May 12, 2022

The US may be using Ukraine as a blueprint for how Taiwan could stop a Chinese invasion

Source: Task and Purpose

Journalist: Jeff Shogol

President Joe Biden’s administration reportedly wants to arm Taiwan with the same types of portable weapons that the United States and other NATO members have been providing to Ukraine, such as Javelin and Stinger missiles.

Politico and the New York Times have reported that the U.S. government has accelerated its efforts to make Taiwan harder for any invader to swallow – like a porcupine – based on lessons learned from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Not only have U.S. officials urged Taiwan to buy portable weapons systems that would be harder for China to target, but the State Department also indicated it would not respond to Taiwan’s request for MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, which can be used to attack submarines and surface ships, both media outlets reported.


However, Stingers and Javelins would mostly be used for ground combat instead of preventing the Chinese military from getting to Taiwan, said retired Navy Capt. Thomas Shugart, a military innovation expert with the Center for a New American Security think tank in Washington, D.C.

If the People’s Liberation Army can get troops ashore and then resupply those forces, they will eventually be able to take Taiwan, Shugart told Task & Purpose.

“The war may be won or lost on land, but it’s going to be decided in the air and on the sea,” Shugart said.

“I don’t see how the Taiwanese army could withstand the capabilities the PLA could bring to bear,” Shugart said. “The PLA is just much, much larger than the Taiwanese ground forces are.”

Read the full story and more from Task & Purpose.


  • Tom Shugart

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Defense Program

    Thomas Shugart is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). His research focuses on undersea warfare and maritime com...