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In the Pentagon's report on China's growing military threat, is a discussion on China's military options in gaining Taiwan.

The first is diplomatic and economic coercion against Taiwan. The most potent of this avenue is that China places pressure on its allies to pressure Taiwan to buckle under the pressure. The report polite leaves out the pressure that could leave Taiwan utterly defenseless and that is a friendly government in the USA.

The Chinese have not been in the past terribly secretive about its willingness to interfere in US elections through campaign contributions. Although that avenue is shut off for now by new campaign laws, it seems unlikely China would forever foreclose on this means of getting the USA to stop its support for Taiwan. The Chinese may well find a way to fund friendly federal government entities.

The second, discussed before in this weblog, is a blockade, which we feel would be a first military option for China. We do not believe that a blockade or even a partial blockade would be the sole means to a diplomatic win against Taiwan. We believe a blockade and a subsequent reaction by the USA would give China all the excuse it needs to bring invasion forces to full alert, and to bring those forces to close proximity to Taiwan.

The third option is a limited force option. Using small special forces operations, and other non lethal means such a computer network attacks, China could conceivably bring enough pressure to Taiwan to give up. The report adds that use of this option could escalate to a full fledged conflict.


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