Thursday, August 25, 2011

Congress lurches toward F-16s as DoD reports

AP reports that Congress might actually bestir itself and sell the F-16s to Taiwan; it seems that this has strong support on both sides of the aisle.
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.

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.
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.

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.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


arkhangelsk said...

I do notice that the article did say "Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who spoke to reporters by conference call after touring the Lockheed Martin factory in Fort Worth, said not approving the sale of new planes would be a blow for a crucial U.S. ally and could cost 2,300 jobs at the factory."

However, it is undeniably true that US-China relations will be hurt by an arms sales. It is clearly biased in the other direction to not even make a single word out of it, so what do you suggest instead?

Michael Turton said...

I think it is true that arms sales will expose how China and the US actually don't have relations, but a relationship in which petulant behavior by China controls US behavior.

Perhaps a more forthright statement would be:

China would likely inflict harm on the US-China relationship in response to an arms sales to Taiwan, as it has in the past.

Something like that returns the problem to its rightful origin, Chinese behavior, not the clash between Obama and Congress.

Anonymous said...

"But I don't like the way it turns Congress into the villain and Obama into the hero"

Then, you are not going to enjoy the media for the next 18 months, minimum, or the next 5 1/2 years, depending on the election result.

Anonymous said...

it aint gonna happen

no sale

dont believe AP

Anonymous said...

does the hot bird have a reason for being in pic? other than her cute polka dot skimpy outfit? or are you leering again or sagemaster? >LOL<

kinda like sexism in reverse, no?

for a post about serious f16 stuff?

vin said...

F-16 = hot bird

RollingWave said...


If the authorization comes the government here would most likely just authorize a special budget and hold emergency session in the legislative yuan if needed. This happens all the time in Taiwan.

Given the general public perception on the issue, I highly doubt anyone who still want to stay in politics would try too hard to block it. unless the price is something outrageous even by the US arm sale's typically outrageous standard.

Michael Turton said...

Yeah, that's probably what would happen.

Michael Turton said...

for a post about serious f16 stuff?

I'm being Taiwanese, man. Haven't you notice how serious is often presented as cute here?

But there's a special reason for her. Remember her, you might be seeing her in the cinema soon.


Anonymous said...

Michael, when will you wake up and accept that Taiwan is never going to get F-16 C/Ds, or any new fighter aircraft for that matter? The name of the game today for Taiwan is soft power and you would be wise to remember that fact as Ma and Hu gear up to sign a peace treaty next year.

Michael Turton said...

Anon, when will you fucking read my blog? I've been saying that Taiwan won't get them for ages. Really, the stupidity of my commenters exceeds even my cynicism.

Anonymous said...

michael turron sir here, you should not get angry at your commenters here even if they piss you off with their comments, as anon did above. by writing

''Anon, when will you fucking read my blog? I've been saying that Taiwan won't get them for ages. Really, the stupidity of my commenters exceeds even my cynicism.''

you make your blog look bad and you as the blog master look worse. let people say what they want, and if their comments are stupid in your POV, it will be obvious. but saying ''fucking'', ''stupidity of my commenters'', came across as a jerk...and you are not a jerk...learn some proper blog etiquette man, or don't keep a blog in public. see?

okay, you weren't feeling well that day, so all forgiven, but be careful mate. you want a civil world, be civil yourself.

Young Turk Timmee in Taipei