Was Biden's Taiwan comment a Gaff or Deliberate?

jocal505

moderate, informed, ex-gunowner
14,402
327
near Seattle, Wa
Spelling is your concern this morning? 

Yet this very morning you need to answer for yesterday's death of 19 children, by AW...and this bit is your only post.

Hi there, Dogballs.

 

Pertinacious Tom

Importunate Member
62,917
2,021
Punta Gorda FL
Spelling is your concern this morning? 

Yet this very morning you need to answer for yesterday's death of 19 children, by AW...and this bit is your only post.

Hi there, Dogballs.
My apologies. When considering US policy toward Taiwan, as with every other issue, it's important to note that I sometimes say bad things about TeamD gun bans and confiscation programs, so thanks for bringing that into the discussion.

 

jocal505

moderate, informed, ex-gunowner
14,402
327
near Seattle, Wa
My apologies. When considering US policy toward Taiwan, as with every other issue, it's important to note that I sometimes say bad things about TeamD gun bans and confiscation programs, so thanks for bringing that into the discussion.
Skip the balderdash, Dogballs, and get pertinacous. The (hot) topic pertains to AW shootings, at schools and elsewhere. 

 

Blue Crab

benthivore
16,541
2,719
Outer Banks
Bush was making a distinction between a democratically elected Volodymyr Zelenskiy, “the Churchill of the 21st century”, and the rigged elections and despotism of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, where the absence of checks and balances led to “the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq – I mean Ukraine”.

The audience laughed along, but the mistake was a reminder that the world is still living with the consequences of that invasion. It broke Iraq and set off a sectarian civil war in which hundreds of thousands of people died. 43rd idiot of the US

 

phillysailor

Super Anarchist
8,920
3,685
I would not be so quick to judge China's ability to pummel and reduce Taiwan's ability to mount a defense by comparing their prospects to Russia's experience in Ukraine. The Chinese military is not hamstrung by Russia's economic weakness and vulnerabilities, they have spent decades expanding their system of ports and worldwide influence, have island bases within the field of combat and do not display the same level of incompetence and corruption Russians take for granted. They have developed long range bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and anti-air weapons which have been called "exquisite." They've impressive industrial capacity, and a substantial navy.

Their military readiness is not what they want it to be, however, and so have initiated modernization efforts including increased training tempo and improving their leadership culture.

Given their advantages of shorter logistics trail, unsinkable bases and unified political structure (diametrically opposed to America's fractious weakness) thinking Ukraine proves anything about China's chances for military success misses the point entirely.

The point of considering the threat China poses to Taiwan's sovereignty is the financial and political realities of maintaining forward deployed units, naval, air force and space forces. These costs must be sustainable to the point of deterrence, such that, when combined with Taiwan's capabilities, the US can make China's military options unpalatable.  

THIS is where Ukraine helps so much. By uniting NATO and in fact invigorating western countries to focus on defense, Russia has restored western power in the eyes of the Chinese. Since we are also their best customers, long-term planning has to change. 

Biden just decided to give a bit of a nudge at a critical moment. Nicely done.

SOO glad Trump with his "America First" and "exit NATO" plans was defeated and attempts by Russia via Manafort, social media, RTV and the NRA failed to weaken American resolve vis a vis Ukraine sufficiently to permit their invasion to succeed. Electing Biden may well have secured Taiwan's safety for the near future.

 
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Lark

Supper Anarchist
9,681
1,801
Ohio
I would not be so quick to judge China's ability to pummel and reduce Taiwan's ability to mount a defense by comparing their prospects to Russia's experience in Ukraine. The Chinese military is not hamstrung by Russia's economic weakness and vulnerabilities, they have spent decades expanding their system of ports and worldwide influence, have island bases within the field of combat and do not display the same level of incompetence and corruption Russians take for granted. They have developed long range bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and anti-air weapons which have been called "exquisite." They've impressive industrial capacity, and a substantial navy.

Their military readiness is not what they want it to be, however, and so have initiated modernization efforts including increased training tempo and improving their leadership culture.

Given their advantages of shorter logistics trail, unsinkable bases and unified political structure (diametrically opposed to America's fractious weakness) thinking Ukraine proves anything about China's chances for military success misses the point entirely.

The point of considering the threat China poses to Taiwan's sovereignty is the financial and political realities of maintaining forward deployed units, naval, air force and space forces. These costs must be sustainable to the point of deterrence, such that, when combined with Taiwan's capabilities, the US can make China's military options unpalatable.  

