Current Conflicts and Corresponding Military Spending
The only real threat to Taiwan is the ongoing conflict with the People’s Republic of China. So, much of their military efforts are geared toward preparing for, defending against, and building on its strengths should an armed conflict ever materialize. With this said, the core policy of Taiwan’s National Military Strategy is to avoid war at all costs and to keep its strategically important waterway, the Taiwan Strait, safe for travel, shipping etc. Furthermore, this avoidance of war does not necessarily mean the small island country lacks in the ability to defend itself from foreign foes such as the People’s Republic of China. Important elements of this defense include early warning, information and electronic warfare superiority, counter blockade capabilities, and long range precision (global). Taiwan is expected in the near future to continue building its defense capabilities not by quantity but by quality and power-as this is the only means Taiwan can possibly defend itself from the People’s Republic of China.
Taiwan has an Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force, Coast Guard Administration, Armed Forces Reserve Command, Combined Service Forces Command, and Armed Forces Police Command. Males 19-35 years of age are required during drafts, and all males are required to put in 1 year of service. Women may enlist, but in the Air Force service are restricted to noncombat roles. The small island country has 6,283,134 aged 16-49 available for combat and 6,098,599 females available for combat (2008 est.) (CIA).
At $14.5 billion USD, the defense budget occupies around 25 percent of the total government budget of $59 billion USD. To compare, China’s defense budget occupies only $45 billion USD of their total budget and the U.S.’s defense budget occupies $481 billion dollars of their respective total budget. Although China’s numbers, according to many analysts (nytimes), are...