Monday, November 07, 2011
Analysis of Competing Hypotheses Report Findings: Conflict Between PRC Taiwan Scenario
This report is the final report based upon a scenario conducted during my American Military University's Critical Analysis course. This report was submitted to Professor Hill, it is protected under copyright laws and is not intended to be utilized in any manner.
Section I -- Introduction
The Republic of China (Taiwan) is in the process of electing a new president to replace President Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The two candidates for President are Mayor of Taipei Ma Ying Jeon and Chairman Shu Chin-Chiang representing Kuomintang (KMT) and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) respectively. The election process is stimulating Taiwanese dialog regarding the future of Taiwan and independence from People’s Republic of China (PRC). Both candidates represent an independent Taiwan but with different interpretations of political and economic ties with the People’s Republic of China. The KMT supports one China, independence with economic ties, and continued status quo between Communist Part of China (CPC) and Taiwan. The TSU supports establishing a “state-to-state” relationship, a new constitution, and a separate identity from PRC. Tension is developing between the PRC and Taiwan, causing the Premier Hu Jintao of Communist Part of China to take action against the growing talk of independence. The hypotheses of this action are; 1) diplomatic solution, 2) limited intervention, or 3) direct attack. First, the definition of diplomatic solution is, the PRC and Taiwanese will solve their differences by direct or multi-lateral negotiations without exerting additional coercion. Second, limited intervention involves threats of political, economic, or military action to coerce all Taiwanese people into adopting a pro-PRC position. The third direct attack hypothesis includes direct military action by military forces against Taiwan or Taiwan’s smaller islands (Green, the Pescadores, Kinman, and /or Matsu) with the objective to destroy or occupy. The least inconsistent supporting evidence indicates that the hypothesis most likely to occur is limited intervention with a weighted ranking of .5 percent, followed by a diplomatic solution with a weighted ranking of .3 percent, and the least likely hypothesis to occur as direct attack with a weighted ranking of .2 percent.
Section II-- Most Likely to Occur: Limited Intervention
We judge the relative likelihood of limited intervention as probable; the PRC will utilize coercive measures and threats of military action. Past action by the PRC demonstrates the willingness to use coercive military action, which includes PRC’s historical response to Taiwan’s elections. As indicated by 1996 Presidential elections in an attempt to intimidate the Taiwanese people, the PRC fired several missiles inside Taiwan’s territorial waters. We judge this type of military coercion continues during this election with the reliable announcement of military exercises near Taiwan by Chief of the PLA’s General Staff, General Liang Guanglie. Evidence indicates that orders for Naval Squadrons and submarines include preparation for extended operations from Canton, Zhangzhou, Whenzhou, and the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Infantry divisions are to begin mobilizing. We are confident in the following key analytical judgment of PRC’s military coercion, which utilizes reliable United States military intelligence. Imagery intelligence indicates; naval ports of Zhangzhou and Whenzhou revealed several amphibious assault squadrons uploading supplies and the PLA B-6 bombers from Luqiao airfield are loading air-to-surface munitions. In addition, US’ Strategic Command reports, the 99th and 98th missile regiments successfully fired two CSS-6 short-range missiles into a test range located in central China, and the USAF Electronic Intelligence reports the 96th Missile Regiment near Nanping is calibrating their equipment in preparation for a CSS-6 missile launch.
The political indicators, supporting probable limited intervention, include key evidence of the involvement from the United Nations Security Council. Appealing to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Premier Hu Jintao of CPC requests involvement from the United Nations in the crisis and the United Nations Security Council agrees. This appeal, by announcement from United Nations Security Council, is reliable information and Premier Hu Jintao’s action gives greater weight to reaching a diplomatic solution. In addition, political involvement by President Obama, as he cautions Shu Chin-Chiang to accept the “status quo” by not increasing the current tensions, represents multi-lateral participation. Then, US representative from the American Institute in Taiwan warns both Taiwanese presidential candidates that under the current circumstances the United States could not guarantee political or military support. The United States involvement and current interest is in support of the Taiwan Relations Act. The Act provides Taiwan with weapons “of a defensive nature.” During the 1996 Presidential elections, the United States dispatched two carrier battle groups into the Taiwan Strait to prevent an escalation into war in response to the PRC’s launch of several missiles inside Taiwan’s territorial waters. Key to this hypothesis is the involvement of the United Nations Security Council and the United States, representing PRC and Taiwan respectively, to prevent a direct attack.
