China is building its military forces faster than U.S. intelligence and military analysts expected, prompting fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next two years, according to Pentagon officials.And where will those forces come from on short notice if we have the balance of our combat ready forces committed elsewhere?
U.S. defense and intelligence officials say all the signs point in one troubling direction: Beijing then will be forced to go to war with the United States, which has vowed to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack.
China's economy has been growing at a rate of at least 10 percent for each of the past 10 years, providing the country's military with the needed funds for modernization.Well, it isn't a democracy and it isn't Communist anymore. What else do you call it? Hard to argue.
The combination of a vibrant centralized economy, growing military and increasingly fervent nationalism has transformed China into what many defense officials view as a fascist state.
"We may be seeing in China the first true fascist society on the model of Nazi Germany, where you have this incredible resource base in a commercial economy with strong nationalism, which the military was able to reach into and ramp up incredible production," a senior defense official said.
The release of an official Chinese government report in December called the situation on the Taiwan Strait "grim" and said the country's military could "crush" Taiwan.Agreed. I have been saying for awhile that we are safe through 08/08/08. 2009 through 2012 is a key danger time for us. If we have a combo of a large percentage of our combat ready troops otherwise employed, and we have a weak government here after the 2008 elections; it will be a perfect storm that the Chinese will have trouble not taking advantage of. I would look at it.
Earlier this year, Beijing passed an anti-secession law, a unilateral measure that upset the fragile political status quo across the Taiwan Strait. The law gives Chinese leaders a legal basis they previously did not have to conduct a military attack on Taiwan, U.S. officials said.
The war fears come despite the fact that China is hosting the Olympic Games in 2008 and, therefore, some officials say, would be reluctant to invoke the international condemnation that a military attack on Taiwan would cause.
In the past, some defense specialists insisted a Chinese attack on Taiwan would be a "million-man swim" across the Taiwan Strait because of the country's lack of troop-carrying ships.If you have not been reading my "Long Game" series: shame on you.
"We left the million-man swim behind in about 1998, 1999," the senior Pentagon official said. "And in fact, what people are saying now, whether or not that construct was ever useful, is that it's a moot point, because in just amphibious lift alone, the Chinese are doubling or even quadrupling their capability on an annual basis."
China is building capabilities such as aerial refueling and airborne warning and control aircraft that can be used for regional defense and long-range power projection, ... It also is developing a maneuverable re-entry vehicle, or MARV, for its nuclear warheads. The weapon is designed to counter U.S. strategic-missile defenses, ... Work being done on China's weapons and reconnaissance systems will give its military the capability to reach 1,000 miles into the sea, ... Beijing also has built a new tank for its large armed forces. It is known as the Type 99 and appears similar in design to Germany's Leopard 2 main battle tank. ... The country's air power is growing through the purchase of new fighters from Russia, such as Su-30 fighter-bombers, as well as the development of its own fighter jets, such as the J-10.The Chinese have learned one thing that we have neglected in our ground war against terrorists. Missiles.
Gen. Hester (Air Force Gen. Paul V. Hester, head of the Pacific Air Forces) compared Chinese warplanes with those of the former Soviet Union, which were less capable than their U.S. counterparts, but still very deadly.
"They have great equipment. The fighters are very technologically advanced, and what we know about them gives us pause for concern against ours," he said.
"It is their surface-to-air missiles, their [advanced] SAMs and their surface-to-surface missiles, and the precision, more importantly, of those surface-to-surface missiles that provide, obviously, the ability to pinpoint targets that we might have out in the region, or our friends and allies might have," Gen. Hester said.There is a lot more in the report, especially concerning the Chinese oil situation and "other" former Chinese territory issues. Read it.
The advances give the Chinese military "the ability ... to reach out and touch parts of the United States -- Guam, Hawaii and the mainland of the United States," he said.
"Let's all wake up. The post-Cold War peace is over," Mr. Fisher (vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center) said. "We are now in an arms race with a new superpower whose goal is to contain and overtake the United States."Next time you go to WalMart and buy all those Chinese goods, or read about China buying American corporations; think about that.