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美国在台湾与乌克兰之间战略选择的意向评析

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不要在台湾与乌克兰之间“二选一”What It Means to Choose Between Ukraine and Taiwan

《纽约时报》ROSS DOUTHAT2024年2月22日

台湾的军事演习,摄于今年1月。 RITCHIE B TONGO/EPA, VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

Over the weekend Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio went to the Munich Security Conference to play an unpopular part — a spokesman, at a gathering of the Western foreign policy establishment, for the populist critique of American support for Ukraine’s war effort.

上周末,俄亥俄州参议员J·D·万斯在慕尼黑安全会议上扮演了一个不受欢迎角色——在西方外交政策机构的聚会上,代表民粹主义批评美国在俄乌战争中支持乌克兰的做法

If you were to pluck a key phrase from his comments, it would be “world of scarcity,” which Vance used five times to describe the American strategic situation: stretched by our global commitments, unable to support Ukraine while simultaneously maintaining our position in the Middle East and preparing for a war in East Asia, and therefore forced to husband our resources and expect our allies in Europe to counter Russia’s armaments and ambitions.

如果硬要从他的发言中摘出一个关键词的话,那将是“短缺的世界”,万斯在描述美国的战略形势时五次使用了这个词:对全球的承诺让我们捉襟见肘,无法在支持乌克兰的同时还维持我们在中东的地位、为东亚的战争做准备,因此我们不得不节约资源,期盼我们的欧洲盟友去抵制俄罗斯的武器和野心。

In my Sunday column I wrote about the tensions in the hawkish case for U.S. spending on Ukraine, the tendency for the argument to veer from boosterism (“We’ve got Putin on the ropes!”) to doomsaying (“Putin’s getting stronger every day!”) while describing the same strategic landscape.

在周日的专栏文章中,我写了美国在乌克兰支出问题上的鹰派立场存在着矛盾,他们的论据趋于两个极端:一个是振奋士气(“我们已经让普京濒临失败!”),另一个是末日论(“普京正在日渐强大起来!”),虽然他们描述的是同一种战略格局。

The case Vance pressed in Munich is more consistent, and its premises — not isolationist but Asia-first, more concerned about the Taiwan Strait than the Donbas — have supplied the common ground for Republican critics of our Ukraine policy since early in the war. But consistency is not the same as correctness, and it’s worth looking for a moment at why this kind of argument makes Ukraine hawks so frustrated.

万斯在慕尼黑提出的论据更加一致,而自俄乌战争之初,其前提就已为批评美国乌克兰政策的共和党人提供了共同基础,这个前提不是孤立主义,而是亚洲优先,他们更关心台湾海峡,而不是顿巴斯。但论据的一致并不等于正确,所以值得我们花点时间来分析一下,为什么这种论点让支持乌克兰的鹰派如此懊恼

In part, there’s a suspicion that some of the people making an Asia-first case don’t fully believe it, that it’s just a more respectable way of sloughing off American obligations, and that if the conservative base or Donald Trump decided it wasn’t worth fighting for Taiwan, many China-hawk Republicans would come up with some excuse to justify inaction.

部分原因是,有人怀疑一些提出亚洲优先论的人并不完全相信该论点,认为那只是让美国摆脱义务的一种更体面的方式,而且如果保守派基本盘或特朗普决定不值得为台湾而战的话,许多对华鹰派共和党人会想出一些借口,来证明不采取行动的正确性。

But assuming good faith — and whatever the calculations of Republican politicians, many China hawks are entirely on the level — there’s also the problem that this argument privileges hypothetical aggression over real aggression, a potential war over a current one, “contingencies in East Asia” (to quote Vance, again) over an actuality in Eastern Europe. We can’t do everything to stop Vladimir Putin today because of something Beijing might conceivably do tomorrow is the fundamental claim, and you can see why people chafe at it.

但假设他们有诚意——而且不管共和党政客们如何盘算,他们中的许多人在对华强硬方面完全不相上下——这里还有一个问题,那就是,这种论点把优先权赋予了假设的侵略和潜在的战争,而不是真正的侵略和当前的战争,赋予了用万斯的话说是“东亚可能发生的事情”,而不是东欧的实际情况。他们的根本主张是,因为北京明天有可能会干出什么,我们今天不能尽一切努力阻止普京,你可以理解为什么人们对该主张感到恼火。

Indeed, despite agreeing with the overall Asia-first assessment, I chafe at it myself — enough to think that the Biden administration made the right call backing Ukraine initially, and that a sharp cutoff in aid would be a mistake even if we should be seeking an armistice.

