Tue, Mar 22, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Military denies having plans to create elite unit

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA AND AFP

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied the existence of any plan to organize an additional elite unit for counter-terrorism or to guard against a "decapitation strike" from China, as reported by local media.

Fielding questions at a meeting of the legislature's National Defense Committee, Vice Minister of National Defense Huo Shou-yeh (霍守業) and Army Commander-in-Chief General Chu Kai-sheng (朱凱生) said the report was just speculation.

According to the report, the army is planning to organize a 400-member elite unit to cope with possible terrorist attacks and a Chinese "decapitation" attack against Taiwan.

Decapitation strategies short-circuit command and control systems, wipe out nationwide nerve centers and leave the opponent hopelessly immobilized. Many military observers say China is very likely to use this strategy to invade Taiwan by seizing its center of power, Taipei and its top leaders.

Under the Cabinet's counter-terrorism action plan, Huo said, the military is tasked with offering necessary support. Against this backdrop, Huo said, the military is determined to beef up its special forces' combat capabilities.

Huo also denied a report that Taiwan and Singapore will hold joint wargames for the first time in three decades.

According to the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper), the drill involving a Taiwanese motorized infantry battalion and a Singapore brigade being trained in this country would be staged in Hengchun County starting later this month.

"It is not true," Huo said in response to reporters' questions.

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