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The logistics of war: How Washington is preparing for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan

18 Comments
By Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali

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18 Comments
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There is a calculus to consider. Does the attacking leader determine the cost worth the prize? One of the many bad things about dictatorships is that they are only minimally responsible to the people. As we have seen with Putin, losing ten to one on the battlefield does not matter, so long as he controls the state media, and protesting his incompetence and immorality is a crime against the state.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I hear tell there a couple thousand missiles that might or might not work in an anti-ship role. Fingers crossed and lets hope that more testing is being done and factories are running overtime.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The headline should read "The logistics of war: How Washington is trying to provoke a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

The headline should read "The logistics of war: How Washington is trying to provoke a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

No, they got the headline spot on! Your version is the Chinese pushed version, and astute readers can see through it easily. China is the one causing an arms buildup all through the region, including in Taiwan.

Blaming the US for Chinese belligerence is a bridge too far. Nobody but Russians, Iranian hardliners and North Koreans are buying into it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

China is not planning to invade Taiwan. The span of sea between the two is just too far for invasion. The people in the Pentagon know this, the politicians know this. They are lying to you, and you are lapping it up like a hungry puppy.

However, missiles from the mainland and air are a slim possibility if the US and its vassals continue to interfere in Chinese affairs.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Mr KiplingToday 03:57 pm JST

China is not planning to invade Taiwan

A common refrain amongst those who wish countries not to be prepared for a Chinese blockade of Taiwan.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

TheRegulatorToday 12:14 pm JST

The headline should read "The logistics of war: How Washington is trying to provoke a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

As soon as you find a shred of evidence of that, you are welcome to write your own article.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The JASSM-ER is the missile that should hopefully give the PLN a very bad day.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

US is Not Preparing, rather they're rapidly running out of whole variety of missiles, especially ground based air defense in nature. Turns out US Navy, Israel and Ukraine have Very High and $Expensive Burn-Rate!

US growing LESS prepared DAILY to defend Taiwan.

Meanwhile China's rapidly building its missile stockpiles that are most needed to deal with their Taiwan 'problem'.

Would you prefer some fantasy happy spin instead?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Keep in mind, the US base in Jordan recently hit with an Iranian drone, turns out they lacked air defense systems, US facing shortages on its bases in Mid-East, they gambled on Jordon being safer than Iraq, Syria, etc.

Think US ready for Taiwan? Ukraine's collapsing, Mid East up flames, Red Sea battle zone, commercial ships hit frequently, press being 'pressed' to stay quiet etc.

Meanwhile Biden's politically collapsing and confused. Seems's Xi's Taiwan light's about to turn green...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"That approach led to the cost-saving decision to create mega-bases, like Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Ramstein was safe from Taliban and Islamic State attacks."

It is questionable whether this assumption will still make sense in the future. On the one hand, Red China and Russia will act in concert and also orchestrate terrorists of all kinds, but on the other hand, everyone should be aware of the conditions in Germany, a lack of defense capability due to the ruined Bundeswehr and catastrophic internal security.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The closest route to Taiwan is 130 km.

The JASSM-ER is the missile that should hopefully give the PLN a very bad day.

That and other munitions would indeed have a jolly good time. Which is why there will be no invasion.

Taiwan knows this, the US knows, any logical thinker should be able to take those blinkers off and see too. We are being lied to.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

US is Not Preparing, rather they're rapidly running out of whole variety of missiles, especially ground based air defense in nature. Turns out US Navy, Israel and Ukraine have Very High and $Expensive Burn-Rate!

Sigh. BS springs eternal. The weapons the US is sending Ukraine in large quantities are most often older weapons that are being removed from the inventory as they are replaced by newer iterations. Examples are HARM, which is mostly replaced by AARGM in the US Navy and by something being called Stand In Weapon and AARGM_ER in the USAF. While the US has sent a limited number of Patriot batteries to Ukraine they are also sending them lots of the older but still effective Hawk systems that Patriot replaced. These are systems that are still effective against what the Russians have but are not useful against the better Chinese systems. The US isn't shipping Ukraine or Israel weapons like AARGM, AGM-86ALCM, JASSM/JASSM-ER, LRASM or Tomahawk, weapons that are critical for fighting the Chinese. Their EMP and microwave weapons are not being sent to Ukraine or Israel. They are not shipping AMRAAMs either. Stinger is also on its way out and the production line was supposed to shut down last year so it could be re-tooled for its replacement. Instead Stinger production has been extended and a new line will have to be built for its replacement. RTX and Lockheed-Martin both expanded their weapons production facilities last year and the Army is busy adding two more production lines for 155mm artillery rounds and a second factory to manufacture gun barrels for howitzers. All of this information is in the public realm if you read the defense press.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Keep in mind, the US base in Jordan recently hit with an Iranian drone, turns out they lacked air defense systems, US facing shortages on its bases in Mid-East, they gambled on Jordon being safer than Iraq, Syria, etc.