的确,尽管我同意亚洲优先的整体评估,但我本人也对这个主张感到足够恼火,以至于我认为拜登政府最初做出的支持乌克兰的决定是正确的,即使我们应该寻求停战,突然切断援助也将是一个错误。

But weighing contingencies against actuality is always part of what statesmen have to do. And the weighing that prioritizes Taiwan over Ukraine, danger in East Asia over actual war in Europe, depends on two presumptions that are worth making explicit and discussing.

但权衡可能发生的事情与现实情况始终是政客们不得不做的事情。优先考虑台湾而不是乌克兰,优先考虑东亚的危险而不是欧洲的实际战争,这种权衡取决于两个值得明确并讨论的假设。

The first is that China isn’t serious just about retaking Taiwan, but serious about doing it soon. If you think China’s military buildup and bellicosity are signaling potential annexation in some distant future, then there’s no immediate trade-off between Europe and the Pacific. Instead, in that case it becomes reasonable to think that defeating Putin in the 2020s will give Beijing pause in the 2030s, and the long-term commitment to military production required to arm Ukraine for victory will also help deter China 10 years hence.

第一个假设是,中国不仅在认真考虑收复台湾,而且在认真考虑要尽快那样做。如果你认为中国当前的军力建设和好战姿态所发出的信号是要在遥远的未来可能吞并台湾的话,那就无需立刻在欧洲和太平洋地区之间做出权衡。如果是这种情况,我们反而有理由认为,在2020年代击败普京将让北京在2030年代有所犹豫。而且武装乌克兰让其取得胜利,需要有对军事生产的长期承诺,这种承诺也将在此后十年有助于威慑中国。

But suppose that the peril is much closer, that Beijing’s awareness of its long-term challenges make it more likely to gamble while America is tied down by other crises, internally divided and potentially headed for four years of limited presidential capacity under either party’s nominee. In that case our potential strengths in 10 years are irrelevant, and the fact that we’re currently building anti-tank and antiaircraft missiles only to burn through them, adding more than $7 in new spending on Ukraine for every $1 dollar in spending related to our Asian and Australian allies and tethering military and diplomatic attention to a trench war in Eastern Europe means that we’re basically inviting the Chinese to make their move, and soon.

但假设危机更近,假设北京对长期挑战的认识使其更有可能孤注一掷,在美国受其他危机束缚、面临内部分裂,并可能在未来四年由能力有限的总统领导(不论是哪个政党的提名人当选)时采取行动的话,我们十年后的潜在优势就无关紧要了。我们目前正在制造的反坦克导弹和防空导弹很快就会在乌克兰战场上毁掉,在亚洲和澳大利亚盟友身上每花一美元,就在支持乌克兰上增加超过七美元的新支出,我们把军事和外交注意力集中在东欧的堑壕战上,这些事实意味着,我们基本上是在邀请中国采取行动,而且是尽快采取行动。

Which in turn brings us to the second presumption: that Taiwan falling to its imperial neighbor would change the world for the worse on a greater scale than Ukraine ceding territory or even facing outright defeat.

这相应地将我们带到第二个假设:台湾落入邻近帝国之手将使世界变得更糟,糟糕的程度比乌克兰割让领土甚至彻底失败还要大。

If you see the two countries as essentially equivalent, both American clients but not formal NATO-style allies, both democracies vulnerable to authoritarian great-power neighbors, then there’s a stronger case for doing everything for Ukraine when it’s immediately threatened, regardless of the consequences for Taiwan.

如果你认为这两个国家本质上等同,都是美国的附庸,但不是正式的北约式盟友,都是民主国家,也都容易受到独裁大邻国的攻击,那就更有理由为乌克兰采取一切行动,不管这对台湾有什么后果,因为乌克兰正在受到威胁。

But they are not equivalent. The American commitment to Taiwan goes back almost 70 years, and for all that we’ve cultivated ambiguity since the Nixon era, the island is still understood to be under the American umbrella in a way that’s never been true of Ukraine. Taiwan is also a mature democracy in a way that Ukraine is not, which means its conquest would represent a much more stark form of rollback for the liberal democratic world. And Taiwan’s semiconductor industry makes it a much greater economic prize than Ukraine, more likely to hurl the world into recession if the industry is destroyed in a war or grant Beijing newfound power if it’s simply absorbed into China’s industrial infrastructure.

