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Hypothetical War : Contest For The Spratleys


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The United States is decisively engaged in the aftermath of the National Elections and the fallout from 21 December 2012. The PRC makes stops apologizing and starts seriously flexing their muscles, forcing Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines to become reluctant allies.

 

The Vietnamese have lost the combat experience edge they held during the Sino-Vietnamese War.

 

What happens next?

 

Based on this -

 

Singapore (CNN) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Saturday warned that clashes could occur in the South China Sea if nations in the area do not agree on ways to deal with disputes.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/06/04/china.gates.visit/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

 

and this

General Liang Guanglie, China’s defence minister, has rejected criticism that his country was acting belligerently in the South China Sea, saying China was pursuing a “peaceful rise”.

 

“You say our actions do not match our words. I certainly do not agree,” Gen Liang replied to critics at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a high-profile Asia defence forum in Singapore.

 

Speaking days after Vietnam and the Philippines accused China of aggressive behaviour in the South China Sea, Gen Liang denied that China was threatening security in the strategically important and energy-rich disputed waters, saying “freedom of navigation has never been impeded”.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/21c9e72a-8f9b-11e0-954d-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1OSKXqKLX

 

See also

http://208.84.116.223/forums/index.php?showtopic=29064

 

and

http://208.84.116.223/forums/index.php?showtopic=26678&st=120

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Japan? what does Japan has to do with the Spratlys?

 

They are claimed by the PRC, Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. Just getting there is hard, and no island is substantial enough to support a proper military base.

 

Air assets are going to be tight getting there:

 

Malaysia: 18 Su-30MKM, 8 F/A-18D

Brunei: no combat aircraft

Phillippines: I defer to those with more knowledge, but seems to have just some OV-10s and S.211s

Taiwan: well armed but has no aircraft that can reach there

Vietnam: 6x Su-27SK, 5x Su-27UBK, 4x Su-30MK2V

 

So air cover for the coalition is going to be thin in the best of cases.

 

At Hainan the PLAN has 1 regiment each with J-8, J-11 (the local Su-27 derivative) and JH-7, with a PLAAf regiment in the continent equipped with Su-27. if you add ex-Varyag to the mix, they are not going to have a lot of trouble achieving air supremacy to just take over the islands.

 

 

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Aha! Those Chinese fiends! We now can understand their game. They will run their ex-USSR CV ashore in the Spratleys, an unsinkable aircraft carrier strategy, just as the IJN had for the Marianas!

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Guest JamesG123

The Chinese will just buy out the other involved parties by writing them big checks, either directly or via aide or trade deals.

 

The United States is decisively engaged in the aftermath of the National Elections and the fallout from 21 December 2012.

 

Uh... whut? :blink:

 

Damn' those 'shroom flashbacks are bitch aren't they?

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Phillippines: I defer to those with more knowledge, but seems to have just some OV-10s and S.211s

 

They also have that mighty denizen of the sea, BRP Rajah Humabon, the current flagship and leadvessel of the philippine battleline. :excl:

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The Chinese will just buy out the other involved parties by writing them big checks, either directly or via aide or trade deals.

 

 

'Zactly! We're the only ones who look for the military option first.

 

Here's a hypothetical: we stay out of it!

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So, who's going to post the custom harpoon scenario?

 

Remember why I told you the tag line was applicable? I suppose there were 'experts' mocking Plan Orange, too.

 

Greater China

Apr 20, 2006

 

SPEAKING FREELY

If it comes to a shooting war ...

By Victor N Corpus

 

Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing.

 

One could call this article a worst-case scenario for the new American century. Why worst case? Because of the hard lessons from history. The Romans did not consider the worst-case scenario when Hannibal crossed the Alps with his elephants and routed them; or when Hannibal encircled and annihilated the numerically superior Roman army at the Battle of Cannae.

 

The French did not consider the worst-case scenario at Dien Bien Phu and when they built the Maginot Line, and the French suffered disastrous defeats. The Americans did not consider the worst-case scenario at Pearl Harbor or on September 11, and the results were disastrous for the American people. Again, American planners did not consider the worst-case scenario in its latest war in Iraq, but instead operated on the "best-case scenario", such as considering the Iraq invasion a "cake walk" and that the Iraqi people would be parading in the streets, throwing flowers and welcoming American soldiers as "liberators", only to discover the opposite.

