The superficial, episodic narrative focuses on Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan Republic and the subsequent Chinese communist belligerence. This has always primarily been about the end of Globalization 1.0, and the partial decoupling between the American-led democratic economies and autocratic economies. This is also about dictator Xi reexamining just how much global connectivity and acceptance of the US-led global order pose a direct threat to his dictatorship.
I am certain American and Japanese military officers will soon return to Taiwan Republic because of world history level forces converging:
- The decoupling of the Chinese communist and American economy and the end of Globalization 1.0. The era where capital recognizes no political borders and geoeconomic policies do not consider national security-vital national interests are over.
- The developmental bottleneck and dictatorship challenging the economic crisis in communist China.
- The nature of the global maritime empire created and maintained by the US Navy I have written about. 4. The trickiest – relative decline of American hegemon, and the incomplete rise of Putin’s Russia and Xi’s communist China.
Throughout world history, we have had many examples of the decline and rise of great powers. Never before have we had a true global hegemon – the US, and its relative decline and the incomplete rise of would-be successors. The closest historical precedence is the UK to the US in 1945, and I have always suspected the American narrative on that transition is far more benign than how the UK remembers it. That precedence had two powers sort of speaking the same language, with relatively similar political and political-economic systems. And even then it took a horrific world war and a decades-long Cold War for the transition from one power to another to complete. We are sailing uncharted waters – little to no historical precedence to call on for lessons.
Japanese and American military officers will return to Taiwan because the ultranationalist and divisive hardliner Xi has demonstrated with this crisis he has manufactured that war is not theoretical. It is also clear that any conflict will not be confined by the Chinese communists just to Taiwan. What the Putin invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated is that dictators do not negotiate – and they never abide by treaties and agreements. Remember how many meetings western leaders had with Putin before the invasion? And the common illusion that somehow Russian belligerence is confined to Ukraine alone, and Chinese communist ambitions are confined to Taiwan Republic and nowhere else, is, even if we merely take Putin and Xi at their own words, absolutely mistaken. Once DC foreign policy establishment transitions from the old mentality – focusing on not provoking China, believing that there is a way to for a win-win compromise with Beijing and Moscow – into this new reality, both Tokyo and DC will realize that it is more dangerous to their vital national interests to not have a military presence in Taiwan.
Few examples: using this present Chinese communist missile crisis as a model for how a war against China will be engaged. There will be high intensity, high speed, multidimensional coordination of multinational forces in the air, in space, on land, at sea, and submerged – with homeland defense, cyber defense, logistics, civil defense – coordination of information warfare, banking, central banks, energy, food, medical, public health, etc. Where are the Taiwanese surface-to-air and surface-to-sea missile corridors? How should the American and Japanese forces coordinate? In what ways would the three nations plus others coordinate to maximize their impact on the Chinese communist forces? Without Japanese and American officers in Taiwan ahead of time, such coordination is impossible. Not only will officers from Japan and America return to Taiwan to act as liaisons and advisors – and they could well take the gentler AIT ‘recently/temporarily retired’ model. I think small to midsized Taiwanese military units will rotate to Japan and Guam/Hawaii for training with American and Japanese units, and vice versa.
In the grand scheme of things, we have entered the phase where because of the global maritime empire imperative, and because of the dangers posed by a declining hegemon and an incomplete rising power, planning for a war against China is no longer theoretical. Taiwan is a focus, but this is an Indo-Pacific struggle – between global democracies and global autocracies. How to deter-prevent a Chinese communist invasion, while retooling the global economic order to minimize democracies funding autocracies, will be the focus of this global struggle for many decades to come. 8.8.2022
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