《時間問題》與作者的對話

A Question of Time - A Conversation with the Author 台灣為什麽應該為戰爭做好準備?什麼樣的防禦措施將最可能避免衝突的發生?「嚇阻」的基本邏輯是什麼?麥克.韓澤克 (Michael A. Hunzeker) 是美國喬治梅森大學安全沙爾政策與政府學院的助理教授以及政策研究中心的副主任。韓澤克畢業於美國加州大學柏克萊分校,並取得普林斯頓大學的碩士及博士學位。他曾於美國海軍陸戰隊服役十五年。 Should Taiwan prepare for war? How does deterrence work? What makes for a credible defense? Michael A. Hunzeker is an assistant professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government and the associate director of the Center for Security Policy Studies.

台灣為什麽應該為戰爭做好準備?什麼樣的防禦措施將最可能避免衝突的發生?「嚇阻」的基本邏輯是什麼?

麥克.韓澤克 (Michael A. Hunzeker) 是美國喬治梅森大學安全沙爾政策與政府學院的助理教授以及政策研究中心的副主任。韓澤克畢業於美國加州大學柏克萊分校,並取得普林斯頓大學的碩士及博士學位。他曾於美國海軍陸戰隊服役十五年。

韓澤克跟他的研究團隊在 2018 年 11 月出版了《時間問題:強化台灣的傳統(正規)嚇阻態勢》 的專論 。

我們在 2019 年 3 月底跟韓澤克進行了電郵訪談。他跟我們分享了他們研究團隊對台灣的國防建議,以及在動盪、危機時期,辯論這些議題的重要性。

以下對話經過編輯,以求清晰易懂(英文原文紀錄於文章底部:前往)。

【吳怡農】您的研究凸顯了台灣國防態勢的一些重要問題,也促使我們重新思考台灣的戰略(或者說,如何落實我們所聲稱的戰略)。深入討論這些問題之前,請問:身為華府的學者,面對全球這麼多安全議題,您為何決定研究台灣的國防呢?這項計畫又是如何產生的?

【韓澤克】我招募一群學者和相關領域人員來研究這個重要議題的原因有兩個。

首先,我越來越覺得在美國這裡,針對台灣國防需求的對話沒有得到足夠的重視。

我也認為一個「新鮮」(fresh) 的、局外人的觀點,因為其挑戰現有假設、普遍觀念和建議,對思考這個議題會有相當的幫助。毫無疑問的,有少數的聰明、勤奮的政府官員、學者和分析師,在職業生涯中致力瞭解避免臺海衝突所面臨的挑戰。他們的工作極為重要。然而我也相信,由於僅有少數專家長期研究這個問題,他們的對話與辯論難免陷入一言堂和同溫層,這才是真正的危險。

這些議題的重要性不容忽視。台灣發生的事情極有可能影響美國每一個人。台灣是一個蓬勃發展的民主國家,也是重要的全球經濟合作夥伴,同時也是美中關係之間一個可能的引爆點。而且美國在法律上有義務協助台灣的安全需求,儘管有時候這些承諾並不十分明確。

因此我認為,新專家加入討論是十分重要的。至少,我希望可以在老生常談的討論中注入一些新想法。最好的情況當然是可以啟發更多美國學生和分析專家來加入這場批判性的辯論。有新想法是好事,不應拒之門外。

第二個理由,是我認為我的團隊有一些有趣的想法,可以貢獻出來參與對話。具體而言,最近我和我經常合作的同事亞歷山大.拉諾什卡 (Alexander Lanoszka) 教授, 共同完成了一篇研究美國陸軍在歐洲東北的傳統(正規)嚇阻 (conventional deterrence) 的論文(連結)。在這項計畫為期兩年的研究中,我們注意到愛沙尼亞、拉脫維亞和立陶宛所共同面臨的挑戰和台灣有許多相似之處。在地理位置上,這四個國家隔壁就有一個可能對他們發動攻擊的國家;它們也都和潛在侵略者有著複雜的歷史背景;這四個國家在國土範圍、經濟實力和軍事力量上,也都很難與潛在攻擊者硬碰硬。當然這四個國家還有一個共通點:他們都是蓬勃發展的民主國家。

這四個國家當然也存在重要的差異性。但我們相信,相似之處是非常驚人且密切相關,而且也有助於我們以新的方式思考台灣的挑戰和機遇。

您和您的團隊花了多少時間進行這項計畫呢?台灣問題已經是許多分析研究的主題之一,為什麼您認為在這麼有限的研究時間內,您和團隊有辦法提出一些新想法呢?(請原諒我這麼直接!) 

問得好,我很高興你提出這個問題。

在 2018 年 1 月前往臺北之前,我們大約花了三個月的準備時間進行背景研究。我們花了一個星期對大眾進行訪談,之後又花了約六個月執行其他研究;在這段時間中,我們針對區域與防衛專家提供的回覆來撰寫和修訂報告。這些回覆十分嚴謹也十分珍貴,因此這份報告絕不是我們急就章胡亂湊出來的東西。

有一點也必須特別說明,雖然我和團隊在旅行和研究上獲得資助,但我們並沒有另外獲得任何個人或機構的酬勞。我們之所以花了數月來研究這些問題,並不是因為可以得到什麼好處,而是我們認為這個問題非常重要。事實上,我們都是在全職工作的餘暇來進行這項研究。

我和團隊都承認,我們並不是台灣專家。用一個非常美國式說法來講,「局外人」反而是一個優勢,而非缺陷。我必須坦率地說,在美國本土,有關台灣安全需求和選項的對話已經有些陳腐了。唯有注入更多的聲音、想法和意見,才能有所助益。

此外,我也深信我的團隊擁有一套獨到的經驗和見解。我們的確不是區域專家,但有四位曾在部隊服役。其中兩位是退役軍官,有兩位從美國軍校畢業。我們也曾以現役和後備役的身分出過任務(有一位成員其實是在艦上服後備役的時候進行這份報告的)。還有兩位成員曾與台灣軍方共事,也與他們進行過訓練。由於團隊成員分別來自美國陸、海、空軍和陸戰隊,我們事實上也提供了一種「聯合」軍種的觀點。

除了我們的軍事專業之外,拉諾什卡教授也是著名的聯盟、核武擴散和混合戰爭的專家。麥特.費(Matt Fay)則是一位經驗豐富的國防預算分析師。艾瑞卡.森.懷特(Erica Seng-White)則是一位剛開始嶄露頭角的輿論研究學者。他們寶貴的觀點,顯然都是值得參與對話的。

區域專業和當地知識當然重要,我們的目的並不是要忽視或取代這些觀點。但就像我常告訴學生的,子彈和飛彈自有一套攻擊的邏輯,它是不會管你國情如何的。

您這篇專論的副標題是:「強化台灣的傳統(正規)嚇阻態勢」。而「傳統」一詞在國防議題的討論上,帶有負面涵義(如:「台灣堅持建置傳統的武器載台」等評論)。您可以為我們解釋一下「傳統(正規)嚇阻」的意義嗎? 

