Two assistant professors at the US Naval War College and the president of the US-Taiwan Business Council added their voices to the chorus of criticism leveled at a US academic who argues the US should abandon Taiwan
Criticism of an article by George Washington University professor Charles Glaser in the current issue of Foreign Affairs magazine was evident yesterday, as rebuttals to his article were published in two influential publications.
Writing in The Diplomat, James Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara, both associate professors of strategy at the US Naval War College, said that ceding territory to land-hungry powers was a “morally bankrupt enterprise” that can only represent a temporary fix.
In an article titled “Will China’s Rise Lead to War? Why Realism Does Not Mean Pessimism,” Glaser said that to avoid a costly arms race between the US and China and to ensure Beijing’s cooperation on a number of disputes in Asia, Washington should accommodate Beijing by backing away from its security commitment to Taiwan.
Glaser further said that when a power has “limited territorial goals,” meeting those demands might not lead to further demands, but rather reduced tensions.
“But buying peace with land has been tried many times before — with ephemeral results at best,” Holmes and Yoshihara wrote of Glaser’s grand bargain in their article “Getting Real About Taiwan.”
Glaser’s position is based on the view that “structural forces” in the Asia-Pacific region are limiting friction between major powers — in this case, the US, China, Japan and India. As such, Washington and Beijing should be in a position to reach arrangements through mutual concessions, a position the authors appear to agree on.
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here, with more by Holmes and Yoshihara (who grew up in Taipei) and Rupert Hammond-Chambers in the Wall Street Journal.