 

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/HD20Ad03.html

 

ICE Case Studies

Case Number: 21

Case Mnemonic: Sprat

Case Name: Spratly Islands Dispute

Draft Author: May, 1997

http://www1.american.edu/ted/ice/spratly.htm

 

 

And starting on Page 49

http://books.google.com/books?id=owwAAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=chinese+war+scenario+spratly&source=bl&ots=1AQPhwwAzO&sig=gJPkxU5JB_n_PZw-2pL67PPmskE&hl=en&ei=LjzuTbuWOo_2swO-iZG2Aw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=spratly&f=false

 

 

The Chinese will just buy out the other involved parties by writing them big checks, either directly or via aide or trade deals.

Damn' those 'shroom flashbacks are bitch aren't they?

 

It's an allegory for the Chinese waiting until the United States is distracted by other global events, since the Chinese are loath to go head-to-head with a stronger enemy.

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Japan? what does Japan has to do with the Spratlys?

 

You want a nice clean scenario? Really? :huh:

 

That's just a curve ball, Japan being sucked in during the same wave of Chinese assertiveness.

 

 

China and Japan hold talks on maritime fuel reserves

In Beijing, Chinese and Japanese diplomats are holding exploratory talks on oil and gas reserves in the East China Sea. Both countries have claimed the area concerned since the Second World War in what is one of their many disputes.

 

Chinese and Japanese exploration carried out over the past few years has heightened tensions around the fuel reserves issue. The Beijing talks are exploring the possibility of joint Sino-Japanese oil and gas exploitation in the East China Sea. After the United States, China and Japan are the world's second and third biggest energy consumers respectively.

 

Below is a recent article from Pravda followed by an analysis of the dispute on the Senkaku / Diaoyutai Islands

http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/sino_japgas.html

 

The dispute between China and Japan over the detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain by Tokyo has brought diplomatic relations between the Asian powers to their lowest level in years.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Tensions-Still-High-Over-Japanese-Detention-of-Chinese-Fishing-Boat-Captain-103830609.html

 

Friction between Asia's established economic power — Japan — and increasingly competitive China forces U.S. officials to rethink a long-term strategy in the region.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5175356

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfiwvd_crash-fuels-chinese-japanese-tensions_news

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Phillippines: I defer to those with more knowledge, but seems to have just some OV-10s and S.211s

 

The Captain of the BRP PF-11, having been served real coffee instead of his usual de-caf, gets trigger happy with the PLAN and his ship becomes the conflict's (first?) unintentional sacrificial lamb.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BRP_Rajah_Humabon_%28PF-11%29

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You want a nice clean scenario? Really?

 

That's just a curve ball, Japan being sucked in during the same wave of Chinese assertiveness.

 

 

Well, that's a problem, if Japan is in the party, then so it's South Korea and DearLeaderLand, so we are talking about a wider Asian war, and it's inevitable that the US are sucked in.

 

Ok, so let's rethink all this the US is devastated by a Democrat Landslide (that was the Dec 2012 disaster, wasn't it? ), it needs to be so huge that the USN is wiped off the Pacific, "Battle: L.A." short, as it needs to wipe out not only the carriers, but also the submarines and Okinawa...

 

But we go back to point one, nevertheless; even with Japan in (say they deploy F-15Js to the Phillippines) there must be some way to guarantee air cover over the Spratlys, and Japan only has 4 KC-767J tankers so it's not like they will be in a position to have a constant CAP. This leaves whatever is sent to recover the islets exposed to air attack or missile attack.

 

Submarines are not likely to be much of a factor since the place is full of shallows.

 

What happens if the PRC says "withdraw or face a nuclear attack?"

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Ok, so let's rethink all this the US is devastated by a Democrat Landslide (that was the Dec 2012 disaster, wasn't it? ), it needs to be so huge that the USN is wiped off the Pacific, "Battle: L.A." short, as it needs to wipe out not only the carriers, but also the submarines and Okinawa...

 

 

Ok, I'll see your crockery with mockery - let's just say a 50' tall James Carville eats Toledo.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcxpbhM0DaA

 

 

Did you read the linked scenario in the Chinese Aircraft carrier thread, for checkmating the USN?

 

I'll make it sooperdooper easy for ya. ;)

http://208.84.116.223/forums/index.php?showtopic=26678&view=findpost&p=863198

 

*

 

More fodder - this is from (...2011 minus 1998 is...) 13 years ago!

 

China's policy towards the conflict in the last decade has been both promising

and disappointing for the possibility of reaching a solution. On the one hand, the PRC

has repeatedly signalled that she wants to co-operate with the other claimants involved

in the dispute.5 On the other hand, China has continued to push forward its military

position.6 Hence, as argued by Valencia (1995: 14), in the last decade there has been a

marked distance between China's words and deeds in the South China Sea.

The PRC's hegemonic ambitions coupled with its persistent, non-compromising

stance in the Spratly dispute has caused a growing concern in other Southeast Asian

countries in recent years. In a series of interviews carried out by Stein Tønnesson and

myself in Southeast Asia in early 1998 diplomats, researchers and naval officials all

expressed their concerns about China's regional ambitions. However, the persons

interviewed had divergent interpretations of the driving forces behind China's policy.

Some argued that China is pursuing an anachronistic naval realpolitik and that the PRC

intends take control over the entire South China Sea by military means. Others

believed that China is determined to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.

 

http://www.prio.no/upload/MCA/Publications/pdf-format/Oppgaven.pdf

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Guest JamesG123

By Victor N Corpus

 

"Victor Corpus" is a dumbass.

 

 

One could call this article a worst-case scenario for the new American century. Why worst case? Because of the hard lessons from history. The Romans did not consider the worst-case scenario when Hannibal crossed the Alps with his elephants and routed them; or when Hannibal encircled and annihilated the numerically superior Roman army at the Battle of Cannae.

 

No one remembers the great carthaginian empire, and only the odd historian recalls their occasional tactical victories.

 

 

The Americans did not consider the worst-case scenario at Pearl Harbor or on September 11, and the results were disastrous for the American people.

 

We've come out of both stronger and in better shape than the other guy. It is possible to lose battles and still win the war.

 

It's an allegory for the Chinese waiting until the United States is distracted by other global events, since the Chinese are loath to go head-to-head with a stronger enemy.

 

Does anyone?

 

Why should the PRC do something silly like fight for some meaningless spit of land, or... for any other short term goal, all the way up to Taiwan, when their methodological evil plan to world domination(!) via economic means is right on track?

 

If they want a cake-walk, all they will have to do is wait until 2015 or so when the US won't have enough money to deploy even "advisors" or to sortie COMPACFLT, and all the Chinese have to do is float rumors in the media about raising interest rates or not buying an more US debt to deep six the US economy and government?

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Ok, I'll see your crockery with mockery - let's just say a 50' tall James Carville eats Toledo.

 

Did you read the linked scenario in the Chinese Aircraft carrier thread, for checkmating the USN?

 

Oh, I imagined that much, but still leaves the SSGNs and SSNs at large, think of Lybia, just one and a couple of DDGs with some augmentation from the RN shot +100 Tomahawks. That will kill all airbases at Hainan, add B-52s and B-2s to the mix and the PRC airpower in the South China Sea is toasted.

 

Essentially, the US would need to be neutralised through political means (electing a Chinese President or something like that)

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Why should the PRC do something silly like fight for some meaningless spit of land, or... for any other short term goal, all the way up to Taiwan, when their methodological evil plan to world domination(!) via economic means is right on track?

 

If they want a cake-walk, all they will have to do is wait until 2015 or so when the US won't have enough money to deploy even "advisors" or to sortie COMPACFLT, and all the Chinese have to do is float rumors in the media about raising interest rates or not buying an more US debt to deep six the US economy and government?

 

So you're restating a scenario that takes the USN out of the game, which takes us back to Post 1. Thank you.

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Essentially, the US would need to be neutralised through political means (electing a Chinese President or something like that)

 

 

Distracted, neutralized, overwhelmed by internal events, or all of the above - it's the sort of asymmetric window of opportunity Beijing would exploit to flex their muscles for the first time in international waters.

 

Now that we've gotten past that, what did Beijing learn about dynamic action (after getting spanked by the Vietnamese in 1979) that they'd apply roughly forty years later?

