The Taiwanese military is still organized around the strategies once required for its decades-long goal of retaking mainland China, rather than repelling a possible Chinese military invasion.
Why it matters: Focusing on power projection instead of defense means Taiwan's armed forces may not have the weapons and plans in place to deter an attack, analysts say.
Where it stands: Taiwan's generals have been slow to update their mindset, according to analysts.
The Biden administration is pushing leaders in Taipei to purchase defensive weapons from the U.S. and discouraging further sales of tanks and anti-submarine helicopters, which U.S. officials believe would do little to counter a full-scale attack.
Background: In 1949, the Chinese Communist Party defeated the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) after a years-long civil war. The KMT fled China to the island of Taiwan off the southern Chinese coast, relocating the capital of the Republic of China from Nanjing to Taipei. The CCP established the People's Republic of China on the mainland.
For Taiwan's military, its current problems run deeper than its hardware.
What they're saying: It would be "politically costly to impose change on the historically Kuomintang-leaning military bureaucracy," Michael Hunzeker, associate director of the Center for Security Policy Studies at George Mason University, wrote in November.
What to watch: The U.S. approved the sale of 250 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Taiwan in 2019, but Taiwanese defense officials expressed concern in May that the high demand for Stinger missiles in Ukraine may delay the delivery to Taiwan, expected by 2026.
Go deeper: Taiwan sees lessons in Ukraine


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