The China-Taiwan Invasion and Russian Strike On Ukraine

Since WWII, the US overstated national security dangers while neglecting more threatening ones. Maybe America’s DNA contains memories of appeasing Nazi Germany and fascist Japan during the interwar years.

Saddam Hussein never had nukes; establishing democracy in the greater Middle East was a fantasy.

Now, intel warnings of a Russian invasion into Ukraine with 175,000 troops and military generals worrying over a Chinese takeover of Taiwan illustrate these exaggerated fears.

Putin’s Aim

Russia will not strike Ukraine until something horrible happens. For the time being, China appears to lack the military capability to conquer and occupy Taiwan. Why?

“Military actions” unite Russian President Vladimir Putin with Soviet leaders returning to Lenin. A mix of military coercion, psychological warfare, covert and overt intelligence activities, and disruption has always been used.

In 1924, the USSR used them to try to absorb Estonia. Putin uses them now. Forecasting what Putin will do is dangerous, but pinpointing the likely causes of this situation is less so. First, Putin recognizes that he can control the crisis’s intensity.

Secondly, with internal lines, Putin’s forces are only constrained by the weather and the quality of Russia’s roads and rails.

Additionally, Putin can maintain this military involvement without expanding his forces. Finally, Putin sets his goals in advance. In July, a 5,000-word diatribe on Ukraine set the stage. Sadly, the West failed to recognize and respond.

Putin demands respect and equality. He wants to widen the NATO-EU buffer zone by including Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova. He uses coercion to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to pressure Russian to stop embracing NATO.

Putin uses President Biden and other Western governments to persuade or force Zelensky to sign the Minsk II accord. Putin is also pleased with the current 60–65% approval rating in Russia.

To Take Taiwan

Answering how much power would be required proves China will not attack Taiwan. No top official has provided a figure. History has.

Trying to invade Taiwan, held by 30,000 Japanese troops, required more than twice the number of troops that landed in Normandy in 1944. 400K soldiers and 4,000 ships were needed for the Causeway. China will never be able to do this.

China has choices. It may destroy Taiwan. It may take Taiwan’s South China Sea islets. It might enforce an embargo with its mercenary fleet of thousands. It may also try to alter Taiwan’s government, but it won’t be an amphibious attack.

What’s next for Russia? A series of discussions will likely ensue to de-escalate the perceived invasion threat. Putin will win at some point. It will be slowed, but not stopped. That will please America and its allies.

However, what is lost? A new MAD has arisen to avoid an existential thermonuclear war, not the Cold War MAD of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD).

COVID-19, climate change-induced catastrophic weather, and cybercrime that may destroy civilizations by denying critical utilities outnumber Russia and China, but few have seen MAD’s peril, and fewer are acting.


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