The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) transits the Taiwan Strait while conducting routine underway operations. Benfold is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Deanna C. Gonzales)

What if China Conducted A CARVER Assessment Of Taiwan?

By Luke Bencie and Eric Dorn

In recent months, the ever-concerning discussion of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) potential invasion of Taiwan has bubbled up to the political surface. From Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, to President Joe Biden’s claim that the United States would militarily defend the democratic island, geopolitical experts have weighed in on whether (if and when) China will strike or not.

For decades, Taiwan has represented a legitimacy problem for the PRC’s Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as the province claims sovereignty from the Chinese mainland. This claim is refuted by China, as well as most other nations. In fact, the United Nations does not recognize Taiwan as a country and formally expelled the Republic of China (ROC - Taiwan’s official name) nearly fifty years ago. The CCP’s One China Principle is the official stance on the sovereignty of Taiwan, stating that while the PRC considers the island a province, it really has not been governed as such. Considering recent world events, now may be the time for the CCP to act and reclaim this valuable territory.

Utilizing the principles of the CIA’s CARVER Methodology, a quantitative system used by analysts to determine the likelihood of an attack, we will attempt to gauge China’s probability of aggression towards Taiwan.To begin, let’s define the acronym of CARVER in terms of this scenario. For an aggressive strike against the ROC by the CCP, CARVER would stand for: