He attributed this to the fact that defense Faith Over Fear Shirt Christian Shirt in Taiwan were often generals and this led to problems of accountability. “Most military leaders would not like civilians to be Minister of Defense,” agreed Michael Tsai, who was a rare exception. The next civilian after him to become defense minister had to step down after less than a week in office after being accused of plagiarism. Even as the military refits itself with flashy U.S. arms purchases, such as M1 Abrams tanks and F-16V fighter jets, its front-line units are hollowed out, and the entire reserve system is so dysfunctional that few Faith Over Fear Shirt or serving military personnel believe it can make a real military contribution in the event of a war. These problems are well documented but continue to be downplayed, if not outright ignored, by Taiwan’s political leadership—and there is no clear plan to solve the crisis. According to a Taiwanese army lieutenant colonel in active service, who asked for only his last name, Lin, to be used, all the army’s front-line combat units he knows of—including armor, mechanized infantry, and artillery troops—currently have effective manpower levels of between 60 and 80 percent.
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This figure is consistent with Taiwanese media reports, Faith Over Fear Shirt Christian Shirt cite MND figures provided to Taiwan’s parliament, the Legislative Yuan, acknowledging that few front-line units have more than 80 percent of their positions filled. “That number might not seem so bad until you realize it means at least a third of your tanks are useless in a war because there’s no one to man them,” said Lin, who most recently served as a battalion commander within one of army’s armor brigades. For some years, before 2017, the term of conscription service in Taiwan was just a year, which was already short compared with South Korea’s 18-22 months, depending on the military branch, or Israel’s 32 months. Most officers felt that the single year of service wasn’t enough for the military to utilize draftees’ full potential but enough to at least turn a recruit into an average soldier. But 2017’s changes slashed the conscription period to just four months. Most draftees serve even less, as up to two weeks can be deducted if they’ve Faith Over Fear Shirt military training classes in high school and college. The four-month conscripts typically receive five weeks of basic training before they are assigned to field units for more specialty training. But they’re more a burden than an aid, not treated seriously by career or noncommissioned officers as their short stays mean they are seen as guests rather than soldiers.
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