這也是一個好問題,因為您強調了這個術語在臺、美兩地使用上的重要差異。「傳統(正規)嚇阻」指涉的是非常明確的東西,也就是特別關注在「不包含」核子武器的嚇阻選項。

所以,當我們說「正規」,我們指的不只是「傳統」的武器和載台。

提到這點,其實我們認為台灣應該認真考慮省下那些挹注在主力戰車、先進戰鬥機和大型潛艦等「傳統」武器的預算,轉而投資大量真正的不對稱作戰能力,例如反艦飛彈、水雷、防空裝備,甚至是游擊戰力。

為什麼您要將核子武器排除在外呢?那不是最終極的(甚至是「唯一」真正的)嚇阻手段嗎?

我們沒有把核子武器納入考慮,是因為以台灣的情況來看,擁有核子武器反而會招來台灣想嚇阻的威脅。

我同意,可靠、有彈性的核武能力「理論上」足以嚇阻威脅;但如果台灣試圖取得核武,將不免遭遇一些非常「實質」的阻礙。

第一個阻礙就是時間。專家認為台灣從設計到製造出核武的時間,少說需要一至二年。

這就牽涉到第二個阻礙:保密問題。台灣過去曾二度試圖發展核武,但兩次都被美國發現,並向台灣施壓要求中止研發;而這還是台灣在威權統治時代下發生的事情。因此我們很難想像,在如今活躍、透明的民主台灣中,政府該如何把這種計畫保密一年甚至更久。

這種可能被發現的風險,也帶出了第三個阻礙:中國的底線。中國不可能容忍一個擁有核武的台灣。

綜上所述,我們可以想見,早在台灣能夠設計、開發、測試並部署可行的核武能力之前,中國就會發現台灣的核武計畫並採取武力回應了。

這是澄清您所謂「嚇阻」意義的好時機。這個詞經常為臺、美國防專家所用,但我們似乎對嚇阻實際的涵義,有不同的理解和看法。 

當我的團隊使用嚇阻這個術語時,我們指的是試圖威脅潛在侵略者,讓他們相信如果嘗試改變現狀,將會遭受難以承受的痛苦。換句話說,我們把嚇阻想像成在沙裡畫一條線並告訴對方,如果你試圖跨過來,你將付出不可承受的代價。如果把這個定義套用到台灣的狀況,便是要說服中國不要試圖違反台灣意志,以武力統一台灣。

根據美國歷代學者對嚇阻的研究來看,我們也認為台灣必須滿足一些先決條件才能夠嚇阻侵略。

首先,台灣必須要有確實可信的嚇阻態勢。也就是必須讓中國「相信」,台灣有決心和能力都足以兌現對中國的威脅。而中國也必須了解,台灣也擁有可以實現威脅的政治意志。總之,要對敵人造成不可承受的痛苦,也代表著要將軍隊送上戰場。

其次,台灣所造成的威脅,必須超出中國所能承受的範圍。台灣必須讓中國相信,台灣可以「施加如此大的痛苦」,以至於攻擊的成本將超過任何可以預期的利益。這也代表台灣必須知道中國承受痛苦的限度。正如我有時跟我學生說的,你不能用痛苦來威脅一個被虐狂…

第三,雖然對中國造成威脅很重要,然而台灣也必須提供保證。除了讓中國相信攻擊行為將導致難以承受的痛苦外,「同時」也要讓中國知道,只要不輕舉妄動,台灣也不會對中國造成威脅。我們認為,如果台灣想購買射程深入中國內陸的長程飛彈,這是需要謹慎思考的問題之一。雖然看似不太可能,但中國可能會擔憂,有朝一日台灣將使用這些武器來攻擊北京以貫徹其意志。

最後,台灣必須明確地方式表明其威脅和保證。基本上,台灣需表明:什麼樣的行為將觸發台灣的軍事回應,也需要向中國展示台灣聲稱擁有的能力。這就是為何秘密的軍事計畫和武器,對阻止侵略無益。引用一部美國著名電影的話,「如果你擁有能夠毀滅世界的武器卻秘而不宣,那還有什麼意義?」(the whole point of a doomsday machine is lost if you keep it a secret!)

有台灣官員表示,雖然傳統(正規)武器或平台在保臺戰爭中的「可能效益不大」,但我們仍需要其「嚇阻價值」(潛艦和戰車便經常被拿來做為這種需求的例子)。另一方面,您剛才提到的反艦飛彈、水雷、防空裝備,甚至游擊戰等能力(這點我們稍後再討論)。您是否能說明您的看法和官方所謂「嚇阻價值」之間的不同呢? 

