America can defend Taiwan

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cassowary
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America can defend Taiwan

Post by cassowary » Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:52 pm

I am not sure but hope the writer is correct.

See article.
The Biden administration faces a stark reality: Over the next four years it’s possible that China will try to take Taiwan. For the first time since 1950, Beijing may reasonably think it has a viable military option to force what it regards as a renegade province to heel. President Xi Jinping has said Taiwan must be part of China—and has signaled he intends to do something about it.

The stakes for America are immense. Keeping Taiwan out of Beijing’s grip is crucial for denying China’s goal of attaining regional hegemony and eventually global pre-eminence. The island occupies a pivotal geographic position. If Taiwan falls, China would have the ability to project military power throughout Asia. Japan, the Philippines, Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands would all be more vulnerable to China’s military.

The U.S. has long opposed China’s belligerence toward Taiwan, and states in the region would read the U.S. response to an attack as a bellwether of American reliability. Forgoing Taiwan’s defense would seriously undermine America’s credibility among already nervous Asian allies and partners. For these reasons, the recently declassified 2018 Indo-Pacific strategy specifically ordered the Pentagon to implement a defense strategy that will make the U.S. capable of defending Taiwan.

But can America even defend Taiwan from a China that has become so powerful? The People’s Liberation Army is growing stronger at an astonishingly fast rate. The PLA Navy already has more ships than the U.S. Navy, its air forces are the largest in the region, and Beijing also boasts the world’s largest missile force. Beijing seeks to reach technical parity with America’s armed forces by the 2020s, and surpass us by 2030.

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Despite all this, the answer is yes. Defeating a PLA attack would be far from easy or cheap, and being ready to do so will involve wrenching changes in the U.S. and Taiwanese defense establishments. But it is doable.


It would be harder than often appreciated for China to bring Taiwan to its knees. It is true that Taiwan is less than 100 miles off the Chinese coast. But to subordinate Taiwan, China would either have to invade and occupy the island or blockade or bombard it into submission. Any of these courses would be very difficult if China faced a sophisticated and prepared defense, especially combined with Taiwan’s resolute population that has watched Beijing bludgeon Hong Kong’s freedoms.

Invasion is Beijing’s cleanest option, especially a fait accompli that takes the island before the U.S. can mobilize a sufficient response. In such circumstances, Beijing might gamble that Americans would judge the costs and risks of ejecting an entrenched PLA as too great. But to pull this off, China would have to ferry and sustain by sea and air an army large enough to seize and hold an island with 24 million people. This might be feasible if the PLA attacks a Taiwan standing alone. But taking a Taiwan backed up by a well-prepared U.S. military is a far different proposition. Amphibious invasions against a capable, prepared defense are very hard.

To put it simply, defeating a Chinese invasion would require the U.S., Taiwan and any other engaged parties to cripple or destroy enough Chinese amphibious ships and transport aircraft to prevent the PLA from holding the island. For a country spending more than $700 billion a year on defense, this is a tractable problem, if America focuses on it.

But the U.S. must do four things, urgently. First, deploy an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system to monitor Chinese airfields and ports of embarkation, and to target Chinese invasion forces should conflict erupt. Second, buy more long-range munitions, especially antiship weapons, and position them in the region at sea and in places like Guam, Japan and the Philippines. This would help make the U.S. ready to blunt the initial waves of the Chinese amphibious fleet and air-assault elements. Third, have powerful forces further back in the Pacific and beyond ready to reinforce those blunting forces. Fourth, routinely exercise these three components together to demonstrate to Chinese military planners that launching an attack would be unlikely to succeed.

The U.S. can likewise handle a Chinese attempt to blockade or bombard Taiwan into submission. Especially with American support, the Taiwanese would be unlikely to buckle under such pressure, even if brutal, since the alternative is to be swallowed up by Xi Jinping’s China. This is especially true if Taiwan had stockpiled enough food, energy supplies and other essentials. A well-prepared U.S. could also conduct a “Taipei sealift” to deliver the supplies needed to prevent China’s from strangling the island’s populace.

Firm and resolute U.S. action is necessary to prevent Asia from falling under Beijing’s hegemony. Cutting Taiwan loose would undercut Washington’s precious credibility in the region while uncorking Chinese power projection.


Ensuring that the U.S. can defend the island will take focus and heavy investment from both America and Taiwan. But it can be done. And that will be a small price to pay to make sure China doesn’t get the wrong idea—with catastrophic results.

Mr. Colby is a principal at the Marathon Initiative. He served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, 2017-18.
Maybe for now. But for how long more? China will overtake the US economically, as well as militarily maybe by 2030. Then it will dominate Asia, including Australia. Our only hope is to spark a Chinese revolution in China. Overthrow the CCP.
The Imp :D

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Sertorio
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Re: America can defend Taiwan

Post by Sertorio » Wed Jan 27, 2021 2:33 am

cassowary wrote:
Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:52 pm
I am not sure but hope the writer is correct.

See article.
The Biden administration faces a stark reality: Over the next four years it’s possible that China will try to take Taiwan. For the first time since 1950, Beijing may reasonably think it has a viable military option to force what it regards as a renegade province to heel. President Xi Jinping has said Taiwan must be part of China—and has signaled he intends to do something about it.

The stakes for America are immense. Keeping Taiwan out of Beijing’s grip is crucial for denying China’s goal of attaining regional hegemony and eventually global pre-eminence. The island occupies a pivotal geographic position. If Taiwan falls, China would have the ability to project military power throughout Asia. Japan, the Philippines, Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands would all be more vulnerable to China’s military.

The U.S. has long opposed China’s belligerence toward Taiwan, and states in the region would read the U.S. response to an attack as a bellwether of American reliability. Forgoing Taiwan’s defense would seriously undermine America’s credibility among already nervous Asian allies and partners. For these reasons, the recently declassified 2018 Indo-Pacific strategy specifically ordered the Pentagon to implement a defense strategy that will make the U.S. capable of defending Taiwan.

But can America even defend Taiwan from a China that has become so powerful? The People’s Liberation Army is growing stronger at an astonishingly fast rate. The PLA Navy already has more ships than the U.S. Navy, its air forces are the largest in the region, and Beijing also boasts the world’s largest missile force. Beijing seeks to reach technical parity with America’s armed forces by the 2020s, and surpass us by 2030.

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Opinion: Morning Editorial Report
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Despite all this, the answer is yes. Defeating a PLA attack would be far from easy or cheap, and being ready to do so will involve wrenching changes in the U.S. and Taiwanese defense establishments. But it is doable.


It would be harder than often appreciated for China to bring Taiwan to its knees. It is true that Taiwan is less than 100 miles off the Chinese coast. But to subordinate Taiwan, China would either have to invade and occupy the island or blockade or bombard it into submission. Any of these courses would be very difficult if China faced a sophisticated and prepared defense, especially combined with Taiwan’s resolute population that has watched Beijing bludgeon Hong Kong’s freedoms.

Invasion is Beijing’s cleanest option, especially a fait accompli that takes the island before the U.S. can mobilize a sufficient response. In such circumstances, Beijing might gamble that Americans would judge the costs and risks of ejecting an entrenched PLA as too great. But to pull this off, China would have to ferry and sustain by sea and air an army large enough to seize and hold an island with 24 million people. This might be feasible if the PLA attacks a Taiwan standing alone. But taking a Taiwan backed up by a well-prepared U.S. military is a far different proposition. Amphibious invasions against a capable, prepared defense are very hard.

To put it simply, defeating a Chinese invasion would require the U.S., Taiwan and any other engaged parties to cripple or destroy enough Chinese amphibious ships and transport aircraft to prevent the PLA from holding the island. For a country spending more than $700 billion a year on defense, this is a tractable problem, if America focuses on it.

But the U.S. must do four things, urgently. First, deploy an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system to monitor Chinese airfields and ports of embarkation, and to target Chinese invasion forces should conflict erupt. Second, buy more long-range munitions, especially antiship weapons, and position them in the region at sea and in places like Guam, Japan and the Philippines. This would help make the U.S. ready to blunt the initial waves of the Chinese amphibious fleet and air-assault elements. Third, have powerful forces further back in the Pacific and beyond ready to reinforce those blunting forces. Fourth, routinely exercise these three components together to demonstrate to Chinese military planners that launching an attack would be unlikely to succeed.

