Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Victory in Five Years

Even though a past article I read said that analysts thought China would simply bombard Taiwan in order to capture the island (which I thought was ridiculous), the Taiwanese ran an invasion scenario that they concluded they'd win:

A computer simulation projected that China could land forces on rival Taiwan, but they would be repulsed after two weeks of fierce fighting and harsh losses to both sides, Taiwan's military said Tuesday.

The details in the story were interesting:

In the simulation, Chinese ships ferry forces to the island, backed by heavy missile barrages and pinpoint airstrikes on Taiwanese military bases and other strategic facilities.

The "invaders" establish beachheads along Taiwan's west coast, though their arrival is delayed for several days by Taiwanese missile strikes on mainland military bases, and by Taiwanese navy counterattacks.

The simulation has western Taiwan radar stations, missile bases and airports taking a heavy pounding, but ground forces hold down casualty numbers by taking cover in specially prepared areas.

After two weeks of fierce fighting, Taiwan's army corners and destroys the mainland Chinese invaders.

In addition:

Taiwanese Lt. Gen. Hsu Tai-sheng said the simulation highlighted shortcomings in the island's military preparedness.

"The Chinese communists pose a severe threat to our naval vessels with their superior submarines," Hsu said. "And as their jet fighters far outnumber ours, we would suffer great damage to our air force."

He also said Taiwan's anti-missile and anti-submarine capabilities seemed hard-pressed to deal with the threats they face from China's continuing military buildup.

The computer simulation envisioned no role for the United States in the fighting, Hsu said, despite American hints that Washington would come to Taiwan's aid if China attacks.

I must say that I find it hard to believe that the Taiwanese would attack the Chinese fleet before the Chinese were actually at sea and heading for Taiwan. So I don't think that the Taiwanese could actually delay the landings by a few days.

I also doubt the Taiwanese army magically avoids being hit no matter how specially prepared their assembly areas are.

Plus, I really doubt the Taiwanese would hit the Chinese mainland before China actually attacks.

And I find it interesting that the Taiwanese assume they'd fight on their own. This is a great improvement. I'd read the Taiwanese assumed they'd need to fight no more than four days.

Heck, just assuming they have ammunition to fight two weeks is great.

Further, there is no mention of Chinese airborne landings.

Assuming that Taiwan maintains air and naval superiority despite challenges isn't out of the question, so I can buy this assumption.

Of course, the timeframe for this victory was 2012. Not next year.

I'd really like to know what improvements the Taiwanese assume take place over the next five years to bring this result. And I'd really like to know what the results of the simulation are for next year. Or even 2011. Did the Taiwanese report results for the earliest year that brought success? With assumptions that may or may not take place?

Still, I think it is wise to assume an invasion scenario when it comes to plotting possible Chinese actions to resolve the Taiwan question.

More important, I'd like to know what the Chinese simulations show. That's the important test. The Chinese will decide whether to attack based on their reality.