Tue, Jun 26, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Taiwan must prepare for blockade

By Strobe Driver

To be sure and to emphasize that this is not the exclusive domain of China, Russia has an irredentist attitude to Ukraine; Britain to the Falkland Islands; and the US to Hawaii.

Irredentist policies also encourage strategic aggrandizement, which comprises “we are stronger than ever before and we now demand our ‘rights,’” and there is a willingness to involve brinkmanship, which is the ability to challenge the status quo and remain steadfast in the face of the opposition.

The US in Vietnam and the French in Algeria are historical models of the policy of brinkmanship, although it ended in the defeat of both.

The presentation then moved on to the greatest fear for Taiwan: invasion by Chinese forces. The contemporary “model” of invasion is predicated on the task and overall success of the WWII Normandy invasion by allied forces on the beaches of France.

There is a palpable fear that would argue that this type of large-scale action could happen to Taiwan.

First and foremost, it is highly unlikely, as war and warfare have moved on. There is a need to explain why.

The force-on-force collision that took place in June 1944 was a specific action designed to accomplish two objectives. The first was to put German coastal forces under immediate and consistent defensive pressure; and the second and more important objective was to motivate German forces that were inland of the beaches to leave their cover and drive toward the beaches, where the invasion was taking place.

What this would do, and succeeded in achieving, was to allow Allied paratroopers and glider-borne forces that had been inserted behind the German frontline — with some guidance from their French partisan allies — to harass and disrupt the Germans as they progressed toward the coast.

Moreover, the German forces would also be strafed and bombed consistently by fighter and fighter-bomber aircraft in what were designated “free fire zones,” which further complicated German movements. It was a classic divide-and-conquer maneuver by Allied forces.

Notwithstanding the eventual success of the landings, this type of large-scale deployment and subsequent confrontation has not been successful overall since 1944 — although there were similar tactical components in the Korean War, they did not proceed beyond that.

Since 1944, with the exception of a few minor actions in the Korean War — in which WWII strategies remained robust — when a country invades another, there has been a brief force-on-force symmetrical or defined front lines encounter — such as when the US and its allies invaded Iraq in 1990. However, this practice has not produced the successful results of WWII.

Static confrontation are no longer the model that those being confronted utilize after the initial impact. To wit, after the initial action, the domestic military forces that have survived and their rear-echelon compatriots tend to disband and discreetly move to their “comfort zones.”

These can comprise a clan, tribe, historic family zone, political sector, village or a myriad of other protection areas. Crucially however, they remain armed and dangerous to the invaders cum occupiers. This has happened with Islamic State group militants in the Philippines and remains a constant problem for NATO forces in Afghanistan.

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