Hard ROC 2.0: Taiwan and Deterrence Through Protraction

Despite the recent ostensible improvements in relations between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China, the deteriorating cross-strait military balance continues to worry leaders in Taipei.  Taiwan is long past the point where it can simply buy its way out of what has become a structural security deficit.  It urgently needs a radical rethink of its defense posture vis-a-vis China.

This study proposes a new approach that would help Taiwan buttress deterrence and protract a conflict should deterrence fail.

Hard ROC 2.0 seeks to impede the People's Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) ability to achieve control of the airspace and maritime environment around Taiwan in the event of war, thereby buying time for Taiwan and the international community to act. It emphasizes virtual, rather than physical, attrition of hostile forces and novel operational approaches that draw inspiration from guerrilla warfare and place premiums on delay, resiliency, furtiveness, and deception.

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