Sunday, October 02, 2005

US Navy League: Taiwan's Attitude Toward its own Defense Blase

This very long article from the US Navy League actually makes an attempt to understand the political nonsense going on in Taiwan domestically, though it cites many of the same sources as the other articles do.

Meanwhile, Taiwan appears headed in the opposite direction. Defense spending has declined in real terms by 25 percent in the last five years and the military conscription term will soon drop from its already inadequate 16 months to just 10 months of service, said James Mulvenon, deputy director for Advanced Studies at the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis. .......

Despite its link to delays of the special budget, the KMT won at the polls in December. Mulvenon said responsibility for the apparent public ambivalence about Taiwan's defense posture and China's growing military might lies primarily within the Chen administration.

"Many in the president's office believe that China is a 'Paper Tiger' ... and when the Chinese threat is communicated to the Taiwanese people it is spun in explicitly partisan terms to take shots at the KMT," he said. This ambivalence, Mulvenon argues, is based on the assumption that Taiwan has a "blank U.S. check" for military assistance in the event of an attack.

This is basically a desperately pro-KMT analysis of the DPP's attempts to get the budget passed. Sad. Mulvenon belongs to CIRA.

1 comment:

Red A said...

Unless they really do think we have given them some kind of a blank check.

Even so, bashing the KMT for this problem seems entirely correct for the DPP to do.

Unfortunately, from my interactions with people in Taiwan, I sense no urgency in defense issues, little interest in independence (beyond not becoming part of China), and whole lot of apathy.

I have met many Taiwanese who ask "Why do we need these weapons?" With the obvious assumption that China won't attack and America will protect us.

How else is the KMT getting elected?