Tue, Jun 26, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Taiwan must prepare for blockade

By Strobe Driver

The conflict then drifts into an asymmetrical one, where constant harassment, brief, focused and opportunistic skirmishes — known as “firefights” — take place against either the invading force directly or its domestic recruits.

The point for the recalcitrant and fighting irregulars is to seek victory by harassment and not get involved in prolonged battles, as they would be wiped out by the superior firepower of the invading force.

However, any fortified zones that the invading force sets up must be constantly harassed with the aim of inducing exhaustion and lack of motivation, as was true of the hilltop “firebases” that the US and South Vietnamese forces used during the Vietnam War and of the walled compounds in Afghanistan.

The success of this type of warfare can be seen as the reason that North Vietnamese forces eventually won — because they did not mount continuous force-on-force collisions, while the US and its allies, and their domestic populations became increasingly casualty-averse.

Notwithstanding all of the aforementioned, what does this have to do with China invading?

China will not invade in the traditional WWII method: As has been borne out by history, confronting dug-in, fortified positions in defined areas where artillery and air assets are able to be directed en masse and an invading force can become bogged down is a suicidal tactical move.

It should be further noted that if a large-scale invasion by Chinese forces — colloquially referred to as a “million man swim” by military strategists — was undertaken and failed on the beachheads of Taiwan, that would pose an enormous problem to the Chinese government.

Certainly, no government, whatever its political credo, is immune to the extreme societal disruption that defeat brings — be it communist or otherwise.

It is here that history can be reintroduced, and a clue to what China would set out to achieve in its irredentist claim to Taiwan and what can be assumed would be undertaken in the 21st century.

To be sure, when China goes to war with Taiwan, it will embark upon the type of war that Britain exalted in when it controlled the known world: “opportunistic war.”

Adrian Lewis in his book Omaha Beach: A Flawed Victory says that the British practice of warfare in broad terms de-emphasized direct confrontation and emphasized surprise, mobility, maneuver and peripheral attacks followed by the erosion of the enemy’s domestic economy, which diminished its capacity to resist.

The awareness for China would be to do what the British did for more than a century and its aim would be to push Taiwan into an untenable position that favored China in any negotiations.

Taiwan would not be able to resist continuous peripheral attacks and the economy would turn down sharply; the standard of living would fall exponentially; and replacing armaments and personnel would prove incrementally more difficult.

For a highly industrialized, mechanized and educated society, the domestic turmoil that would be caused has the makings of an apocalyptic setting as a downward moderation of living standards would continue; and a complete fracturing of operating as a developed nation would take place.

China would exaggerate this state of affairs with continual coastal and inland air and expeditionary military incursions and harassments, missile strikes and destruction of core infrastructure.

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