Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Losing the new intelligence war

The Ma administration is orchestrating a fundamental reorientation in Taiwan’s posture vis-a-vis China that has created unprecedented opportunities for PRC espionage 

Despite a rapidly changing international context during the past half-century, the task of Taiwan’s national security apparatus has remained surprisingly stable and to this day continues to revolve around the sole principle of defending the nation from external aggression.

From the moment Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) abandoned its policy of “retaking” China from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the nature of the Taiwanese military turned into one that was — and is — predicated on homeland defense. While this may seem self-evident, it nevertheless contrasts sharply with other militaries whose mission is often capabilities-based, where technology and the options to which it gives rise drive policy.

Capabilities-based military forces, such as that of the US and, increasingly, China, are by default outward-looking, scanning for contingencies that reflect the latest weapons systems that are being developed or fielded. To a large degree, the Taiwanese military, and to a similar degree the South Korean military, look at their role from the opposite direction, developing policies and technologies to meet the very specific purpose of defending the nation. Theirs is therefore an inward-looking posture.

My op-ed, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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