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wapoo | OpEd |  The U.S. military plans a 'Hellscape' to deter China from attacking Taiwan, 10 June
President Xi Jinping [?] has called on China's People's Liberation Army to be ready to take Taiwan by force by 2027 [circular ref: wapoo 20.02.23]. The United States, together with regional partners, must ensure a Chinese invasion can't succeed. That plan hinges on quickly building and deploying thousands of new drones that would swarm the Taiwan Strait and keep China's military busy until more help can arrive, according to the top U.S. military official in the Pacific.
"They want to offer the world a short, sharp war so that it is a fait accompli before the world can get their act together," [INDOPACCOM  Adm. Samuel] Paparo told me on the sidelines of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies [IISS]. "My job is to ensure that between now and 2027 and beyond, the U.S. military and the allies are capable of prevailing."
The key to thwarting Xi's assumed strategy is a U.S. strategy called "Hellscape," Paparo told me. The idea is that as soon as China's invasion fleet begins moving across the 100-mile waterway that separates China and Taiwan, the U.S. military would deploy thousands of unmanned submarines, unmanned surface ships, and aerial drones to flood the area and give Taiwanese, U.S., and partner forces time to mount a full response.

"I want to turn the Taiwan Strait into an unmanned hellscape using a number of classified ["attritable"?] capabilities," Paparo said. "So that I can make their lives utterly miserable for a month, which buys me the time for the rest of everything..."I can't tell you what's in it," he replied when pressed about details. "But it's real and it's deliverable."

There are some public signs the Hellscape plan is making progress. In March, the Defense Department announced it would spend $1 billion on a program called "Replicator" to build swarms of unmanned surface ships and aerial drones for this very mission. Paparo said the Replicator program shows that the United States is also learning lessons [lolwut] from the Russia-Ukraine war, where Ukraine has innovated with drone technology.
taipeitimes | US plans ["Ukrainization"] strategy to defend Taiwan, 12 June dumbass
However, drones alone would not be enough to match the Chinese People's Liberation Army's buildup of forces with an estimated US$700 billion annual military budget, he said. The US Indo-Pacific Command was US$11 billion short of the funding it needs for this year, the article said, citing a letter by Paparo's predecessor to the US Congress in March.
by Cat on Wed Jun 12th, 2024 at 12:38:35 AM EST
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