Foreign Policy

Send The U.S. Military to Taiwan?

Brookings Institution senior fellow William Galston debates former State Department diplomat Peter Van Buren


Should the United States use military force to deter China from invading Taiwan?

That was the subject of this month's Soho Forum debate, which took place in front of a full house at the Sheen Center in downtown Manhattan.

William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former policy adviser to President Bill Clinton, defended the resolution. He argued that the U.S. should use all the tools at its disposal to deter foreign powers from engaging in conflict with their neighbors, with the ultimate goal of preventing an outright war such as the one we are witnessing in Europe.

Peter Van Buren, who spent 24 years working as a diplomat for the U.S. State Department, took the negative. He argued that Americans rarely have the context or understanding to intervene productively in foreign conflicts, and that more often than not, what looks like deterrence to one party looks like provocation to the other. Invoking the many years of experience he gained as a State Department diplomat stationed in Asia, he stated confidently that there would be no invasion of Taiwan by China either soon or in the distant future.

The debate was moderated by Soho Forum director, Gene Epstein.

Narrated by Nick Gillespie; intro edited by John Osterhoudt.

Photo: Ju Peng Xinhua News Agency/Newscom

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  1. Should the United States use military force to deter China from invading Taiwan?

    Because simultaneously initiating aggression against Russia and China is a really good idea that will certainly end well.

    1. I would note that the dim bulb currently sitting in the Oval Office has been running his suck about both Taiwan and Russia, so this is to some degree already occurring.

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    2. It's the dumbest thing possible, so Biden will announce this tomorrow.

  2. We should send Biden’s inner circle, lead by Ron Klain, to Taiwan as human shields. If things heat up with the ChiComs, we escalate by sending democrat members of congress as additional human shields. Further escalating by sending Hollywood celebrities, Kaepernick, etc.. until The ChiComs back down.

    If they don’t back down, at least there’s a silver lining.

    1. Agreed, but I suggest that first they are sent to Ukraine, with no equipment, no camera crews, no cell or satellite phones, no internet access, no identification. I would add, send the chattering classes, and the blue check fuckwits. If they are so outraged by Russia's purported war crimes, they will have the opportunity to stop them, or at least absorb bullets, protecting Ukrainians while the latter are fighting.

    2. LeBron. Let's send LeBron and Cena - China would never hurt them!

      1. Definitely lebron, and I change my stipulation re video. Livefeed. Watching 'kingjames' or whatever the fuck that clownass calls himself piss himself would be worth PPV fees.

      2. I picture both of those guys groveling in front of Xi, begging for their lives. Like Baltar in front of the Cylon Imperious Leader at the end of the original Battlestar Galactica. Begging to be spared if they agree to continue helping to exterminate their own people.

  3. Could we start with selling them weapons? Or is the only solution to exchange American soldiers for immigrants?

  4. And Mongolia is sitting there singing clowns to the left of me jokers to the right here I am stuck in the middle

  5. he stated confidently that there would be no invasion of Taiwan by China either soon or in the distant future.

    What was his position on Russia invading Ukraine in Jan, or how China would handle Hong Kong in 2019?

    1. The same

  6. No, we don't need to send the US military to Taiwan (except for ABM defense ships).

    But now would be a good time to start shipping some LATGM, surveillance drones, and small and medium loitering munitions.

    And having a peak at their shore-based anti-ship missile and air defense systems to see if there're any shortfalls we could help shore up.

    The best way to ensure China doesn't invade Taiwan is not to put Americans there (who would be told to stand aside and only fight to defend themselves if attacked) but to ensure the Taiwanese can put up enough of a struggle that the Chinese military couldn't guarantee a 'fait accompli' victory.

  7. Let Australia handle Taiwan. They're closer, and they haven't been carrying their weight on the global police front.

  8. Well, as I understand it, there is an actual treaty that obligates the US to defend Taiwan in case of attack. If that is the case, then the US should meet its treaty obligations. If the US no longer wishes to perform those treaty obligations, then the US should withdraw from the treaty.

    1. Will you be participating in upholding the treaty ?

    2. There is no defense treaty. There is 1979 legislation.

      1. Oh, okay. Well, if that law is still on the books, then it should be followed; if we don't want the law on the books anymore, then the answer is to repeal the law, not just ignore it.

        1. I have to agree with you here. But repealing a law is work, and repealing this law would be bad optics. So, two very good reasons Congress will never do it.

    3. Pedo Jeffy will make a very useful human shield. Lots of blubber should cover a wide area.

  9. Open embassies in Taiwan. Recognize it's self-governing status. Encourage other countries to do the same.

    That might not stop China, but it'll be just as effective.

    1. The optimal time to do this was when orangemanbad was still in office. For all of his faults, he did have the spine to make a move like this. The extent of the current loudmouth's courage is bullying workers and challenging them to go outside and fight. This said, I am not convinced it would mean anything. The US population has no stomach for anything difficult, and China is a far more serious military adversary than what the people have seen. China also is likely aware that beyond the lack of fortitude in the population (words are violence, after all), the military is unprepared, with a leadership more focused on bullshit than combat effectiveness. The Chinese will not have missed the release of the DoD Equity Action Plan, as they did not miss the standdown to address extremism in the ranks.

      1. Democrats are literally putting us in mortal danger.

  10. They got oil?

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