Thursday, September 17, 2009

Taiwan Holds Computer War Game



Taiwan Holds Computer War Game

By Wendell Minnick, TAIPEI

Taiwan has concluded the first phase of its annual Han Kuang 23 (Han Glory) military exercises by conducting a computer war game simulation under the watchful eye of a visiting U.S. military delegation led by retired Adm. Dennis Blair.

Held every April and May, the exercise is divided into computer war games and military exercises.

The computer war games were conducted April 16-20 simultaneously by the Joint Operation Command Center, Joint Operations Exercise and Training Center, and various tactical command posts, a Ministry of National Defense (MND) press release stated.

The Joint Operations Command Center is at Hengshan Mountain, one of the most secretive military installations in Taiwan. Civilian and military leaders would conduct war from inside Hengshan, a hollowed out mountain north of Taipei.

The computer simulation was unique this year. At an MND press conference on April 17, Marine Corp Lt. Gen. Hsu Tai-sheng, commander of the Joint Operations Exercise and Training Doctrine Development Office, said the simulation is set in 2012 and begins when Chinese military forces invade central Taiwan after initiating an air and naval blockade. Taipei, risking capture, launches a massive missile attack on Chinese military bases and facilities in Fujian Province. The strike would give Taiwan more time to resupply and repel the invaders. The attack would also allow time for U.S. military forces to join in the defense of Taiwan.

Hsu would not describe the type of missile used in the scenario, offering only the description “tactical shore-based missile for fire suppression.” At present, Taiwan has no ballistic or cruise missile capability that could be used for precision strikes on mainland China. A military source at the press conference confirmed that the missile was the Hsiung Feng 2E (Brave Wind) land attack cruise missile, now under development with the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology.

The Hsiung Feng 2E has been in development for five years and has suffered problems involving propulsion and guidance. Unconfirmed local Chinese-language media reports of HF-2E missile tests have been consistently denied by the MND.

Sources in Taiwan have said the U.S. government has been pressuring Taiwan to kill the HF-2E program, fearing that it would anger China. However, Beijing has more than 800 short-range ballistic missiles, Dong Feng 11s and Dong Feng 15s, aimed at Taiwan. Many in Taiwan have complained that U.S. pressure forced Taipei to cancel its nuclear weapon program in the 1980s, leaving the island nation of 23 million defenseless against nuclear-armed China.