US ‘absolutely’ has ability to defend Taiwan, US military chief says

The United States military “absolutely” has the ability to defend Taiwan from an attack by China if called on to do so, US Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley says.

Milley says he does not expect China will take military action against the island in the next 24 months.

But, when asked if the Pentagon could defend Taiwan, he replies that there is no question about it.

He tells the Aspen Security Forum that the United States maintains a policy of “strategic ambiguity” about its stance on protecting Taiwan, and that it would be a presidential decision on whether to step in if China sought to seize control of the island.

“We absolutely have the capability to do all kinds of things around the world, to include that if required,” Milley says. “We absolutely have the capability. There’s no question about that.”

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations on Sept. 28, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

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