The U.S. can likewise handle a Chinese attempt to blockade or bombard Taiwan into submission. Especially with American support, the Taiwanese would be unlikely to buckle under such pressure, even if brutal, since the alternative is to be swallowed up by Xi Jinping’s China. This is especially true if Taiwan had stockpiled enough food, energy supplies and other essentials. A well-prepared U.S. could also conduct a “Taipei sealift” to deliver the supplies needed to prevent China’s from strangling the island’s populace.

Firm and resolute U.S. action is necessary to prevent Asia from falling under Beijing’s hegemony. Cutting Taiwan loose would undercut Washington’s precious credibility in the region while uncorking Chinese power projection.


Ensuring that the U.S. can defend the island will take focus and heavy investment from both America and Taiwan. But it can be done. And that will be a small price to pay to make sure China doesn’t get the wrong idea—with catastrophic results.

Mr. Colby is a principal at the Marathon Initiative. He served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, 2017-18.
Maybe for now. But for how long more? China will overtake the US economically, as well as militarily maybe by 2030. Then it will dominate Asia, including Australia. Our only hope is to spark a Chinese revolution in China. Overthrow the CCP.
The US no longer can defend Taiwan from a mainland takeover, but it can make sure that such a takeover would cost the lives of maybe hundreds of thousand of Taiwanese. Is that what you want? And don't forget that the KMT might not assist in the defense of Taiwan against mainland China. At least some of them may see the Beijing government as the maker of KMT's dream of a Great China...

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Alexis
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Taiwan can defend Taiwan

Post by Alexis » Wed Jan 27, 2021 3:56 pm

cassowary wrote:
Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:52 pm
I am not sure but hope the writer is correct.

See article.
Yes, he is.

I suspect the situation is even more favorable to Taiwan's defense than what he describes.

The U.S. has long opposed China’s belligerence toward Taiwan, and states in the region would read the U.S. response to an attack as a bellwether of American reliability. Forgoing Taiwan’s defense would seriously undermine America’s credibility among already nervous Asian allies and partners.
US forgoing Taiwan's defense if China mainland attacked it would have as consequences Japanese and South Korean nuclear tests within a couple years, if not within six months.

I don't think Washington would like to see that. Nor, actually, would Beijing :)

It would be harder than often appreciated for China to bring Taiwan to its knees. It is true that Taiwan is less than 100 miles off the Chinese coast. But to subordinate Taiwan, China would either have to invade and occupy the island or blockade or bombard it into submission. Any of these courses would be very difficult if China faced a sophisticated and prepared defense, especially combined with Taiwan’s resolute population that has watched Beijing bludgeon Hong Kong’s freedoms.
Exactly. Amphibious invasions are HARD. There is a reason why Napoléon never invaded Britain even at the peak of France's power. The same reason why Hitler never invaded either, even as Britain had virtually no Army left. That reason is: 30 km of sea. Well, the distance between Taiwan and the mainland is more than three times larger.

Invasion is Beijing’s cleanest option, especially a fait accompli that takes the island before the U.S. can mobilize a sufficient response.
"Cleanest" :roll: ? It would be a bloodbath for Chinese amphibious forces. For sure, Taiwan is much less powerful than China militarily... but it does have serious weaponry. And amphibious ships are large and visible and vulnerable.

But to pull this off, China would have to ferry and sustain by sea and air an army large enough to seize and hold an island with 24 million people.
The 1944 Normandy landing was a remarkable example of successful amphibious landing against significant opposition. Three crucial differences for a CCP landing attempt against Taiwan:
- Even recently enlarged, Chinese amphibious forces are but a tiny fraction of what US-UK amphibious forces were in 1944
- The Allies had total air dominance, while Taiwan has a serious Air Force which Beijing would need time to overcome
- German forces were hindered by French resistance forces blocking reinforcements to Normandy through train sabotage, while China would get no such help

Even then, success of Normandy landings was nothing like a done deal, and there was a real risk the Germans would prevail. That's how difficult landings are.

