Magazine December 20, 2021, Issue

The United States Should Defend Taiwan

(Roman Genn)
The costs of not doing so would be even greater

The United States should defend Taiwan if China attacks it. Not out of altruism — although it would benefit Taiwan for us to do so — but out of self-interest. Our enlightened self-interest, surely, but self-interest all the same. It is important to understand clearly why this makes sense, because if defending Taiwan is to be a reasonable course of action, we need to be much better prepared, and remedying the deficits in our defenses will require substantial and sustained political support. Building that support will not be easy, since it is far from obvious why defending a small island

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Elbridge Colby — Mr. Colby is a principal at the Marathon Initiative. As deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, he served as the lead official in the development of the 2018 National Defense Strategy. He is the author of The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict.

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