Crises in Ukraine, Taiwan, Korea, Iran: internationalization and entanglement of the conflicts?

Crises in Ukraine, Taiwan, Korea, Iran: internationalization and entanglement of the conflicts?

After Japan and South Korea attended the NATO summit for the first time and South Korea decided on the arms deal with Poland, North Korea now allegedly wants to send 100,000 volunteers to Russia’s side in the Ukraine war after defeating Corona and indicating its willingness to carry out new missile and nuclear tests. has also added the passage to the North Korean strategy on deterring an attack from South Korea that an attack on South Korea could also take place if „national interests“ were violated.

“North Korea helps Russia: 100,000 ‚volunteers‘ to fight Ukraine A Russian military expert says on state television that Russia is receiving North Korean support. That could mean a decisive advantage. Pyongyang – North Korea has agreed to send 100,000 soldiers to its ally Russia to provide military support for its invasion of Ukraine. At least that’s what the Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko claimed on state television.”

It remains to be seen if this is real or big talk or fake news. At the same time, there are tensions between South and North Korea under the new South Korean president, who, like Japan, has now adopted a more offensive deterrence strategy and took a harder line against China, North Korea and Russia, and Pelosi also completed her Asian tour to Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, etc., which led to a new Taiwan crisis. Now South Korea’s missile shield is angering China again, while US media reports that China plans to build 120 ICBM silos in Xinjiang and 100 in eastern China, but the CCP claims the alleged silos are just bases for wind turbines.

“South Korea, China clash over US missile shield

China, contending THAAD’s powerful radar could peer into its airspace, curbed trade and cultural imports after Seoul announced its deployment in 2016, dealing a major blow to relations.


Published: AUGUST 11, 2022 08:28

China and South Korea clashed on Thursday over a US missile defense shield, threatening to undermine efforts by the new government in Seoul to overcome longstanding security differences.

The disagreement over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system emerged after an apparently smooth first visit to China by South Korea’s foreign minister this week.

China, contending THAAD’s powerful radar could peer into its airspace, curbed trade and cultural imports after Seoul announced its deployment in 2016, dealing a major blow to relations.

South Korea’s presidential office said on Thursday the system stationed in the country is a means of self-defense, according to a briefing transcript, after Beijing demanded Seoul not deploy additional batteries and limit the use of existing ones.

President Yoon Suk-yeol, seeing the system as key to countering North Korean missiles, has vowed to abandon the previous government’s promises not to increase THAAD deployments, participate in a US-led global missile shield or create a trilateral military alliance involving Japan.

On the campaign trail, the conservative Yoon pledged to buy another THAAD battery, but since taking office in May, his government has focused on what officials call „normalizing“ the operation of the existing, US-owned and operated system.

South Korea-China talks

South Korea’s Foreign Minister Park Jin and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, meeting on Tuesday, explored ways to reopen denuclearization negotiations with North Korea and resume cultural exports, such as K-pop music and movies, to China.

A Wang spokesman said on Wednesday the two had „agreed to take each other’s legitimate concerns seriously and continue to prudently handle and properly manage this issue to make sure it does not become a stumbling block to the sound and steady growth of bilateral relations.“

The Chinese spokesman told a briefing the THAAD deployment in South Korea „undermines China’s strategic security interest.“

Park, however, told Wang that Seoul would not abide by the 2017 agreement, called the „Three Nos,“ as it is not a formal pledge or agreement, South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

China also insists that South Korea abide by „one restriction“ – limiting the use of existing THAAD batteries. Seoul has never acknowledged that element, but on Wednesday, Wang’s spokesman emphasized that China attaches importance to the position of „three Nos and one restriction.“

During Park’s visit to the eastern port city of Qingdao, the Chinese Communist Party-owned Global Times praised Yoon for showing „independent diplomacy and rationality toward China“ by not meeting face to face with visiting US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

But the newspaper warned that the THAAD issue is „a major hidden danger that cannot be avoided in China-South Korea ties.“

Meanwhile, the CSIS simulates a Sino-American war:

“What would happen if the US goes to war with China over Taiwan?

“China held extensive military exercises off of Taiwan last week and the US is focused on a hypothetical US-China war over the island.

As China waged extensive military exercises off of Taiwan last week, a group of American defense experts in Washington was focused on their own simulation of an eventual — but for now entirely hypothetical — US-China war over the island.

The unofficial what-if game is being conducted on the fifth floor of an office building not far from the White House, and it posits a US military response to a Chinese invasion in 2026. Even though the participants bring an American perspective, they are finding that a US-Taiwan victory, if there is one, could come at a huge cost.

“The results are showing that under most — though not all — scenarios, Taiwan can repel an invasion,” said Mark Cancian, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where the war games are being held. “However, the cost will be very high to the Taiwanese infrastructure and economy and to US forces in the Pacific.”

In sessions that will run through September, retired US generals and Navy officers and former Pentagon officials hunch like chess players over tabletops along with analysts from the CSIS think tank. They move forces depicted as blue and red boxes and small wooden squares over Western Pacific and Taiwan maps. The results will be released to the public in December. 

The not-necessarily-so assumption used in most of the scenarios: China invades Taiwan to force unification with the self-governed island, and the US decides to intervene heavily with its military. Also assumed but far from certain: Japan grants expanded rights to use US bases located on its territory while stopping short of intervening directly unless Japanese land is attacked. Nuclear weapons aren’t used in the scenarios, and the weapons available are based on capabilities the nations have demonstrated or have concrete plans to deploy by 2026. 

China’s test-firing of missiles in recent days in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan underscored a Chinese capability that’s already assumed in the gameplay.

