Saturday, April 14, 2007

Drive-By Shooting

The Taiwanese are exercising their military (tip to China e-Lobby), including efforts to protect their leadership from Chinese efforts to decapitate the Taiwanese military at the outset of a war:

Taiwan kicked off a month of military exercises on Tuesday designed to test the island's defences in the event of attack by giant neighbour China, which considers the island its own.

The exercises come amid calls for Taiwan to move forward with plans to buy advanced weapons from the United States, which recognises Beijing's "one China" policy but is Taiwan's biggest arms supplier.

So far, so good. The Taiwanese need to train and need advanced weapons to defend themselves.

Yet this assessment of the threat that Taiwan faces is just bizarre:

Taiwan's military and analysts increasingly feel China would avoid an amphibious invasion to win back the island and rather opt for a surprise attack against key installations and so-called "decapitation strikes" aimed at Taiwan leaders.

Why would China avoid an amphibious assault just as China's air, naval, and ground power are getting better?

At what point does this logic make sense? The Chinese want to get Taiwan back yet the Chinese will limit themselves to bombarding Taiwan using 900 ballistic missiles in what can only be described as a drive-by shooting against Taiwan's leaders?

Just how do you take over another country by just taking pot shots at installations and leaders? What is this, gang warfare on a national scale?

A decapitation strike only makes sense if the Chinese follow-up with invasion to exploit the resulting damage and chaos.

If there is no invasion, the Taiwanese will recover and will likely be fairly angry--and better prepared for the next round.

Assuming the Chinese will simply fire off their missiles and do nothing more seems more like a convenient excuse by the Taiwanese not to modernize Taiwan's military sufficiently to hold of a serious Chinese attack that attempts to capture Taiwan and not just damage the island.