Taiwan on its own.
According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently announced, “Just like the overwhelming majority of other countries, Russia views Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China. This is the premise we proceed from and will continue to proceed from in our policy.” At the time of this statement, Russian forces were conducting joint naval exercises with Chinese forces in the Pacific—culminating in a 10-ship joint formation sailing through Japan’s Tsugaru Strait on October 18.
This, following a series of unprecedented Chinese military aircraft incursions into Taiwan’s airspace, has rattled Taiwan and America’s other allies in the region, namely Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia. During the first week of October, over 150 aircraft, including advanced SU-30 fighters and H-6 heavy bombers, flew into Taiwanese airspace. An unprecedented 56 tactical aircraft penetrated Taiwan’s airspace in a single 24-hour period on October 4, the highest single day total to date.
China has already taken control of multiple islands claimed by these allies in an effort to access vast oil and natural gas resources, as well as project its military power in the contested territorial waters of the South China Sea. China’s ongoing trade dispute with Australia has also ratcheted up tensions in the region.
The U.S. foreign policy establishment has rushed to assure Taiwan and its other allies that the United States intends to honor its regional security agreements. Of late, Joe Biden has publicly pledged to defend the Japanese Senkaku islands, which China claims as its territory.
BWAAAA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! The notion of the ever-more-enfeebled FUSA actually leaping into the fray to make war against the ChiComs in defense of our RoC allies is ludicrous, and has been for a while now. Realistically, it’s inconceivable that any president since Reagan at least would have dared to honor the explicit US treaty commitment to act militarily in defense of Taiwan against ChiCom aggression—today, the idea is even more bizarre. For numerous reasons, it’s gone from inconceivable to…well, ludicrous.
Thanks to past U.S. economic and domestic policies, we allowed our manufacturing base to be exported to China. While offshoring American jobs to cheaper labor in China was good for U.S. multinational corporations, it resulted in China effectively capturing the bulk of American industrial capacity for consumer goods. This gives China immense leverage within the U.S. economy.
Look now at the supply disruptions spreading across the United States, which result in no small part from our inability to offload Chinese consumer goods at West Coast ports. Consider how U.S. sanctions against China might create an even greater disruption in the supply of goods that the U.S. no longer has the ability to produce. This dynamic gives China considerable sway with a U.S. political donor class that derives its wealth from Chinese industrial capacity. It makes the idea that the Biden Administration would have the will to impose crippling U.S. sanctions as a check against a Chinese invasion of Taiwan unrealistic.
In contrast to China’s relative position of strength, the world has watched as America lost two wars in our failed Global War on Terror. Our withdrawal from Afghanistan was exceptionally humiliating, not just to America, but also to our allies. It was so bad, the UK parliament held Biden in contempt for his mishandling of the withdrawal. Americans swallowed hard when it was revealed that the U.S. general in charge of the evacuation asked the British SAS commander to stop conducting rescue missions to retrieve UK citizens because it was embarrassing the airport-bound U.S. military. We went on to leave thousands of U.S. citizens behind in Afghanistan with only a shrug of Joe Biden’s shoulders.
Today, the United States is a deeply divided nation on the brink of open internal conflict. The Biden Administration is gleefully running down a list of ill-conceived policies that historically have resulted in civil unrest and rebellion. Oblivious to its own incompetence or the concerns of working-class America, it has labeled half the population domestic extremists, including parents angry that their children are being indoctrinated into woke-Marxist ideology. Just this past week, Biden’s national approval rating hit 38 percent and is dropping rapidly. It’s no secret that he appears to be suffering from cognitive decline and who, exactly, is running the country has yet to be revealed. America is at its weakest point in at least a century, and China, as well as the rest of the world, notices.
Numerous reasons, as I said, but the boldface bit is the one that dwarves all the others. As the American populace has grown ever more complacent, indecisive, and vacuous, their will to victory—their willingness to even countenance making war at all, for any reason—has proportionately withered as well, in mirror-like reflection. It’s unlikely in the extreme that present-day American lotus eaters in any great numbers would support military action to defend this country.
Taiwan? Shhyeeeaaah, pull the other one, whydon’tcha. It has a bell on it.
Which may actually turn out to be a good thing in the long run. Fact is, Real Americans have much bigger and more pressing issues confronting us right here at home—issues that will have to be dealt with, issues that simply cannot be back-burnered, ignored, or blithely waved away. Hate it for Taiwan and all, but the rip in our national fabric is so profound that it’s no easy thing to define the FUSA as a nation at all anymore, except in the loosest terms. In a great many minds, the Great Schism has already taken place. And in a non-trivial percentage of those, there is little or no desire to knit the country back together again.
With regard to a China-Taiwan conflict, the danger to America does not necessarily come from what happens to Taiwan. The danger comes from how radically the geopolitical status quo in the Pacific might change should China retake Taiwan by force in the face of U.S. opposition—or lack of opposition.
If the United States opposes China and fails to stop its move against Taiwan, then we will have shown ourselves incapable of fulfilling our security agreements in the Pacific.
Which is, y’know, true.
If the United States demurs and abandons Taiwan to the Chinese, then we will have shown that our security agreements are not worth the paper on which they are printed.
Which is also, y’know, true.
Either way, this likely results in the restructuring of alliances in the Pacific away from an impotent or feckless United States to accommodate the new global hegemon—China. The second and third order effects of our losses in the Pacific would reverberate across Europe, particularly in areas threatened by an expansionist Russia…which has opportunistically positioned itself for just such a situation.
This, too, could be looked at as a good thing from some perspectives, or maybe a not-entirely-disastrous one. The cold reality is that Amerika v2.0 is a paper tiger, a hollowed-out shell whose only resemblance now to the once-mighty military, economic, and geopolitical juggernaut I call America That Was (swiped from the finest TV show ever conceived, natch) is entirely superficial. As Morton points out, every imaginable Taiwan scenario ends badly for this third-rate power, worse for Free Taiwan.
The post-WW2 treaties promising pipsqueak nations a US defensive shield against Commie aggression now only serve to highlight the unpleasant fact that our antecedents wrote a lot of checks that the current generation hasn’t the means to make good on. The sooner our feckless, braggadocious ProPols admit this forthrightly, sit down, and stop running their fat yaps as if it was still 1947 the better I’ll like it. Because the sad delusion of an American colossus permanently astride the globe, omnipotent and unchallengeable, is getting to be pretty embarrassing at this point.