In 18 of the 22 rounds of the game played to this point, Chinese missiles sink a large part of the US and Japanese surface fleet and destroy “hundreds of aircraft on the ground,” according to Cancian, a former White House defense budget analyst and retired US Marine. “However, allied air and naval counterattacks hammer the exposed Chinese amphibious and surface fleet, eventually sinking about 150 ships.” 

“The reason for the high US losses is that the United States cannot conduct a systematic campaign to take down Chinese defenses before moving in close,” he said. “The United States must send forces to attack the Chinese fleet, especially the amphibious ships, before establishing air or maritime superiority,” he said. “To get a sense of the scale of the losses, in our last game iteration, the United States lost over 900 fighter/attack aircraft in a four-week conflict. That’s about half the Navy and Air Force inventory.” 

“The United States must send forces to attack the Chinese fleet, especially the amphibious ships, before establishing air or maritime superiority,”

Former White House defense budget analyst and retired US Marine

The Chinese missile force “is devastating while the inventory lasts” so US submarines and bombers with long-range missiles “are particularly important,” he said. “For the Taiwanese, anti-ship missiles are important, surface ships and aircraft less so.” Surface ships “have a hard time surviving as long as the Chinese have long-range missiles available,” Cancian said. The game players haven’t made any estimates so far on the number of lives that would be lost or the sweeping economic impact of such a conflict between the US and China, the world’s two largest economies.

The defense

Taiwan’s defense capabilities are an especially important part of the calculations because its forces would be responsible for blunting and containing Chinese landings from the south — a scenario played out in the simulation.

“The success or failure of the ground war depends entirely on the Taiwanese forces,” Cancian said. “In all game iterations so far, the Chinese could establish a beachhead but in most circumstances cannot expand it. The attrition of their amphibious fleet limits the forces they can deploy and sustain. In a few instances, the Chinese were able to hold part of the island but not conquer the entire island.”

Anti-ship missiles — US-made Harpoons and Taiwanese-made weapons that the island democracy fields — would play a large role in the early destruction of the Chinese amphibious landing force, while Taiwan’s Navy and half of its air force would be destroyed in the first days of the conflict, according to the modeling so far.

“Taiwan is a large island, and its army is not small,” said Eric Heginbotham, a principal research scientist at the MIT Center for International Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who’s participating in the war game. “But from a qualitative standpoint, Taiwan’s army is not at all what it should be, and we have built that into the game. The transition to an all-volunteer military has been botched, and although conscripts remain an important component, the conscripts serve only four months.”

Perhaps the most disconcerting takeaway for Washington: The high-cost sequences conducted so far aren’t even the most challenging hypotheticals.

“We have not run the most pessimistic scenarios, where China might conquer the entire island,” Cancian said.

He said the four remaining rounds of the war games will “investigate some alternative scenarios — like the US delaying its support for Taiwan, strict Japanese neutrality and a pessimistic scenario that gives China a variety of advantages.”

David Ochmanek, a Rand Corp. senior defense researcher and former US deputy assistant defense secretary, said a CSIS exercise he participated in was “well-run and credibly adjudicated.” Ochmanek, who has participated in dozens of China-US war games, both unclassified and classified, said, “It basically replicated the results of other games that I’ve played that were set in the same time epoch and used the same basic scenario.” 

The keys to “any good game are to get knowledgeable players who can faithfully and creatively simulate what their nation’s forces would do and to get adjudicators — umpires, essentially — who can credibly assess the outcomes of engagements and battles,” Ochmanek said. War games are played frequently by governments and outside organizations worldwide. But instructions to the participants in the CSIS project say that although the Pentagon “has conducted many such war games, they are all classified. As a result, information in the public domain is extremely limited. This project will fill that gap in public knowledge and thereby encourage discussion about US force structure and policies.”

And after Erdogan Putin does not want to deliver drones, Iran is now supposedly taking over, especially since the Iran negotiations in Vienna are said to have ended.

“Iran begins training Russians to use its drones – report

Last month, the US said that Iran was preparing to provide Russia with hundreds of drones.


Published: AUGUST 11, 2022 02:16

Iran has begun training Russian officials to use its drones in recent weeks, after reports indicated that Russia intended to purchase the drones to use in its invasion of Ukraine, CNN reported on Wednesday.

„During the last several weeks, Russian officials conducted training in Iran as part of the agreement for UAV transfers from Iran to Russia,“ a US official told CNN.

The Washington Post reported based on an unnamed US official that the training was launched as part of an agreement with Iran to provide Russia with hundreds of drones.

Last month, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters that Iran is preparing to provide Russia with several hundred drones, including some that are capable of being armed with weapons.

“The Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable [ones], on an expedited timeline,“ Sullivan said. “Our information further indicates that Iran is preparing to train Russian forces to use these UAVs, with initial training sessions slated to begin as soon as early as July.“

“It is unclear whether Iran has delivered any of these UAVs to Russia already,“ he said at the time. “This is just one example of how Russia is looking to countries like Iran for capabilities that are also being used or have been used, before we got the cease-fire in place in Yemen, to attack Saudi Arabia.”

Iranian officials have denied that they intend to provide Russia with drones. In July, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated that Iran is „not helping either side involved in the [Ukrainian] conflict because we are certain that it should be concluded.“

The foreign minister pointed to Western countries, saying that they were manufacturing arms and trying to sell their products.

Iran’s drone fleet

Iran has been building its unmanned aerial systems (UAS) fleet since 1984. Not only does it have a significant range of over 3,000 kilometers but it has very advanced development and operational capabilities.

The Islamic Republic has hundreds of drones in 48 different models, including those that are operational and others that are still in trial phases.

If the reports are correct, this would mean that the conflicts are internationalizing and becoming more and more intertwined – the Ukraine war, Iran, North Korea, Taiwan, and perhaps Turkey-Greece in the near future.

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