Plenty of stuff on military front today. First, Wendell Minnick reports that Blackwater, the mercenary firm, is training Taiwan’s NSB:

U.S.-based Blackwater is training members of the Taiwanese National Security Bureau’s (NSB’s) special protection service, which guards the president. The NSB is responsible for the overall security of the country and was once an instrument of terrorism during the martial law period.

Today, according to its Web site, the NSB is responsible for “national intelligence work, special protective service and unified cryptography.”

The NSB came under severe criticism in March 2004 when President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu were shot by an unknown assailant while riding in a motorcade in Tainan City. Both sustained minor wounds, but the assailant was never identified and the motive for the shooting remains a mystery.

An NSB source stated that training began in 2007 and was conducted at Blackwater facilities in the United States. The source stated the NSB was satisfied with the training, and further training programs are being considered.

Note that third paragraph, where Minnick astoundingly claims that the assailant who shot Chen was “never identified” although he was eventually identified and found by the police. I heard the “magic bullet” claim a couple of times up in Taipei this week — “Watch out for those DPP tricks!” There’s a whole swath of people who simultaneously claim that the DPP is completely incompetent but can nevertheless stage-manage an assassination involving thousands of people across a number disparate institutions, many of whom are Blue — all without being caught. Needless to say no one ever offers any concrete evidence for this fantastic scenario…

Max Hirsch of Kyodo News reports that the recent spying in the US may also have compromised weapons systems of Japan as well, although the evidence is not in yet:

”Interoperability” between Taiwan, the United States and possibly Japan, whereby their armed forces communicate and coordinate with one another via their respective C4ISR systems, would be key to their beating China in any cross-Taiwan Strait conflict, says Wendell Minnick, Defense News’ Asia bureau chief.

Japan’s C4ISR — also U.S.-made — ”is very similar to Taiwan’s,” while both are undergoing upgrades, says Andrei Chang, a military expert and founder of Kanwa Defense Review.

”Once Taiwan is hooked up with U.S. forces via Po Sheng, its linking with Japan’s C4ISR would be the next logical step,” Lin says. ”If Japan were to participate [in a Taiwan Strait war], a compromised Taiwanese C4ISR would affect Japan.”

If Bergersen had leaked codes for Po Sheng, for example, China could use those to plant viruses in the system, monitor and manipulate it, and otherwise wreak havoc on efforts by Washington, Tokyo and Taipei to coordinate a war against Beijing, he adds.

Despite what is said about the US being Taiwan’s sole defender, Japan is bound to play a role in any conflict. Arthur Waldron pointed out a couple of weeks ago that in the 1995-6 missile tests, some of the missiles actually fell closer to Japanese territory than to Taiwan.