Avoiding a Sake Hangover: Scaling Japanese Involvement in a Taiwan Strait Conflict
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The long-simmering dispute between the Peoples Republic of China PRC and the Republic of China ROC over the status of Taiwan is widely regarded to be the most likely flashpoint for East Asian conflict. Given the likelihood U.S. forces will be involved in military operations in defense of Taiwan, a thorough analysis of potential operational factors is necessary and prudent. A critical element of this analysis will be the level of support that U.S. and Taiwanese forces will expect to receive from Japan. Although increasing the degree of Japanese involvement in the defense of Taiwan will offer corresponding advantages at the tactical and operational levels of warfare, at the theater-strategic level there is a point of diminishing returns beyond which Japanese help could ultimately become a hindrance to U.S. interests throughout East Asia. Limiting Japanese involvement to a strategically acceptable level should be a critical factor in operational planning. U.S. planning for Taiwanese defense should focus on maximizing the benefits of limited Japanese support, diversifying U.S. presence and influence throughout the region, and minimizing the chances of crisis escalation and destabilization.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics