Monday, September 26, 2005

This PDF file should be of particular interest to Simon and Eddie.

Analysts from RAND Corporation outlined information distilled from Chinese doctrinal writings on asymmetric warfare in Congressional testimony, suggesting that the PLA leadership envisions a war with Taiwan being " winnable" and "containable". The guiding strategic principles are:

The objective is to fight a brief, lightning-fast, local limited war which China presumes America will subsequently decline to escalate further. Amusingly, since these doctrinal writings suggest hitting PACOM assets even before striking Taiwan itself to achieve this political effect, RAND's analyst notes:

" It does not need to be pointed out to this panel that the last time such a strategy was attempted in the Pacific the ultimate results were not altogether favorable to the country that tried it "

But he also noted the obvious historical example had been left out of these doctrinal writings. From my perspective, this analysis tells us several things about Chinese strategic thinking:

First that Chinese generals like generals the world over tend to like plans better if they ignore inconvenient realities - like China's dearth of airlift and sealift capabilities to carry out a more difficult cross-channel invasion than D-Day. Or the reaction of the American public to a sneak attack on the U.S. Navy. Or Taiwan's ability to repel an invasion. Or...or....or....

Secondly, the generals are politically obligated by the CCP leadership to come up with something that has a hope of achieving reunification of Taiwan on Chinese terms. Considering this whole strategy is premised on " We can't win a major with the United States but here's how we'll risk one anyway" the overriding importance to China's rulers of preventing formal Taiwanese independence should be obvious. It's not just a vital interest but the paramount one.

Third, the Chinese are not stupid. If we ( from their viewpoint) permit Taiwan to back Beijing into a corner they will strike first and most likely it is going to hurt. They are well aware of our systemic weaknesses and the tendency we have to neglect the unglamorous basics or build sufficient redundancy into our critical systems to weather a crisis. Moreover, they aren't the only people who've noticed.

The first strategic reality that needs to be understood is that the entire globe is an asymmetric position relative to the United States and that other nations will act accordingly. This is why we need an " Asian NATO" - there are too many potential conflicts in Asia between great regional powers where the United States cannot help but be dragged in if war breaks out. We need to cool these incipient rivalries down before they acquire irreversible momentum.


Eddie too has been mulling over China.

...and an Asian "NATO" would look like what? We already have agreements with Japan, South Korea and Australia. Seems to me the whole problem can be solved with a nuclear Taiwan. China has, to varying degrees, helped Pakistan and North Korea get nuclear weapons; both of which pose a significant risk to the U.S. We should "allow" Taiwan to go nuclear....heck, it is not a threat to China.
It is scary if the Chinese think that they could contain the results of an attack on the US Navy.

It's very scary. Hard to tell if the PLA generals genuinely believe that idiocy or are constrained by internal Chinese politics from saying otherwise.

Admiral Yamamoto knew full well that Pearl Harbor would be a strategic disaster for Imperial Japan yet planned and carried it out regardless.
I wonder, long-term, which is more dangerous to stability in Asia; excessive Chinese nationalism (that is continually harnessed by the regime to keep attention off of problems at home) or the tyranny of the few (who become increasingly detached from reality, as those pondering a sneak attack on the US navy have to be).

A new piece about Admiral Fallon, the PACOM procounsul, is available here;
he's wisely pressing Taiwan to get serious about defensive weapons. Good for them, great for us.
There is a very simple solution for the PRC to win. It can legalize the KMT on the mainland in exchange for peaceful unification with Taiwan.
The KMT mandarins gain enormous power in such an arrangement, the PRC becomes a multi-party democracy with the CCP losing (sending?) a third of its activists to the KMT, and the US has a huge hole shot into the intellectual framework it has for dealing with the PRC.

With recent estimates being that the PRC has 50%-59% of its economy in the private sector, what, specifically, differentiates the PRC at that point from Egypt? Is it Egypts lower level of economic importance and political freedom?

The PRC could gain everything at the next KMT government without firing a shot. They have already declared that they are no longer at war with the KMT.

Besides our armed forces, our State Department needs to be prepared for the eventuality that we get what our official policy actually seeks, peaceful reunification of the PRC and the ROC.
Hey TM

I could easily live with that scenario ( ending the CCP monopoly of power )- you would not be losing a democratic Taiwan but gaining a democratizing China. There's no way any duopoly could be long maintained - new civil society groups would worm there way into the cracks between the KMT and the CCP almost immediately.

In the interim, Taiwan needs to look to its own defenses and not go the European route in terms of defense policy. To be aggressive and unarmed is exceedingly unwise.
Hi Barnabus,

An Asian NATO would be - IMHO - the US, Japan, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and South Korea. For starters. Membership can be dangled as an incentive for states like Pakistan and Indonesia to reform.

