Sunday, March 06, 2011

Two More Against Glaser +UPDATED+

Those to whom the king had entrusted me, observing how ill I was clad, ordered a tailor to come next morning, and take measure for a suit of clothes. This operator did his office after a different manner from those of his trade in Europe. He first took my altitude by a quadrant, and then, with a rule and compasses, described the dimensions and outlines of my whole body, all which he entered upon paper; and in six days brought my clothes very ill made, and quite out of shape, by happening to mistake a figure in the calculation. But my comfort was, that I observed such accidents very frequent, and little regarded.

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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11 comments:

Nathan W. Novak (李漢聲) said...

Michael: I've been working on my own rebuttal (in parts). You may be interested in checking it out. I've posted his (Glaser's) entire article on my blog as well as my first rebuttal part, that being a rebuttal of his theoretical argument (which is a very narrow view of realist thought and does not take into account any other forms of international relations thinking beyond realpolitick, "liberalism" [which he uses as a blanket term, thus further weakening his argument], and "neo-isolationism"). I find that Glaser, for being a Political Scientist and International Relations expert, is quite dishonest in such a narrow interpretation. If interested, check out my blog, located here: http://observerlhs-observations.blogspot.com/. I would also hope you may be willing to offer comments and input, as I'm sure my rebuttal(s) is/are not exhaustive.

Personally, I do not think Taiwan can trust the United States much longer. This will test the theory that a spineless United States unwilling to stand and fight out of fear will lead other nations in the region into arms races with China and, possibly, with each other. Taiwan will, in my estimation, be one of the first places to test this theory, and I think this will start to shine through soon, considering the spineless twits currently in office in the United States and Taiwan.

Freeman said...

Not sure why you waste so much time on Glaser. Who is he? A nobody who got too much attention IMHO.

Michael Turton said...

I'm not wasting time on Glaser. This argument has gained currency. It needs to be nuked.

D said...

This is the foreign policy equivalent of last month's "Tiger Mother" thing -- a moron who gets attention by saying "provocative" things. Hopefully he won't sell as many books as she did.

MT's rebuttal was nice, and I guess it's necessary to have people speaking out against it like that, but I tend to agree with "Freeman" -- no one in their right mind is going to take this seriously. Glaser is just one of those political "scientists" trying to earn scholastic points in the Mearsheimer "balancing" debate. The David Kang book on "China Rising" (one of MT's favorite bedtime readings, I'm sure) is the same drivel.

Michael Turton said...

Hahah D. Very true.

Thomas said...

The thing that always stumps me about "realist" arguments that the US should give up Taiwan is just how easily they can be refuted using realist international relations theory.

Handing Taiwan to the Chinese would greatly increase Chinese ability to project their own power into the Pacific, where the US actually does have territory and which serves as a key buffer to the mainland US. So I have no idea how handing Taiwan to China would be an acceptable outcome to realists, who typically believe that the main objective of states is to maximize their own power. The "realist" argument of those such as Glaser focuses only on ephemeral short-term advantages that can be obtained through a trade-off of Taiwan for some other goodie. They completely overlook how such a move would seriously worsen the security situation of the United States. Stupid.

Haitien said...

In terms of "Realism (TM)" and its popularity, I wonder if it is simply the natural consequence of treating countries and people as chips to be bought and sold. Perhaps it is even comforting to some, since the assumption is that everyone must behave rationally. Or is it simply a reflection of the human nature to take what seems to be the most expedient path in the short term, whatever the long term cost may be?

That, or maybe it's the diplomatic community's way of proving how hardcore one is. Imagine Kissinger going "Keeping it real, yo" in that accent of his.

The last thought is rather horrifying, though not nearly as much as the first two.

Nathan W. Novak (李漢聲) said...

Re: Haitien:

Do not confuse Glaser's realpolitick "part" and the realist "whole." Realpolitick is a realist sect, much like Baptists are a sect of Christianity or Zen is a form of Buddhism. I think you will find in the realist literature many writers who do not treat other states as "chips." Glaser is very dishonest professionally to make such a gaffe. (You can link to my blog and read my comments on this issue; the link is in my post [the first post] above if you are interested.)

waltzing jaloma said...

My intel department slipped this in my “in” folder.
What do these maps point at?
Might one read charter flight-loads of Chinese tourists in the charts for Okinawa?
Would somebody be kind enough to explain to me what’s this all about?