THIS is where Ukraine helps so much. By uniting NATO and in fact invigorating western countries to focus on defense, Russia has restored western power in the eyes of the Chinese. Since we are also their best customers, long-term planning has to change. 

Biden just decided to give a bit of a nudge at a critical moment. Nicely done.

SOO glad Trump with his "America First" and "exit NATO" plans was defeated and attempts by Russia via Manafort, social media, RTV and the NRA failed to weaken American resolve vis a vis Ukraine sufficiently to permit their invasion to succeed. Electing Biden may well have secured Taiwan's safety for the near future.
I suspect China will find ways to supplant Taiwan’s democracy and seize control with just a police roundup of dissenters.      Risking Taiwan lobbing missiles into their cities while China attempts airborn and amphibious landings sounds bloody.    
 

The ability and willingness of the US Navy to face China directly is hard to predict.   They have tankers.   

 
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phillysailor

Super Anarchist
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3,685
I suspect China will find ways to supplant Taiwan’s democracy and seize control with just a police roundup of dissenters.      Risking Taiwan lobbing missiles into their cities while China attempts airborn and amphibious landings sounds bloody.    
 

The ability and willingness of the US Navy to face China directly is hard to predict.   They have tankers.   
David Poyer gamed it out and came up with a bloody (early) Tom Clancy-esque series of novels I can heartily recommend. Good fun.

 
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Mark_K

Super Anarchist
In fact, we never said that we wouldn't. We also sell Taiwan F-16s, Stingers, Abrams, MREs, .... It's long been pretty obvious, blindingly obvious, that we would.

Moreover, not only would a Chinese attack on Taiwan be incredibly stupid militarily, but considering the debilitating sanctions that Russia is suffering through, the same would be worse for China. China imports a lot of food and most energy. A shipping embargo would be easy to implement and catastrophic.
It's possible the Chinese build up of forces designed to take Taiwan is due to knowledge that should a Great Powers war break out Taiwan could be used as an un-sinkable aircraft carrier and missile base, and would HAVE to be taken. As we would in similar situation.  

 

The_Real_XYZ

Super Anarchist
1,315
256
mi
It's possible the Chinese build up of forces designed to take Taiwan is due to knowledge that should a Great Powers war break out Taiwan could be used as an un-sinkable aircraft carrier and missile base, and would HAVE to be taken. As we would in similar situation.  
Seriously, they are building an army specifically to take it, it's going to happen at some point.  

 

Nice!

Super Anarchist
4,453
1,235
Victoria, BC
It wasn't a gaffe. It was absolutely on purpose, but designed to look like a gaffe. The goal is to keep China guessing what the US would do. Did he say their actual intent out loud? Was it a red herring? Is he just senile? Nobody knows, not even China, which is the point.

The opposite of that would be stating emphatically what you are going to do, and there's no follow-up press releases from WH to contradict the statement. Then everybody knows what the intent is. For example, if you were planning to leave Afghanistan. Everybody knew it, including the Taliban. This allowed them to focus their resources on overthrowing the government structure once the Americans left, which we saw play out. Announcing it like that up front was a major foreign relations blunder that cost thousands of lives and allowed Afghanistan to fall under Taliban rule 45 seconds after the US left.

 

Olsonist

Disgusting Liberal Elitist
30,049
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It's possible the Chinese build up of forces designed to take Taiwan is due to knowledge that should a Great Powers war break out Taiwan could be used as an un-sinkable aircraft carrier and missile base, and would HAVE to be taken. As we would in similar situation.  
George Friedman had a point about China that cooler heads having seen the Ukraine fiasco are now wildly waving a white flag. They want to retain tensions as an internal organizing principle but they want no part of what the West threw at Russia.




 

Burning Man

Super Anarchist
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Back to the desert
image.png

 

mikewof

mikewof
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Not a gaff. If we are willing to go to war against China to save Tiawan then saying we wouldn't would be dangerously stupid. However I think a cagier answer to that awkward question would be to say we don't think the Chinese intend to move militarily against Tiawan, as such a war would destroy that nation and destroyed Tiawan would be a pyrrhic victory. So the Chinese, being the highly intelligent and eminently rational people they are, are highly unlikely to take that tack.  Standard hip-wader grade diplo-BS. 