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Guest JamesG123

So you're restating a scenario that takes the USN out of the game, which takes us back to Post 1. Thank you.

 

U're welcome. :P

 

Ok,

 

Chinese corporations move into the Islands with gas drilling equipment, start building airfields and tourist resorts. Large numbers of "volenteer" Chinese national "civilians" migrate to strategic islands complete with prefabricated housing and Walmarts. A PLAN amphibious assault group starts patrolling around the region and a squadron of their new fast attack boats zoom all around and in between them.

 

Tersely worded diplomatic documents fly, whiny speeches are given at the UN, but that is the extent of the "Spratly Island War".

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Distracted, neutralized, overwhelmed by internal events, or all of the above - it's the sort of asymmetric window of opportunity Beijing would exploit to flex their muscles for the first time in international waters.

 

Now that we've gotten past that, what did Beijing learn about dynamic action (after getting spanked by the Vietnamese in 1979) that they'd apply roughly forty years later?

 

Don't forget they did have a little dustup with the Viets over the Spratlys and came out on top, so "strong words speak louder than... soft words"

 

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/asia/vietnam/2011/03/05/293400/Vietnam-protests.htm

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/international/news/20110525p2g00m0in116000c.html

http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20110606-282511.html

 

This sounds like an epitaph: "Several well-known scholars have called on Vietnam to take the case to the United Nations"

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so "strong words speak louder than... soft words..."

 

"...this time".

"The Vietnamese navy will do everything necessary to firmly protect peace and the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Vietnam," foreign ministry spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga said.

http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL3E7GT02620110529

 

Vietnam will take resolute steps to safeguard local and foreign investors exploring and producing oil and gas in the country's exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, chairman of the government office, told a press conference Friday. Phuc is the highest Vietnamese government official to speak publicly about a May 26 incident involving PetroVietnam seismic vessel Binh Minh 2. Vietnam alleges three Chinese patrol boats harrassed the Binh Minh 2, cutting cables it was using to take seismic readings.

http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Oil/8959662

 

From 09

Vietnam will introduce six Russian Kilo-class submarines of the news, once again the Western media's attention to this controversial South China Sea waters. Fox News Network that the United States, Viet Nam to introduce "Kilo" submarines, coastal defense capability will enhance the future of Sino-Vietnamese conflict, once at sea, the Chinese navy may no longer prevail. However, experts on the Chinese Navy, "Global Times" reporter said that a powerful navy, instead of relying on the introduction of several pieces of advanced equipment will be able to do so, Vietnam remains a Navy shore-based naval defense, with the powerful position of the Navy far.

http://wuxinghongqi.blogspot.com/2009/05/chinese-experts-vietnamese-navy-is-very.html

 

*

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Pacific...

 

Vietnam and Indonesia have agreed to further boost defence and security cooperation during their defence ministers’ talks in Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 18.

 

Vietnamese Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh and his Indonesian counterpart Purnomo Yusgiantoro agreed to soon implement the memorandum understanding on defence cooperation signed in October 2010.

http://en.vietnamplus.vn/Home/VN-Indonesia-agree-to-boost-defence-cooperation/20115/18413.vnplus

 

:mellow:

I used to know an Australian that referred to the Indonesians as "Klingons".

 

 

Purchase of Submarines Considered Urgent

Tuesday, 07 June, 2011 | 13:51 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Rizal Darmaputra, a military analyst, supports the government’s plan on purchasing battle submarines. “It is very urgent,” he said, contacted yesterday.

 

He said that the addition to the naval force will fortify the Indonesian military, particularly since Indonesia consists mostly of sea water. In addition, Indonesian waters is a lane used by international shipping companies. A military submarine could become an effective pressure when Indonesia comes into conflict with other nations.

 

My link

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Remember why I told you the tag line was applicable? I suppose there were 'experts' mocking Plan Orange, too.

 

 

A yup.

 

But then the contention over the Spratleys is nothing new. Enough hints and you should read the damn tea leaves. There was enough of an example of the Pearl Harbor type attack with the Taranto raid....

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Good piece on retooled Vietnamese military

http://www.scribd.com/doc/17313967/Thayer-Vietnam-Peoples-Army-Modernization-and-Development

 

*

Eastern Sea (AKA South China Sea) December 2010: World War III starts over a desolate and worthless looking area in the western Pacific Ocean known as the Spratly Islands.

