Friday, February 19, 2010

Make the PLA Fight For Every Inch of Ground

In the debate over how Taiwan can prevent China from conquering it, I find this advice to be ridiculous:

Tamkang University's Lin argues that Taiwan needs F-16s and submarines. But as a last resort, it should also develop a lower-tech deterrent to dissuade China from attempting an occupation of the island.

"Taiwan needs to develop its asymmetrical capabilities, because we cannot confront the PLA head-on," he says. He envisions home-grown, perhaps US-trained "cement jungle guerrilla warfare" units, consisting of trained reserves and snipers who can operate independently and harass PLA occupiers.

"When the PLA comes, let them in – don't engage in bloody, Stalingrad-type warfare," he says. "Give them one shot today, two tomorrow, and three afterward, so they cannot conclude a war." [emphasis added]

Excuse me? I think it is fine to prepare for guerrilla war as a last resort. But the idea that the Taiwanese should fight in the strait but basically fold their hand if the Chinese make it ashore in force is folly. The Taiwanese darned well better engage in bloody urban warfare. Even if the Chinese get ashore they have the task of holding against counter-attack and bulding up their forces faster than the Taiwanese can knock them out.
If the Taiwanese surrender their cities and people, China will win. Do you seriously believe China is unwilling to be as brutal as possible to suppress Taiwanese resistance? Do you really believe the Chinese could find no collaborators to form a "Taiwanese" puppet government? Shoot, if I was in charge in Peking, I'd ship out native Taiwanese by the millions to become involuntary colonists in Tibet and the Moslem west where the disloyal Taiwanese will find themselves viewed as "Chinese" with the choice of becoming the de facto instrument of Chinese ethnic cleansing of those ethnic minorities or suffering at the hands of the angry locals. I'd ship in ethnic Chinese to replace those Taiwanese expelled.
It is folly for the Taiwanese to think in any terms other than fighting as hard as possible, from the Chinese ports and airfields from where the invasion force will come, to the strait, to the air, to the airfields, beaches and ports in Taiwan where the Chinese will land, in the cities, and--yes, just in case--behind enemy lines as irregulars. Do all that and the Chinese will think twice about even starting an invasion.