Taiwan (Republic of China) at a Dangerous Crossroads

 

America’s relationship with Taiwan has waxed and waned since 1949, when Nationalist forces fled there following defeat by the Communists on mainland China in a lengthy and bloody civil war. 

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Taiwan

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Taiwan

Following this disastrous defeat and retreat, the US provided the security umbrella and economic incentives that helped propel the Taiwan into one of Asia’s leading economic “Tigers”.  Taipei, in turn, supported US foreign policy and military policies.  In recent years, however, a number of factors have caused that once-close relationship to drift.  Some analysts say that actions by Taiwan and the US have placed Taiwan on a trajectory towards absorption by the PRC. 

 As one analyst noted, “Taipei is doing more damage to its own ability to deter mainland coercion and military attack than any weapon the People’s Liberation Army could conceive. This damage represents a serious threat to Taiwan’s national security, and by extension to the national security of the U.S. and Japan.” And the U.S., for its part, appears increasingly ready to sacrifice its national security and regional stability–and its fundamental beliefs as a nation–by refusing to reverse this drift.

David Day hosts this illuminating conversation with Kerry Gershaneck, a former US government official previously responsible for both “front line defense” of Taiwan and for developing key security cooperation programs with its military forces.

 

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Lessons from Fukushima: Big Changes in Japan’s Self Defense Forces

Col. Grant Newsham, USMC, U.S. Military Liaison Officer to the Japan SDF (Army)

Col. Grant Newsham, USMC, U.S. Military Liaison Officer to the Japan SDF (Army)

         

 

 

        On the Anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Col. Newsham discusses what it was like on the ground then, the shortcomings in the disaster relief efforts, and the lessons learned—including the need for Japan’s Self Defense forces to now develop an amphibious capability. The conversation also turns to the significance of this new capacity in Japan’s future role in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance actions in the Asia Pacific Region. 

A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Landing Craft Air Cushion drives onto the beach as part of exercise Dawn Blitz,testing new amphibious operations

A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Landing Craft Air Cushion drives onto the beach as part of exercise Dawn Blitz,testing new amphibious operations

 

 

Host: David Day

A Japanese Self-Defense Force landing craft, air cushion lands on Red Beach at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

A Japanese Self-Defense Force landing craft, air cushion lands on Red Beach at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

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The Korean War & Its Armistice: Unfinished Framework for a Future

Hyunh-Oh Kim, Consul for Political Affairs Consulate, Republic of Korea

Hyun-Oh Kim, Consul for Political Affairs Consulate, Republic of Korea, Honolulu

               June 25, 1950 marked the beginning of the Korean War and in Hawaii, as well as in many other locations around the globe, ceremonies of commemoration were held. The ceremony in Hawaii is the starting point for this conversation that covers a brief overview of the Korean War, its decimation of South Korea, and the uneasy truce that punctuates the DMZ–all of which has served to create a framework for the unfinished future of Northeast Asia. Korean Consul Kim discusses the rise of South Korea, literally from ashes, to the global stage and credits that rise, in significant part, to the critical involvement of the United States in the war and its assistance to South Korea in the rebuilding process.

Seongho Hong  Kelley Fellow  Pacific Forum CSIS

Seongho Hong
Kelley Fellow
Pacific Forum CSIS

Seongho Kim, talks about the missing piece in the framework for Northeast Asia–North Korea. He also emphasizes that the Korean War Armistice froze the 2 Koreas in place, along the DMZ, and effectively blocked the Korean peninsula from developing economically to its full potential. Both Counsel Kim and Seongho drill down on the missing piece and the need to somehow get North Korea back to the bargaining table for not only nuclear talks but also the discussion of economic development (for North Korea) options.

 

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Korea and Senior Associate and Director of Governmental Affairs, Pacific Forum CSIS

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Korea and Senior Associate and Director of Governmental Affairs, Pacific Forum CSIS

Finally, the discussion between Consul Kim, Seongho Hong and Kerry Gershaneck looks at Mdme. President Park’s current visit to Beijing and the interesting language issued in the Joint Communique between China and South Korea directed at North Korea.

Host: David Day

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Power, Diplomacy, Crisis, and Consuls: The Role of the U.S. Embassies

Two career diplomats, a husband and wife team: Ambassadors James and Lauren Kahea Moriarty join David Day in a conversation over the wide range of roles that US Embassy staff play, and how they work and live in countries that range from the glamorous and technologically sophisticated to the brutal and primitive.

