An interesting Face Book exchange (Conclusion)*

Sam Marcelo: Victor Corpus China’s has not proven itself in recent memory militarily to engage a superpower like the US. It is hard press with its immediate goal of a “near-peer” status with the US. The US will remain the de facto superpower in the remaining generations. China can only try. Why not, the US is the only country whose motto is: “In God We Trust.” No wonder it is the most powerful country in the World. Why do standard of currency is the US Dollar and not the Yuan or Renminbi tells you about the world’s confidence in the US. I won’t allow fake rice, fake this and that, shabu to proliferate the Philippines, the world for that matter, China with all its malignant means.

Victor Corpus: The US is printing dollars by the trillions without gold backing. It prints dollars out of thin air to pay for its mountains of debts, deficit spending, and trade deficits. That is why the BRICS and other countries as well are slowly moving out of the US dollar in international trade. China, Russia, and Iran are now backing their currencies in gold. A time will come that the dollar will be worth less than the paper it is printed on; as the US continues printing money out of thin air.

Sam Marcelo: Victor Corpus its normal for the countries you have mentioned to move out of the US dollar in international trade due to the US is their common adversary. Generally speaking, most countries still have more confidence in the US due to the country’s economic and political stability; and a US$19.390 trillion economy says it all.

Victor Corpus: Sam Marcelo You mentioned that China is 25 years behind the US across the board tactically, operationally, and strategically. Let us look at the facts. In quantum satellites (immune to hacking), China is the first and the only one at the moment who has an operating quantum satellite that is now being used for quantum communication. It has also developed quantum devices for detecting deep diving submarines; the US still don’t have one. China also have deployed a rail gun in one of its surface ship; the first in the world to do so. The US still has to deploy one of it own that is still in the testing stage. China has already deployed hypersonic glide vehicles to carry warheads for its newest anti-ship ballistic missile – the DF17. The US, on the other hand, had failed in its entire hypersonic glide vehicle tests. China has now three types of anti-ship ballistic missiles (the DF17, DF21D, and the DF26); the US, up to now, has none. China has more than 5,000 kilometers of strategic tunnels, with extensive subway systems in all of its major cities that serve as civil defense in the event of conflict with powers like the US; the US has no comparable system. China has already developed microwave weapons that can neutralize missiles, UAV swarms, surface ships and tank/armored formations; the US is still in the process of development. China has already demonstrated way back in January 2007 that it can shoot down a satellite with a direct-ascent missile; the only country to have done so at that time. This sent a signal to the US of the vulnerability of its space-based C4ISR in the event of a shooting war with China. Here, it is quite appropriate to be reminded of Sun Tzu’s famous dictum: Know your enemy, and know yourself; and you can fight a hundred battles with no danger of defeat.

Peter F Mutuc: Victor Corpus Galing!

Victor Corpus: Hence, if there will be a shooting war between the US and China in the South China Sea, China will have the strategic, operational, and tactical advantage because it can bring all of the things mentioned above to the fore because of geographical proximity that turns into geographical advantage for China and geographical disadvantage for the US and its major allies (Japan, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada). If the so-called freedom of navigation being conducted by the US in the South China Sea triggers a shooting war that escalates, the worst scenario for the first thirty minutes might look something like this: Barrages of anti-ship ballistic missiles target all US aircraft carrier strike groups that are within 4000 kilometers from the China mainland. The same type of missiles are used to target all air bases harboring US stealth fighters and bombers stationed from South Korea, Japan, Australia, all the way to Guam. All major US satellites criss-crossing China and the South China Sea are neutralized by ground-based lasers and direct-ascent ASAT missiles. In less than half an hour or so, the targeted aircraft carrier strike groups, air bases, and satellites lie in ruins.

Victor Corpus: Meanwhile, China, Russia, and Iran had coordinated beforehand that Russian SSBNs and SSNs deploy to US east coast while Chinese nuclear submarines deploy to US west coast that will react in case US decides to go nuclear in China’s mainland. Iran will then close the Strait of Hormuz where 60% of NATO countries oil and 90% of Japan oil supply passes through. Russia then whispers to Germany that its oil and gas supply will be cut off if it makes a false move.

