain, if they lost it might spark a revolution at home that could topple the leadership. Certainly this is enough to give the pause.

At the same time that we take these objections seriously, we must remember the fallacy of “mirror image” thinking. If we have learned nothing else since 9-11 is should be that others do not share our way of thinking. What we consider logical others see as illogical. Facts we consider important are not even in other people’s mental universe. Not everyone else works off of our set of assumptions.

This is something I think many of us have learned since 911. Tom goes into it even deeper about how we believed during the Cold War that MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) was something both sides considered as a deterrent. We have now found out that this was not the case in Russia, they believed and ran war games to find a way to “win” a all out nuclear war.

He also delves into the reasons why we must defend Taiwan:

It is reasonable to ask why we should defend Taiwan in the face of Chinese aggression. Some, like the libertarian Cato Institute, say that we ought to let Taiwan defend itself. This is not the place for a full treatment of Taiwan’s own actions and drift towards declaring independence, so suffice it to say that I believe that we ought to defend Taiwan for the following reasons:

We have obligated ourselves to help defend the island democracy with the Taiwan Relations Act (1979). American presidents, including President Bush, have given their word that we would help to defend Taiwan. We must be good to our word or need to abrogate the treaty and speak clearly that we will not come to Taiwan’s aid.

The government of Taiwan (“Republic of China”) is now a democracy. We should defend democracies against tyrannies. Even when Taiwan was ruled by the authoritarian Kuomintang, it was still better than the Communists on the mainland, thus worth defending under the concept of comparative justice.

Defense of Taiwan easily meets the requirements of Just War Theory.

Taiwan will not sit still and let us do all of the fighting. They will, in fact, end up doing most of the fighting and dying. It is often forgotten, for example, that during the Korean War the South Koreans suffered more casualties than did Americans.

And cites a study about the feasability of a Chinese DDay type of assault:

Nevertheless, as this Navy War College paper makes clear, the Chinese will not have the ability to stage a “D-Day” style amphibious invasion of Taiwan:

The most dramatic but least feasible PRC threat is an amphibious attack with hundreds of thousands of People?s Liberation Army (PLA) troops supported by ballistic missile barrages, aircraft, naval forces, and all manner of modified merchant ships. A host of analysts and government reports have poured cold water on this frequently discussed scenario, revealing China?s sea and airlift shortcomings, the numerous force-concentration problems associated with Formosa beach landings, and, not the least, Taiwan?s super-hardened land defenses. Piers Wood and Charles Ferguson, for example, persuasively argue that China lacks not only the amphibious assault ships to bridge the strait with enough firepower and men but also the port capacity to employ hundreds of potentially useful civilian craft.12 Their conclusion was shared by Admiral Dennis Blair, former commander of the U.S. Pacific forces, who not long ago reported that ?the PLA is still years away from the capability to take and hold Taiwan.?13

There is a whole lot more over at his site, check it out.

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