  However for Biden the FOX Newsies have been trying to make hay by saying Biden is China's bitch. Hunter did some bidness there and sumshit. There is a need to extablish some street cred in the matter. Russia is currently the greater threat and we all know what side Tucker and The Donald are on. The wolf at the door... 
It's good in theory ... but ultimately, it's still just bluster, as definitively as Biden claims otherwise. As you correctly guess, a war against China would leave Taiwan a smoking hole, with Taiwan in Chinese hands anyway.  We could barely manage a war against Afghanistan, which had the collected military capabilities of a collection of sterilized tomcats. How would we possibly manage a war against an actual global superpower on their home turf?

Would the average American NASCAR-watching, Mountain Dew drinking, lifted F-150 American actually support going to die in Taiwan? Maybe for a few months, until the romance of yet another war gives way to lots and lots of dead Americans against the war machine of China. Flesh might be willing for a bit, spirit would be weak from Day 1. The draft would collapse, and there would be nowhere to run for the dissidents.

If we expect to stand up to the Global Nuclear Superpower Communist Dictatorship that China is, we can't expect to do it militarily. That ship has sailed for us, if it was ever even in our port. We need to make ourselves strong against China in the Economic War in which China is currently kicking our unholy asses. And that means investing in the same kinds of things that China invests in; advanced energy, infrastructure, efficiency, community ... only do it our way, where we don't toss dissident poets into a grimy cell for half their lives. Yeah, I know the idea of a more difficult future may not necessarily fly with the NPR-listening millionaire set, but it has to be done. We have to refocus what we have, and make it work instead of losing to China year after year and being their economic bitch.

 
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mikewof

mikewof
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I suspect China will find ways to supplant Taiwan’s democracy and seize control with just a police roundup of dissenters.      Risking Taiwan lobbing missiles into their cities while China attempts airborn and amphibious landings sounds bloody.    
 

The ability and willingness of the US Navy to face China directly is hard to predict.   They have tankers.   
Yeah, I can see this. They have all the time in the world ... buy out Taiwanese industry, control the politics, control the police, keep the old people quiet, round up the younger dissenters. Why rewrite a playbook that already worked so well for them in Hong Kong? Even the idea is somewhat ludricrous; we barely care that Hong Kong has fallen, but suddenly we're going to fight the same kind of takeover in Taiwan?

90


Americans beat our chests, but ultimately, the war there won't start with a bullet, or a missile or a invasion, it has already started in a way that the gun-bearers and war hawks don't even have the ability to see; with an economic takeover https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/186810261704600103

 
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Mrleft8

Super Anarchist
27,466
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Suwanee River
It's good in theory ... but ultimately, it's still just bluster, as definitively as Biden claims otherwise. As you correctly guess, a war against China would leave Taiwan a smoking hole, with Taiwan in Chinese hands anyway.  We could barely manage a war against Afghanistan, which had the collected military capabilities of a collection of sterilized tomcats. How would we possibly manage a war against an actual global superpower on their home turf?

Would the average American NASCAR-watching, Mountain Dew drinking, lifted F-150 American actually support going to die in Taiwan? Maybe for a few months, until the romance of yet another war gives way to lots and lots of dead Americans against the war machine of China. Flesh might be willing for a bit, spirit would be weak from Day 1. The draft would collapse, and there would be nowhere to run for the dissidents.

If we expect to stand up to the Global Nuclear Superpower Communist Dictatorship that China is, we can't expect to do it militarily. That ship has sailed for us, if it was ever even in our port. We need to make ourselves strong against China in the Economic War in which China is currently kicking our unholy asses. And that means investing in the same kinds of things that China invests in; advanced energy, infrastructure, efficiency, community ... only do it our way, where we don't toss dissident poets into a grimy cell for half their lives. Yeah, I know the idea of a more difficult future may not necessarily fly with the NPR-listening millionaire set, but it has to be done. We have to refocus what we have, and make it work instead of losing to China year after year and being their economic bitch.
I think you're preaching to the wrong choir. It's not the NPR listening millionaires, it's the NRA grovelling millionaires and their toothless kin.

 

BeSafe

Super Anarchist
8,121
1,363
It's good in theory ... but ultimately, it's still just bluster, as definitively as Biden claims otherwise. As you correctly guess, a war against China would leave Taiwan a smoking hole, with Taiwan in Chinese hands anyway.  We could barely manage a war against Afghanistan, which had the collected military capabilities of a collection of sterilized tomcats. How would we possibly manage a war against an actual global superpower on their home turf?
Its not the Chinese home turf - its the Taiwanese home turf.