Victor Corpus: Question: Is China capable of fulfilling such a scenario? Does it have the resources and wherewithal to do what are enumerated above. Will Russia and Iran do their parts? If yes, what will be the possible reaction of Trump and the US military?

Sam Marcelo: Victor Corpus all of your claims and disclaimers are mere assumptions. A good exercise for modeling and simulation of US versus China scenario. If I may ask what makes you so enamored with China considering the damages it had done and is doing to PHL such as its illegal occupation to the country’s territory in WPS, bullying behavior, exportation of shabu, fake rice, mass Chinese emigration, etc. I think China is bent on occupying the Philippines someday and make it its protectorate and or downright properly. China is not an honest broker. Other countries where China extended financial assistance with exorbitant interest and inequitable stipulations have realized China’s sinister objective. Given this backdrop and China’s overall goal of world domination it would not win. It has no significant backing from countries that are prosperous. Only rogue countries are enamored to China and its objectives. In fact, I have hosted Chinese students who studied in local private schools for four years and their sentiment to their country is no less than favorable and belligerent to their own country. Short of saying they love the US more than they love China. They don’t want to go to a shooting war with the US. Most Chinese students who study in the US favor the US more than their own country according to an independent European Education journal. There are presently 300K plus Chinese students who are studying in the US. Pres Trump hinted of deporting them at one time. Btw, even Xi Jin Ping’s eldest daughter went to Harvard and graduated three years ago. So what really makes you enamored with China besides the fact that you were a former NPA and China was or still your benefactor?

Victor Corpus: And what about the EDCA bases of the US in the Philippines? What if the US uses these bases as jumping boards in attacking mainland China? What if US forces in the Philippines launch missiles with nuclear warheads from warships or aircraft stationed in those EDCA bases? China will surely retaliate in kind! Did our leaders who allowed those EDCA bases thought about these possibilities? Are those EDCA bases really for our defense and security? Or do they actually serve as magnets for nuclear armed missiles to be raining over the heads of Filipinos?

Victor Corpus: Sam Marcelo You mentioned about the advantage of the US strategically, operationally and tactically – being 25 years ahead of China. Let us assume the South China Sea as the main playing ground. Or better yet, the Heartland of Eurasia, which is the real geostrategic objective of the US as Sir Halford Mackinder theorized that whoever controls the Eurasian Heartland will eventually control the world. Let us consider the South China Sea as just one of the peripheral operational objectives of the lone superpower. Strategically, the US and its allies will be operating on exterior lines; while China, Russia, and Iran will be operation on interior lines. US and allies will have to cross oceans via extended sea lanes of communications (SLOC) to bring their combat forces and war equipment to the battlefields of Central Asia. In doing so, they will be exposed to interdiction and ambush by adversary submarines and anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles of the triumvirate. In contrast, China, Russia and Iran will be maneuvering forces in protected lines of communication within their respective territories or that of their allies in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization or SCO. Aside from secured lines of communication, the triumvirate can take advantage of high speed rail that now criss-cross the Heartland in rapid troop maneuvers and concentration of forces or firepower to defeat any invading forces one by one. Strategically also, US and its allies will be forced to fight on many major fronts: the Chinese front; the Russian front; the Iranian front; a Pakistani front; a Korean front; an eastern US front; and a western US front. Strategically, US will be forced to fight on multiple major fronts; and violate the basic military dictum: never hit with both fists in two directions at the same time.

Victor Corpus: At the operational level, let us take the case of the South China Sea. Operationally, China has the clear advantage because the South China Sea is in its own “backyard”. Its advanced ballistic and cruise missiles that are designed for use at the operational level covers all major air and naval bases of the US and its allies as well as aircraft carrier strike groups operating some 4,000 kms from the Chinese mainland. In the first few minutes upon the outbreak of hostilities, said bases and carrier groups can be eliminated. Hence, at the operational level, China still has the upper hand over the U.S.

Victor Corpus: At the tactical level, the defenders of the Eurasian Heartland (Russia, China, Iran, and other SCO countries) will have the upper hand because of “popular support” that tends to lean on and favor the “defenders” as against the invaders or aggressors – roles that the US and its allies will be forced to play in order to gain control of the “Heartland” as postulated by Mackinder. But as Mencius also postulated eons ago: Perfect timing is less important than positional advantage; but positional advantage is less important than popular support. Hence, at the tactical level, Russia, China, Iran, and their allies in the SCO will have the tactical advantage over those who dream of ruling the Eurasian Heartland to rule over the world.

