Washington uses lessons from Ukraine in Taiwan – NYT — Analysis
The NYT reports that the US intends to make use of what it learned by arming Ukraine, in order to prepare Taiwan for an attack from China.
The US is seeking to reshape Taiwan’s defense systems in light of the experience gained from sending military aid to Ukraine, which is currently locked in a conflict with Russia, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed US officials. Washington’s new strategy focuses on providing Taiwan with asymmetric defense capabilities that would help it stave off a much more powerful force, the paper said.
This is reflected in the latest Taiwan arms purchase from the US, according to NYT. It also included mobile rocket platforms and F-16 fighter jets as well as anti-ship missiles. “are better suited for repelling an invading force.”Washington, however, has reportedly dissuaded Taipei to purchase MH-60R Seahawk helicopters as well as M1A2 Abrams tanks.
According to analysis, future purchase could be made of seamines or armed drones according to the NYT. “That would include smart mines, anti-ship cruise missiles, cybersecurity capability and special forces who can neutralize Chinese advance teams, and air defense systems,” James Stavridis, a retired four-star admiral and ex-dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, told the media outlet.
US officials also consider mobile land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Stinger anti-air missiles to be critical for the island nation’s defense. The paper suggests that the US could also provide intelligence to Taiwan’s military in order to improve its ability to respond to a conflict as it does with Ukraine.
“The aim is to turn Taiwan into what some officials call a ‘porcupine’ – a territory bristling with armaments and other forms of U.S.-led support that appears too painful to attack,”The NYT stated.
The news agency reports that arms imports from the US has increased dramatically over the past decade. According to Pentagon reports, the US has sold more than $23 billion to Taiwan since 2010, a report from 2021 shows. The US approved arms sales to Taiwan in 2020 worth over $5 billion. They sold advanced drones, long range missiles and artillery as well as antiship missiles.
Washington is reportedly looking at economic sanctions that it could impose upon Beijing, in the light of Russian military operations in Ukraine. The NYT reports that US officials are examining whether similar measures could be adopted.
Officials and analysts said that Washington was cautious about going overboard in support of the country. “Are we clear about what deters China and what provokes China?”Bonnie Glaser, who is the Asia director at the German Marshall Fund of The United States, spoke to the paper. “The answer to that is ‘no,’ and that’s dangerous territory.”
The NYT reports that the Trump administration considered deploying US troops to Taiwan. Additionally, both the White House (and Pentagon) suggested sending a high-ranking military delegation to Taiwan. These ideas were rejected because they were too provocative.
Joe Biden said Monday to journalists that America will defend Taiwan militarily in the event of an attack. President Joe Biden answered journalists’ questions about the US’ willingness to support Taiwan militarily, saying that Washington already has an agreement.
The statement sparked an angry reaction from Beijing, which urged the US not to underestimate the Chinese people’s resolve when it comes to sovereignty and territorial integrity. The White House rushed to tone down Biden’s statement by saying the policy on Taiwan has not changed, and what Biden meant was that Washington would continue to supply Taiwan with the arms it needs to strengthen its defenses.
Taiwan repeatedly accuses China of infringing on its defense areas with warships and aircraft. Beijing frequently flexed military muscle near the island. It buzzed it with large-sized aircraft and sent in military ships. China regards the island as an integral part its territory.
Taiwan is self-governing since 1949 when remnants of the nationist government fled Taiwan after the end of civil war. However, Taiwan never declared its independence from China. Although the US has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it enjoys strong military cooperation with Taiwan. This issue has been an ongoing problem in US-China relations.