And we have not yet begun to speak of potential (in fact very probable) US help! :D

To put it simply, defeating a Chinese invasion would require the U.S., Taiwan and any other engaged parties to cripple or destroy enough Chinese amphibious ships and transport aircraft to prevent the PLA from holding the island. For a country spending more than $700 billion a year on defense, this is a tractable problem, if America focuses on it.
Not only that, but even in the very unlikely situation when Taiwan would be at risk of being overwhelmed by a CCP invasion, America has right now everything it would need to defeat the invaders.

Two words: submarines, bombers.

- China has made great strides in military technology. But not in all sectors. They continue to be lacking in nuclear submarines, while the US has by far the largest SSN fleet, and one of the most modern (only surpassed by the UK). To a stealthy SSN commander, there are only two kinds of ships: other submarines on the one hand, targets on the other hand. Even a couple superior SSNs would be enough to wreak havoc on an invasion fleet.

- The US have the largest and most modern long range bombing fleet, including 60+ B1 and 20 B2, sporting long range cruise missiles which could cripple Chinese military harbours and antiship missiles which could sink invasion ships. Protecting against such is much more easily said than done, especially regarding cruise missiles which can be fired from 1,000 km + away. America would probably lose a few bombers, but the invasion would be stopped

Then obviously there are US aircraft carriers. But they would need time to get to the battle front, while bombers can be sent within 24 hours thanks to air refueling and some of America's 50+ SSNs are definitely cruising in Western Pacific at any time.

But the U.S. must do four things, urgently.
Gib us monies! And monies! And monies! Then more monies! :D

Seriously: that part is much less convincing. The author may want more money for US forces, but America is well powerful enough right now for that kind of mission... which in addition would merely come on top of Taiwan prevailing even alone anyway.

The U.S. can likewise handle a Chinese attempt to blockade or bombard Taiwan into submission. Especially with American support, the Taiwanese would be unlikely to buckle under such pressure, even if brutal, since the alternative is to be swallowed up by Xi Jinping’s China. This is especially true if Taiwan had stockpiled enough food, energy supplies and other essentials. A well-prepared U.S. could also conduct a “Taipei sealift” to deliver the supplies needed to prevent China’s from strangling the island’s populace.
Yes, and that's merely the "soft" option to counter a blockade.

A more robust option, given that blockades are by international law acts of war, is to answer war with war.

And sink the CCP fleet.

Maybe for now. But for how long more? China will overtake the US economically, as well as militarily maybe by 2030. Then it will dominate Asia, including Australia. Our only hope is to spark a Chinese revolution in China. Overthrow the CCP.
China's military power is powerful and ascendant, but the CCP has created for China a difficult situation: it is feared and distrusted by all its neighbours except Russia. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Australia... and also last but not least India are all working on their respective military potential as a result. To America, they are an "ally-rich environment"...

Of course, there was no compulsory reason for all these countries to fear China. But the CCP created such reasons with strategically stupid policies: worrying Japan for a little island (Senkaku), attacking India for a few useless mountains, applying "might makes right" in the South China sea... Playing the bully in all directions had very small if any benefit to China, and very negative consequences: being surrounded by a host of defiant countries is not good, even if each is less powerful than oneself, because they are numerous and they are everywhere!

Xi Jinping is stupid at a Kaiser Wilhelm II level. China is unfortunate to have such a dictator at her helm.

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Sertorio
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Re: America can defend Taiwan

Post by Sertorio » Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:34 pm

Alexis,

You are wrong on most counts.

The US cannot fight China on land, as it doesn't have the manpower to do it. It can only use its air force and navy, and for the air force it is dependent on two or three aircraft carriers - which would be sunk within hours of the start of any fighting - and on the bases on Guam and Okinawa, which would be made unusable by China's missile force. After that no American aircraft could be active over the West Pacific. As to the navy, only US submarines might survive long enough to be used in combat. Not enough to stop an invading Chinese force against Taiwan.

Taiwan's forces would be quickly degraded by China's missile attacks, which would destroy air bases and Taiwanese surface ships. After that nobody could stop the Chinese forces from taking over Taiwan.

