China: February 18, 2001


The Clinton Administration's war plans had assumed that any Chinese attack on Taiwan could be thwarted with minimal US forces (one wing of 72 land-based fighters, two carrier battle groups, and a dozen heavy bombers flying from Guam). A new study by Rand says that this force is totally inadequate, as the US needed six carrier battle groups, 50 heavy bombers, and ten land-based fighter wings to defeat Iraq (which presumably had smaller forces than China, but didn't have a few miles of ocean to move its army across). The Rand Study, however, rejects plans by Congress to provide Taiwan with entirely new weapon systems, saying that upgrading existing equipment and providing AMRAAM missiles for Taiwan's fighters will be adequate.--Stephen V Cole


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