Dan wrote:We cannot stop the Chinese from taking Taiwan if they decide they want to do that militarily (unless we are willing to use strategic nukes to try to compel the Chinese to desist. Again, they can diffuse this strategy with economic blackmail countermeasures) and to suggest that Taiwan can defend themselves from China is just silly. If China wants it badly enough, and is willing to deal with the losses, they can take the island. It just won't come cheap, or easy. But the resource imbalance is huge and Taiwan without U.S. support won't be able to hold.
I think I agree with Smitty for the most part inasmuch as there will be significant pain for all parties concerned should China try to seize Taiwan and the US defends Taiwan. But let's look a few facts, please. Taiwan will not lie down. First, Taiwan has a capable military with capable officers and about a half million man military, with another 3 or 4 million men in reserve. Second, Taiwan is armed to the teeth after being armed by americans for decades. Three, the Taiwan soldier is generally well educated and highly motivated. And four, Taiwan has friends in the region and the US can not only supply military assistance, but can resupply the island. There's a damn good reason why China hasn't tried to take Taiwan since the 1950s.
Dan, there is simply no way to convince you that China won't bankrupt the US. I don't think that they could given the enormous wealth of this county -- and that point is hardly unanimous among experts. And even if they could, I don't see them doing it because it would be M.A.D. -- and not just to China and the USA. You can't convince me that we are beholden to China or somehow a second rate country, especially after fighting a 50 year cold war.
But just in pure military terms, you should know better than most that troops fighting for their survival and for liberty and who can be resupplied tend to do very well against conscript conquerors -- especially when the conqueror's Navy is still second rate. Soviet troops had a difficult time outside of the USSR excpet against the Germans and that was a death match because Germany attacked first. Sun Tzu thinks in terms of centuries and millenia -- I don't know how Taiwan will fare in 500 years. But it should fare pretty well today.
The Chinese Navy has an extremely steep learning curve before its Navy can be spoken in the same breath as the US Navy. Not that they can't one day be on par in the China sea. But so long as the the US has deep ties with the Japanese and ASEAN, it's going to take a long time.
Apparently, the Taiwanese themselves have little fear of the Chinese. Maybe they know something we don't.
http://www.defencetalk.com/taiwanese-ha ... vey-28730/
In the end, it depends upon how you look at things. If you think we are at the end of the rope, then there is precious little that does not convince you that the end is near.