by KYLE MIZOKAMI
Noteworthy reading on events in Asia and the Pacific.
“Planeman” at Militaryphotos.net has an excellent open-source overview of China’s air defense systems and their deployment at Beijing, Shanghai, the Taiwan Straits, and Hong Kong. Particularly interesting is the evolution of Bejing’s air defense grid as new systems come on-line. Planeman also briefly discusses China’s anti-satellite weapons, anti-stealth countermeasures, and anti-precision guided munition systems.
Some of the locally-made missiles look rather like Western and Russian systems, which should surprise nobody.
The blog What Japan Thinks had an interesting series of posts on Japanese attitudes towards their Self-Defense Forces. (Available here, here, and here.) Blogger Tobias Harris at Observing Japan has some analysis of the figures. Harris notes that support for the U.S. – Japan alliance is still strong, but public opinion of the purpose of the Self-Defense Forces is starting to shift from that of defending Japan to participating in peacekeeping operations. This likely reflects recent high profile peacekeeping missions the SDF has joined.
The statistics are also interesting for another reason. In the 1980s, polls revealed Japanese support for the defense of their country was decidedly lukewarm, with a sizable percentage of respondents stating they would not resist an invasion by the Soviet Union. While this latest poll indicates only 6.2% of respondents would sign up with the SDF if Japan were attacked, the number that would offer no resistance is down to 8.1%.
G.I. Korea at ROK Drop quotes an article on U.S. warnings to South Korea. General Walter Sharp, commander of U.S. forces in Korea, believes that South Korea should be prepared for guerilla warfare if a ground war broke out on the peninsula. G.I. Korea believes that a ground war is unnecessary and that short of all-out war, North Korea could stage guerrilla raids and ambushes south of the border. This would resemble the so-called “DMZ War” of the late 1960s. G.I. Korea links to two ROK Drop posts on this undeclared war, which resulted in hundreds of South Koreans and Americans killed and wounded.
Militaryphotos.net poster Planeman has also authored a guide to Vietnam’s air defense system. Vietnam’s air defenses are largely outdated, still relying in part on SA-2 Guideline missiles, the kind which were used against American aircraft during the Vietnam War. Planeman also covers S-300 missiles recently purchased from Russia. Much attention is given to Vietnam’s gun-based air defenses, with diagrams and graphics that illustrate a variety of anti-aircraft guns and firing positions. Planeman also covers mobile air defenses and the recent acquisition of Su-27 fighters.
(Photo: Brian William Jones)