Why the Multi-Domain Task Force deserves attention

  Previously, due to the new round of Taiwan Strait crisis triggered by the visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Pelosi to Taiwan, the People’s Liberation Army conducted unprecedented large-scale military exercises around the Taiwan area, including the Dongfeng missile area denial exercise. The missile launched from the eastern sea successfully hit the target. This is obviously a deterrent to the United States, showing that the Chinese military has the ability to defeat the US aircraft carrier battle group in the first island chain. Of course, as I mentioned in the previous column, the United States has long realized that the area denial capability gives the Chinese and Russian militaries certain tactical advantages, which can be transformed into strategic success. In the context of the Taiwan Strait exercise, I would like to continue to introduce how the US Army’s Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF) will affect the military game in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.
  First of all, we need to understand how Americans understand the operational thinking of area denial. The U.S. military believes that the Chinese military’s ability to deny means that the U.S. military cannot effectively respond quickly to crises in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, because the U.S. military now relies mainly on aircraft carrier battle groups for troop strength and firepower projection in this area. When the United States is unable to respond, the Chinese military can calmly carry out the established tactical tasks without worrying about the possible intervention of the US military. This is the reason why the tactical idea of ​​​​area denial was created. In previous wars, the United States used to use military power without threats. For example, American helicopters will not easily enter areas with individual anti-aircraft missile defenses unless they are sure to suppress or evade these missiles. As for the high-value aircraft carrier Arms must implement the principle of no entry into dangerous places.
  If you think about this issue from the perspective of the United States, you will find that there are basically only two technical routes to solve the tactical disadvantages faced by area denial: head-on confrontation or a quick response in another way. Head-to-head confrontation is to allow the aircraft carrier to continue to perform interference missions under the threat of missiles. Of course, in order to prevent the aircraft carrier from being sunk, missile defense capabilities can be strengthened, such as deploying more advanced anti-missile interceptors and strengthening missile early warning capabilities, or through offensive and electronic warfare means to disrupt the missile’s reconnaissance chain of command. It is not that the United States is not prepared for such a head-on confrontation. In fact, when China began to hint that it has area denial capabilities, the U.S. government and the opposition are discussing how to deal with the Dongfeng missile threat to the aircraft carrier, so preparations for a head-on confrontation have also been in progress. However, from the perspective of the game, it is not wise to bet on the technical route of head-on confrontation, because the spear as the attacker has the upper hand in the confrontation between spear and shield, so the US military is also developing on the second technical route.
  The United States first proposed the concept of air-sea battle in 2010, that is, to allow the air force to undertake more sea attack tasks, such as the development of intelligent and stealthy long-range anti-ship/ground missiles, which are carried on the air force’s strategic bombers. In this way, even if the U.S. aircraft carrier does not enter the first island chain, the air force alone can complete the battle for sea control. However, the Army and the Marine Corps have never attempted this. This is because the US-Soviet INF Treaty has been in effect, and the United States cannot deploy land-based long-range attack weapons. Naturally, the Marine Corps and the Army can only focus on direct action. Not a long-range indirect hit. However, after Trump tore up the INF agreement, both the Army and the Marine Corps began to develop land-based long-range missiles, among which the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) may be the first to be put into active service. The missile can be mounted on the Seahorse multiple rocket launcher system that has dominated the Russia-Ukraine conflict. An alternative to the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), the PrSM has a longer range than ATACMS, up to 500 kilometers, and is smaller. The Hamas system can only launch one ATACMS missile at a time, but it can launch two PrSM missiles, and its accuracy is higher than that of ATACMS. It can be used to attack high-value targets such as command posts, radar stations, logistics hubs, and airports. , and can even be used to attack large ships on the move. In addition, the U.S. Army is also developing a variety of hypersonic missiles and long-range cruise missiles to equip multi-domain task forces.
  The real concern is not only that these long-range missiles are about to be deployed, but the intelligent intelligence and surveillance systems supported by multi-domain forces are truly disruptive military technologies. In the Russia-Ukraine conflict, we have realized that although intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance, and communication capabilities (ISRC) cannot directly kill the opponent, they are multipliers of combat effectiveness. Accurate, small-in-number firepower is far more important than inaccurate but overwhelming artillery fire. The U.S. Army is building a full-domain kill chain system for the multi-domain task force. This system can integrate information sources from various platforms in the sea, land, air and space, so as to find those high-value targets and automatically guide the most Appropriate long-range strike fire to destroy it. This system is the most critical combat power of MDTF, and the U.S. Army even regards it as a secret weapon that subverts the rules of the game. Seeing this, you may understand why I said that the threat of MDTF is very huge, because even if this brigade-level unit does not launch missiles, its all-area kill chain system can still provide intelligence support to US partners, which is more important in information warfare. Firepower and armor are much more important.
  If it is used to deduce the situation in the Taiwan Strait in the future, the deployment of MDTF in the surrounding area will undoubtedly increase many variables. The US Army has planned to purchase 2,400 missiles to equip MDTF in the future. What you need to understand is that Dongfeng missiles are undoubtedly very cost-effective if they hit large ships like aircraft carriers or destroyers. However, if they are used to attack a Seahorse missile launcher, it is not an equivalent exchange, let alone such a launch. Because the target is too small and the deployment is scattered, the vehicle is difficult to be found and locked. In short, the emergence of MDTF is worthy of attention.