US military unveils strategy of turning Taiwan Strait into "Hellscape" if China invades, says official

"I want to turn the Taiwan Strait into an unmanned hellscape using a number of classified capabilities," Adm. Samuel Paparo, the commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, told The Washington Post at the International Institute for Strategic Studies' Shangri-La Dialogue Summit.


ANI | Updated: 11-06-2024 23:01 IST | Created: 11-06-2024 23:01 IST
US military unveils strategy  of turning Taiwan Strait into "Hellscape" if China invades, says official
Representative Image. Image Credit: ANI

To thwart President Xi Jinping's plan of invasion of Taiwan which China's President has asked the People's Liberation Army to do by 2027, the US military is ready with its strategy of turning the Taiwan Strait into an unmanned hellscape using a number of classified capabilities, a Washington Post columnist said. "I want to turn the Taiwan Strait into an unmanned hellscape using a number of classified capabilities," Adm. Samuel Paparo, the commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, told The Washington Post at the International Institute for Strategic Studies' Shangri-La Dialogue Summit.

The key to thwarting Xi's assumed strategy is a U.S. strategy called "Hellscape," Paparo told me. The idea is that as soon as China's invasion fleet begins moving across the 100-mile waterway that separates China and Taiwan, the U.S. military would deploy thousands of unmanned submarines, unmanned surface ships and aerial drones to flood the area and give Taiwanese, U.S. and partner forces time to mount a full response. In doing so, he said, "I can make their lives utterly miserable for a month, which buys me the time for the rest of everything."

According to the top US military official, That plan hinges on quickly building and deploying thousands of new drones that would swarm the Taiwan Strait and keep China's military busy until more help can arrive. This type of strategy would require heavy investments in cheap, reliable drones, which the US has been doing with its Replicator initiative.

Last year, the Department of Defense officially announced the program, which is a long-term plan to field thousands of autonomous systems. Moreover in an Interview with Washington Post, Adm. Samuel Paparo, the new head of US Indo-Pacific Command said, "For any US president, to send American men and women to defend a small democracy on the other side of the world would be a very tough call."

"That's why Plan A is to deter Xi from ever attempting an invasion, by making sure that he never looks across the Taiwan Strait and sees an easy victory." he added. Back in March, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said the Pentagon aims to spend $1 billion this fiscal year on Replicator. A few capabilities have been highlighted as necessary for the first drones in the program, and the Pentagon is working with defense partners to develop and acquire these systems.

Last summer, Hicks said Replicator aimed to counter China's "biggest advantage," which is its mass: "More ships. More missiles. More people." She said that "we'll counter the [People's Liberation Army's] mass with mass of our own, but ours will be harder to plan for, harder to hit, harder to beat." The previous INDOPACOM commander said last year that US unmanned capabilities "will be an asymmetric advantage." He said "operational concepts that we are working through are going to help amplify our advantages in this theater," adding, "There's a term, hellscape, that we use."

Paparo's remarks on the "Hellscape" strategy come on the heels of a massive Chinese military drill around Taiwan, during which it effectively surrounded the island and showed off joint force capabilities. While the exercise showed Taiwan and the US how quickly and easily China could employ a blockade, it was also a learning opportunity for the US military.

After the drills concluded, Paparo said they "looked like a rehearsal" for an invasion, telling Japan's Nikkei newspaper: "We watched it. We took note. We learned from it. And they helped us prepare for the future." Even if "Hellscape" comes together in time, drone swarms alone will not match Beijing's massive military buildup on its side of the Strait. The PLA is expanding its nuclear, naval, air force, cyber, intelligence and electronic warfare capabilities at record speeds. According to Paparo, China's military budget is likely three times what Beijing publicly claims, which would put it at about $700 billion annually. Meanwhile, Indo-Pacific Command's budget is short $11 billion of what it needs this year alone, according to a letter sent to Congress in March by Paparo's predecessor, it aded. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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