對於那些官員認為即使潛艦和戰機的作戰效益不大,卻仍具備嚇阻能力的看法,我們不敢苟同。我們認為這種論點忽略了嚇阻背後的基本邏輯。

嚇阻有兩種基本手段:報復性嚇阻和拒止性嚇阻。

「報復性嚇阻」的意思,是威脅透過施加不可承受的痛苦來「報復」侵略。台灣若要實現可靠的報復性嚇阻能力,就必須讓中國相信,在被入侵或發生重大襲擊「之後」,台灣仍有能力造成讓敵人難以承受的損失。核子武器可能有辦法做到這點,但我之前已經討論過這種方法的所有障礙。因此,台灣便需要大量的遠程精準飛彈,也必須確定這些武器能在先制打擊中倖存;而且我是認真覺得要十分「大量」的飛彈。對已經決心以武力解決台灣問題的中共而言,規模太小的打擊可能尚不足讓中國感到痛苦,因此,台灣需要的飛彈數量,必須大到足以造成核戰規模的破壞。不論哪一種的報復性嚇阻都存在風險,因為台灣必須等到中國明確的跨越紅線之後才能進行報復,但到時可能就為時已晚了。

因此,台灣只剩「拒止性嚇阻」一個選項。「拒止性」嚇阻和「報復性」嚇阻不同:它是讓你的敵人相信你有能力防止敵人在它可承受的代價範圍內、在戰場上達成目的。如湯瑪斯.謝林(Thomas Schelling)所說,拒止性嚇阻意指讓敵人了解:我們有能力讓你的軍事行動困難重重或損失慘重;讓敵人想都別想,完全打消出兵攻擊的念頭。

以台灣和中國的狀況而言,我們認為拒止性嚇阻明顯較為可靠和合理,但前提是台灣的武器和載台必須能在戰場上「發揮效用」。若台灣擁有取之不盡的國防預算,當然可以負擔純象徵意義的武器,但事實並非如此。台灣面臨的預算挑戰十分嚴峻,因此必須別無選擇的把稀少的國防資源投注在真正的作戰能力上。

我們要清楚:「拒止性嚇阻」並不是指台灣必須在戰爭中打贏中國,而是要擁有足夠的戰力,讓中國認為發動戰爭的代價是無法承受的。我們認為達成此目的最好的方法,就是專注購買大量便宜、有高存活能力的武器。

一般大眾會以為我們的國防計畫(購買什麼、如何運用、如何訓練)是根據實際能嚇阻敵人的需求來決定。但您在第四章中提到,在和台灣國安高層官員的訪談之中,有人表示:那些先進、昂貴、嶄新的裝備可能作戰效益有限,但購買那些裝備的用意是為了要提高民心士氣,讓民眾安心。請您簡要說明,為什麼您認為那些所謂「先進」的武器幾乎是無用的? 

好,我盡量簡短!還好我上一個問題答得夠詳盡,讓這題的答案可以簡短一些。

答案總結起來就是一個字:錢。先進武器當然有用,但台灣無法負擔足以嚇阻中國的「量」。總之,中國實在和台灣太近了,中國有大量的飛彈庫存,也有比台灣更多的軍隊、船、和飛機,而且中國的武器也正快速地追上品質差距。這林林總總都顯示,如果中國決意進犯台灣,絕對會以飛彈、特戰單位和網路戰對台灣軍方發動壓倒性、毀滅性的先制打擊。

所以,台灣唯一能讓中國領導人相信,解放軍無法在戰場上以合理代價致勝的方法,便是購買非常大量、讓中國無法在第一擊中完全摧毀的武器;而且在第一波攻擊之後,台灣仍有足夠的武器和單位存活,可繼續和解放軍的侵略部隊作戰。

因此,錢就變成了問題。先進武器非常昂貴,如果台灣的國防預算沒有上限,我們也許會贊成購買大量的柴電潛艦、神盾艦和 F-35 戰鬥機。

可惜,台灣沒有取之不盡的國防預算,因此也無法大量購足昂貴、精美、先進的船和飛機,來保證在遭受第一擊之後還有足夠的武器可以倖存。

因此,我們認為台灣應該改為購買大量的便宜武器,例如水雷、反艦飛彈、無人機和飛彈快艇。單單一艘潛艦或一架 F-35 的成本,就足以購買許多這種廉價武器,這是台灣可以負擔的。水雷、飛彈、無人機和飛彈快艇的體積都不大,可分散部署在台灣全島各個角落,讓解放軍難以發現,也無法在第一擊中全數盡滅。

即使是便宜、小型的武器,也不代表不能發揮效益。諸如湯瑪斯.漢默斯(T.X. Hammes)等許多精明的美國國防專家都認為,世界正在進行一場戰爭戰法的革命。他說,多年來,世界上最強的幾支軍隊都花費了全部的預算去購買少量的昂貴、先進武器;但是,長程目標定位、微處裡、3D 列印和無人機技術的新進展,代表購買大量便宜武器的陸、海、空軍,將有能力打敗那些堅持以少量、昂貴且技術複雜的武器作戰的敵人。

這些官員似乎在表達幾個假設。第一,「最壞情況的戰爭」不會發生:「中國只要『買下』台灣,或在政治或經濟上施壓即可;中國必須爭取台灣的民心,因此不會做出任何造成人民困擾的事情,更遑論冒險造成他們的傷亡。」第二,很多人普遍認為台灣沒有贏的機會:「我們的人數和武力都遠不及對手;我們也沒有作戰的決心,這點從決定廢除徵兵制便可見一斑。」這代表衝突根本不會發生(或者會很快地結束),因此我們可以購買一些閃亮的新裝備來公開展示、讓大家拍拍照。而且也許,如果美國賣我們這些最精良的武器,也代表美國釋放出將介入防衛台灣的訊號:「美國不想冒失去第一島鏈的風險」。顯然您認為這些觀點有問題。戰爭有可能發生嗎?如果有,台灣究竟有沒有機會?在這些問題得到答案之前,我想我們無法有建設性地討論台灣的國防政策。 

我和團隊都希望台海不會發生戰爭,但撰寫這份論文的原因,是因為我們認為戰爭是有可能的;而且嚇阻態勢的不足,確實「更」可能讓中國有朝一日考慮以武力犯台。

我們也認為中國希望「不戰而勝」。他們正在、也將持續利用經濟和政治工具試圖逼迫台灣。我們不想淡化這些重要的挑戰。

儘管如此,我們仍關注在軍事議題的原因有二:第一,我們是研究安全和國防議題的學者和軍官,因此我們不會對政治和經濟挑戰置喙。就像你不會找汽車技師尋求醫療建議一樣,向國防學者徵詢政治和經濟建議是不對的。

第二,我們的確認為台灣的國防挑戰比政治和經濟挑戰更為急迫。沒錯,中國的確比較喜歡使用其政治和經濟工具,但台灣欣欣向榮、透明的民主政治,便足以抗衡這些威脅了。台灣是全球經濟的一分子,也擁有強而有力的各種機構。台灣人民聰明、教育程度高,也相信民主的過程;以上種種,都有助台灣抵擋顛覆經濟和政治的潛在威脅,因此,我們並不認為中國僅憑經濟和政治工具便能得逞。

