Missile Defense for Taiwan: Implications for U.S. Security Interests in East Asia   [open pdf - 480KB]

"The potential provision of ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities to the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan carries an array of implications for U.S. interests and purposes in East Asia. Although missile defense would assist Taiwan in defending itself from Chinese ballistic missiles, it could generate adverse repercussions that impede Washingtons ability to meet its strategic and foreign policy goals. This thesis addresses how the delivery of BMD to Taiwan might affect U.S. security interests in East Asia. Beijings long-held fears of U.S. hegemony and containment may incite China to undertake political, strategic, or armed courses of action contrary to U.S. interests. Closer defense ties between Taipei and Washington might also jeopardize the ambiguity of the U.S.-China-Japan strategic triangular relationship, thereby weakening regional stability. Additionally, Japan may encounter difficulties in reconciling its role in a possible crisis in the Taiwan Strait, producing complications for the U.S.-Japan security alliance. Lastly, BMD in Taiwan could have unfavorable consequences for Washingtons national security strategy, particularly its desires to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to foster cooperative relationships with other nations."

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