Rethinking Taiwan

Taiwan often gets left out of East Asia security discussions although it has much to offer the United States, said Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute. Taiwan is the “hidden center” of Asian security, asserted Stokes during a June 19 discussion of Asian security issues sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute. He said Taiwan could be a key ally as the US applies the AirSea Battle model and Joint Operational Access Concept in a Taiwan Strait scenario. Both these concepts need deeper and broader cooperation with allies if they are to succeed, said Stokes. He said it’s time to rethink the traditional paradigm of security cooperation with Taiwan that treats the island democracy merely as a recipient of foreign military assistance. Taiwan’s mature technology sector could greatly assist the United States as the latter moves into an era of austere defense budgets where it must do more with less, he said. Due to its proximity and historical ties with mainland China, Taiwan has a unique perspective on Beijing’s actions that can’t be gleaned elsewhere, noted Stokes. (AEI webpage of event with video)