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August 07, 2010



Would a ghetto missile system in the Hammas style be an advantage at all? If it polity that China uses with greatest effect, then it must be that Taiwan defends its sovereignty through connectivity. It needs to be using situations similar to today, with China laying claim to the whole of South China Sea.
It needs to maneuver itself to be the cornerstone of an alliance between it and other small maritime nations bordering China. A bajillion missiles in the face of cultural and political absorption mean little, and change nothing that matters.


As a limited operational countermeasure, in time and space yes. But the balance of missiles over the Taiwan strait is really just a small factor in this, as you point out.

Joseph Fouche

If there's one road from the ideal of the "headless chicken" (as some have called it) to the siren call of the "magic bullet", it's the unwillingness of a citizenry to undertake the cost and inconvenience of militia service unless they're surrounded by hostile Indians or Arabs. A constant theme from Washington's presidency on to the War of 1812 was the constant request to Congress to fully fund the Militia Act of 1792. Congress never did, choosing instead to keep a small professional volunteer army often composed of poor foreign immigrants while calling up troops as needed for emergencies.

There are a few significant victories by forces mostly composed of American militia over conventional opponents: the first siege of Louisbourg, Lexington, Concord, the forced evacuation of Boston, Bennington, Kings Mountain, the Thames, New Orleans. Most of the time however, militia performed poorly against conventional forces.

It was in their capacity to control the local population as a police force that American militia shone.


Militias tend to be a cherished myth, though. And I think that myth will never die.

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