Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Not Ready for Prime Time

The Chinese navy is making great strides in getting ready for war. But there are serious deficiencies, too:

Chinese ships are not trained or equipped to operate effectively far from China. Just invading Taiwan, which is two hundred kilometers from the Chinese coast, is seen as a major undertaking. The navy also has little experience in joint operations (cooperating closely with the army and air force.) There are also serious weaknesses in C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance). Long range surveillance and targeting is a major problem. Against modern equipment, the navy would have a problem with anti-air warfare (AAW), antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and naval mines. Finally, the navy has a shabby logistics system.

As I have written every time that something like this comes up, I agree 100%. The Chinese navy can't beat ours. This is also irrelevant. As I also invariably go on to note, China needs to have a navy that can defeat Taiwan--not the United States and Japan. All China needs to do regarding America and Japan is to deter America long enough to complete the conquest of Taiwan.

That task is far more doable for China. Can they now? Or will they be able to invade soon? These are the only real questions we should be answering--not whether China can beat us at sea.

The Chinese want Taiwan. They are getting set to take Taiwan. When do they go?