Wed, Jul 23, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Military berated for use of ‘dummy guards’ in Taoyuan

By Rich Chang and Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTERS, WITH AGENCIES

The military came under fire from legislators yesterday after it was revealed that dummy soldiers had been used to stand guard at an army base in Taoyuan County.

The storm of criticism came after Chinese-language media reported that an artillery unit had posted dummy soldiers at guard posts at the army’s Sixth Legion Artillery Command Headquarters, located at Tungshih Base in Taoyuan County’s Pingchen Township (平鎮), raising worries over a possible shortage of manpower.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said the military’s use of dummies to stand guard at a military base was “a joke” and asked whether the army would also send dummies if it had to fight a war.

Tsai said the morale of the military had suffered since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) came into office in May because his polices have focused on China.

In response, the Ministry of National Defense’s Joint Warfare Planning Department director, Hau Yi-chi (郝以知), said yesterday the dummies were part of “decoy tactics” used at the base.

“It is part and parcel of military tactics and it is nothing new. In addition to dummy guards, we also use mock tanks and mock camps to confuse enemies in case they are taking satellite pictures,” Hau said, adding that the military would continue to use dummy guards “irregularly,” albeit only at night.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said that if the military wants to use dummies, “it should at least use more realistic ones rather than something that can be instantly recognized as fake.”

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