In Required Reading: Sarah Hoyt Lets Us All Know Where We Are Now Mr. Klahn observes:
The first terrain walk I ever took my young son on, was at the Little Big Horn (Custer’s Last Stand). There was a phalanx of tourists surrounding a park ranger who was spewing the official story, but I told my son “come on; we’re going to look at the terrain.” There it all was – so easy to read. Custer had the most defensible ground, a small tit of earth, and the Indians filtered up the small draws and depressions, on their bellies, and were shot at carbine range (that is close range – 50 meters at the most). The cavalrymen were overwhelmed by Mass, but at any rate, the whole battle is a study in maneuver. We think we’re too smart nowadays for maneuver. Fukthat.
I told you that to tell you this: my son and I looked at the map of China and did a terrain analysis. If you clear the horseshit out of your brain for a moment, you’ll be surprised by physical facts.
China’s position in the world is tenuous, at best. Its location and surroundings are frikkin dank. Backed up against the largest mountain mass and highest plateau in the world, it has both a defensible backdoor and an obvious direction of maneuver: towards the Pacific. No one’s going to hike over The Hump and attack them.
So, China is a godawful collection of coastal urban-blight and big rivers and fantasy mountain upswells. All exposed to the sea. Arable land but teeming with people. Their people are a liability as much as an asset militarily. Those chinamen have it out for the commies, maybe more than anyone else.
They’ve been handled like imbecilic puppies in the puppy mill of history. Beat around by the Japanese, the western powers, the Russians. Everyone hates them; they have no friends. Look at the map. Japan, Korea, the PI, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, NZ, Australia…all out to dropkick China into the abyss of history if given just half a chance. Taiwan? Is that an asset to the Chinese? More like a third rail. The backchannel news (not saying this is true, but the idea is valid) has it that their one aircraft carrier limped off the ocean on fire from an engine accident. We beat their hordes purple in the Korean conflict with our massive firepower, and they remember that.
All of this to say that China is a threat on many levels, but ultimately, short of a nuclear wound, they are much, much smaller than their britches. They’re retarded. Retards with nukes, and viruses.
My prediction is that no one would seriously want to fight on the landmass of China. Naval war is only an adjunct – not a decision-making move. If you think it’s an air force war, I need to slap you on the head and take you out behind the shed. Actual military opportunities are to force China to create a national objective, and then we deny them that objective. This puts us in the defense seat, not them. They excel and require the defense. Deny them that.
Any kinetic opportunities lie on the southern flank of China, which is Vietnam, Burma (or whatever they call themselves), and Thailand. Watch what China does there – it’s the most important place. Their national objective is to retain their commie power structure, and absolutely everything in the entire world is against that. What did Trump do? He actually (write this shit down, pilgrim) attacked them at the center of their power: their economic ties with the world. Nixon may have engaged China, but a hundred years from now it’ll be Trump’s initiative that wrote the beginning of the end for China.
That was the turdliest pandemic I ever experienced. What else ya got, Mao?
Casey Klahn June 6, 2021, 8:09 AM
Casey Klahn October 11, 2021, 6:34 PM
I’ve been waiting for the chance to be on-topic with my next China installment. The last thread was called Walkabout, which was a strategic reading of China just from a map analysis. IOW, it was the highest possible altitude look I was capable of taking by applying von Clausewitz and my limited but professional army training. That was here: https://americandigest.org/casey-klahn-goes-walkabout-on-china/
The next level below a strategic analysis is an Operational Analysis, which is to look at how the war would play below the political level, and at the grand army level. The military shit, but at its highest order. Also, from the map.
When you look on YouTube for this kind of analysis, you get a lot of whiz-bang footage of missile ships and jet aircraft flying, Chinamen loading on and off of boats, and in the end, you know less than you did going into the video about a potential attack on Taiwan. Everything you need to get started for your happy little journey into hell is available by looking at Taiwan, the South China Sea, and the WestPac on a map.
Remember that our strategic analysis was basically: China HAS no friends. One simply cannot fight a war, especially one of global import, without allies. China may have trade partners and some very creepy simps, but actually, no one to stand with them. To their back is the highest mountain range in the world, and some fukn hot deserts and high plateaus, and godless nations lay beyond. To their front, is a large seascape filled with a fence of pissed-off and very unfriendly nations, almost all of whom we have fought as Americans. Japan, Korea, The Philippines, Vietnam. We’ve been there, and we’ve done that. What sort of wars have the Chinese been fighting? Nothing since their Vietnam war – they fought ‘Nam after they helped them. They are the ultimate Blue Falcons.
We’ve done that. With amphibious armadas the likes of which the world has never seen: thrown across the Pacific with might, supplies, big stinky navy seamen and marines, multiple battlewagons, carriers and submarines. Most of that is gone but what we do deploy now is a behemoth compared to what China fields. One carrier? maybe some in keel and maybe a helicopter carrier or two?
