Think Tank Proposes Radical Taiwan Defense Rethink

In response to China’s rapidly growing military strength, Taiwan should forego attempting to buy superior conventional weaponry and focus instead on a new defense strategy, assert the authors of a newly issued Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments study. That strategy should seek to impede and deny the control of the skies and waters around Taiwan in the event of hostilities with China, states the think tank’s Dec. 21 release on “Hard ROC 2.0” by Iskander Rehman, Jim Thomas, and John Stillion. Taiwan should emphasize an asymmetric approach that complicates China’s assumptions, maintains Taiwan’s ability to “protract any conflict,” and gives the international community more time to respond to Chinese aggression, suggest the authors. It would rely on tactics more related to guerilla warfare than traditional attrition and would emphasize “delay, resiliency, furtiveness, and deception,” states the release. For example, the authors propose a “guerilla air defense” for Taiwan. Instead of investing in recapitalizing the country’s tactical fighter forces, Taiwan should rely on mobile air defenses and concealment tactics that would force China to conduct a “resource-consuming campaign,” according to the report. (CSBA study; caution, large-sized file.)