Roshan Writes: Ballistic missile and its proliferation are transforming the nature of warfare. The deterrence factor associated with this technology cannot be underestimated. In the modern age, no nation can think of a full-fledged war and if some nation becomes aggressive and think that it can bulldoze its way, they should think twice about the consequences. Recently a Taiwanese strategist from the renowned Tamkang university had suggested that Taiwan should acquire a number of medium range missiles, because this could help in building a deterrence, as they can then target not only the civilian infrastructure like the Three Gorges Dam but also the PLA Airbases[i]. Presently, Taiwan have the indigenous Husiung Feng IIE surface to surface cruise missile, now if they increase the range to 1500kms than China’s heavily populated eastern and southern province will fall in the range[ii]. Imagine the damage to the Chinese cities if the huge Three Gorges Dam is attacked.
With the sophistication of payloads and delivery systems and their increased range along with the development of nuclear and hydrogen bombs the geographical boundaries have shrunk. No target is too far and no civilian technology is impregnable. Nations are in the process of developing such ranges and payloads that attack both counter value and counter force targets.
The aggressive behavior of a nations will only aid in proliferation of such technologies because no nation would like to be vulnerable to the enemy’s attack and Ballistic missile provides a good deterrence. Already the number of countries developing cruise missiles have increased especially in South East Asia and East Asia. The proliferation and acquisition of missiles is not restricted only to land but more and more countries are opting for naval and air platforms. Furthermore, the development of other technologies like drones will make the region more unstable. Therefore, it is essential that countries realise that aggressive and threatening behavior may push the smaller countries to either increase their defence budget (which some nations are already doing) and develop these technologies, or more convenient for them would be to buy it from other nations. Countries of South East Asia have already started the process and have approached nations like Russia, US and India for these technologies. So, the onus lies on nations which are hegemonic to decide whether it wants to be surrounded with nations having numerous ballistic missiles or it wants to adopt the process of peace and friendliness and build an architecture where everybody follows international law and respects each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and not claim territory based on some old controversial maps.
[i] Two Missiles could blow up Three Gorges: Strategist, Asia Times, 15 January 2018, at http://www.atimes.com/article/two-missiles-can-blow-up-chinas-three-gorges-dam-taiwan-strategist-claims/