Friday, November 30, 2012

Area Denial and Anti-Access

Taiwan has realized that ships can't land troops on Taiwan if they can't reach the shore:

Taiwan is planning to make a new generation of "smart" mines that can be deployed in shallow water to boost its defences against a potential invasion by China, Taiwanese media said on Thursday.

I do believe I mentioned this rather recently. Mines are an under appreciated weapon.

The first article also notes one place to place mine fields:

Taiwan's west coast features a large number of estuaries, adding to the island's vulnerability, as an attacker does not have to invade across the beaches but can also move upriver and disembark further inland.

Yes, like right near the capital up the Tamshui River.

I hope Taiwan doesn't over-complicate this. Even basic mines will slow down or halt Chinese landing attempts. Iraq gave us fits in 1991 with pretty basic mines off the coast of Kuwait, although we could have pushed through them if we'd been willing to suffer the necessary casualties. So I don't mean to say China would have the same problem.

Nonetheless, more important than getting perfect mines one day is getting a lot, having the capability of laying a lot of them very quickly, and having the situational awareness that doesn't make the decision to lay the mines when Chinese mechanized forces are landing close to the city center of Taipei while paratroopers land at the airport.