Tuesday, June 27, 2017

America Can't Care More About Taiwan than the Taiwanese Care

Taiwan still isn't taking its own defense seriously.

The 2017 Defense Department report on Chinese military power assesses Taiwan's defense trend:

Although Taiwan is taking important steps to build its war reserve stocks, grow its defense-industrial base, improve joint operations and crisis response capabilities, and strengthen its officer and noncommissioned officer corps, these improvements only partially address Taiwan’s declining defensive advantages. ...

In addition, Taiwan’s military spending remains at approximately two percent of its gross domestic product. Meanwhile, China’s official defense budget has grown to roughly
14 times that of Taiwan. Recognizing China’s continued growth in military spending, Taiwan is working to integrate innovative and asymmetric measures into its defense planning to counterbalance China’s growing capabilities.

Good God, are the Taiwanese suicidal?

Whatever the Taiwanese are doing to make up for past shortfalls, it isn't enough to prevent China from gaining ground on Taiwan.

And while innovative and asymmetric measures are certainly called for, when Taiwan spends just 2% of its GDP on defense, I think a simple input of spending would work wonders.

How can Taiwan spend but 2% of their GDP on defense given the threat they face? Do they value their independence and freedom so lightly?

Saying that 2% is the NATO goal ignores that the NATO goal is arbitrary and low, making sense only as a common effort across a vast economy of Europe (and Canada) to supplement American power.

What alliance bolsters Taiwan and allows 2% to be considered enough?

Seriously, if those Taiwanese defense advantages decline much further, I couldn't advocate selling Taiwan advanced weapons that might simply be captured by China in a successful invasion.

If Taiwan won't take their defenses seriously, America has to adjust to that reality.