由於台灣是中國的核心與國家利益,因此若中國認為無法和平達成其目的時,他便有可能日益考慮訴諸武力,這是非常真實的風險。基於所有我之前已經提到的理由,我的團隊認為台灣的國防力量並不如社會、經濟和政治防禦力量一般穩健。

台灣能否靠自己的力量「贏」?我認為這是問錯問題。第一,嚇阻並不是取決於在台灣是否能贏,而是取決於台灣能否說服中國:若中國試圖侵略,台灣軍方將能讓解放軍付出難以承受的代價。

第二,我也認為若台灣不採取嚴厲措施來強化嚇阻和國防能力,在美國或其他潛在盟友有時間進行軍事干預之前,台灣幾乎肯定會失敗。每位和我討論過的美國國防專家都認為,大多數人都太低估美國在區域投入決定性軍事力量所需要的時間了。

因此,即使台灣的政治和軍事領導人都相信,美國別無選擇地會來幫助台灣,但他們仍必須採取相關措施,以確保台灣可以撐到美軍到來。我和團隊都認為,若台灣軍方繼續依靠少量的昂貴戰機、軍艦和潛艦,恐怕撐不了太久。

另外還有十分重要的一點,如果美國人民認為台灣並沒有盡一切努力強化自身國防,他們也不會支持美國干預台灣問題。川普當局目前非常擔心盟友和伙伴會「坐享其成」,佔美國便宜;這些盟國的國防支出不足,又寄望美軍會在衝突發生時助他們脫困。美國這裡也正在進行許多深入辯論,探討美國在世界上所應該扮演的角色。尤其許多美國年輕人越來越質疑,既然國內已經問題重重,為什麼美國還要去干預國際事務?我個人認為美國會持續參與歐洲和東亞事務,但會先根據那些盟國和夥伴國家是否願意採取自助的必要措施,來決定美國介入的力道。

最後,我和團隊不認同台灣年輕人「軟弱」或不願面對戰爭的說法。我們認為如果年輕人擁有可信的武器和訓練,他們是願意從軍並挺身而戰的。而我們也認為,與其使用一些無用的防禦方法,我們建議組織襲擾式(hit and run,打帶跑)攻擊,並讓在鄉士兵在他們的家展開游擊戰,比較可能贏得這些年輕人的認同。

您的建議集中在兩個概念上(對於一篇四萬字的專論而言,我這樣歸納恐怕過於簡化):第一,「避免直接對抗和決戰」,也「不尋求掌控任何戰場」的替代戰法。第二,您強調可靠的國土防禦和地面作戰的價值。您的第一項建議,和我們一般大眾習慣聽到的「堅守崗位,戰至最後一兵一卒」的「防衛固守」(resolute defense) 思維相當不同。以您的想像,這種替代戰法會是什麼樣的型態?我們又能在這樣的作戰中達成什麼目的?

對一份超過百頁的論文來說,你的總結實在太好了。

是的,以嚇阻侵略的角度而言,我們的確認為台灣地面部隊的重要性被低估了。而鑒於台灣軍方所面臨的地理、質和量的挑戰,我們不認為「防衛固守」是一種可靠的作戰方式。

「縱深拒止」作戰跟「防衛固守」不一樣;它的作業範圍從海峽的彼端開始,一路延伸到首都臺北的中心。

地面部隊是整個計畫的基石。不過,在台灣軍方開始發射大量的長程飛彈和自殺式無人機橫越海峽,攻擊那些尚未出港的入侵船艦,以及還在跑道上的轟炸機時,戰爭就開始了。

當然,解放軍會有許多飛機和船倖存下來,但一旦他們開始越過海峽,便會遭遇台灣的迷你潛艦、飛彈快艇,當然還有更多的無人機。解放軍的船隻在遇到水雷的當下,也將立即遭遇隱蔽、分散的地面部隊所發射的長程火砲和反艦飛彈;而這當中尤以水雷最為有效,因為適合執行登陸作戰的海灘很少。然後,在登陸艇開始最後的突擊作戰時,地面部隊將會以較短程的反裝甲火箭、火砲和機槍火力進行攻擊。

「縱深拒止」和「防衛固守」最大的不同,在於「拒止」是指台灣地面部隊在第一波解放軍部隊抵岸時,就「不應該」一直死守陣地了。

除了不該死守陣地之外,我們也建議地面部隊應該開始執行一系列的戰鬥撤退,意思是在撤退到遠離海灘的新陣地的同時,對入侵的部隊進行攻擊以造成其傷亡,拖慢敵人的前進速度。

我們的想法,是盡可能長時間反覆這樣的流程。即使解放軍部隊成功進入台灣的城市,也會因為那些為家園和家人而戰的游擊部隊而陷入苦戰。

最後,我們也不贊成在灘岸進行決戰,這正好能讓中國發揮其優勢。因為決定性的防禦,代表台灣必須聚集地面部隊,但集結後的地面部隊,反而將成為中國飛機和飛彈的明顯目標,因此,地面部隊最好保持分散和隱匿。

雖然分散、隱匿的地面部隊無法決定性地重挫侵略者,但他們可以拖慢敵人的速度,來爭取美國和其他夥伴國家介入的時間。

當然,嚇阻的整體重點,還是在說服中國從一開始就不要進行攻擊。我們認為,如果中國的政治和軍事領導人覺得,他們有能力對由少量飛機和艦艇所構成的台灣軍隊實現快速、毀滅性的打擊,則發動攻擊的可能性將大增;此外,在灘岸上集結的台灣地面部隊,也將成為長程飛彈和轟炸機的活靶。

我們認為中國若認為自己無法迅速取得勝利,他們會比較擔心;如此一來他們便會陷入足以讓美國和其盟友進行干預的長期衝突。

既然您認為地面部隊是整個計畫的基石,我們必須問:坦克在你的作戰構想中扮演什麽樣角色?這在國內是個具爭議性的計畫。 

戰車在這種作戰行動中有角色可以扮演。然而,我們團隊認為大型主力戰車(例如 M1 艾布蘭 Abrams)並不是最好的選項。

雖然這些戰車擁有全球最好的裝甲防護和光學目標定位裝備(這要看美國售台的版本),但這些戰車體積太大也太重(超過 60 噸),因此在台灣許多狹路或無數小型橋梁通行時將遭遇一些困難。主力戰車在「近距離」海岸防衛戰鬥或可發揮作用,但在後續的地面作戰中將可能變成累贅。由於大型主力戰車只能在主要道路和大型橋梁上行駛,因此很容易被當成目標並摧毀。