 

Strategically located between and claimed by Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei, the Spratly Islands are also claimed by distant neighbors China and Taiwan. Located in the middle of major shipping lanes with over-abundant commercial fishing possibilities, the Spratly Islands cause turmoil for an even greater reason: untapped oil and gas reserves.

 

http://thelastcolumnist.com/world/the-spratly-islands/

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Guest JamesG123

 

 

I still don't think it will come to blows, but were I Vietnam, Indonesia, and even the Philippines forming a defense pact. The PLAN can still crush all three easily enough, but using the subs or fast attack boats to conduct an interdiction campaign against Chinese ports (Privateers! Arrrrg!) to hurt them where it counts is their best strategy.

 

Its that risk that is likely to prevent an actual conflict. Again, the risks and likely damage to all concerned far out weighs the benefit of owning a a bunch of islands that might get swallowed by the sea any day now according to the Greenies.

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No one in the region has any hope of dealing with the PLAN except the USN. At that point its just a question of whether they would come out and play and how far into the future are we talkin'. Far enough and it seems pretty clear the PRC will achieve local dominance. Near term they have a long way to go. The other locals couldn't hope to deal; they're best bet, if they want to take the risk, would be to run D/Es against Chinese merchant marine in and, if possible, out of theater, particularlly against petro targets. If the USN gets involved, even sans CVs the SSNs would have a field day. If Kilos and Songs are a credible threat to CVNs, then Virginia's are a death sentence to their surface units and merchant marine.

 

The usual PRC scenario disclaimer; they have nothing to gain by such action; everything is going their way and it would be foolish to even fight a winning war that devasted the local economy, which it would. The PRC would commit to such an action only as a last resort to preserving Party rule over China, and I challenge you to invent a scenario where creating massive economic dislocation on a global scale would *help* that situation.

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The IJN will continue as the dominant navy among the region's members. Its steady but largely unheralded growth reflects long range planning, training readiness and an acceptable learning curve. The value of CVs in areas now well covered by landbased aircraft remains mostly symbolic. Joint warfare skills will pay off best and Japan and Singapore are well ahead of the pack.

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No one in the region has any hope of dealing with the PLAN except the USN. At that point its just a question of whether they would come out and play and how far into the future are we talkin'. Far enough and it seems pretty clear the PRC will achieve local dominance. Near term they have a long way to go. The other locals couldn't hope to deal; they're best bet, if they want to take the risk, would be to run D/Es against Chinese merchant marine in and, if possible, out of theater, particularlly against petro targets. If the USN gets involved, even sans CVs the SSNs would have a field day. If Kilos and Songs are a credible threat to CVNs, then Virginia's are a death sentence to their surface units and merchant marine.

 

The usual PRC scenario disclaimer; they have nothing to gain by such action; everything is going their way and it would be foolish to even fight a winning war that devasted the local economy, which it would. The PRC would commit to such an action only as a last resort to preserving Party rule over China, and I challenge you to invent a scenario where creating massive economic dislocation on a global scale would *help* that situation.

 

Actually, one of Liang Guangli's adjutants made an off-the-cuff remark during the Shangri-La dialogues that the recent escalation of tensions was caused by independent action by the Chinese maritime survey bureau, possibly due to a bigwig somewhere trying to justify his budget. It's under investigation in China right now.

 

Not many people know this, but several Chinese civilian maritime agencies actually operate small obsolete warships (gunboats and WW2 corvettes) handed down from the PLAN, ostensibly to help protect their fleets from pirates and other maritime miscreants. The fishery agency, for instance, uses their gunboats and corvettes to hunt down illegal fishing boats and harass US survey ships. However, in recent years there have been efforts by the central administration to reorganize the various armed ships operated by the various agencies into a consolidated coast guard command. The agencies involved don't like this one bit partly because many of them have to operate far out into the sea outside the coast guard's jurisdiction, but partly also because the budget for maintaining the warships can traditionally be used as reserve funds for the agency or siphoned off elsewhere. The recent harassment of Vietnamese ships by the Chinese may have been an effort by one agency to create an excuse for keeping their armed ships.

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