Tuesday, June 4, 2013



 Yo English speaking bipeds! Listen up you are about to be Sun Tsued! "Sun Tsued" is a term I made up to describe how a great power or alliance fails to apply the lessons of the great Chinese master of war Sun Tsu and as a result suffers catastrophic loss. Sun Tsu was the author of the ART OF WAR and general of the Wu Army of 30,000 that utterly defeated the Chu army of 300,000 around 500 BC. If a great power or alliance is "Sun Tsued" it gets conquered despite all of the odds seemingly in the favor of the great power/alliance. Yeah that's a lot to try and express in a single term. But any of you who graduated from any of the American war colleges lately know about Sun Tsu and probably get the gist of my new term right away.

  The rest of you English speaking bipeds, particularly you American and Australian bipeds stick with me , this is important. Back in March we carried the news that the Chinese had moved road mobile ballistic missiles to their coast line getting them in range for U.S. forces on Okinawa and any allied naval forces in the various narrows near the disputed Diautu/Senkaku   Islands. For months now we have been posting stories of ever increasingly more forceful intrusions by China into the territorial seas of Japan. So far most everything has been played out by Coast Guard like vessels and air craft , except for a couple scrambles of Japanese fighter jets to chase prop driven Chinese surveillance aircraft out of Japanese air space.The Chinese are putting a lot of pressure on Japan to cede territory to the dragon but have avoided direct navy to navy confrontation and any shooting. But the pressure and provocations never end. Clearly the dragon is losing fear of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force and the U.S. Pacific fleet.

 Indeed just a few months ago we posted the story of China's "leaked" intention of eventually forcing the U.S. Navy back to Pearl Harbor where they intend to bottle it up and never allow its' influence to be felt west of Pearl Harbor again. One Chinese colonel recently issued a thinly veiled threat against Australia of a nuclear strike by China on Australia if it backed the United States and Japan in a naval action against China. Clearly the dragon intends to turn the East and South China Seas into a private lake at the expense of its neighbors and pull Japan and even Australia into a Chinese led "co-prosperity sphere", which is the dragon's term for an Australia and Japan that produce what China demands when and how China demands it at the price that China is willing to pay.

 While the Chinese Navy has grown tremendously in both quantity and quality over the last few years it is still not a match  for a combined fleet of the U.S. and Japan. The Chinese military elite have been writing about how to defeat a greater power for decades utilizing asymmetric warfare. The master of such warfare was a man known as Sun Tsu.  Sun Tsu took over command of the army of the Kingdom of Wu around 500 BC which numbered about 30,000 soldiers and conquered the neighboring kingdom of Chu which at the time had an army of 300,000 soldiers. Sun Tsu, after handing over the riches of the Chu to the Wu King, retired and wrote his master work "THE ART OF WAR". His manuscript was kept secret for nearly 1,000 years in Imperial China. About 800 years ago the manuscript was "leaked" into Japan and from there has made its way around the world. The Chinese military still study Sun Tsu as do your own military officers.

   Sun Tsu's master work is easy to come by in fact you could click on the URL below the book cover icon below and own a copy in days
.The Art of War

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Anyone who actually reads Sun Tsu and is aware of the news that we have posted concerning China's aggressive naval behavior in the South and East China Seas should be able to see how the Dragon is setting the classic Sun Tsu trap for the United States, Japan and any nation that would join them in the defense of Japan. Sun Tsu advises "attack the enemy where he is weak avoid him where he is strong". China is not strong enough to hope to defeat the U.S. Navy on the high seas. But in the confines of the China Seas , with the battle area prepared in advance, China has the advantage. If China can pull the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, the Australian Navy and anyone else who might be inclined to come to the support of Japan or the Philippines into the China Sea the dragon will be able to use its adjacent shore as a force multiplier. The example of the road mobile ballistic missiles being moved to the coast being an example.  Counting many near coastal small combatants China has about 950 combatant naval craft available for use in the China Seas. China also has quite a growing collection of air craft , submarines, and surface warfare ships that are in fact a match for some U.S.  and Japanese equipment. In short , within the China Seas the dragon is strong and is trying to pull the U.S. and Japan into that arena when they are ready to upgrade to a shooting war. Japan, the United States, and Australia combined can't come up with 950 combatant ships to enter the China seas with. As some Naval Institute pundits have said so very often; "sometimes quantity has a quality all its own." as other naval thinkers have observed "The lesson of the Bismark is that a bunch of cheap platforms can gang up on and defeat the death star". The last place that you want to see a U.S. Carrier task force is in the East China Sea or any part of the China Seas if hostilities break out. To go there is to go to the battle site the enemy has chosen and they only chose to their advantage.

