Deterrance as an Operational Objective

deltacamelately

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Gentlemen,

We have debated on this topic at another place and I found the matter very interesting while being very intrigueing as well. Colonel Blasko, former US Defence Attache to China (read a spy) gave a presentation on the Chinese Armed Forces, making an observation, that to the PLA, deterrence is an OPOBJ.

This basically states, that the Chinese will engage in military action against a smaller enemy in order to deter a larger enemy. The obvious example of this was the 1979 1st Sino-Vietnam War in which the PLA attacked Vietnam to deter a Soviet attack on China.

It is also interesting to note that there hasn't been even one single war dating back to the Napoleonic Wars in Western military history that would be the case. However, for the Chinese, this has been normal practice ever since Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

I will thus represent the question .....
Has anyother military other than the Chinese Armed Forces fought small wars in order to deter a larger one?

Aside :
I have reasons to believe that Brigadier Ray has gone through Colonel Blasko's presentation, therefore his eval on this will be invaluable.
 

Ray

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I have not recd the article.
 

p2prada

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That's high risk. What if the Soviets had decided to attack anyways? China would have to fight on 2 fronts. An asymmetric war against the small enemy and conventional against the larger one.

I have not read the article either.
 

Yusuf

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I do not understand how attacking another small country will deter an attack from a bigger power?
That apart, when a big power attacked a small one, it led to two world wars!!
 

deltacamelately

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I have not recd the article.
Sir,

I had assumed that somebody has already sent you the presentation.
I have sent an article to your email id today.
Here are the external links for the other viewers to see....

YouTube - Chinese Military Expert Dennis J. Blasko Speaks at Whittier College (Part I)
YouTube - Chinese Military Expert Dennis J. Blasko Speaks at Whittier College (Part II)

However, I would recommend posters to dig a bit on Sun Tzu's Art of War to fully appreciate the Colonel's assessment.
 

deltacamelately

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I do not understand how attacking another small country will deter an attack from a bigger power?
That apart, when a big power attacked a small one, it led to two world wars!!
Yusuf,

Just to make the concept a little simpler, I'm posting Col W. Yu's assessment of this.
What the Chinese hoped to achieved with the 1979 1st Sino-VN War.

1) The Chinese do not view that they are vulnerable in the south, ie against either Vietnam or India, the Soviet encirclement members.

2) The Chinese can commit 2nd string forces and still win in the south. At least in 1979, the Vietnamese Army was rated above the Indian Army and still, they failed to prevent the capture and destruction of 3 provincial capitals.

3) The Chinese wanted to send a message that if the Soviets want war, they will get war.

All 3 above points were achievd in the 1979 1st Sino-VN War.
So, this is open for debate, whether the Chinese rationale was realistic or was it just a one-off OPOBJ to elude some.
 

EnlightenedMonk

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That's an interesting concept really...

On the face of it, it seems like one might have to fight a war on two fronts, but a definite advantage is that it spices things up, both for the general public to get them going and for the Army to get into the groove of fighting...

If you defeat the smaller enemy, the morale of the Army tends to be higher for a certain amount of time and they feel invincible... basically, it seems to me like it would be a mental stimulus more than anything else...

As it is said, War is all about mental strategy and mind-games in addition to the show of might, so a mentally spruced up Army would have its obvious advantages...

More than this, I think it would be difficult for me to analyse...

But, I do think I should read Art of War because it's very unlike Sun Tzu to say anything without reason or proof or his own experience in something similar...
 

Payeng

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Gentlemen,
I will thus represent the question .....
Has anyother military other than the Chinese Armed Forces fought small wars in order to deter a larger one?
Is it Pakistan? as if Pakistan won't declare war on terror the US would sure strike Pakistan IMO.

the Vietnamese Army was rated above the Indian Army and still
Is it still so.
 

Officer of Engineers

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Oh for Pete's Sakes, there's nothing magical anything about the 1979 1st Sino-Vietnam War and their OPOJs (and for military purposes, you will have to consider the 1984 2nd Sino-VN War but that is not of concern here).

In a nut shell, the Soviets did all their efforts in surrounding China meant squat! Any war against China would be decided in the North, not South. That's what the 1979 1st Sino-VN War has shown - that China has broken the Soviet encirclement.

... despite the fact that the PLA was shown to be a less qualified military force than WWI France ... because the Vietnamese were no better.

Now, why they're ratted better than the Indians of the time, ask the people in the know and I am not one of them.
 

deltacamelately

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Is it Pakistan? as if Pakistan won't declare war on terror the US would sure strike Pakistan IMO.
Payeng,

That was not an OPOBJ. It is a tradeoff.



Is it still so.
It was never. It was actually a world psychology, a byproduct of specifically a boosted Vietnamese adrenaline for considering themselves a mighty continental power that defeated the Top Dog in a conventional war. Nothing to do with India or real IA capabilities.
 

1.44

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Besides the Sino-Vietnam conflict are there any other example's of countries using deterrence as OPOBJ?
 

Yusuf

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Delta Sir, I was talking about this theory on another forum in the Indo China context where I asked if this theory could be used by China to attack Taiwan to fend off any American involvement on behalf of India in a war with China.
 
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SammyCheung

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^ That would not make logical sense to open another front, unless attacking Taiwan would be used to deter Japan.

In any case, Taiwan is effectively Chinese territory. The "president" of Taiwan is getting ready to meet with the Chinese president in a summit.
 

Officer of Engineers

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Besides the Sino-Vietnam conflict are there any other example's of countries using deterrence as OPOBJ?
Only in the Chinese historic context. Genghis took on the Jinn to deter the superior Soong. Tamir took on central Asia and presented a united front against the MING. And the Qing finished off the Mongols in an effort to deter the MING.
 

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