The US Doesn't Know What To Do About Taiwan

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Sertorio
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The US Doesn't Know What To Do About Taiwan

Post by Sertorio » Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:10 am

What the US should do about Taiwan
By STEPHEN BRYEN - OCTOBER 5, 2021

https://asiatimes.com/2021/10/what-the- ... ut-taiwan/

No one can doubt that China is very close to attacking Taiwan. The latest incursion of 52 warplanes on Monday, which included 36 fighters and 12 nuclear bombers plus surveillance aircraft, was much more than just a demonstration.

Taiwan so far has exercised restraint, putting its F-16s and other aircraft into the sky to challenge Chinese incursions into its air defense zone (ADIZ) but not firing on the intruding aircraft. But if a mistake happens, it will end up a bloody mess.

The US State Department had issued a strong statement condemning China’s violations of Taiwan’s ADIZ even before China responded by sending in 52 warplanes on Monday. It appears that China does not take Washington seriously and doesn’t care at all what the State Department says.

Is Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Mark Milley calling his counterparts in China and telling them not to worry? It is a fair question, although he probably hasn’t. On the other hand, the Pentagon is far from ready to take on China and won’t push the White House to do anything.

The Pentagon’s reluctance is based on a number of war games and simulations that suggest in any conflict with China, the US will be defeated. So even if President Biden asks, it is likely he will get a lot of pushback from the Defense Department, particularly from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

On the other hand, if Taiwan were to fall to China without US intervention, Biden’s presidency, already tottering, would likely collapse. Biden would have to resign and Vice President Kamala Harris would become president, unless she is also forced to step aside. No one has any idea of what would happen in such a scenario.

Along with the loss of Taiwan and the high human cost, the US would also lose access to vital integrated circuits that support its high-tech and automobile industries and defense manufacturing. The entire mess could be a big blow to the US and global economy, and lead to upheavals everywhere, including in China.

One result, to be dreaded, might be the establishment of military-run governments in many affected countries, even the United States and almost certainly in China.

Keep in mind that the Covid pandemic has led to the abrogation of constitutional rights in the US in a manner unprecedented by other national crises, even the suspension of habeas corpus (allowing detention of persons without recourse to the courts) by President Lincoln. The draconian Covid measures have driven a stake into the heart of constitutional government and democratic norms.

Washington, if it does not take action against China, faces a grim future.

The Pentagon’s scenarios could be wrong and flawed. They all assume that the US would respond on its own, primarily using its naval assets, including aircraft carriers.

If the US demanded the participation of our allies, especially Japan and used Japanese bases with the support of Japanese fighter planes, the scenario would change. It changes even more if Taiwan can operate from bases on Okinawa and Japan’s four main islands, especially those closest to Taiwan.

Faced with multiple bases and F-35s, F-15s and F-16s to counter an attack on Taiwan, the Chinese would have more on their hands than they can handle. The fact that the US can fly in F-22 Raptor stealth fighers quickly creates an even bigger dilemma for China since they would probably take out Chinese air defenses and command centers.

Two dozen F-22s were used in a recent western Pacific naval exercise. Now they are needed again.

The US has been terribly laggard in taking meaningful military steps to shore up its posture in order to protect Taiwan and Japan. Above all, the US has never created anything like a unified command authority to coordinate military operations with our allies and friends.

Instead, the US has taken a backward approach, behaving like a colonial power that thinks it can do everything on its own, whenever it wants. That’s one of the reasons the Pentagon’s scenarios look so dire.

As an immediate step, the US could launch fighter aircraft operating around Taiwan – with Taiwan’s agreement – to let the Chinese know they have a bigger problem on their hands.

In addition, US carriers could be redirected to the region, to double or triple the number of fighter aircraft that can respond to Chinese threats. Above all, clustering AEGIS cruisers and guided-missile destroyers in the region challenges China’s ability because AEGIS missiles can knock out China’s fighters.

Bringing in air and naval assets and positioning them between China and Taiwan would let China’s leaders know they need to stop violating Taiwan’s air space.