China's air bases and shore missile units are too numerous for the Americans to be able to seriously affect their operationality by bombing or by the use of cruise missiles. There would always be enough fire power left to handle whatever the US could bring from the US mainland.

As to US allies, I have no doubt they would lie down, hoping China wouldn't use them for target practice.

The days when the US could defeat China in Asia are long gone, and people should get used to the idea.

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Alexis
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Re: America can defend Taiwan

Post by Alexis » Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:59 am

Sertorio,

In general: You forget about the main arguments I was making, namely
- How difficult amphibious landings are, and how ill-equipped the Chinese military is compared to the difficulty of such an endeavour
- How vulnerable Chinese landing forces would be to even a relatively small number of US assets, which either can quickly be dispatched in Eastern Asia (long range bombers) or are already there (SSNs)
- How stupid the CCP government is to multiply its enemies for no good reason whatsoever by playing bullies and worrying most of its neighbours, all that for minuscule to non-existent stakes (Antagonizing the major power that is Japan... for the Senkaku? Antagonizing the major power that is India... for a few high altitude glaciers in the Himalaya? Seriously? :roll: )

If you took these arguments into account, what you are saying would not hold.

Now for a few more details:

Sertorio wrote:
Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:34 pm
The US cannot fight China on land, as it doesn't have the manpower to do it.
Of course, but fighting China on land would not at all be required to help Taiwan defeat a mainland invasion, this in the unlikely case when Taiwanese could not defeat it on their own.

It can only use its air force and navy, and for the air force it is dependent on two or three aircraft carriers
No. Long range bombers can be based far away from Eastern Asia - e.g. Diego Garcia, Hawai or even continental US - and still intervene in Eastern Asia thanks to air refuellers, of which America has plenty.

- which would be sunk within hours of the start of any fighting
Possible, but not at all certain. There are sound technical reasons to doubt the so-called "aircraft carrier killer" ballistic missiles from China (DF-21D / DF-26) and Russia (Kinzhal) are up to the task, which is much more difficult than it may look.

I have not used the aircraft carrier argument because the other arguments for infeasability of Chinese invasion of Taiwan are compelling enough anyway. Which amounts to assuming that DF-21D and DF-26 really can do what Beijing say they can... but it's not a safe assumption for China.

- and on the bases on Guam and Okinawa, which would be made unusable by China's missile force.
Reason why I haven't spoken about them in my argument.

Say Sertorio, are you not forgetting that China has but a limited number of Air force and especially Navy bases :) ?

What do you think would remain of them after US reprisals through long range bombing and cruise missiles, if Washington wanted to avenge the loss of Guam and Okinawa bases?

As to the navy, only US submarines might survive long enough to be used in combat. Not enough to stop an invading Chinese force against Taiwan.
Darth Vador used to say "You don't know the power of the dark side".

I think you don't know, or at least don't fully understand the power of the nuclear submarine :)

Especially stealthy ones. And Virginia class SSNs are world-class on par with Britain's Astute class SSNs. While more ancient Improved Los Angeles SSNs, though less modern, remain better than most if not all China's submarines.

Taiwan's forces would be quickly degraded by China's missile attacks, which would destroy air bases and Taiwanese surface ships.
Degraded yes. Defeated rapidly enough? It would be unrealistic for China's military planners to assume as such.

If you want to send vulnerable and not very numerous amphibious landing ships through a 100 km sea crossing, you'd better make sure first that opponent Air force and Navy is not merely "degraded", but obliterated.

Also take into account the need for heavy logistical support crossing the sea intended for an invasion force which would already have landed and would be in the process of trying to overcome stiff resistence by Taiwanese forces which would have both advantages of numbers and of knowing terrain. Ships would need to continue crossing the Straits repeatedly... always so vulnerable.

Also note that Taiwan too sports ballistic missiles. China's air bases and Navy bases would have begun suffering from Taiwanese reprisals, even in the 1 or 2 days the US would not yet have had time to intervene.

China's air bases and shore missile units are too numerous for the Americans to be able to seriously affect their operationality by bombing or by the use of cruise missiles.
Missile units yes, because they can be dispersed in the countryside. Air bases no. Taiwan could not degrade them enough on its own, but the US could.

