Sat, Jul 28, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Bolstering national defense strategy

By James Tzeng 曾復生

According to research by leading US defense think tanks the National Bureau of Asian Research, the Rand Corporation and the American Enterprise Institute, even though the military balance across the Taiwan Strait is tilted toward China, Taiwan has built a pragmatic defense strategy and matches it with clear and wise political choices. Beijing will have to carefully evaluate the cost and negative political consequences of a military invasion.

Based on Taiwan’s unique strategic environment, the three think tanks proposed eight key points to bolster its defense strategy.

First, develop an “all-out defense” to unite the public, build capability to respond to threats and intimidation from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and expand military cooperation with the US.

Second, maintain constructive relationships with Washington and Beijing by balancing friendly relations with the US and peaceful ties with China.

Third, develop a dialogue mechanism to prevent war, as well as disaster prevention, and rescue and humanitarian relief capabilities.

Fourth, bolster Taiwan’s role in the global information technology (IT) industry supply chain and form an interdependent IT alliance with world powers to deter the CCP’s military threats.

Fifth, plan a “four-circle strategy” to boost overall military power and determination, increasing the likely cost of a Chinese invasion to deter Beijing from any rash military moves.

Sixth, plan for a force preservation strategy to enhance the capability to deter China from launching an attack.

Seventh, improve communication competence among officers to coordinate operations with the US military.

Eighth, respond to the rising threat of cyberinformation and psychological warfare, and promote a partnership with the US Cyber Command to give full play to Taiwan’s advantage in terms of psychological and cyberwarfare, improving the value and capabilities of Taiwan-US defense cooperation.

If China takes military action, ballistic and cruise missiles are likely to be used in the first strike. Missiles and uncrewed fighter jets will be deployed to destroy runways at military airports, and exhaust air-defense missiles and fighters.

Large numbers of fighters and bombers will then be sent to devastate military facilities and fighters hidden in caves. However, Taiwan could still prevent China from carrying out large landing operations by employing a “four-circle strategy.”

The first “circle” would be to use land and air-based anti-ship missiles to sink Chinese warships. The second would be to obstruct or delay the operations of the Chinese landing fleet with sea mines. The third would be to use mobile short-range missiles to attack invading vessels. The fourth would be to use attack helicopters, tanks, cannons and bombs to destroy landing vessels and troops.

If the Chinese troops were to land, they would only be able to win if they could deliver tens of thousands of soldiers and massive backup firepower. Once a Chinese invasion began, the whole military and public would uphold an all-out defense and make full use of missiles, weapons and attack helicopters in combination with tanks and artillery.

This constitutes a powerful deterrent.

If China does not have a strong political will to invade, it might give up on the idea of military actions after considering the military cost.

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