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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

MND MUM ON U.S. CRISIS-SIMULATION DRILL REPORTS

2004-07-16 19:25:13

    Taipei, July 16 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) declined Friday to comment on foreign wire service reports that the U.S. Pentagon has held a crisis-simulation drill based on a growing mainland Chinese military threat to Taiwan.

    According to the reports, the computerized simulation exercise, codenamed Dragon's Thunder, was held Monday at the Pentagon's National Defense University.

    Asked about Taiwan military's views on the reports, MND spokesman said it is ministry policy to refrain from making any comments on U.S. military training exercises or actions.

    Foreign wire service reports said the scenario in the Dragon's Thunder exercise --the ninth in a series ordered by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld -- "specifically examined responses to an increasing possibility of military action by China against Taiwan."

    Details of the scenario and "lessons learned" were classified, but the crisis-simulation was meant to be as realistic as possible, the reports said.

    According to the reports, participants examined the gravity, complexity and difficulty inherent in responding to a sequence of escalating tensions between the mainland and Taiwan. "The exercise sought to understand the full range of policy options and associated consequences available to the United States to restore stability to the Taiwan Strait and surrounding region, while avoiding nuclear confrontation with China," a U.S. defense university official was quoted as saying.

    U.S. Navy Secretary Gordon England was also quoted as having noted the value of such games for addressing "some of the complex security problems the nation confronts today."

    Those present at the simulated exercise included personnel from Rumsfeld's office, the Pentagon Joint Staff, the U.S. Pacific Command, the White House National Security Council, the National Intelligence Council and the departments of state and commerce.

    Also taking part were 14 members of Congress, including Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a Maryland Republican who chairs the House of Representatives Projection Forces Committee.

(By Sofia Wu)

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