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"US navy defending Taiwan" Topic


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walkabout Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2020 10:44 a.m. PST

Would this be a good strategy for the US navy to defend Taiwan. Do not sent ships into the Taiwan straits and do not attack the Chinese mainland. Keep the carriers to the east of Taiwan and attack any Chinese planes over Taiwan airspace. Destroy all Chinese ships approaching Taiwan. We put our carriers at least risk and make the Chinese come to us. Our planes and pilots are much better and should put a major hurt on the Chinese Air Force. Also we should be able to destroy the Chinese ships that are able to land troops since they only have a limited number. Would this be a good idea?

raylev316 Sep 2020 10:48 a.m. PST

The root question really is, do we want to go with China over Taiwan?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Sep 2020 10:55 a.m. PST

I think that decision was already made.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2020 11:06 a.m. PST

The Chinese would wait for the CVBGs to be in port or far out in other areas of the Pacific, then knock out Guam so F-22s can't interfere. The invasion would then proceed with the goal of getting as much territory as possible before the U.S. CVBGs can get into the operational area.

My thoughts are that the U.S. subs are going to do the most damage while the CVBGs hang back for awhile. Without the ability to reinforce the landings by sea the invasion would be doomed.

torokchar Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2020 11:39 a.m. PST

Hopefully Taiwan has nukes and can defend herself!!!

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Sep 2020 1:28 p.m. PST

Release the mines!

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2020 2:17 p.m. PST

Communist China has a massive fishing and commercial fleet, many are not much more than LCVP and LCM sized coastal boats. I suspect they would do a reverse Dunkirk and flood the straights with boats large and small, too many to hit with missiles. They don't care about casualties as long as they win the war.

Fighting at long distance could be a problem.

USAF would need long range bombers to hit their ports, and airfields. I think Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and maybe others should form their own self-defense network, without the USA, since they all face the same enemy.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Legion 416 Sep 2020 3:47 p.m. PST

Mike +1

HMS Exeter16 Sep 2020 6:46 p.m. PST

China might just be dumb enough to try. If they do, they better hope Russia and North Korea have enough untapped demand for China's exports to keep the Chinese economy going, because there won't be anyone else doing business with them anymore.

Striker16 Sep 2020 7:09 p.m. PST

South Korea, Taiwan, and maybe others should form their own self-defense network,

There was an article from an Indian admiral talking about a US-India-Australia-Japan agreement that could be stepped up to an alliance-common goals group but he had some interesting points that would have to be addressed (nearing Fez territory). I believe the small boat threat is also part of the USMC getting lighter and more amphib.

Sundance17 Sep 2020 8:45 a.m. PST

IIRC, it's actually a US law that we WILL defend Taiwan in case of PRC aggression.

raylev317 Sep 2020 11:44 a.m. PST

There is no law requiring the US to go to war to defend Taiwan.

I think you're referring to the Taiwan Relations Act. Nothing requires that we go to war to defend Taiwan. The act only requires, "that "the United States will make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capabilities" What those services are are determined by the president and congress.

The act was deliberately ambiguous because we didn't want Taiwan to declare independence from China, which would probably lead to war…which would force the US to defend Taiwan.

Legion 417 Sep 2020 3:28 p.m. PST

raylev +1

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 2:29 p.m. PST

Actually, Taiwan has never been part of communist china. It was part of Nationalist China and remains so after the communists took control of the mainland.

Legion 418 Sep 2020 2:31 p.m. PST

Yes it was called Formosa IIRC, and never under CCP control.

arealdeadone20 Sep 2020 5:35 p.m. PST

But note the government in Taiwan still regards itself as the nominal government of mainland China and Taiwan is still regarded by both sides as a province of China.

And save a few small non-players, everyone else regards Taiwan as a province of China.


Thus there is a lot of legal loopholes that let all the cowardly greedy westerners to bail out on defending China.


If it came down to the punch, I suspect Uncle Sam and friends would let Taiwan fall into Chinese hands and use those legal definitions as justification. They might use some "strong diplomatic" language and maybe impose some restrictions on some individuals but overall the west will not die for Taiwan.


It should be noted that even the sanctions on Russia for actions in Crimea and Ukraine are limited and not all encompassing. They are designed to maintain the illusion of action.

arealdeadone20 Sep 2020 5:43 p.m. PST

The Chinese would wait for the CVBGs to be in port or far out in other areas of the Pacific, then knock out Guam so F-22s can't interfere. The invasion would then proceed with the goal of getting as much territory as possible before the U.S. CVBGs can get into the operational area.

Assuming the US gets involved.

I doubt the Chinese are stupid enough to try to pull a Pearl Harbour 1941.

There is actually no need to provoke the US into a war.

My thoughts are that the U.S. subs are going to do the most damage while the CVBGs hang back for awhile. Without the ability to reinforce the landings by sea the invasion would be doomed.

The US can quickly surge a maximum of 8 attack subs into the western Pacific according to US naval commanders. More can be redeployed from elsewhere but that would take time.

By 2028 that number is lower as the number of attack subs shrinks by 19% due to retirements.

Finally the Taiwan Strait is narrow (130-180 kilometres). It's average depth is 60 metres (except one ravine).

That is not great submarine territory.

Even as primitive as Chinese ASW may be, the US subs will struggle in such a narrow, shallow strait.


It doesn't help all US submarines are large nuclear attack submarines not suitable for littoral combat. The Chinese are better equipped for this task thanks to a large fleet of smaller diesel electric boats.


then knock out Guam so F-22s can't interfere

1. There are no F-22s on Guam. Closest F-22s are in Hawaii (1 squadron) and Alaska (2 squadrons). Those aircraft are on home defence duty and they constitute 60% of the F-22 combat fleet. The only other F-22 combat units are 2 squadrons at Langley AFB in Virginia.

