Nov. 4, 2021
Winning the Fight Taiwan Cannot Afford to Lose
Taiwan’s defense approach has long relied on purchases of U.S. equipment and attempts to emulate U.S. doctrine. The U.S. military, however, has focused on projecting power to fight smaller adversaries around the world, while Taiwan faces the prospect of defending its homeland from China’s increasingly capable People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The United States is deeply committed to defending Taiwan, particularly as it becomes increasingly clear that Taiwan’s military needs to adapt to the rising threat posed by the PLA and the risk that Xi Jinping might seek to use force to compel unification. China has long had the ability to blockade or to launch missiles or air strikes against Taiwan, but a defiant Taipei could resist such coercion and refuse to surrender. Beijing can only be certain that it can compel unification if it can mount an invasion. Deterring invasion is, therefore, the ultimate objective for the United States
and Taiwan. Maintaining cross-strait stability in the face of an increasingly well-resourced and modernizing PLA requires continual innovation and adaptation, including the updating of defense concepts.