Sat, Jul 09, 2011 - Page 8 News List

Neglect is hurting military morale

By J. Michael Cole 寇謐將

Here again, political expediency was undermining the military’s sense of mission, this time with the Ma administration doing everything it could to avoid sending signals of belligerence to Beijing, which dispatching the navy probably would have done. However justified the government may be in not wanting to “provoke” Beijing, there is little doubt that this kind of avoidance is having a deleterious effect on morale in the ranks.

Given that the current stability in the Taiwan Strait could very well be but a temporary phase, Taipei has every incentive to ensure that morale in the armed forces is as strong as possible. Providing the armed forces with the means to perform their mandate, emphasizing successes and fleshing out a clear mandate would be a good start.

J. Michael Cole is deputy news editor at the Taipei Times.

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