Saturday, July 09, 2011

Neglect is hurting military morale

As an authoritarian regime with strict control of information, Beijing is in a far better position than Taipei to highlight military successes while masking failure, a propaganda imbalance that could affect morale in Taiwan

In his Art of War (孫子兵法) military treatise, ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu (孫子) makes a convincing case for the need to ensure good morale in the ranks while undermining that of one’s opponent, adding that this will be a determining factor in a military’s will to fight.

If Sun Tzu were alive today and asked to assess the balance of morale in the Taiwan Strait, he would quickly conclude that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is faring much better than the Taiwanese military. A handful of factors in recent years have contributed to this state of affairs, including the inability of Taiwan to keep up with the PLA in terms of modernization of its military, defeatism in the public sphere and lack of a clear mandate from the executive branch.

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

1 comment:

Mike Fagan said...

Even though I didn't learn anything particularly new from it, I thought this was the only opinion piece in the Taipei Times this week which I could have recommended to another person.

Perhaps the pessimism will become so bad that we'll just have to follow the West African example and start handing out automatic weapons to the monkeys at Tzoying in Kaohsiung.