我們認為小型、輕型裝甲車輛比較適合台灣的地面部隊。這種車輛重量較輕、速度更快,機動性也更高。除裝備火砲外,也可以透過改造來攜帶火箭和飛彈。這種車輛也較容易躲藏,也可以裝載小型部隊以提供防護,當然也更便宜。

在第五章中您寫道:「靠我方犧牲是贏不了不對稱作戰的,讓對方犧牲才是不對稱作戰的致勝關鍵。」(“You do not win an asymmetric war by dying. You win it by getting the other side to die instead”),我們該如何進行不對稱作戰訓練?

我們承認,要訓練地面部隊執行「拒止作戰」,比讓他們進行「防衛固守」的準備要難上許多。

縱深拒止需要的是小型、快速且靈活的部隊。大型部隊的移動過於緩慢,也很容易被當成目標並摧毀。

但若要讓小部隊能夠執行襲擾攻擊,陸軍必須針對尉級軍官授予權力並加以訓練,讓他們可以下達關鍵決策,決定何時該打、何時該跑,畢竟這並不是校級和將級軍官該決定的事。

這種轉型是困難的,但我相信台灣的青年男女絕對可以輕鬆勝任。

積極、真實的訓練才是關鍵。

A Conversation with the Author

Should Taiwan prepare for war? How does deterrence work? What makes for a credible defense?

Michael A. Hunzeker is an assistant professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government and the associate director of the Center for Security Policy Studies. He graduated from UC Berkeley and holds a PhD, MPA, and MA from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. He also spent 15 years in the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve.

In November 2018, Mr. Hunzeker and his team published A Question of Time: Enhancing Taiwan’s Conventional Deterrence Posture (link). In the conversation below, he shares with us their recommendations for Taiwan.

This email correspondence took place at the end of March 2019 and has been edited for clarity.

Click here (link) to read the Chinese translation.

NSF Your research raised some critical questions about Taiwan’s current defense posture, and how we might want to rethink our strategy (or implement what we say is our strategy). But, before we dive in: of all the security issues globally, why did you — an academic sitting in DC — decide to study Taiwan’s defense? How did this project come about?

MAH There are two reasons I decided to recruit a team of scholars and practitioners to study this important issue.

First, I was increasingly convinced that the conversation about Taiwan’s defense needs was not receiving enough attention here in the United States.

I also thought that it could benefit from a ‘fresh,’ outside perspective — one that challenged prevailing assumptions, orthodoxy and recommendations. Without a doubt, a relatively small number of smart, hard working government officials, scholars and analysts have dedicated their careers to understanding the challenges associated with deterring conflict in the Taiwan Strait. Their work is extremely important. Yet I also believed that the same, relatively small group of experts has been working on the same sets of questions for so long that there was a real risk that the conversations and debates were now occurring inside of an echo chamber.

These issues and questions are too important to remain on the margins. What happens to Taiwan has the potential to impact everyone in America. Taiwan is a thriving liberal democracy. It is an important partner in the global economy. It is a possible flashpoint in the U.S.-China relationship. And the United States has a legal obligation to help Taiwan with its security needs, ambiguous though these commitments might sometimes seem.

So in my mind, it was important to bring a new group of experts into the conversation. At the very least, I hoped it might inject new ideas into an old discussion. At best, I wanted to inspire more American students and analysts to join in this critical debate. New ideas are a good thing, not something to avoid.

The second reason is that I thought my team had something interesting to contribute to this conversation. Specifically, my colleague and frequent collaborator, Professor Alexander Lanoszka, and I had recently completed a study for the United States Army on conventional deterrence in Northeastern Europe (link).

Over the course of working on that project for the better part of two years, we noticed a number of parallels between the challenges facing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and the ones with which Taiwan is wrestling. All four countries are literally next door to a state that might one day attack them. All four countries share a complex history with their potential attacker. All four countries lack the geographic size, economic power and military strength to go toe to toe with their potential attacker. And, of course, all four are thriving democracies.

There are also important differences, to be sure. But Alexander and I believed that the similarities were striking and relevant enough that they might help us think about Taiwan’s challenges and opportunities in new ways.

How much time did your team spend on this project? The Taiwan problem has been the subject of many analyses. What made you think that you could bring something new to the table, given the limited time you and your team had to study the issues? (Sorry for being direct!)

This is a terrific question and I’m really glad that you asked it.

We spent about three months doing background research to prepare for our trip to Taipei in January 2018. We spent a week ‘on the ground’ conducting interviews. And then we spent roughly six months doing additional research, writing and revising the report after receiving invaluable critical feedback from regional and defense experts. So this report is very much not something that we hastily threw together at the last minute.

It is also important to point out that although my team and I received a grant to cover our travel and research expenses, we received no personal or institutional financial compensation for our work. We truly spent months working on these questions because we believed they were important and not because we stood to gain anything from it. In fact, all of us worked on this while still doing our full time day jobs!

The fact is that my team and I will be the first to admit that we are not Taiwan experts. But again, we think this is a feature, not a bug — which is a very American way of saying we think that our status as ‘outsiders’ is a strength, not a weakness. I must be frank: the conversation surrounding Taiwan’s security needs and options here in the United States has grown a bit stale. It can only benefit from more voices, ideas and opinions.

Moreover, I genuinely believe that my team has a unique perspective and set of experiences to bring to bear on the problem. It is true that we are not regional experts. But four of us are combat veterans. Two of us are retired military officers. Two of us graduated from U.S. military academies. Two of us have served on both active and reserve duty (in fact, one of us worked on this report on the back of a ship while deployed as a reservist). Two of us have previous experience serving with — and training — members of Taiwan’s military. We also represent a genuine ‘joint’ military perspective, since our team members have served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, respectively.

