US-based Foreign Policy magazine says that Taiwan should “mimic mainland China’s missile program” rather than ask the US to sell it advanced F-16C/D aircraft.
“Mobile launchers, which unlike airfields could evade detection and targeting, could support both -battlefield and strategic missiles that could hold targets on the mainland at risk,” says an article on the magazine’s Web site called “This Week at War: Rumsfeld’s Revenge.”
“Such a program could do a better job of restoring a military balance across the Taiwan Strait than would fixed-wing aircraft operating from vulnerable bases,” said the article by Robert Haddick, who writes a weekly column for the magazine.
Haddrick adds that Taiwan has long been pursuing a variety of indigenous missile types, but that engineers have yet to work all of the bugs out.
“A test last week of a new supersonic anti-ship cruise missile failed to find its target. This followed two more failed tests earlier this year of other missile designs,” he says. “But Taiwan’s struggle to adapt to the immense missile threat from the mainland — over a thousand ballistic missiles are now aimed at Taiwan and a hundred more are added every year — also applies to US military strategy in the region.”
“United States military plans can no more rely on fixed bases and concentrated surface naval forces than Taiwan can. In the meantime, Taiwan could use some missile engineers instead of more F-16s,” he says.
Haddick, managing editor of Small Wars Journal and a former US Marine Corps officer, reports that the administration of US President Barack Obama sold Taiwan a package of exclusively defensive equipment in January last year and that as a result “blew up” the Pentagon’s relationship with Beijing for more than a year.
“An F-16 deal would undoubtedly be even more explosive,” Haddrick’s article says.
It says that both former US president George W Bush and Obama have demurred on Taiwan’s F-16 request “for good reason.” China’s ballistic and cruise missile force is more than capable of crushing Taiwan’s airfields, rendering its fixed-wing air power nearly useless, it says.
“Anticipating this, Taiwan has plans to fly its fighters from highways. But this is no way to generate enough sorties to confront a high-intensity attack from China,” he says. “Fighter aircraft need maintenance, fuel, ordnance and much other support, all of which are efficiently located at modern airbases, not by the side of a highway.”
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up