Basically there is not enough F-22s to commit large numbers of F-22s without compromising security of continental US.

Poor serviceability also means the F-22 won't be able to generate the sortie rate sufficient to stop Chinese jets from swarming the island.

2. Guam is well beyond the operating range of an F-22! You are looking at nearly 3,000 kilometres (2750 from Guam to Taipei)! F-22 has a combat radius of about 800 kilometres.

So they would need multiple air refuellings which would help the Chinese locate them as the tankers are not stealthy!


3. The US military maintains bases much closer to the fight in South Korea and Japan. Though these countries may not allow US combat operations from their territory.

Zephyr120 Sep 2020 9:17 p.m. PST

I do foresee U.S. CVBGs moving into place to fly CAP for civilian airline traffic trying to evacuate (i.e. 'humanitarian missions'.) Assuming the invaders haven't destroyed everything at every airport…

Legion 421 Sep 2020 7:54 a.m. PST

All good points, but I think we can agree … if the PRC could successfully invade Taiwan they would have. At least for now, the future is still yet to be written.

HMS Exeter21 Sep 2020 10:18 a.m. PST

If it got to a shooting war between the PRC and the US, I dont see the CVBGs being involved at all, except perhaps mopping up those island bases at the end.

It would be an all subs conflict. US subs working to reduce and suppress Chinese subs until they were neutralized. The Chinese haven't built underground sub pens because they were confident they could dominate their coastline, but to preserve an ongoing threat. Chinese anti ship ballistic missiles are useless against subs.

The Chinese could try to hit any CVBGs in range at the outset, but they're damned if they do and they're damned if they don't. If they hit, the US won't stop until the Chinese Navy is reduced to the size of Mexico's. If they miss, they're a laughingstock.

Once the sub issue is resolved, US sub launched cruise missiles would target the Chinese surface fleet, almost certainly sheltering in port.

The main problem for the US would be keeping their subs on station as they'd need to withdraw to frequently rearm.

After that, declaration of a blockade. Destruction of the Donghai bridge would reduce Shanghai's cargo capacity by 30-50%. One fat container ship capsized in the outer harbor would give the Chinese money bags a sphincter pucker audible as far as San Diego. Itd be open season on Chinese fishing boats.

The Chinese can then either stand down or double down. Conventional missile attacks on Guam would certainly result in cruise missile strikes on their phony islands. One US cruise missile hit burning out several floors of a Shanghai skyscraper, would likely herald the end of Xi.

There can be no thought of landing troops on Chinese soil. Short of that nukes seem unlikely.

arealdeadone21 Sep 2020 3:56 p.m. PST

HMS Exeter, the only problem with strikes on China is you're opening up the door to Chinese strikes on the US. That could be a slippery slope to a nuclear exchange.

Remember even in the Korean War the US didn't want to strike China despite them having no nukes in fear of escalating the conflict.


---


As for subs – as stated they're not that useful in the Taiwan Strait.


No need to hit CVBGs either – don't give the US an excuse to get involved.


The Chinese are a very clever lot. They are not idiots nor do they seem intent on refighting WWII (unlike the US which seems to be looking to 1941-45 for some reason).


A Chinese attack on Taiwan is legally as an internal Chinese matter – thus no need to strike the US.


IMO the US will avoid conflict with China too – there's too much at stake and Taiwan is not strategically important.

Note the US effectively abandoned Taiwan in the 1970s and has only occasionally topped up weapons to keep some sort of qualitative balance.

There's no more deployment of US troops to Taiwan as happened up to 1979 when the US had a dedicated Taiwan defence command located in Taipei and forces in western Pacific had the role of protecting Taiwan.

if the PRC could successfully invade Taiwan they would have.

They probably could but it would be too costly. Besides China and Taiwan have good economic ties – why waste a good thing.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2020 1:51 a.m. PST

Xi and China are upping the ante.

37 aircraft intruded across the line in the Taiwan Strait, into Taiwanese airspace in just two days – last Friday and Saturday. Not sure if more, or how many did so on Sunday and Monday.

Clearly Xi is trying to increase the political pressure now, and probably hoping for a reaction, in order to give the Chinese military a pretext for further actions.

Our subs don't have to enter the Taiwanese Strait to be useful. They can stand off and sink numerous vessels, and/or attack land targets with all of their long-range cruise missiles.

Quite a few are no doubt in the area, since a few years ago during heightened tensions, a number of them surfaced to send a clear message to China's leadership that our subs are present, watching, and loaded for panda bear.

Xi and the Chinese don't think like we do. Heavy losses of personnel and equipment will just serve to make their sacrifice ALL that more glorious for the sake of their empire. See North Korea and the Korean War as a prime example of that.

Legion 422 Sep 2020 7:01 a.m. PST

They probably could but it would be too costly. Besides China and Taiwan have good economic ties why waste a good thing.
Good point ! Again it comes down to the bottom line … 💰💴💵💶💷💸💳
They did have a similar thing with Hong Kong … but that was much easier to invade. Just walk across a border … no large strait to cross or running into USN & USAF.

Heavy losses of personnel and equipment will just serve to make their sacrifice ALL that more glorious for the sake of their empire. See North Korea and the Korean War as a prime example of that.
Again just then as now they have the bodies to lose/waste. E.g. IIRC most of the initial forces they crossed the Yalu with late 1950. Became casualties, thru combat, or even non-combat, e.g. frostbite, disease, etc.

But again do they want to take even heavier losses to invade Taiwan ? Probably not … And as noted the PRC does have a good thing going economically with them. Why lose the profit ?

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