The strategy of archipelagic defense puts a premium on fortifying relevant islands in the Indo-Pacific region with anti-ship missiles, and air and missile defense systems. But political, economic, environmental, and military reasons make it a bad idea for the U.S. military.
Leaders in Washington and allied capitals must not allow their military and diplomatic plans for the Indo-Pacific region to be colored by misinformation about China’s goals. There are a bevy of factors that could lead China to make a move against Taiwan at any time. Assuming that PLA capabilities are the sole variable in Beijing’s calculus would be a costly and dangerous mistake.
The Biden administration recently announced that no official U.S. delegation will attend the Olympic games in Beijing this winter. But a boycott of any form from the United States and partners will have little to no impact on shaping China’s behavior and may in fact distract from real levers capable of curbing how the games serve Chinese leadership.
A cyber attack on a major U.S. port in August was thwarted by the port’s use of threat detection software and quick coordination with a capable, trusted public-sector responder: the U.S. Coast Guard. Close coordination and information sharing between industry and the Coast Guard prevented a potential disaster.