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« Esquire: "When China Ruled the World" (January issue) | Main | Fox Business News interview on Esquire China piece & "term sheet" proposal »
1:00AM

Our plans to bomb the length and breadth of China

From AirSea Battle:  A Point-of-Departure Operational Concept, by Jan Van Tol and others at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Under the section, "Blind PLA ISR Systems," this is the map of all the sites we'd presumably want to bomb as early in the campaign as possible:

Then in the section, "Executing a Missile Suppression Campaign," here's all the sites we'd want to hit early as well:

Then here's the sub bases we'd need to strike as part of our "Defeating the PLA submarine force":

It's interesting for our president to meet China's and sign a joint declaration where both sides say they don't consider the other to be an enemy and then to have a Pentagon-favorite military think tank publish maps of strike sites all over China that we'd want to hit in the opening days of our war with the Mainland over Taiwan.

When you're that open with your plans, it's hard to describe anything the Chinese do in return as particularly "provocative." And yet, we do offer Beijing the benefit of our transparency on the subject.

Me?  If somebody publishes maps of the U.S. delineating all the places they'd want to bomb on the first day of the war . . . I'd take that kinda personally.  No, I'm not naive enough to believe the Chinese don't have theirs. But it takes a certain chutzpah to publish yours so openly while decrying Chinese "provocations" and "throwing their weight around."  China hasn't waged war in a very long time.  The U.S. does so regularly.  Whose maps should we take more seriously?

I know, I know. We must think these bad thoughts in order to prevent their occurrence. I'm sure we have similar maps for every country in the world yes?  Just to be certain?

Reader Comments (7)

Well, I don´t know if the Chinese showed more transparancy in military affairs,wouldn´t the USA also take that personally.There are more nice plans like that: Geoffrey Forden wrote a piece called"How China looses a space war"--that´s Airseabattle in space:
Brian Weeden wrote an appropriate response: How China wins a space war.

http://www.chinasecurity.us/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86&Itemid=8
However, the point is, if that happened the world would be affected seriously and it was a total loose-loose to all.

December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRalf Ostner

Is is possible that the timing of the release of this material is intentional?
With more substantial than usual sabre rattling than usual going on in Korea, is this not a reasonably low key way of reminding those factions in China who might need reminding that supporting North Korea excessively (to the point of war a la Russia, Serbia, 1914) would be much more expensive for them than any profits to be gained from North Korean Mining concerns or whatever. I don't suggest these are mainstream factions in any way, but every country has a war party.

It's much more subtle than puttering Carriers around the Yellow Sea. It also reminds China that it while it could produce a map of similar targets in the US, it has no credible way of hitting any of them.

Perhaps I am giving too much Machiavellian credit..

And I expect, if the Pentagon and think tankers are worth a fraction of the money they get, there exists similar maps for every country on earth, even if many are only produced for practice ("OK class, for your exam today, you have 1 Cs, 2 SSGN's and 12 B1s, and your target is...Canada. You may begin.")

December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Cosgrave

Tom,

Of course, it is always uplifting and reassuring to read editorials such as this one below. Sorry, no map included.

Does Beijing really think that the destructive role of the US warrants closer scrutiny? Or is this just more wacky thinking from otherwise bored and underpaid Chinese editorial writers?

Peter Brown

"US destructive role in Northeast Asia"
Source: Global Times
[09:09 December 20 2010]
(http://opinion.globaltimes.cn/editorial/2010-12/602749.html)

The protracted US backing of a vindictive South Korea has pushed the peninsula to the brink of war.

The reaction from the North, when faced with a live-fire artillery drill by South Korean forces on Yeonpyeong island, is predictable. Should the South proceed, a major military conflict cannot be ruled out.

This would spell out the worst scenario resulting from poor political judgment and lack of restraint from both sides. Apart from aimless bravado that may win plaudits from domestic supporters, there is nothing to gain for either side from a confrontation in which millions would suffer.

The US is thus not playing a responsible role. Despite its special envoy being sent to Pyongyang for dialogue, its support of these drills are only pushing North Korea to the edge.

While claiming to be standing guard for the South Korea, the US in fact will do the greatest harm to the South.

The escalation of the Korean crisis is bad news for China or Russia. However, tensions on the peninsula will provide the US, which is to blame for worsening intra-Korean relations, with a perfect excuse to "return to Asia."

It is time to take a closer look at the damaging power of the US role in Northeast Asia. At this critical moment of war and peace, Asian countries need to escape a Cold War mentality and maintain regional interests at heart.

US President Barack Obama has won a Nobel Peace Prize. If a second Korean war should break out during his second term in office, a war he did nothing to prevent, would his aura of peace be shattered?

No matter what China and the US do, the most important objective of all is for South Korea to keep a clear head. Should war break out, the biggest losses would be borne on the South. Despite support from the US and Japan, and sympathy from China and Russia, nobody would take those losses for South Korea. No matter what happens, it is impossible for South Korea to reunite the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea should also be mindful that a war will never fix the country's difficult straits. No matter how objectionable it may view negotiating and building a rapport with other countries, the North has to take this path.

As for China, it does not want to see any major crisis on the Korean Peninsula. But China is never going to bend to any challenge from outside. Should the troubled waters of the peninsula wet China's feet, somebody else may already be drowning.

December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Brown

Well, Tom, not every country. After 9/11, DOD had not the faintest clue about Afghanistan, remember?

December 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentereastriver

eastriver raises an interesting point. It is my understanding that it was not until after the Canadians applied their aerial and satellite-based mapping resources in earnest about 2 or 3 years ago that any accurate maps of southern Afghanistan in particular became available.

December 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Brown

"It takes a certain chutzpah to publish yours so openly while decrying Chinese 'provocations' ..."

"Chutzpah" is much too kind... I believe the correct word here is "hypocrisy", which is the real rule of International Relations, along with power of course.

December 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Robert Cosgrave - I'm certain that the timing isn't intentional, since I read this CSBA report over this summer when it came out. It wasn't recently released.

December 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDPT

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