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Preparing for the Nightmare: Readiness and Ad hoc Coalition Operations in the Taiwan Strait

(Badge of U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) in Taiwan, ROC. Source: "Wikimedia Commons.")

By: Mark Stokes, Yang Kuang-shun, and Eric Lee |

Taiwan’s (Republic of China, ROC) defense readiness can be viewed from both strategic and operational perspectives. In our report, readiness is measured by both (1) the degree to which Taiwan’s government and civil society are prepared to counter coercion by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and (2) the degree to which the ROC armed forces can carry out its mission. Given the increasing likelihood of CCP use of force against Taiwan in the foreseeable future, it is in the interests of the United States and the ROC governments to improve overall defense readiness. This report evaluates the threat environment Taiwan faces and details its strategic and operational readiness, as well as the utility of ad hoc coalitions. In addition, the report highlights future opportunities for U.S. policymakers to strengthen the United States and Taiwan’s readiness in pursuit of the shared goal of peace and stability in a free and open Indo-Pacific region.