National Security , Newsline

Protecting Taiwan – Why and How?

Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2023
by AMAC, Robert B. Charles

Global news, policy gurus, think tanks, and social media are buzzing with Communist China’s unremitting pressure on Taiwan, threats, jets, and practice invasions. We hear more “war talk” than in decades. But let’s slow the train. Why do we want to protect Taiwan? If we must, how do we do that?

The first question is easy. In a nutshell, Taiwan’s freedom is the world’s freedom. Two titans are afoot today: The new Axis led by Communist China, weaker Russia, Iran, North Korea, and outliers, and what we call The Free World, those unified in practicing self-determination, opposing centralized oppression.

If the Free World allows a brick to be taken from the dam of unified free nations, then expect a flood. Communist China, feeling empowered – no credible response – will move outward. This is what they are doing across other domains via “unrestricted warfare,” and how Communist China operates.

In a different era, facing Soviet Communism – versus Chinese – Ronald Reagan offered prophetic words and profound actions. We should recall what unity on this issue looks like, and why it matters.

John F. Kennedy, speaking in West Berlin, June 1963, put it this way: “Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was ‘civis Romanus sum.’ Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is Ich bin ein Berliner.’”

What was Kennedy saying? He was saying there is a fundamental difference between the West and East of Berlin, dissected by a communist-erected wall, to keep East Berliners from fleeing to the West. They all wanted to be in the West, away from communism’s oppression.

In a larger sense, for what this may be worth, Kennedy’s words are traceable to St. Paul’s words in the Book of Acts, where St. Paul appeals for a fair trial before his flogging, saying what Kennedy said, “I am a Roman citizen.”

Kennedy understood innate evil of Communism, as Reagan did – as most used to. Kennedy’s words in Berlin are as true today as when they were spoken. Listen closely, then apply them not to Berlin -but to Taipei, not to Germany – but to the free Chinese in Taiwan.

Said Kennedy: “There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the Free World and the Communist World. Let them come to Berlin.”

He continued: “There are some who say that Communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin…There are some who say…we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin…There are even a few who say that it is true that Communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass’ sie nach Berlin kommen – Let them come to Berlin.”

The point, which was not lost on Kennedy, not lost on Reagan, and cannot be lost on us – is that this is a titanic battle of ideas, a battle between an evil ideology that willfully, ruthlessly, unapologetically oppresses the individual – the individual’s right to travel, speak, worship, protect herself, get a fair trial, and live freely – versus an ideology that celebrates and strives to protect those things.

If we lose Taiwan, fail to stand up as Kennedy and Reagan did, and let Communist China take a free nation that never was Communist China, and is not now – we have failed our time in history. Moreover, the Communist machine will keep grinding outward, as they already are and as the Soviets did, until they are either stopped at higher cost or win.

This brings me to the second question, how we fight Communist China. The prime objective is to get and stay strong, make clear our dominant capabilities, readiness, and will to win, no question. This kind of certainty of purpose, clarity of thought, word, and deed – often deters war.

However, if by bad fortune and worse leadership, we must engage the Communist behemoth, we must also be resolved to win, using all legal aspects of warfare, without reservation or hesitation.

We must prepare to engage in space and cyberspace, maximize maritime, air, and technology advantages, including ballistic missile defense. We must take advantage of our three-to-one advantage in carriers, marked quantitative and qualitative advantage in air assets, not shrink.

War is terrible, and war with China would be horrific, even if we prevailed. China must know we do not want a war, will work to avoid a war, but if we must fight one – we will, and we will prevail. 

As Taiwan goes, so goes the Free World. Those are the stakes, always been against Communism. Kennedy and Reagan were right, and for that matter Patton, Eisenhower, and MacArthur. That is why and how we will protect Taiwan.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
1 year ago

Being allied with Taiwan is honorable. Taiwan represents hope because it respects freedom, respects the rights of people that involve self determination. Both President Kennedy and President Reagan realized the importance of Taiwan and they both had intelligent , and honorable views that concerned foreign policy. The spirit of respecting those values of good character, applied to an
individual , or to a nation is something that leads men and women in the right direction, for the right reasons , it is important and the idea of being a faithful friend with Taiwan is a great example of that belief .

1 year ago


You asked why we should defend Taiwan. Let me answer that from the purely economic perspective, rather than get bogged down in the whole free nations perspective for the moment.

Starting in the1990s, in the big push by both political parties in the United States to get on the whole globalism bandwagon (big mistake), the United States began encouraging our domestic chip and computer industry to start off-shoring the actual manufacturing of everything associated with the high tech industry. Where did a vast majority of the actual manufacture of ICs, semiconductors, memory chips and nearly all the crucial components of the modern computerized world end up? They ended up in Taiwan, which today is the single largest source for EVERYTHING chip related for computers, autos, weapons systems for the military, home appliances, TVs, etc. The second biggest winner in our off-shoring push was India.

So if China seizes Taiwan by force, the CCP will overnight become the choke point for virtually everything technology related that the world, not just the United States, relies on. Do we really think China won’t take advantage of that leverage for a whole host of things, if they gain control those technology resources?

As for defending Taiwan, I agree with you that we would be in a really tough position having to defend at country from communist China just about 100 miles off the Chinese mainland. Essentially in range of mainland jets and missiles, along with the entire CCP fleet. That would be a nightmare from a warfare perspective, but we would have no choice other than handing control of the world over to President Xi on silver platter. The fact that we have such a weak, compromised leader in the White House does more to encourage President Xi to act militarily than anything else. That is something the American people can correct, but then the question becomes will President Xi simply decide to sit on the sidelines until 2025?

1 year ago

This article highlighted and focused on a very important message. You wrote it with such care and clarity using historical events to explain why America must always protect and fight for Taiwan and other comparable countries. Thank you, Robert!

Americans need to wake up and realize we can’t just block out the rest of the world and pretend they don’t exist or will never affect our freedom. Communist China, Russia, North Korea, and others, are just waiting for America to self-destruct or become complacent, so they can quickly pounce on us in a blink of an eye. There is nothing redeemable regarding communism. Just ask someone from Berlin, Budapest, Warsaw, or Bucharest.You lose ALL freedoms! Let’s all come together as a nation and choose a strong and insightful leader for the future who will make sure we are always prepared and ready to fight with determination to secure our freedoms.

Bob Hellam
Bob Hellam
1 year ago

East Berlin and East Germany were bogus false states. No Communist government ever has any legitimacy anywhere. The same holds true for Communist China. However, the basis for our support of Taiwan was originally that it housed the government-in-exile of the Republic of China. With Nixon’s trip to China and our recognition of the Communist government (to the exclusion of our continuing recognition of the Republic of China), we undercut our reasons for support of Taiwan.
If we are serious about supporting Taiwan, we should terminate our recognition of the “People’s Republic of China” and once again recognize the Republic of China.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Send more missiles, update defenses
Rig minefields for Chinese to plow around

John H
John H
1 year ago

We must also immediately reclaim any and all land in the USA that China or any of its CCP-connected minions have acquired along with equipment and crops and nationalize them for America. There is no rational reason we should be letting our biggest competitor and world domination challenger move into our country and feed their people from our soil. AND STOP BUYING PRODUCTS MADE IN CHINA! That includes Biden’s favorite, electric cars and batteries that deplete our aging power grids.

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