The Chinese would have to cross 112 miles of open water carrying heavy munitions and troops against hostile forces.  Conservatively, they'd need 250,000 troops - at least.  They would have to stage those troops along several port cities - gathering up massive amounts of men and material - all under the watchful gaze of the US and Taiwanese combined forces.  One thing we really are good at it bombing static targets - like ports, fuel depots, and command bunkers.  It would be a hard and bloody crossing against just the Taiwanese - adding in the US military?  No fucking way.

They'd have a better shot if they filled in the strait of Taiwan with an earthen land bridge than trying an amphibious assault.  They DO have a lot of soldiers, but 112 miles is along way to swim.

BTW:  Although Taiwan isn't an 'official' nuclear power, how long do you think it would take them to actually assemble a few tactical nukes?  They HAVE three nuclear reactors and all the design materials from the Japanese.  They have mountains of advanced manufacturing capability.  Do you think they'd have any reluctance to use tactical nukes over open water, particularly against an invading amphibious fleet?   Now THAT could be ugly if the Chinese decided to retaliate in kind.

 I hope we never find out, but I believe trying to take Taiwan by military force would be an atrocious failure by the Chinese.   They might be able to take it in some sort of political coup but even that seems far fetched.

 
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mikewof

mikewof
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Its not the Chinese home turf - its the Taiwanese home turf.

The Chinese would have to cross 112 miles of open water carrying heavy munitions and troops against hostile forces.  Conservatively, they'd need 250,000 troops - at least.  They would have to stage those troops along several port cities - gathering up massive amounts of men and material - all under the watchful gaze of the US and Taiwanese combined forces.  One thing we really are good at it bombing static targets - like ports, fuel depots, and command bunkers.  It would be a hard and bloody crossing against just the Taiwanese - adding in the US military?  No fucking way.

They'd have a better shot if they filled in the strait of Taiwan with an earthen land bridge than trying an amphibious assault.  They DO have a lot of soldiers, but 112 miles is along way to swim.

BTW:  Although Taiwan isn't an 'official' nuclear power, how long do you think it would take them to actually assemble a few tactical nukes?  They HAVE three nuclear reactors and all the design materials from the Japanese.  They have mountains of advanced manufacturing capability.  Do you think they'd have any reluctance to use tactical nukes over open water, particularly against an invading amphibious fleet?   Now THAT could be ugly if the Chinese decided to retaliate in kind.

 I hope we never find out, but I believe trying to take Taiwan by military force would be an atrocious failure by the Chinese.   They might be able to take it in some sort of political coup but even that seems far fetched.
I agree with you, a military attack on Taiwan by China would be a mistake. And they probably wouldn't do it anyway.

So why would China even bother with a messy, expensive military invasion? They took over Hong Kong a few decades before the turn-over and though a few folks around the world noticed, who actually tried to stop them other than a bunch of Hong Kongers, many of whom are now in Chinese prisons?

China isn't dumb like us Americans. They know how much war actually costs in measures other than debt, and they have clearly demonstrated that they know how to wage war and capture economies and populations without firing a shot. You write about our capabilities but the most likely scenario is that we don't even recognize the takeover of Taiwan, we'll be too busy trying to bung the holes in our own battered, xenophobic, military-centered economy to even notice.

 
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mikewof

mikewof
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I think you're preaching to the wrong choir. It's not the NPR listening millionaires, it's the NRA grovelling millionaires and their toothless kin.
A lot of NRA-groveling set are already broke. What are they going to do, cry over the holes in the roofs of their mobile homes? Switch to a cheaper brand of malt liquor?

The changes that we will need to make to the economy will remove the luxuries of the people who aren't used to making compromises. If we expect to become an economic competitor again, we will have to work around the unbearable load of our 1% elites. And they are impossible to touch, so they will make some token compromises, and it will be the upper middle class and lower upper class that see outrageous tax on their vacation homes, their boats, their luxury cars, even their offshore wealth. How hard was it to create a new branch of regressive computer nerds? Only as hard as bringing in a 50% crypto tax. It will go like that, sector by sector.

And as wealthy people tend to do when they suddenly feel less wealthy, they will embolden charismatic fascists, albeit charismatic fascists who are woke and say all the right things with regard to women and ethnic minorities. 

We won't be able to transition our sinking service based economy back to an industrial economy without a good bit of pain and sacrifice, but we've no other choice.

 
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Hard On The Wind

Super Anarchist
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Let China have Taiwan if China adopts a one Korea agenda. They need to help us rid the peninsula of nukes. Win win. We need enough time to move Taiwan Semiconductor to Kansas. 

 
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