Sam Marcelo: China doesn’t have a choice but to operate from a “central” position because it is a weaker force. The strong force has both options to adapt a central position but more so external position with many different lines of operations. Btw as of late, our leadership have already have already excluded A2AD as one line of operations and conceded the strategy is for weaker nations. China cannot match our offense counter-air and defense counter-air. For one we have more fighters (both Navy and Air force) compared to China and Russia combined. No matter how you assert China’s capability it will lose based on the US quality of equipment, quality of training, experience, capacity to stay long in the war. Btw, recall that one of our Aegis cruisers ten years ago shot down a satellite during its reentry to earth as counter to China’s shooting down its slow moving satellite in space. Also, a lot of the technologies we let China steal from us are designed to flop. China is realizing that already.

Roberto Holgado Bruce: Whether US or China is the weaker or stronger one, I believe that PH cannot afford to be in the middle pf a shooting war, no matter how small that war will be. Peace!

Victor Corpus: I agree, Sir Robert. I believe that our national interest lies in neutrality.

Victor Corpus: Sam Marcelo In one of your posts above, you asked what makes me so enamored with China. If you still don’t know, I was a former chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; and it was part of my job to know as much as I can about the countries that could possibly become our adversary; part of knowing the enemy as advised by Sun Tzu. But I think that bringing that personal aspect as part of this debate or interaction is foul. Please try to support your ideas on the strength of your arguments based on facts, and not resort to insults such as that thing you mentioned about me “appealing to ignorance” when you started your post.

Sam Marcelo: Victor Corpus Mea culpa Sir

Victor Corpus: Sam Marcelo Thanks, Sam. So let’s continue the discussion. You mentioned above: “China cannot match our offense counter-air and defense counter-air. For one we have more fighters (both Navy and Air Force) compared to China and Russia combined. No matter how you assert China’s capability it will lose based on the US quality of equipment, quality of training, experience, capacity to stay long in the war.” It is true that the US Navy and Air Force have more fighters than China and Russia combined; with better quality of equipment, training and experience. But all these things become irrelevant in a major conflict between the US and its allies against China in the South China Sea operational area. China can neutralize US Navy and Air Force fighter aircraft superiority without using a single fighter jet of its own! How so? All of the US combat aircraft are scattered in Air Bases in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Diego Garcia, Guam, and atop aircraft carriers plying the area that are within 4,000 kilometers from the Chinese mainland. All these military bases and aircraft carrier strike groups can be monitored on real-time by Chinese C4ISR. The moment a shooting war erupts; China will launch barrage missile attacks on all military bases harboring US fighter jets; to include those aboard aircraft carriers that are within the 4000 km radius of China’s shores. In about less than 15 minutes, all of said bases and carriers would lie in ruins. Meanwhile, the stealth fighters of China (J-20,23,25, and 31) remain safe in 41 underground air base hangars scattered along the east coast and middle section of the China mainland. The US has no comparable underground hangars for its combat aircraft. There is one in Taiwan and another in South Korea; but they can easily be neutralized by barrages of Chinese missiles (DF-15s and DF-16s). Without a functioning air base, US / allies air superiority and air cover is lost; without air cover, the war in that entire region or operational area is lost. • Victor Corpus There was a time when the “King of Battle” was the tank; then came the aircraft carrier strike groups. Now, with the advent of RMA with long-range, precision-guided, stealthy, and highly-lethal missiles, a new “King of Battle” has emerged. Aircraft carrier strike groups and exposed air and naval bases are becoming obsolete.

*The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

BD Admin: You think your friends gonna like this piece? If you do, kindly share it. Thanks.

Victor Corpus, M.P.A.
A graduate of Philippine Military Academy Cl’67; MPA ’90 from Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Brig. Gen. Victor N. Corpus, (AFP, retired) spent five years with the New People’s Army (1971-76); detained for 10 years under Martial Law and sentenced to death by musketry; and became Chief, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Can be reached at: viccor2003@yahoo.com

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