Amphibious warfare. Our history of being shore attackers is more interesting for all the alley-fights that came before D Day, in Normandy. We made every possible error one could make, and then we shined for the last year and a half of WWII as the penultimate shore invasion force. While I’m saying this, I want you to apply the same to carrier operations: one does not simply go out on carriers and fly planes from them. It is a long apprenticeship. Now we are experts.
OK, back to Taiwan. The sea battle will take place SW of Taiwan. Look at the map and note how it is a bottleneck for any Chinese naval forces wishing to maneuver. Surface battle is maneuver warfare. O look! Here come the Aussies (all of a sudden we like them for the near term, again) and the Brits! Perhaps the New Zealanders. The Chinese will probably bump into one another trying to open up an invasion lane onto Taiwan.
The war for Taiwan will be a naval war, which is an anachronism, to be sure. However, the concept that China will have to adopt will be to get ashore before anyone can react. They will need to harness, to “become” surprise. They will need to use secrecy. Surprise and Secrecy are 2 critical principles of war (Clausewitz), and Probably the Chinese can succeed with that. Look at the virus. Look at a Chinaman. You can never tell what he’s thinking (never play him in cards). Look at our intelligence services. O, God! You get the picture: at the operational level, our CIA is probably building the enemy a bridge to Taiwan.
OK, we are looking at the potential kinetics; who knows what the politicians are thinking, anyway? That’s outside of my pay grade. Naval battle, secret shore attack. Oh, you think the air forces will be decisive? Really? Taiwan is a big swelling rock and mostly a sea mountain, with some crowded urban areas facing towards China. The East side of the island looks like it basically drops into the ocean, and has sparse urbanization. Everything decisive will happen on the West, China-facing side. No, you cannot bomb everything from the sky (it’s physics). The air force never decided a war, and they are daily butthurt over this. Sorry, aviators. let the navy and the army lift the weight. I don’t actually know what the put-ashore will entail, aviation-wise. I suppose the idea will be to get in to the beaches before allied aviation can arrive, and to jam the shit out of their electronics and hope for the best. Anyway, as I said, it’s fun to watch jets bomb shit, but let’s get back to the war.
China gets ashore, with huge losses everywhere and at all times. It’s a matter of waves of seaborne, and a bit of air-inserted, infantry. Scared shitless, immature, Chinese infantry. Still, with somewhere like 80-100 miles of sea to traverse from China to Taiwan, they will put ashore, if they can convince their troops to pile up dead upon dead because they will be taking it in the ass from allied army, navy, and air. I can visualize some hotshot allied troops putting ashore as a counter to the Chinese army because moving around in the airspace is a losing proposition.
But, they won’t be able to sustain being ashore. They may capture and even level the Taiwanese capitol, but their army will basically stand on rubble. the object of dominating Taiwan may be to literally destroy it. Hmmm. OK, maybe they can accomplish that.
That was fun. When we used to do command and communication exercises at Ft Lewis, WA, the exercise would always end with the universal sign of a plus with an open center and a dot in the center of it. That is the military map symbol for Nuke! Then, we’d get in our cars and go straight to the O Club for beer and steak.
Summary: China will have to go balls out in a withering hellstorm of missiles, bullets, and artillery shells to get on Taiwan, and their only operational thesis will be: destruction. If they do it, they must win or it’s curtains for China. From a maneuver standpoint, they have a simple task but it is fraught with danger, and their only hope is subterfuge, surprise, and security (political and technological ass-covering).
Casey Klahn October 12, 2021, 12:09 AM
Beach: estrange and divide the beach approaches with clutter. Make infantry movement nearly impossible; physically hard and very costly emotionally.
Shallow water: It’s a highly active CEW (counter electronic warfare) environment. In order to get missiles on boats, you need guidance. So, the Chinese will harden their counter to missiles, but then the counter to that is: small boats. Add to that unmanned boats and drones. Suck on that, China. It is rather hard to deliver follow-on waves when you cannot navigate around the wreckage.
Deepwater: Try to fight the Anzacs, the Brits, the Japanese, and the US Navy all at the same time, in constricted space. We stand off: you sally forth. Fuck you.
Airspace: who cares? The Chinese will be trying to advantage the air battle, but playing keep-up and defense the whole time. The overall advantage goes to the defense, and their air arm needs to cripple all other air forces in order to deliver. They will try to protect their initial landings but will do it sacrificially.
Underwater: uhhhhhh. uhhhhh. I notice they did cripple one of our attack subs this past week with an “unknown” collision in the SCS. Interesting. It doesn’t matter because we can stand off with missile boats. Attack subs only support the surface fleet, and the allied surface fleet has the maneuver advantage. Suck it, China.
Space: any questions?
Intel: We lose in this arena.
Unified command and national command: we suk.
Logistics: China has rather an interior line of supply, but they totally suck at tactical and operational logistics. They are very weak in this arena. Plus, they have to project supplies across that hundred miles, and I honestly don’t think they can. This puts the clock into play, and they must succeed quickly.
China is ill-advised to start this war, but stupider things have been done in history.