More BS. The base was not short of air defenses. They simply mistook the Iranian drone for a US drone that was expected back at the same time. Their air defenses were never employed. It was an operational failure, not a lack of adequate defense equipment.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The JASSM-ER is the missile that should hopefully give the PLN a very bad day.

JASSM, JASSM-ER and JASSM-XR are all strictly land attack weapons. The have no anti-ship or moving target capability. LRASM however does. The Navy also has a substantial stockpile of Harpoon missiles along with the Kongsberg/Raytheon JSM and soon Maritime Strike Tomahawk for the PLAN to contend with ..... what's left of the PLAN after the submarines are done shooting.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I forgot to mention the US Army has fielded trailer mounted Tomahawks and SM-6 missiles in the Pacific and the US Marines have truck mounted Tomahawks and JSMs. Both services plan to use these against both land and maritime targets from bases probably in the First Island Chain to prevent the PLAN from using the straits between those islands. This equipment is in the field now.

And instead of Aegis Ashore for Guam and Hawaii, the Army and Missile Defense Agency have are moving the AN/TPY-6 radars from a big fixed building to trailers that can be moved around. With SM-6 already trailer mounted there is your high end air defense system for Guam and presumably any other place the US intends to defend. I have not seen anything in open sources but it would seem straightforward to also put SM-3 on trailers for ballistic missile defense but I think the Army is relying on THAAD, though it is shorter ranged and has no capability against ICBMs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The fanboi focus on big buck missiles ignores what is probably the most effective, inexpensive and numerous weapon the US and Taiwanese can employ to stop a Chinese invasion. It's called the Quick Strike Mine. What's that? It is a general purpose iron bomb, typically either a 500 or 2000 pounder, where the normal fuse is replaced with either a magnetic sensor or seismic sensor. These are dropped from any airplane that can carry an aerial bomb, any fighter, attack aircraft, bomber, even ASW patrol planes like the P-3, P-8 or Kawasaki P-1. Quick Strike Mines are what the US dropped in Haiphong Harbor near the end of the Vietnam War.

Iron bombs are cheap and abundant. The US has hundreds of thousands of them. They cost less than a used car.

Quick Strike II is an iron bomb with the fins, which are removable for storage and assembled on the bomb before it is hung in an aircraft, with a JDAM guidance kit. Now you can lay a mine field with great precision from high altitude instead of having to go down to a couple of hundred feet over the water. JDAM kits are also cheap and abundant. With aerial mining you can lay a big minefield quickly. With JDAM kits you can place the mines precisely for best effects.

Quick Strike ER is a 500 pound Quick Strike II with a folding wing kit. This can glide 60-80 km depending on the altitude of the launch aircraft. Now you can lay a minefield with precision from stand off distances. A half dozen B-2s or B-52s could place close to 1,000 Quick Strike ER mines in the Taiwan Strait from east of Taiwan, relatively safe from Chinese air defenses, and this would immediately stop an invasion force or if they don't stop cause it immense damage. It would certainly buy the allies time to reinforce Taiwan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Desert TortoiseToday 02:29 am JST

The fanboi focus on big buck missiles ignores what is probably the most effective, inexpensive and numerous weapon the US and Taiwanese can employ to stop a Chinese invasion.

It's not just being a fanboi. China has some serious anti-ship capability. The US needs to be able to wreck a blockading fleet without sending its own ships into range of the mainland. Or perhaps even politically what would be considered close to the mainland. If China sinks a carrier next to Hawaii, that is completely different politically than sinking one next to Taiwan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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