May 04, 2019

US helps those who help themselves

By Elbridge Colby

The threat to Taiwan from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is increasing — sharply. Beijing is putting the nation under tremendous political pressure, but the military threat to Taiwan is especially alarming. China has spent the past 25 years working to undermine US and allied military advantages, above all with respect to Taiwan.

As US think tank RAND Corp and other sources have shown, helping Taiwan defend itself has gone from a relatively easy task in the 1990s for the US military to an exceptionally stressful one today. For Beijing, a military solution to the “Taiwan problem” is no longer fanciful — and China is not resting.

The situation is therefore urgent, but it is far from hopeless. Taiwan can be effectively defended. Addressing the growing threat from the People’s Republic will, however, require implementing a marked shift in Taiwan’s defense along the lines of the new Overall Defense Concept.

In brief, Taiwan must shift from a conventional defense approach to a much more lethal and resilient model. The purpose of Taiwan’s defense posture — including not only its military, but its civil defense efforts — should be to make it as difficult and costly as possible for the PRC to conquer or subordinate Taiwan.

Read the full article in the Taipei Times.

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