They would definitely lose a number of B-1s in the process, possibly even some B-2s. The risk to have their Eastern Asia alliance network collapse if they refused to act would be well enough to motivate them.

I also suspect that many an American military planner would be secretly satisfied that the CCP launched so doomed an attack. What a rich opportunity to degrade or even obliterate the most precious of China's military industry assets! Especially those that take most time to rebuild, such as submarine or large Navy ship construction sites.

Balance of force between China and the US is simple indeed:
- America can strike China with conventional weapons at any time it pleases
- China cannot strike the US mainland with conventional weapons

As long as the US do not threaten the survival of the Chinese nation - and they obviously wouldn't - nuclear weapons do not enter into play, meaning that the US mainland is invulnerable to Chinese attack.

This might change when China puts in service its future H-20 long range bomber in sizable numbers. But that won't happen before a decade minimum.

As to US allies, I have no doubt they would lie down, hoping China wouldn't use them for target practice.
You have no doubt... but a prudent Chinese military planner would :)

War is extreme psychological phenomenon. Whether Japan and/or India would take advantage of China getting its head smashed by US bombers and submarines and decide to join in cannot be ascertained in advance.

It would be one more major risk for China of launching a invasion against Taiwan.

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Alexis
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Re: America can defend Taiwan

Post by Alexis » Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:21 am

Regarding Taiwan's ballistic missiles, look up:

Yun Feng

This in addition to antiship missiles, of which Taiwan also has built plenty, such as:

Hsiung Feng II

Hsiung Feng III

Even this very first line of Taiwan's defenses would inflict huge losses on China's limited amphibious fleet.

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Sertorio
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Re: America can defend Taiwan

Post by Sertorio » Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:26 am

Alexis,

1. You haven't taken into account the possibility of, once Taiwan's defenses are degraded, China using air transported assault troops.

2. How many US bombers would be able to reach China to be of any use? China's long range air defenses cannot be ignored.

I doubt the Pentagon is sure of being successful in such a conflict, and that's why they try to intimidate China with ridiculous "freedom of seas" forays...In a real conflict the US could not amass enough military assets in the neighbourhood of China to be able to defeat it. Who knows, maybe you and I will have the opportunity to see it happening and find out who of us is right...

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Re: America can defend Taiwan

Post by Jim the Moron » Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:22 am

China beware! The F-CK=1 Ching-kuo will f-ck you up . . .

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Doc
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Re: America can defend Taiwan

Post by Doc » Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:20 am

Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:26 am
Alexis,

1. You haven't taken into account the possibility of, once Taiwan's defenses are degraded, China using air transported assault troops.

2. How many US bombers would be able to reach China to be of any use? China's long range air defenses cannot be ignored.

I doubt the Pentagon is sure of being successful in such a conflict, and that's why they try to intimidate China with ridiculous "freedom of seas" forays...In a real conflict the US could not amass enough military assets in the neighbourhood of China to be able to defeat it. Who knows, maybe you and I will have the opportunity to see it happening and find out who of us is right...
FREEDOM OF THE SEAS IS LONG STANDING INTERNATIONAL LAW. Are you against international law Sertorio?
“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

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Sertorio
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Re: America can defend Taiwan

Post by Sertorio » Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:28 am

Doc wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:20 am
Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:26 am
Alexis,

1. You haven't taken into account the possibility of, once Taiwan's defenses are degraded, China using air transported assault troops.

2. How many US bombers would be able to reach China to be of any use? China's long range air defenses cannot be ignored.

I doubt the Pentagon is sure of being successful in such a conflict, and that's why they try to intimidate China with ridiculous "freedom of seas" forays...In a real conflict the US could not amass enough military assets in the neighbourhood of China to be able to defeat it. Who knows, maybe you and I will have the opportunity to see it happening and find out who of us is right...
FREEDOM OF THE SEAS IS LONG STANDING INTERNATIONAL LAW. Are you against international law Sertorio?
No, I am not. But China never violated the freedom of the seas, not even in the South China Sea. Why are we assuming that eventually China will do it? For what purpose? China needs international trade as much or more than anybody else. That's a typical strawman, if I have ever seen one...

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