但它们并不等同。美国对台湾的承诺可以追溯到近70年前,尽管自尼克松时代以来我们一直采取战略模糊的做法,但台湾仍被认为处于美国的保护伞下,这是乌克兰从未与美国有过的关系。台湾的民主制度也比乌克兰更成熟,这意味着对台湾的征服将代表自由民主世界的一种更加明显的倒退。台湾的半导体产业使其比乌克兰更具经济价值,如果该产业在战争中被摧毁,更有可能使世界陷入经济衰退,或者如果台湾的半导体产业干脆被中国的工业基础设施吸收,那将让北京得到新的力量。

Just as important, China is not equivalent to Russia. The latter is a menace but one that — as Vance argues — should theoretically be containable and deterrable, even without American involvement, by a Europe whose G.D.P. absolutely dwarfs Russia’s.

同样重要的是,中国并不等同于俄罗斯。尽管后者是一个危险,但正如万斯所言,即使没有美国的参与,欧洲从理论上讲应该能威慑俄罗斯,遏制其威胁,欧洲的GDP绝对比俄罗斯高得多。

By contrast China’s wealth and potential hard power dwarfs all its Asian neighbors, and its conquest of Taiwan would enable a breakout for its naval strength, a much wider projection of authoritarian influence, and a reshuffling of economic relationships in Asia and around the world.

相比之下,中国的财富和潜在硬实力远远超过其所有的亚洲邻国,而中国征服台湾将使其海军实力实现突破,使其威权影响力得到更广泛的投射,亚洲和全球经济关系将重新洗牌。

For an in-depth argument about these kind of consequences, I recommend “The Taiwan Catastrophe” by Andrew S. Erickson, Gabriel B. Collins and Matt Pottinger in Foreign Affairs. You don’t have to be convinced by every piece of their analysis to grasp the potential stakes. If a Russian victory in Ukraine would feed authoritarian ambitions, a Chinese victory would supercharge them. If Ukraine’s defeat would hurt American interests, Taiwan’s fall would devastate them.

如果想深入探讨这类后果的话,我推荐艾立信(Andrew S. Erickson)、加布里埃尔·柯林斯和马修·波廷格在《外交事务》杂质上合写的《台湾灾难》。你不需要被他们的每项分析说服就能明白潜在的利害关系。如果说,俄罗斯在乌克兰的胜利会助长威权主义野心的话,那么中国的胜利将让这种野心格外强劲。如果说,乌克兰的失败会损害美国利益的话,那么失去台湾将会对美国的利益产生毁灭性影响。

Which makes the first presumption the dispositive one. If you’re seeking full victory in Ukraine, signing up for years of struggle in which Taiwan will be a secondary priority, your choice basically requires betting on China’s aggressive intentions being a problem for much later — tomorrow’s threat, not today’s.

这使得第一个假设成为决定性的假设。如果你寻求的是乌克兰的全面胜利,为其投入多年的努力,台湾的优先级在这期间是次要的,你这个选择的基本赌注是中国的侵略意图是一个很久以后的问题,是明天的威胁,而不是今天的威胁。

Unlike the Ukraine hawks, I would not take that bet. Unlike the doves I would not simply cut off the Ukrainians. There is a plausible path between those options, in which aid keeps flowing while the United States pursues a settlement and pivot. But a great deal hangs on whether that narrow way can be traversed: not just for Ukraine or for Taiwan, but for the American imperium as we have known it, the world-bestriding power that we’ve taken for granted for too long.

与寻求乌克兰胜利的鹰派不同,我不会打这个赌。与在俄乌战争上寻求谈判的人不同,我也不会简单地切断对乌克兰的援助。在这些选择之间有一条合理的道路,那就是在美国寻求乌克兰解决方案、转向亚洲的同时,继续向乌克兰提供援助。但很多东西取决于能否在这条狭窄道路上走下去:不仅对乌克兰或台湾来说,也对我们所知的美利坚帝国来说,我们把自己的世界主导地位视为理所当然已经太久了。

Ross Douthat自2009年起一直在时报担任观点版面的专栏作者。他著有多本书,最近的一本是《The Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery》。欢迎在Facebook和Twitter上关注他。


翻译:纽约时报中文网

点击查看本文英文版。

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