Sunday, December 31, 2017

Spending More? Quadruple That

Taiwan's president pledged to spend more to defend their island democracy against Chinese threats:

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen pledged Friday to step up military spending to defend the self-ruled island's sovereignty in the face of China's growing assertiveness in the region. ...

"China's attempt to expand militarily in the region is more and more obvious," Tsai said at a news conference at a military research center. "Taiwan needs to stand up for its sovereignty, and it wants to protect regional peace, stability and prosperity."

Taiwan needs to spend a lot more on defense to hold off China by at least ramping up the price China would need to pay to win even if Taiwan ultimately can't defeat China in a full war.

Talk that Taiwan needs to spend more wisely is not exactly untrue, but spending more is clearly the first thing Taiwan needs to do before prioritizing the many competing defense needs. Virtually any spending increase in any area will help Taiwan given the disparity that has been allowed to develop with the mainland autocrats.

Even with this commitment to spend more, Taiwan's small increases promised are insufficient to match China's increases even on a percentage comparison.