NEWNow you can listen to Fox News articles!
Taiwan will have to rely on its “porcupine strategy” to make up the difference in strength if it has any hope of fending off an invasion from China, experts say.
The porcupine strategy has increasingly surfaced in conversations following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Strategists tout this as the best way for a small, weak military force to try and take on the military giants, as best shown in Ukraine.
Newt Gingrich, in a Fox News article last year, called for Taiwan to become “a porcupine,” which would require the US and European allies to provide Taiwan with as many anti-ship weapons, air-dropped sea mines and shoulder shields as possible. – missile launchers, as far as possible.
Matt McInnis of the Institute for the Study of War described this as a way for a smaller state to effectively fight and possibly even defeat a larger power. This doesn’t mean ditching any conventional high-end weapons, but rather balancing it with a healthy, if not stronger, emphasis on smaller, more versatile weapons.
CHINA RENEWS THREATS AND CONDEMNATIONS AFTER US ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRADE NEGOTIATIONS WITH TAIWAN
“You have to create some classic conventional, high-end conventional capabilities like modern aircraft, aerial fighters, some Abrams tanks… but they need to be rebalanced with the growing number of asymmetric capabilities,” McInnis told Fox News Digital.
“These numerous small [weapons] will be critical to take advantage of Taiwan’s geographical position, the fact that it is on the defensive, that you always have a defensive advantage,” he added. “You have to bring in cruise missiles, drones, mines, mortars, as you see in Ukraine, that such capabilities will make it difficult for China to carry out an invasion.”
In Ukraine, soldiers have to destroy tanks and planes using relatively smaller and cheaper force to level the field. The strategy is based on supplying small military forces with a wide range of small but lighter and less expensive weapons or equipment that can allow them to do more damage with less impact.
“Faced with the prospect of a violent invasion by the People’s Republic of China…Taiwan needs weapons systems that can effectively counter an invasion,” James Anderson, President Trump’s acting undersecretary of defense for political affairs, told Fox News Digital. “PRC needs big landing craft for invasion, but Taiwan doesn’t need big ships for self-defense… [it] we need a lot of coastal anti-ship missiles, among other defensive systems.”
Taiwan boasts powerful anti-aircraft weapons amid Chinese invasion fears
“Taiwan does not need to be equal in arms to the PLA (People’s Liberation Army). It must pursue an asymmetrical strategy with the right mix of defensive weapons to offset the possibility of a PRC invasion,” he explained.
Anderson pointed to Israel as another example of a small nation that has managed to compete with much larger military forces throughout its history, and to the Baltic states that have fended off Russian invasions for centuries despite great disparities in military power.
“Taiwan needs versatile, reliable and not too expensive weapons systems, but in significant numbers,” Anderson said. “What they don’t want is very large, vulnerable and expensive platforms that they can’t afford to purchase and maintain.”
The strategy may have taken on more importance now that China appears to have begun demonstrating how it can approach an invasion that experts have for some time called extremely difficult due to the lack of a sustained approach to land making it even more difficult to build up forces. .
US AND ALLIES SEND THOUSANDS OF SOLDIERS TO INDO-PACIFIC MILITARY EXERCISES AS CHINA CONTINUES AGGRESSION ON TAIWAN
But in recent weeks, Beijing has concentrated forces around the island in what it claims are regular military exercises, partly in coordination with Russia. The blatant threat and imposing nature of these exercises have prompted critics to argue that the US needs to reverse its decades-long policy of ambiguity in order to bolster Taiwan’s deterrence capability.
“The biggest problem with the porcupine strategy is that by itself it doesn’t guarantee deterrence,” Anderson said. “This is a necessary but not sufficient condition for deterrence, so what is needed to complement a defensive strategy … is for the United States to provide more clarity and less ambiguity about what it will do in a crisis.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“In short, the United States needs to abandon its policy of strategic uncertainty, which has served this country well for a number of decades, but has outlived its usefulness,” he added.