Tuesday, January 12, 2010
"Threatening war with xenophobic, impoverished Maoist China in the midst of the Cold War was one thing. Contemplating war with increasingly capitalist and modern China, economically dominant in East Asia, tied by trade to most industrialized states, and deploying increasing economic and diplomatic resources throughout the Third World, is a very different matter. Pull that trigger and the twenty-first century looks a lot uglier, even if the United States handily wins round one.
"And round one no longer would be a slam dunk. While the PRC cannot—in the foreseeable future, at least—match American military power, it can create a substantial deterrent capability, sharply raising the potential cost of U.S. intervention. Beijing’s increasing ability to sink U.S. carriers with submarines and missiles alone would force any president to think very hard before sending the Seventh Fleet into the Taiwan Strait for battle.
"Nor can American air dominance be considered a given any longer. Warns the Rand corporation: Taiwan’s proximity to China “combined with China’s growing capabilities and the lack of basing options for U.S. forces in the vicinity of the strait, call into question Washington’s ability to credibly serve as guarantor of Taiwan’s security in the future.”
"As protecting Taiwan goes from being a guaranteed freebie to a potential catastrophe, Taipei will no longer be able to rely upon America. Taiwan has been a good friend for many years, but few presidents would decide to protect Taipei if doing so put Los Angeles and maybe New York at risk. Calls for increased military cooperation between Washington and Taipei by Taiwan’s American friends can’t change this underlying strategic reality. Arms sales offer the best path out of the Taiwan thicket.
"In 2001 the Bush administration offered Taiwan a $12 billion weapons package. Foolishly, the KMT-dominated legislature blocked the purchases as part of internecine political warfare against the Chen government. Then the Bush administration showed its pique with President Chen by apparently freezing arms sales to Taipei.
"The result was to accelerate the already disturbing erosion of Taiwan’s defensive capabilities against the PRC, which has invested in precisely the capabilities—amphibious, missile, and naval—that would be particularly useful in threatening Taiwan.
"Taiwanese weakness could be dangerous. China’s Deng Xiaoping talked about taking a century to resolve the Taiwan issue, but today’s Chinese leadership has demonstrated its desire for a much quicker resolution. Should the PRC grow impatient—whether as a result of a perception of growing military prowess, grab for advantage as part of a struggle for power within Zhongnanhai, or feeling that the communist leadership had waited long enough—the regime might be tempted to strike.
" If Beijing believed that victory would be swift and bloodless, the temptation to act could prove overwhelming.
"America should not be expected to risk major war with nuclear powers to protect other states, however friendly or democratic.
"However, Washington can help other states defend themselves. Selling weapons to Taiwan will empower the island state without inserting the United States into any cross-strait crossfire.
Pic - "Coming War With China"
Posted by GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD at 12:12 AM