Thursday, September 22, 2005

Wait -- who's running this show anyway?

After two US defense officials in two days warned Taiwan that it must stand up for its own defense if it wants US assistance with its defense [translation: Taiwan must buy expensive weaponry from US companies], a Taiwanese general has claimed that Taiwan has always planned to fight on its own, and has never included in its combat plans the idea of US military assistance.

General Hu Chen-pu is obviously lying -- and he'd damn well better be. Imagine if US forces arrived in Taiwan to help fend off a Chinese attack only to discover that the Taiwanese had never given a thought to the logistics of such an operation.

Why am I even taking pot shots at such an idiotic statement?

The point is, I thought that the Ministry of National Defense was supposed to be advocating for the arms purchase from the US, not undermining the purchase by suggesting that Taiwan could be capable of defeating China on its own. In fact, I was under the impression that, according to MND computer simulations, Taiwan is only capable of holding off a Chinese attack for three and a half seconds. I thought that, according to the MND, the Legislative Yuan must approve the purchase quickly, before Taiwan's goose is cooked entirely. But now I hear a high-ranking general telling us that Taiwan doesn't need the US anyway. Or its weapons, for that matter?

Either I'm confused about something, or President Chen is having the usual hard time keeping his generals in line. If I were commander-in-chief, I might get a bit upset if my top soldiers were pursuing their own political agendas... especially if their agendas appeared to be deep blue and pro-China...


Feiren said...

You may be reading too much into this. The MND has always been very sensitive about the suggestion that Taiwan's military is not independent of the US military. This goes back to the days when they had to put up with US troops here but insisted that they were really in charge.

In other words, the general's statement was intended for internal consumption only.

DogOfTheSouth said...

So if the general isn't off the reservation, he's instead adhering to a fallacy that undermines his ministry's policy goals. Bad either way you look at it.