In May, nearly half of the Democrat-led Senate sent a letter urging Obama to authorize the deal. There is likely even broader support in the Republican-controlled House.This paragraph really bothered me. The rest of the piece is just boilerplate Establishment reporting terminating in AP's "split in '49" nonsense. But I don't like the way it turns Congress into the villain and Obama into the hero; the situation is quite different.
Giving the green light would set back Obama's efforts to cultivate a stable, cooperative relationship with China, which has reacted to previous arms sales to Taiwan by cutting military ties with the U.S.
I'm very curious to see how the sale is handled in Taiwan if Congress ever actually does manage to sell the F-16s to Taiwan. I imagine that the Obama Administration will use all its powers to prevent the sale and then to delay its realization. But what will the Ma Administration do? The money simply isn't there to purchase the aircraft at the moment. It might be opportune for the Ma Administration to be able to announce a big arms sale just prior to the election, though. And then drag it out for another few years.....
Meanwhile, the DoD gave its annual 2011 report to Congress this week. The big news was that China remains focused on Taiwan, is rapidly expanding its edge over Taiwan, and appears to be conducting cyberwarfare. As one wag I know remarked, the report appears to be a lagging indicator.
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