Peaceful Rise: Using Chinese Strategic Culture to Shape Flexible Deterrent Options for a Taiwan Strait Conflict
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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An understanding of Chinas strategic culture can significantly assist the Joint Force Commander JFC in planning for and responding to potential conflict in the Taiwan Strait. Flexible Deterrent Options FDOs are the JFCs tools to control escalation, with two basic purposes 1 to resolve a crisis before armed conflict and, if that fails, 2 to position U.S. forces to decisively prevail in the ensuing military action. Strategic culture is best understood as the impact of a unique historical, cultural, and national perspective in shaping a nations strategic preferences on the use of force. In the case of China, this strategic culture is based on an active defense that includes preemptive action to maintain territorial integrity and defend Chinas sovereignty. This paper examines the elements of deterrence -- interests, capabilities and resolve -- in terms of how Chinese strategic culture influences potential conflict across the Taiwan Strait. While this paper does not recommend specific FDOs for responding to a potential conflict with the PRC, it does offer conclusions about how the JFCs planning for a Taiwan Strait crisis is strengthened through an understanding of Chinese strategic culture.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics