As President Joe Biden has observed, we seem to be fast approaching a tipping point in world history. Faced with an insufficiently clear future, the Taiwanese government must systematically make strategic domestic and foreign policy decisions that advance the fundamental national security interests of the peoples of Taiwan in a range of futures. This should start with the creation of a set of integrated national security strategies. Building on this argument, this set of strategies should be deployable and usable in a range of geographic, functional, and community settings. This may require supplementing the traditional strategy approach with other strategy development activities, including scenario planning.
At the global level, the government of Taiwan must develop a multidisciplinary and systematic national security strategy that contains realistic and time-bound goals. This corporate strategy should be based on a set of basic principles carefully selected by Taiwanese policy makers. Candidates can include self-reliance, openness, prosperity, respect, and security. The strategy should identify a core set of national security concerns that impede the realization of these principles. Next, it should identify a basic set of instruments to manage these national security concerns. An example would be strategic partnerships with Japan and the United States. This set of instruments should promote extensive cross-cutting cooperation and coordination between governmental and non-governmental agencies responsible for defence, democracy, development and diplomacy.
At the regional level, the Taiwanese government should develop multidisciplinary and systematic national security strategies for certain regions and subregions. Distance matters in international security affairs. Nearby sovereign states often share decision-making, collaborate on assessments, and pool resources to promote peace and security in their local neighborhoods. This proximity may arise from, among other things, administrative, cultural, economic, geographical and historical factors. Examples include member states of the African Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Commonwealth of Independent States, European Union, Pacific Islands Forum and Organization of American States . Wherever regionalism threatens to impede successful implementation of the global strategy, Taiwanese policymakers should develop regional variants built around values, concerns and instruments suited to local conditions. Obvious prospects include Europe, the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia.
At the functional level, the Taiwanese government must develop multidisciplinary and systematic strategies for defense, democracy, development and diplomacy. Functionality is important in domestic and international business. Each government agency has a unique mix of cultures, missions, roles, legal authorities, ethical standards, funding mechanisms and political interests that give rise to their own sets of biases, frameworks, processes, of planning terminologies and cultures. For these reasons, Taiwanese policymakers should direct government agencies primarily responsible for defence, democracy, development, and diplomacy to develop functional variants built around values, concerns, and instruments suited to the conditions. local. Ideally, these strategies would not only communicate policy, priorities and actions to staff, contractors and other stakeholders. They would also communicate unity of purpose with other government agencies and partner countries. To achieve this outcome, the Taiwanese government should make significant investments in shared assessments, planning coordination, and alignment reviews.
At the community level, the Taiwanese government should develop a multidisciplinary and systematic strategy for groups of people concerned with security who share common characteristics and manifest collective identities. Community issues in international security affairs. Each community has its own beliefs, cultures, interests, structures and values that impact the strategic fit of business strategies. Wherever communities threaten to thwart the successful implementation of the global strategy, Taiwanese policymakers must assess these characteristics, determine strategic fit, and develop community variants built around values, concerns, and instruments suited to local conditions. . These strategies would help build more empathetic relationships and leverage synergies. Obvious perspectives include indigenous peoples and overseas Chinese.
In addition to these integrated strategies, the Taiwanese government should develop a multidisciplinary and systematic national survival strategy that contains realistic and time-bound goals. This strategy should identify the processes and functions that would be necessary to preserve national identity in the event of occupation by the People’s Republic of China. This strategy should be based on its own set of basic principles. Candidates can include self-reliance, independence, patriotism, respect, and security. The strategy should provide a core set of national survival concerns that would impede the realization of these principles. Then, it should identify a set of basic instruments to manage these national survival issues. Examples would be the nonviolent resistance and the violent resistance of Taiwanese nationalists. This set of instruments should promote the extensive cross-cutting cooperation and coordination between governmental and non-governmental agencies that should exist in such an eventuality.
Echoing a previous observation by the author, the Taiwanese government should ideally have a multidisciplinary team to develop all of these strategies through a collaborative process using multiple workflows. Such an approach would help promote systems thinking in strategy development. This could not only help unlock efficiencies and innovations that might otherwise be missed if different teams set out to develop these strategies independently of each other. It could also help to mitigate the risk of unexpected destabilization of cross-Strait relations that could arise from the strategic posture put in place by the interaction of these strategies.
Michael Walsh is a Senior Associate Researcher at the Pacific Forum. The opinions expressed are his own.