Chapter 5. National Defense Force
/Section 1. Introducing the National Defense Organization
Civilian control of the military and convergence of military command and administration systems were formally promulgated as characteristics of our national defense organization in a democratic nation when the National Defense Act and the Organization Act of the Ministry of National Defense (hereinafter referred to as the two Defense Acts) came into force on 1 March 2002. Due to limited availability of national defense resources and the need to maximize the effectiveness of its expenditures, the MND implemented organizational adjustments in order to create modernized ROC Armed Forces.
I. National Defense System
The structure of the national defense of the ROC is based on Article 7 of the National Defense Act shown in the following (per Figure 5-1):
( I ) President
The President shall assume the supreme command of the Army, Navy and Air Force of the ROC, and is the commander-in-chief of the ROC Armed Forces. He exerts executive authority over the Minister of National Defense. The Chief of the General Staff (CGS) shall follow the direction of the Minister to command the ROC Armed Forces. (Article 8 of the National Defense Act)
( II ) National Security Council
In order to decide major defense policies and guidelines relating to national security or in response to urgent defense situations, the President may convene the National Security Council. (Article 9 of the National Defense Act).
( III ) Executive Yuan
The Executive Yuan is responsible for the formulation of defense policies,consolidation of comprehensive national power and supervision of its subordinate agencies to conduct relevant defense affairs (Article 10 of the National Defense Act).
( IV ) Ministry of National Defense
The MND is in charge of overall national defense affairs, shall fully exercise its policy, command, and armament functions. Besides, it shall submit suggestions in defense policies and formulate military strategies accordingly (Article 11 of the National Defense Act).
II. Organizational Structure
( I ) Structure of the Ministry of National Defense (Articles 4 and 5 of the Organization Act of the Ministry of National Defense)
According to the two Defense Acts, the MND shall consist of 1 Minister, a civilian officer, to be in charge of overall national defense affairs; 2 Vice Ministers who can be politically appointed individuals or military officers holding the rank of General or Admiral; 2 Administrative Deputy Ministers who can be grade 14 civilian officers or military officers holding the rank of Lieutenant General or Vice Admiral to support the Minister in leading and guiding organic units as well as defense agencies (institutions). Additionally, the MND shall be composed of a General Staff Headquarters with subsidiary military establishments to create a defense organization where authorities match the responsibilities and the tiered professions. Thus, the ROC Armed Forces are able to commit to their respective training duties and combat preparedness in order to create a modern and elite military force(as shown in Figure 5-2).
( II ) Organic Units and Defense Agencies (Institutions) of the MND
The organic units include a number of departments and offices which may be subdivided into divisions and subordinate sections where necessary. Defense agencies (institutions) are composed of bureaus which are supervised by the Vice Ministers or the Administrative Deputy Ministers.
1. The Organic Units (Article 3 of the Organization Act of the Ministryof National Defense and Article 4 of the Regulations GoverningDepartmental Affairs of the Ministry of National Defense)
shall be composed of the Department of Strategic Planning, Department of Resources Planning, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Integrated Assessment, Inspector General's Office, National Defense Mobilization Office, Defense Procurement Office, Administration Office, Personnel Office, Ethics Office and Comptroller Office.
2. Defense Agencies (Institutions) (Articles 6 and 10 of the Organization Act of the Ministry of National Defense)
shall include the Political Warfare Bureau, Armaments Bureau,Comptroller Bureau and Medical Affairs Bureau, as well as overseas military establishments and personnel.
( III ) General Staff Headquarters (Article 4 of the Organization Act of the General Staff Headquarters of the Ministry of National Defense)
The General Staff Headquarters of the MND shall be led by one Chief of the General Staff, one Vice Chief of the General Staff (Executive), and two Vice Chiefs of the General Staff and is composed of specialized, executive and support institutions and forces established by itself as well as any establishments and combat forces attached to it by relevant orders.
1. Staff Units of the General Staff Headquarters (Article 3 of the Organization Act of the General Staff Headquarters of the Ministry of National Defense)
shall include the Office of the Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Personnel, Office of the Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Intelligence, Office of the Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Operations and Planning, Office of the Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Logistics, Office of the Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Communications, Electronics, and Information, and Office of the Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Training.
2. Institutions and Forces (Article 6 of the Organization Act of the General Staff Headquarters of the Ministry of National Defense)
shall include the Military Intelligence Bureau, Communications Development Office, Information and Electronic Warfare Command, Air Defense Missile Command, General Service Command, and other specialized institutions and forces.
( IV ) Military Agencies (Institutions)
1.The MND shall establish the Army Headquarters, the Navy Headquarters and the Air Force Headquarters as well as other military establishments (Article 7 of the Organization Act of the Ministry of National Defense).
2.The MND shall establish the Armed Forces Reserve Command and the Military Police Command. For the military command, the aforementioned military institutions and its subordinate forces shall be attached to the General Staff Headquarters (Article 8 of the Organization Act of the Ministry of National Defense).
III. Missions and Responsibilities
( I ) Responsibilities of the Ministry of National Defense (Article 2 of the Organization Act of the Ministry of National Defense)
The MND shall be in charge of proposing, recommending and executing national defense policies, military strategies, force buildup guidelines, resource allocation, integrated assessment of strategies, development of national defense technologies, formulating national defense budgets, manpower planning, all-out defense mobilization, military discipline (and ethics) as well as supervision of national defense administration.
( II ) Responsibilities of the General Staff Headquarters of the MND (Article 2 of the Organization Act of the General Staff Headquarters of the Ministry of National Defense)
The General Staff Headquarters shall serve as the staff of military command system for the Minister of National Defense. In peacetime, it proposes requirements of military buildup and operational readiness, recommends national defense and military resource allocation, supervises operational preparedness and military training, determines the order of battle, defines and implements operational plans and other tasks associated with the military command. In wartime, the General Staff Headquarters shall be responsible for directing joint operations of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
( III ) Tasks of the Army, Navy and Air Force
The tasks of the Army, Navy, and Air Force of the ROC are as follows:
In peacetime, the main tasks of the Army are to garrison various areas of the Taiwan proper and its offshore islands, establish basic combat prowess, and integrate contingency response capabilities. Others include execution of emergency combat missions, jointly safeguarding critical infrastructure, supporting counter-terrorism operations when ordered and providing active support in regional disaster relief operations. In wartime,each Theater of Operation (defense commands) and its subordinate units shall be commanded by the ROC Armed Forces Joint Operations Command Center to work with navy, air force and other ground forces to conduct joint defense operations.
In peacetime, the Navy is responsible for patrolling and safeguarding the ROC territorial waters, actively defending ROC fishing crews and vessels, and conducting regional disaster relief operations. In wartime, the Navy shall implement countermeasures with other services and prevent hostile blockades or military invasions in order to ensure that sea lines of communication (SLOC) of Taiwan remain open, achieve regional maritime superiority, and create a vantage posture for joint homeland defense operations.
3. Air Force
In peacetime, the Air Force is responsible for patrolling and safeguarding airspace of the ROC, and conducting regional disaster relief operations. In wartime, the Air Force shall strive for air superiority and engage in various joint operations with ground and naval forces.