Beyond our military expertise, Professor Lanoszka is an established scholar of alliances, nuclear proliferation and hybrid warfare. Matt Fay is an experienced defense budget analyst. And Erica Seng-White is an up and coming scholar of public opinion. It stands to reason that these are valuable perspectives worth adding to the conversation.

Regional expertise and local knowledge are of course essential. Our goal is not to ignore or replace such perspectives. But as I like to tell my students, bullets and missiles don’t care about culture and history — they have a logic all their own.

The subtitle of your monograph is “Enhancing Taiwan’s Conventional Deterrence Posture.” In Taiwan, we use the same Chinese term for ‘conventional’ and ‘traditional,’ and it carries a negative connotation particularly in the defense context (Taiwan’s fixation on conventional platforms comes to mind). Can you explain to us what you mean by “conventional (traditional) deterrence”?

This is another great question, because you highlight an important difference in how the term is used and understood in Taiwan and in the United States. By conventional deterrence we mean something very specific, which is to say we are specifically focusing on deterrence options that do not include nuclear weapons.

So when we use the term conventional we are not only referring to ‘traditional’ weapons and platforms. In fact, we think that Taiwan should seriously consider shifting away from ‘traditional’ weapons — things like main battle tanks, advanced fighter jets and large submarines — in order to free up money so it can buy large numbers of truly asymmetric capabilities: weapons like anti-ship missiles, naval mines, air defense assets and even guerrilla warfare units.

Why do you exclude nuclear weapons from consideration? Isn’t that the ultimate (and perhaps only real) deterrent?

We do not consider nuclear weapons because we think that in Taiwan’s case, nuclear weapons would invite the very threat that it wants to deter.

I agree that a credible, nuclear arsenal can deter aggression in theory. But if Taiwan tried to acquire nuclear weapons, it would face some very real obstacles.

The first obstacle is time. Experts think it would take Taiwan at least a year or two to design and build a nuclear weapon.

Which leads to the second obstacle: detection. Taiwan tried to develop nuclear weapons twice before. The United States detected both programs and pressured Taiwan to shut them down. And this occurred while Taiwan was still under authoritarian rule. It is hard to imagine how a vibrant, transparent and democratic Taiwan could keep such a program secret for a year or more.

The risk of detection leads to the third obstacle: China’s red lines. China will not tolerate a nuclear-armed Taiwan.

If we put all of these obstacles together, it seems likely that China will detect a Taiwanese nuclear program and would respond with military force long before Taiwan could design, develop, test and field a viable nuclear weapon.

I think this is a good time to clarify what you mean by “deterrence.” This word is used often by American and Taiwanese defense analysts, but we appear to have different understandings and views of what actually deters.

When my team uses the term deterrence, we are referring to attempts to convince a potential aggressor not to change the status quo by threatening to impose unacceptable pain on the aggressor if it tries. In other words, we can think of deterrence as drawing a line in the sand and telling the other side that it will pay an unacceptable price if it tries. If we apply this definition to Taiwan, we mean convincing China not to attempt to force unification on Taiwan against Taiwan’s will.

Building on generations of deterrence scholarship in the United States, we also believe that Taiwan must meet a number of prerequisites if it wants to deter aggression.

  • First, Taiwan’s deterrence posture has to be credible. This means that China must believe that Taiwan has the resolve and the capability to make good on its threats. In other words, China must think that Taiwan has the military ability to make good on its threats. And China must think that Taiwan has the political willpower to make good on its threats. After all, making good on a threat to impose unacceptable pain means sending Taiwan’s military in to battle.
  • Second, the threats that Taiwan is making must exceed China’s pain threshold. In other words, Taiwan has to be able to convince China that Taiwan can ‘impose so much pain’ that the costs of attacking will exceed any conceivable benefits. This requirement also means that Taiwan must know where China’s pain threshold. As I sometimes tell my students, you can’t threaten a sadomasochist with pain…
  • Third, although threats are important, Taiwan also has to provide assurances. In other words, Taiwan must be able to convince China both that it will impose unacceptable pain if China tries to attack AND that Taiwan will not try to impose unacceptable pain if China does not try to attack. This is one reason we think Taiwan needs to be careful when it considers acquiring long-range missiles that can strike targets deep inside China. Although it might seem implausible, China might worry that Taiwan could one day use those weapons to force its will on Beijing.
  • Finally, Taiwan must signal its threats and its assurances in a clear and contingent way. Basically, Taiwan needs to be explicit about the kinds of behaviors that will trigger a military response; and it needs to be able to show China that it has the capabilities it claims to have. This is why secret military programs and weapons are not useful for deterring aggression. To quote from a famous American movie, “the whole point of a doomsday machine is lost if you keep it a secret!”

Here in Taiwan, officials articulate the idea that while a traditional (conventional) weapon or platform may not be useful in combat, we need it for its deterrent value. Submarines and tanks are often cited as examples of such requirements. On the other hand, you just talked about capabilities such as anti-ship missiles, naval mines, air defense assets, and even guerrilla warfare (let’s get to this later). Can you try to bridge this gap for us?

We respectfully disagree with officials who think that submarines and fighter jets can deter even if they are not useful in combat: We think this argument ignores the basic logic behind deterrence.

There are two basic ways to deter: deter by punishment and deter by denial.

“Deterrence by punishment” means threatening to retaliate to aggression by imposing unacceptable pain. For Taiwan to credibly deter by punishment, it would need to be able to convince China that it could impose unacceptable pain after an invasion or a major attack has already occurred. This probably requires nuclear weapons, which are problematic for all the reasons I already discussed. Or it will require a massive arsenal of long-range precision missiles that Taiwan could be reasonably sure would survive a preemptive strike.

And I do mean massive. Pinprick strikes are unlikely to exceed China’s pain threshold, especially if the CCP has already made the decision that it is willing to go to war over Taiwan. So Taiwan would need an arsenal that is so large that it could use it to achieve nuclear-like levels of destruction. Either way, deterrence by punishment is risky, because it forces Taiwan to wait for China to unambiguously cross a red line before retaliating. And by then it might be too late.

This leaves Taiwan with “deterrence by denial.” Unlike deterrence by punishment, which involves retaliating, deterrence by denial means convincing your adversary that you can prevent your adversary from accomplishing its goals on the battlefield at an acceptable price. As Thomas Schelling puts it, deterrence by denial means inducing your opponent not to attack by making his or her military operations so painful or costly that they will be convinced not to bother trying in the first place.

