Sunday, January 29, 2006

Nothing to Fear But...

Long time readers of MeiZhongTai will remember the attempts of the ROC Army and Air Force to sink a wounded South Korean freighter that was leaking benzene. My take on the situation was that it was in some ways a better display of ROC military proficiency than the scripted exercises performed for the press. SimonWorld brings us news from the other side of the Taiwan Strait that can be seen as comparable.

In a post titled "Fear Not the Red Dragon,"Simon brings us this from the unlinkable South China Morning Post:
the Red Army troops were defeated because the army commander forgot to call in air support.
The obvious conclusion here is that PLA commanders are incompetent. Forgetting to call in air support is a pretty bonehead move, after all. A possible alternate explanation is that the PLA is moving toward more authentic training, which is resulting in bonehead moves being exposed (and presumably corrected) instead of hidden, where they are likely to be repeated.

I'm guessing that none of the commanders in the ROC's most recent Han Kuang exercise forgot to call air support... because no phone call was required. It was decided in advance that the air support would arrive at a set time. In the long run, which country is going to end up with a more potent fighting force, the country who allows their officers to fail under more authentic circumstances and then motivates (humiliates) them to improve or the one that scripts everything so that problems are never exposed in the first place? While it is embarassing that this officer made such a blatant mistake, the fact that the mistake was caught shows some commitment to improving. I hope the ROC military is taking note of this. I for one would welcome more failure in the next Han Kuang exercise. That exercise would benefit Taiwan the most if it would just lose the exercise honestly.