Moreover, if China thinks its intimidation tactics will get the US to force Taiwan into giving up its independence, perhaps with Biden’s help, they are likely miscalculating since the president cannot afford to pay that political price after the debacle of Afghanistan.
Contrarily to what the title implies, the writer has no idea of what the US can do about Taiwan. Between the lines one can read that it is almost sure the US would be defeated if war breaks out over Taiwan. And even the idea that US aircraft carriers could be used is preposterous as it is sure they would be sunk as soon as they would approach China. The US cannot fight a war against a major power thousands of kilometers away from the US, as it does not possess the assets necessary for the task. If the US wants to avoid a major humiliation, it should stop encouraging Taiwan to defy Beijing, and it should stop provoking China with the miser assets it has in the region. This would be a war in which bluffing would be of no avail.

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Re: The US Doesn't Know What To Do About Taiwan

Post by SteveFoerster » Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:46 am

It's like you've never heard of submarines.
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Re: The US Doesn't Know What To Do About Taiwan

Post by Sertorio » Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:56 am

SteveFoerster wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:46 am
It's like you've never heard of submarines.
Submarines can be useful, and can be sunk as well. Just see what happened during WWII in the Atlantic...

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Re: The US Doesn't Know What To Do About Taiwan

Post by SteveFoerster » Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:37 pm

That's true. But when it comes to repulsing an invasion of Taiwan, between the lumbering troop transports, which in this case would include repurposed civilian craft, and the most advanced submarines in the world, the latter would definitely have the easier job.
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Re: The US Doesn't Know What To Do About Taiwan

Post by Doc » Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:38 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:46 am
It's like you've never heard of submarines.
He may have a point given that China doesn't currently have electricity. SO US EMP hypersonic missiles will be less effective in that the XiCP has already taken out their own power grid. :D
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Re: The US Doesn't Know What To Do About Taiwan

Post by neverfail » Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:58 pm

Quite apart from the USA - PRC military power balance (the PRC of course would have the logistical advantage of fighting the war close to its home turf) the exact Taiwan USA relationship needs a second look.

The USA has no military defence treaty with Taiwan that would legally impel the former to defend the latter.

In addition to which the USA does not even recognise Taiwan's soverignty.

Any country that has ever entered into diplomatic relations with the PRC (no exemptions even for the USA) has had to publically declare Taiwan as being "part of China". The PRC government has been very clever and looked far ahead in that regard. It means that the world at large has handed the PRC the legal high ground if not the moral.

If the USA had to defend Taiwan militarily it would be defending an island that even it acknowledges as within the protaginist' power's own jurisdiction.

Contradictory? Could the US sustain a war given these shaky legal and murky moral grounds?

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Re: The US Doesn't Know What To Do About Taiwan

Post by SteveFoerster » Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:59 pm

neverfail wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:58 pm
Contradictory? Could the US sustain a war given these shaky legal and murky moral grounds?
Um, in your lifetime, which wars has it engaged in that weren't?
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Re: The US Doesn't Know What To Do About Taiwan

Post by Sertorio » Wed Oct 06, 2021 5:27 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:37 pm
That's true. But when it comes to repulsing an invasion of Taiwan, between the lumbering troop transports, which in this case would include repurposed civilian craft, and the most advanced submarines in the world, the latter would definitely have the easier job.
If I were the Chinese military I would invade Taiwan from the air - airborne divisions - not from the sea, and submarines can't do much about an airborne invasion.

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Re: The US Doesn't Know What To Do About Taiwan

Post by neverfail » Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:38 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:59 pm
neverfail wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:58 pm
Contradictory? Could the US sustain a war given these shaky legal and murky moral grounds?
Um, in your lifetime, which wars has it engaged in that weren't?
The First Gulf War and the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan - both of which were UN sanctioned.

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Re: The US Doesn't Know What To Do About Taiwan

Post by SteveFoerster » Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:28 am

neverfail wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:38 pm
SteveFoerster wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:59 pm
neverfail wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:58 pm
Contradictory? Could the US sustain a war given these shaky legal and murky moral grounds?
Um, in your lifetime, which wars has it engaged in that weren't?
The First Gulf War and the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan - both of which were UN sanctioned.
There are organisations whose stances on moral matters I might consider, but to put it mildly, the UN is not among them.
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