For its proponents, the idea of strategic ambiguity seems to have become an end in itself that has not adapted, and logically cannot adapt to the disruptive growth in Beijing's military power. The conditions under which the policy worked seem to have evaporated with China's rise. Strategic clarity may offer a way out of this dilemma.
Ukraine has demonstrated the ability of explosive uncrewed surface vessels to target ships. These weapons could play a role in preventing Chinese forces from successfully invading Taiwan in potential future scenarios.
It would be impossible to capture all the important work that RAND does in a year. But RAND president and CEO Jason Matheny has compiled ten times he was inspired by RAND's efforts to bring insight to some of the biggest policy stories of 2022.
Even as the Russian military continues to struggle in Ukraine, Air Force leaders and top national security experts at the 2022 West Coast Aerospace Forum warned not to expect similar outcomes in a potential conflict with China. The 7th annual event focused on applying lessons learned from Russia's invasion of Ukraine to the security challenges in the Indo-Pacific.
Rather than start a war, Xi Jinping is more likely to intensify China's use of coercive measures against Taiwan, including diplomatic, economic, and military pressure coupled with cyber and psychological operations. If coercion fails, Beijing might turn to force as a last resort, but this still seems unlikely given the many complicating factors.
This week, we discuss preparing for future pandemics; planning now for a negotiated outcome in Ukraine; insights from Ukraine that relate to Taiwan; the need for more data to help reduce law enforcement–related deaths; how China might react to U.S. posture changes; and using statistics to improve military force planning.
Defenders of territorial sovereignty and a peaceful world order may be cheered by Ukraine's success, but there is danger that success could decrease the urgency of efforts to strengthen Taiwan. China will seek to learn from the problems Russia has had in Ukraine. Will the U.S. and other supporters of Taiwan do the same?
Taiwan manufactures about 92 percent of the world's advanced microchips, which are used in almost all electronics, from cars to coffeemakers to combine harvesters. A Chinese attack on the island would imperil the world's supply of microchips. Here's how to offset that threat.
This weekly recap focuses on the benefits of increasing and maintaining diversity in the armed forces, the challenges of telemedicine abortion, whether Indo-Pacific countries are backing China or Taiwan, and more.
Almost the entire Indo-Pacific region backs China over Taiwan. But U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's August trip to Taiwan made it clear that key U.S. allies strongly support Taiwan's cause, particularly in the face of a potential war over the island. This suggests that Beijing's assertive behavior is steadily alienating nations that otherwise may have minded their own business.
Beijing has had only limited success in spreading its influence in the Pacific, with the notable exceptions of the Solomon Islands and Kiribati. To be sure, other victories should be expected to follow. The overall picture, however, is far more challenging for China.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is probably motivating Taiwan to better secure its own future versus China. But many of the challenges currently facing Taiwan, such as shortcomings in reservist training or lingering confusion over its military strategy, are difficult to fix, assuming they are even fixable.