- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 1223 Hour
- Reading permission
This post was edited by abramicus at 2013-4-19 15:06|
Col has a point that extreme technological disparity cannot be overcome by numbers, but technology, like every tool, needs a context to be useful. The deserts of Iraq are ideal targeting grounds for all kinds of long range weapons as it provides no cover, no camouflage and no real escape. Thus, the context of the Iraq War favored the already superior technological firepower of the Coalition Force. Iraq had nothing of comparable reach, firepower and precision, its best being that of Scuds which were known to break apart in mid-flight even.
But the lesson of the Iraq War must not be used to cover up the lessons of the Vietnam War either, which showed that in the proper context of near-distance fighting, and complex terrains that allow cover and camouflage as well as many routes of escape, retreat or reinforcement, numbers trump technology, and in fact, triumphed over technology to achieve a total victory, which everyone, including China, did not expect to see. If Iraq were a jungle with mountains as in Afghanistan or tunnels as in Vietnam, then the smart technological weapons used on it would have a more limited effect.
Ever since Agincourt when the English long bow won the day against a heavily armored and well-armed French army, distance of reach has been the most important factor in warfare, terrain permitting, which as in Vietnam and Afghanistan may not be permitting though.
China's terrain is complex enough to give its numeric superiority an exponential edge over technological superiority in a defensive war. Its technological inferiority, even with its best effort to date, makes it easy to defeat in any offensive war. But if China's primary concern is defense, then it should emphasize numeric superiority to such an extent that the technological superiority of any aggressor becomes neutralized, even without ever equaling the invading army's firepower or reach in any way.
Thus, China's reduction of the size of its armed forces is a strategic mistake of immense proportions, as it trades an invincible defense for a slim chance of a successful projection of power, imitating the foreign powers it is guarding against. China needs an impregnable shield more than it needs an unstoppable spear. This is how the current contradiction in its defense white paper can be solved rationally and realistically.
Of course, China's impregnable shield must include by the very definition of its sovereign territory, Tibet and Diaoyudao, as well as its two hundred or more islands in the South China Sea, owned by China for the past five hundred years or longer. Within these regions, it must have a substantial numerical superiority in arms, in manpower, and in resources.