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China Times: National security system needs overhaul

China Times: National security system needs overhaul

During a state visit to countries in the South Pacific in March, President Ma Ying-jeou gave a directive for immediate activation of Taiwan's national security mechanism immediately after he learned of the sinking of a South Korean warship. Ma's decision was panned by critics as an overreaction.
Only time will tell whether or not the critics were right. But one thing is sure -- the country's national security system needs to be overhauled.
We absolutely agree with the saying, "one cannot be too careful," particularly when it comes to international incidents in a fast-changing world. Taiwan cannot afford to be nonchalant about international incidents.
However, we think the Ma administration should be criticized for issuing a statement soon after the sinking of the vessel that "the president had fully grasped the situation." No one in the world, not even the decision-makers at the White House, dared to make that claim, given the complexity of the situation on the Korean peninsular and Pyongyang's lack of transparency.
Because of the statement that "the president had fully grasped the situation" and because of the fact that the information received by Taiwan's national security system was too late, inaccurate and from "other media," we are concerned that the system is shaky.
The national security system, under the Ma administration, has a structural problem that needs to be fixed -- it is functioning more like an advisory body to the president than as an action agency.
There is probably no need for Taiwan to become a global strategic nerve center like Washington, but it has its own regional issues to address, including emergency rescue and relief efforts, interactions across the Taiwan Strait, the problem of sea pirates, and assistance to foreign nationals and overseas compatriots.
The National Security Council needs to be converted into a security and intelligence nerve center, where even middle- and low-echelon officials would be capable of collecting intelligence, coordinating and performing on their own. (April 5, 2010) (By Deborah Kuo)




Updated : 2021-07-31 00:08 GMT+08:00