We think deterrence by denial is a far more credible and plausible way for Taiwan to deter China. But this means that Taiwan’s military weapons and platforms have to be useful in combat. Maybe if Taiwan had an unlimited defense budget it could afford to buy some weapons for purely symbolic purposes. But Taiwan faces some very challenging budget constraints, and so we think it has no choice but to focus its scarce defense resources on genuine warfighting capability.

To be clear: deterrence by denial does not mean that Taiwan has to be able to defeat China in a war. But deterrence by denial does require Taiwan to have enough combat capability to convince China that waging a war will be unacceptably costly. And we think the best way to do this is to focus on buying large numbers of cheap, highly survivable weapons.

The general public would expect that what actually deters our adversary is what is ultimately driving our defense planning: what we buy, how we use them, and how we train. But in Chapter Four, you mention interviews with senior Taiwanese defense officials who said – I’m paraphrasing here – that the reason to buy advanced, expensive, shiny platforms is to bolster the public’s morale, and to reassure the public, even if these items would have limited war-fighting capabilities. Can you highlight briefly for us: why do you believe that some advanced weapons would be of little use?

Yes, I will try to be brief! Thankfully, I think my really long winded answer to your previous question sets the stage for a relatively short answer to this one.

The answer boils down to one word: Money. Advanced weapons can be useful. But Taiwan cannot afford enough of them to credibly deter China. After all, China is really close to Taiwan. China has a large inventory of missiles, more troops, more ships and more jets than Taiwan. And Chinese weapons are quickly closing the gap in terms of quality as well. All of this means that if China ever decides that it wants to attack Taiwan, it will almost certainly start by launching a preemptive strike that uses missiles, special forces units and cyber attacks to deliver an overwhelming ‘knock out blow’ to Taiwan’s military.

So the only way for Taiwan to convince Chinese leaders that the PLA cannot prevail on the battlefield at an acceptable price is to buy so many weapons that China will worry that it cannot destroy most of them in a first strike; and that enough Taiwanese weapons and units will survive to still fight PLA invasion units.

This is where money becomes the problem. Advanced weapons are expensive. If Taiwan had an unlimited defense budget, we would probably agree that it should buy lots of diesel submarines, Aegis-like surface ships, and F-35s.

Unfortunately, Taiwan does not have an unlimited defense budget. So it cannot afford enough of these expensive, exquisite, advanced ships and jets to amass a large inventory that it can guarantee enough such weapons will survive a first strike.

Therefore, we think Taiwan should instead focus on acquiring large numbers of cheap things – weapons like naval mines, anti-ship missiles, drones and missile boats. Taiwan can afford to buy many of these weapons for the cost of a single submarine or F-35. Mines, missiles, drones and missile boats are small enough so that Taiwan can also disperse them around the island so as to make it hard for the PLA find and destroy all of them in a single blow.

And just because a weapon is cheap and small does not mean that it is ineffective. Many smart defense experts in the United States — people like T.X. Hammes — think that the world is in the middle of a revolution in how wars are fought. He says that for years the best militaries in the world spent all of their money buying small numbers of expensive, advanced weapons. But new advances in long range targeting, micro-processing, 3D printing and drone technology mean that armies, navies and air forces that buy large numbers of cheap weapons will be able to defeat adversaries who insist on fighting with small inventories of really expensive and technologically complex weapons.

It seems that what these officials are really expressing is the belief that, first, the “worst-case war” won’t happen: China can just buy Taiwan or squeeze us politically and economically; China needs to win the hearts and minds of the local population, so won’t do anything to inconvenience our civilians, much less risk killing them. And second, that Taiwan stands no chance on its own: we’re outnumbered and outgunned; we have no will to fight, as evident in the decision to abolish conscription.

The implication is that there won’t be a conflict — or much of one — so we might as well spend on the shiniest toys for open houses and photo ops. And maybe, if the US sells us the most exquisite weapons, it’s a signal that US will backstop Taiwan’s defense: the US won’t want to risk losing the first island chain.

Clearly you find the above views to be problematic. But until we adequately answer these questions — Is war possible? And if so, does Taiwan stand a chance on our own? — we can’t have a productive conversation about our defense policy.

My team and I hope that war will not break out in the Taiwan Strait. But we wrote this report because we think that war is possible, and that an inadequate deterrence posture actually makes it more likely that China will one day consider using military force.

We also agree that China prefers to ‘win’ without fighting. It is using — and it will continue to use — economic and political tools to try to compel Taiwan. We do not want to downplay these important challenges.

Nevertheless, we still focus on the military problem for two reasons. First, we are scholars and military officers who study security and defense issues, so we are not the right people to comment on political and economic challenges. Just like you shouldn’t get medical advice from your car mechanic, it isn’t right for us defense scholars to offer political and economic advice!

Second, we actually think Taiwan’s defense challenges are more pressing issue than its political and economic challenges. Yes, China prefers to use its political and economic tools. But Taiwan already has powerful defenses against such threats. It is a vibrant, transparent democracy. It has a globalized economy. It has strong institutions. Its citizens are intelligent, highly educated, and believe in the democratic process. All of these things help inoculate Taiwan against the insidious threat of economic and political subversion. Which means that we do not think that China is likely to prevail if it relies on economic and political tools alone.

Since Taiwan is a core, national interest for China, there is a very real risk that it will increasingly consider resorting to military force as it comes to believe that it cannot get what it wants peacefully. And for all of the reasons that I have already mentioned, my team does not think that Taiwan’s military defenses are as robust as its social, economic and political defenses.

Can Taiwan “win” on its own? I think this is asking the wrong question. First, deterrence does not depend on whether or not Taiwan can win. It depends on whether or not Taiwan can convince China that Taiwan’s military can make the PLA pay an unacceptable price if it tries to invade.

Second, I also think that if Taiwan does not take drastic steps to enhance its deterrence and defense capabilities, it will almost certainly lose before the United States or other potential partners will have time to intervene militarily. Every U.S. defense expert with whom I have spoken believes that it will take the United States much longer to project decisive military force into the region than most people assume.

