The military has concluded a series of simulated cyber warfare maneuvers in which the various branches of the armed forces conducted mock counterattacks on China's coastal military targets following a surprise attack by China, military sources said yesterday.
The round-the-clock five-day computerized warfare simulation, which ended on Friday, was part of the annual "Han Kuang" series of combined services military exercises aimed at honing combat strategies and battlefield management tactics, the sources said.
This year's cyber wargames also marked the first time the armed forces practiced counterattack strategies and skills in simulated warfare drills, the sources said, adding that in the mock counterattacks, Taiwanese troops struck coastal Chinese military targets and booming cities with such weapons as cruise missiles and short-range ballistic missiles.
The military's Joint Operations Command Center, the Joint Operations Training Center and tactical command offices at various strategic military units took part in the computerized maneuvers, the sources said, adding that a US delegation, headed by former Pacific Command commander-in-chief Admiral Dennis Blair, was on hand to observe the process.
The Ministry of National Defense is scheduled to brief the press on the details of the "Han Kuang 23" maneuvers at its routine news conference on Tuesday, the sources said.
Sources also said that the wargame scenario was set in 2012 at a time when China, frustrated by Taiwan's long-term resistance to unification talks, decides to take advantage of Taiwan's procrastination in military arsenal upgrades to accelerate its push for unification by launching an all-out surprise attack on Taiwan proper and its outlying island of Penghu.
In the first three days of the simulated Chinese invasion, Taiwan incurred severe human and material losses from China's saturation ballistic missile assault as well as naval and aerial bombardment.
Afterwards, Taiwan's armed forces managed to stage counterattacks on China's coastal military targets and major cities, causing heavy human casualties and major destruction.
In the scenario, the military strikes had a heavy toll on the economic wellbeing of both sides of the Taiwan Strait and adversely impacted the global economy, causing worldwide panic. In the end, the US and other Western countries mediated a ceasefire.
In a departure from media speculation, however, the wargames did not cover the use of nuclear weapons or Taiwanese attacks on Chinese aircraft carrier battle groups, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the US observation group paid special attention to Taiwanese military personnel's "combat spirit" to determine if morale had been affected by the political infighting that followed the transition of power in 2000.
In weighing the military's "combat spirit," the sources said, the US delegation wanted to determine whether Taiwan would likely lean toward China and whether any advanced US-built weapons systems or sophisticated defense plans would end up in Beijing's hands.
Following the completion of the maneuvers, the military would in initiate a five-day psychological warfare training program aimed at enhancing service members' combat morale, battlefield adaptability and stress management.
The "Han Kuang" series is the largest combined services military exercise in Taiwan. In addition to the computer wargames, it covers live-fire military maneuvers, which will be held later this year.
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