Amb. James Moriarty

Amb. James Moriarty

The closure of U.S. embassies in 19 Middle Eastern and African cities in the face of terrorist threats highlights the important—yet often dangerous—work of the thousands of men and women serving in U.S. Embassies as they represent American interests around the world. These men and women play crucial roles in the success of American foreign policy, economic growth, national security, and international influence.  However, relatively few Americans understand what these diplomats and other Embassy staff do, nor the unique challenges and perils they face on a daily basis.

Amb Lauren Moriarty

Amb Lauren Moriarty

 

 

Program sponsored by Pacific Forum, CSIS

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The Asia-Pacific Region’s Flashpoints: An Update

Brad Glosserman Executive Director Pacific Forum, CSIS

Brad Glosserman
Executive Director
Pacific Forum, CSIS

Pacific Forum CSIS’s Executive Director, Brad Glosserman, reviews with David Day the key tense and potentially dangerous security Flashpoints that the Asia-Pacific Region now faces.

 

Asia Pacific Region

Asia Pacific Region

The conversation places these Flashpoints in the context of the rising economic dynamism of the Region, the re-focus of the “whole of government and business” into the Region and its need for stability and security. Potential border spillover Flashpoints are considered with (1)  the ethnic violence in Myanmar,(2) the latest developments in the South China Sea disputes (including the possibility of China now dragging Malaysia into the fray, in addition to the Philippines and Vietnam), (3) China’s dispute with Japan over the Senkakus, and (4) the current situation with the enhanced bellicose rhetoric coming out of North Korea.

 

Hosted by David Day

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Fall of Saigon: What Did We Accomplish and What have we learned?

April 30, marks the 38th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War for the United States. This year is also the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. This program looks at the linkage between these two momentous events and how they impacted American and Vietnamese lives, Southeast Asia, as well as the Cold War.

Gene Castagnetti USMC Col. (Ret.) Director, U.S. Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific

Gene Castagnetti
USMC Col. (Ret.)
Director, U.S. Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

In this conversation,  former combat USMC (ret) Col. Gene Castagnetti and Stanford’s Nguyen Van Canh examine the background of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the impact of the Paris Peace Accords, and then the collapse of the government and country of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975. Wars, like elections, have consequences, and the discussion includes a look at the downside of the U.S. withdrawal and the losses on the South Vietnamese side, the genocide, imprisonment, executions, re-education camps and then the bloodbath in Laos and Cambodia that followed. Both guests talk about the victory in Vietnam that has gone unrecognized and unappreciated as well as a theme of betrayal of our men and women in arms by our own political leadership.

Prof. Nguyen Van Canh Stanford University

Prof. Nguyen Van Canh
Stanford University

 

 

Hosted by David Day

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Assisting American Business in Asia

An in-depth interview with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Asia, Craig Allen. Hosted for Hawaii statewide television by David Day, this program explores the role of the the U.S. Department of Commerce in facilitating American business in Asian markets.

The show covers the significance of exports, initiatives for tourism, special business opportunities that are coming, the significance of the U.S. Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) and its impact upon the U.S. and Hawaii, in particular. Interestingly, the conversation also turns to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and special issues involving trade between the U.S. and China.

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“Mediating in Zones of Terror” – Part 2: Following the Cold War and 9/11, the Destabilizing Efforts of China in the Region

In Part 2 of this Hawaii television show,  David Day again interviews the successful international peace mediator between the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the U.S. Military, and both the radical and moderate Muslim groups in the Southern Islands of the Philippines, Mr. Al Santoli.

Mr. Santoli is the CEO of Asia America Initiative, a non-profit NGO headquartered in Washington D. C. but which now boasts over 1000 volunteers in the Philippines.

 

In this Episode 2 of a 2-part series, Mr. Al Santoli, describes the component pieces or building blocks of his own fascinating experiences from the Vietnam war to broader challenges in  Southeast Asia to Afghanistan–all working with tribal peoples during the Cold War. He describes the recent historical roots of terrorism over the past few decades that the United States has had to deal with. These experiences and building blocks have been integral in the development of the unique, multi-generational counter-insurgency strategy that his foundation is now successfully conducting in the radical Muslim islands of the Southern Philippines.

The conversation also includes a stunning disclosure of the destabilizing efforts of China in these southern islands, including potential economic warfare.

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