Explained: Why Taiwan Needs New Submarines to Deter China

Even a single boat can throw an opponent’s strategy askew in modern naval warfare, as both the Argentine and British navies learned during the Falklands War of 1982. Time for Taiwan to get new submarines. 

The National Interest
Date: April 7, 2019
By: James Holmes

New submarines for Taiwan? Yes, please!

Submarine construction is poised to become a reality now that Washington has lifted restrictions that once prohibited exports of equipment to outfit or arm Taiwanese boats. It appears indigenous builders will construct the hulls—eight is the number bruited about—while foreign partners will supply the sensors, combat systems, and weapons along with technical advice.

A vibrant undersea fleet would pay political and strategic dividends that the current contingent of two aging and two positively elderly boats could never yield.

The World Trade Organization rules in favor of the United States in its long-running trade dispute with the European Union over bananas.

WWII: The Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, is sunk by American planes while en route to a suicide mission in Operation Ten-Go.



It only makes sense for Taiwan to take charge of its own destiny. The gods of world affairs help those who help themselves. Wise societies tend to their own security and interests to the utmost extent possible rather than trust to foreign allies who could prove untrustworthy in times of martial strife.

Human nature helps explain why self-help represents the bedrock underlying international relations. General George S. Patton, a keen observer of the human condition, opined that people cheer likely victors while scorning likely losers. And so they do. Who flocks to a losing cause? Few. People either side with winners, or they side with outmatched contenders who do their darnedest in their own cause—in other words, with pugilists who could succumb yet command admiration and could prevail with help.

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