Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sheer Speculation

Another point from the 2005 Defense Department report on China's military power. On page 30, the report states that the nuclear Second Artillery, which controls nuclear missiles, has a regimental-sized reconnaissance element.

What on Earth is that? That puzzled me to no end. Ground troops for reconnaissance on nuclear strikes? This does not make any sense.

The next page explains the purpose of the recon element:

Second Artillery reconnaissance elements [are] to provide targeting information and battle damage assessments.

I hate to question the Department of Defense on this since I haven't studied this issue, but a saner explanation might foresee using the recon elements as a strategic force to strike enemy nuke assets. Training with the nuke boys in China gives the troops knowledge of what they'd be looking for if they dropped on an enemy site. They'd understand what an enemy would have to protect and launch nuclear missiles or bombs. They'd be able to get to the nuclear warheads or bombs much quicker with this knowledge.

While this mission wouldn't make any sense against America with our dispersed nuclear assets, if the Chines suspected that Taiwan had developed a small nuclear deterrent in secret, the Taiwanese would be likely to have a single site with the nukes. Dropping elements of a regiment of Chinese infantry that knows the difference between nuclear missiles and conventional missiles would be of tremendous help in taking away Taiwan's nuclear deterrent without a Chinese nuclear strike.

I'm sorry, but I just can't buy the idea that guys with binoculars are going to call in nuclear strikes and stick around to announce whether another nuke is needed or not.