Washington’s conventional war strategy may not succeed if it does not consider new irregular warfare tactics.

Xi Jinping (Reuters) (TINGSHU WANG/)

The military chiefs of the Pentagon have convened senior retired officers and think tanks who work together with Defense and Security advisers on Washington. Its mission is the elaboration of a plan that contains a comprehensive military strategy capable of confronting and defeating a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

The not so surprising Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, did not take by surprise USA nor to the NATO, the information that this could happen was known to Washington and its partners, and all the elements were in place for this military operation to be carried out by Russia. However, the Biden administration believes that the reaction against the Kremlin could have been better and more complete in different aspects.

From that experience, the Pentagon-led Global Defense project directed its expert groups to focus on the task of developing evidence-based strategies and concrete tests regarding the behaviors of potential opponents such as China and North Korea. It is in this direction that the Department of Defense must study and present a comprehensive program with alternatives on how to impose itself against china, russia and other potential opponents in a “strategic contest” in case the crisis between Beijing and Taipei escalate and become a real war.

However, the president’s administration may Joe Biden you are misfocusing your good intention, for example, to protect Taiwan and this is where the problem arises since a large-scale Chinese military operation is unlikely to happen, Xi Jinping will not invade, at least not Putin-style in Ukraine, so if President Biden is basing his request to the Department of Defense on the Ukrainian experience, he could be drawing the wrong lesson, even more so if he does so with a similar military scenario in mind, since that will not happen.

Since the Russian attack on Ukrainian territory, all actions and reactions, both political and military, have at all times considered the lessons learned from the Cold War, all parties know that the confrontation between the great nuclear powers puts the planet at risk in the face of what would inexorably be a Third World warFor this reason, the United States and the other NATO powers avoided placing their troops directly on the ground of the conflict.

It is clear that the very nature of war is its escalation and no one wanted another 1914 Sarajevo in the 21st century, even less with nuclear arsenals and tactical weapons available to potential contenders in the conflict. After the fall of the former USSR, both sides maintained large conventional forces and their nuclear arsenals as deterrents, but the real fighting was carried out through irregular warfare, such as asymmetric warfare and various conflicts for political power. For these reasons, Special Forces of the US Army and Navy were created and we learned about the advances in the arms industry, how the Stinger missiles that in the years of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan showed the vulnerability of the ex-USSR forces, in the same way as the Javelin anti-tank missiles that today are the devastating response to the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.

However, the Western leadership and its defense experts continue to defect today by failing to understand that “Competition and strategic superiority is won through irregular warfare.which is still a dangerous misjudgment if the potential actors in a war in Taiwan perceive the confrontation as a conventional war and apparently seek to recreate the Battle of Midway in the Taiwan Strait, but with Ford-class aircraft carriers and F-35. The current problem is that if there is a conflict there, it would probably go nuclear in a few hours or days, Putin is disowned by many in the international community for his bombing attacks on civilians but Xi Jinping can be much more difficult than the Russian leader in a critical situation, hence planning a prolonged conventional war in a potential conflict between China and Taiwan is not knowing. the contenders and an absolute fantasy.

Defense policy experts advise decision makers to expand the defense budget, Washington contemplates for the year 2023 an availability for defense of between 750 to 800 billion dollars, sources from the Pentagon indicated unofficially that an overwhelming number of purchases of conventional warfare weapons (such as combat planes and ships for the navy) are being carried out. ) while ignoring the capabilities of irregular warfare. The budget for the United States Special Operations Command, which oversees all American special operators in all parts of the world, is 80% of the cost of one aircraft carrier and the Biden administration has ordered the construction of three at a rate of 13 billion dollars per ship and plans to build two more. Budgets are economic documents but also moral and unalterable and they do not lie. The Department of Defense is preparing for a war with China that looks like World War II but with better technology, the problem is that such an investment will not be relevant in an unlikely scenario.

However, there is a growing discrepancy among American politicians belonging to the Republican party and identified with the former president. donald trump who have prestige and ancestry within the armed forces. The United States is not a third world country, it is not a Latin American or African nation. In Washington, the democratic system is observed and strictly respected by politicians and the military, there is no possibility of interpreting a boycott of their own country as it often happens in other underdeveloped nations. US politics and the armed forces work subservient to its constitution and every amendment to it is strictly respected. However, critics seeking to reinvigorate its irregular warfare capabilities are often rejected by liberal politicians. They demonstrate against the special operations groups, they don’t like kicking in doors and hunting down terrorists, although the very governments that have criticized them have used these tactics and operations more than once. Yet that is a small but inevitable part of what defines irregular warfare, and it is also what has been demanded of not a few irregular combatants over the past 20 years. Hence, as several senior Pentagon officials – who should be heard by the Biden administration – understand, Washington needs a different type of combat forecasting strategy that goes beyond living room war games to meet the challenges of modern conflict.

The creation of Center for Security Studies for Irregular Warfare by the US Congress is a success in terms of National Defense, even more so considering that it has been a topic that was not entirely clear in the Biden administration that, even in 2 years of management, still does not show a complete and defined plan of your Defense Strategy. The center is a good tool and will be very useful in providing answers and unifying criteria between the US political leadership and US partner countries, and to the extent that it does its job well it will be able to improve not only the understanding of irregular wars but also the most importantly, the response capabilities to confront them. After all, heIrregular warfare requires more brains than firepower and it requires much more intellectual effort than a charge of infantry or mechanized cavalry and if not, let the Russian troops say so from their experience in the Ukraine.

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