Friday, August 21, 2020

China's response to the Missile Marine gives me pause. Does the concept really rattle their cage?

via Sputnik.
Beijing has warned the US against deploying its ground-based missiles in the Asia Pacific region, promising to take "countermeasures" and threatening any states that host such weaponry with consequences.

"The US attempt to deploy land-based, medium-range missiles is consistent with its increasing military presence in the Asia Pacific and so-called 'Indo-Pacific strategy' over the past years, a typical demonstration of its Cold War mentality," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday.

Washington's "words and deeds" over recent years have greatly contributed to the erosion of global and regional stability, the official added, as well as impacting "international arms control and disarmament process, [and undercutting] mutual trust between major countries."

This response gives me pause.  Are the Chinese this rattled over the Missile Marines & US Army deploying ground based missiles in the Pacific?

If it's only about the threat of missiles to their shipping then I WAS WRONG!!! Full stop.  Nothing else to say on the subject.  I WAS WRONG!!!!

However there is another option here.

Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis?  The US and USSR almost went to war over nuclear missiles stationed just off our coast.  History shows that the USSR made the move in response to the US placing missile in Turkey.

I've always assumed that the US would never launch conventional missiles or even launch conventional airstrikes on mainland China.

What if the Chinese aren't so sure (hypersonics make the issue magnitudes more challenging today...we could launch preemptively and cripple their command & nuclear forces in one swift salvo while they're verifying their radars)?

If so then they're simply reacting in the same way that we did back then.  They're protecting their homeland against a possible strike.  We wouldn't tolerate Chinese missiles in Cuba or Guatemala or Nicaragua and I'm guessing they feel the same way about their neighborhood.

If the second theory is the correct one then we're probably gonna see an escalation that we didn't expect REAL soon.

I just can't pick a side with confidence.  Quite honestly I want it to be the latter and not the former (did I get that right) but I'm stuck on my preconceived notion and don't know if I'm analyzing this without bias.

Any guesses?

Sidenote.  I will do a small bit of chest thumping on one issue.  I did say that basing rights for these missiles would be problematic and that's been proven correct.  The Pacific isn't Europe and they don't view China like Europe viewed the USSR.  It's a VERY pragmatic region.  Culturally they will do the smart thing when two great powers get into a fight (with the exception of probably only Japan and Australia), they'll sit it out and see who wins then they'll make nice with the winner.

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