Section III—Second Most Likely to Occur: Diplomatic Solution
The relative likelihood of a diplomatic solution that the PRC and Taiwanese will solve their differences by direct or multi-lateral negotiations without exerting additional coercion is possible. Premier Hu Jintao, controlling the PRC’s state-run media Xinhua, promotes two themes during the campaign. The first is that candidates are to avoid unnecessarily increasing tensions between CPC and Taiwan with Taiwan’s independence issues. The second is condemning TSU’s Shu Chin-Chiang whose political stance, if elected, would perceivably damage current positive negotiations. Premier Hu Jintao ordered the Chief of the PLA’s General Staff General Liang Guanglie to review “all applicable plans.” In the absence of evidence, assumptions will change if intelligence indicates that Premier Hu Jintao is meeting with Chief of PLA’s General Staff General Liang Guanglie, facilitating the removal of key political party and family members from Taiwan. Intelligence information from any source indicating that Premier Hu Jintao is reviewing military transportation plans for key political party and family members from Taiwan will refute the diplomatic solutions hypothesis.
The political indicators representing a judgment of diplomatic solution as possible include key evidence of Premier Hu Jintao actions to avoid a military conflict and that PRC and Taiwan have economic and cultural ties. Premier Hu Jintao indicates a sincere willingness to avoid military action by appealing to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. In his efforts to avoid military action against Taiwan, Premier Hu Jintao indicates his willingness to reach negotiations with President Chen Shui-bian. In response to this action, President Chen Shui-bian sends representatives to the mainland. Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian (DPP) then issues a statement and acknowledges that negotiations with the PRC were taking place and was contemplating lowering their military alert status as a sign of “goodwill.” President Chen Shui-bian also issues a public warning to Shu Chin-Chiang to avoid antagonizing the PRC by making “inflammatory comments.” “I will not stand by and let one man’s political desires place 23 million people at risk,” President Chen Shui-bian said. Both President Chen Shui-bian and Premier Hu Jintao are speaking in understandable terms of a diplomatic solution. Key evidence in judgment and assumptions is the recognition that PRC and Taiwan have economic and cultural ties, which have connected them in ways that would cause restraint in destroying the assets each depend upon.
Section IV-- Least Likely to Occur: Direct Attack
The relative likelihood of a direct attack by PLA or direct military action by military forces against Taiwan or Taiwan’s smaller islands (Green, the Pescadores, Kinman, and /or Matsu) with the objective to destroy or occupy is unlikely. Reliable intelligence indicates a direct attack is possible since the PRC passed the Anti-Cessation Law to use "non-peaceful means" against "Taiwan should Taiwan declare their independence. Open source intelligence from The People's Liberation Army Daily (the PLA's official news paper) proclaimed," The armed forces of the PRC stand ready to crush anyone seeking to undermine the CCP's sovereign authority." We are less than confident in the reliability of information from PRC’s open sources such as the Xinhua news agency. However, Xinhua news agency video footage includes the launch of cruise missiles against surface targets and air-to-air combat. We assume the PLA will not attack Taiwan based upon United States commitment to defend Taiwan and protect the peace of Eastern Asia region. As such, this assumption discounts the weight ranking of the PRC’s Anti-Cessation Law and reevaluates direct attack from possible to unlikely. In efforts to defend Taiwan, the US began equipping the KMT with modern fighters, missiles, and naval vessels. We are confident in relevant intelligence information from the US’ Deputy Commander of Pacific Command, “flight activity at Shantou, Fuzhou, and Luqiao air force bases have increased significantly within the past 48 hours.” In the absence of evidence, assumptions will change if intelligence indicates that Premier Hu Jintao is meeting with Chief of PLA’s General Staff General Liang Guanglie, more often than once a day. Intelligence information from any source indicating that Premier Hu Jintao is reviewing military plans for attack will refute the diplomatic solutions hypothesis. The likelihood ranking of diplomatic solution hypothesis will change, as its value comprised on a deception and the likelihood ranking of direct attack will require reevaluated.
The political indicators representing a judgment of direct attack as unlikely include key evidence of Premier Hu Jintao actions to avoid a military conflict and that PRC and Taiwan have economic and cultural ties. We have high confidence in the assumptions that indicate economic and cultural ties are of greater importance to Premier Hu Jintao, due to his appeal to the United Nations to intervene in the crisis. Based upon this assessment, we have confidence in the assumption that the Anti-Cessation Law to use “non-peaceful means” against Taiwan should Taiwan declare their independence, is of less value thereby decreasing the weight ranking of military action concerns. Absent of evidence Premier Hu Jintao, if sufficiently desperate in obtaining his control over Taiwan, may change his strategy, and as an alternative to direct military attack, exert political and financial attacks against the Taiwanese and the global economy. In the absence of evidence, assumptions will change if China transfers wealth from US investment dollars to another medium. The impact of such wealth transference, in the global economy, will indicate a deception by Premier Hu Jintao. Further, intelligence information from a reliable source indicating that Premier Hu Jintao’s strategy is changing will refute the diplomatic solutions hypotheses. As a result, the likelihood ranking of the direct attack hypothesis will change. We have low confidence in the ability to gather intelligence information, of the intention of Premier Hu Jintao, if Taiwanese elect Shu Chin-Chiang as president of Taiwan.
Bier, Robert. Analysis Scenario: The Taiwanese Elections. ACH Exercise, Charles Town: American Military University, 2009.