So even if Taiwan’s political and military leaders believe that the U.S. will have no choice but to come to Taiwan’s aid, they still have to take steps to ensure that Taiwan will hold out long enough for the United States to arrive. My team and I do not believe Taiwan’s military will last very long if it continues to depend on small inventories of expensive jets, ships and submarines.

Moreover — and this is a very important point — I do not think American voters will support intervening on Taiwan’s behalf if they do not think Taiwan is doing everything in its power to provide for its own defense. The current presidential administration is very worried about allies and partners ‘free riding’ on the United States by under-spending on defense and expecting the U.S. military to bail them out in a conflict. There are also deep debates going on here in the United States about the role that America should play in the world. In particular, younger Americans are increasingly asking why the United States should intervene abroad when there are so many problems at home. My personal opinion is that the United States will continue to stay engaged in Europe and East Asia, but that it will prioritize its efforts on allies and partners that are willing to take the necessary steps to help themselves first.

Finally, my team and I reject the argument that Taiwan’s young men and women are “soft” or unwilling to fight. We think they will be willing to serve and to fight if they have weapons and training that they believe in. And we think that the approach we suggest — one that is organized around hit and run attacks instead of futile defenses; and one that depends on soldiers waging guerrilla warfare in and around their homes; is more likely to be something they can believe in.

Your recommendations center on two concepts (at the risk of oversimplifying a 40,000-word monograph): First, an alternative way of fighting that avoids direct confrontation and decisive battles, and does not seeks to control any battlefield. Second, you emphasize the value of a credible homeland defense and ground-based operations. Your first suggestion is quite different from the idea of “resolute defense” — holding that line, that fight to the last man — that our public is so used to hearing. What would this fight look like, as you envision it? And what could we hope to achieve?

That’s a terrific way to summarize a hundred-plus page monograph!

Yes, we do think that Taiwan’s ground forces play an under-appreciated role in deterring aggression. And we do not think that ‘resolute defense’ is a credible way to fight given the geographic, quantitative and qualitative challenges that Taiwan’s military forces face.

Unlike “resolute defense,” a “denial in depth” campaign starts on the far side of the Strait and continues all the way into the heart of Taipei.

Ground forces are the bedrock on which the entire scheme is built. But the fight really starts with Taiwan forces sending large numbers of long- range missiles and suicide drones across the Strait to begin sinking invasion ships before they leave port and bombers while they still sit on the runway.

Of course, many PLA ships and jets will survive. Yet once they start to sail and fly across the Strait they will then run into Taiwan’s mini-submarines, missile boats and, of course, more drones. Closer to the shoreline, PLA ships will run into mines (which are especially effective, because there are only a few beaches suitable for landing operations) at the exact same time that hidden and dispersed ground units begin firing long range artillery and anti-ship missiles at them. Then, as the landing craft begin making the final assault, ground troops will hit them with shorter-range anti-armor rockets, artillery and machine gun fire.

The biggest difference between ‘denial in depth’ and ‘resolute defense’ is that denial means that Taiwan’s ground troops should not stand and hold their ground once the first PLA troops make it ashore.

Instead, we suggest that Taiwan’s ground troops start to conduct a series of fighting withdraws. By this we mean that Taiwan’s ground units should hit the invasion force to impose casualties and to slow it down, and then pull back to a new position further away from the beach.

The idea is to repeat this process for as long as possible. And even if PLA units manage to ‘break into’ Taiwan’s cities, they will quickly find themselves bogged down by guerrilla units fighting for their homes and their families.

Ultimately, we are not in favor of trying to mount a decisive battle on the beach, because we think that plays to China’s strengths. This is because decisively defending means that Taiwan will have to mass ground forces. But massed ground forces will offer an easy target for Chinese aircraft and missiles. It is better to stay dispersed and hidden.

Although dispersed and hidden ground units cannot decisively thwart an invasion force, they can slow it down. And slowing the invasion force down buys time – time for the United States and other partners to mount an intervention.

Of course, the entire point of deterrence is to convince China not to attack in the first place. We think Chinese political and military leaders are more likely to attack if they think they can deliver a quick, knockout blow against a small Taiwanese military organized around a few jets and ships, and which will mass its soldiers in and around the beaches so as to be sitting ducks for long range missiles and bombers.

We think China will worry a lot more if they think they cannot win a quick victory and will find themselves fighting a prolonged conflict that drags on long enough for the United States and its allies to intervene.

Since you mention “ground forces as the bedrock,” I must ask for your thoughts on tanks. How might they fit into your concept? This program is controversial in Taiwan.

Tanks could play a role in these kinds of combat operations. However, my team and I do not think that large main battle tanks, like the Abrams, are the best option. Although they have some of the best armor and targeting optics in the world (depending on which version the United States is selling), they are so large and heavy – over 60 tons – that they will have problems navigating many of Taiwan’s narrow roads or crossing Taiwan’s countless small bridges. So main battle tanks could have a role helping out with the ‘close in’ coastal defense fight. But they will probably be a liability in the subsequent ground fight. Large tanks can only drive on main roads and big bridges, which will make them easier to target and destroy.

We think that Taiwan’s ground forces might be better off relying on small, lightweight armored vehicles. They are lighter, faster and more maneuverable. They can be modified to carry rockets and missiles in addition to cannon. They will be easier to hide. Many can carry their own small team of soldiers for protection. And they are cheaper.

In Chapter 5, you write: “You do not win an asymmetric war by dying. You win it by getting the other side to die instead.” And how would we train for this fight?

We admit that it will be a lot harder to train ground troops to conduct denial operations than it is to prepare them for resolute defense.

Denial in depth requires units to be small, fast and flexible. Large units will move too slowly and will be too easy to target and destroy.

But in order for small units to conduct hit and run attacks, the army must empower and train lieutenants and captains, not colonels and generals, so that they can make critical decisions about when to fight and when to pull back.

These kinds of changes are hard, but we think young Taiwanese men and women are more than capable of handling it.

Aggressive, realistic training is key.

Your second idea is also quite refreshing. We rarely hear analysts talk about the ground phase of battle, because the assumption has long been that the fight will be lost once the PLA is able to land its first soldier on Taiwan (“Why send our boys — and girls? — to die unnecessarily”). This would suggest that either your proposals are unrealistic, or our defense community is missing a critical piece in our thinking. If I may put you on the spot: which is it?

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