ZERO HEDGE, more in-depth
Below is an excerpt from an insightful post titled Red Clouds of War Looming Over Taiwan by a Westerner who is a Taiwan-based researcher…
Scenario 1: The minimalist approach.
The PLA occupies Jinmen or Matsu islands, as well as Taiwan’s islands in the South China Sea, and maybe even the Penghu Islands. They also declare part or all of the Taiwan Strait a “no go” zone to foreign military shipping. This would probably be fairly easy for the PLA, and Taiwan would probably not want to overcommit to naval action against the huge PLA Navy (PLAN) if it didn’t directly approach the main island.
Scenario 2: Hybrid warfare.
Some sort of partial naval and aerial blockade of Taiwan intended to interfere with the economy, combined with stepped-up harassment, such as direct flyovers of Taiwan’s territory by PLA Air Force (PLAAF) jets, or incursions into Taiwan’s maritime space by China’s naval militia, protected by PLAN warships. This might also be accompanied by cyberattacks designed to shut down the internet and other infrastructure for days at a time. Taiwan would have no choice to assert a stiff defensive posture, resulting in real engagements between Taiwanese and Chinese forces, posing a serious risk of escalation.
Scenario 3: A serious attack but no invasion.
This would involve air and sea warfare only, no boots on the ground. A full aerial and naval blockade, a protracted set of naval and aerial battles designed to degrade Taiwan’s military, combined with ballistic missile attacks on military targets. Aggressive cyberattacks turning off the internet and shutting down critical infrastructure for days or weeks. Once air and naval superiority were established, China could pick off targets at will, ratcheting up the threat until the government breaks.
Scenario 4: The Full Monty – a proper invasion.
Total air and sea blockade, massive ballistic missile attacks on military targets, massive cyberattacks to paralyze virtually all military, governmental, and civilian communication and shut down critical infrastructure. Aggressive naval and aerial engagements to degrade Taiwan’s forces and achieve battlespace superiority, followed by sustained aerial assaults by fighters and bombers on military targets. A decapitation strike at Taipei by special forces units to try to seize key leadership personnel. Well-coordinated insider treason and sabotage actions by gangsters, planted CCP agents, and other groups sympathetic to China – the so-called “5th column”. An amphibious assault with close air support from fighters, helicopters, and battle drones at one or more locations in Taiwan, and very possibly a move to seize a major port, such as Keelung, Taipei Port, Taichung, or Kaohsiung. Then hundreds of thousands of troops would start rolling in until the island was occupied. That would be the plan, anyway. PLA success in such an endeavor is very unclear. But they could do a hell of a lot of damage trying. And yes, they might actually succeed, at least partially, such as in seizing and holding the region around Taipei.
Scenario 5: Worst Case (short of nuclear) scenario.
Full air and sea blockade, massive ballistic missile attacks on military targets, massive cyberattack, aggressive naval and aerial attacks to degrade Taiwan’s forces and achieve battlefield superiority, followed by aerial assaults by fighters and bomber on military targets and area bombing of civilian targets. There are massive casualties, and Taiwan is crushed by brute force, surrenders, and then the occupiers enter the country and take it over.
The full analysis can be read here.
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