成立中华人民共和国琉球自治区
(琉球群岛之千年国家战略原创首发)
重庆 DALISI’s (2010-12-18 20:41:51) post in
http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4af2e50401017t6j.html
中国也应该考虑千年发展问题。千年可持续发展的经济基础、安全保障是中国不得不考虑的大事。中国不仅应该收回琉球群岛,而且要成立中华人民共和国琉球自治区。要将琉球自治区建设成为中国的东方明珠,建设成为具有强大国防力量的钢铁长城,建设成为中国走向太平洋的前进基地。……
中华人民共和国琉球自治区的成立已经不再遥远!“它是站在海岸遥望海中已经看得见桅杆尖头了的一只航船,它是立于高山之巅远看东方已见光芒四射喷薄欲出的一轮朝日,它是躁动于母腹中的快要成熟了的一个婴儿”。

Just to cross the Ts :
中国能收回琉球群岛吗
http://iask.sina.com.cn/b/1158713.html

收回琉球群岛的法理依据
李锡中 - 2010-9-13
http://www.wyzxsx.com/Article/view/201009/179933.html
1879年,日本以武力侵占了琉球王国。根据《开罗宣言》和《波茨坦公告》规定,日本必须放弃以武力所攫取的琉球群岛。日本的主权除了其固有四岛外,要占有其它小岛必须得到中美英苏四国的承认。因此,日本不但没有琉球群岛主权,而且对琉球群岛的管辖权也没有法律依据,完全是非法侵占。
日本虽然在美国的支持下侵占了中国的领土,但并不拥有琉球群岛和钓鱼岛的主权。

琉球群岛
http://baike.baidu.com/view/68665.htm?fr=ala0_1_1
琉球群岛是太平洋的一系列岛屿,位于台湾与日本之间。钓鱼群岛(钓鱼台列屿)不属于琉球群岛范围之内。到目前为止,琉球群岛中南部一直处于日本托管之下,但主权不属于日本,根据《波茨坦公告》第8条的补充规定:“开罗宣言之条件必将实施,而日本之主权必将限于本州,北海道,九州,四国及吾人所决定其他小岛之内。”琉球群岛1871年以前有琉球国,最初琉球国的疆域北起奄美大岛,东到喜界岛,南止波照间岛,西界与那国岛。当前全世界各地,均有大量支持“琉球国复国的运动”。
归属与定位
“琉球复国运动”相关组织
  现在有“琉球复国运动”相关组织存在,声明琉球的独立性和复国的必要性。
琉球大学1996年所作的一项调查显示,38.4%认为冲绳应在财政预算方面独立;13.2%认为冲绳应在除外交以外所有方面独立,3%认为冲绳应该完全独立。同时42.6%自称为“冲绳人”,31.2%自称“冲绳人”和“日本人”,12%自称“日本人”。

钓鱼岛——中华民族的生死大限
张宏良-10-09-20
http://www.xici.net/#d130609872.htm
这是人类历史上第一次战败国瓜分战胜国的领土!是1945年日本投降以后第一次在中国领土上抓捕中国公民带回日本审判!日本在中国领土上抓捕中国船长带回本国审判的阴毒之处在于,无论最终日本法院是否审判以及怎样审判,只要中国接受这个司法行为本身,就等于是在全世界面前承认了钓鱼岛海域是日本领土,如果以后在钓鱼岛问题上中日之间再发生纠纷,中国在道义上就完全处于了无赖地位。
收回琉球群岛治权,是解决东海问题和钓鱼岛问题的钥匙
DALISI - 2010-10-01 23:33:52)
http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_5994cbdc0100m277.html
一、琉球群岛自古就是我国的领土,过去没有现在也没有丢失过琉球群岛主权
事实证明,琉球群岛自古就是中国领土,中国从来都没有失去过琉球群岛的主权。琉球主权仍然在中国手中。《开罗宣言》《波茨坦公告》就是琉球群岛主权在中国手中的保证。

在詹船长事件中,日本政府还未道歉和赔偿的情况下,提出收回琉球群岛治权目前正当其时,中国还在等什么呢?

While the honorable guests are nibbling at the sweet potato, would Charles G. the maitre d’, perhaps, fancy readying large helpings of “awamori” for Nan-hai ZHONG’s table?

Zhuxiu said...

As you write, Michael,"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 totally agree. It is really fascinating that the rightwing folks who unquestioningly supported the Chiang military regime for decades now are so adamant about defending democracy in Taiwan. Where were they when democracy was suppressed day after day. Of course, the liberals were not much better....

Hawk21 said...

Here are some tidbits from yesterday's U.S.-China Economic and Security Commission hearing on China's national security "narratives," and use of academics, such as Charles Glaser, to influence American opinion leaders:

"Beijing’s narrative is that Taiwan is core national security interest, and only peripheral to the United States. To the contrary, Taiwan is a core U.S. interest."

"As a credible symbol of U.S. commitment to regional security and promotion of democratic ideals, the TRA is no less significant than formal defense treaties with Japan and South Korea."

"The objective reality is that the Taiwan exists as an equal sovereign state."

http://www.uscc.gov/hearings/2011hearings/written_testimonies/11_03_10_wrt/11_03_10_stokes_testimony.pdf