Taiwan’s Defense Needs

China has been craving an anschluss with Taiwan for a long time, since 1949. If Xi Jinping craves a legacy in Chinese history, accomplishing this unification looks more promising than what he is doing to the Chinese economy.

Given the threat Taiwan faces, and the significant loss of freedom a defeat would bring, you’d think military service in Taiwan would be an honorable profession, bringing with it high social status, but no the opposite is the case. The Taiwanese armed forces struggle to meet manpower needs. The country’s service academy, the primary means of training its office corps, struggles to get enough applicants to fill its classes.

What a contrast with the United States. We face relatively less threat from abroad and yet are culturally inclined to prioritize our military and honor military service. Getting accepted into an American service academy is a highly competitive prospect.

This contrast should also be a factor in, the degree to which, America should stick its neck out to defend Taiwan. We can’t want their freedom more than they do.

Eric Shierman lives in Salem and is the author of We were winning when I was there.