Rep. Ted Yoho had a PR nightmare this week after reportedly calling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez some ungentlemanly terms. Though this is the controversy du jour, we should not lose sight that actual policy is more important than sound bites. Yoho recently announced plans to submit legislation this week for the "Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act" that would commit the United States to war against China if Beijing attacks Taiwan. Such a proposition has long been popular in the Beltway. Before tying the United States to Taipei's fate, however, a closer analysis is warranted.
The most fundamental starting point of any discussion of potential agreement that could commit our country to war is examine how it affects our interests—namely, our national security. If Taiwan were attacked, would it result in a direct threat to America? If we committed to the defense of Taiwan, what benefit does the U.S. gain that is commensurate with the enormous risk? The answers to these questions are paramount.