 Sun Tzu says know your enemy and yourself. You know that you are stretched to the limit with U.S. naval commitments stretched around the World and your Navy down to about 275 ships. You know the approximate size of China's naval force and a lot about its limitations. They know your limitations and thus choose to attack where you are weak and they are strong, in the China seas. To force the enemy to bend to your will without going to war is the apex of military skill is a paraphrase of another of the sayings of Sun Tsu. The Chinese have accurately observed that while western powers are aware of Sun Tzu's teachings you have often been remiss in following them. Certainly you can see the trap, see the Sun Tsu theory behind the trap but you show the dragon every intention of walking into it. Here is how to reverse the situation and either defeat the dragon at sea, or bring him to the bargaining table subject to international referees without firing a shot.

 First take away the dragon's opening day target the forces on Okinawa. The missiles we spoke of earlier can reach and are targeted at Okinawa why are we still sitting there? Disperse the forces on Okinawa
to sea and to other places deep in Japan, leave only run ways and harden any fuel and repair equipment storage. In a war in the China Seas Okinawa should be  only a bump and go spot not a force concentration area. It should not be such a target rich area once the dragon has put it within weapons range. Start a major civil defense program on Okinawa for the civilian population. In other words make it very visible to the dragon that you are removing the value from the target and digging in to take any hits on the diminished value target. The target will only then be a liability to the dragon, costing him a terrible retribution for a first attack on foreign territory for very little gain.

 Counter the North Korean Wild Card by dispersing much of the fleet at Pearl Harbor sending some of the fleet to points off of North Korea. Send as many as possible of the submarines in Puget sound area pens to sea. Start civil defense programs in the cities along the U.S. West Coast and increase anti missile capacity around these cities. Korea can reach the U.S. West Coast with their missiles or so they would have us believe. Show a readiness to take a hit and still deny them any real real military advantage. North Korea knows that the price of a nuclear strike against you is that their nation will be turned into a glow in the dark parking lot.

 Indicate that you are well aware of China's game and that the U.S and allies won't play. China uses its military academics to launch veiled threats at the U.S. and Australia. Get our military academics such as the Naval Academy faculty and writers for the Naval Institute PROCEEDINGS and the Navy League's SEAPOWER to write about how the U.S. Navy can be both asymmetric and networked  The Dragon is aware that the U.S. is capable of being asymmetric in its approach to warfare but knows your recent history is inconsistent.  In Vietnam you played the British to the Vietnamese version of the  Americans who refused to mass forces and shot at British massed forces from behind every tree and rock. What you are masters of, that the Chinese have difficulty with, is net worked warfare from asymmetrical positions.  

 You are capable of turning their trap into a shooting fish in a barrel exercise for your Pacific Fleet or forcing the weaker Chinese fleet to come out in the open Pacific and meet you in a fleet action, they lose and they know it. By an asymmetric position I'm talking about stationing your capital ships in the Pacific not the China Sea well dispersed between Okinawa and Manila. From there your air capable ships can launch sorties into the China seas and sink combatants with virtual immunity to the launching platforms. Your guided missile ships would be able to launch at targets in the China Sea again from out side the confines, even some of your smaller capital ships like destroyers may be able to run in and out killing ships, China's greater naval strength is inside the China seas out to their much coveted "First Island Chain.

 The United States has proven its ability to operate from non concentrated and scattered positions and yet coordinate and mass fire for effect. This is difficult for the Peoples Liberation Army's Navy (PLAN) because the PLAN, like all things Chinese these days, likes centralized control. Chinese forces can be very flexible in applying the principles of Sun Tsu to warfare to the point where they study the enemy, and lay traps. Once the action starts, over centralized control makes their forces less flexible and they have never mastered the skill of massing force without massing forces, what America calls "networked warfare". Nothing would stagger and confound the dragon more than confronting an America and Japan acting in concert and awareness of Sun Tsu's principles, never taking the bait the Dragon offers, and only offering the dragon two choices. They can over run the disputed islands for a while but their supply line and Navy will eventually be decimated by less numerous but more sophisticated forces shooting into, or making rapid and limited forays into their temporarily private lake, where their navy becomes the fish in the barrel.  Once their Navy is extinguished through a somewhat protracted war of attrition their occupying forces on the these uninhabited and mostly uninhabitable ,,islands may be left to starve or submit to a humiliating surrender.

 The other choice would be for the PLAN's blue water naval units to try and come out of the China sea and confront the allied forces in the Pacific. This would be the end of the PLAN and they know it. I'm not claiming that I've just outlined the perfect and completely detailed war plan to defeat the Dragon. But a successful plan will have many of these elements.