The purpose would be less to defend against attack than to make it exceedingly difficult for member states to attack one another - much the way NATO members prevented Greece and Turkey from going to war on numerous occasions
“It's very scary. Hard to tell if the PLA generals genuinely believe that idiocy or are constrained by internal Chinese politics from saying otherwise.” Mark
It is only scary if this report is the best the Rand corporation can come up with, a surprise attack by China? If our generals haven’t figured that one out yet, then we need to get rid of the generals. Why didn’t the boys at Rand report what we do know? When Taiwan declares it’s independence, China will attack. What kind of surprise is that? Are our boys and girls in the Pacific just burning diesel for fun, or are they preparing for an attack? I think our country would be better served with a little chorine added to the gene pool down at the Rand Corporation. Maybe they need to read some of these articles about horizontal thinking. We already know that China will attack and use high tech systems to win. We need to identify those systems and coordinate our response accordingly. Any surprise attack only last a few months (see 9/11).
As for America being squeamish about our solders dieing for freedom, China needs to read about the Civil, first, second, Korea, and Vietnam War. We haven’t changed. We didn't pull out of Vietnam because we would not let our solders die for freedom, we pulled out because of the lies our government told us and the perceived waste of lives those lies caused. I believe an attack on our navy would be perceived as an attack on freedom itself. Six month after a “surprise” attack, China would have its answer. That is what the people reading the Rand report should concentrate on. Hardening airport runways? What a bunch of crap.
The duopoly of power in the US has been maintained for quite a long while without much in the way of violence or even underhanded tactics. You can write a system up that only has two major parties.

The KMT would likely be majority staffed by CCP transplants. Think about it. Taiwan is small, the CCP is big, and the KMT would have to cover all that territory somehow. The pervading cynicism of *any* late cycle totalitarian state means that they're going to be very hard up for cadre. The CCP already is. So where will they get their ground troops? From the CCP, of course.
Nice blog. Have you seen your google rating? BlogFlux It's Free and you can add a Little Script to your site that will tell everyone your ranking. I think yours was a 3. I guess you'll have to check it out.

Tip Of The Day
Click Fraud and How to Deter It

Pay per click (PPC) advertising continues to gain popularity in the online marketing world as an effective and inexpensive way to drive targeted visitors to web sites. Research firm eMarketer reported that between 2002 and 2003 the paid search listing market grew 175 percent.

Major trusted search properties such as Google, Overture, FindWhat, Search123 and Kanoodle, all offer PPC campaigns in which you pay only when someone clicks through your banner ad or link. But PPC also has an enemy--click fraud--and understanding what it is and what to do about it should also be a key part of your PPC campaign.

What is Click Fraud?
Click fraud is when someone or something generates illegitimate hits on your banner or text advertisement causing you to pay for worthless clicks. AS PPC campaigns have grown in popularity and keyword prices and bidding have become more competetive, click fraud is on the rise.

Online marketers are becoming increasingly worried about the prospect of click fraud. According to CNET News, some marketing executives estimate that "up to 20 percent of fees in certain advertising categories continue to be based on nonexistent consumers in today's search industry."

This estimate is certainly unsettling for advertisers who, recently, have been paying hefty amounts bidding on desirable search terms. Financial analysts report that in the year 2004 advertisers are paying an average of 45 cents per click. Compare this to 40 cents in 2003 and 30 cents in 2002 the bidding wars continue to rise.

Who's Doing it and Why?
Click fraud perpetrators are most often motivated by trying to increase revenues from affiliate networks or attempting to damage competitors' revenues by forcing them to pay for worthless clicks. The Google Adsense program, in which affiliates receive payment for clicks whether they are real or not, has caused great concern for Google and has intensified its focus on click fraud.

Those engaged in click fraud use a variety of techniques to generate false clicks. Low cost international workers from all over the world are hired to locate and click on ads. The Times of India provided investigative reporting on payment for manual click fraud happening in India. Unethical companies may pay their own employees to click on competitor ads. Last but not least, click fraud can be generated by online robots programmed to click on advertiser or affiliate ads. Some companies go to great lengths creating intricate software that allows for this to happen.

How Can You Deter It?
Many advertisers know about the possibility of click fraud but generally haven't done much in the past to prevent it. Some feel that if they complain to any of the search conglomerates, it could ruin their free listings. Others feel like the problem is beyond them.

"It is a bigger problem, but folks just don't want to take the time to track it down because it's a complex problem," stated John Squire, of web analytics firm Coremetrics, to CNET. "Given that some of the largest marketers manage up to 1 million keywords in a campaign the data can be difficult to crunch."

Companies who do understand and report click fraud to search engine properties have had success receiving refunds for fraudulent clicks. For those advertisers who want to address the possibility of click fraud in PPC campaigns, good option do exists. At the most basic level, advertisers can use general auditing many have been known to compile lists of sites that generate high numbers of clicks but not sales. This will indeed put up a red flag.

On the other hand, because click fraud is advancing at such frequency, click fraud detection companies and software have been popping up all over the country. Let's take a look at some of the options:

- WhosClickingWho.com - This fraud detector tracks all PPC search engines, detects multiple IP's, and even pops up a "ClickMinder" after a potential abuser clicks repeatedly over five times.
- ClickDetective - ClickDetective allows you to track return visitors to your site and alerts you if there is evidence that your site may be under attack. Its reports show you every click in real time rather than a summary hours later.
- BogusClick - BogusClick can help advertisers determine competitor IP addresses, originating PPC search engines and/or partner sites involved, as well as keywords used.
- Clicklab - Clicklab employs a score-based click fraud detection system that applies a series of tests to each visitor session and assigns scores. Calculations are made to indicate bad/good sessions to show an advertiser the quality of traffic.

Click fraud is a big problem in search engine marketing that's only going to get bigger in the future. It is wise for any online advertiser to implement some auditing system. Why continue to waste precious campaign money?!

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