Taiwan: What if the Chicoms invade?
In 1958, the Chicoms shelled the islands between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. A Chicom invasion of Taiwan appeared almost certain. President Eisenhower ordered the late, great Lt. Colonel Gayle B. Gardner to lead his supersonic Super Sabres on a MiG sweep of the Strait of Taiwan. Seventeen MiGs went down in flames. Chairman Mao was too embarrassed to protest. Colonel Gardner’s squadron was sworn to secrecy. The media were told the Taiwanese Air Force shot down the MiGs. Fake news.
Not finished, President Eisenhower ordered Colonel Gardner to strap a nuclear shape (a nuclear bomb with its nuclear components removed) under each wing of his aircraft and to fly at night, in rotten weather, at wave-top level, and "pitch" the nuclear shapes onto the Chinese Mainland. Chairman Mao got the message: the U.S. can strike the Chinese mainland at any hour under any conditions and there was nothing Chairman Mao could do about it. The crisis faded away until the Biden Regency’s recent debacle in Afghanistan. Now, the Chicoms are flooding the Strait with highly advanced fighter-bombers, suggesting an invasion of Taiwan is imminent.
What should be the U.S. response, if any, to a Chicom invasion of Taiwan? Let’s paraphrase some questions from the original 1936 edition of Sound Military Decision, a small textbook used at the U.S. Naval War College: Is the preservation of Taiwan as an independent democracy a vital interest of the United States? What happens if we try to rescue Taiwan and fail? What happens if we try and succeed? These are the kinds of questions the U.S. failed to consider with regard to Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
If the U.S. were to abandon Taiwan, will the prestige of the U.S. suffer any more than when Congress abandoned the South Vietnamese to the North Vietnamese in 1975 or when the Biden Regency* abandoned Afghanistan to the Taliban in 2021?
The JFK-LBJ failure in Vietnam led to the election of Richard Nixon. Until the elections of 2022, we won’t know the political outcome of the Biden Regency’s* Dumbkirk Debacle in Kabul.
Let’s say the Biden Regency* decides to use military force to oppose a Chicom invasion of Taiwan. Will our military strategy be the correct one to accomplish the aims of policy? Will the policy aims of the U.S. enhance or hinder the success of the military strategy? Will adequate means be allotted to support the strategy? Will the strategy be undertaken under favorable circumstances?
Taking the questions in reverse order, with Taiwan on Red China’s doorstep and thousands of miles away from our logistical base, which nation would be operating under the more favorable circumstances? You decide.
Given the Obama Administration’s efforts to take down America "a peg or two," and the spending of valuable training time on social experiments, does the U.S. still have adequate military means to allot to the strategy? You decide.
Will the military employ the correct strategy? Given what we saw in Afghanistan, that is a very good question.
Meanwhile, the Chicoms and Taiwan enjoy a robust trade in computer chips. Pray trade -- and Taiwan’s rumored nukes -- will be enough to prevent the U.S. from suffering, yet another, international humiliation.
* Regency: When someone governs in place of another.
Suggested Reading: Sound Military Decision, U.S. Naval War College, 1936. War During Peace: A Strategy for Defeat.Pegasus Imprimis Press, 2021.
©2021. William Hamilton.