There is plenty of pushback out there against Charles Glaser's recent piece arguing that the US should give up Taiwan. First, Gary Schmitt asks When will the realists get real?:
One of the oddities of “the realist” school of international relations in America is how profoundly unrealistic its proponents’ policy prescriptions typically are.Yes, reading Glaser's paper one can easily conclude that while IR theory is a great way to organize jargon, it is a very poor way to understand the world. Schmitt runs down what anyone who actually follows affairs out here knows about China, that handing over Taiwan would be at best, shortsighted, and concludes:
No, the most sensible policy response to China’s rise is to reinforce our position of political and military leadership in the region, create new strategic relations with other rising democratic powers in the region (such as India and Indonesia), and attempt to rebalance the military equation across the Taiwan Strait after more than a decade-plus worth of slippage as a result of Clinton, Bush and now Obama administration inattention to the growing Chinese military build-up. Drawing a red line for China at Taiwan, backed by superior military power, is the best and most realistic way to prevent a conflict no one wants.This is, minus Taiwan, the conclusion that Glaser actually comes to. Regardless of their position on Taiwan's future, everyone is realizing that the response to China will have to be sustained and broad-based. Now if only our current policy didn't involve trading Afghanistan for East Asia....
Michael Mazza, whose first name shows that his parents had excellent taste, responds in the American Enterprise Institute's journal (Schmitt above is also an AEI scholar). Mazza scribes:
But Glaser is wrong. While such measures might reassure other U.S. allies in the short term, it takes a stretch of the imagination to conclude that those allies wouldn’t have serious long-term concerns about U.S. dependability and staying power in Asia. Can Washington tell Beijing, “do as you wish with Taiwan,” and seriously expect such a policy to have no repercussions for its allied relations—especially with Tokyo, whose security will be negatively impacted by any Chinese annexation of Taiwan? The likely outcome would be military build-ups in South Korea and Japan, who will see a need to ensure they can balance China on their own. A multilateral arms race in East Asia is presumably not the outcome Glaser has in mind.This outcome is already occurring as Japan is beefing up its position vis-a-vis China. If Glaser had only focused on the concrete, he would see that the current situation completely refutes his position, which we already have in nascent form.
It would be great if one of the think tanks from another section of the political spectrum spoke up. Richard Bush, time for a commentary against Glaser.
I submitted a commentary on Glaser to the Taipei Times, so I won't comment further here.
UPDATE: Banyan comments in The Economist.
UPDATE 2: Holmes and Yoshihara with a very historically informed rip of Glaser in the Diplomat
UPDATE 3: Bellocchi in the Taipei Times.
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