On August 24 th the people of Ukraine celebrated the birth of their nation. Six months ago, the
Russian army began an assault on this sovereign nation with the objective to conquer the entire
country and make it an integral part of Russia. Although outmatched in military assets, under
the inspired leadership of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the heroism of their armed forces,
Ukraine repelled the attacks. These efforts drew worldwide support activating strong economic
sanctions with increasingly effective military weaponry.
This indeed is a cause for celebration by freedom-loving people throughout the world.
However, the war is not over and will continue for some time while Putin puts pressure on
European countries with control over their natural gas supplies.
Xi Jan Ping and the people of Taiwan are carefully watching these events. Xi Jan Ping has set a
personal objective to reunite Taiwan with its “motherland.” A large majority of Taiwan citizens
far prefer their independence and watching the integration of Hong Kong with takeover by
China have no interest in being absorbed.
However, the military situation of Taiwan is far different from Ukraine. As an island separated
only by the 100-mile width of the Straits of Taiwan, it is within easy range for missiles but a
more difficult challenge for amphibious (but not aerial) assault. A war between China and the
US would likely be considered WWIII. War game experts project massive casualties on both
sides. President Eisenhower warned that the US should never engage in a land war in Asia
because the great differences in populations and values.
The options to prevent this conflict are either to (a) slowly abandon Taiwan or (b) deter China
from attacking the country. A combination of economic and strategic penalties and a greater
increase in Taiwan’s defenses could increase the cost to take over the island.
We side with both the Ukrainian and Taiwanese people that freedom is worth fighting for and
the US and a coalition of free countries should take immediate action to strengthen Taiwan’s
defenses and form new alliances like NATO to provide political (e.g., increased international
recognition) with military support. It is the right thing to do.
Byron Kahrs Varme