1. A visible awareness of Sun Tsu  designed trap laying and a determination to avoid combat on waters of the enemy's choosing, even if it is necessary to withdraw from the immediate vicinity of the islands.

2. Denial of lucrative targets, when targeting intentions are clear as they are relative to Okinawa now, diminish the value of the target.

3. Demonstrate awareness of their bluffs and empty threats but a willingness to meet them head on. Yes Korea will threaten the U.S. with an outbreak to the South and missile shots at U.S. territory. The Chinese will deny any control or coordination with North Korea, they may even be telling the truth for once. Acknowledge that publicly, at least in the military journals of yours that the enemy reads, and believe me they read your journals religiously. Disperse targeted forces and / or practice rapid dispersal; transition up to regular non concentrated use of targeted areas with most of the home ported vessels at sea or in other regional ports most of the time, leave no Battle Ship Rows for them to strike. Visibly plan civil defense for the most vulnerable cities, do some city civil defense drills. They are starting to move their force multiplier shore batteries into place, don't just sit there, maneuver. Do a force dispersal exercise on Okinawa immediately! That is the best way to signal that you understand their play book and will not be controlled by it.

4. Give the Dragon some face saving assurance. Keep diplomatic correspondence letting them know that continued thug tactics are not tolerated, non public. Lower the tone of public utterances. Assure the Chinese government through private channels that America has no designs on their mainland, or in regime change but must stand by American security agreements with Japan and the Philippines and will not be intimidated into abandoning these commitments. They already know that no matter how useful it may be to get their population up in arms over supposed Japan/U.S. insults the communist party won't survive as the ruling regime if they lose the PLAN and have an army starving on what will be rapidly perceived as foreign islands. Encourage the Chinese to litigate. But start maneuvering like you are ready for war, one that will be fought on your terms.

5. Remember the Dragon's ultimate game is control of the "First Island Chain".  This means taking other peoples territory and for that they have built a strong force, so strong that within the confines of the South China Sea they possibly could decimate a U.S. led alliance. But once they move to truly take control by force and cross the line of firing the first shot they are fish in a barrel
if the U.S. and Japan do not take the bait. By demonstrating now that you understand the game and refuse to play you may find that the Dragon's plan B is litigation; you may buy many years of peace in the region and display your mastery of the art of war by bending the enemy to your will without firing a shot. In stead of being Sun Tsued as you are being set up to be, you will demonstrate that America is the Sun Tsu master.

6. But remember that Sun Tsu says "Let your plans be as dark as night then strike like a lightening bolt." Everything you are looking at now might be a feint. You want to telescope your initial moves to demonstrate mastery of the Sun Tsu concepts, but you want very secret alternative plans. You also want rumors of even more secret plans, the Chinese as students of Sun Tsu are rightly worried about what they don't know about you. Sun Tsu says "all warfare is deception". Right now the Dragon thinks that he reads you like a book, shake that up, do the unexpected. It is still possible to convince the Chinese that you are too powerful and unpredictable to fall into a simple version of the Sun Tsu type trap, you will not fight in places the enemy selects, and they can not predict exactly what you will do with your superior power. You may yet quiet things down before the first shot, but not if you just sit on Okinawa and move a few more ships into the Pacific. You've got to become much more interesting.

7. Foreknowledge is the key to success for the general, so do whatever you have to make China doubt what they think is their foreknowledge of U.S. forces, strategy, and tactics and increase your own intelligence efforts visibly and invisibly.

8. Here is the Achilles heel for both sides in this conflict. Sun Tsu says that for a general to have success he must be unrestrained by his superiors. Political interference is inherent in the Chinese system. Political interference is occasionally problematic in the American system and if ever there was an administration with a tendency to interject itself in areas where it has no expertise, the present administration is it. In the end, the winner in this conflict may simply be the Navy with the least political interference.

 Well, good luck my American biped friends. I live on the floor of the Sea of Japan and do not look forward to seeing your ships litter my living room. Please heed what I'm telling you and do something  Sun Tsu  like in response to these overt military maneuvers by the Dragon. Believe me dragons aren't tamed by ignoring them. China is desperate to control the "First Island Chain"because unlike the United States when their navy leaves port they are not immediately upon the open sea, the Dragon has no way out of relatively confined waters except through relatively narrow passages. So they want control of parts of  the Philippines and Japan which unfortunately doesn't belong to the Dragon. They are starting by going after some of the small islands near these ultimate targets destined to become Dragon vassals unless the Dragon can be checked long enough for the Chinese people and government to adjust to the reality of China's Pacific coast line.

PS: If you have never read anything about Sun Tsu, whenever you have about an hour to spare the link below will take you to a documentary on his teachings.



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