Australian news, and some related international items

‘Red Alert’ is a paper tiger

Independent Australia, By John Quiggin | 10 March 2023, 

As Nine newspapers attempt to spread panic about a Chinese invasion, Professor John Quiggin explains why the logistics of such an event happening are unrealistic.

“…………………………………………….We are being told that within the next few years, a seaborne invasion that would dwarf D-Day is going to take place. The most extreme version of this claim is the Red Alert’ series now being published by the Nine newspapers.

China, it is claimed, plans to invade Taiwan, a country with 290,000 soldiers under arms and reserves of 2.3 million. To achieve the kind of numerical superiority seen on D-Day, China would need to land nearly a million men in the first days of an invasion.

But unlike D-Day, there could be no element of surprise. With modern technology, any attack would be detected before the ships left port. They would have to travel 170 kilometres across open water, within range of air attack and anti-ship missiles for the entire voyage. On arriving, they would have a choice of eight small beaches, all of which have been fortified over many decades. Assuming the troops somehow got ashore, they would deal with terrain that makes the bocage look like an open plain.

And to achieve this, the PLA Navy has less than 50 operational landing craft, many dating from the 1970s. The rest of the invasion is supposed to be undertaken by converted ferries, which would be virtually defenceless even against small-arms fire. 

Any attempt at grinding down defences with a preliminary bombing campaign would be doomed to failure. Taiwan’s air and missile forces are dug deep into mountains. And retaliatory strikes would impose huge costs, even assuming that the U.S. did not take part.

 A variety of other strategies (decapitation attacks, blockades and so on) have also been canvassed. All were tried by the Russians in Ukraine and all failed

How do the fearmongers of the ‘Red Alert’ series respond to this widely known analysis? The answer is that they don’t. Instead, they canvass every possible scary scenario they can come up with (germ warfare, cyber-attacks, even a nuclear strike on Pine Gap) in the hope that Australians will be terrified enough to back a big increase in military spending. The striking contradiction is that the conventional weapons they are pushing for would be of no use in countering the threats they are talking about.

Of course, the idea of an invasion of Taiwan isn’t just a fantasy of the Nine newspapers. It suits all the main players to pretend that it’s a realistic possibility. Chinese President Xi Jinping wouldn’t last five minutes as China’s dictator if he renounced the idea of forcible reunification. U.S. Navy figures like Admiral Michael Gilday, who says an attack might come this year, want an increased share of the U.S. defence budget. And, obviously, the Taiwanese Government has no incentive to understate the threats it faces from the Chinese regime.

The ‘Red Alert’ series marks a new low in Australian journalism, rivalling anything the Murdoch press has produced. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be effective in pushing a message that is convenient to so many in positions of power.,17311?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email


March 12, 2023 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, weapons and war

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