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Taiwan restores length of military service to 12 months Zone

In 2012, the Taiwanese government reaffirmed its goal of having a strong professional army of 215,000 volunteers within the next two years, without sacrificing the obligation for young men over the age of 18 to complete four months of military training.

This decision followed a steady reduction in military service from 14 months in 2007 to 12 months in 2009. And it was partly sociologically motivated. In fact, back then we used the term “strawberry generation” to describe the Taiwanese youth who were considered too “spoiled”, disobedient, selfish, arrogant and even lazy at work.

Was this concept really a reality or was it too hard for young Taiwanese? Still, the military level of the conscripts was not at the peak of what it should have been. Hence Taipei’s desire to move towards a professional army.

Since then, however, the island’s security situation has evolved under the influence of increasing pressure from Beijing, which considers it a rebel province. On Christmas Day, the People’s Liberation Army [APL] again sent 71 aircraft to the Air Defense Identification Zone [ADIZ] Taiwanese…

And what was once considered new has now become routine. Only the makeup of the Chinese formations sighted near Taiwan can sometimes hold some surprises, as on December 12 with the dispatch of a “record” number of Xian H-6 strategic bombers.

However, an invasion of Taiwan by China is not imminent, according to the latest report on Chinese military capabilities submitted by the Pentagon to the United States Congress. [mais tout le monde n’est pas aligné sur cette évaluation]. There are several reasons for this, including the not yet fully modernized PLA, which focuses on multi-domain operations, the political cost this could have for Beijing, and the complexity of planning such an amphibious operation.

Obviously, the people of Taiwan are concerned about Beijing’s intentions… Hence the massive orders for military equipment from the United States. Orders that are difficult to meet from the outset show US arms shipments to the Taiwanese armed forces lagging behind by $19 billion. Delay that could also be exacerbated by Washington’s military aid to Kyiv, even if the US defense finance law promises Taipei an additional $10 billion. It is still necessary that the industrialists can follow …

Be that as it may, the “strawberry generation” is a thing of the past in Taiwan… especially as the country’s armed forces struggle to recruit and retain their personnel.

In fact, on December 27, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen decided to “reinstate one-year military service from 2024,” acknowledging that the current four-month period “is insufficient to respond to the constantly and rapidly evolving situation.” It is an “extremely difficult decision” but “necessary” to ensure the democratic way of life for our future generations,” she argued. This measure affects all men born after January 1, 2005.

Note that Taiwan is not the first country to withdraw from military service. Sweden, which suspended it by a slim majority in parliament in 2010, reinstated it eight years later. Officially, to solve the recruitment difficulties of its armed forces… But this decision was also taken as part of a realignment of the country’s defense policy against the background of the Russian threat. Lithuania and, more recently, Latvia have also revived conscription.

Photo: Taiwanese soldiers – CC BY-SA 3.0

Taiwan Restores Length Of Military Service To 12 Months Zone Militaire – S Chronicles

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